The Abritel site sued by the DGCCRF (© Screenshot of the Abritel site)
While crooks scam Internet users with false ads on the vacation rental site, the DGCCRF believes that the platform has misled its customers about the checks carried out.
(BFM Immo) – The Repression of Fraud announced on Tuesday that it had taken the accommodation rental platform Abritel before the Paris court for “deceptive commercial practice”. The managers of the platform, the companies HomeAway France and EG Vacation Rentals Ireland Limited, are accused of having misled their customers about the checks carried out by the platform, or “on the scope of the platform’s commitments and on the processing of complaints “, indicates the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) in a press release.
The organization took up this case “following several reports to its services or in the media of cases of consumers victims of fraudulent advertisements” on the platform. In March, legal action was taken against HomeAway by 64 people claiming to be victims of fraudulent ads on the site, the newspaper revealed The Parisian. They criticized the company for not having prevented the publication of these announcements and for not having then put in place sufficient means of verification.
Some of the complainants had contacted the “owners” of the rental properties directly by email and had paid without going through the website. The crooks then sent a payment request by email with the platform logo.
The Repression of Fraud carried out an investigation on this subject in 2020 and 2021, which “revealed a commercial communication extolling the controls carried out, the reliability, the security and the guarantees of use of the platform, in contradiction with its conditions general use, which greatly reduce its effective scope, “she said in her press release.
Use the platform’s payment tool
Contacted by AFP, the company Abritel is surprised by this assignment, and claims to have made changes to its site to “strengthen communication towards consumers and better alert them to the need to use the payment made available by the platform, in order to secure online reservations “.
Those responsible for the platform therefore say they are “confident” in their ability to defend themselves in court. If, however, justice proves Abritel wrong, this action could “facilitate the compensation of the victims of these practices”, estimates the DGCCRF.
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