Tuesday, 16 July 2019 10:51

NZ competition regulator takes online holiday rental company Bachcare to court

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NZ competition regulator takes online holiday rental company Bachcare to court Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand online holiday rental booking platform Bachcare has been charged with misleading consumers allegedly by manipulating online reviews.

Bachcare faces two charges under the Fair Trading Act for allegedly manipulating the reviews posted by users of its accommodation services.

The charges follow an investigation by New Zealand’s competition regulator The Commerce Commission and relate to conduct between 1 June 2017 and 28 September 2018.

The Commission alleges Bachcare removed negative comments from some consumer reviews before publishing them on its website and did not publish any reviews to which consumers had given a star rating of less than 3.5 out of 5.

The Commission alleges Bachcare — which manages about 2000 properties around the country, with more than 150,000 customers per year — engaged in conduct that was liable to mislead consumers by creating “artificially positive impressions about certain properties”.
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The case will be heard in the Auckland District Court on 13 August.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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