HOTEL RESERVATION FRAUD AND DECEPTIVE ONLINE BOOKINGS
Unfortunately, every year IMTC exhibitors and participants are contacted by fraudulent companies with accommodation offers extending rates that are very attractive and pretending to be calling on behalf of IMTC or the venue where we are hosting the event.
How Does Hotel Fraud Work?
Fraudulent companies repeatedly call or email our conference participants and sponsors with room offers promoting attractive deals, but once payment has been received, the company disappears and can no longer be contacted by phone or email. Once the attendee contacts IMTC or the hotel directly about their room, they realize there is no record of the reservation or payment. Not only is your money gone, you must then scramble to find last-minute accommodations, which is always more expensive or in a hotel farther away from the venue where we are hosting the event.
We do everything we can to stop these companies preying on our conference participants and we don’t want this to happen to you.
How to Avoid Fraud
Using recognized online hotel accommodation sites
Most large online reservation sites have deals with major hotel chains and pre-book rooms when they know that rooms will be on short supply and offer them at discount rates. Even if IMTC has always an agreement with the venue we have chosen for our discounted group room rates and lower rates cannot be offered by the hotel in the same dates of our event, online reservation sites might present rates that seem lower, usually because of:
- Taxes might not be included and charged at checkout (or the charges appear when you checkout at the hotel)
- Charges such as Wifi, Resort Fees, Porter Fees, might not be included (or the charges appear when you checkout at the hotel)
- An booking fee is charged at checkout (or the booking fee charge appears when you checkout at the hotel)
- Your reservation is cancelled when you arrive at the hotel (Funds will be returned when you contact them but the reservation is not granted by the Hotel).
Just remember that 15 million online hotel bookings are affected by deceptive marketing practices each year (see below). Although we are not liable if you are victim of any of these fraudulent activities, we hate that you have to go through an incident like this which will certainly affect your experience with our events. If this happened to you, please contacts us to see if we can help you.
The 2015 online booking report
A study released in 2015 by the American Hotel & Lodging Association reported that around 15 million hotel bookings are affected by deceptive marketing practices each year.
Here is a breakdown of the study’s results:
- 32% of people got a room that was different than what was expected
- 17% of people were charged unexpected or hidden fees
- 14% of people were charged an extra booking fee
- 9% of people had reservations lost or canceled
See more: Business Insider