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Airbnb will now use clearer prices and fairer conditions

11-07-2019

Airbnb now displays the prices of accommodations with all unavoidable costs included. In addition, Airbnb has adjusted its general terms and conditions in favor of consumers. This is the outcome of a collective action taken by European consumer authorities spearheaded by Norway. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has also participated in this action. Over the past few years, ACM has made sure that tour operators in the Netherlands display their prices with all mandatory costs included. This enables consumers to make proper comparisons and informed choices, and it allows businesses to compete fairly against each other. By collaborating with other European consumer authorities, ACM shows that this applies to the whole of Europe.

Clearer about prices and hosts

Airbnb now displays the prices of accommodations on its website and in the app with all unavoidable costs included. Consumers will consequently know right from the start of their search query what the total costs will be. In addition, Airbnb will indicate more clearly whether the host is a private individual or a professional provider. This is important because consumers cannot exercise their consumer rights when renting from a private individual. They can only do so when they book an accommodation from a professional provider.

Fairer terms and conditions

In addition to the adjustments made to its online sales channels, Airbnb has adjusted several conditions that were unfair to consumers. For example, Airbnb asserted that it could cancel a reservation without providing any justification. This is not allowed. Airbnb has now committed to providing adequate justifications for such decisions, and that the consumer in question has the opportunity to file an appeal against such decisions. Furthermore, Airbnb has removed an article in its terms and conditions, which limited Airbnb’s liability in the case of refunds after cancellations. Airbnb has also deleted an article that stipulated that the host was not liable for any damage incurred by the consumer, for example, as a result of negligent property maintenance.

Airbnb has made these adjustments after the European consumer authorities had collectively called on Airbnb to act. 

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