Hotel booking websites under scrutiny from GOP senator

Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the “shady” business practices of certain online hotel reservation websites.

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said in a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez that he is concerned about “possibly abuses” consumers may have suffered from third-party websites that help people book hotel rooms.

{mosads}These websites may have “duped” consumers into paying more, Grassley suggested. In some cases, he noted they charge hidden booking fees that “push the price of the hotel room beyond what the actual hotel would charge.”

Consumers who book through these third-party websites also may not receive certain amenities and accommodations they requested, Grassley pointed out.

“Individuals may request certain accommodations, such as a wheelchair accessible room, only to learn upon arrival that the hotel never received the request,” Grassley said.

The sites may also make it difficult to change or cancel a reservation, he indicated.

Grassley did not name any specific hotel booking websites, but he is calling for an FTC investigation to uncover more information about their business practices.

Tags Chuck Grassley

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