Booking reservation site was forced to present a full price including VAT to Israeli consumers


by Ifi Reporter Category:Real Estate Jul 6, 2023

A booking site has begun to present a full price including VAT to Israeli consumers who purchase hotel accommodation and vacations in Israel. This, was after a legal proceeding conducted by the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority against the successful international site, which also included a NIS 2.5 million fine already in 2017.
A booking website, used by many Israelis to book accommodation in Israel and abroad, systematically presented its prices in shekels without including the VAT rate applicable to the transaction. This, in blatant violation of the Consumer Protection Law, which requires the presentation of a "total price" and explicitly lists the mandatory taxes applicable to the transaction as part of the total price.
According to the Authority, "This is a practice that actually causes the consumer to be misled as to the price of the service. The consumer discovered the true price of the transaction only at the stage of receiving the service (at the accommodation). This practice also misled the consumer at the stage of comparing prices between different booking sites, before the purchase. The missing "M from the price of the offered service allowed the site to display a lower price for the service, while this is not necessarily the case in practice.
"In addition to imposing the aforementioned fine, the Authority also issued a warning in July 2020 and asked to be vigilant when entering and using the website, and informed consumers that the displayed price for the services offered in Israel is not the final price and the consumer will have to add, at the time of actual payment, 17% to the displayed price on the site".
Now, after the dialogue between the authority and the website, the booking website shows the full price, including the VAT, for Israeli consumers who purchase hotel accommodation and vacations in Israel.
This is a practice used among foreign tourism agencies operating in Israel as well as among professionals who operate privately with consumers, such as repairmen and lawyers, who operate in this way on the grounds that they show the consumer the amount they pocket and the rest goes to the state. At the same time, as mentioned, it is illegal.
Attorney Ariel Diamant, the Authority's legal advisor, stated that "We are happy that the Booking Company settled the matter of omitting the VAT from the purchase for an Israeli consumer who purchases services in Israel, and from now on Israeli consumers will be able to know the final price without any surprises at the tax office. The Authority returns and clarifies that instructions The Consumer Protection Law also applies to international companies that provide service to the Israeli consumer in Israel (such as Booking)." stated: "We at are constantly working to improve the experience of using our platform and to ensure more transparency, choices and value for travelers and our accommodation partners. That is why we are happy to have reached an agreement with the Consumer Protection Authority, which as of July 1, 2023 "M of 17% will be included in the price that will be displayed from the search results stage for vacation bookers who use the platform in Israel to book a local vacation."



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