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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.
Read the 10 most recent uncensored Airbnb stories from Hosts & Guests:
Penthouse from Airbnb Hell in Puerto Rico
I have used Airbnb for several years now and it’s always disappointing. The pictures never reflect the actual unit and they are always enhanced. Most of the time there are always problems with the unit and it takes several days to have them fixed if the host ever fixes them. I rented a unit that […]
Airbnb Denies Refund for Hotel and Laundry Expenses as Promised
I booked a hostel on Airbnb in June 2022. It was my first experience at a hostel and I did not know Airbnb allowed hostels on their website. Based on the number of good reviews of the place and the high prices of the city I was traveling to (Copenhagen), I decided to give it […]
Airbnb Service the Last Two Years has Gotten Very Bad
I am a long time Airbnb user and for the past two years the quality of service with Airbnb has gone completely downhill. I have many experiences to share. Since March 2021, the quality of hosts’ service has gotten very bad and at the same time Airbnb has raised its service fees and rental rates. […]
Suspended From Hosting After 5 Years, Then Reinstated?
Airbnb notified me that my account was suspended after a criminal record was found on a consumer report. The only criminal record that was on that report was a misdemeanor for writing a $300 bad check in 2012. I reached out to the third party Airbnb used to obtain the report and they instructed me […]
Host Harassment After Five-Star Stay in Quebec
This is not a horror story but a cautionary tale. Hosts should be held accountable for their conduct, don’t you think? My first experience with Airbnb was great until it wasn’t. My friend and I took a weekend trip to Mont Tremblant in Québec. Things were great. It was a sunny day and the drive […]
Airbnb Business Model: Profit Over Human Safety
I just had the worst travel experience of my life at this Airbnb. This company is deplorable and has put profit over human life. I would like to share my story because I hope no one will ever have to go through what I am currently going through with them. My family (nine adults and […]
Discrimination by Airbnb Host over Service Dog
After carefully searching for two weeks, I finally decided on an Airbnb to book for a month, while I was new to the Los Angeles area. It was a decent commute for me, and the price was good. Most importantly, it allowed pets. I have a service dog, so legally through both Airbnb and laws […]
Odd Pet Situation: Host Expects Guests to Take Care of Dogs?
I will start off by saying that this Airbnb listing did not mention that pets were in the apartment, so I was both shocked and pleasantly surprised (I like animals) when I saw two small dogs outside on the patio. They were puppies. I don’t mind dogs, and I just thought that they belonged to […]
No Refunds, No Matter What? An Airbnb Guest Weighs in
It was my first time using Airbnb and I was excited. After researching and looking at over 20 places in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I found a place that looked amazing (which it does, in the pictures). But this is not about how amazing the place is or the conditions of the place once I […]
My Account was Suspended then Cancelled without Notice
My current Airbnb guest arrived and he wasn’t the person in the profile picture who booked the house. The next day another car pulled up with two extra guests bringing the total to ten people in a three-bedroom house. I complained to the guest who immediately verbally attacked me so suggested he call Airbnb to […]