07.24.19

Daines Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Stop Online Booking Scams

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today reintroduced bipartisan legislation to protect consumers from online booking scams.

 “Montana’s booming tourism industry is a critical part of our economy and provides high paying jobs for our communities,” Daines said. “It’s important that visitors and travelers to our state are not scammed and must have the assurances that the hotel room they booked will be there when they arrive. That’s why I introduced my bipartisan bill, to help stop online booking scams to protect Montana jobs, tourism economy and the folks who visit our great state.”

The Stop Online Booking Scams Act of 2019 makes it unlawful for a third party online hotel reservation seller who is not affiliated with the hotel to advertise promote or sell a reservation if they state or imply that they are the actual owner or operator of the hotel.

It makes a failure to comply an unfair or deceptive act under the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Further, it gives state Attorneys General the authority to bring a civil action against companies who violate this provision.  

To read the full bill, click HERE.

Statements of Support:

“According to recent research, consumers overwhelmingly (94 percent) want to know who they are doing business with when booking a hotel room online. Unfortunately, every day, deceptive websites, online ads and search engines mislead thousands of consumers into believing they are booking directly through a hotel’s website or their call center, when in fact they have no relationship. The Stop Online Booking Scams Act sends a clear message that this kind of deceptive behavior won’t be tolerated. We thank Senators Steve Daines and Amy Klobuchar for their leadership on this critical issue and encourage their colleagues in Congress to join them in protecting consumers across the country from unscrupulous actors by passing this bill into law.” - Chip Rogers, President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association.

“Every single day I have guests arrive at my front desk who have been deceived during the booking process by a third-party reseller. From not having a room, to paying more than they should, to not receiving their rewards or loyalty points, these scams take different forms but ultimately harm the consumer. I traveled from Billings to Washington, D.C. and met with Senator Daines specifically on this issue, and I thank him for listening to my concerns and for taking action to protect consumers and help ensure they no longer fall victim to these deceptive practices.” - Steve Wahrlich, Past Chair of the Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association and owner of the Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn in Billings.

Background:  

On May 17th, 2017, Daines first introduced the bipartisan legislation to protect consumers from online booking scams