Recently, the European Union it was time for Airbnb to alter their terms and conditions surrounding their pricing and gave the company just seven weeks to do so. The reasoning was based around complying with new consumer rules and increasing overall transparency.
Both the European Commission and EU consumer authorities found that Airbnb’s pricing structure – plus a number of other terms – failed to comply with a plethora of their regulations. One of which was the unfair commercial practices directive.
Consequently, the EU “demanded from Airbnb a number of changes”, such as the way they present price information, their refund policy, and compensation and damage claims. Demands from the EU included providing the total price inclusive of mandatory fees and service charges, so the consumer was fully aware of what they’re paying.
Alternatively, if that isn’t possible, to clearly state to the consumer that additional charges may apply. Moreover, the Airbnb need to clearly inform the consumer on whether the host is a private or professional one, as consumer protection rules do tend to differ. This is so basic legal rights are adhered to, such as suing a host for damages.
Another stipulation was that Airbnb need to place an accessible link on their site to an online dispute resolution platform. The EU made it very obvious how serious they were on the matter, and if changes aren’t made by the deadline, enforcement measures may be implemented.
Vera Jourova, the European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, stated, “popularity cannot be an excuse for not complying with EU consumer rules.” While, on the other hand, a spokesperson for Airbnb said, “we will work together with the authorities to clarify the points raised.”