(South China Morning Post) Two hotels in a famous tourist city in southwest China have been shut down and face investigation after allegations of misleading advertising, fraudulently boosting ratings online and poor service.
One of the hotels in Lijiang in Yunnan province was said to have mocked a customer saying it would charge 100 yuan (US$15) to kill each mosquito in a room as they were kept as “pets”, Chinese state television reported in an expose.
The pledge to investigate the Windflower Snow Moon Hotel and Your Hotel was announced by the authorities in Lijiang in a statement on Sunday.
China Central Television reported on Saturday about the experiences of an undercover reporter.
The two hotels were rated five out of five on the online booking site Meituan.com, claiming to have luxury rooms and high speed internet connections.
One of the hotels was an average house with clothes hung in corridor and public areas, according to the report.
A staff member told the undercover reporter that each hotel would get a 50 per cent kickback of the cash made if customers went shopping or took part in entertainment activities they recommended.
Some guests who refused to go to the venues were kicked out of their rooms, according to the report.
Hotel staff were also urged to boost the ratings of the hotel by fabricating reviews and to delete negative ratings.
One customer said he booked the hotel based on the ratings, but was massively disappointed.
He complained in the middle of the night about mosquito bites, but was mocked by the hotel’s reception.
“I woke up at 3am in the morning and couldn’t sleep because of the mosquitoes. When I called the reception for the mosquito repellent, they did not help me solve the problem. Instead, they said the mosquitoes were hotel pets and they would charge me 100 yuan for each mosquito killed,” the customer was quoted as saying.
The booking site said it had stopped listing the hotels and Lijiang’s government said the two businesses could face severe punishments.