Let me teach you about Airbnb’s fees

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I have reported this issue to Airbnb. It involves booking issues. A courteous young man tried to help. Unfortunately, he works for a company that has no control or, evidently, no interest in the legitimacy of its listed rental properties.

My friends and I are planning a trip to Spain and Morocco. We are trying to pay ahead and have all issues resolved before our departure date. We have, so far, had very little trouble with booking in Spain. The only issue is that when searching for a property you enter the number of guests and the number of nights requested. Then a list of available properties appears, and you choose a property and book it.

At that time most properties either give you the option of either a partial or a full payment. We always chose the full payment option. As to the number of nights, that isn’t exactly the information the computer needs; it needs the day of arrival and day of departure, not the number of nights. It took us a while and several mistakes to figure this out. A clue from Airbnb would have been helpful.

Other than the number of nights issue, Spain, so far, has been relatively smooth sailing. I say relatively because here comes the headache… Morocco.

As with Spain, we entered the dates and number of guests and a list of available properties appeared. We read the comments, compared prices, and chose a place that was listed at $87/night. As with our other bookings , when a partial or full payment was given, we would chose the full payment option. Our total appeared on the screen as $524.22. Okay, fine, we say. Joke was soon to be on us.

The next email from this property was about a new charge of $976, with add-ons of a cleaning fee of $39.84 (reasonable) and a service fee of $111.60. A charge of $137.54/night was being charged per guest. Whatever happened to the $87 originally quoted in the initial property description?

After making an inquiry as to the change, a new total cost was emailed to us. This time the total was in Euros – €725.00 – with a cleaning fee of €35 and a service charge of of €27.13 deducted from the total. So, when you look at a property, after having submitted all the necessary information, and you receive a list of available properties that meet your criteria, and they advertise a price, beware. Once they have your credit card, it’s open season for bait-and-switch scams, and Airbnb can but won’t do anything about it. Buyer beware.

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

3 Comments

  1. “As to the number of nights, that isn’t exactly the information the computer needs; it needs the day of arrival and day of departure, not the number of nights. It took us a while and several mistakes to figure this out.” You REALLY need to explain why this is an issue for you when every hotel site, expedia and booking.com all do exactly the same thing.

  2. A few things:
    1. The monetary unit EU vs. US-D displays based upon where you are when you make the reservation or when you are looking at the account. As a host, I’ve had a situation where my guest was in Germany, everything displayed to me in the USA in Euros. It was a system problem. Prices displayed correctly the next day.

    2. Hosts have the ability to send you fees for add ons. For example, suppose you want to bring a pet, the host can send you a pet fee. Another example, if you want the host to purchase groceries for your stay and have them available when you arrive, the host can send you a request for payment for the service & groceries. The bottom line is that the guest must AGREE to pay the additional fees. The host cannot “just charge them”.

    3. The $87 rate is the base rate. You booked at $137/night. The base rate is usually the off-season rate. Most hosts increase their rates for peak rental seasons. Also there can be a base rate for one guest with additional fees per night for guest 2, 3, 4, etc.

    4. The $524.22 payment appears to be too low from the beginning. 6 nights x 87 = $522. Your payment doesn’t include the Airbnb fee. That amount cannot be correct. Airbnb is always going to get their fee.

    I’ve found that the first Customer Service Representative you get will be very polite but clueless about any situation that is out of the normal. Call Airbnb Customer Service back. Ask to have the problem escalated to a supervisor. Are you a frequent user of Airbnb? If yes, mention it. (E.g. I’ve used Airbnb for 10 trips and have never had a situation like this).

    Best wishes on getting this resolved.

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