Airbnb Told to Stop Smashing on Mystery Costs at the End

By Gary Cutlack on at

Room booking app operator Airbnb has been handed a big of list of things it needs to do better, with EU consumer commissioners warning it to stop hiding additional fees until the very end of the booking process, as that's a bit of a shady thing to do and has ruined many a dream of a cheap night somewhere bearable.

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.

EU commissioner Jourova said: "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. Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules e.g. on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner. I expect Airbnb to follow up swiftly with the right solutions."

It's also been told to sort out its terms and conditions and cancellation policies, as a bunch of globally-targeted impenetrable legalese is not currently considered to cut it. Airbnb's been given until the end of August to spruce things up. [EU via Guardian]