Published on Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Hays Travel has fallen foul of advertising watchdogs after marketing holidays on Teletext at prices it could not substantiate.
The company, trading on Teletext's website as YourHolidays.com, failed to provide proof that it had seven-night trips to Cyprus in June available at £367pp and £368pp, as advertised.
The Advertising Standards Authority, which carried out an investigation following a complaint from a customer in January, said that in future YourHolidays must provide evidence that it held sufficient stock to demonstrate availability at the advertised prices.
Responding to the complaint on behalf of YourHolidays.con, Teletext said that because consumers put together their own holidays using the search tool on its website, which then located matching available components in its system, the holidays did not exist prior to the complainant viewing them.
It said holiday companies uploaded millions of offers for every combination of holiday that a consumer might search for and that their technology could not load live offers for such large volumes of data.
It also said they had rules that required holiday companies to show only offers with sufficient stock and that were available at the advertised price.
As YourHolidays.com only promoted information from live data, it was unable directly to substantiate its offers, it said.
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.