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I recently had problems with a B&B booked through Bookings.com. The accommodation was paid up front to Bookings.com. Once back home I complained to the company, who initially were most apologetic but informed me they had nothing to do with my complaint as they only act as intermediaries. They advised I take the matter up with the accommodation owners. The internet advert on Bookings site was misleading and just plain wrong. It is my understanding that once money changes hands that a contract is said to exist. This is between buyer and person /s who originally receives the money. Although bookings.com are HQ in Netherlands, they have an office in England, so I maintain that they are subject to SOGA & Consumer Protection Rules. They don't even think I am allowed to try & sue them in a Small Claims Court. In other words, like a well known major cut price retailer, they think they are not subject to UK law. They have now stopped corresponding and say the matter is now closed. Even although I said we are waiting for medical evidence.
We know they will recover these costs elsewhere,but they are in no doubt that the OFT was serious about taking action against those who continued to levy these fees,which were viewed as a penalty. The European ruling for enforcement is still some time away (2014) but todays announcement involves some of the big carriers. http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/58-12