Hotel booking sites could be made to stop using “one room left” and other misleading sales techniques if the U.K.’s competition regulator has its way.
The Competition and Markets Authority has investigated online booking agencies and identified a number of concerning areas that may potentially mislead customers.
The regulator highlighted details on the sites such as how many people are looking at a room, how many rooms are available and how long a price is on offer can create a false impression of availability and rush customers into making a booking.
Around 70 percent of hotel shoppers use online booking sites.
“Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them,” said Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA.
While the CMA did not single out any website by name, Expedia, Trivago, and Booking.com are the leading websites in the category and are all culpable of telling customers they have “one room left”.
The CMA has ordered the sites to review their practices, whether any change will be made is yet to be seen.