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Airbnb settles Quebec class-action lawsuit over clear pricing

Last Updated Oct 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm EST

An Airbnb logo is pictured on Feb. 22, 2018. Quebec Airbnb users could be in line for a payment worth $45 after the company reached a settlement in a class action over alledged misleading prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eric Risberg

MONTREAL — Quebec Airbnb users could be in line for payments worth up to $45 after the company reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over misleading prices.

Customers represented by LPC Avocat Inc. launched the class-action case in 2017 over the company’s practice of adding charges at checkout, something the law firm said is illegal under Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act.

Plaintiffs alleged Airbnb added between 13 and 17 per cent to the total price as service fees at the last step of checkout, while Airbnb denies the allegations and said it didn’t violate the law.

As part of the settlement reached Sept. 23, any Quebec resident who booked on the Airbnb platform between Aug. 22, 2014 and June 26, 2019 where there was a higher price at checkout than on the first stage of browsing could be in line for the $45 payment in Airbnb credits.

LPC Avocat says the settlement totals $3 million worth of Airbnb credits.

The Superior Court of Quebec will hold a hearing on Dec. 3 to determine if it will approve the settlement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2019.

The Canadian Press