Booking.com requested an extra € 5,000 for our villa | Consumer rights

Last May, 12 of us used Booking.com to rent a Greek villa for two weeks in August. We paid € 4,435 cost in full and booked flights and rental cars. Recently Booking.com informed us that a pricing error had occurred and the actual cost was € 9,407. We were told we have to pay the difference either would cancel the reservation. He is already advertising the villa again for the dates we booked. We feel it is looking to take advantage of the growing demand for holidays at our expense.
PJ, Stockport

Booking.com keeps customers on strict terms and conditions when it comes to cancellations, but wrecks the holidays themselves without penalty. Last year, I reported on a family who came for a spa vacation in Cornwall to find that the company had moved their reservation to the London suburb of Uxbridge. Your experience is equally breathtaking in its audacity. The short email from Booking.com arrived 11 months after booking and gave you 24 hours to pay the extra. He stated that the owner of the villa wanted to find a “middle ground” and would reduce the new price of € 9,400 by € 200. He kindly added that if I didn’t want to accept the offer, he would cancel your reservation “for free”. The company’s terms and conditions state that obvious errors, such as a € 1 hotel suite, are non-binding. If the price of € 4,435 were an “obvious mistake”, you’d expect the owner to have noticed this last year. If not, you would have had to rely on another provision in the terms and conditions which states that your payment constitutes “final settlement of the service due and payable”.

In case, Booking.com canceled and refunded your booking while you were still discussing what to do. You and your family have nearly € 3,000 left in your pocket after paying for alternative accommodation and rearranging your flights and car rental.

I repeatedly asked Booking.com if owners were required to sign cancellation terms so customers could be sure they were getting what they paid for. He evasively stated that it works “in partnership” with owners who are responsible for pricing and availability, and that it supports customers when errors occur. “We can see that in this case it was a mistake on the part of the villa and we are investigating why this happened to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

Shockingly, the story would have ended there if you hadn’t asked me to investigate. Only then did the company agree to reimburse the reorganization costs of the holiday of € 2,930. Booking.com’s terms and conditions state that it handles all complaints internally and is not obligated to report to alternative dispute resolution providers, so if you had refused to indemnify, your next step would have been a complaint for yours. expenses through the Small Claims Court.

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