Small hotels sue Expedia for “bait and switch”

Users see zero availability and are directed elsewhere
Two small independent hotels are suing online travel giant Expedia in the US courts for a “deceitful bait and switch” scheme.
Expedia-owned websites such as Orbitz, Trivago and are falsely advertising the 11-room Buckeye Tree Lodge and 10-room Sequoia Village Inn, both in California, to attract users to their sites, then persuading them to book elsewhere, the tiny properties claim. Neither hotel has any relationship with Expedia.
Attorney James Patterson alleges that Expedia also buys Google and social media ads for non-affiliated hotels, shows zero availability for them and directs users to nearby hotels.
“Expedia posts fake telephone numbers for Buckeye Tree Lodge and other class member hotels to divert callers to Expedia’s own operators, who then try to book the consumers at Expedia member hotels,” the hotels say.
“Worse, Expedia then targets social media advertisements – for hotels it cannot book – to those consumers, using the brands of class member hotels to divert business from them to Expedia members. Believing Expedia’s representation that there is no availability […] consumers take their business to Expedia member hotels. And the bait and switch is complete.”


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