Airbnb warned by EU over hidden prices

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Airbnb warned by EU over hidden prices

By
17 July 2018

By | 17 July 2018

The accommodation website has been found to be in breach of the EU’s rules

Airbnb will have until the end of August to reform its pricing structure or it could face action from European regulators.

The home sharing website is in breach of EU rules over hidden costs and has been told to make changes to how it presents its prices to customers.

“Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services," said EU commissioner, Věra Jourová Group Created with Sketch. “Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services,” said EU commissioner, Věra Jourová – Dutch Government / Martijn Beekman

This includes adding fees and charges, such as for cleaning services, that are not displayed in the initial cost.

Airbnb was also found to have unclear terms and conditions and told to end its policy of tackling legal complaints in countries foreign to the complainants.

The European Commission accused it of “forgetting its responsibilities”.

Věra Jourová, the commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said in a statement: “More and more consumers book their holiday accommodation online and this sector has brought many new opportunities to holidaymakers. But popularity cannot be an excuse for not complying with EU consumer rules.

“Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules, for example on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner.

“I expect Airbnb to follow up swiftly with the right solutions.”

The Commission has received 6,000 complaints about Airbnb, but this is considered to be the “tip of the iceberg”.

Airbnb will have until the end of August to reform its pricing structure — Shutterstock Group Created with Sketch. Airbnb will have until the end of August to reform its pricing structure – Shutterstock

A spokesperson for Airbnb said: “We take this issue seriously and are committed to being as transparent as possible for our community.

“Guests are made aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, prior to confirming their decision to book a listing and we will work together with the authorities to clarify the points raised.”

Jourová told reporters in Brussels: “More and more consumers book their holiday accommodation online and this sector has brought many new opportunities to holidaymakers.

“But popularity cannot be an excuse for not complying with EU consumer rules. Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services, and have fair rules, [for example] on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner. I expect Airbnb to follow up swiftly with the right solutions.”