Stop abusive Hotel Practices

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!


 

Ever had a Bad Hotel Experience?

Planning a family trip can be pretty stressful and the last thing you need is a bad motel / hotel experience. However, its becoming more and more common that you don’t get what you pay for when it comes to booking online. Whether its a change in price, a completely different room, a much lower quality than you expected, or advertising items that are not working or not there at all. 

TruTV features a short video on how illegal business practices are even spreading to new businesses like Air BnB and are leaving consumers to self enforce the laws.

Adam Ruins Everything - Why Your Airbnb May Be ILLEGAL

Amazon has been flooded with fake reviews and manipulated product ranking

YouTube has also been called out for being flooded with fake views

Youtube spokeswoman admits, "There is room for improvement" when it comes to warning users about fraud and abuse. 

This is not to mention the fake millionaires selling the secret on YouTube and defrauding many consumers out of there money through deceptive marketing tactics.

For example, Sam Ovens (currently running many ads on YouTube for his Consulting.com business) presents himself as a millionaire who will teach you the secret, for a very high cost of course. His LinkedIn Profile states that he moved to New York and made $20 Million. The profile also states he started his NY Business in 2013, however a quick search on the NY Corporation and Business Entity Database reveals the company Consulting.com was started in March of 2017. Indeed, archive.org confirms his website was in the development phase in March of 2017.

He is one of many on YouTube who extremely misrepresent themselves in order to gain consumer confidence and eventually, their cash! And what is being done about it? When congress demands recommendations, the FTC is too slow in acting to adequately defend consumers. So here we are.

What are your Rights as a Consumer?

There is a large gap between consumer rights violations and consumer rights awareness. Our proposals seek to close this gap.


Proposed Changes;

  1. Require online businesses to display the Better Business Bureau rating of their organization or the organization they are marketing.
  2. Release a smartphone application similar to the Better Business Bureau’s smartphone application in order to simplify access to consumer rights information AND provide ez file for complaints

Our goals with each of these proposed changes;

  1. Show consumers a rating that has not been manipulated by travel agencies, property owners, paid reviewers, affiliates, etc.
  2. Level the playing field by making consumer rights information and complaint systems easily accessible according to modern standards. i.e smartphone applications


We Are Contributing to an Ongoing Effort

The Federal Trade Commission have been directed by Congress to produce a report regarding recommended enforcement for online hotel booking markets engaging in deceptive marketing. I want to use this opportunity to bring attention to the larger problem at hand and make recommendations that are in the best interests of the consumer.


Click Here to Read the FTC's full report

 
Although their report has already been provided to congress, I want to show support for what the citizens feel should be the response. Our hope is that the report will be updated to reflect the proposals supported by the people.

 
Our dedication is to work with our government, by showing mass support for citizen approved proposals that accurately reflect our needs. Additionally, we want to show our government that we desire a solution that is up to date with todays on-demand culture.

 
According to statista.com, “In 2018, 52 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.” It only makes sense that our government provides information about consumer rights in a manner that is consistent with how citizens receive information today, which is through our mobile devices. 


We are Louder Together

We live in a world where anything can be publicized and its because of social influence, power is being given back to the people. Let us use our voice together as one and fight to defend our families from illegal business practices.

======


The Story Behind the Petition

Our family was planning a reunion and we decided to book a room with Oceana Inn Santa Cruz through booking.com. At the time of reservation, booking.com had Oceana Inn listed with a 7/10 rating. Upon entering the room, we immediately noticed it was not the room advertised on booking.com. I immediately asked for the correct room or a refund. Both were denied.

 
After my experience with the motel, I went to yelp.com and google.com to see Oceana Inn Santa Cruz reviews which ranked the motel at 2/5 stars, which equates to 4/10 stars. There is a significant distinction between the quality you would expect at a 7/10 motel compared to a 4/10 motel. After reading several Yelp reviews for this motel, it became clear that this business has continued to operate for some time now despite several public complaints regarding illegal business practices.

 
What’s the problem here? Consumers are not trained to handle complaints using the proper channels within our government. Instead we are systematically trained to rely on the private sector to handle our complaints and so we turn to online review platforms such as Yelp and Google as a way of getting some resolution to our problem by leaving negative reviews that reflect an honest experience.

 
But who is responsible for monitoring all the bad reviews and doing something about it when there is clearly a pattern of illegal business practices such as false advertising, bait and switch, predatory lending, and so on?


Government needs to catch up with how people have decided to speak out! People have been preconditioned to speak out on platforms that do not have the consumer’s interest at its core. That is why I propose the following;

  1. Require online businesses to display the Better Business Bureau rating of their organization or the organization they are marketing.
  2. Release a smartphone application similar to the Better Business Bureau’s smartphone application in order to simplify access to consumer rights information AND provide ez file for complaints

Our goals with each of these proposed changes;

  1. Show consumers a rating that has not been manipulated by travel agencies, property owners, paid reviewers, affiliates, etc.
  2. Level the playing field by making consumer rights information and complaint systems easily accessible according to modern standards. i.e smartphone applications

Our dedication is to work with our government, by showing mass support for citizen approved proposals that accurately reflect our needs. Additionally, we want to show our government that we desire a solution that is up to date with todays on-demand culture.



Today: # is counting on you

# DefendConsumers needs your help with “Stop abusive hotel practices by urging government to develop an app that gives Fair Access to Consumer Rights Information and ez file for complaints.”. Join # and 2,893 supporters today.