Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today urged visitors and Oregonians who have booked hotel rooms within the 90-mile path of total solar eclipse on August 21 to confirm their hotel reservations immediately. There has been an increase in Oregon DOJ consumer complaints from people who have had hotel reservations cancelled, or have had their room rates double—and even triple—in price. It is estimated that as many as one million visitors could travel in Oregon for the first total solar eclipse in 38 years.
The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) recently sent letters warning of Oregon’s consumer protection laws to all hotels within the eclipse path, and to all hotels that have been the subject of a consumer complaint. In the letter hotels that may have increased the price of hotel rooms or cancelled reservations, were told to give the hotel-goer their originally booked room for the original price, or give at least $500 to each consumer.
“Travelers need to be able to trust that hotels will keep their reservation and honor the original price,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “While most hotels play by the rules, we are concerned that some could try to make money off of this unique event, and increase the price of the hotel room without telling the customer. We want to make sure travelers know that hotels must honor their advertised prices, regardless of whether the prices are advertised directly by the hotel, or with a third party.”
Oregon DOJ is working with 12 Oregon hotels to resolve specific complaints involving consumers that had their reservations cancelled or rates increased. So far, seven of these businesses have agreed to provide the originally booked room for the originally booked price.
Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practice Act (UTPA) prohibits a business from making unlawful, false or misleading representations concerning the offering price of or a person’s cost for services. Booking a reservation for a consumer at a certain rate, followed by the hotel either cancelling or increasing that reservation rate constitutes a deceptive practice under the UTPA.
Visitors that encounter problems with hotel reservations should contact the Oregon Department of Justice’s consumer hotline by calling 877-877-9392, or by filing a complaint online at https://justice.oregon.gov/complaints/.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002