Hotel complaints on the rise

A RISE in complaints about hotels and resorts has promped a warning to consumers.

NSW Fair Trading received 437 complaints in the 12 months up to 24 November 2014, a near 7% rise on the 409 complaints in the previous corresponding period.

Cancellation issues, misrepresentation of accomodation, and secret deal' offers gone wrong were among the top comlaints.

NSW Fair Trading Minister, Matthew Mason-Cox said one complaint involved a mystery destination accommodation package.

"The hotel on the Gold Coast was supposed to come with an ocean view, but instead overlooked a construction zone," he said.

"There was mould throughout the bathroom, the pool and the spa were dirty, and the tennis court was out of service."

"After the consumer complained to the regulator, NSW Fair Trading negotiated a partial refund with the trader."

Mr Mason-Cox said it was important for consumers to know they had rights if something went wrong with their holiday accommodation, and encouraged them to stand up for a fair deal.

"Know your rights under the Australian Consumer Law," he said.

"Goods and services must be of an acceptable quality and match the description, sample or demonstration provided."

"The Australian Consumer Law is clear - it is an offence to make false and misleading representations about a product and service."

Depending on the breach, hotel and motel operators can face penalties of up to $1.1 million for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.

Consumers can contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit the website http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Visitors to NSW can call the Traveller Consumer Helpline on 1300 552 001.



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