Identification Trouble from Airbnb Hell

I’m not a frequent Airbnb user, but it has always been a good experience for some years now. Recently, Airbnb requested some real identification and asked for a copy of my passport. No problem, I can understand about that kind of request. It may even be some improvement to avoid scams or other abuse.

However, Airbnb then asked for verification with a live image of mine. I tried. I tried ten times with the app. I could take a selfie with the app, but then I just dropped back to the home page of the app. There was no kind of confirmation whether this image was received, and obviously it never was.

In parallel I tried to contact Airbnb support. They always wanted to walk me through the confirmation process. I did three times and it never worked. I asked to escalate this problem to someone who could find another solution. They walked me through the process again.

They asked me to install Airbnb on another phone. I did. Now the app asked for a confirmation code, which I received on my own phone. Again, that’s a reasonable request, but the second app did not give me any option where to enter this four-digit code which I had received.

I’m still in identification hell. I tried to book two different accommodations several times. After 12 hours this reservation will be deleted automatically since I still lack proper identification. You might guess that there should be any kind of bypass for the support team to accept any other kind of identification, but there is nothing else they claim they can do.

Broken app which has never been properly tested? Broken support, who can not help you at all? Unfortunately, there’s not much alternative to Airbnb nowadays (in Germany), other than ordinary hotels and

Initial Signup Nightmare, Mistaken Identity

In September 2019 I completed all of the required signup processes (including a copy of my driver’s license). I booked my first stay in an Airbnb property an was promptly contacted to setup linen service and cleaning service. All good… yeah, right.

Three to four days later, I received an email stating my reservation had been cancelled. I promptly attempted to log into the site to get any details of why the reservation was cancelled only to find my account had been suspended. I emailed the customer support team and the only information they would provide was that my claim was under review.

At this point, I was done with Airbnb. I made my reservations through the exact same rental company that was involved in my Airbnb effort and moved on. I enjoyed my four-day weekend at a different property.

Fast forward to October 23rd (over a month since my customer support claim/ticket was submitted). I received an email that I could dispute the finding of their consumer report. What?

I logged into the site they provided. It seems that I was linked to a guy in Arkansas with a laundry list of misdemeanor and felony convictions (same first and last name, same birthday, but different state and race). Remember I provided my driver’s license during signup? Anyway, I’m not using their service. I sent an email to Brian Chesky, but doubt I will get a response. We have better options.

I wish I were still 10 years younger for verification

Hello, I am a 65 year old French citizen traveling extensively in Southeast Asia. I have been a user of Airbnb for three or four years, a guest about 20 times with 5 to 10 reviews from hosts, all positive. My ID has been checked (photos, passport copy, email address and phone numbers) many times. Airbnb still continues to ask me to send them photos and I could not book any new rentals for the last six months; they kept telling me :”It’s difficult to see you in the photo you took of yourself”; “to help us make sure it’s you, the photo of your face needs to match the photo that’s on your ID.”

I wish my face now would be the same as the one ten years ago. Passports are valid for up to ten years in France. I tried to change my profile photo (not sure which one they check anyway). I suspect their facial recognition is just automatic and crap, not done by humans. Anyway I quit. I write this because I would like hosts to know that because of Airbnb’s weak support (no way to reach them with a specific problem), they probably lose many opportunities.

As for me, either I use other providers now, or I contact hosts directly that I found on Airbnb (but now Airbnb does not get a commission anymore, which is fair enough given their weak customer experience). Only the selection is better on their site, but it is of no use as I cannot rent there anyway. Thank you for reading.