General terms and conditions
1.1 HOTEL DE GmbH, c/o HRS - Hotel Reservation Service Robert Ragge GmbH, Breslauer Platz 4, 50668 Cologne (hereinafter referred to as the „agent“), is part of the HRS Group, which owns several booking portals for travel services. In the form of www.hotel.de & www.hotel.info (hereinafter referred to as the „online portal“) and all related partner websites, it operates a global booking service for hotel rooms and comparable accommodations and travel services (e.g. holiday homes), hereinafter referred to as „accommodations“.
1.2 These GTCs apply both to all non-binding booking enquiries and binding bookings made for accommodation through the agent’s online portal. Accommodations that can be booked through the agent’s online portal may be arranged through the online booking systems operated by the agent’s partners, where applicable.
1.3 These GTCs also apply in the event that users who intend to book accommodation (hereinafter referred to as the „customer“) have conflicting general terms and conditions. These general terms and conditions are not accepted even if the agent provides services while aware of the customer’s conditions, unless expressly agreed otherwise.
2. Services rendered
2.1 Creation and Use of the My HOTEL DE Account
2.1.1 The customer has the option to create a user account (hereinafter „My HOTEL DE Account“) on the Internet portal. The My HOTEL DE Account allows the customer to obtain the following benefits, among others:
A comprehensive overview of all benefits and functionalities of the My HOTEL DE Account will be provided to the customer after creating the My HOTEL DE Account.
To create a My HOTEL DE Account, the customer must provide his or her name and email address and, in case the My HOTEL DE Account is created for business trips, the name of his or her employer, as well as define a password. By clicking the „Register Now“ button, the customer accepts the GTCs and submits an offer to enter into the contract for the My HOTEL DE Account. The agent accepts this offer based on its confirmation.
The contract for use of the My HOTEL DE Account is free-of-charge for the customer, is entered into for an unspecified period of time, and may be cancelled at any time by the customer. The agent may cancel the contract for use of the My HOTEL DE Account by providing two weeks of advance notice.
2.2 Arrangement and Conclusion of Accommodation and Travel Service Contracts
2.2.1 The services rendered include the arrangement and conclusion of an accommodation or travel service agreement.
a) In case the customer makes bookings on his or her own behalf
The contract is formed directly between the customer and the operator of the customer’s chosen accommodation (hereinafter referred to as the „provider“) during the booking process. For such purpose, the agent provides the provider (and/or its service providers which are contractually bound accordingly) with the specified personal data of the customer.
b) In case the customer makes bookings on behalf of another person
The contract is exclusively formed between the person who will use the services of the provider and/or his or her employer, in case the customer books a business trip, as well as the provider. For such purpose, the agent provides the provider (and/or its service providers which are contractually bound accordingly) with the specified personal data of the person who will use the services of the provider. Therefore, the customer is under obligation to only make bookings for (natural or legal) persons in respect of whom the customer is entitled to
a) make the respective statements,
b) provide personal data and arrange for the transfer of personal data by the agent to the provider.
Further data regarding the treatment of personal data are contained in number 9 as well as in the data privacy notice of the agent.
2.2.2 All claims and obligations arising from the accommodation or travel service agreement exist directly and exclusively between the customer, in case the customer makes bookings on his or her own behalf, and/or the person who will use the services of the provider and/or his or her employer, in case the customer books a business trip, and the provider. There is no accommodation or travel service agreement between the customer and the agent.
2.2.3 The provider of the accommodation is not the agent or another booking system operator, but the provider chosen as the contractual partner. If several accommodations are booked using the agent’s online portal, the agent does not choose or arrange the individual accommodations; this is the customer’s responsibility. The conditions specified by the customer (such as location, destination, price, period of time, category) are taken into consideration as much as possible in the selection of individual accommodations proposed by the online portal. However, it should not be interpreted, based on the selection made by the online portal, that there are no other accommodations which might better meet the customer’s requests or conditions.
2.2.4 Should the provider breach its obligations, the agent is not required, but is entitled to compensate losses suffered by the customer in individual cases in order to facilitate the smooth performance of the contract for the customer. In this case, the customer assigns its claims for compensation against the provider to the agent so that the agent can endeavor to obtain redress for the expenses incurred.
3. Customer reviews
3.1 The agent offers the customer the option to access reviews written by third parties as well as additional content and images relating to the services offered on the online portal. These merely reflect a personal opinion of the respective third-party related to a specific point in time. These opinions are also shaped by the writer’s personal perceptions and expectations. It should also be taken into consideration that the services offered may have changed since the content was uploaded or the review written; for example, accommodation may have been refurbished or renovated in the meantime. The number of reviews submitted should also be considered, as one individual opinion is often not as meaningful as an overall impression based on a number of reviews.
3.2 The agent offers the customer and also third parties the option to anonymously submit such reviews or additional content and images on the online portal. The customer is exclusively responsible for all content that he/she provides (e.g. reports/images/videos).
3.3 It is prohibited to upload content to the agent’s online portal
a) that is untrue or misleading, in particular by submitting inaccurate and/or unobjective reviews of accommodations, persons at the accommodations, leisure facilities and other local conditions/events which might affect decisions made by other guests;
b) that is derogatory, insulting, offensive, threatening, pornographic or racist;
c) that violates third-party property and/or personal rights or is otherwise illegal;
d) that advertises products, services or companies, either overtly or covertly; in particular by submitting reviews for which the customer has been offered payment, or by reviewing accommodation offered by providers for which the customer works, or
e) that includes links or similar information/references that serve to affect the functioning of third-party computers.
3.4 If the customer violates these conditions on the uploading of content, the agent is entitled to amend or fully delete content without notifying the customer and without specifying any reasons.
4. Booking and reservations
4.1 Each reservation is passed on to the respective Provider through the Agent, who acts as an intermediary on behalf of the Customer. In order to ensure smooth processing of the booking, it is therefore essential that the information provided by the Customer (e.g. dates of the stay, contact details) are correct and complete.
4.2 The latest possible time for the Customer to check in to the accommodation varies according to the type of reservation. The various reservation options are described over the course of the booking procedure and are selected by the Customer on this basis. Insofar as a check-in deadline is specified for the reservation type selected, the reservation will be cancelled in the event of late arrival. After that time, the Customer has no right to demand accommodation.
4.3 Reselling of accommodations booked via the Agent is prohibited. This includes, in particular, reselling of accommodations to third parties at a higher price. The Agent reserves the right to exclude the Customer from agency services in future in the event of breaches of this provision. Furthermore, the Provider is entitled to cancel the booking in such cases, while the Agent may also declare the cancellation of the booking. In addition, the Customer is required to pay any cancellation fees and compensate any losses incurred by the Agent and/or the Provider.
4.4 The accommodation is reserved as soon as the booking is made, and the reservation is valid without confirmation. The booking confirmation appears on the screen and is also sent to the Customer by email and, if requested, by text message in abbreviated form. The customer is responsible for creating the conditions to ensure that the confirmation sent by email or text message can be received. The validity of the booking is not affected thereby; this applies, in particular, if an incorrect email address or telephone number has been entered.
4.5 During the booking process, special rates may be displayed that require full or partial payment in advance. In these cases, the precise terms can be viewed before the final booking is made. Usually, a booking of this sort can be made only by credit card, which will be charged immediately by the Provider of the booked accommodation. Over the course of this type of bookings, the Customer accepts that the booking fee or total amount, including any taxes or fees, shown on the booking screen will be charged directly to his or her credit card.
If the provider agrees to an advance payment on the price of the accommodation that is not paid by credit card, the Provider is entitled to cancel the booking if it does not receive the advance payment within the period specified in the booking confirmation. Furthermore, failure to make an advance payment does not release the Customer from the obligation to properly cancel the booking and settle the resulting cancellation costs.
4.6 Depending on the type of booking, a credit card number and the date of expiry of the credit card may have to be stored as part of the booking procedure. Explicit reference is always made on the booking screen that a credit card number needs to be specified. These details are passed on to the Provider of the accommodation in question and verified before confirmation of the booking. Your credit card is a guarantee of payment to the Provider of all costs incurred for the booked accommodation.
4.7 The costs are directly charged to your credit card by the Provider, to whom the card must be presented. The time at which the charge is made is determined by the Provider's conditions.
4.8 The credit card acts as security for the Provider and any cancellation costs or compensation may be charged to it by the Provider. If verification of the credit card details determines that they are not correct or that the card cannot be charged, the Provider may cancel the booking through the Agent.
4.9 In the case of hotel bookings, a maximum of nine rooms may be booked online. Reservations of more than nine rooms must be made via the Agent's group booking services, the booking confirmation for which is binding. Splitting a booking for more than nine rooms into several individual bookings for a maximum of nine rooms each is not permitted. There are special enquiry modules available to the Customer for special room requirements for trade fairs and conferences, events and group bookings (10 rooms or more).
5. Changes and cancellations
5.1 Depending on the Provider's conditions, after making the reservation, the Customer is required to pay the agreed price (or a part thereof) for the accommodation if the reservation is not cancelled in time or the accommodation is not taken up without cancellation. The detailed cancellation conditions depend on the Provider in question and the type of booking and are specified separately on the relevant booking screen and accepted by the Customer.
5.2 In order to avoid misunderstandings, all changes and cancellations must be made via the Agent's online portal. This requires direct input via the online portal or notification via +49 (0)221 2077 6033 of the agent. Written notices must be sent no later than 24 hours prior to the end of the cancellation period of the Agent to email@example.com. Timeliness of the change or cancellation is determined based on receipt of the notice by the Agent. The cancellation period is usually based on local time at the location of the reserved accommodation. If cancellation is made on time and in accordance with the conditions, a cancellation confirmation is issued. Such confirmation provides proof of cancellation and must therefore be kept on file. Whether costs are charged for the cancellation or change is determined by the Provider's booking or cancellation conditions.
5.3 Changes and cancellations are possible before expiry of the cancellation period set in the relevant cancellation conditions. In the case of certain changes, such as a reduction in the length of stay, the Provider may, however, pursue claims for any losses. In the case of special rates, services and/or dates and for bookings at very short notice, providers often do not allow cancellation free of charge.
5.4 In order to prevent misuse of the online portal and avoid causing unnecessary problems for the Provider with incorrect bookings, the Agent reserves the right to cancel a reservation in individual cases if the Customer cannot be contacted using the contact details provided or the Provider declines the booking because of frequent cancellations or no-shows in the past. In such cases, the Customer is not entitled to any accommodation. In order to prevent this kind of cancellation, the Customer usually has the option to make a booking by providing a credit card number, however.
6. Categories of accommodations and information regarding accommodations
6.1 All information regarding and descriptions of accommodations are based on providers’ own information. The agent has no influence over this information and does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness thereof.
6.2 The accommodations offered are categorized based on the categories of the agent’s own classification system. In addition to categories in other classification systems (for example, the classifications prescribed by law in some federal states), this system is based primarily on customers’ experiences and reviews and information from providers that the agent may have checked. The classification merely provides non-binding information on the standard and features of the accommodation.
7. Accommodation ranking/listing
7.1 Following a query on the website or app, the first accommodation shown to the customer will be the accommodation that best meets a variety of criteria (including value for money, flexible booking conditions, high level of customer satisfaction, broad range of offerings, good features, free additional benefits such as parking spaces or Wi-Fi, high conversion rate, extensive description and many images of the accommodation, central location, etc.).
7.2 In promotion periods, some accommodations may, in exchange for a fee, have a more visible rank or a different rank in this list. This is just one of more than 80 criteria that affect the listing of accommodations and by itself is not enough to ensure a top rank. Of course, the customer can filter and sort the „Recommendations“ list based on his/her own criteria („price per night“, for example).
8. Accommodation prices
8.1 Unless specified otherwise in the booking conditions, all prices are per night for each individual accommodation and, depending on the booking conditions, may include or exclude breakfast (this may also differ for a booking period of several days). The ancillary services offered depend on the provider and must be paid separately.
8.2 Providers are required to display the final price, including taxes. However, price information is solely made available by the provider itself. Local provisions determine which taxes and other duties are incurred for accommodation abroad.
8.3 If the currency selected by the customer differs from the currency requested by the provider, the prices in the search results will be shown in the selected currency for convenience. However, the local currency specified in the price conditions is binding for the booking, and there may be exchange rate differences.
8.4 The option to update prices constantly and bookings made by other customers in the meantime on the agent’s online portal may occasionally mean that the prices on the accommodation’s detailed page differ from the prices shown previously in the list of accommodations. The final price indicated before completion of the booking process is decisive for the customer.
9. Data privacy
9.1 The agent only collects, processes and uses the customer’s personal data to the extent that the customer consents thereto or a legal provision permits the collection, processing and use of such data. The agent only collects, processes and uses data which are required for the provision of its services and the use and operation of the online portal and/or the services offered on the online portal.
9.2 Under no circumstances does the agent sell data to third parties. Data are only transferred to third parties to the extent required for bookings/reservations with the provider chosen by the customer or the performance of other services which must be provided by the agent. This expressly includes any transfer to affiliates or other subcontractors of the agent for the purposes of executing the booking within the scope of the respective contractual structures and within the framework of the valid legal regulations, in particular in respect of data privacy.
9.3 Further information regarding data privacy and the treatment of personal data is contained in the data privacy notice.
10.1 If the Agent has been provided with the Customer's email address within the context of the booking or registration for the closed area through individual customer log-in, the agent uses such address in accordance with the provisions of § 7, Paragraph 3 of the German Unfair Practices Act for the purpose of electronic advertising for its own similar services. In doing so, the Agent shall make every effort to send the Customer advertising materials that are tailored to his or her interests. The Customer may refuse to receive electronic advertising at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org without incurring any costs other than the communication costs in accordance with the basic rates.
10.2 In addition, the Agent reserves the right to create usage profiles under pseudonyms within the meaning of Section 15 (3) of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) for the purposes of advertising, market research and design of the online portal in line with demand. The Customer may object to the creation of such a usage profile at any time by sending a simple email to email@example.com.
11. Warranty and liability
11.1 All of the agent’s information has been compiled with the greatest care. However, no warranty can be made for any errors in data collection or transfer. The transfer of data to other data carriers, even in part, or use for purposes other than those provided for hereunder is only permitted with the express consent of the agent.
11.2 Some of the information on the agent’s online portal is provided by providers, other customers and third parties. All providers, customers and third parties bear sole responsibility for the accuracy, completeness and topicality of the information they upload, including specified prices and availability. Moreover, they ensure that content that violates the legal positions of third parties is not uploaded. The agent cannot review this information and therefore assumes no warranty for the accuracy, completeness, quality or legality of information usage.
11.3 The customer will release the agent from all claims due to third parties as a result of a violation of the obligations specified under 11.2. The customer will also support the agent in its defence of such claims and provide all necessary information to it.
11.4 The agent does not take ownership of this content or customer reviews. Rather, customer reviews merely reflect the personal opinion of the authors. The agent has no influence on the form, content and user IDs used for these reviews and therefore assumes no responsibility in this respect.
11.5 The arrangement of accommodation through the agent’s online portal is free for the customer. At the same time, however, the customer does not have any claim to the temporal and spatial availability of the agent’s services. The agent is not liable for (partial) service interruptions and outages due to repair, maintenance or update work or for other reasons beyond its direct control or that only interfere with use of the services to a negligible extent.
11.6 The agent is not liable for the completion of a booking, nor is it liable for defects or damage incurred in connection with the provider’s rendering of the accommodation service. The agent makes no assurances in respect of the fulfilment of particular requests made by the customer and also assumes no warranty in this respect.
11.7 Moreover, the agent’s liability is excluded for all damage, irrespective of the legal cause, unless the damage
a) is based on culpable breach of material contractual duties, i.e. duties whose fulfilment makes proper performance of the agreement possible in the first place and on whose compliance the contractual partner should normally be able to rely;
b) was caused by gross negligence or intent on the part of the agent, or
c) constitutes an injury to life, limb or health, damage as defined by the German Act on Liability for Defective Products or other obligatory legal cases of liability.
11.8 If the agent is liable in accordance with number 11.7 for the culpable violation of material contractual duties in the absence of gross negligence and intent, the agent’s entire liability is limited to such damage and the extent of damage whose occurrence the agent could typically foresee in accordance with the circumstances of which it was aware at the time of contract conclusion.
11.9 Warranty claims and claims for compensation are barred by the statute of limitations no later than one year after the time when the customer became aware of the damaging event. This does not apply to claims resulting from tort.
12.1 German law applies to the exclusion of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the conflict of law rules of international private law.
12.2 The online dispute resolution platform of the European Commission can be reached using the following link: Online Dispute Resolution. The agent does not participate in dispute resolution proceedings before a consumer arbitration board and is also not required to do so.
12.3 The place of performance is Cologne. Cologne is agreed as the place of jurisdiction for merchants and persons who do not have a place of general jurisdiction in Germany. The statutory place of jurisdiction applies in all other cases.
12.4 Use of the agent’s online portal and its content is only permitted for individual queries relating to accommodation bookings. Automated queries are not permitted. The data material is copyrighted, and any duplication thereof (particularly by means of „scraping“) is therefore prohibited. In particular, use of the data material (such as query results in particular) for resale purposes is also prohibited.
12.5 Links on this website to the websites of other companies (third-party providers) are solely provided in the customer’s interest. If the customer clicks on such a link, he/she will leave the agent’s website. The agent has no control over the content of third-party providers’ websites. The agent therefore cannot assume any warranty for the accuracy, completeness or security of this third-party content.
12.6 The agent reserves the right to modify these GTCs for holders of a My HOTEL DE Account, and such modifications become effective for the future. The agent will email customers holding a My HOTEL DE Account the new version of the GTCs no later than four weeks prior to their planned entry into force and effect and indicate the intended modifications. Unless the customer rejects the same within four weeks from the date of receipt of the aforementioned notice, the new version of the GTCs is deemed to have been accepted. The agent will advise the customer regarding the above-described option to reject the new version as well as the consequences of failure to reject the same.
12.7 If a provision in this agreement is invalid or unenforceable, this provision should be interpreted in a manner that is compatible with the applicable law and that corresponds as much as possible to the original intention of the parties. The remainder of the agreement is not affected thereby.
Status: May 2018