Over the past 2 years of hosting. We’ve had our share of horror stories. Each time, Airbnb ONLY cares about their service fees. As long as they can keep that, they let the guests do whatever they want and will even cancel a guest with a full refund when the guest had no proof that anything was wrong. We hosted over 500 people in our units and are Superhosts, but Airbnb will take the word of guests with no reviews over ours. If there are any damages, good luck getting your deposit back! Oh, and your commitment rate goes down when THEY cancel a guest for no good reason, so you have to call and email them over the next few weeks to get them to fix it and hopefully keep your Superhost stats.
This is only 1 example of how they treat you as just a money-making tool, they have no regard for honesty or integrity: Recently, the guests asked for a refund AFTER their stay, claiming that they had only stayed there for a portion of the time, since their plans changed. They have no way of proving this and the situation really is not our responsibility. We told them no, and afterwards they apparently called Airbnb and they received a 50% refund just like that. We don’t know what they told Airbnb, but Airbnb didn’t even bother to contact us before making a decision. Oh, and the guest was still allowed to write a review after this ordeal! Because we denied the refund in the first place, they decided to get back at us and slander us with a bunch of false claims in the review. I called Airbnb and told them that there clearly was no indication of our unit being in bad condition and that it was apparent the only time things got ugly was after we denied the refund. Airbnb said they value people’s opinions and that the great thing about this community is that the reviews are not censored. I just really wanted to spill all kinds of profanities when I heard that. The thing is, I had called them before responding to the guests asking for Airbnb’s advice. I said that I was worried about bad reviews so I feel pressured to give in to demands. The rep ASSURED me that Airbnb will not allow unfair reviews. That if there is reason to believe the bad review was only because we denied the refund and if the message thread had no indication of any problems stated in the review, they would remove it. Low and behold, now that the guest actually went out to write a false review, they did NOTHING. I would understand if the guest wrote they were angry because they wanted a discount, but they wrote things like the place was dirty and in a bad location and did not look like the photos and gave 1 star reviews! How can this be true when we have over 500 reviews and 5 stars on all units?! Also, the guest had told us they were having a great time all throughout the stay!! Still Airbnb did not help.
Similar situations have happened more than a handful of times now. Where Airbnb would give us lip service when we asked for advice and assure we will get reviews removed if ____ and ___ happened or we will get our deposit back if _____ and ____ happened. When shit actually goes down, they do absolutely NOTHING for us. What is the point of us paying these service fees when no services are provided when we need them! I understand if they claim this is just an advertising fee for us to expose our units, however, then why do they CONTROL all the payments and deposits. Those people who actually got their host guarantee/damage deposits on social media or the news are just their publicity ploys! They will only help when they know that it could damage their reputation, I’ve never heard of any fellow host friends who was able to get any compensation. Many have similar stories to mine. In sum: THEY ARE ALL TALK AND NO WALK. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT GETTING THEIR SERVICE FEES. THEY OUTRIGHT LIE TO THEIR HOSTS. THEY HIDE BEHIND THE PRETENSE OF A SHARING ECONOMY WHEN THEY ARE NO BETTER THAN BLOOD SUCKING CORPORATIONS WHO EXPLOIT OTHERS FOR PROFIT. When will something better come along so that we honest hosts, who are just trying to make some side money, can actually choose to host for a company that actually provides the services that they advertise?!
Host Guarantee program is a joke. Hosts beware. Please don’t make the same mistake I did – over-trusting Airbnb. Protect yourself! I’m moving on.
Please post a link to your listing so we can take a look.
We are Superhosts too and have had no nightmares. BUT, if what you report is true (it seems horrifying and unfair) then it’s time to be afraid, very afraid.
Have you thought of posting this on the actual Airbnb page for comment?
I don’t want to reveal my listings or post these things on the airbnb page, because I have lost all trust in Airbnb. In fact, I don’t even want to go into too much detail about the various things that went on in case our identity is revealed. I read blogs/reviews that hosts were removed and banned from Airbnb for no apparent reason and some suspect it’s because they had written something negative about Airbnb. Some people said their listings were hidden from search results and they suddenly started to have no inquiries. Others, whose social media posts have garnered attention, have said that Airbnb contacted them and pressured them to remove their posts. Some of these people were superhosts as well. I can try and find these posts again if you are interested. I myself want more than anything to believe that Airbnb is an honest company so that we can continue to make extra income from our properties.
However, this post really is reflective of various situations we’ve experienced. It may just be because of the number of guests we’ve had that has raised the likelihood of run-ins with Airbnb. We had over 500 people, and thinking about the times when guests have caused issues (I would say about 15 reservations), that’s only about 0.02 – 0.03% of the time. But my concern is that out of all the times that guests have caused issues (by this I mean issues which we had no responsibility over), I can only say Airbnb handled things fairly 2 times.
We’ve given them the benefit of the doubt the first couple times, but it is clear now that no explanation can be given for the way they lied to us. These lies were blatant and done in a similar fashion. Reps promised things like “unfair reviews will be removed” or “you will be reimbursed if you can prove the damages with photos, and provide invoices for the repairs.” Yet when bad things actually happen, even if you call multiple times and speak to different people, they will tell you the same things: “we never remove reviews on airbnb,” or “I’m not sure how the trip experience team makes decisions, but they have tried to be as fair as possible.” They also refuse to address any evidence you have, like how you have photos to show the damage, or messages between you and the guests to corroborate your story. They will repeat the same response no matter what support you have and ignore everything you say. Even if you call into question the company’s integrity and tell them that another rep had promised you something and that they can check their own phone records, they won’t care. They will even try to pretend it’s bad personal judgement on the other reps’ part. But I will no longer be manipulated by these tactics because it’s happened too many times with too many different reps (I’ve called at least 40 times and was put through to different reps each time) for it to be coincidental. It was easy to believe them because they really do know how to sound sweet and helpful, but now I see through it straight away because of their cookie cutter responses (they literally use the SAME words in a lot of cases).
For the past half a year, we’ve basically been continuing to host only because of the money, but now I’m too much angered by the injustices and I can no longer stand to help a company like this profit. I’m planning to switch over to other rental websites and if successful, we will depart from Airbnb and only then will I go into detail about what happened and show my profile to those who are interested. I’ve also made basic google searches on their business ethics, and I did not like what I found there either. Maybe I’m biased by my own experience, but I’ve lost every ounce of trust I have in this company.
I don’t intend to start an uproar with this, but when I wrote the post I was just absolutely sick and tired of their dishonesty, especially when hiding behind such a warm and friendly image, so I just wanted other people to know. I wouldn’t blame you if you take this with a grain of salt as this is just my personal experience with the company, and I can’t say for sure that others have had the same experiences. However, I’ve tried to be completely honest in this post, without exaggerating and I hope it may help you take precautions (whether that’s moving to another website, a more rigorous guest screening process, or purchasing your own insurance etc.)