Let’s take a look at the Airbnb legal challenges in their US operations, and how Airbnb’s biggest problem cancellations that impacted the homestays for vacation rental business. During COVID Airbnb had to make some significant adjustments in 2020 to deal with the pandemic and how it affected both hosts and visitors.
They were also forced to cancel certain bookings due to customer concerns about how they handled refunds. According to several lawsuits filed against Airbnb, the company did not provide refunds or reimburse hosts when bookings were cancelled. As per the reports, instead, retained a large amount of the money.
Farmer vs. Airbnb, according to a potential class action lawsuit, Airbnb Inc. had failed to fulfil its twin pledges to repay guests for cancelled reservations due to the coronavirus epidemic and to give impacted hosts a share of the cancelled bookings.
Guests who requested refunds after COVID were given a travel credit. Because hosts define their own refund procedures, and there was no return from the host. You could get a full refund, but you had to explain why you were returning, your options were limited, and you had to present detailed documentation of why you had cancelled.
Airbnb launched a $250 million fund to compensate guests for money lost. According to the complaint, Airbnb often rejected documentation from customers because it was not satisfactory. According to a complaint, visitors often choose a travel credit that expired at the end of the year. So, according to reports, Airbnb pocketed a significant amount of money while gaining from the free promotion.
Farmers then sued Airbnb for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices since Airbnb’s policy for unusual cases did not allow for travel credits. The court ordered the parties to return to arbitration.
Selden vs. Airbnb was a class-action lawsuit. The host informed Selden that the room was no longer available. Selden then created a bogus profile with a white man’s photograph and attempted to book the same day with the same host, who approved the booking.
Then he attempted to speak with Airbnb about racism, but they did not respond. Airbnb violated his civil rights and the notion that everyone should be treated equally in public places, The court postponed the matter until arbitration, which Selden lost.
He then returned to federal court to challenge the ruling. Because arbitration is confidential and customers can not see the records of the proceedings. Airbnb said that they are not liable for anything because the room was not considered a public accommodation. Since it was in the landlord’s own house, where he resided with his wife, while a hotel is often considered a public facility.
As a result, Airbnb cannot be held legally liable. However, the arbitrator had a restrictive definition of what a public facility is, and it is very difficult for a guest to have an arbitration verdict reversed.
Hosts claim that they share their space, and some times they are picky about who they invite. When a guest signs in, they are surprised that they can no longer see their profile picture. They want a picture of the people they might be hosting. Guest can see the host’s profile, so why can’t the host see the guest’s profile? This might be a way to stop discrimination, but hosts are the ones letting people into their homes.
Then there is another issue of hidden cameras. Airbnb security measures, such as security cameras and noise monitoring devices, are permitted to offer hosts and guests with peace of mind, provided that they are fully mentioned in the listing description and do not violate upon another person’s privacy. It requires hosts to inform guests where cameras are positioned on the property. This includes bedrooms, baths, and other areas where visitors expect to be alone. Airbnb hosts who have hidden cameras have been sued on many occasions.
Airbnb claims to be a brand that values diversity and equality. And it makes it easy for tourists to find cheap accommodation around the world.
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