Airbnb has a Good Marketing Team, But…

Having used Airbnb for quite a few occasions traveling, I would like to warn people, as Airbnb promotes itself in a way that is not exactly truthful:

1. Some hosts are in fact sexual predators (I have three personal stories to tell, one of which includes a host who was married). If you are alone, be aware of this and choose a host of your own sex. Also be aware of that people may be renting out for less than altruistic purposes. Narcissists love Airbnb because they feed on positive reviews

2. Airbnb offers no security check up or quality control whatsoever, and will not remove a host even after serious allegations. They will just give you empty words. I have heard this from many sources and lived it myself after a married host made sexual advances at me in my own cottage.

3. Hosts often lie in their descriptions and forget to mention that the rural house is by the autobahn (Editor’s note: motorway or interstate), that they are heavy smokers, that there are no buses, that it is dirty, etc. The photos may not be truthful. Be aware of this!

4. People tend to give overly positive reviews. I also have the suspicion Airbnb removes the negative ones. I went to one place that had a “Superhost” label and it was the filthiest place I have ever seen; the host had no teeth and didn’t bother to wash himself.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .

3 Comments

  1. I was also shocked by the neglect of airbnb after I reported a fraud by the host. I had booked a room but the house didnt even exist. That was clearly a criminal action. What did airbnb do? Nothing. They didn’t even reply to me.

  2. Yeah I agree – I’ve decided after reluctantly trying Air B n B for the first time this summer, to discontinue doing it. There are hosts that go out of their way for people, make their homes comfortable and inviting, those are the experiences air b n b advertises and those are the experiences everyone wants to have. But those experiences are in reality few and far between. Many of th hosts out there simply put in the bare minimum (or not at all) and just want someone else to subsidize their rent/mortgages in their overpriced housing markets for them. Ive stayed in places with dirty towels, non-functioning appliances or plumbing, leaky gas lines, and also one with no sheets on the bed. Hotels are just much more professional in how they are managed and operated. And hostels are often great experiences for a great value, also with professional organizations that oversee them. Hotels are licensed, bonded and insured. You can generally expect to have responsive managers, clean towels and sheets daily, even at the crappy ones. Some air b and bs charge as much as it would cost to stay in a hotel, which I found to be outrageous, and it’s a risk as to how pleasant the stay is going to be. You really don’t know who you’re renting from, you don’t know if they’re a stalker or serial killer, identity thief. You don’t knowing if the place you’re renting is up to code, if it’s a fire trap, if the neighbors are ok. Air b n b and many of these tech startups do not require a background check or inspection of the building. Like many naive tech companies, all they require is a profile. I think they are setting themselves up for disaster.

    From a hosts perspective, the risk is equally bad as well. Again, no idea what kind of guest you are taking in. Maybe they’re a lawsuit junkie, identity thief, criminal, rapist, etc. Ive heard stories of guests trashing the place, breaking furniture, flooding apartments with water. You just have no idea. I have rented from many single women living alone who seem to not even take his into consideration – by saying you can “screen” for potential problem guests. Really? Reading their profile so you can get a “feel” on the person is supposed to be adequate?

    I’m surprised frankly that there haven’t been more cases of sexual assault and theft related to air b n b listings. I can only imagine that these kind of stories are being suppressed by the media, just as the unsustainable business models of the tech bubble are being suppressed as well.

    Moreover, air b n b is driving up rent prices, particularly where I live. I would like to see this organization shut down completely.

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