European Union wants Airbnb to answer consumer complaints, adapt rules

EU Commission Airbnb under fire over pricing policy		Posted by Vento on 17th July 2018 in International News

Airbnb is in breach of EU consumer rules and deprives consumers of their basic rights, the European Commission has announced.

At the moment, the way Airbnb presents its pricing and a number of its terms does not comply with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, and the Regulation on the Jurisdiction in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Additional fees like random room cleaning charges need to be added in to the upfront cost displayed on the listing, and the rental aggregator needs to better indicate when hosts are private punters or professional landlords - as consumer protection rules are different in each case.

These included that the San Francisco-based company could no longer "decide unilaterally and without justification" which terms remained in effect after a contract was ended, or deprive consumers "from their basic legal rights to sue a host" if they suffered personal harm or other damages, the European Union authority said.

On Monday, the European Commission and a number of EU consumer watchdogs accused Airbnb of breaking consumer law. "Consumers must easily understand. how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules for example on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner", EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement. The company has until the end of August to present their proposals.

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ETECSA did not reply to a request for more details for this story. " But they tell us they still aren't ready and will call us ". He further adds that the facility has further added to his convenience as now he can update the live status of the news.

If Airbnb does not propose "detailed solutions" on fixing the problems by the end of next month, there will be a meeting between the company and the regulators in September.

Should Airbnb fail to abide by the EU's demands by the deadline, national consumer authorities in the EU's 28 member states will be empowered to issue individual fines as they see fit.

This is not the first time this summer that Airbnb has had trouble with regulatory authorities. The Directive also requires that terms are drafted in plain and intelligible language so that consumers are informed in a clear and understandable manner about their rights.

There have always been concerns about Airbnb's policies, along with its wider impact on the hospitality industry and residential rents, with local authorities increasingly looking to curb its presence. The move is also an indication of the level of scrutiny that the regulator is prepared for when it comes to protecting consumers in the region. Based on this framework, a national authority in one EU country can request the assistance of their counterpart in another EU country to stop a cross-border infringement of EU consumer law.

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