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Misrepresentative Advertising

I have been a member of booking .com for our establishment (2895352). We took our other establishment, "Mhlati Guest Cottages" off Booking.com off the system because our rates were being manipulated. I notice that when you type in Mhlati Guest Cottages into google web bar, Booking.com with a tag to our competitor Selati 103 comes up. Surely this is fraudulent and misleading to guests. I have been forced to sign up my property again against my will to alleviate this. This is wilful misrepresentation and I want answer as to why its happening. I have no idea how many guests have been coerced across to Booking.com when looking for us directly. Absolute disgrace.

6 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

This is a serious question for fluff from the forum. He is an experienced host and knows his stuff. What do you think?

Greetings,

Aaltje B.

5 months ago
7
fluff

To clarify...

The property in question "Mhlati Guest Cottages" is back on BDC, verification is complete, accommodation has been set up on extranet and is available to book with both rates and allotment correctly set?

I tapped in your property name and was redirected to a list of properties in your area with "Selati..." at the top. This leads me to think that your relisting is not complete for some reason?

I'm not sure how this list is derived because if I enter your area as a search the list is completely different. Is the Selati the next nearest hotel to you of a similar rating?

5 months ago
7
fluff

other search...with the 'Selati..." appearing about half way down the list and your property is not present.

5 months ago
1
Cottages

Hi Fluff, I typed in my guest house name Mhlati Guest Cottages, as a friend said he couldn't find our website. The immediate ad is for booking.com and mentions selati.i subsequently are registered with booking.com as you have seen to alleviate my problem. Type Mhlati Guest Cottages in Google bar and you are immediately linked to booking.com before I registered. The ad link shows selati 103. I find this unscrupulous as it leads people away from establishments previously not linked to booking.com.

5 months ago
1
Cottages

I can attach the screenshot I took yesterday morning clearly showing Mhlati Guest Cottages but linking to BdC advert.

5 months ago
7
fluff

It's a money-talks world!

BDC spends a massive budget for being on top of searches. The fact that this property has been with BDC means that links have been created to promote your property and BDC.

When you cancel your listing, BDC, in their own interest, will create redirect links to take the search to another property in your area that IS listed with them.

Putting your property in a Google search does indeed bring up BDC as the top advert and therefore top of the results page BUT they have said redirect in place. The same results page shows your property in the right hand panel and therefore your website (nice site and property BTW).

The only sure-fire way to avoid the redirect by BDC is to make the property bookable again on BDC!

To answer your original question, in the grand scheme of things, this is not fraudulent, BDC are protecting their search links. Annoying, most definitely! As I said at the top, money talks.

5 months ago