A modification to the law governing travel agents’ obligations has been introduced in Quebec. The new regulation requires agents to guarantee the validity of any price quoted during an online session. The changes became effective June 30th as reported in an article by Jean-Jacques Ferland in Direction Informatique.
The regulation states that Quebec based travel agents must clearly indicate on any travel product search results page that the price shown is applicable and available as posted and will not change if the transaction is completed during that session.
Furthermore, if the travel agent’s website does not provide for online transactions, it will have to specify the period of validity for any shown pricing.
Office de protection du consommateur spokesperson Jean-Jacques Preaux stated, “When a salesman is dealing with a shopper in a store and he quotes a price for his product or service, the salesman must honour that price at the cash register.”
Mr. Preaux indicates that the modification to the law governing Quebec agents’ online operations and promotions is a precautionary measure which has arisen due to a variety of situations reported not just relating to the travel industry. But, once the client is in the “purchase mode“ of a travel transaction, the price has been agreed to, the “search“ mode is no longer in play. The issue seems to be presented in reverse, i.e. if a subsequent search for the same travel product is initiated in a new online session, the buyer could indeed be presented with a different price.