Home Finance Australian regulator sues Airbnb for allegedly misleading customers on pricing

Australian regulator sues Airbnb for allegedly misleading customers on pricing

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Airbnb app is seen on a smartphone on this illustration taken, February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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June 8 (Reuters) – Australia’s competitors regulator on Wednesday mentioned it had initiated proceedings towards Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) within the nation’s Federal Court docket for allegedly deceptive shoppers on pricing for lodging within the nation.

Between January, 2018 and August, 2021, the U.S.-based trip rental firm misled shoppers in Australia by displaying costs for lodging utilizing solely the ‘$’ signal, with out clarifying that the costs have been in U.S. {dollars} and never within the native foreign money, the Australian Competitors & Shopper Fee (ACCC) mentioned in a press release.

Airbnb didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark.

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ACCC mentioned it’s in search of pecuniary penalties and orders to compensate individuals who have been misled about pricing, amongst others.

The regulator added that when Airbnb obtained complaints on pricing, they advised clients that costs have been displayed in U.S. {dollars} as a result of the consumer had chosen that foreign money, which was typically not the case.

“Airbnb’s deceptive conduct meant that customers have been disadvantaged of the chance to make an knowledgeable alternative about whether or not, and at what worth, to e-book their vacation lodging on the Airbnb platform,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb mentioned.

“Along with paying greater costs than anticipated, some shoppers who have been charged in U.S. {dollars} additionally discovered themselves additional out of pocket via foreign money conversion charges charged by their bank card supplier.”

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Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Rashmi Aich

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