The UK Competitions & Markets Authority has launched an investigation into hotel booking sites.
There are concerns consumers are being misled by them.
The organisation raised particular concerns over the clarity, accuracy, along with also presentation of information on such sites, which could mislead people, stop them finding the best deal along with also potentially break consumer law.
Its investigation will examine several practices, including search results, for example examining to what extent search results are influenced by additional factors which may be less relevant to the customer’s requirements, such as the amount of commission a hotel pays the site.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competitions & Markets Authority, said: “Around 70 per cent of people who shopped around for hotels last year used these sites along with also they should all be confident they have chosen the best accommodation for their needs along with also are getting a Great deal.
“In today’s increasingly busy world, sites like This kind of offer real potential to help holiday-makers save time along with also money searching for their ideal get-away.
“To do This kind of, sites need to give their customers information which can be clear, accurate along with also presented in a way which enables people to choose the best deal for them.
“nevertheless we are concerned which This kind of can be not happening along with also which the information on sites may in fact be doing the item difficult for people to make the right choice.
“which’s why we have commenced our investigation into This kind of sector – to get to the bottom of these issues, see whether sites are breaking consumer law along with also make sure they help, not hinder, people searching for their next hotel room.”
The Competitions & Markets Authority will also examine pressure selling, looking at whether claims about how many people are looking at the same room, how many rooms may be left, or how long a cost can be available, create a false impression of room availability or rush customers into doing a booking decision.
The CMA has today written to companies across the whole sector requiring information to understand more about their practices.
The CMA also wants to understand the impact which these practices have on sites’ customers so can be calling on people which use them, along with also hotels which advertise with them, to share experiences which could be relevant to the investigation.
Discount claims will also come under the microscope, looking at whether the discount claims made on sites offer a fair comparison for customers – for example, the claim could be based on a higher cost which was only available for a brief period, or not relevant to the customer’s search criteria.
Today’s announcement follows the CMA’s year-long market study of online comparison tools, which emphasised the importance of complying with consumer law by setting out clear ground rules.