Airbnb Verification is Nothing but Invasion of Privacy

I was going to New Orleans for a work trip and thought I would find a nice Airbnb. I looked around, found one, and made a reservation. Everything was good so far. Then I started working my way through the reasonable verification process. I sent in my drivers license picture and then clicked the Facebook verification tab to complete the process. Despite having had a Facebook account for years, it seemed like Airbnb didn’t think I wasted enough time on it; they rejected my Facebook verification. Then I tried the video verification. The website said that I would get approval from their verification team within a few hours. I recorded the video, and nothing happened. There was no ‘submit’ button and it didn’t seem to submit itself. It just sat there. I figured I would let it do its magic and left for a few hours. When I got back I had an email from Airbnb saying that I only had a couple more hours to do my verification video before my reservation got canceled. I searched all over their website looking for a way to get an answer, but despite the friendly ‘we’re here to help’ messages all over the site I discovered that they were decidedly not here to help. There is absolutely no way to contact Airbnb through their website. I kept going back to the verification page trying to figure out what was wrong. When I did I saw that the Facebook verification option had disappeared and been replaced with an American Express tab. Then the video verification tab disappeared as well. When I originally tried to verify with Facebook there was a page that showed all of the data that they wanted to mine from my profile. That included all of my contacts. I deselected that box because I didn’t want my contacts to start getting hounded by this company. What are the chances that my Facebook profile was rejected because I wouldn’t give them unfettered access to my private data? I’m thinking pretty good. I always had a pretty good opinion of Airbnb and the way that they helped people make a little money. I now have a pretty lousy opinion of the company. They refuse to allow me access if I don’t let them scrape all of my friends’ information and they make it nearly impossible to get any customer service. Shame on Airbnb.

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

One Comment

  1. yes, im an IT professional, so work in secure environments. i just wanted a temp place between appt in my own city. But after taking the cc payment (freezing it, and gone from the card) i then get asked for a few more friendly steps gov id and social media. What a scam for data and id mining, its so ridiculous it’s pre-historic. So now im waiting my ….24h to do or get something from them in this case not going through the booking and ID verificatoin to get my money back. Just like they had to verify my payment information (24 hours…) and lost my initial booking.
    Waiting form my money back. And cancelling this social nightmare.

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