The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published principles and accompanying guidance to help accommodation booking websites comply with consumer protection laws.
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published a set of principles that online accommodation booking providers should work within to ensure they comply with consumer law. Publication of the principles follows in the wake of an investigation which identified serious concerns about certain practices commonly used in the online accommodation booking sector. Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and trivago have given commitments to change their practices.
The CMA recognises that online accommodation booking platforms can be a valuable source of information for people looking for hotels and other short-term accommodation. Consequently, it is crucial that these platforms operate in a way which is fair and not misleading to consumers.
The principles for online hotel booking companies, travel agents and hotel companies address, in detail, issues such as:
The principles build on previous CMA guidance on unfair terms and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s pricing practices guide.
The CMA has also produced a short guide to the principles, which sets out the following key points: