(WTTV/WXIN) — Airbnb is making more changes to cut down on surprise fees that have angered many guests over the last year.
In addition to more upfront pricing, the company is moving to get rid of cleaning fees. At least, separate cleaning fees.
The issue of fees and pricing blew up last year on Twitter when an Airbnb guest thought she was staying two nights for less than $200. Then the cleaning fee, service fee and taxes brought the total to more than $400.
The reaction and ensuing complaints prompted Airbnb to develop its newer “upfront pricing” on its website. The upfront pricing is an option that includes a toggle button you can activate on the website when renting an Airbnb.
When you turn it on, it shows you what your total price will be before taxes, including all the different fees. That way, you don’t get lulled in by a low base rate, only to be surprised and frustrated when the total goes up later.
The next step, according to CEO Brian Chesky, is eliminating those cleaning fees.
Although, that’s really only partially true. Yes, renters will start seeing the cleaning fee disappearing from the pricing. However, they’re not going away entirely.
“As far as the guest is concerned, when they turn that toggle on, they’re never going to see a cleaning fee,” Chesky said. “It’s going to be baked into that nightly rate, just like a hotel without cleaning fees.”
So, the cleaning fee will still be there, but it will be included in the base nightly rate.
The good news is, that the total price is what you’ll see when you’re looking for your next stay, so you know what to expect.
Also, many Airbnb hosts outsource their cleaning services. By keeping the cleaning fee as part of the nightly rate, they’ll still be able to pay their cleaners a fair living wage.