Airbnb comes clean on pricing after enforcement action threat

Home share platform agrees to make changes to how it displays pricing info

Airbnb is now displaying total charges in the results pages in search queries on its platform

Airbnb is now displaying total charges in the results pages in search queries on its platform

 

Airbnb has amended the way it presents pricing information to consumers after the European Commission took it to task for not being transparent enough on the cost of bookings.

In addition to displaying total charges in the results pages in search queries, Airbnb now makes it clear if the accommodation offer is being made by a private host or a professional.

The European Commission had said the online home share company had agreed to clarify the way it presented accommodation offers on its platform to ensure it complies with EU consumer law.

The move comes after a warning of enforcement action by the commission last July when it warned Airbnb that its terms and conditions fell foul of consumer rules.

The company was give just six weeks to present proposals to bring its pricing presentation in line with EU law so that consumers see the total price for offers on accommodation, including service and cleaning charges and local taxes.

Airbnb has also provided an accessible link for users to its online dispute resolution platform and made several changes to its terms of services, including highlighting how consumers can bring cases against Airbnb before the courts of their country of residence.

“For these summer holidays, Europeans will simply get what they see when they book their holidays. Comparing and booking online hotel or accommodation has made it fast and easy for consumers. Now consumers can also trust that the price they see on the first page will be the price to pay in the end,” said Vera Jourova, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality.

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

According to its own figures, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over $100 billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries last year.

In Ireland, some 1.8 million visitors stayed in accommodation listed on the Airbnb site in 2018 with the company estimating that its presence here led to a €700 million boost for the local economy.