Airbnb breaches European Union consumer rules, must fall in line

17 Juillet, 2018, 17:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • EU Commission Airbnb under fire over pricing policy		Posted by Vento on 17th July 2018 in International News

Specifically, the regulators said Airbnb must show people total prices up-front that include all charges and fees, and it must clearly tell customers whether a property is being offered by a private host or a professional.

Consumer protection rules differ according to which of the two applies.

Short-term rental website Airbnb has breached EU consumer rules by depriving consumers of their basic legal rights, the European Commission said on Monday, as it gave the company an August deadline to propose changes or face enforcement action.

European Union commissioner Jourova said: "More and more consumers book their holiday accommodation online and this sector has brought many new opportunities to holidaymakers".

"Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services", Jourova said.

Airbnb said it was looking into the issues brought to its attention by the European Commission.

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Airbnb have made a statement on the issue, saying they "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".

The company has until the end of August to present its proposals for responding to the criticism which will then be reviewed by the Commission and national consumer authorities.

Airbnb is facing fresh regulatory pressure in Europe.

There have always been concerns about Airbnb's policies, along with its wider impact on the hospitality industry and residential rents, with local authorities increasingly looking to curb its presence.

Last month, it had to cancel thousands of reservations in Japan after the country's government put in place a new law on home-sharing.

She added that the warning would not come "out of the blue" to Airbnb, which is is said to be aiming to have 1 billion annual guests worldwide by 2028.

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