A crucial part involved in planning your vacation is deciding on accommodation and more often than not, the average traveller like us access major hotel booking sites like Agoda, Booking.com and Hotels.com hesitation in search of a temporary abode, whether that is a luxury five-star resort, a budget hotel or a no-frills hostel.
What you may not have been aware of all these years is that these sites, including the likes of eBookers, Expedia and Trivago, haven’t been the most honest about the way they operate, pressure selling, putting up misleading discount claims, offering false impressions of a room’s popularity and also implementing hidden charges every time you book.
Thankfully, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United States has recently taken action against these sites, and they have been given until September 2019 to clean up the way they operate. This is evidently huge news for the travel industry as there has always been a lack of transparency prior to this.
Aside from providing the full cost of a room upfront including taxes and other fees, the six will have to quit falsifying a room’s availability and stop making misleading discount claims. Ultimately, they agreed “to ensure that consumers are not misled about the amount they will have to pay, and that wherever a price is displayed the total price is displayed”.
The six have also agreed to disclose if a certain client is paying them extra to rank hotels higher in their listings every time potential customers make a search on their website. They have also committed to omit labelling properties as “sold out” just so buyers would make the bookings more quickly in fear of not having locked down somewhere to stay.
We don’t know about you, but we sure as hell are ready to say goodbye to dodgy sales tactics and smoother travels!