Collective Action is authorised against sites hotel booking

Action collective autorisée contre des sites de réservation hôtelière

Photo: Elaine Thompson Archives Associated Press
Hundreds of thousands of people in Quebec could be compensated after you have paid hidden costs by booking sites like Expedia.

The superior Court of Québec comes to authorize a collective action that could allow hundreds of thousands of Quebecers to be compensated after you have paid the fees hoteliers mandatory concealed on booking sites such as Expedia.ca.

In a decision issued Tuesday, the judge Chantal Lamarche allow the application of collective action filed there are a little over a year ago by Dany Lussier. It has been argued that it was required to pay a fee to hoteliers mandatory during the booking of a package of four nights in Las Vegas in January 2017, and that those costs were not included in the total price displayed at the start.

He argued that the existence of these mandatory fees displayed incorrectly during the booking process and in contravention of the Act on the protection of consumers and the Regulation on the travel agents.

The judge Lamarche gives her reason and allows him to exercise a class action on behalf of all quebec consumers who have made a hotel booking through the sites Expedia.ca, Hotels.com or Travelocity.ca ” and were obligated to pay, to be able to take advantage of their booking, an additional amount in the total price displayed at the time of booking, since January 10, 2015 “.

According to the lawyers of the firm Kugler Kandestin who represent the applicant, the collective action could be ” dozens, or even hundreds of thousands of consumers “.

Trial expected

The application of collective action should now be the subject of a lawsuit so that a judge can be addressed on different law questions and determine, if applicable, the amount of compensation due to consumers.

One of the prosecutors, Mr. Pierre Boivin, wants to go to trial ” as quickly as possible “, ” maybe in a year or two “. It could also be that the class action be the subject of a settlement agreement out of court.

At this stage, therefore, it is not certain that consumers who have used the booking sites affected will get compensation, but mr. Boivin ” is very confident that consumers will be compensated in the end of the line “.

“What I remember of the judge’s decision, it is that the ways of proceeding [of the sites] are problematic and that they deserve a trial,” he said. It will give the chance to the consumers in québec for a ruling on the online trading, particularly in the field of travel. “

In his opinion, the final judgment in this case could have a broader impact on online commerce in Quebec and the respect of the quebec laws by foreign companies doing business in the province.

“We are obviously disappointed by the judgment of approval and evaluate the possibility of submitting a request for leave to call “, responded by e-mail one of the lawyers of the defense to Me, Margaret Weltrowska.

She insists however on the fact that the authorisation of a collective action does not mean that the matter is resolved on the merits. “It is only once the authorized action that the defendants may argue their defence. However, we believe that we have excellent arguments in their defense and plan to present them during a debate on merit, where appropriate, ” she wrote.

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