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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.
Last Monday, I received an email from Airbnb notifying me that “they will no longer be able to support my account due to violations of their terms of service.” I logged into my account thinking there must have been some type of mistake. When looking at my host page, I saw that all my upcoming […]
I was trying to pay my host, but the Airbnb system kept rejecting payment saying ‘server error, please retry’. I kept retrying and eventually selected PayPal as the payment mechanism. I am booking an Italian property, with charges in EURs, and have a EUR credit card (despite living in the UK). My PayPal account has […]
I booked a three-bedroom flat in Limehouse Basin on Airbnb about two months in advance of the stay. We were taking the three children to London as their Christmas present to visit Hamleys and do some sightseeing. We were in the taxi on our way to the flat when host suddenly cancelled the booking without […]
I’ve been hosting on Airbnb for six months and basically Airbnb makes me peanuts. The number of nights that they sell is too small, and too short; I could earn more even if I rented my apartment on a long-term basis. Using Airbnb actually reduced my earnings because I often get offers by agents for […]
This is regarding the Airbnb apartment listed at this link. The profile is deceptive, making the property look big enough for four people without any clutter. Due to this deception, I booked this place, but it was hell to stay there and inevitably my son broke an exposed light bulb by his bed. I would […]
This is a very important story because the person involved has been sharing fake information around social media about my boyfriend and me. Basically my boyfriend and I are moving to Lisbon. He’s Brazilian and I’m French. We booked an Airbnb for ten days so we could visit and find an apartment. Before we arrived […]
I reserved a penthouse in San Diego two months ahead of my visit. I arrived early in the day last Friday and went to eyeball the property at the address in the email. I felt odd as the view from the posting could not have been from the same address. There was no pool or […]
My family and I made plans to go to Bali and decided to book an Airbnb. We settled into this nice villa in Seminyak. We went there for a family getaway trip with my cousin’s family, just hoping to relax and enjoy the beauty of the villa and Bali. We arrived late at night around […]
I contacted the host for this Airbnb and was asked to pay her directly, circumventing Airbnb payment system to get a reduced rate. When I arrived at the rental I was shown to a filthy trailer seething with decades-old cigarette smoke. The pictures were of another trailer nearby occupied by the host’s mother and depicting […]
Earlier this evening I made a reservation on the Spanish Airbnb site for myself and five other friends to go to La Coruña in March. Having made the reservation, we were given the address (I cannot understand why this is not available before payment is made) and now according to my friends the apartment is […]