Hotel services are among the most purchased services in Italy and abroad. Also thanks to the internet, it is nowadays easy to compare hotel services and to find the best deal for a holiday.
It is important, regardless to the means of sale, that the correct information about the services is available to the public through brochures or the internet website.
The consumption code dedicates great attention to the information that has to be clear and transparent.
Photos of the rooms and of the hotel have to be as truthful as possible in order not to mislead the consumers. Same thing for the description of the services: every extra costs has to be clearly stated.
If a cheap offer is proposed, i.e. on the internet, all the included services shall be displayed and as well as all the possible extra services that can increase the final price. This is important because otherwise it could be considered as unfair commercial practice and therefore it could be sanctioned.
The reservation can be done in any way, written or oral. It is however always advisable to do it in writing ( fax, email or recorded letter).
The use of credit cards in reservations: more and more frequent at the reservation it is asked to provide a credit card number. The hotelier cannot debit anything on the card, unless expressively authorized by the customer. In case of a non show by the customer, the hotelier has the right to debit the first night. In case of longer stays or during peak periods ( Christams, New Year’s or bank holidays) more onerous penalties could be asked, but in the case the hotelier shall inform the customer in advance. On the contrary, in case of withdrawal by the customer within the deadline foreseen by the contract, nothing can be debited.
What to do in case of overbooking?
It can happen that, by mistake, the room is assigned to two different customers. In this case the hotel has to assist the customers and be able to find an alternative solution at comparable or higher value, in this latter case without asking the payment of the price difference. If the value is inferior, the consumer shall be reimbursed the price difference.
In case of thefts in hotel: the law n. 316/1978 introduced by the Paris agreements signed by the Council of Europe. They state that the hotelier is liable for the deposit of customer’s belongings. This rules apply to all accommodation facilities, except for apartments.
Declarations that exclude or limit this liability are therefore null. Civil Code rules ( articles 1783-1786) foresee the hotelier’s liability for all personal belongings that are kept in the room or left in common areas of the hotel ( garden, garage…).
Eventually, concerning phone fares it is important to remind that the hotelier cannot apply any fee or price increase on the applicable phone call cost.