Booking.com has been rapped over the knuckles for not ensuring that hotel rooms on its website were available at the discounted price it advertised.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of a customer who challenged whether rooms at Portland Heights Hotel & Leisure Centre, which were advertised on 4 August 2012 at "£102, save £235 for 2 nights", were available at that price.
However, although ASA said that even though consumers understood that an ad had been re-targeted to them, they would still expect the price shown to be available at the time they saw the ad. Because the complainant had not been able to obtain the offer as advertised, and because Booking.com had not been able to substantiate that that price was available at the time the customer saw the ad, the ASA concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ASA also told Booking.com that, in future, it should hold adequate evidence to demonstrate that hotels were available at the advertised prices.
By Janet Harmer
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