When the dream holiday turns into a nightmare

3-March-2020 Commercial Disputes By Jamal Bakalian

Holidays are meant to be a wonderfully refreshing break from work to set you up ready to return to back to work with energy and zeal. Sadly, this is not the reality for all… read on to find out your rights if your holiday was soured by a bad experience.

 Expectation vs Reality of a Misleading Holiday

Have you ever booked a hotel with something in mind only to find that when you arrive at your destination it is not at all what you had in mind nor is it what was promised to you?

We know this situation all too well, and many of our clients have come to us not only disappointed by their bad holiday experience but wanting to take their grievance further.

Streeterlaw can help you fight the good fight and take active steps to remedy your grievance. We will inform you of your rights not only under the Australian Consumer Law, but also under the laws of the destinations you have travelled to.

To assess whether it is worthwhile for you to come in for a chat with us about your bad experience, we recommend you answer a few quick questions to help you narrow down your grievance:

1. Firstly, who did you book your holiday with?

Your rights will be most applicable under the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”) if you:

  • Booked and paid for your holiday in Australia (e.g. through a travel agent); or
  • Are travelling within Australia.

2. What are your rights under the ACL when you book accommodation?

Under the ACL, you have a right to expect that your hotel accommodation will be:

  • Safe and of acceptable quality;
  • Match the description provided when you booked it; and
  • Be advertised in a manner that is not false or misleading.

Luckily, under the ACL your right to expect the above cannot be eliminated even if the hotel or your accommodation supplier tries to do so through terms in a contract or another form of agreement.

3. FAQ’s of things that can potentially go wrong

Was your room different to the one you booked?

As mentioned above, you have a right to expect that your hotel / accommodation service will not make false or misleading representations about anything they are offering to you.

You also have a right to expect that the service / product being provided to you is ‘fit for a specified purpose’ (e.g. a mountain bike that cannot be used on off-road tracks).

This means that neither the text nor pictures of the room/s you booked should be misleading. For example, you have the right to expect that a ‘beach view room’ has views of the beach. The same goes for location of the hotel / accommodation, the amenities provided and the price.

If you feel misled or deceived, Streeterlaw has tried and tested systems to help you remedy your grievance.

You booked through a third-party booking website and you want to complain?

If you book through a third-party provider and there is an issue with your booking, you need to take it up with the site or the agent you booked with not the hotel / accommodation (the end service provider).

You need to be careful to book with third party providers who are legitimate, as not all of them are authentic sites. Be wary of sites that mimic other well-known sites such as ‘bookingcom.com’.

However, if you have been scammed, there are remedies to this problem that Streeterlaw can help you with.

What if I am travelling overseas?

If you are holidaying at an overseas destination and something has gone wrong with your accommodation, Streeterlaw can help you by advising you of your rights under the consumer laws of the country you have travelled to.

In this situation, Streeterlaw can advocate on your behalf to ensure that the legal remedies that exist under that jurisdiction are made available to you.

Streeterlaw can help you obtain remedies to your grievance which may include receiving a full refund or enforcing your right to get exactly what you were promised.

If you have a valid complaint or grievance about your holiday, contact your Solicitor at Streeterlaw by calling 02 8197 0105 or use the below contact form to get advice and remedy your situation!


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Written by Jamal Bakalian

Jamal Bakalian

After studying a double degree in Law and International & Global Studies at Sydney University, Jamal completed her GDLP at the College of Law. She is currently undertaking her Masters of Law (majoring in Commercial Litigation). Jamal has been practicing Law for 5 years. With a passion for resolving disputes, Jamal is a valuable member of the Commercial Litigation team at Streeterlaw.

Call us on 02 8197 0105 to book an appointment with Jamal Bakalian!

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