F-rated Company Offering Hotel Reservation Services

July 12, 2016

BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties is warning conference attendees about F-rated Exhibitors Housing Management, a company offering hotel reservation services. 

Exhibitors Housing Management came to the attention of BBB in spring of 2016. BBB has received 33 complaints from conference, convention or trade show attendees and hosts that allege the company calls and claims to be acting on behalf of the conference host and will make housing arrangements for attendees. 

According to complainants, Exhibitors Housing Management contacts conference attendees claiming that they can assist in booking hotel reservations. In some cases, complainants allege EHM booked rooms at a higher rate than what the actual conference offered, and when asked to cancel, attendees were informed that a 25% deposit would not be refunded. In addition, complainants allege that when contacted by EHM, the company insisted that the attendee needed to cancel a current reservation and rebook with EHM to be placed in a specific block of rooms. Complainants claim that EHM provided detailed information regarding the locations, dates, and times of conferences, making their pitch believable.

On April 14, 2016 Direct Selling Association, a retail channel that markets products and services to consumers, sent a cease and desist order to Exhibitors Housing management for misrepresenting themselves as being affiliated with Direct Selling Association. On May 19, 2016, the attorney for Direct Selling Association contacted BBB regarding Exhibitors Housing Management, as the business address is located in San Diego, CA. 

Upon closer review of the 33 complaints on file, BBB recognized that the company was misrepresenting themselves to be affiliated with numerous businesses that were hosting trade shows and conferences at hotels around the country. Exhibitors Housing Market has not responded to any of the 33 complaints filed with BBB. On June 27, 2016, BBB contacted the business to address this issue and is awaiting the business’ reply. 

BBB offers the following advice when booking travel:

  • Start your research at bbb.org. Read complaints and reviews from previous customers.
  • Book directly with the hotel or use a local travel agency or well-known aggregator with a good BBB rating. Verify directly with the hotel after booking through an online booking website.
  • Ask detailed questions and get answers in writing. Always ask for confirmation of your travel arrangements in writing and ensure you receive copies of cancellation and refund policies.
  • Be wary of claims of enormous savings, “best deal” guarantees and any statement you cannot verify prior to making a purchase.
  • When doing business with a travel agency for the first time, check to see if they are a member of a recognized association, such as the American Society of Travel Agents.
  • Pay with a credit card so you have additional protections if there is a problem.
  • Contact BBB if you are a victim of fraud. Your BBB helps businesses and consumers through complaint and dispute resolution services.

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, which was founded in 1921, and is San Diego’s largest countywide business membership organization with more than 7,000 accredited businesses and charities. Before buying decisions are made, consumers are encouraged to phone BBB’s free 24-hour Consumer Helpline at (858) 496-2131, or visit the website at bbb.org, to obtain free pre-purchase information and a list of BBB Accredited Businesses by type of industry.