Earlier this month, AHLA and AAHOA educated members of Congress and their staff on the consumer harm and negative impacts to hotels of online booking scams and encouraged them to cosponsoring H.R. 2495/S. 1164,the Stop Online Booking Scams Act (SOBSA). This legislation would prohibit third-party online hotel reservation sellers from charging a consumer's credit card or financial accounts in an Internet transaction for a hotel unless they disclose:
- a description of the offered good or service, the cost, and other material terms before the conclusion of the transaction;
- that the third-party seller is not affiliated with the hotel owner or an entity that provides the hotel services or accommodations;
- that the third-party seller is not an exhibition organizer, a meeting planner, or the official housing bureau for an event at the hotel; and
- the brand identity of the third party online or over the phone.
The bill authorizes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and states to enforce against violations. You can encourage your member of congress to support SOBSA by calling 202-224-3121 or visiting www.ahla.com/hotelsact. To share booking scam stories, please contact Amy Travieso at ATravieso@ahla.com.