Friday, 27 October 2017

Hotel booking sites probed by UK's competition watchdog to see if consumers are being misled



Hotel booking sites are to be probed by the UK's competition watchdog to see if consumers are being misled by them.

 
The Competition and Markets Authority is concerned that rather than helping consumers, the sites might actually be making it more difficult for them.


The CMA said it was "concerned about the clarity, accuracy and presentation of information on sites".


The investigation will examine areas such as hidden charges, search results, and discount claims.
Leading booking sites include Expedia and Booking.com.
In a statement, booking site Trivago, which is majority owned by Expedia, said: "Trivago will work with the CMA to explain the benefits it delivers to consumers looking for their ideal hotel."


Booking.com said it would not be commenting at this time.


According to the CMA, about 70% of people who shop around for accommodation use hotel booking sites.


Nisha Arora, a senior director at the CMA, told the BBC's Today programme: "We are concerned about the clarity and accuracy of these sites. Rather than helping consumers they may actually be making it more difficult for them."


She explained that the suggestions offered by such sites were not ranked solely on the preferences entered by the user.


"When you put in your criteria - which room you want, when you want to stay - they are listed in a certain order. This is not just influenced by consumer preference but by commission - commercial considerations - and consumers might not be aware of this."




BBC       News.