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Trivago guilty of misleading consumers

This article first appeared on karryon.com.au


Travel Agents across the country were no doubt thinking “I told you so” as they watched the news that the Federal Court had found comparison website Trivago guilty of misleading consumers about hotel pricing.

In case you missed yesterday’s report, Trivago falsely told customers that they were being shown an impartial list of the cheapest hotel prices from websites like Expedia and Booking.com etc.

That was not the case at all, instead, the website was prioritising the advertisers who were willing to pay the highest cost-per-click fee.

In fact, they were not comparing like with like, but rather comparing a luxury room price to a standard room price to adjust the rates as they pleased.

Yet again, a faceless online booking tool reminds travellers why nipping down to their local Travel Agency might not be such a bad idea.

As one Travel Agent put it “Travel Agents know where to go for the best to suit individuals”.

Not to mention Agents are trained to know travel product like the back of their hands. They take on the stress of ensuring all details are locked incorrectly and sometimes, they’ll even treat you with a few fun surprises along your holiday journey.

It’s all part of the service! One of our favourite Agents, ‘Sebastian’, who discusses all the hot topics on his hilarious Sebastian’s Travel Gossip page has chimed in on the Trivago (or as he calls them Trifraudo) saga too.

“So glad these online cowboys are becoming unstuck,” he said in his video which you can watch below.

He reminded his client that “Travel Agents don’t use sites like that. We know that they’re cowboys and they’re bandits”.

“When you book through a Travel Agent darling we give you a completely unbiased view of hotels. We just qualify you and your budget, your likes, what you want from your hotel, location, mainly budget that sort of thing and then we go through everyone,” he explained.

Now let’s wait and see what sort of penalty is imposed on Trivago at their next court hearing.

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