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    Chafik Mihoubi v. Priceline.com, L.L.C. et als.

    Online Accommodation Reservation

    In order to permit consumers to have complete information before purchasing a good or service, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) forbids merchants from charging a higher price for a good or service than the advertised price. The defendants systematically and knowingly violate the CPA by advertising prices that are broken down and lower than the price ultimately charged on their websites.

    The plaintiff wants to put an end to this widespread and harmful practice for consumers and obtain compensation equivalent to the amount exceeding the advertised price, plus punitive damages.

    Latest news

    On May 24, 2023, the Court approved the settlement agreement reached by the Plaintiff and the Defendant Benjamin & Brothers, L.L.C. (Reservations.com). The Agreement sets the terms under which the Defendant, Benjamin & Brothers, L.L.C, will distribute compensation to eligible Class Members. To be eligible, you must :

    a) Have made a reservation on the BB website between January 27, 2017, and November 20, 2021;

    b) Have resided in Quebec at the time of the reservation;

    c) Be a natural person who did not reserved for the purposes of his business;

    d) Complete and submit a claim form, provided in annex of the Protocol, online on the administrator’s website within two months of the date of the last publication of the notice of judgment (“Claim Period”).

    Conditions to be part of this class action

    You are included within the application for authorization to institute the class action if you have reserved accommodations using one of the defendants’ websites between the dates specified below and you paid a price that was higher than the price that was announced, except where that price was only higher due to fees payable under a federal or provincial law.

    Between January 27, 2017, and May 13, 2022, for the following defendants:

    – Priceline.com LLC (which notably operates the website priceline.com)
    – Hotwire Inc. (which notably operates the website hotwire.com)
    – Kayak Software Corporation (which notably operates the website kayak.com)
    – Benjamin & Brothers, LLC (which notably operates the website reservations.com)
    – Accor SA (which notably operates the website accorhotels.com)
    – Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (which notably operates the website ilton.com)
    – Six Continents Hotels, Inc. (which notably operates the websites holidayinn.com and intercontinental.com)
    – Hyatt Corporation (which notably operates the website hyatt.com)
    – Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC (which notably operates the website wyndhamhotels.com)

    Between January 27, 2017, and September 28, 2020, for the following defendants:

    – Homeaway.com Inc. (which notably operates the websites homeaway.ca, vrbo.com, and vacationrentals.com)
    – Bedandbreakfast.com Inc. (which notably operates the website bedandbreakfast.com)
    – Canadastays (1760335 Ontario Inc.) (which notably operates the website canadastays.com)

    Between January 27, 2017, and June 4, 2020, for the following defendant:

    – Orbitz Worldwide LLC (which notably operates the website orbitz.com)

    All persons who meet the criteria may be entitled to compensation if the class action is successful.

    Summary of the class action

    On October 19, 2022, Plaintiff and Defendant Benjamin & Brothers, L.L.C. (Reservations.com) reached a settlement agreement (the “Agreement”). This Agreement will be presented to the Court on May 24, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. in room 16.11 of the Montreal Courthouse for approval by the Court.

    The Agreement includes the following key provisions:

    – Payment of a lump sum of $825,000 USD by the defendant Benjamin & Brothers, L.L.C.
    – Compensation of $20 to $40 for each consumer who made a reservation on the Reservations.com website between January 27, 2017 and November 20, 2021.
    – The compensations will be reduced by an amount to be determined by the Court for the class members’ legal fees. The amount sought is 25% of the lump sum, plus taxes and fees.
    – Changing the price display on Reservations.com to show the full price of the reservation at the first step of the reservation process.

    On January 27, 2020, Chafik Mihoubi filed an Application for authorization to institute a class action and to obtain the status of representative against 13 companies that operate various web sites that allow users to reserve accommodations online.

    The website customers that are included in the class action paid a higher price than the advertised rate, which is not legal in Quebec.

    The action aims to compensate consumers who overpaid for their reservation as a result of the illegal practices of these companies.

    On June 3, 2021, the Applicant filed an Application for leave to amend the Application for Authorization.

    On July 13, 2021, the Superior Court granted leave to amend the Application for Authorization. This Amended Application for Authorization was filed on July 14, 2021.

    On January 11, 2022, the Court authorized the class action. The judgment modifies the class description to limit the class action in time.

    Please read the notice to members regarding the authorization of the class action.

    On April 11, 2022, the representative plaintiff filed an Originating Application in the class action in the Superior Court.

    The members are jointly represented by TJL and Grenier Verbauwhede Avocats.

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