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Here is a summary list of reasons why you should NOT use Airbnb. At the very least, be aware of these serious issues with the Airbnb service and consider other options including Airbnb Competitors.
If you are a potential Airbnb GUEST:
- If any of your personal items, cash, or valuables are stolen (by the host, other guests, or burglars) you have no protection from Airbnb.
- If there is a foul odor, loud noises, or any other problems with your room that are not easily documented with photos, you are out of luck and your claim for a refund will be denied.
- If you rent a single room, there is no guarantee regarding how many people might be living in a given home/condo while you are there. If there is a shared bathroom, you might end up sharing it with 1 person, or 20.
- A “fully stocked kitchen” means very different things to different people. One pot, 2 dishes and a handful of silverware does not mean you can actually cook a meal there, yet this is not enough evidence to seek a claim for refund
- If you buy groceries and another guest or the host uses them or throws them away, you’re out of luck.
- If the host or another guest has a party every night, you will have to thoroughly document each incident with video recordings and time stamps to seek any sort of claim or refund. Even then, it will be a battle that may take weeks and you are unlikely to win.
- Airbnb charges you about 15% on top of what the host actually receives for your reservation (even more if you need to exchange currency). That means you COULD get your reservation for about 15% LESS if you booked directly with the host.
- If you have to cancel your reservation at the last minute, the host has the right to keep some or all of your money for your entire stay. You will not have any ability to write a review of your host if you cancel your reservation, even if you end up paying for your entire stay and the host double-books the rental space.
If you are a potential Airbnb HOST:
- If your guests claim any sort of insect/pest/vermin problem, airbnb will instantly return 50% of your guests money for their entire reservation, even if it’s a year long reservation and the claim is false. This is a common scam tactic.
- If your guests steal your cash or other difficult-to-prove assets, airbnb will do nothing.
- If you make any claim regarding damage to reclaim part or all of the security deposit, airbnb will make your life a living hell by demanding receipts for your original purchase even if it’s furniture that you’ve owned for 20 years. If you don’t have receipts, you’re out of luck, and even if you do, it will take weeks or months to get any resolution.
- If you wait more than 24 hours to make a claim regarding damage from guests, your claim will be denied by default.
- Airbnb takes 3% of every reservation from you, but they also take about 15% from the guest! That means your guests are WILLING to pay 18% more than you’re actually receiving but you’re not getting any of that extra money. Airbnb also takes a very aggressive 3% Exchange Rate Fee for transactions not in USD, for a total of about 21% in fees taken off the top!
- Even if you use a Strict Cancellation Policy to protect yourself from flaky guests canceling their reservation at the last minute, Airbnb has the right to override that policy at any time and without warning or explanation and refund the guest the entire amount of their reservation, even if it’s less than 24 hours before the guest is scheduled to check in.
- The “1 million dollar host guarantee” is virtually impossible to actually claim. Don’t fall for this marketing ploy!
- Airbnb has been known to cancel and remove even long-term hosts listings without warning and without any explanation. This may cause you to lose communication with your current guests, and lose significant income for all upcoming reservations which are also instantly canceled.
I had a mini break from school and decided to visit my husband in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). For the last four nights of my visit we decided to book an Airbnb close to downtown so that while he’s at work I could easily go shopping as well as easily find a place to eat when needed. […]
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