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Don't put All Your Eggs in the AirBnB Basket
August 8, 2021

I have rented and hosted on AirBnB for over a decade, and it was one of the main tools we used when I worked for a vacation rental company. I have rented out my own home as well as managed the rental of multiple other properties.

Guests: AirBnB can be a good resource for guests provided they realize it takes more time and effort than booking a hotel. You can both save money and have a better lodging, in a better neighborhood, with a kitchen and sometimes interaction with a local host, if that's your thing. You will probably have a positive experience with renting on AirBnB, provided you:

*Do Not rent from a host with no reviews. Note, some listings have no reviews, but if the host has positive reviews for other properties, chances are they've underpriced their new listing to attract it's first guests and you may get a good deal.

*read the reviews with a jaundiced eye. Most Americans feel intense pressure to be polite in their reviews, and will soften negative feedback. If reviews mention the place had "some noise" and "could have been cleaner", realize it's a dump located directly under a freeway overpass. Most rentals are clean, safe and run by hosts who care, so you'll still find plenty of highly reviewed places without red flags.

*Consider VRBO and homeaway as well - their fees are lower.

Hosts: my advice: Do not list only with AirBnB. The main issue with the company is that they occasionally suspend or terminate host's listings without any notice, warning, or reasons given. It's incredible frustrating, and, if you are counting on AirBnB for some of your income, can really mess you up. They recently suspended my (5 star, 8 year old, suprhost) listing without notice and will not tell me the reason, the result, or give me any timeline about resolution. The only way I knew my listing was turned off was that I happened to go onto one day to update some of the listing details. It took me several days of repeated calls and emails to be able to speak to their customer service people, who told me "I don't handle this type of case, I can't forward you to the people who do. You just have to wait by the phone for them to contact you." And promised me I'd hear from them. Weeks later, I have heard nothing. I know several other hosts to whom this has also happened.

When it works, AirBnB is a fairly well designed tool, but I highly recommend also listing with VRBO, hHomeaway or other sites, so you aren't hamstrung when AirBnB drops the ball.

Airbnb allows rentals of unsafe homes in unsafe neighborhoods
February 13, 2021

Airbnb allows unsafe homes in unsafe neighborhoods to be rented and takes no responsibility for refunds or any action against landlords in bad neighborhoods. My family rented a home in Philadelphia, PA that was in a horrible neighborhood.

Graffiti was sprayed on nearby buildings. Litter was everywhere outside. And the locals yelled profanities at us when we arrived. There was no way I was going allow my family to stay in this home and no way I would allow my vehicle stay on this street overnight.

We called the landlord management company shortly after we arrived. We also called Airbnb. Because Airbnb doesn't set the refund policy, we paid over $1000 for a home we never entered. Shame on you Airbnb.

You're much safer to stay at a reputable hotel than roll the dice with sketchy landlords and sketchy companies like Airbnb. Never again. And I'm not alone. There are tons of similar stories as mine online. And how many that were never reported.

When everything is fine, it's easy to be a good company. But airbnb's true colors came out when things weren't right. Stay away. Far, far away.

I got scammed by Airbnb because of poor quality control
March 23, 2020

I recently booked an apartment through Airbnb and it was a horrible experience. The first thing I noticed was that the apartment looked nothing like how it was described on the listing. There were problems with the toilet, and there was loud construction the entire time I was there. When I contacted customer service to explain to them about the situation and see if they could repair the toilet, they were not helpful at all. I told them my name was Furkat Kasimov, and I explained how the Airbnb owner had been extremely rude, and I felt like this person was a scammer. Despite telling the customer service agent that I felt scammed, they did nothing to help. Not to mention, the rate was more than advertised.

But it didn’t end there. The next day, I got an email saying that my complaint was resolved and I did not need to pay the remaining balance. But then, I got another email from a different customer service agent saying I did owe the rest of the rent payment. Since then, Airbnb has sent me multiple calls and SMS messages, even after midnight. The calls are even being listed as spam, and I am convinced this person at Airbnb is just a spammer who is trying to harass me into paying the balance.

My biggest issue with this whole ordeal is the lack of quality control in Airbnb and their software. If they had taken more steps to ensure the software was higher quality and actually provided the customer with relevant information, they could have avoided this problem. Or at least I would have had a better idea of the state of the apartment and what I was getting myself into.

Plus, I feel like Airbnb should do a better job of sharing information within their organization. The fact that one customer service agent was telling me one thing, and then a different agent told me a completely different thing is unacceptable. They need to do a better job of communicating within their own staff. Once I resolve an issue with one member of their team, I expect the issue to be taken care of at that point, and I don’t appreciate being spammed over and over again after I’ve already talked about this with customer service.

Overall, this entire situation reflects very poorly on Airbnb, their staff, and the people who post listings there. I don’t think I will be using this software again, until they make meaningful improvements to the user experience. I hope this complaint warns anyone thinking about using Airbnb that you may get scammed, and according to their Terms of Service, there is nothing you can do about it! I’m convinced this company is more concerned about making as much money as possible than they are about providing a positive experience for renters. That’s the only explanation for how rude they were to me and my family over the phone. If you enjoy being treated horribly and given the runaround, you can use Airbnb. But I will be telling anyone who will listen to stay away from this company, unless you want to get scammed and spammed by them.

Cheap and reliable
November 13, 2014
I decided to give it a go last month while travelling to Vancouver. It is nice to get a whole flat for half the price of an hotel room. My host was very nice and helpful, and guided me round the city as this was my first time in Vancouver. You can really trust the reviews on the website. I'll do it again next time I'll travel. Real great experience.