It has just been announced that hotel booking sites are to be examined by the UK's competition watchdog. This is long overdue.
I have only used Booking.Com so my comments only relate to that site.
I have used Booking.Com to book hotels in the UK and overseas. Being able to book hotels through one site and compare prices, locations and reviews is very useful.
Recently they have been using pressure selling techniques to get bookings. Messages are constantly appearing giving the impression that if users do not book immediately [IMMEDIATELY!!!] they might have to reconcile themselves to sleeping in a cardboard box. Research and careful consideration are not encouraged.
It did not use to be so but now the ethos seems like that of a used car lot and not that of a trustworthy e-commerce site. Booking.Com is no Amazon.
Describing an hotel as 'Fabulous' happens far too often. To my mind an hotel has to be extraordinary to be described as fabulous. Recently I stayed in one that Booking.Com described as 'fabulous' but I would describe as no more than OK. Its price would have been justified if it had been fabulous, but it was not.
The problems at Booking.Com must lie with senior management. Perhaps the company needs to bring in someone capable of building a trusted brand. Uber had to make changes. Booking.Com needs to do so voluntarily before they are forced to change their ways.