As you will have been aware I have been in communication with LateRooms in order to clarify a number of the amendments to the terms and conditions. I would like to thank those members who provided questions and queries about these. Although we did discuss the increase commission rate it was not the primary focus of the communication.
In addition to these queries I asked LateRooms to ensure that 30 days notice is given to change the conditions and commission rate, as stated in the general terms and conditions prior to January 2014. LateRooms admitted that this was a mistake and adjusted the effective date for BIGHA members despite us requesting that this should be effective for all users of LateRooms. The increase in commission and new conditions should not come into effect until February 5th 2014, you will need to check your commission invoices to ensure that this is the case.
Clause 2.8 – You must now allocate the same levels of availability to LateRooms as you advertise on your own website and provide to other booking agents. A couple of member expressed concerns that this could cause overbooking. I asked LateRooms if some sensible exception could be provide. LateRoom were unable to do this formally but if any property has specific concerns they should contact hotel relations.
Clause 2.9 – This clause was written with a very vague context referring to the “Level”, “Scale”, and “Selection” of rooms. LateRoom have not provided any definitions but have told me it could include: the type / level of rooms available and what is included within the price stated e.g. single / double, standard / deluxe / suite, whether breakfast / wifi / parking is included etc. These must be at least the same as what is offered on your own website and other online agents.
In a further conversation with LateRooms, I have also been informed that restrictions such as minimum stays will also for part of the “level, scale and selection”, which probably confirms why the clause is so vague in the first place.
Clause 3.5 – This part of the conditions which refers to rates has not changed, despite the increase in commission LateRoom expect to be provided with “the best market rate” (the rate the consumer sees) at all times.
Clause 9.2 – LateRooms have confirmed that the commission rate will only ever vary if the proprietor has taken additional product or services, such as search boost or advertising. At all other time the standard commission will be charged.