I had an absolute nightmare with Airbnb over the past week. I have been a Superhost for most of the 18 months I have been doing this, with 52 mostly 5-star reviews, many of them very glowing if I may say so, because I have always gone out of my way to help my guests have a good stay. Apparently one guest had filed what they called a “safety concern”, and they called me to hear my side of the story. I was absolutely blissfully unaware, and asked what the complaint was about. They could not tell me for reasons of protecting confidentiality, but asked if I could please give a response, as depending on my response they may have to close down my account.
I obviously found it impossible to respond not knowing what I had to respond to, and got rather annoyed. Next thing I knew, I got a message that my listing has been taken down and all my future bookings as a guest had been cancelled. An absolute lack of transparency over how one person’s claim of unknown nature, has defied 52 fantastic reviews on someone who has been a Superhost for 18 months?
To top it all off, in this same week, Airbnb had given my address details to a guest despite his payment having failed. When he turned up at 22:00 in the evening, I took him in in good faith and I reported the matter to Airbnb the following day. The customer service staff member suggested a half-hearted solution, which again in good faith I followed. Eventually I had someone staying in my place for two days, and the payment has never come. On contacting customer service again, they then claimed the booking technically didn’t exist since it was automatically cancelled due to failed payment, and as such they (Airbnb) could not be held responsible.
I had been always very passionate about the Airbnb concept, but will now take my listing elsewhere to a place where a host is hopefully better respected. Certainly I will cease to encourage friends and colleagues to make use of Airbnb, the system is as far as I am concerned, broken.