I’ve spent nearly four hours yesterday evening and this morning trying to complete a reservation. I’m new to it, so I went through the whole process of setting up an account and things seemed as though they were progressing well. Then I kept running into a notice that said I needed to confirm two small amounts that Airbnb had deposited in my credit card account. The thing is, they had not deposited anything to my account as far as I could see. They offered the option of uploading a credit card statement instead of the deposit, so I cleaned one up and uploaded it. They wanted 24 hours to get back to me. In the meantime, the reservation had not been made, and the room I was trying to get was available to someone who was able to scoop it up ahead of me.
I tried every way I could think of to contact the host, to get help from Airbnb, and to figure some way of getting them to take my money, all without success. Finally I tried to switch from a credit card payment to a PayPal payment – no luck with that either. Eventually I spoke with a customer service representative with a most delightful Irish accent (could have enjoyed just listening to that lovely lilt for hours if I weren’t actually trying to accomplish something). She told me I would need to upload a picture of my passport or ID and couldn’t do business with them without doing that. In astonishment, I asked her if that was indeed so. She confirmed that it was the only option, and I said I would not be using Airbnb. The thing is, they now have a lot of personal information from me, and I have no way of getting it back or seeing that it is deleted.