Travel providers misleading consumers with hidden costs: Consumers' Association
Travel providers are massively misleading consumers with hidden costs. The Consumentenbond looked at 300 advertised trips offered by 12 large travel companies and found hidden costs on 83 percent of them. The consumers’ association submitted complaints to the Advertising Code Committee and asked the regulator ACM to intervene.
According to Dutch regulations, companies must include all unavoidable costs in the advertised price and state variable costs clearly. But few travel providers adhere to these rules, according to the Consumentenbond.
D-Reizen, for example, advertised a trip for two to Cyprus for 450 euros, but the actual amount was close to 900 euros. VakantieDiscounter offered a trip for two to Ibiza for 286 euros, but the bill amounted to a massive 3,520 euros when booking. Stip Reizen’s Fly & Drive Andalusia didn’t include the price for the rental car.
“It is frustrating when the price of your holiday rises during every step of the booking process. And it is misleading because it makes some providers appear cheaper than they actually are,” Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar said. “It is shocking that the travel industry still does not comply with the rules.”
According to the Consumentenbond, the 12 travel organizations it researched all promised to improve. But Corendon and Stip Reizen continue to hide mandatory service costs and tourist tax. Prisvrij and D-Reizen claim they can’t prevent prices from changing significantly during booking. The Consumentenbond filed complaints against the four companies with the Advertising Code Committee. It also asked the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to look into the matter.