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Ask Thegonnec Your Own Question
Thegonnec
Thegonnec, Judge
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 89
Experience:  11 years experience as judge at Paris Industrial Tribunal
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We have provided a booking system to a company registered

Customer Question

Hi
We have provided a booking system to a company registered in france, they provide holiday villas for short term lets. The property was advertised on booking.com and there was an error, so the price was dramatically lower than it should have been.
A french client has booked the property and our client has never accepted the booking and has never processed the payment. Booking.com are saying it is not their problem as they are just an intermediate, so the client is threatening to take my client to court for compensation for not delivering the product at the advertised price.
Where do they and we stand on this?
Thanks
Andy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: French Law
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 2 years ago.
Hello,If the price is much below normal/average price for this type of booking (let's say 10% or less of normal price) the court, if it ever gets there will dismiss the claim. If the price is far to low, according to your client, but not totally unreasonable in a competitive discount environment, the court is most likely to grant compensation to the claimant. In this case, if the error was due to the booking system you provided, your professional liability insurance, or yourself if you have no such insurance will have to pay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The price was around €3,400 for august and they booked it for 816 euro's which is over 75% discount! The client was told immediately that the price was an error and that the correct price is €3,400, however they believed they knew / understood french law and were insisting the holiday be honoured and if the holiday was not honoured they would request compensation! I have never heard anything like this before, in the UK the contract would not even exist as we never sold the holiday.
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 2 years ago.
Considering the information above, if they decide to pursue the matter, it will be up to the court to decide. At a 75% discount it is likely that the claimant be dismissed but not certain. This will depend on whether your client can for example prove that this property had previously been advertised in a summer period at 3400 €/month. Or that it is the normal price for this type of property. A price listed on a booking site is contractual, unless it can be proved that it is grossly understated. And the burden of proof lies on the advertiser.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Thegonnec, I appreciate your feedback. I think in this incident the price has been grossly understated, the property is still advertised by my client and the 2016 prices are listed so the price is readily available at the correct price. My client is considering offering her compensation at my expense / insurance, as she really doesn't want this to go to court. But i think based on your comments a strongly worded letter to the customer from my client should stop any legal proceedings.