Airbnb to Encourage Hosts to Provide Full Prices Up Front and Cut Down on Guests’ Chores
By Yehudit Garmaise
When Airbnb first launched its short-term rental business in 2007, travelers worldwide soon loved the idea they had the option to rent other people’s homes for a few days or weeks, rather than stay in impersonal, cramped hotel rooms.
Although the nightly costs per night in Airbnb rentals often seem favorable compared to hotel rates, over the years, customers have been complaining that prices end up much higher than they were led to think when they first saw the units on the site.
Customers say that they feel that hosts lure them in with low prices that get inflated after cleaning fees and other service charges are added.
Airbnb travelers have also kvetched that not only do they not like fulfilling hosts’ lists of chores, but guests do not feel that they should be charged for neglecting to tidy up before checking out.
Cleaning up after themselves does not seem to play a part in many guests’ vacation plans, despite the fact that Airbnb customers choose to stay in the homes, where many people actually live, and not in hotels that employ daily cleaning staffs.
Starting in December, however, Airbnb will no longer allow hosts to bury hidden fees and charges in their nightly rental prices.
“I’ve heard you loud and clear: you feel like prices aren’t transparent and checkout tasks are a pain,” CEO Brian Chesky tweeted Monday morning.
Starting in December, Airbnb said, the rental platform will try to promote transparent pricing by offering hosts the option to show the total prices of their listings up front: including cleaning fees and service fees.
Under Airbnb’s new transparency pricing option, taxes still do not have to be listed up front, the Washington Post reported.
Airbnb is also telling hosts that they should ensure that they are only making requests that are “reasonable and clear” to visitors who are checking out.
“We started as an affordable alternative to hotels, and affordability is especially important today,” Chesky tweeted.
“Guests should not have to do unreasonable checkout tasks such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming when leaving their Airbnb,” Airbnb said “But we think it’s reasonable to ask guests to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors: just like they would when leaving their own home.”