The CMA is concerned about the clarity, accuracy and presentation of information on sites, which could mislead people, stop them finding the best deal and potentially break consumer law.
The investigation will examine several practices within the area that will include;
- Search results: how hotels are ranked after a customer has entered their search requirements, for example to what extent search results are influenced by other factors that may be less relevant to the customer’s requirements, such as the amount of commission a hotel pays the site.
- Pressure selling: whether claims about how many people are looking at the same room, how many rooms may be left, or how long a price is available, create a false impression of room availability or rush customers into making a booking decision.
- Discount claims: whether the discount claims made on sites offer a fair comparison for customers. For example, the claim could be based on a higher price that was only available for a brief period, or not relevant to the customer’s search criteria, for example comparing a higher weekend room rate with the weekday rate for which the customer has searched.
- Hidden charges: the extent to which sites include all costs in the price they first show customers or whether people are later faced with unexpected fees, such as taxes or booking fees.
As part of this inquiry the CMA are asking for evidence from accomodation providers and have asked for this questionnaire click here to be completed and returned to [email protected] by the 15th November.
For further information regarding the investigation click here.