Consumer rights when choosing accommodation

EKPIZO warns tourists that they needn’t tolerate a shoddy room, substandard food and poor quality service!

We all look forward to our vacations, but sometimes the reality is not as appealing as what the travel brochures promised. In response to a number of complaints about hotel accommodation or other lodgings and in an effort to minimize more horror stories, the Consumers Association “Quality of Life” (EKPIZO) has released advice for guests and a list of points stipulating their rights.

Hotel accommodation:

* Guests should look for a sign in the room marked with the official seal of the Greek Tourism Organization (EOT).

* Room price rates need to be displayed in each room.

* All advertized benefits should be offered as well as additional agreements that were made prior to the booking depending on the capacity of the hotel to provide these (eg. distance from the sea, view, air conditioning, TV, internet, breakfast etc.)

* Hoteliers are entitled to request an optional 25% deposit of the total cost of your stay, however this amount can’t be less than the cost of one day’s accommodation.

* The hotel has the right to keep the deposit if you postpone your trip and haven’t given at least 21 days due notice prior to the cancellation, but it is obliged to return the amount in full if you adhere to this requirement.

* You can leave earlier than the time booked without incurring any extra charges provided you notify the hotel staff promptly of this intent. If you do not do this you will be forced to pay 50% of the price originally agreed.

* To secure your rights make sure you have a written response from the hotel confirming your reservation details within three days of the agreement.This confirmation can either be by fax or with an e-mail.

* In cases where there is no written proof of the agreement it is deemed that the arrangement was for just one day and is implicitly renewed daily (provided that neither of the hotel or guest dissent to this agreement.)

* The room needs to be emptied by noon. If you stay until 6 p.m. in the afternoon you will be charged 50% the room rate.

* When the hotel owner is unable to offer guests the room promised, then it is the hotel’s obligation to find alternative accommodation of at least the same quality in the same city, offering the same amenities and services that had been promised.

* The hotel is held liable and accountable for any precious or valuable items and money that guests leave for safekeeping and should give a deposit of proof upon accepting such items.

* Pets are only allowed in hotels that make special provision for their stay. There must be a prior arrangement between the hotel and guest regarding the bringing of pets to a room.

Rooms to let:

* Guests should look for a sign in the room marked with the official seal of the Greek Tourism Organization (EOT).

* Rooms should be equipped with the basic electrical appliances that can be found in any home (eg. refrigerator, kitchen, cutlery and crockery etc.)

* There should be adequate lighting.

* Rooms should be clean and supply towels and bed linen to guests.

* Prices can be freely formulated, but it is mandatory that they be written somewhere within the room.

Who are you going to call if the room or hotel falls short of what was promised? 

Tourist Police: 1571

Greek Tourism Organization: 210 331 0392, 210 331 0716 or send an e-mail to complaints@gnto.gr

General Secretariat of the Consumer: 1520, fax 210 384 2642, e-mail info@efpolis.gr

EKPIZO in Athens: 210 330 4444, e-mail info@ekpizo.gr

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