You have someone to support you during conflicts, whether big or small, with mediators. You have undoubtedly argued at some point with an online agency (Booking.com, Venere, Expedia), about things like your stars, or asking them to not bet on advertisements for your label, that they don’t reduce your prices without permission, or about them forcing you into abusive conditions, etc.
During that eternal battle, maybe you have felt like David before Goliath: misunderstood, ignored and looked upon like a strange creature. Now, the European Hotel, Restaurant and Café Association (HOTREC) is on your side and has published a press release: “19 Benchmarks of Fair Practices in Online-Distribution“
Among these, all of the previously mentioned, so-often-argued topics are dealt with, although they may be very evident for you they require you to give many explanations. The next time that you have to call that agency to argue about unfair practice, don’t get yourself in knots trying to fight for the justice of your claim: pass them on this article where other figures of authority have already put it in writing in a professional and convincing way.
1.- They must not create online advertisements using the registered name of your hotel without your authorisation
2.- They cannot force you into price parity
3.- They do not have permission to obligate you to give them the last available bedroom
4.- They must not obligate you to give them quotas
5.- They do not have the right to obligate you to offer them all your deals
6.- Your position in their ranking is clear and does not depend on the commission that you pay them
7.- In their advertisements and when mentioning your prices, they must not create false offers to catch the customers eye
…and it continues like this for 19 points, among which are topics like not charging commissions for no shows, not selling accommodation only in rates aimed at travel packages offered by tour operators, etc.
A true, jewel-like resource.
So, the next time you sense abuse from some online agency we recommend that you send them a message like this:
To whom it may concern at [name of online agency],
I urge you to rectify the following problem I have found:
[description of your problem].
This situation does not correspond with point [X] published by the European Hotel Association in its declaration of fair practices in online distribution, which I am sure that a company as prestigious as yours will understand the need to respect and which can be read in the following document.
Or even better, demand that every contract is in agreement with these requirements.
We are all aware that the independent hotel does not always have the power to negotiate the ideal clauses of a contract. At least now, those with authority and prestige are on your side.