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Sonder Removes Cleaning Fees Across Portfolio

Vindow Adds Renewal Module, Targets Large TMCs

Sonder has removed all standard
cleaning fees across their portfolio and offers a more up-front pricing
breakdown prior to booking, the company announced Wednesday.

The update enables users to
search and book a property with a more accurate nightly rate, which includes
tax and a $0 cleaning fee. The move signifies Sonder’s shift to a more
transparent booking system for corporate travelers.

“Having a consistent price
structure across our portfolio helps guests make informed decisions… We
believe that pricing transparency is important for consumers and is also valued
in our fast-growing corporate travel business,” Sonder representative told BTN
over email.

Price Transparency Is Growing Point
of Contention in Hospitality

Price transparency has been a
hospitality industry sticking point for consumer and managed business
travelers. Major hotel brands have been sued
for undisclosed fees that have created an illusion of a lower price only to
levy fees upon checkout that hike up the total charge.

While cleaning fees on Sonder and
other tech-powered hospitality platforms, including Airbnb, are shown prior to
booking, the practice of separating them from the total rate has come under
increasing fire from consumers. Even the Wall
Street Journal has profiled Airbnb users that paid more in cleaning fees
than in rental rates.

In an increasingly competitive
market, players are looking to remedy the situation. Airbnb is rolling out a
search feature to display the property’s “total price” which includes “all
fees, before taxes,” according to the company’s website. This feature will
offer a more up-front view of the overall cost of a stay before the final
booking stages. The Airbnb website does not state when the feature will be
available.

Sonder has moved more quickly and,
according to the company, is “going a step further to simplify pricing by
rethinking our services in line with guest trends and removing standard fees
where they aren’t needed.”

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