Airbnb Responds to Two Huge Complaints: Hidden Fees and Chores
One of Airbnb’s most ridiculed features — fees that can drive up rental prices on the platform from the numbers originally shown in search results — will no longer be hidden, the company announced Monday.
Starting in December, Airbnb said it will begin offering users the option to view the full price of a listing upfront, including cleaning fees and service charges, but not taxes. The total will also be displayed on the map, filter, and list page. The company said it would make the move in countries that don’t yet have price display requirements.
The company also said it tells hosts that any requests for departing visitors must be reasonable and clear to guests before booking. Many users have taken to social media to complain about a long list of tasks they must complete before leaving, likening the experience to assigned tasks. The comedians also mocked the practice.
“I heard you loud and clear – you feel like pricing isn’t transparent and payment tasks are a pain,” CEO Brian Chesky tweeted Monday morning.
Airbnb will prioritize the total price — instead of the nightly price — in its algorithm that determines search ranking. This means that houses with the best quality and the best total prices will be ranked higher if there are similar options in the same area.
“We started as an affordable alternative to hotels, and affordability is especially important today,” Chesky wrote on Twitter.
“Guests shouldn’t have to perform unreasonable payment tasks such as stripping beds, doing laundry or vacuuming when leaving their Airbnb,” the company said in its press release. “But we think it’s reasonable to ask guests to turn off lights, throw food in the trash and lock doors, as they would when leaving their own homes.”