Total Frustration Uploading Photo IDs on Airbnb

Talk about total frustration. I tried the night before at least 15 times to upload a passport photo using Airbnb’s interface and taking a snapshot of the photo using my computer. The photo image uploaded came out nearly perfect. However I got a message stating the picture was not clear. I tried taking a picture of my passport photo using a cell phone and then uploading that picture to my desktop and from there uploading it to their system. It uploaded correctly each time however I kept getting a message stating that it was not clear. We tried repeatedly and then we got a completed transaction notice from PayPal.

We thought all was good until I woke up the next day and there was a message stating the photo was not clear. Really… what does a photo have to do with making a transaction or trying to get some rental property? The airlines don’t do that much checking; they would be broke if they did. I made a call to Airbnb, talked to a representative and then a supervisor. The last guy said my picture was verified and good. He gave me some coupons and I asked him if he expected me to do this all over again. I tried again and again and this time PayPay charged me twice. This time I got a receipt from the Airbnb system showing the charges. I was thinking I was good to go, but one hour later, I received another email saying the picture was not clear. Why in the world are they so hooked on pictures? If you want lots of pain then you should use Airbnb.

Incorrect Compensation for Working Hot Tub

We had been scheduled to host three people for a month. Before they checked in we asked them if they wanted us to fill up the jacuzzi for them but they said we could just show them how it worked when we met at check in. We instructed them about this the moment they arrived at the apartment. Two or three days later they contacted us again saying the jacuzzi wasn’t working so we sent one of our staff members to show them again how it worked and once again instructed them.

A week before they were schedule to check out we received an email from a case manager at Airbnb saying we needed to send documentation that showed the jacuzzi was working. I responded “How can I do this?”

The case manager said we needed to go and take a picture of the jacuzzi when it’s filled up and so on. We wrote the guests about this asking to come and do this but they didn’t respond. The same day they were supposed to check out we went there and took a video and pictures. However,t Airbnb sent us a decision before we had finished saying we needed to compensate the guests 691 USD because the jacuzzi wasn’t working. Now it doesn’t matter what I send them as they are saying our deadline has passed. It’s very frustrating and I can’t get in touch with anyone at customer service or file a complaint.

Marietta Nightmare: Everything is an Uphill Battle with Airbnb

Last week, my business partner and I had a last minute business trip come up. We needed to go to Marietta, Georgia. Most hotels were full or their rates were sensational, so I decided to give Airbnb a shot for the first time. Normally I take my time, do my due diligence, and made sure everything is in order, but I only had two hours to find a place to stay, book it, get last minute briefings finalized, and pack. I admit, I should have done more research on the place.

The place reminded me of Victorian townhouses you see sprinkled across England. The rate was $120, which seemed fair for a full townhouse. I noted check in was anytime after 4:00 PM. All seemed well, so I clicked “accept.” Next thing I know I get a message. The host wrote to me in broken southern English and immediately I was concerned. He says he works until 6:30 and has to get the place ready, so he can’t let us in until 8:30 PM. I was annoyed and it was obviously contradictory with what he had stated on his profile. However, I went along with it.

Two minutes later, my phone dinged again. It was another message from the host: this time he was trying to change the reservation. Instead of offering a full house, he was trying to have us agree to just use the master bedroom, so that he can rent other areas of the townhouse to other people. Then I was pissed. I declined the request and sent him a rather forceful message demanding that he honor the original reservation. He apologized and explained that he thought he had set the price a night at $129/139; he said was going to lose money now, but he would honor the price set anyway.

At this point, I wanted out of the reservation. I could feel that this was now going south and sensing that when we arrived, he was probably going to try and hit us up for more money. I just knew this was only the beginning, so I logged onto Airbnb to try and cancel my reservation. It had literally only been about 15-20 minutes since I booked the place and I figured I’d have no problems cancelling. That’s when I found out I was only getting 50% of my money back. I tried calling their number and after several attempts, realized that I would never be put through to a real person.

I was freaking out, but decided to keep an open mind. We arrived in Marietta and first things first: we wanted to see where we were staying. It was only 4:30 or 5:00 PM, so we figured we’ll do a drive by, go eat, and then meet the host afterwards. Hopefully, all would be well.

As soon as we turned the corner into his cul-de-sac, my heart dropped. It was a ghetto: broken down cars everywhere. Nasty, filthy… and then I saw the place. He had taken a close up shot of the front of his house, so that you wouldn’t see what it was actually surrounded by: human decay.

I was out. I was so out I couldn’t even see straight I was so mad. Mostly mad at myself, for not having done my research. I logged into Airbnb again and decided I would take the loss of $100 and change. Nope, it had changed again; now, I would lose the entire payment. We went to the Hilton and checked in there. We waited it out and I decided I would go back around 8:30 PM and let the guy know I wasn’t interested in the place. Then I would speak to Airbnb and explain that “based on their terms and conditions”, I was eligible for a full refund. It clearly states in their terms, if you feel your safety is in jeopardy, you are entitled to full compensation.

I definitely had a case. The guy never showed up at 8:30, so now I’m golden. Or so I thought… I went back to my nice, clean, safe hotel and started a conversation over the Airbnb messaging service. I explain what happened in gross detail and requested a full refund. Some guy who barely spoke English told me he needed photos as proof. I never thought to take pictures; I hadn’t even been inside the place, so I Google mapped it and send him screen shots of the dilapidated neighborhood. Long story short, the Airbnb desk jockey told me he was not refunding my money. I could have gotten nasty. Told him he was nothing more than a slave to a silicon valley, or a corporate monster… but I left it at that and phoned my credit card company. I’ll get money money back, but my vengeance isn’t over. This post is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll rant and rave until the day Airbnb finally goes bankrupt, because they will. There’s just no way a company with that kind of customer service is going to make it.

Airbnb: Easy for Guests, Frustrating for Hosts

As a host, Airbnb is not easy to deal with. If you have just one listing, it will take you a while to negotiate the system. Misunderstandings between lovely guests and yourself will make the experience barely worth the effort. I am a travel agent by trade. However, I have an Airbnb account and have tried to get three listings up and running. If you even attempt to create a second or third listing, the reviews will all be on the same listing. How are potential guests going to figure out why the feedback doesn’t even fit the room they are looking at? Also, your photos will get mixed up: when you open your profile, the photo listed may not even be there. Apparently, the photos randomly change. I cannot work it out and have had no success with contacting them. They keep asking if I am okay now and if they can close communication; the answer is always no.

The profile picture for your listing will be determined by Airbnb. You will have to delete the one they chose and play cat and mouse with them to get the one you want. The staff members barely speak English and sound really harried. You can email them but that will just be a communication exercise gone wrong. All in all, the site is horrible to use. I have stayed using Airbnb and that was easier, as anything other than the most basic hosting will be a nightmare.