Safety of Guests is not a Concern for Airbnb

We stayed at an Airbnb-hosted accommodation near Slough in Beaconsfield previously and were planning to visit again. It’s a clean budgeted accommodation, with CCTV only installed inside the premises. We had an incident on the host’s driveway, which was distressing as we felt quite unsafe.

The host herself confessed a spate of burglaries in the neighbourhood. When we asked the host about a CCTV on her premises, she immediately said it was not on the outside as if she knew something has happened. Moreover, we were surprised that the host, as well as the Airbnb staff, were unempathetic and unhelpful. No consideration was given to guests’ safety.

We have cancelled all our future bookings at this place. We have used Airbnb in the past for may years. This is the first time we have had an unfortunate incident, and Airbnb customer support was very unhelpful.

We asked the Airbnb staff about the host not mentioning the CCTV in her listing, but the customer support insisted that the host did. When I asked Airbnb staff to show evidence of this, no response was received. Also, I requested to check when the host last updated her listing, and there was again no response from the Airbnb team. The Airbnb team also refused to refund the booking amount in full despite cancelling the booking two weeks in advance.

We have also used many American products and services in the past, and their services have been very customer-oriented. Special circumstances are always given an extra bit of attention. We have used Airbnb for many years and recommended it to others.

However, after this incident, we felt that the safety of the guest was not a priority for Airbnb. For that reason will try to avoid using Airbnb whenever possible and would not recommend it to others. We also plan to write about this incident and the way the untrained Airbnb managers have handled the situation on various blogs and websites and discourage people from using it.

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

6 Comments

  1. In the US, a business is not responsible for damage to a customer’s vehicle or theft of a customer property. I.e. if another person accidentally or deliberately damages a customer’s car in a merchant’s parking lot, the merchant is not responsible. It’s the same if a thief steals the customer’s property from their vehicle. I have a hard time believing it’s different in the U.K.

    There are exceptions if the merchant is actually at fault. E.g. an employee of the merchant causes the damage or commits the theft, or maybe poorly maintained tree falls on the customer’s car.

    If the host is aware that neighbors are vandalizing guest vehicles specifically because there is an Airbnb there, then that might be borderline on the host’s part. But, it’s the neighbors that are committing the crimes and they are ultimately responsible for their actions.

  2. Are you sure its not the neighbours that are fed up with the Airbnb and taking matters into their own hands?? Sounds like the host knows more than she is letting on to me.

    Further … The car was parked on the Airbnb let property driveway, not in the street …. its the hosts responsibility therefore and Airbnb for future lets ……

  3. Actually it is the Hosts issue and Airbnb because this customer was on the hosts driveway… thats on the premises… had it been in parked in the street, its another matter. Now my family suffer from an airbnb host from hell and we are now getting an injunction against the property….. but this is my guess….. I bet that property has been a problem one for the neighbours and some irate local (it happens when no one listens viz these unregulated Airbnb listings) that could have damaged your, and other people’s cars beforehand ….. especially as the host ‘sounds’ like they knew this could happen when you spoke….. keep away from Airbnb to be honest… if neighbours don’t have the money to take a host to Court … they will take things into their own hands… legal or otherwise. Hope I’m wrong, but

  4. You can guarantee that the host disclosed the camera in the listing because Airbnb will de-list and ban hosts with undisclosed cameras.

    I don’t understand the incident or the safety issue that has anything to do with Airbnb. I have to guess that you were robbed or your vehicle was burglarized on the host’s driveway, or maybe somebody just used a racial slur at you, but I can only guess. What do you expect that Airbnb or the host should do about it? Are you saying that you simply wanted a 100% refund for the future stay you had already booked with that host? Nothing is really clear.

    Apparently, you think the host should’ve had an exterior camera to protect the guest’s property instead of an interior camera to protect the host’s property, while at the same time complaining that the host did not disclose the camera (an exterior camera has the same disclosure requirements).

    I sure hope what you write on “various blogs and websites” has more thought and effort put into it than what you wrote here.

  5. With all due respect, if you get robbed or assaulted in front of a listing, that incident has nothing to do with your reservation. It’s not the hosts concern, it’s not Airbnb’s concern. It’s very unfortunate, but it’s your problem, not theirs.
    How can you possibly think that Airbnb or a host is responsible for criminality in a certain neighbourhood? Mind-boggling…

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