Airbnb cooperates with the European Commission on consumer offers

Europe: After negotiations with Airbnb, the European Commission confirmed that the platform has improved and fully clarified the way it presents accommodation offers to consumers.

He announced that Airbnb had brought its operations into line with the standards set by European consumer law, following calls from the European Commission and European consumer protection authorities last July.

Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “For this summer vacation, Europeans will simply have what they see when they book their vacation. Comparing and booking hotels or accommodations online has made it quick and easy for consumers.

“Now consumers can also be sure that the price they see on the first page will ultimately be the price they pay. I am very pleased that Airbnb has shown willingness to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the functioning of its platform.

“I expect other platforms to follow,” she added.

In an announcement, the Commission said Airbnb had responded to all its requests, as well as those of national consumer protection authorities, led by the Norwegian Consumer Authority, to bring their practices and conditions into full compliance with EU protection rules consumers.

Here are the major improvements and changes listed:

• In accommodation searches with selected dates, users see the total price in the results page, including all applicable mandatory fees and charges (such as service, cleaning fees, and local taxes). There are no more surprise mandatory fees appearing on the following pages;

• Airbnb clearly distinguishes whether an accommodation offer is placed 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 necessary information relating to dispute resolution.

• Airbnb has also revised its terms of service in which:

– specifies that users can file a complaint against Airbnb before the courts of their country of residence;
– respects users’ basic legal rights to sue a host for personal injury or other damages;
– undertakes not to unilaterally modify the terms and conditions without clearly informing the users beforehand and without giving them the possibility of terminating the contract.

A joint assessment was carried out on Airbnb’s practices and terms of use by the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network, under the aegis of the European Commission and under the direction of the Norwegian Consumer Authority (Forbrukertilsynet ).

According to the European Commission, the EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation connects national consumer protection authorities in a pan-European enforcement network. Thus, a national authority of an EU country can “request the assistance of other authorities of another EU country to put an end to a cross-border infringement of EU consumer law”.

For more information, visit the European Commission website here.

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