A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
- 2,386,879 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
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.
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.
Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
I had booked a condo in London, England, for 4 nights in September for my family of 7. The cost was approximately $2600 Canadian. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, we are stressed about traveling this year as we are keeping informed and understand that there will be covid cases until August and probably continuing until there is a vaccine. As a result, we decided to cancel. I must say that there was no problem in cancelling. No hassle. Indeed we received the full payment (including service fees) in about 2.5 weeks. Thank you, hosts and Airbnb! A great experience and we would certainly book in the future!
In early March 2020 booked 5 days at Robin's "Comfy Room at Warren Place" but had to cancel booking 2 weeks later due to Coronavirus situation worsening in the United States. I booked a new flight to return to Canada on the same day as my booking was to begin. Megan was very gracious and understanding in response and AirBnB accepted my cancellation and reimbursed the funds I had paid within two days. I'm a senior so that was much appreciated. Thank you to Robin & Megan and to AirBnB.
Excellent service with the Covid 19 situation. Quick reply to my query, my host on Gozo was just as helpful. Full refund within 24 hours. I've had great experience with all my stays overseas and all but 1 in UK. Will be able to continue using Airbnb with confidence thanks to this good experience.
We had rentals in Ireland and England, but we are prohibited to travel because of the virus. Airbnb policy we last 50% of our deposits. You would things would be different right now. Don’t recommend using this service right now.
I feel ripped off and customer service couldn't help nor solve the issue! I asked to change my booking to a more exclusive location and to benefit from the full amount of my voucher. But it was IMPOSSIBLE!
I made a reservation that said pet friendly. The host accepted the reservation then came back and said I had to pay $100 per day for pets. Their cancel policy is 48 hours. By the time I responded I lost 50% of my rental as a fee. Try to call Airbnb, you can't find a phone number on their website and they don't respond to questions. It took 6 days to get a response from them. Run don't walk from Airbnb.
Disgusted by the lack of communication and poor customer service! I was charged wrongfully for two stays at the same place during the same time frame and they would not issue a refund. I contacted them several times and received NO resolution. I was told the "lines are locked up and even the reps can't get through to that department". So strange and awful business practice. Do not recommend. They are a company who is truly in it for themselves and could care less about their customers.
An owner had a flood in his condo, completely understandable, he had to cancel on me with 48 hours notice. Luckily I found a new vacation spot. However, it has been over two weeks, the owner has called Air BNB support three times, and I have messaged and called. They just keep telling us that they will move it up the chain to the top of their list? It's a thousand dollars on my credit card! Very dissatisfied. The owner tells me he is going to pull out of using Air BNB.
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.
Airbnb Company Information
- Company Name: