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gillumhouse

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It seems the "ambulance chasers" have found another easy target to hit B & Bs with.

I am on the Advocacy Committee of ALP and we have received word that an innkeeper has just been sued (yes, Merry Christmas). They have a new angle this time. The OTA being used did not adequately describe his ADA accommodations. The ORAs are included in this suit I believe, but the target is the B & B. Have any of YOU been hit with this?

Since I do not use OTAs, I was unaware until now, that there is no place to enter that info on the OTA form. Giving a heads-up to perhaps add it into your text on your OTA listings. The OTAs (Expedia at least) says book with us then contact the provider. Trying to get more info on this. Have any of you heard about it?
 

TheBeachHouse

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I honestly don’t understand. What is it that wasn’t properly Described? If it’s ADA, it conforms to specific requirements. Right?

And, if I’m in charge, the descriptions are the OTAs alone. It’s easy to prove how they don’t let us be specific (on purpose) so they can sell any room to any person.
 

gillumhouse

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It seems that the premise is the YOU hired the OTA so YOU should have the proper descriptions on the OTA site.. We JST heard about this and are trying to understand it ourselves. THAT is why we are asking for input - ID you were sued, wht are the allegations specifically.
 

Morticia

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The problem is that, yes, as the business owner you are responsible to insure that ANY third party you use (OTA, online reservation system, online payment system) is following all the rules (ADA, compliance with information protection). However, a lot of these companies are not US-based and therefore do not have to follow our rules.

It’s a lot more work than most small business owners can feasibly do on their own. Having a state/national hospitality group do the ground work would be immensely helpful. I don’t know why national groups have not made it a priority to find out how to stop these lawsuits.
 

gillumhouse

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The problem is that, yes, as the business owner you are responsible to insure that ANY third party you use (OTA, online reservation system, online payment system) is following all the rules (ADA, compliance with information protection). However, a lot of these companies are not US-based and therefore do not have to follow our rules.

It’s a lot more work than most small business owners can feasibly do on their own. Having a state/national hospitality group do the ground work would be immensely helpful. I don’t know why national groups have not made it a priority to find out how to stop these lawsuits.
We are trying. This one just emerged. One response:
Yes. We got hit last Month. And for us, it was the affiliates of the OTA, not even the main ota which might or might not push out the info from your profile. Also, if you are an historic property which might be grandfathered on some requirements or be in compliance without certain accommodations, the ota doesn’t have a way to register the lack of information.
There were some ADA cases in Arizona that got thrown out. It seems in some states, the States AG is responsible for enforcing ADA rules, the attorneys never tried for compliance through AG, attorney got banned in state, suites dropped. We didn’t try that angle in Vermont because it likely wouldn’t have worked here. Our attny said that no official with future political plans will take on a fight that could allow them to be painted as anti-ADA.


ALP has also received info that some companies (it is not just B & Bs - 4000 suits in 2021) have been hit several times on this - website, mobile ap, and I cannot remember the other issue at the moment.
 

GoodScout

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There were some ADA cases in Arizona that got thrown out. It seems in some states, the States AG is responsible for enforcing ADA rules, the attorneys never tried for compliance through AG, attorney got banned in state, suites dropped. We didn’t try that angle in Vermont because it likely wouldn’t have worked here. Our attny said that no official with future political plans will take on a fight that could allow them to be painted as anti-ADA.
I think their attorney may have led them astray. Vermont's Lodging Association has had some discussions with the state's AD on this issue, and while he's certainly not as supportive as California's AD (who filed civil charges against the attorneys - God bless him) he may very well be willing to aid the issues. At the start of the pandemic, he gave AirBnB a hard threat to sue the hell out of them if they didn't shut down access to Vermont listings within 48 hours.
 
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