The restaurants have the responsibility of ensuring that the clients enjoy value for their money and that they are satisfied with the services offered. In the case where any firm in the industry fails to satisfy the clients in the industry, then the law comes into force to help them get a refund from the hotel or restaurant in question. The Australia Consumer Laws are found in the schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, which is uniform legislation that is used in consumer protection in all the states that are located in Australia (“Australian Consumer Law and your safety,” n.d.). Knowledge of the laws and the rights that one has in the country will help in protecting the clients from being exploited by several companies, hotels, restaurants as well as the other establishments that are located in Australia. In the current case, the plaintiff saved money for his wife and himself with the intention of going on a vacation. They approached the XYZ traveling agency with who recommended that they go to an island off the coast of the coast of Australia. The travel agent described an ideal vacation spot, and so the plaintiff agreed. However, on reaching the venue, the plaintiff realized that the place was not as good as he was made to believe, so he was very disappointed. The location was unsafe, and the amenities were substandard. They decided to leave the island and head back home.
The plaintiff got a raw deal from what he had paid for meaning that the agent had lied to him about the location in question. The consumer law in Australia protects the citizens from being misled by rogue companies in the country. Some of the companies may engage in many activities with the intention of making profits and increasing their market share. Some of the mechanisms that are used by the companies are harmful to the citizens of the country, which calls for the government to step up and protect its citizens. The government of Australia fines the company that is found deceiving the customers to a tune of $10 million under the new changes that were made to the consumer law. According to the tourist accommodation regulations, several guidelines have been put in place outlining the standards that the hotels should maintain in a bid to make the tourists comfortable in the hotels (“Tourist Accommodation Regulations (NI),” n.d.).
Wotif was forced to refund one of its customers for a holiday that went awry. Wotif is one of the biggest holiday providers in Australia which has a good history of customer satisfaction. ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal compelled Expedia, which is the parent company of Wotif to refund Canberra grandfather for the Hawaii holiday that did not go in accordance to the expectations. The case shows how the Australian government is committed to ensuring that the citizens are protected from the rogue companies that operate within the territory of the country. Hugh Selby booked an apartment with beach views from through Wotif, and he considered their assurance of the fact that he could book with confidence. On getting to the venue, he was agitated when he found out that the facilities available at the destination were dilapidated which was against his expectations. He, therefore, felt misled and wasted. In the suit made about the consumer law, Wotif was found liable over misleading ads posted on the site. The company made the claims that the clients could book with confidence as a way of having the clients into booking. Choice said that the behavior is shown by Wotif “was not good enough (“Hugh paid Wotif hundreds of dollars per night for this view. He got a basement,” 2018).
Meriton was also found guilty of misleading the customers through TripAdvisor which was a breach to the Australian consumer law by misrepresenting the online reviews on TripAdvisor by denying the clients an opportunity to write first-hand reviews that are related to the hotel and the services that they provide. The hotel was ordered to pay $3 million for the offense. The tribunal found out that the hotel had the habit of preventing the negative reviews from appearing on the site as a way of making the brand appear good in the eyes of the potential clients. Hotels have a responsibility of ensuring that the clients post their satisfaction or their dissatisfaction so that it can be addressed for the efficient provision of services in the country. The company managed to block the negative reviews by masking the email addresses throughout 11 months from November of the year 2014 to October of the year 2015. The court found out that the process could block the potentially aggrieved visitors from airing their disappointments meaning that the clients would continue suffering in silence. The reviews on TripAdvisor could, therefore, be misleading, and many of the clients would book the hotels only to suffer the predicaments that the other people have faced in the hotels. According to the ACCC, the clients require full information with regards to the service that they are booking so that they make the best decision and enjoy the value for their money. According to Ms. Court from ACCC, the case was a strong warning to the companies that ACCC would go for them if they manipulate their feedback on the third party review websites. A representative from TripAdvisor said that people face various experiences as they travel around the world hence they will have both positive and negative feedback which is important in the improvement of the services that are provided by the companies in the market (Lennon, 2018).
Hotel comparison site Trivago is also on the spot over alleged misleading of the customers by making them believe that they have the best prices in the market. The site is alleged to be posting prices of aggregated services to attract the clients when in a real sense they are not the best deals in the market. The company faces fines that amount to millions of dollars if they are found culpable of the offense that they are accused of committing. The ACCC discovered that the listings that are made on the website are not a representation of the best services that are provided by the companies but rather the listings were made by which company paid more money for listing on the site hence the services did not benefit the clients as they ought to do. The Daily Telegraph admitted in court the fact that the site made the consumers make erroneous belief that the results contained on the page contained lower prices for the benefit of the clients. Trivago could be liable for a $10 million fine if found guilty of the accusations made against them (“Trivago faces millions in ACCC fines after admitting misleading conduct,” 2018).
The hotel booking sites in the whole world have been accused of misleading the customers both on the pricing and the services that are provided by the hotels. The Australian consumer law was put in place to ensure that the people in the country get the value for their money in anything that they buy in the country. The Australian consumer law includes simple national rules for lay-by agreements, addresses the unfair contract terms and the actions that are supposed to be taken in the case where there are unfair contracts. It is also composed of a national law that guarantees the consumer rights during the purchase of goods and services, a national product safety law and enforcement system. The consumer law is also composed of a national law that covers the unsolicited consumer agreements that cover door to door sales as well as the telephone sales. Finally and yet important, the law covers the enforcement powers, penalties as well as the consumer redress options (“Australian Consumer Law – Australian Consumer Law,” n.d.). In the current case, the plaintiff has to be aware of the Australian consumer law, and the rights that it accords him as far as the purchase of the goods and services is concerned in the country.
One has to be careful when making lawsuits against the hotels in Australia since not all the suits end up in the victory. The companies will do their best including coming up with the best lawyers in the country so that they can win the case. Sometimes the lawsuits are not all about money but the reputation of the company. A successful lawsuit against a given company will paint a bad picture to the clients in such a way that the sales of a given hotel will go down because of the diminishing consumer confidence in the brand. In the year 2018, Prominent Darwin construction and hospitality company Halikos Group lost a lawsuit against the Inpex, which is a big company in the world that is focused on gas manufacture and sales. The company sought more than $100 in damages that resulted from a disputed accommodation agreement. The case took place in the Supreme Court where Inpex was accused of walking out on an agreement that they made in the year 2014 where they were supposed to supply hundreds of Impex workers with accommodation. By walking out of the agreement, Halikos was left out of pocket. The ruling was made in favor of Inpex meaning that Halikos could not be granted the $100 that they had asked for. The trial was very bitter, featuring some of the best economic heavyweights in Australia. The case had testimonies of some of the powerful people in the country including Adam Giles, the former chief minister called as a witness in favor of Halikos. This is a case that shows that even the economic heavyweights face conflicts among each other where one company fails to serve the other as it ought to do (“Darwin construction firm Halikos Group loses a massive lawsuit against Inpex,” 2018).
The hotels are under obligation to accommodate all the people so long as they can afford the services regardless of the status that they hold in the society. An Australian prostitute sued a motel for discrimination after they allegedly denied her a room. The sex worker stayed in the motel with clients seventeen inns two years before the motel decided to ban her from using the facility according to the associated press. Karlaa sued the motel, claiming the ban violated Australia’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which bans any organization from discriminating the people against the lawful sexual activity. She lost the initial lawsuit against the motel but she successfully appealed the decision, and the tribunal ruled in her favor. “Not everyone would choose to do the job I do, but it’s not right that they can treat me like a second-class citizen,” Karlaa told The Australian. The lawsuit made the hotel owners in the country to request that the government amends the laws in such a way that the business owners are given a chance to decide on the kind of businesses that are supposed to take place in their establishments (Mikoulianitch, 2012).
Star ratings is a website that lists organizations in Australia by the quality of services that they provide to the clients in the country. It takes the complaints made by the customers in the country. The main focus of the website is to ensure that the five stars rated hotels provide efficient services to the people in the country. They request the people in the society to inform them immediately they find out that a five star rated property is in breach of the code of conduct that they have put in place. They attend to all the complaints and the property is assessed through the mystery guest services. Various experts will then visit the hotel to ascertain the validity of the complaint that has been made by the clients. There are several things to look out in the hotels, and they include severe cleanliness issues, defective facilities, unsatisfactory conditions, rude services as well as misleading conduct. Star ratings Australia requires that the complaints be accompanied by concrete evidence that will show the validity of the complaints that are being made against the hotels. The evidence may be photographic or written. This information is important to the client especially when he wants to make a complaint on his dissatisfaction with regards to the services that are provided in the hotel in question (“Consumer complaints,” n.d.).
The previous cases indicate the chances of winning the lawsuit. The hotels have an obligation of ensuring that the clients are well taken care of in the hotels as they enjoy the services that are provided by the organization. Deception is one of the greatest offenses in Australia hence the hotels should ensure that they are honest in their dealings. The fines are also hefty hence no organization can take them for granted. Most of the hotels in Australia are culpable when it comes to deceiving the clients on the services provided in the organization. Most of the organizations that have been deceiving the clients have always been slapped with a $100 million fine which is hefty and is likely to discourage any restaurant from deceiving the clients. The plaintiff, in this case, is free to sue the hotel because he has been given a raw deal compared to what he paid for. However, he has to ensure that there is sufficient evidence for the suit to take place and probably to win the case. The strength of a given case is determined by the strength of the evidence that has been submitted to the court or tribunal.
The restaurants have the responsibility of ensuring that the clients enjoy value for their money and that they are satisfied with the services offered. Knowledge of the laws and the rights that one has in the country will help in protecting the clients from being exploited by several companies, hotels, restaurants as well as the other establishments that are located in Australia. The hotel booking sites in the whole world have been accused of misleading the customers both on the pricing and the services that are provided by the hotels. The Australian consumer law was put in place to ensure that the people in the country get the value for their money in anything that they buy in the country. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the citizens are protected from the unscrupulous dealings that affect their ability to enjoy their value for money. The hotels are under obligation to accommodate all the people so long as they can afford the services regardless of the status that they hold in the society. Suing a hotel for not providing the effective services that they should not only ensure that the plaintiff gets justice, but it also ensures that the other people enjoy the value for their money in the future.
Consumer complaints. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.starratings.com.au/info/consumer-complaints
Darwin construction firm Halikos Group loses a massive lawsuit against Inpex. (2018, August 31). Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-31/halikos-group-loses-lawsuit-to-gas-giant-inpex/10187872
Hugh paid Wotif hundreds of dollars per night for this view. He got a basement. (2018, December 18). Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-18/wotif-forced-refund-acat-misleading-conduct/10616632
The Australian Consumer Law and your safety. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20150411065732/www.consumerlaw.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=fact_sheets%2Fsafety.htm
The Australian Consumer Law – Australian Consumer Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://consumerlaw.gov.au/the-australian-consumer-law/
Tourist Accommodation Regulations (NI). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015Q00331
Trivago faces millions in ACCC fines after admitting misleading conduct. (2018, December 3). Retrieved from https://mumbrella.com.au/trivago-faces-millions-in-accc-fines-after-admitting-misleading-conduct-555240
Lennon, M. (2018, July 31). Meriton fined millions for misleading customers through TripAdvisor. Retrieved from https://www.hotelmanagement.com.au/2018/07/31/meriton-fined-millions-for-misleading-customers-through-tripadvisor/
Mikoulianitch, A. (2012, August 10). Australian Prostitute Wins Discrimination Case After A Motel Banned Her. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/prostitute-wins-lawsuit-against-motel-2012-8?IR=T