Airbnb Reviews are to Serve the Business

When you look at a host’s review, you might not see the whole story. Our host wrote that people shouldn’t give her one-star reviews if they didn’t read her booking and know what to expect. Fair enough, right?

The host had hundreds of review, but if you scroll down, you can’t find any guests that did not recommend staying there. I wish I knew why someone would give this host a one-star review, and I figured out the hard way.

When I had to do an emergency change to the reservation, the host declined my request to change any dates. I ended up paying more than double the original price because it was a special weekend and $40 in Airbnb fees for two nights. Why do the booking and service fees cost so much for just two days?

The room was okay but the floor was like concrete: no rugs, tiles, or carpeting. There were spiders in the room and the bathroom, and the yard looked unkempt: dirt yard, wooden boards. You could see how the neighbor’s yard at least looked neat and had plants. It was a basic home and room that cost the same as staying in a hotel for one night.

When you have this happen, don’t bother calling Airbnb. After staying there, Airbnb predicted that my review might be too honest for them and actually blocked me from writing reviews. It’s a business, they said, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t appeal to them. They don’t even tell you that you can’t write reviews.

They force you to only have two choices: lose your money and don’t stay there, or have no choice but to stay there because after you’ve reserved on a strict reservation, there’s no cancelling. You end up losing your money anyway and paying 15% in fees.

Next time, book a hostel or a hotel where they don’t charge a high booking fee and let you change your reservation. Hostel and hotel reviews on Yelp aren’t monitored by the hostel and hotel themselves. You get more honest feedback that way. When reviews are monitored by the business and chosen by the business, you’ll know the reviews are to serve the business.

Airbnb Overcharged Guests and Doubled Prices

I found a holiday apartment and made a reservation. I checked all the prices and the service fee was about 20€. Then it turned out to be 100€. I booked more nights without knowing they would double charge me for very high service fees. This change was not visible before or after booking, only many days after.

I was thinking that the host (who was also not the most honest person – left us a dirty apartment, wrote a bad review etc.) over charged me but it was for Airbnb’s service. I checked the bill multiple times and it seemed to be like the host overcharged, but then after a few days I checked the bill again and turned our Airbnb’s service charge had increased.

On Airbnb they lie and promise all fees are visible but those fees are never visible enough. Guests have to check multiple times before you see the prices and also afterwards; the reservation fees could change suddenly – nothing is final. If a customer service worker (or host) has bad intentions, he can do anything and change the fees to get more money.

When guests accept a booking, guests only accept the payment guests will see. Later it is possible to charge more by changing the prices. I think there are many people who just want to get more money and overcharge guests. The system is not fair for guests. It’s only the way for Airbnb and hosts to make money. I’ve used other holiday booking pages and normally service fees are included. Airbnb deducts skyhigh service fees and can even double them at any time.

What guests see is only the amount, but without knowing what the price was for each service; that’s what happened to me. The online bill is usually very unclear and everything is written on the right side, not in the middle like it should be. I didn’t get any customer service with this double charge. I would not accept if I had known this.

I tried to contact Airbnb but got no answer; their service workers are always so busy – no wonder because they have to handle complaints all the time. I don’t think they hire enough customer service workers and that’s how they leave guests in trouble. This is also one way to save money. Airbnb is all about the money for the site and hosts. It’s more like a hostel without any rules. I wonder how long it can work like that. Guests are not important, only their money is.