Tourism: the DGCCRF attacks the Abritel rental platform

Here is an advertisement which Abritel would have done well. The General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) announced on Tuesday that it had taken action against the holiday accommodation rental platform, one of the main operators in its sector, before the judicial court of Paris for “misleading commercial practice”.

The procedure specifically targets “platform managers” of French origin, but controlled by the American online travel giant Expedia.

Consumer reports The opening of the investigation was motivated by the receipt by the DGCCRF of several reports of consumers who were victims of fraudulent advertisements on Abritel , with “a prejudice for each consumer often reaching several thousand euros”, specifies the administration. The legal actions of several plaintiffs against the platform are independent of hers, she adds.

Her investigators, who examined the practices of Abritel as a intermediary, noted “allegations” on its website and mobile application “which emphasized the reliability, security and guarantees offered by the platform to its users (owners / guests or vacationers), when booking or rent accommodation. ” ‘use of the platform’. The DGCCRF cites, for example, the reappearance of fraudulent advertisements, however unpublished after their notification.

Contradictions Consequently, estimates the management of Bercy , “The contradiction between the commercial communication of the platform and the reality of the service provided are likely to mislead the consumer and characterize the offense of deceptive commercial practices, punishable by article L. 121 -2 of the Consumer Code. »

For its part, Abritel expresses its astonishment. The platform emphasizes that the DGCCRF has never “indicated to it during its investigation the references present” on its site considered “misleading”, despite its “requests”. “We are therefore surprised to receive a summons without having been able to discuss it with her”, adds Abritel. of its platform, the operator recalls having “always clearly alerted to the need to use” its online payment tool. “We are very confident that we will be able to demonstrate to the court the reality of our constant efforts to encourage holidaymakers to be cautious and not to make transfers outside our platform,” concludes Abritel.