Go To the Main Contents

KCA width the Consumer Will Create a Happy World. We ard witnessing rapid changes in the consumer enviroment thanks in part to globalization of the marketplace. and technological developmet which has enabled the CONSUMER market to expand from offline to online.

KCA News

  • HOME
  • KCA News
  • Press Release

Press Release

영문보도자료 view
Consumers should pay attention to payments when making a reservation through overseas hotel booking service providers 2018-05-23

Consumers should pay attention to payments when making a reservation through overseas hotel booking service providers

- Beware of wrong(duplicate) payments that can occur in the process of booking overseas hotels -

 

     As overseas purchases have become a new consumption pattern recently, the number of consumer complaints involving those overseas purchases has also sharply increased. In particular, the number of consumer complaints involving overseas hotel booking service providers* has increased significantly, showing that it is urgently needed to take related actions.

*Analyzed the cases reported to ‘Cross Border Transaction Consumer Portal(crossborder.kca.go.kr)’ run by the Korea Consumer Agency(KCA) and ‘1372 Consumer Counseling Center’

 

In 2017, overseas direct purchases amounted to 23.59 million cases or 2,110.24 million dollars, up 36% in cases and up 29% in U.S. dollars from the previous year (press release by the Korea Customs Service, March 20, 2018).

 

Consumer complaints increased remarkably in ‘accommodation’ and ‘flight’-related overseas online purchases.

     The number of consumer complaints involving overseas online purchases reported in the first quarter of 2018 totaled 4,090 cases, up 86.5% from the first quarter of the last year(2,632 cases).

    Among those 4,909 cases, 4,705 cases where transaction items were identified were analyzed, and the result of the analysis revealed that ‘accommodation’-related complaints were 1,074 cases, and ‘flight ticket or service’-related complaints were 865 cases, up 345.6% and 225.2%, respectively, from the previous year (accommodation(241 cases), flight(266 cases)).

    Meanwhile, among 1,884 cases (domestic business operators excluded) where ‘locations of business operators’ were identified, ‘Singapore’ accounted for the highest number of complaints with 637 cases, up 749.3% from the previous year (75 cases), showing the biggest increase. It was analyzed that such significant increase was due to the rapid increase in the number of consumer complaints involving “Agoda”, an overseas hotel booking service agency located in Singapore.

 

Attention needs to be paid to wrong(duplicate) payments that can occur in the process of booking overseas hotels, and related system improvements also need to be made.

    

    The KCA asked consumers to pay extra attention to payments when making a booking through overseas hotel booking service providers, saying that “there are many cases where those booking service providers refused refunds when a payment was made without a final payment notification in the process of a consumer checking his/her booking details or a duplicate payment occurred due to an error.” Meanwhile, the KCA requested the service provider concerned to make related system improvements for the prevention of wrong(duplicate) payments, and now the improvements are being made.

 

<Case Example>

    In January, 2018, Consumer A made a reservation for a hotel room located in Tokyo, Japan(6 days 5 nights in June, 2018), through an overseas hotel booking service provider, and paid around 800,000 won. About one hour later, while Consumer A was seeing an accommodation product with the same transaction conditions as those of the product he/she booked, an additional payment was made with the credit card information previously stored on the service provider’s website. Consumer A asked the service provider to provide a refund immediately, but the provider responded that it would provide a gift card instead of refunds because the product question was a ‘non-refundable product.’

 

    In addition, the KCA pushed forward a series of measures to improve transaction conditions of overseas hotel booking service providers, and as a result, the domestic customer service centers of “Booking.com” and “Agoda” were established in August last year, and in April this year, respectively, which is expected to significantly contribute to the improvement of consumers’ rights and interests.

    The KCA has operated the Cross-Border Transaction Consumer Portal(http://crossborder.kca.go.kr)to help consumers make safe overseas purchases, and through the Portal, it has also provided various information regarding overseas purchases including customs duties, customs clearance procedures, parallel imports, etc. as well as guidelines for consumer damage prevention. In order to prevent consumer damage involving overseas purchases, the KCA advised consumers to refer to the 'Checkpoints for the Prevention of Damage involving Overseas Direct Purchases' and 'Guide to Booking Overseas Flights and Hotels' posted on the Portal.

 

Go back to List