An advertising watchdog has warned Lastminute.com that its deals must be available to consumers at the time they are advertised.
The news comes after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint that she was asked to pay an extra £70.77 on a September 15 deal for a £569 hotel and flight package to New York on the grounds that the price was no longer available.
Lastminute.com responded by saying the products it offered relied on a global distribution and information system for up-to-date prices and availability, which could change at any time during the booking process.
The holiday etailer added that it offered customers the option not to proceed with the booking if it was no longer suitable for them.
The ASA said consumers would have understood the ad meant £569 was the total price they would pay for the flight and hotel package.
“However, approximately an hour after making a booking request for the package at the quoted price, which included making the payment, the complainant was informed that the price had increased and they would need to pay an additional sum of £70.77 in order to maintain the booking,” the ASA said.
“Because the package was not available at the price quoted in the ad, we concluded that the price statement was misleading.”
The ASA warned Lastminute.com “to ensure that they could demonstrate that holiday packages were available at the prices for which they were advertised at the time they were seen by consumers”.