Booking.com says it will make minor changes to its website after an appeal board upheld a recommendation made back in April by the Dutch Advertising Committee (RCC).
At the time a Dutch media outlet reported that the RCC recommended The Priceline-owned hotel giant clarify its "we have one room left" statement because it could lead consumers to interpreting the "we" to mean the hotel only has one room available as opposed to the accommodation site.
Booking.com appealed the decision but the appeal board has come down on the side of the RCC.
The company sent the following statement to Tnooz:
"In a nutshell, the Committee of Appeal finds that consumers may interpret 'we' as a reference to the hotel, and therefore the wording should be different. These are minor changes which we will adjust on our website, as we want to be as clear and transparent to our customers as possible.
"It is also noted that the RCC had already rejected the original claim that we provide incorrect information about hotel room availability and the number of people who are viewing the hotel.”
These sorts of messages creating urgency on a website are a way to keep people on the site and to complete the transaction with marketing specialists often recommending independent hotels should adopt the practice.
It has also spread from accommodation sites to airlines which now often display messages such as "only one seat left at this price."
Whether this decision will have ramifications for other OTAs as well as in other countries remains to be seen.