Sat, Sep 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Hotels violate cancelation rules: watchdog

By Hsiao Yu-hsin  /  Staff reporter

A survey published yesterday by the Consumers’ Foundation said that six large hotels were violating national regulations requiring hotel operators to provide cancelation refunds to guests who had paid the full price.

The hotels are the Taipei W Hotel, Leofoo Resort in Hsinchu County, the Splendor Hotel in Taichung, Silks Place in Tainan, Hotel Indigo Kaohsiung Central Park and Fullon Hotel & Resorts in Hualian, the foundation said.

Foundation chairman Yu Kai-hsiung (游開雄) said the hotels were picked at random from popular hotel-booking Web sites, including Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Ctrip, and the foundation examined their conditions.

Many people use such Web sites because they can quickly compare room prices and find special offers, he said, adding that these functionalities have also drawn many hotels to ink partnerships with the companies.

“However, we found that consumers often lose a huge sum of money if they cancel their reservations made through these Web sites, leading to disputes,” he said.

In 60 percent of the disputes, consumers said they had to pay high processing fees for cancelations.

Yu said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has changed the terms in the standardized contract between hotels and people published in January.

The terms state that if people pay the full price for a reservation, hotels should offer a full or partial refund if the people wish to cancel it, depending on when the cancelation is requested, he said.

Consumers are entitled to a full refund if a reservation is canceled three days before arrival, based on the new terms of the standardized contract, Yu said.

Should consumers give notice one or two days before arrival, they can either choose to get a 50 percent refund or decide to use the reservation within one year, Yu said.

Among the hotels that the foundation said violated the terms, the W Hotel did not refund customers who booked special early-bird offers, Silks Place did not refund customers who canceled less than two weeks in advance and the Splendor Hotel and Fullon Hotels & Resorts did not refund customers who cancel less than three days before arrival, Yu said.

He called for more frequent and thorough checks by the Tourism Bureau to ensure they comply with the government regulations.

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