PLEASE READ THIS AND TAKE NOTICE. Posted 27th March 2016. I wish I had taken notice of comments and reviews that are on the web, but I thought they were just sour grapes from hosts who had broken Airbnb rules or something like that.
However, I signed up as a host on the 12th March 2016. I spent hours sorting out a profile etc etc and filling out all their forms and validation etc. because the site kept crashing on me which meant you have to start all over again! I also spent monies converting and arranging my apartment room for rental. I read through all their conditions and I complied exactly with everything that they required. I had a good profile, reasonable pictures and a decent price structure for clients. It must have been as I received 7 enquiries in the first week and had three clients that actually booked and paid and there was only one potential client who messaged saying that they couldn’t get the time off work that they had requested, but would be contacting me in the future to stay. So all is well I thought.
However, I had problems attempting to set up my PayPal account with the site due to it crashing in the middle of uploading the information required. Plus the fact that my rental is in Spain and I have my bank account in the UK being British. Payments from Airbnb are ONLY made in USA dollars or in Euros! So I would be paying for two currency conversions, plus their commission of 3%. The client also has to pay Airbnb 15 % !! So they make 18% on all the bookings ! Nice if you can get it!!
I discussed a few of the problems with other hosts on their forum and also changed a few small things on my profile on advice given. I also had a client that wanted to come as a last minute booking for that evening after being let down by another host. ALL THE ENQUIRIES GO THROUGH THE SITE so you do not have any direct contact at all with the client until they are actually with you. Hence my grievance now because I believe that as I had gone on to their site’s forum and asked for guidance from experienced Airbnb hosts regarding the PayPal site problem and generally for any advice as I have always believed in doing things properly or not bother in the first place. So that is what a forum is for surely. I then had messages from some telling me to basically get off the site quickly as I could as I would live to regret it otherwise.
I queried these comments to find that I received a message out of the blue from Airbnb telling me that they had cancelled my account and were stopping any contact with my clients with no reason given or any explanation!! I immediately received a message less than a minute later from a very angry and bewildered client who had booked and who had paid for 2 weeks and who had booked his flights based on coming to stay with me as I was also going to be driving him around as a sort of tour guide. He had just been told in a message that the site had cancelled his booking and no reason was given. I wasn’t able to respond as they had cut me off from the clients. 2 other clients were supposed to have been here over this weekend! I was also supposed to have picked up a couple from the airport on Good Friday. Their message with details of flights etc never came through in time before I was cancelled, so I have no idea what happened to them. They were coming with a 2 stop somewhere and I didn’t have their surname either, so unable to contact them, so there is another couple with no pick up and nowhere to stay ( and I have no idea if the site has even paid them back or whatever ).
I immediately contacted Airbnb asking what the hell was going on and all I got was a message to say to read the terms and conditions and all decisions were final! I re complained with a complete breakdown of all my correspondence and all the conversations on the forum ( as I always copy them – from business experience over the years ) and had a curt message to say that all decisions were final !! Again with no explanation ! I know I have done nothing wrong. So the site has had hundreds of Euros, left clients at airports with no transport or accommodation and a client who now definitely has a problem as his flight times, his accommodation and his itinery are buggered up now. They must all be fuming!! As well as me!!
So as I said at the beginning: READ THIS AND ACT ON THE ADVICE TO NOT USE Airbnb as a client or as a host – you get screwed either way! I am attaching my email address on the basis that hopefully the clients may find this posting and hopefully this site may allow it so that I can try to explain and apologise to my clients for something that was beyond my control. Regards, Steve. email@example.com