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Hotel booking website goes bust

Written by: Emma Lunn
The site warns that room bookings will probably be cancelled by suppliers.

Hotel booking website has gone into administration, blaming hotel price comparison sites for its downfall.

It says that bookings will “probably be cancelled” by suppliers, and is advising travellers to contact the hotels themselves regarding any upcoming bookings.

A statement on the website says: “Entities that claim to act as ‘price comparators’ are, in effect, media agencies that redirect consumers to entities like ours against paying a cost per click.

“These media agencies are sometimes owned by companies operating in the same segment as ours, which has a negative impact on free competition.

“They are currently in a dominant position in the market and we think that this is to the detriment of the end consumers. Indeed, having taken the place that is theirs today, these entities unilaterally impose unsustainable financial conditions for us, because we work at the fair price to benefit our customers, not to benefit these media agencies.”

The site predicts that only a small number of online travel agencies will survive and points out that some online travel sites are under investigation in Australia, Spain and the US.

What to do if you have booked a room via

  • Contact the hotel to see if your booking will be honoured.
  • If you’ve paid for a booking that is subsequently cancelled, contact your credit or debit card provider to initiate a refund under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, or a chargeback; if that fails, contact your travel insurance company.

Guy Anker, deputy editor, said: “If you had an Amoma booking first check with the hotel whether your booking still stands, though sadly it seems most will be cancelled.

“If your booking is cancelled, check if you can claim from your card company or travel insurer, though as the news has only just broken, it’s not yet clear if that will work for everyone as it’s not always clear cut when hotel booking sites fail.

“That said, paying by credit card and having good travel insurance in place as soon as you book often works to protect you when your travel plans are cancelled by an airline, hotel or travel agent. It can provide vital cover in what are turbulent times for travellers amid a spate of company failures, strikes and other recent disruption.”

Online hotel booking sites have been under the spotlight recently. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started investigating the sites in October and in June initiated enforcement action against a number of unnamed sites.

Room booking website Late Rooms, part of the Malvern Group, went into administration in August alongside sister company Super Break.

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