Airbnb fined $10.1 million, here’s why – Times of India

Airbnb Fined AUD 15 million, about US$10.1 million Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to mislead the user about it pricing practices in Australia in 2018 and 2021. as a result Federal CourtUnder the order, Airbnb will also offer millions of dollars in compensation to customers affected by the same incident.
Airbnb was found to have made false or misleading claims to approximately 70,000 customers between January 2018 and August 2021. Prices were displayed USD using the “$” sign, but it was not clear that they were not Australian Dollar.
In the Federal Court ruling, Judge Sean McElwain said the company did not properly disclose that the price was in US dollars, except at the bottom of the first three booking webpages. It was only shown more clearly on the fourth page when the customer confirmed the booking.
Airbnb admits to Australian breach Consumer Law It would not be clearly disclosed that the price was in US dollars. The company attributed the problem to a software bug that failed to set the default local currency for Australian users. Airbnb's board was aware of these customer complaints back in 2018.
The company was ordered to pay up to $15 million in refunds and conversion fees to affected customers. Customers are expected to receive an average compensation of A$230.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb's country manager for Australia and New Zealand, said they immediately noticed the lack of currency clarity on their site after it was brought to their attention.
The chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Gina Cass-Gottlieb, said the provision of compensation would have a significant impact on affected consumers.
“Eligible users will be contacted by Airbnb within the next 45 days and invited to file a claim, but they can also contact Airbnb to inquire about their claim if they believe they are eligible for compensation and have not been contacted by that date,” Cass. Gottlieb said.
During this time, 63,000 users made approximately 77,000 reservations. Airbnb has already refunded the full price of accommodation to 8,000 users, totaling A$9.4 million. Of these, approximately 2,000 users complained to Airbnb.
“While only a very small percentage of Australian visitors are believed to be affected, we are disappointed that this has occurred. Airbnb would like to apologize to these guests,” Wheeldon said in a statement.
The court found that the total value of the difference between Australian and US prices was A$16.8 million, with Airbnb receiving approximately A$9 million in revenue.
As part of the settlement with the ACCC, Airbnb will pay an additional $400,000 to cover the commission's legal costs.