Airbnb Host Refuses to Post Exterior Photos

Must just be me but we get into the strangest situations. We are planning to visit grandchildren in California this September. We had been looking for an Airbnb place to stay. The one in which we usually stay was booked long term until January 2022. We thought we found one; it was a mini farm with small animals, and thought it would be fun for the kids. With the pictures online, the inside looked clean and nice and the reviews were good.

Since we spend so much time outdoors, we wondered why there were no outside photos. Most places show the deck, porch, yard, etc. We emailed her and asked if we could see the outside.

She replied:

We appreciate your interest in the [house]. Airbnb does not allow pictures to be sent before booking. I assume to prevent people from booking outside of Airbnb? Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions that will help you determine if you would like to book a stay with us.

We could understand that, so we replied:

How kind of you for responding so quickly. We were thinking maybe you had photos of the outside that you could post on your listing. Have a great day.

She replied:

The [house] is a guest house on our property, so the outside area guests have access to is limited to the immediate surrounding area. We don’t have pictures of the outside for our own privacy, and security of our own home. If you could please explain why such interest in the outside and deck? We may be better able to answer your question or advise if we have what you’re looking for or not. Stay well!

We decided at $200 a day this was not the place for us when she would not even let us see the outside until we got there. Meanwhile we noticed they have their photos on the listing and even their child’s photo — so much for their privacy.

Lost £500, Host Went AWOL, Airbnb Won’t Help

I just lost £500 on a booking I made back in September for a November trip. I’d planned to stay in Munich for 30 days and after my booking was accepted, all seemed fine. Until, that is, the host didn’t reply to any of my questions. For six weeks there was nothing. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now I need to know if he’s going to be home when I arrive. I asked him repeatedly for contact information, and nothing. No replies, as before. His phone number also just keeps ringing; he doesn’t even have voicemail. I tried ringing Airbnb to see if they could contact him, but Airbnb’s phone just rings and rings; no one there answers.

Since I can’t get any money back on the long-term policy, I thought to change my stay to 27 days, in line with the strict cancellation policy, get some money back (50%). But for my reservation to be accepted at 27 days, Airbnb needs the host to accept the change. The host isn’t picking up his messages, so what good will this do? Yeah, I could’ve just turned up at his house. But would he even be there? Does he even know/remember I’m coming? Is he even in Munich? I have no idea. I feel trapped by all this. So the host will get my £500 whether I turn up or not, and that sucks. All of this could’ve been prevented if he’d just answered his Airbnb emails – it’s called manners. I haven’t had any problems with Airbnb until now. But losing money like that when you can’t even explain the problem to Airbnb, talk to anyone there, and get them to help, makes it worse. I can’t even write a complaint about the host on his profile, to warn other users about him as well as let him know what I think of him. Instead I feel powerless (and out of pocket). I’ve realised Airbnb does nothing to protect the guest; they’re always on the host’s side.

Airbnb: Unreliable, Unscrupulous Company

Airbnb is a terrible, negligent company with awful customer service. I booked an Airbnb in Italy three months prior to my arrival. My credit card was charged and confirmation emails were received. The day of check in, I emailed my host, who said he had no record of my reservation. I called Airbnb and discovered they screwed up the billing and reservation; they never communicated to the host that I paid. They admitted it was 100% their fault. I spent four hours dealing with issues (stress, international phone calls, shoddy internet, unhelpful Airbnb hotline, seven-month pregnant wife, etc.); finally, I was forced to book an expensive hotel as a last minute alternative since everything else was booked.

Airbnb had awful customer service; their offer of compensation was severely inadequate for the additional time and costs that their screw up caused me; they still have not refunded my credit card. Do NOT use this company. If they can’t handle something as basic as this then how can you trust them?

Airbnb: Lousy Customer Service and Booking System

The idea is great but the company leaves much to be desired. The listings are mostly beautified and nobody can guarantee what you get. When you ask for a refund you need to waste two days just to clarify why and what. The customer service sucks. The line was disconnected many times and no one called me back. I asked to cancel my reservation and they said they will get back to me within 24 hours. That never happens and I lost money. I highly recommend not using Airbnb and their system. The reviews system of Airbnb is confusing: regardless of whether you were a good or bad guest, the other person could write the opposite review and deceive others.

More Protection than Guests: Airbnb is Untouchable

We booked a stay in Ha Noi, Vietnam, by the beach based on the blurb and pictures posted by the host. Although their ad left us a little confused as to what it was exactly – a homestay or bnb or hotel or ? – in both the written word and in the pictures, it had ticked enough boxes for us to send the host a few questions about connecting rooms and shared amenities, etc. The host was a little vague but sounded genuine enough for us to make the booking. Some six weeks later the host contacted us stating that several recent guests had complained that the hosts had not advertised what they were offering correctly and that we might want to cancel the booking. So, we asked some very specific and clear questions about the accommodation, always being mindful of the difference in languages. The responses were even more vague than our earlier attempts. It made us feel very uneasy and we asked the host to cancel the booking, which the host had suggested in their correspondence, and tried to find a way of contacting Airbnb for a refund.

When we found out that it was not going to be possible to contact Airbnb about this matter we wrote to the host. Disappointingly but predictably, she wrote back telling us that she could not and it would be up to us to do so and chase up a refund. At the end of all this I find myself $80 out of pocket, but even worse very disappointed in the completely unethical manner in which this huge company – Airbnb that is – hides behind the Internet curtain of anonymity. I cannot in good conscience use or recommend a company that has carefully engineered a site that supports a modus operandi that leaves aggrieved users out of pocket and doesn’t even give them a chance to sort out problems that were not the guests’ fault. In my case they will lose much more than the $80 I lost in this unfortunate deal.