ECC-NET raises awareness of consumers on frequent price increases during online holiday booking process

Weather is getting better and summer holiday is approaching. At this occasion, the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) launches its report Online holiday booking: is the initial price the final price?’. More and more consumers use online service to book their holidays: reservation can be made online in only one click. In 2015, 19 % of the contacts received by ECCs concerned the topic of holidays. However a seemingly good deal is not necessarily a real bargain! ECC-Net wants to raise awareness of consumers on possible price increase during online holiday booking process. To help consumers not to be trapped, ECC-Net publishes 10 tips to avoid unpleasant surprises when booking holiday on the Internet.

 

PRICE INCREASE WHILE BOOKING HOLIDAY ONLINE, What DOES THE ECC-NET REPORT REVEALS?

Price differences between the booking and the final payment exist, and are the most frequent in air travel. In a majority of such cases price increase is linked to:

  • Management fees.
  • Credit card fees.
  • Fees for checking-in passengers.

10 ECC-Net tips FOR CONSUMERS on how to avoid SURPRISES WHEN booking holiday online

  • Prices need to be indicated inclusive of all fees
  • Verify whether extra services are included
  • Take your time when booking online
  • Make sure the « flexible-dates-function » is not pre-set
  • Insurance? Know what you get!
  • Pre-ticked boxes are not allowed in the EU
  • Credit card fees might be added
  • Take print screens of what you are booking
  • Double check
  • Check your e-mail

ECC-Net tips FOR TRADERS

  • Stand out as a role model - Adopt visible best practice models
  • Make use of a transparent and comprehensive price indication policy
  • Assure a quick and helpful customer service
  • Have a reliable Trustmark
  • Get satisfied customers who will share their positive experiences online with other costumers

ECC - NET has also developed advice booklet on holiday and flight booking online for both consumers and merchants, it can be found here. ECC-Net summary of the report is available here.

Good to know

Next to the joint project of the ECC-Net on online holiday booking, the European Commission and EU consumer protection authorities carried a coordinated screening of 352 price comparison and travel booking websites across the EU in October 2016, and launched a press release on 7th April 2017. An update will be done in June 2017 on irregularities which have been corrected.

About ECC-Net

The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) consists of 30 centres in all 28 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. The centres offer free and personalised information, advice and assistance to consumers having problems with cross-border transactions. The network helps citizens to ensure that their consumer rights are respected and to reap the benefits of the Internal Market.

 

Additional information:
Sanita Gertmane
Consumer information and
Communications Division
Tel. 67388622, 26544528