As Airbnb continues to expand overseas, it is bound to run in some problems. One of its most pressing problems at the moment is its service within the European Union. Recently, consumer regulators have complained that Airbnb’s prices are not transparent and its terms of services are not up to par. Specifically, the EU is not satisfied with Airbnb’s presentation of prices of holiday bookings. Consumer regulators from the EU also feel that Airbnb’s terms of services should allow consumers the right to sue in the event they are harmed. If Airbnb does not provide a solution to the EU’s liking, the app could face sanctions as early as this fall.
EU Commissioner for Consumers, Vera Jourova, wrote in a statement, “More and more consumers book their holiday accommodation online and this sector has brought many new opportunities to holidaymakers. But popularity cannot be an excuse for not complying with EU consumer rules.” Jourova later wrote, “Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules [for example] on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner. I expect Airbnb to follow up swiftly with the right solutions.”
In response, a spokesperson for Airbnb stated, “We take this issue seriously and are committed to being as transparent as possible for our community. Guests are made aware of all fees, including service charges and taxes, prior to confirming their decision to book a listing, and we will work together with the authorities to clarify the points raised.”
The EU will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the necessary changes are made in the near future.
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