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European consumer authorities demand transparent prices and fair terms and conditions from Airbnb

16-07-2018

The joint European consumer authorities want Airbnb to state clearly its prices and to stop using unfair general terms and conditions. The company has until the end of August to indicate how they will make these adjustments. The European consumer authorities work together in the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is part of this network. Airbnb is one of the largest online providers of holiday accommodations in Europe. Transparent prices and terms and conditions are an important area of focus for ACM, as well as for Europe, in their oversight of online providers.

Adjustments are required

The European consumer authorities have called on Airbnb to make the following adjustments:

  • To state prices that include all unavoidable costs;
  • To differentiate between accommodations offered by private hosts, and those offered by professionals.

The regulators also require that Airbnb adjust its terms and conditions. The company is currently using a number of general terms and conditions that limit the rights of consumers in a way that is not allowed, for example:

  • Airbnb  is able to terminate the contract unilaterally without having to provide a justification for doing so, and without compensating consumers or allowing them the right to appeal;
  • Airbnb is able to change the terms of the contract unilaterally without informing the consumer it did so, and without allowing the consumer the opportunity to terminate the contract.
  • Airbnb denies consumers the right to hold the owner of the accommodation responsible for personal harm or other damages.

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