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Airbnb decides to conform to EU consumer rules

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Airbnb decides to conform to EU consumer rules

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(BRUSSELS) - Following its negotiations with Airbnb, the EU Commission announced Thursday that the accommodation platform had improved and 'fully clarified' the way it presents offers to consumers.

"For these summer holidays, Europeans will simply get what they see when they book their holidays," said Consumers Commissioner Vera Jourova. Following the agreement - which followed a call from the Commission and EU consumer bodies in July 2018 - consumers would now be able to trust that the price they see on the first page will be the price they pay in the end, she said.

"I am very satisfied that Airbnb stood ready to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the way its platform works." She added that she now expected other platforms to follow suit.

Airbnb addressed all the demands made by the Commission and national consumer protection authorities - which were led by the Norwegian Consumer Authority - to bring their practices and terms fully in line with EU consumer rules.

The main improvements and changes are:

  • 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.

Airbnb changes and consumer enforcement actions - further information

Facstheet with Airbnb's changes

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