More hotel booking sites promise to give you the full cost upfront
More than 20 firms, including TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Google, have agreed to always display the full cost of a hotel room upfront and not to give a false impression of its popularity, the competition watchdog says.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says the agreement by 25 firms to change how they display information where needed means the majority of hotel booking sites in the UK will now adhere to these standards.
It comes after the CMA took enforcement action against six firms – Agoda, Booking.com, Ebookers, Expedia, Hotels.com and Trivago – over concerns about pressure selling and "misleading discount claims". It said the six firms have now made all the agreed changes.
See our Cheap Hotels guide for more information on how to find five-star deals and more.
Which sites have committed to changes?
A total of 25 online hotel and other accommodation booking platforms have signed up to the CMA's consumer protection law principles, which include not giving a false impression of a room's popularity and always displaying the full cost of a room upfront.
It's worth noting that not all firms listed below were necessarily breaking the principles beforehand, but all have nonetheless agreed to abide by all the sector-wide principles:
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Great Britain
- Late Rooms (no longer operating)
- On the Beach
- Premier Inn
- Radisson Hotel Group
- Travel Republic
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
The CMA says most of the firms have already made the necessary changes, but Accor, IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Radisson Hotel Group and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts have requested more time to make changes, as they will need to introduce specific technical updates, so that UK customers are always shown the full cost of a room upfront when searching for hotels abroad.
It says it expects all booking sites and hotel chains to abide by its sector-wide principles.
What does the CMA say?
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "People booking hotels online can now do so with more confidence thanks to the CMA's action. Major websites and big hotel chains have agreed to clean up their act if they've been using misleading sales tactics, and have signed up to sector-wide consumer law principles on how to display important information to customers.
"The CMA will now be watching to make sure that these major brands, used by millions of people in the UK every year, stay true to their word. We will take action if we find evidence that firms are breaking consumer law."
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