Consumer protectionAirbnb commits to making changes to fulfill EU consumer rules

After a call from the European Commission and EU consumer authorities in July 2018, Airbnb has now announced to comply with demands regarding EU consumer rules. Specifically, Airbnb committed to making necessary adjustments to their terms and conditions as well as improving transparent price display online. These changes have to be completed until the end of 2018 on all EU language versions of their website.

These are the details:

Price transparency and clarifying hosts

  • Airbnb announced to present the total booking price – that is including extra fees for service and cleaning. If final prices may not be available in advance, Airbnb has to clearly inform consumers about additional charges.

  • Moreover, Airbnb has to clearly indicate whether an accommodation is offered by a private or professional host, since consumer protection rules vary for each.

Clarified terms of service and removal of illegal terms

  • Given personal harm or other damages, it will be clearly stated that consumers are able to use all legal remedies at hand and specifically their right to sue a host.

  • It will be clear to consumers that they are entitled to bring proceedings against Airbnb before the courts of their country of residence.

  • In addition, Airbnb is required to inform consumers in case of terminating a contract or removing content. If suitable, it will offer consumers the right to appeal and to compensation.

Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, noted: "The online players have revolutionized the way we travel, find accommodation and experience our holidays. But they also need to fully comply with the rules and take responsibility when things go bad. But EU consumers enjoy rights both off-line and online. I welcome Airbnb's willingness to do the necessary changes to ensure full transparency and understanding of what consumers pay for. This action is part of a larger push for stronger protection of consumers online. That's why we proposed reinforced consumer rules under the ‘New Deal for Consumers' a few months ago."

Source: European Commission

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