Hotel booking sites to end ‘misleading’ sales tactics

The CMA says it is calling time on irregularities in hotel booking pricesThe CMA says it is calling time on irregularities in hotel booking prices
The CMA says it is calling time on irregularities in hotel booking prices
Expedia and trivago are among six online hotel booking sites that have agreed to a raft of changes to end misleading sales tactics and hidden charges after a probe by the competition watchdog., Agoda, and ebookers were also investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after it raised “serious concerns” over tactics used in the sector.

The CMA said the sites have voluntarily committed to the measures, including changes to make search results clearer, to end pressure selling, make discount claims more transparent and display all compulsory charges.

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The CMA said it will “do whatever it can” to bring the rest of the online hotel booking sector up to the same standard.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the CMA, said: “The CMA has taken enforcement action to bring to an end misleading sales tactics, hidden charges and other practices in the online hotel booking market. These have been wholly unacceptable.”

The CMA stressed that not all six sites were guilty, but have still committed to the changes. They must make the changes by September 1 and the CMA will monitor their compliance.

The watchdog will write to sites across the sector - including travel agents, metasearch engines and hotel chains - to explain they must comply with consumer protection law.

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They must also make changes by September 1 and the CMA warned it will take further action if it finds evidence of others breaking the law.

Guy Anker, deputy editor of, said: “It’s utterly ridiculous that you can’t always trust the first figure you’re shown when booking a hotel - something our 2018 investigation into this matter highlighted.

“It’s confusing for customers and makes doing a meaningful price comparison very hard.”

“We’re glad a number of large firms have committed to being more transparent but the fact we’re even in this position shows the anti-consumer practices that are out there.

“While some firms have committed to playing fairer, don’t be surprised if others fail to show the true cost.”

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