Airbnb Scam: How to multiply your earnings

True story… It’s pretty simple. Just find an area with the following constraints. High demand for long-term housing (say students) where new building growth is barely none. How does it work? It boils down to the fact that Airbnb will always side with the host for cancellations. This means a host can be malicious or aggressive, and Airbnb support will cast off all complaints as a “personality conflict”. Next, even though a place may be listed with a cancellation policy as “Flexible”, any long-term rental automatically turns into a “long-term” policy in which the tenant must cancel within thirty days. Herein lies the trick and scam. Once a tenant books and cancels for any reason (e.g., personality conflict even before the date of the booking), then it is entirely up to the host’s discretion of whether or not to issue a refund. What does this mean? It means that a host can collect money even if they don’t rent out to the tenant. Additionally, the host can rent out the place to another tenant, thus earning 2x the original rate. Rinse and repeat, and the multiplier is as far as the host is willing to push the system. Real exchange from the head of customer service at Airbnb defending the host’s rude and aggressive behavior. “I am the head of this department and I’m afraid our decision is final. Please understand that is conflict took place after the reservation was already cancelled, in fact it happened because of this cancellation.” Exchange with the host where he denies receiving the money and he will be unable to find someone to book again. Even though he clearly received the money (since he must approve the refund) and the cancellation was more than two weeks before the check-in date and that in this area listing typically are filled within two days. “I have received nothing and let me tell you that it is really rude to block a room for so long and reverse it a week before. It’s interesting that you mention that you can’t afford to loose that much money, because I refused a lot of long term requests and now I loose the money (what means that the room will be empty for that time anyway I have to pay the rent). You would go ahead and rebook? WTF, do you think I will let such an irresponsible person into my home? good luck and hope you get your money back soon.” Checking on this host, he is in fact booked for the entire month. Simple and easy to pull off with no deterrant not to. In fact, it is encouraged by Airbnb head of department.

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