Hotels practicing overbooking in South Africa may face legal action

Published on : Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cape TownRecently in South Africa some hotels bumped guests for overbooking. These hotels could face legal ramification and in some cases they could be charged with fraud. Some hotels in Cape Town had accepted overbooking.



Tour operators and hoteliers argue that guests should read the terms and conditions before booking the rooms. The guests could be bumped from rooms even if payment is made when hotel are overbooked. But Consumer Protection Acts states that hotels in such cases could be liable to fraud. Suppliers in this case the hotels must not accept the payment or other considerations for any goods or services if the suppliers had no reasonable basis to assert an intention to supply the goods or services that are materially different from the goods or services in respect of which the payment or consideration was accepted.



The guests who booking were bumped had prepaid for their rooms in January. It is also stated in CPA’s terms that if a hotel fails to supply the commitment it has made to the guests against a reservation to supply goods and services on a specified date and time due to insufficient stock or capacity to supply the goods or services then:


(a) refund to the consumer the amount, if any, paid in respect of that commitment or reservation, together with interest at the prescribed rate from the date on which the amount was paid until the date of reimbursement; and (b) in addition, compensate the consumer for costs directly incidental to the supplier’s breach of the contract.

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3 Responses to Hotels practicing overbooking in South Africa may face legal action

  1. Rushdi Harper says:

    This is of course unacceptable. The hotel should also find alternative accommodation for those clients rather than leave them stranded.

  2. Krish Pillay says:

    The hotels should pay a fine for unethical business practice in these cases.
    The hotel management got to take into consideration that all guests depend on the accommodation booked on timely reservation and arrival to the city for business or vacation.

  3. Anne says:

    Do you know Tribal Tourist based in South Africa? We seem to have fallen prey to the kind of scam you describe above. We fully pre-paid for a booking (50% of which was paid 9 months in advance, the balance a few weeks before we were to arrive). Just days before we were due to arrive in late December at Tribal Tourist’s property in Zanzibar, they cancelled our reservation with no real explanation. They have not refunded a cent, despite all our efforts to collect.

    To whom should we report this?

    Perhaps you should do an expose on these people!

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