Airbnb accedes to all of the European Commission’s demands

The European Commission announced that, as a result of negotiations with Airbnb, the platform has improved and fully clarified the way it presents accommodation offers to consumers, which is now in line with the standards set in EU consumer law.

Background

The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network carried out a joint assessment of Airbnb’s practices and terms of service, under the facilitation of the European Commission and the lead of the Norwegian Consumer Authority (Forbrukertilsynet). The action was launched in July 2018.

The EU Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation links national consumer authorities in a pan-European enforcement network. On that basis, a national authority in one EU country can request the assistance of other authorities in another EU country to stop a cross-border infringement of EU consumer law.

The cooperation can be activated to enforce various bodies of EU consumer legislation, such as for instance the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Consumer Rights Directive or the Unfair Contract Terms Directive.

The main improvements and changes are as follows:

  • In accommodation searches with selected dates, users see the total price in the results page, including all the applicable mandatory charges and fees (such as service, cleaning charges and local taxes). There are now no surprise mandatory fees appearing on later pages;
  • Airbnb clearly distinguishes if an accommodation offer is put 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 the necessary information related to dispute resolution.

Airbnb also revised its terms of service in which it:

  • makes clear that users can bring a case against Airbnb before the courts of their country of residence;
  • respects users’ basic legal rights to sue a host in case of personal harm or other damages;
  • commits not to unilaterally change the terms and conditions without clearly informing users in advance and without giving them the possibility to cancel the contract.

For more information: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/live_work_travel_in_the_eu/consumers/documents/airbnb_factsheet.pdf

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