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I had one other Airbnb experience that was not a good experience, so I was very nervous about renting again for any vacation. But I took a chance. The rental was presented relatively clean and in order, although the carpets were still wet, but didn't appear to have been shampooed recently. Maybe a spill or something from the prior guests. No big deal, it dried fast. I am not sure what was happening with the guests in the front unit, but it was not a safe situation upon arrival. Immediately we had parking problems because our designated spot in the garage was unavailable because the front unit renters were parked in the middle of the garage taking up the entire garage thereby not leaving room for our vehicle. However, I contacted the owners, they were responsive, kind, helpful, and immediately fixed the situation, and that alone made up for any parking issues or other renters inconsideration.
It was very nice knowing if we had any problems they would be right there to assist us. It was my pleasure to meet Tim and his wife when they came to check on the problem, and I want to personally thank them for their fast response. Their "runner" was also very friendly, and the office staff was equally as nice. Loved the location and had a great stay. Again, thanks goes out Tim and his wife and the entire beach view vacation staff. This was an enjoyable vacation.
My husband and I decided to celebrate our 1st year marriage anniversary by booking a European vacation for the late summer of 2020. We began booking accommodations in January, 2020 such as outgoing flight (we are going to two countries so we booked separate flights depending on price), we also booked our Airbnb's for our Rome, Italy and Barcelona, Spain stays. I was pretty sure that I only searched for bookings that had flexible cancellations and from what I understood they did. Come end of February we start getting worried but our trip is still at the end of August so we were hopeful. Since we still planned to make our trip we just let time pass and hoped we would not have to cancel and that by then we'd be able to go.
A few more months pass and yes I am worried but I am keeping an eye on things because of course I booked everything with cancellation insurance, etc. A Wednesday morning the beginning of June I get an email that my outgoing flight was cancelled. I immediately started rebooking everything but when I got to my Barcelona Airbnb I was getting no money back. After speaking with my airline the soonest they could get me on a flight of similar ticket fare was about 1 month later, I agreed and confirmed the dates. I contacted my host to see if her apartment was available on my new dates, but it was not.
I was so lucky to be helped by Fred, he was consistent on reaching out to me and told me exactly what I'd need to present to cancel my reservation with refund as this situation was out of my control and I was still interested in the same location but could not get it. Fred made sure he stayed with me the entire time and until it was completed. Customer Service is not for everyone, you need to want to help people and Fred is one of the most amazing customer service reps I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with.
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As a traveler, I've had good experiences with the hosts & properties: and when I had a bait & switch situation, Airbnb immediately assisted me and I was refunded the next day. Overall, once you understand the system, you will probably not use anything else. However, it is not like the hotel circuits, and the hosts are not wealthy business moguls (as a rule). This is more like a hostel situation since 9.5 times out of 10 you will be sharing a bathroom with several other rooms but you'll sometimes also have things like a full kitchen, food that the host brought or someone else left, and free washer/dryers. My impression of reading the first several items on here re Airbnb is that people have jumped here to complain without having any real feedback from airbnb, or having looked through the TOC or FAQ even.
My reason for coming here is to say I dislike the pricing protocol, it's deceptive and it really makes no sense. I came to realize that when a room says it's $45/night once you go to the listing it will likely now say $53 (for unknown reasons) and then you'll see there are cleaning fees (which some hosts will waive) and hefty service fees and operating fees that are taken by Airbnb itself. So, you're now booking a room for $55/night x 4 + cleaning fee (avg $15-50), operating fee (about 8% from what I can tell) and service fee (also about 8%). Now you're actually paying $78/night. Still much better than most hotels but at first this is a bit off-putting and not at all transparent. Many hosts offer large discounts for a full week or month stay.
Pay close attention to the pictures and then notice not only what the reviews say but what kind of people are reviewing the place. Sometimes you can clearly tell it's mainly men with a bit of roughness to them, and very few women. If something is inexpensive and you think "how bad can it be", you might be in for a rude awakening.
My other gripe is that you can not review the host without them knowing it's you (also your review will not show up unless they also leave you a review, at which time you can each respond to the other's comments). That alone is unfair, that your review is based on their leaving a mutual review. So if you want to really be honest but you might need to stay there again, you'll have to bite your tongue or develop some hidden language among travelers that the hosts won't be in on. In fact, sometimes a vague "Always a pleasure" or "Just what I needed" is likely saying "I'll be back so I can't be too honest".
For instance, I have been to a few places that are very clean and stylish, all the amenities and extras. I'm happy to leave a good review. Although with one of them, they were doing construction in the back yard, had huge mosquitoes, and loud dogs next door, plus an old dude yelled at me for parking on the street in front of his house, and there was often no toilet paper. But in the end I decided none of that was important enough to make the host uncomfortable (I recommend keeping a roll with you, if you can). He and his family were exceptionally nice and accommodating otherwise.
Likewise, another place was far from Sparkling Clean, it needed deep cleaning and had been jerry rigged for years on the repairs. But in that joint there's a nice kitchen and plenty of parking, always toilet paper around and the sheets are clean and the mattresses are top of the line. So I give them top rating. Let the other control freaks talk about the little crap.
Sometimes you find a common step is unexpectedly tall; or you find that an onsite manager thinks other people's discarded microwave meal trays should be washed and left out for guests to use (yuck); or you find that there is no heat or fan available. But usually there's not anything too complicated to overcome, and most hosts are super responsive.
For me, I feel glad that people have brought something into Silicon Valley (in my case) where decent hard working people can find a place without losing their shirt (in places like Santa Cruz you find the Airbnb are not as affordable as something inland). And yet despite this very real competition, hotels are actually charging higher fees, not lower. For me, that's a thing of the past since hotels don't feel my Walmart Greendot bank account is a real account and often will not accept my "prepaid" card; or they take a $200 deposit that can take up to 14 days to get back.
Forget all that and set yourself up an AirBnb account. You create your profile and hook up to a PayPal or credit card, send a selfie, and your set to experience some unique and often enjoyable rooms without ever standing at a hotel desk and waiting for the solo receptionist to finish his lunch. Most have super easy electronic entry, and with many you will never even run into the host; however, most are super responsive.
With the current pandemic, it's important to learn hand signs and realize people can not see you smiling -- remember to give a wave and tip your head, or thumbs up. It's only polite. For me, Airbnb is a great way to save money and sleep somewhere nicer (hopefully) than my car. The crappiest hotel I've been to this year cost twice as much per night as the best Airbnb I've used. Once you understand how to use it, you will never use hotels again. You can find the most amazing out of the way places with poolside service, or just a regular house with converted rooms in the back. But as I said, don't hit that Submit button until you look at the total and really see what it's breaking down to per day or per trip, look at all the reviews, the host's responses, and don't dismiss a feeling that something isn't quite right. Call or message the host before reserving, if you have questions.
I did once have to go to Airbnb's help page. A girl had posted a room way below what she claimed she actually wanted. She then talked to me on the phone for an hour all the while apparently not knowing. So pretty soon she calls again trying to talk me into accepting the new price (3 times higher) and putting my paid amount as a down payment. She wouldn't return my funds and kept trying to convince me we were great roommates.
Airbnb saw that she sent me a request to alter with the new price and they could easily see it was not what I had agreed to (although the gal on the phone said she thought it was an honest error, I can tell you that many foreign women will sell you snake oil and I don't believe it was an accident for a minute). I think she immediately called me -- never had that happen before -- to bond with me and make me feel obligated before announcing she didn't understand and made a big mistake along with her sob story about her boyfriend leaving her and her mom being in the hospital.
Another time, I got a room with no window and very little light. I messaged the host and all he said was "submit change". I could tell his English was minimal so I had to decipher what he meant -- was he asking me to cancel with the strict no refund policy in place? Turns out he was trying to get me to request to alter the dates (different from cancellation) and he did refund me. We had messaged, as well, and I knew he had a better room and I was willing to pay a little more for that. I don't know if he would have agreed if I just straight up wanted to change the dates. But the hosts have complete control over their reservations. And I should mention, the host does not actually receive the funds until the guest arrives. Airbnb holds those funds in a special account in case of things like COVID or other extenuating circumstances.
On another occasion, I found a super good deal at a home I'd seen before on my searches but always thought might be too hoaky. There was huge and numerous hand-written signs (control issues), and some other questionable pictures on their listings. But this one was upstairs with a big window, the pics of the room looked like I could make it work. I booked 2 weeks. Four days in, I realized I was the victim of a bedbug infestation (my bites were not typical because of my sever reaction to the saliva, so it took me a few days and several more bites to put 2+2 together).
I messaged the host who asked for pics and then refunded the rest of my stay, no questions asked. This tells me they knew there were bugs here. As well as the fact that they immediately put the room back up as available for the next unsuspecting economist. (If you come across bedbugs please report them at Bedbugreports.com). When I realized not only did they know but were going to simply rent the room out again, I wished I had asked for a full refund of the time I'd been there, also. But I'm fortunate to still be working and can afford to spend a little to learn a big lesson: If it looks jacked up, it probably is.
As an Airbnb client, I would like to just point out one thing to other travelers that the average hotel client or spoiled college student will need to be briefed on: Since you will be sharing a bathroom or 2 with sometimes several other rooms, please remember to limit your time in them and do vanity things in your room, such as makeup and blow drying, toenail digging and Qtipping. You can put on makeup anywhere, but when nature calls there's only one place to be. You would not want to have to wait for some inconsiderate person to free up the only working bathroom when they have 6 hand-wash items, their nail kit, hair dye and bath bomb. Uh, no, dear, YOU need a hotel.
https://abnb.me/SnacJGb30fb. Very calculated and DISHONEST host. Carole will go to great lengths to make sure your negative review never sees the light of day. I left my stay early due to the pool being frigid and unheated. I mistakenly assumed since the pool was the front featured amenity, it would be heated.. I fully accept that mistake. My previous experiences with pools, hosts have specified if the pool wasn’t heated and would offer to do so with an extra charge. When I asked Carole about the pool however, she launched into a rant about how it was too expensive to heat her pool, offered no solution, and if I wanted to swim I should go to the civic center or the Marriott.
Once Carole learned that my Husband and I checked into a nearby hotel and left early, she acted contrite and said she would like to offer a “small refund.” I told her that would be appreciated. Next, she tells me that her reviews are “very important to her,” and that she would send the refund after we both completed our respective reviews. Believing she was in good faith trying to rectify the situation, I gladly accepted. As it turned out, Carole’s plan was to trick me into giving a positive review and once they were completed, she abandoned the refund. Reviews are permanent and cannot be revised. Therefore, I had to contact Airbnb to have my review removed and report the issue.
If you take a minute to scroll through and find the few people who gave Carole a bad review, you’ll see that she responds in a rage, seemingly losing her ability to proofread and use correct grammar. My only intention with this response is to make people aware of the kind of person they’ll be dealing with, because I’m sure she has done the same thing to others in the past and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again in the future. Book at your own risk.
HOPE that you don’t have any issues with or during your stay! In my case the owner of the listing had bed bugs... was aware of it and still continued to rent out his property. Yet at the end the owner was more helpful than Airbnb. I made several requests to speak with a manager.. Called 18 times and each time I was assure that a supervisor will contact me... after 6 days I am still waiting for a supervisor. Each time I called Airbnb I was told that there was nothing they could do as my case was assigned to a case manger and the case manager is the only one who could help. The case manager doesn’t respond to the thread and if he does it’s only in the middle of the night. I had to stay up past 12 am to be able to speak to someone very briefly before they would stop responding again.
I was forced to book at a hotel and when asked why... I didn’t get an explanation for two whole days!! And now they don’t want to cover the add costs with having to find another listing because I didn’t book the hotel... even though I have proof that they didn’t get back to me for two days! You never think this sort of thing will never happen to you and then it does. I’ve stayed with other rental platforms that have a true customer service department. AIRBNB does not have an organized customer service.. I am in property management so I have an idea of what it means to have people rent from you and how to treat my clients.. Airbnb doesn’t have a clue. Seriously think about staying with a hotel on your next vacation.
Minutes before arriving to my paid reservation I am unable to contact the host. I contact customer service for assistance. They aren't able to contact the host and let me know they will be reimburse me. It's 8pm on a Saturday and my family has nowhere to stay. I'm sent a link from customer service to find another host that can accommodate me, no one can. Then I was told to if I get a hotel due to no availability I would be given that money back, with proof of a receipt. When I sent them the receipt I got denied my credit. Hours spent looking for new booking on Airbnb, finding a new place to stay in the middle of the night and all the time spent talking to customer service and they denied my reimbursement that they told me I would get.
I sent pictures of proof I tried to get another listing. My receipts shows time of arrival [30 minutes after I was told I would get a credit]. I even sent the message I was told I'd get a credit. The reason they gave me was the hotel was cheaper than my original booking. My family and I took lower accommodations due to availability and we had to come out of pocket unexpectedly for another room. Giving me back my money is the legal thing to do. Given any kind of credit to show empathy would have been the right thing to do.
I would highly recommend staying the hell away from these people. Planned a trip to Palm Springs in February 2020 Before COVID really was a factor. Canceled trip a few months later due to COVID and took the credit as the hosts refund policy was not so good. Now Airbnb are forcing us to use our credit $800.00 + dollars by December 30th 2021. Asked for an extension and they won’t even do that. Scumbags. Literal scum of the earth. COVID is still a thing, still can’t cross the border with no end in sight either. But they did say message us 2 weeks prior to the expiration of the credit. For what? So you can say we are SOL? Will never use this company ever again. Disgusted with how they are dealing with this.
I am a travel nurse. My friend and I rented a property for a 3 month travel assignment from a host (**). The host was very rude, nasty, unwelcoming and spiteful! I was at this house for 4 days with no running refrigerator. I lost all my groceries because of that. The house was hot like hell. The host controlled the A/C until via his phone. The co-host which was his his girlfriend kept showing up to the house unannounced.
He has cameras outside the house and he watches everything that you do like a hawk. Anything we did was an issue. We would do something he didn’t like it then he would then try to turn it into a rule. For example I had family visiting from Florida. They were not staying with me. They dropped me off to pick up some clothes so that I could spend the weekend with them and he tried to charge me $100 for them stopping by the house. We were there for less than 25 minutes. After I got my things 2 days later he created a new rule that stated no visitors on the property at any time. Violation will be $25 each person. How could I break a rule before it was even a rule? I refused to pay and he told Airbnb that he wanted us out that same night. Airbnb gave us until the next day at 11 am to be out.
That same night the host sent a strange man to the property without giving us notice that someone was coming. This man followed us around the house. We were 2 women in a state that we are not from. We were scared! This man could have raped or killed us! We did not know this man from anywhere. We called the police several times. The host also had some women come to the property and she verbally and physically attacked me!!!! After 2 hours police finally arrived. I pressed charges.
Airbnb did nothing to fix the situation. This guy is still on their platform renting out his home and he had the nerve to write a bad review on me and lied stating that I broke several rules. Airbnb took down both my friend and my review of his property staying it was not relevant. But left his false review of us up. They don’t want people to know how he were negligent. I ended up hurt, had to go to the urgent care and was assaulted on one of their properties and they deemed that not relevant. I would never recommend anyone to stay there. Airbnb doesn’t care about their customers!
I recently used Airbnb on a trip to visit family in MI and it will be the last time I utilize this service. When we arrived at the home it was unclean, broken down, had an odor, and the door locks and many of the lights were broken- a major safety concern in that particular area. We immediately left the home to find alternate housing and contacted the host requesting a full refund as we were not in the home for more than 10 minutes. The host was argumentative stating that all of my concerns were unfounded, despite having taken pictures to support my claims.
As this was our last night in MI and was already after 10 pm I resumed addressing this with Airbnb when we returned home, just over 24 hours from our scheduled check-in. I called Airbnb and was transferred to the resolutions department. It took them 2-3 days to call me back, and only after I called them for a second time. At that point, they offered me a $100 credit (less than half of what I paid for the reservation) to resolve the issue. I declined and asked to be forwarded to a supervisor.
The supervisor I spoke with, Louis, was incredibly condescending as I explained my frustrations. He again offered a credit but declined to provide a refund. Airbnb did not address any of the safety concerns regarding their host and continually sighted their 24-hour policy, regardless of the fact that their slow communication had drawn this out for an entire week. I will not use or recommend a company or service that places $245 over the safety and security of their customers.
When I arrived at my reservation, the room was dirty, the shower was broken, and there were tons of people in the home. There was even a man sleeping on the couch. I told the host immediately, and he told me that this was just the way it was for this price and he would fix it soon. I left the key in a secure place, locked the door, and texted the host. I never slept there, or anything, wasn't there an hour before realizing this wouldn't be a good fit.
I contacted AirBNB customer service and was told that out of the $197 reservation fee, I would only be refunding $68 due to cleaning fees and taxes. I told them that is not acceptable, and I want to speak with a manager. Jennel told me a supervisor would call back within 30 minutes. The call never came. I called back the next day, and it was extremely difficult to actually speak with a person because their automated system recognized my phone number and kept sending automated responses to my email and hanging up. When I actually got through, I spoke with someone who told me I would be contacted within 24-48 hours by a supervisor. That call never came, and to my surprise- my 4 day reservation had been cancelled WITHOUT my approval. So, now, I am out $197 and I cannot even stay at the crappy reservation if I wanted to. I filed a formal complaint with AirBNB against Jennel and was told to wait for a call. Again, that call never came.
Now it has been 3 days since I checked in initially, and I have not been refunded (not even the partial $68) and I have not been contacted by any supervisor or manager. When I call, I have to jump through hoops to reach a person, and each call takes at least 30 minutes and always ends with the same promise- a supervisor will contact me. The estimate went from within 30 minutes, to within 24 hours, to within 48 hours, and now they don't bother giving an estimate. Completely unreal. It is hard to believe this company is still in business! There are literally 483 complaints on BBB, all ending similar to mine. I wish I saw them before wasting my money.
Airbnb author review by ConsumerAffairs
Airbnb is a marketplace for people to list or find accommodations around the world. People list their homes or apartment online, and people rent them for a listed rate and time. The company was founded in 2008 in San Francisco, California, and now Airbnb has users and listings in over 65,000 cities in more than 190 countries.
Easy to use: To find a place to stay, simply type in your visit date in the Airbnb website or mobile app. Airbnb will show you all available options for that date, and you choose this selection.
Airbnb experiences: Hosts can now list experiences on Airbnb. You can look for activities in the city where you’re staying and book hikes, cooking classes, tours and more through Airbnb.
List your home: You can list your home or apartment on Airbnb and set your own rental price. Airbnb will protect you with liability insurance up to $1 million.
Standards and trust: Airbnb works hard to make sure hosts and guests are treated with respect. Airbnb’s standards are based on five criteria: safety, security, fairness authenticity and reliability. Customer support is there to make sure you have a great experience.
Airbnb for business: Airbnb will partner with your business to provide tools and solutions to streamline business travel.
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