Consumer organisation Consumentenbond has reported four major tour operators to the advertising standards body for misleading potential holidaymakers on a large scale.
The Consumentenbond looked at 300 special offers advertised on the websites of twelve tour operators, including ANWB, Corendon, Sunweb, VakantieDiscounter, D-Reizen, Prijsvrij, Stip and Tui.
Some 83% of the holidays turned out not to be available for the price they were advertised for, the Consumentenbond found, while others did not exist at all.
A trip to Cyprus advertised by D-Reizen for €450, for example, collected so many add ons during the reservation process, the price was double the advertised amount.
‘Tour operators do not mention compulsory costs, such as tourist tax, booking fees and other costs and that is against the rules,’ Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar said.
‘It is very frustrating to see the costs mount with every step in the booking process. It is misleading because some tour operators can seem cheaper than others. The rules are clear: you have to be able to book a holiday for the price it is advertised at.’
The Consumentenbond has reported most blatant offenders Corendon, Stip, Prijsvrij and D-Reizen to the advertising standards agency. The consumers and markets authority ACM said it was going to start its own checks from April and fine non-compliant tour operators.
Corendon and Corendon subsidiary Stip Reizen have admitted wrongdoing but blamed ‘the manual input of data’ and have since changed their pricing, broadcaster NOS reported.
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