Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Their customer service is wanting and so is the Airbnb.com site. It's not user-friendly at all and very confusing. They change it often so you never really become familiar with it. They must continue to get complaints about it if they have to change it so often. Also, because their policy is to never remove or edit a review or your response to a review, you can't dispute them even if you have documentation that the review/response is an error.
I think they must get many complaints about their review policy too, because after speaking with 4 different agents about the policy, it seemed they had heard these things before and were quick to get off the phone. They have no power to help you even if you go to a supervisor. They have become robotic in the way they operate their business sort of like the cheap airfare sites and other 3rd party sites that have bad reputations and for the most part are unable to assist. But, they will take their service fee out of the total. So, there's that.
On two occasions, in a matter of hours, I registered to rent a vacation home on dates listed as available. I sent my credit card info and received a confirmation code for the rental and a confirmation of the charge which had immediately been made to my credit card account. Hours later I was contacted by the owner/host of the property telling me that it was not available on the dates I had booked and therefore my reservation was null and void. He stressed that he had told Airbnb that his property was not available on those dates yet they booked it anyway. I was at this time told by Airbnb that they would apply a credit of my payment to my next booking and refund the difference.
I proceeded to book another property, only to be contacted the following day by the host that their property was also not available and that they had clearly communicated with Airbnb that those dates were not available. This host proceeded to contact Airbnb numerous times to straighten the matter out but I continued to receive confirmations and a guarantee that they had contacted the host and all was OK. If I had believed them I would have been stuck without housing when I arrived in Massachusetts from Texas! I called the host directly, as Airbnb had given me their number in the confirmation, to make sure this information was correct, only to find out that she was very upset with Airbnb and their lack of proper response to her communications. The property was unconditionally not available.
There have been innumerable communications between myself and Airbnb, yet no refund of my money. It has now been 4 days. 2 days ago I was told that they had escalated the situation to a case manager but I only received an anonymous email saying they had contacted the host for a refund after which they would refund me! I told them they were a business and they were responsible for refunding me after 2 false bookings but still no refund. I phoned the host again today to see if that would help and she told me that she had never received any funds for my booking, nor had she been contacted in that regard! I'm out $1,200 with no response from Airbnb!
I would never have used this service had I read reviews first about AIRBNB. I stumbled upon the site while looking for week long lodging in Atlanta, GA and one of the properties listed came up on one of the many websites online with hotel listings, like TripAdvisor, Priceline and from there, of course, I began scanning all of AIRBNB's listings. It seemed like a great idea but it is nothing more than a classified ad service, worse in many ways.
The website is nothing more than a classified ad service, or eBay in the early days when all it had going for it was a "review system." BUT Airbnb knows you're not likely to look into THEIR PERSONAL REVIEWS and nowhere on their site is a system to review them! You only get to review their hosts, BUT ONLY IF YOU STAY REGARDLESS OF THE CONDITIONS YOU FIND UPON ARRIVAL!
Let's say you arrive, turn on the lights, and OMG, there are literally 50 roaches running for the corners? Or, the bed is unmade with soiled sheets and there is unflushed urine sitting in the toilet? If you cancel your reservation, YOU CANNOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH ANYONE ON THEIR SITE and they do nothing to assist you. Or, imagine you rented a place for a week in an area where it is difficult to find lodging last minute, and your host cancels on you upon your arrival? NO REVIEW ALLOWED! Are you getting the picture? Dangerous and unsafe conditions upon your arrival? You are screwed! Airbnb gets a hefty sum in service fees and does nothing for them other than HOSTING THE ADVERTISEMENT ON THEIR SITE and using a review system they intentionally ensure will not reflect poorly on their hosts or their site!
If you get canceled on when you arrive, you are forced to pay outrageous fees for last minute lodging elsewhere, and more than likely much further away than you needed to be! AND they offer people huge incentives to encourage others to use their site -- I'd only do that if I were nasty and wanted to screw someone over. I'll stick to using places guaranteed safe and available and warn everyone I know to stay far, far away from AIRBNB! If you have a problem and contact AIRBNB, nothing, they are nothing more than a classified ad service!
Below is an excerpt of a letter to the host in Paris, where I arrived after a 24 travel experience, alone, to an inaccessible flat with no communication available from the host. This is one of many messages explaining the situation, most recently sent after trying to contact Airbnb repeatedly and being told only the host could refund the money, and she told me that only they could refund the money. Neither is replying at all anymore.
3. With regards to the contract/agreement, both parties must fulfill obligations. You and by extension Airbnb have failed in this matter on several counts prior to the cancellation: (a) substituting a different apartment after I reserved and paid for another one, without my consent in advance or details on the new place. (b) failing to honour the stated time of checkout as per your advertisement which is 12 noon... upon which I had made my plans to arrive in order to, not check in necessarily, but drop off bags as the previous tenants should have been gone. At the last minute you accepted their whim to leave at 2.00, leaving me stranded. With no communication.
(c) providing a key for some other flat entirely, left in a mailbox in another building as the host was unavailable, which did not work when I tried it. No communication after several attempts. Had to go to a hotel. Lost $500. Airbnb cancelled and refused a refund due to strict policy, and I quote, "while disregarding their own rules for the host to responsibly rent and supervise guest experience." Many Airbnb experiences go fine, but when they don't, the company will abandon you and you have no recourse.
Dublin centre is in walking distance. Really great place!!! I going to stay there every time I will go to Dublin!
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The property I rented was far from the one described in the listing on Airbnb.com. It was filthy and many of its appliances were broken. And even worse, the room shown in the listing's primary photo was not in the house at all.
When I reported this to Airbnb, they dismissed me out of hand. Ever since then, they have ignored my emails or sent curt, unproductive, and dismissive responses. They have even refused to deal with the Better Business Bureau.
Airbnb will take a listing from anyone, not just vacation rentals. There are less than 100 legitimate vacation rentals in our area, but airbnb has over 300 listings because they are allowing Inns and B&B's to list their rooms individually. That's not the way a vacation rental website was meant to be and that's not what they advertise. Airbnb is trying to get business from priceline, groupon, travelociy and all the rest of the booking agencies that hotels and Inns use. Owners do not pay to list their property on airbnb, so why shouldn't they list as many rooms as they can..
Airbnb makes their money by charging a hefty service fee, so why shouldn't they take as many listings as they can. With vrbo now blowing up with their service fee debacle, the vacation rental business is a mess. Flipkey by traveladvisor is still legitimate where owners pay to list and guests do not pay a service fee. Hopefully they will not start gouging too.
Airbnb tried to cancel my reservation, stating that I could not assign the room I rented without their approval. Sorry, but, that's not the LAW and your unwritten policy does not trump my legal rights. This occurred after I tried to cancel with the host, giving a legitimate extenuating circumstance (their standard for cancellation without penalty), and an offer of some form of (25% of what I paid) cancellation feel; to rectify the hosts' inconvenience. The host told me "no, that he would lose his 'super host status' (lie) and that I had to keep my reservations."
I escalated to Airbnb, where they told me I was out of luck as well. I then utilized my law degree to inform these clowns that 1) No clickwrap agreement is going to bind me to anything; 2) I am legally entitled to try and make myself "whole" by way of assigning the room rented to another individual; 3) Tenancy Law > Terms & Conditions of a corporation.
The law allows for cancellations within a certain time period, regardless of some clickwrap agreement; meaning if you book a place 6 days in advance, when the website claims in its fine print that if you cancel within 7 days, you pay x fee -- it's not contractually binding, as you are not given any grace period to cancel without penalty. After educating a low-level employee who threatened me; a supervisor quickly offered me a full refund. However, days later, I have not seen that amount applied to my paypal balance as they said it "would soon." Soon, to me, means within a week.
Do not deal with Airbnb unless you feel like being strong-armed and ganged up upon by a host and Airbnb customer service. If you do, remember, when it becomes reasonably inferable that the host is an agent of Airbnb, they become vicariously liable for the actions of said agent and are prime targets for litigation. Cheers.
I have been a guest and host for Airbnb since 2007. I know how this business operates and how the website has been upgraded and changed, since I was one of the first to use it in 2007. I have over 40+, glowing reviews on my account, and have paid this business a LOT of money. I have been treated VERY unfairly recently, and the scenario follows:
I recently had a slip and fall accident in a filthy apartment where I rented a room through Airbnb. The pictures were completely deceiving, as MOST ARE. The photos are photoshopped to make the rentals look CLEAN/SPOTLESS, larger than they are, and brighter. The photos of this rental did not reveal the filthy bathroom and bathtub, kitchen, etc. I was desperate to find a room, since it is nearly impossible to find one in Chicago in the summer. And hotels are out of the question. I am a world traveler and have been renting rooms on and off for a month.
Regarding this apartment: I told the owner many times the guests (15+) were not cleaning the floors and that there was water on the bathroom floor and kitchen and hallway DAILY. Also, the trash was piling up, and I was not going to keep cleaning up after the short term guests. I did notice she had several bad reviews about the cleanliness of her apartment, particularly the bathroom, and $800 a month, for my porch room and literally wooden box spring 'bed' from a couch was the bed. The host did get an air mattress for me shortly after I arrived and saw the 'bed' was made of wood with sheets covering it. This was the first time the host rented this 'room' so no reviews on the space... I was the first.
I wound up slipping on the bathroom floor and hit my foot on a very dangerous tile step that is permanently cemented to the length of the bathtub. I fell into the porcelain (filthy) bathtub, smashing my wrist and arm and knees on the side of the tub, then fell very hard in the bathtub, breaking my fall with my hands and badly broke and fractured bones in my wrist and arm. I told the host (who was rarely there) again I had slipped on the floor AGAIN, this time breaking my wrist. I went to the emergency room the next morning, and the doctors concluded I had badly broken my wrist and fractured bones in my arm. A cast was put on and follow up visits to an orthopedic surgeon came later.
Immediately after this fall, Airbnb deleted my account without my knowledge and made me move out, but put me up in a hotel costing $3000 A WEEK, but they did not pay the deposit of $250. I almost could not move into the paid room and it took HOURS for me to reconcile this since they had not reimbursed me for the filthy room/apt I just left.
To make matters worse and worse, I had to pack and move with a broken wrist. Get my own transportation to the hotel (they paid for that), and unpack (I have been traveling for 3 years and have several large suitcases), etc. I forfeited 4 interviews since I could not interview with a cast on my arm (I work solely with my hands). After just breaking my wrist and informing Airbnb what happened, they manipulated me to sign the Host Protection Program (DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING FROM AIRBNB!!!), this 'program' protects the host only not the guest.
I wound up nearly homeless after the week at the hotel, since it is nearly impossible to book a room in Chicago during the summer, and my Airbnb closed my account due to MY INJURY that was NOT my fault. By chance, I found a retreat where the host gives priority to women in crisis. She knew I was in crisis (she hates Airbnb as well, and they have owed her money; she no longer uses Airbnb as a host). A sleazy insurance adjuster works with them, and he is dishonest and only protects Airbnb. I met with him unknowingly that he was completely against me; he recorded my conversation, and ALSO acted as if this accident was MY fault, even though when I met with him, I had a cast on my arm! I later wrote him an email stating to DROP everything and told him he is dishonest and I was manipulated into meeting with him, etc.
I am now seeking legal advice from a well known attorney. Airbnb should be sued for this as well as the host. It's about time Airbnb, the money hungry corporate, multi billion dollar company got sued for guests who have pain and suffering, lost wages, due to their false advertising of 'clean' rentals, etc. There are many more details, but you get the picture. WATCH OUT for Airbnb; they are NOT honest or helpful. They have so many employees now who put you on hold to get rid of you. This is a corporation being run by greedy 30 somethings who are just getting rich, no matter what.
Dont believe in prices in site!!! You dont know the last price until the end of reservation. I booked a house for three nights and the price was 250 dollars per night but airbnb decided that I should pay 83 Dollars more!
The ask commission between 6 to 12 % from the customer and also ask it from the house owner, Be ready for any unusual commission at the end. Also I could not cancel the reservation because they ask you full amount of payment not only the first night.
So the prices are all fake on the site. Think twice before booking.
I was left completely stranded by Airbnb when my vacation rental fell through. I showed up to the unit with my 3 out-of-town family members and the vacation rental had not been cleaned since the previous occupants. The unit was also terribly maintained and did not look anything like the pictures displayed. While we were trying to contact the unit owner and discuss these issues with Airbnb, 3 of my friends showed up with $200 worth of groceries as they planned to BBQ with the family that day.
I spent the next 3-4 hours on the phone with Airbnb, the owner, and the property manager. Airbnb could not get us into another property as it was too late at night. The owner of the property was in Paris and the property manager was not listed on the account so she could not really help us. The property manager tried to amend the situation with unreasonable offers which we declined.
Every time I called Airbnb to discuss the matter I was placed on hold for 5-10 minutes while my representative was located. She would not give her direct number. It was requested I email pictures of the unit but a direct email could not be given. Every time I sent a picture to the original email I received an error message although the representative actually said she could receive them. She would not give her direct email.
I was finally told the reservation should be cancelled but I could not cancel it myself as I would be responsible for the entire balance. I had to wait for the unresponsive property owner in Paris to cancel the reservation.
In the meantime, while their food was spoiling in the car, my friends found a vacation rental company in the same area that was willing to get us in a unit- that exact moment- for cheaper than we had spent on this property. I requested this be paid by Airbnb but this request was declined. Apparently they can only work with their own properties.
Airbnb did nothing to correct this situation. The owner of the unit harassed me throughout the next day to cancel the property but Airbnb could not get ahold of him? I finally heard back via email that my reservation was cancelled. This was the worst customer service Ive ever received. We were truly stranded. My graduation weekend, my familys stay, and our groceries were ruined because they do not have the appropriate backup plan in an emergency situation and they will not accommodate a new plan found by the customer.
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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.
- Best for people looking for cheap or unique accommodations around the world for vacations or business travel.
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