Spike in accommodation complaints

NSW fair trading minister, Matthew Mason-Cox has urged consumers to take time to understand their rights when it comes to booking holiday accommodation, following a near 7 per cent rise in complaints about hotels and resorts.

“Every year, NSW Fair Trading receives many complaints about motels, hotels and resorts, ranging from cancellation issues through to hotel accommodation being misrepresented,” Mr Mason-Cox said.

“Last year was no different, with NSW Fair Trading receiving 437 consumer complaints in the 12 months up to 24 November, 2014. That compares to 409 complaints lodged in the previous corresponding period.”

“It’s important that consumers know they have rights if something goes wrong with their holiday accommodation and that they have options to deal with disputes.”

Mr Mason-Cox said several complaints had come from consumers who had purchased ‘secret deal’ offers.

One complaint involved a mystery destination accommodation package.

“The hotel on the Gold Coast was supposed to come with an ocean view, but instead overlooked a construction zone,” Mr Mason-Cox said. “There was mould throughout the bathroom, the pool and the spa were dirty, and the tennis court was out of service.

“After the consumer complained to the regulator, NSW Fair Trading negotiated a partial refund with the trader.”

Mr Mason-Cox encouraged consumers to stand up for a fair deal.

“Know your rights under the Australian consumer law,” Mr Mason-Cox said. “Goods and services must be of an acceptable quality and match the description, sample or demonstration provided.

“It is equally important that hotel operators do the right thing by consumers and properly display all term and conditions, as well as provide accurate information about the quality and service of the hotel.

“The Australian consumer law is clear – it is an offence to make false and misleading representations about a product and service. The same laws apply to hotel operators. Depending on the specific ACL breaches, hotel and motel operators can face penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.

“If you encounter problems contact NSW Fair Trading for assistance. NSW Fair Trading has a strong track record in resolving complaints, with more than 90 per cent of complaints resolved without tribunal or court action.”

Tips for consumers booking holiday accommodation:
• Services must be carried out with due care and skill, be fit for the purpose and delivered within a reasonable timeframe. People need to make sure they get what they pay for and check cancellation and refund policies for restrictions or special conditions.
• Make sure you are paying the amount you were quoted and check all goods and services offered are included in the final price.
• In serviced accommodation, be wary of add-ons or in-house services like room service, the mini bar and pay-to-view movies.
• Always review your final account before checking out to ensure you have only been charged for what you have used.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
WP Tumblr Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x