Reservation Counter LLC and its parent companies have settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they misled consumers through ads, webpages, and call centers that led consumers to mistakenly believe they were reserving the rooms directly with the hotel.

The proposed order settling the FTC’s charges:

  • Prohibits Reservation Counter and its parent companies from making misrepresentations about their affiliation with hotels.
  • Expressly prohibits the companies from using a hotel name or logo in any search engine ad, URL, website, webpage, or any other type of advertising in a misleading way.
  • Bars them from placing their telephone number directly near a hotel name, logo, or address in a manner that misrepresents that callers would be contacting the hotel directly.
  • Requires them to disclose the total cost of a hotel room and when they will charge a consumer’s payment card.
  • Requires them to tell those who call any of their hotel reservation call centers that they have reached an independent, third-party travel agency and to monitor their call centers to prevent misrepresentations.

Deceiving consumers into thinking they’re booking directly with the hotel is unethical. The AHLA will continue to work with the Hotel Association of Canada to advocate for a similar ruling in Canada.