The European Commission announced today that, as a result of negotiations with Airbnb, the platform has improved and fully clarified the way it presents accommodation offers to consumers, which is now in line with the standards set in EU consumer law. This follows the call from the European Commission and EU consumer authorities in July 2018.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “For these summer holidays, Europeans will simply get what they see when they book their holidays. Comparing and booking online hotel or accommodation has made it fast and easy for consumers. Now consumers can also trust that the price they see on the first page will be the price to pay in the end. I am very satisfied that Airbnb stood ready to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the way its platform works. I expect other platforms to follow suit.”
Airbnb addressed all the demands made by theEuropean Commission and national consumer protection authorities, led by the Norwegian Consumer Authority, to bring their practices and terms fully in line with EU consumer rules.
The main improvements and changes are as follows:
In accommodation searches with selected dates, users see the total price in the results page, including all the applicable mandatory charges and fees (such as service, cleaning charges and local taxes). There are now no surprise mandatory fees appearing on later pages;
Airbnb clearly distinguishes if an accommodation offer is put on the market by a private host or a professional;
Airbnb provides an easily accessible link to the Online Dispute Resolution platform on its website and all the necessary information related to dispute resolution.
Airbnb also revised its terms of service in which it:
makes clear that users can bring a case against Airbnb before the courts of their country of residence;
respects users’ basic legal rights to sue a host in case of personal harm or other damages;
commits not to unilaterally change the terms and conditionswithout clearly informing users in advance and without giving them the possibility to cancel the contract.