By the 1st September, 2019 hotel booking sites will have to make changes to their websites.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have investigated concerns that six online booking sites, Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, EBookers and Trivago used certain tactics to pressure sell, not being clear on hidden charges, mislead consumers about claims of discounts and the order in which their results appear on website pages.
Hotel search sites will now have to be open on their website ranking and basing it on the amount of commission they get paid from the Hotel.
The will also have to be honest on how many people are looking at hotels and rooms and if they are in the same date range. Stop adding discounts and comparing luxury suites to standard doubles when price reducing and be more upfront on charges, booking fees and taxes.
All hotel sites have agreed to stop putting Sold Out hotels in the beginning of the search as this puts pressure on consumers.
Six of the largest hotel websites have been contacted by the (CMA) and are now changing their protocols. The changes will enable consumers to be receiving real deals and not to be pressured into booking the first hotel or room they see.
The CMA will be monitoring such sites and will enforce action if they are found to be breaking the law.
We have an idea at Roberts Clark to develop a service exactly like this comparing fees and costs for financial, legal, conveyancing, mortgage, tax and accounting services. Quite simply, consumers being allowed to search for services not just by postcode but also by price and rating.
We already have the technology in place to build it. What do you think? Contact us