I Removed my Property Before Airbnb Deactivated it

I’ve been hosting on Airbnb for six months and basically Airbnb makes me peanuts. The number of nights that they sell is too small, and too short; I could earn more even if I rented my apartment on a long-term basis. Using Airbnb actually reduced my earnings because I often get offers by agents for a two-week to one-month stay, but could not accept it because someone had booked for two nights, which blocks the duration of longer stays. This resulted in much lower earnings using Airbnb than without it.

The truth is Airbnb is a small player; they are a peanut earner. When I cancelled one booking (to make way for a long stay), I received warnings that I may be suspended for the cancellation. I got another offer for a 60-day stay, so I had to cancel another booking for two nights so I could accept the long stay.

That’s when I realized Airbnb is just a waste of time. I went ahead and delisted my property permanently from Airbnb. The funny thing is, three days later Airbnb informed me they suspended my listing because I made two cancellations. Then they told me how I should behave, what I should do with my property, etc. What a joke. Don’t they know I had already delisted my unit? Unless I’m making any real income, Airbnb is just wasting my time.

Impossible to Withdraw Payment for Completed Stays

We have had this space posted on Airbnb for over a year. Bookings have ticked over nicely, and money came in regularly, via PayPal. Then suddenly, from July of this year, there was an hiatus of more than four months in which, according to PayPal (on our bank’s Forex site) the balance was undeclared, and it was impossible to make a withdrawal. After multiple visits to the bank, as well as calls to PayPal, it was revealed that the balance was a minuscule R17000.

After quite a lot more to-ing and fro-ing for two or three weeks, that balance was finally available for withdrawal but, despite the fact that November had been friskily busy and December had been booked for all but four days, not another cent, not another dime has appeared in the balance. Of course, as we all know, contacting Airbnb to get information is an unspeakable hellion of a monster. Yes, it might be an issue with PayPal, not with Airbnb, but in the absence of open communication, how are we to know? How can we ever get to the bottom of this? I no longer trust that Airbnb is paying us as they aught to. Very angry and disgruntled – we would certainly have done better, at this rate, simply to have a tenant.

Reservation Cancelled, Host Selling the House

Airbnb has over $1600 of my money. They have had it for three days, but I don’t have a reservation. I spent hours pouring over the rental choices and finally settled on a place. I gave Airbnb my debit card information and immediately received a message that my reservation had been accepted. A few hours later I received an email from the host – not through the Airbnb website, but just through Yahoo mail saying that the house was up for sale and they didn’t think it would be available for our dates. I waited a day and didn’t get a notice from Airbnb. I contacted the host and she said she was in an area with bad wifi reception and her emails to Airbnb kept getting “kicked back” (somehow she was able to communicate with me, though). I contacted Airbnb by phone (had to Google the number because they don’t make it easy to find them on their site). A foreign-sounding customer service representative said he would forward my case up the ladder. There was no word later that day or the next. I called again and they said it would be 48 hours. All this time they were holding my money and I couldn’t rent another place. In the banking business this would be called check kiting and it would be illegal. I’m not sure why Airbnb is allowed to do it. About a year ago we had a rental in the Napa Valley area and the host cancelled without an explanation. I looked around online and saw that the place was in escrow. This has never happened to me with VRBO, HomeAway, or Tripadvisor vacation rentals. I recommend avoiding Airbnb if you can.