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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111480
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I have an accommodations and internet booking question. I

Customer Question

I have an accommodations and internet booking question. I am linked through booking.com, an online travel agency basically.. i.e. owned by priceline. Guests book online our rooms through their site. The payment and cancel policies are on that site. I just received a charge back from a no show reservation. It clearly states the policy for the hotel, however the bank has come back stating that booking.com website and their online agreement is void since it is not legal per US regulations concerning credit card charges. On that site our policy is posted many times, once by hovering over the room, through hyperlinks where you click to view policies. I have questioned booking.com in the past to the way the check out and agreement appears. There is a line above the agree and book the room box, where you click. On that line is says I agree with the booking conditions (if you click the hot link it shows our payment and cancel policies) and general terms (you click that and their policies show). Then there is a box below where you click accept and book. What the bank is telling me that issued this card is that this is illegal, as on the page where you book it has to state clearly with no hyperlink the policies. This practice is illegal as booking.com has set up and therefore all contracts are void. The guest gets their money back. I am trying to research info as the bank is standing firm, and booking.com is standing firm and we are out 1200.00 for lost revenue because both sides say they are correct. We lose in either case. thank you; Sandy Beck
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
They are referring to the Fair Credit Billing Act, which allows credit card holders to dispute credit card charges made when they did not receive services that they agreed to receive or claim fraudulent charges. Between the Fair Credit Billing Act and Truth in Lending Act which applies in internet transactions when the card was not present at the transaction, if the consumer disputes the charge (card not present) the issuing bank must side with the consumer over the merchant, unless the merchant can prove what the consumer says is false.
So when they click to book and the no refund policy is not clearly on the site right there where they click (not somewhere else buried in the site) the banks will side with the customer every time.

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