Somebody in Airbnb Development should be Fired

I am three days into a four-month trip to Peru. This is with three reservations via Airbnb of one, one, and two months. For whatever reason (I entered a wrong password, am trying to sign-in from Peru, am using my new laptop) the Airbnb site is asking in a pop-up to send me a verification code.

It offers just two options: in a text message to my phone or in a call to my phone. My phone does not work in Peru so I have no way to receive the verification code. I have called the toll-free number a couple times now. The wait time has been short and the person on the other end appears to be trying to be helpful but today I was told it was given to a case worker and there were none available. BS?

I suggested there was a bug in the website in that it was only showing those two unworkable options. She said there was no bug. BS? I suggested that if that was by design that a traveler was required to carry a US-working phone with them when traveling (and there was no way for the help center to intervene) then that was a very bad design and that designer should be fired.

Everybody I’ve talked to in the help center seems to agree this is stupid but nobody can do anything about it. Airbnb needs to get some better developers.

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


  1. Hi,

    I’m a host, and I share your frustration, with airbnb at times, but ultimately it is our responsibility to have our necessary information in a form we can access when we need it regardless of the available technology.

    Every time I change WIFI locations, my phone and laptop are treated like new devices. There have been a lot of hacks, so the corporate response has been to create layers of access, even when logging in from a device you’ve had for years.

    The front-line call reps have no power, so if there’s a problem, you have to be firm and go further.

    Are you stranded? Then say so and that it is an emergency, and do NOT hang up until you are connected with someone who can actually help you.

    If it’s not an emergency, keep at it anyway and demand an “escalation” to management for a “work around” so you can access your account while traveling.

    Can you download the app onto a foreign mobile phone or your laptop? If so, once you set it up, all you do is click and you’re in.

    Electronic communication is subject to significant error/reception issues/damage/loss. I always print or save screen shots of itineraries/contact info so I have them to refer to during my travels.

    Good luck!

  2. How is this any of Airbnb’s fault? You booked online, you need a phone. You need a password. Your First World problems in Peru look like poor planning on your part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *