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Airbnb reviews

137 reviews
888 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
terms@airbnb.com
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137 Reviews for Airbnb.com

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jims114
New Reviewer
10/1/14

Tried to book a room in San Francisco. Reservation was never processed by Airbnb, however my $1000 payment was ABSOLUTELY processed.

It was VERY difficult to reach a human being to try to resolve the problem. When I did--finally--they were no help whatsoever (even spoke to a supervisor--no joy).

In short, I DO NOT recommend you do business with Airbnb. If your experience is anything like mine, you will absolutely regret it if you do.

ryang24
New Reviewer
10/1/14

Booked accommodation through airbnb. airbnb client took my money, no accommodation provided. Airbnb refused to take responsibility and refused to refund me. EBAY and Amazon would assume responsibility and protect the integrity of their markets. Not Airbnb. Their market has no integrity and is doomed. BEWARE! DO NOT USE AIRBNB!

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
Ask Ryan about Airbnb
craigm50
New Reviewer
10/1/14

Stay away.
The hosts reply to your reservation requests in their own good time.
The host can cancel your accommodation with 24 hrs notice; can you imagine what situation this puts you in when you have flights booked for a family.
If you you are not happy with your accommodation you can't leave bad feedback on the airbnb site.
DON'T TAKE THE RISK.
Its all one sided towards the host and you can be stranded in an unfamiliar city with no accommodation.

giorag
New Reviewer
9/20/14

I have used airbnb quite often and generally speaking I enjoyed the service.

However:
1. Does anybody notice that there is no way to contact airbnb? a service company without service. If there is a problem - good luck.
2. The new URL does not even show the area of the city.

Folks, u r going the wrong way. =bargiora (member)

celinek2
New Reviewer
9/10/14

AirBnB sucks! Just a warning to all of you who are thrilled about AirBnB like I was. I wait for 700 EUR for a cancelled booking since over a month. No response from AirBnB customer service. And I have to pay 10 % (i.e. 80 EUR) service fee to AirBnB (my host sees nothing of this money) despite cancelling 1 month in advance.

Tip for consumers: it's ok if you just go for 1 or 2 nights somewhere. but for longer ... I'd suggest to use a different service

Service
Value
Ask Celine about Airbnb
ruthh19
New Reviewer
9/6/14

Last summer Airbnb was great. All my guests were cool and we got along well. In the off season however things changed. I had a guest who initally appeared okay but turned into a drunk the loud, opinionated and gross kind. I had to ask him to go to a hotel. I did not report him at the time because he did not demand a refund. I had already booked another male guest who was emailing me with inappropriate requests and gave me the impression he thought this was a dating site. I cancelled five days before he arrived because of my previous bad experience. The guest phoned me begging to be allowed to stay with me. It was desperadoville. I did not pay any attention to the postings saying that I had cancelled the booking. I also cancelled a booking a few months in advance because I could not promise the guest the room would still be available then. Another person booked in and after she arrived I discovered that I had been charged 150 in fees for the two cancellations. I tried to contact Airbnb a couple of times with no reply. I tried again and got a reply from someone called Lily who was very polite and continued to send me information from the site, but ignored my request for a refund. I pointed out the various inconsistencies in their own policies and never got a response to those. Finally Lily told me that my complaint has been resolved which it hasnt and so I have pulled the plug on Airbnb.

Tip for consumers: if you are thinking about hosting, shop around and read all the conditions of the site first. It is not that simple and penalties and costs are not simple to find on the help pages.

Service
Value
Returns
Quality
Ask Ruth about Airbnb
davidj99
New Reviewer
9/3/14

Don't go there. In June, I booked a flat in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the dates of August 15 to 17. At the time of booking, I went through the full online registration process and then pre paid for the stay by credit card, also providing my address and phone number. Over the next 60 days or so, I received several emails from both AirBnb and the host, reminding me of my reservation and asking for my arrival time. I thought AirBnb was switched on.

Then, less than 24 hours prior to my scheduled 4:00 PM check in time on August 15, I got an email from the "Trust and Security" division at Air, requiring me to send them a copy of my photo ID via email. Failing this option, my reservation would be cancelled. Obviously, I wouldn't email a copy of my passport to the Pope. I suggested to Air that I present my passport on arrival. No go. I was forced to make a last minute, very pricy booking at a Brooklyn hotel.

AirBnb created a needless last minute travel hassle. They also cost me $500.00. Never again.

marisam2
New Reviewer
9/1/14

Terrible. I had a booking from a guest who told me after she booked that she would be arriving at 1.00am. I told her that nobody would be available to check her in at that time. She refused to cancel so I had to cancel the reservation. AIRBNB fined me 100 dollars. I wrote to them to ask why but never received a reply. Awful, awful company.

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
Ask Marisa about Airbnb
nolaa
New Reviewer
8/31/14

Read the fine print. Depending on the state you live, the guest may become a tenant if s/he reserves for 30+ days. If you have a problem, Airbnb customer service is almost nonexistent. When tenant refused to leave, I called the "urgent" number, 2 times and waited over 40 minutes with no response.

Advise do not rent to locals, at least you have a decent chance of the person leaving if they are from out of town. My local yokel is the tenant from hell and Airbnb is NO HELP!!!!!

Tip for consumers: Do not rent to locals or for 30+ days rentals in states where this creates a tenancy and forces you to give a 30 day notice on the date of arrival to avoid being stuck with a long term tenant. In addition, you are on your own with the eviction process, Airbnb is NO HELP!!!

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
Ask Nola about Airbnb
jenniferc63
New Reviewer
8/18/14

You'll have a problem with Airbnb if you have a problem with a location. We stayed at a flat with a plumbing issue, so we had to quickly move locations, as we had been without the use of a toilet from the night before. We went to the Airbnb website, where there was no telephone number to be found. We scrambled to find a hotel to stay in and then made a claim online at Airbnb. Once we returned home and received a call from Airbnb, we were told that, if we had called Airbnb BEFORE going to the hote,l they would have covered the cost of the hotel. BUT OF COURSE THEY GAVE NO PHONE NUMBER ON THEIR WEBSITE TO DO THAT! Wasn't that convenient. The only way we were able to get in direct contact was to hit cancel on the reservation and then a week later (after we were home) THEY CALLED US!

Tip for consumers: Email Airbnb before a trip and ask them what to do and what information you need to take with you on your trip, BEFORE you leave.

Service
Ask jennifer about Airbnb
suek10
New Reviewer
8/7/14

I used Airbnb for my trip back in May and I stayed at over 5 listings across Europe, namely London, Paris, Nice (2 listing), and Amsterdam. Reading the reviews somehow made me feel wary although I had a wonderful time at all of these listings. It was understandable at some of the listings the internet are a bit off and a few dusty cupboard. But all in all it was not bad at all despite it being my first experience.

I was declined for a lot of listings too and despite some of them personally replying me saying that the dates are not available which is nice but I would still get it too if they just decline because every query requires one to provide number of guests and date of check in and check out. Them sending us an automated declined would suggest that our dates/number of guests did not match their listing.

As far as being first time users and not being reviewed thus the rejection, I feel that it is important that you create your profile with complete profile of yourself such as your intended trip purposes and a photo. (as much as we are afraid to trust the other person they are also afraid and have to thread very carefully even more so as they are allowing us into their homes)

I was never a host but at all the 5 listings I took time to ask the hosts their experience as hosts and they positively described their experience as host and 1 of the host was even a Super Host on Airbnb.

As I am sure with all other Bnb's or accommodation everyone is worried they might be scammed and we are clueless to know whether or not a particular contact could be a scam thus I suggest taking extra precautions for all payment transactions and personal infos released. Airbnb is definitely and interesting concept to me as they allow me personal contact with locals and give me better insights to their own city.

My reasons to sought out reviews and found this was due to another trip I am planning to take and realized that anything could happen to anyone.

Just my thoughts.

susanm86
New Reviewer
8/7/14

Airbnb has done a really slick PR campaign in the UK recently, making the concept of the “sharing economy” sound so great and noble. And to be fair I do know a couple of people who have made successful bookings with them. But from my own first experience I would only recommend using this site whilst exercising EXTREME CAUTION and a healthy dose of SCEPTICISM. Don’t get swept up in the trendy PR message of “we’re all one big, happy, caring-sharing family looking to break the monopoly of the evil hotel chains”. The company is currently valued at 10 billion dollars, it’s a monster money-making machine in its own right and seems to have less integrity and accountability than many of the large hotel/letting giants.

I haven't actually made a booking with them yet (and probably never will) but my user experience on the site was pretty dire. We were looking for an apartment in Palma de Mallorca for a few days ... I hope this rather long review will give potential users an overview of why Airbnb may not be as good as it seems on paper.....

The very first property we considered clearly had incorrect information on the listing - ie, the title stated, and pictures showed, that it was a large 5 bed villa in what looked like an out-of-town location, BUT the 'blurb' underneath then went on to say that it was a small apartment with only 2 bedrooms and was in the centre of town. I clicked on the 'Contact host' button rather than the 'Request to book' button, since I wasn't requesting to book, I simply wanted to clarify the issue and give the host the benefit of the doubt that it was a one-off mistake. However, in my private Airbnb messages, I just got an automated reply saying ‘Declined’. How can a booking be “declined” when it was never requested in the first place?? If they meant that my request for information was “declined” that’s kinda even worse. It left a sour taste, ie, no personal response from the host explaining why their listing was wrong which it very, very clearly was…

A second property we were interested in looked like a large villa in a beachside location …. The response to the enquiry via the Airbnb message system requested us to contact the supposed host’s “wife” via another email address (cunningly disguised to look like an offical Airbnb email) … this is a scam…. DO NOT contact anyone from Airbnb if they suggest you communicate with them directly outside of the site. I got an automated email from Airbnb about 24 hrs later saying that they had detected a potential fraud and not to contact the host again. Which is good on the one hand that they spotted this (although I noticed 3 days later the fraudulent listing was STILL up on the site) but bad in that in only our second enquiry we had come up against a scam on their website, a property that clearly didn’t exist for rent (Looking back, I think the scammers had just cut-and-pasted some photos from another website).

The one saving grace was an interaction with a host on our third enquiry who seemed genuine and was very polite and responsive and lovely. Thank you Richard of “Huge Old Town Modernist Apartment” listing, you were fabulous (and the only reason I've given 2 stars rather than 1 star overall).

However, the next couple of listings we looked at – showing on the Airbnb map as being separate properties, a mile apart, and listed at different prices - BOTH HAD EXACTLY THE SAME PICTURES!! I didn’t bother contacting the hosts as I was fed up and disillusioned by this point.

The upshot of all this is that, honestly, you cannot completely trust the listings.

And don’t necessarily be lulled into a sense of security if the property you book has great reviews. I'm sure many, many reviews are genuine, but out of curiosity after our poor experience, I briefly trawled through 60 property listings in a search of “Palma de Mallorca” – don’t you think it’s a little suspicious that I only found ONE review out of more than 130 individual user reviews for different properties that was less than 4.5 stars out of 5? Compare to TripAdvisor, which isn’t perfect either, but at least they seem to actually allow people to post negative reviews and the customer can then take it all with a pinch of salt, read between the lines and get an overall balanced view. I cannot believe that all 60 of those Airbnb properties in Palma are SO marvellous that noone had posted a less-than-glowing review. Are they somehow blocking negative reviews from the site to make it look good? I would not be at all surprised.

Just take huge care when using Airbnb is all I’m saying, there are clearly lots of genuine hosts and happy customers, but the increasing popularity of the site has inevitably opened it up to large numbers of commercial agents looking to flog their inventory (rather than individual property owners trying to make a bit of extra cash from their beloved home, which is how Airbnb markets itself) as well as outright scammers and charlatans. Certainly the majority of listings we looked at in Palma were handled by agents, not owners, as evidenced by their multiple listings. Which makes it no different to booking with any other villa/property rental website.

It sounds like this company has become a willing victim of its own success – what started out as a great idea has been overtaken by financial greed and an inability to keep pace with the dramatic growth in terms of security and customer service. It sounds like it’s become a numbers game for them – “OK, so xx percent of our customers/hosts are really dissatisfied, but there’s always a bunch of others to take their place, so we don’t need to worry too much about keeping the complainers happy!”

Be aware that Airbnb does not vet the properties offered, or ask for any proof of ownership such as a utility bill or whatever, they take the host’s descriptions/photos at face value. And pretty much anyone can register as a host, despite all the guff about ‘verification’ etc. Also be aware that your booking is not guaranteed – the host has the ability to cancel at very short notice, leaving you stranded. Plus if you have a problem, the small print on the Airbnb website (which I studied in detail) pretty much guarantees that you will have no comeback. Once you pay for your booking, they can effectively wash their hands of it and claim that it was up to you to check things out before you parted with your money.

You may get lucky and have a lovely time with Airbnb, but PLEASE at least consider the potential pitfalls, of which there are many, and go into it with your eyes very wide open.

williamm110
New Reviewer
8/6/14

I tried to book accommodation in Glasgow and spent many hours retyping the two credit cards to use. The BOOK NOW button remained inactive, so I contacted the hosts to tell of the situation. They were communicative and did their best to help.

I contacted airbnb who replied "Hello William,

I'm sorry you've been having trouble with the site. If you have been viewing airbnb on a different browser, be advised that is best to view Airbnb in Google Chrome.

If you’d like, we have a help article on the topic: https://www.airbnb.com/help/question/446

In many cases, issues like this can be also easily solved by clearing your internet browser's history, cookies, and cache.

I see you just joined, welcome to Airbnb! I hope it brings you wonderful experiences. As a token of our welcome i would like to offer you a $100USD coupon for your first trip:

Code: LCSOQSVT
Expires: 2015-08-05

Let me know if I can be if any further assistance.

Happy Travels William!
Evie"

To try regain the booking I asked my daughter-in-law to make the booking for me.

With her iphone and previous airbnb app she couldn't even log in, so she had to delete the app and reinstall the latest edition before she was allowed in, The booking had been taken.

This shows that whoever writes their web software is only interested in the 18 to 20 year olds with the latest technology. The software engineer's manager should be informed of his narrow window of conception and operation.

Most websites manage to accommodate ALL operating systems without marginalising old fashion software platforms, or else their market would shrink.

I'm going to pronounce this failure of operation on various forums, as I'd hate anyone to experience what I've been through, my first and only time.

Yours unfaithfully,
William.

P.S. I successfully booked in to an hotel. It might be 29GBP more but a straight forward transaction is simple and without headache.

erylh
New Reviewer
8/6/14

I have been hosting with AIRBNB for 3 years and have had some good bookings, but the customer service for hosts is dreadful.
I always used to recieve money in my bank account 1 day after the payout date advised to me. I have now been waiting over 11 days for 4 payments- which as an agent, I need to forward to others- this is damaging my business reputation.
I have emailed 3 times and all I have received is an email thanking me for "reaching out to them"- no resolution to the problem
I am owed 3500€ and have a guest arriving today which will make the total I am owed more than 4800€- we run a small business and we cannot sustain this level of debt.
AIRBNB has been paid months in advance.
HAS THEIR SYSTEM BEEN HACKED AND PAYMENTS BEING DIVERTED??-
We are cancelling all future bookings with this company until we get payment of outstanding debts

kittyr1
New Reviewer
8/5/14

Have been both a host and guest and have only had good experiences with AirBnB. From a guest p.o.v., the chance to holiday in your chosen destination for longer plus you get to know a native is fantastic. Sometimes you are staying with someone else but you don't have to. Alternatively, you can rent a completely self contained space, too, and have all the comforts of home for less than a hotel. I understand they do have insurance and have given me only good customer service on occasion when I've needed it. As a host, no problems so far either.

eileenh6
New Reviewer
8/4/14

I´ve been renting out our holiday cottage over Airbnb for a couple of years now, and everything worked out fine. Until this week. I´ve been trying to contact their customer service for two days, and it is well nigh impossible. They have given a guest who wants to stay for a week in August - a week in September, and no matter how many times I email them, nothing happens.
Unfortunately, we have no telephone number, so have to rely on emails.
Shoddy service,and have lost the customer too. He of course didn´t take the week in September.

micheles21
New Reviewer
8/4/14

IF you own a rental, beware! My renter has been renting out the guest house I lease her WITHOUT my permission on Airbnb. I contacted Airbnb and told them I own the property and insisted they remove the listing. The response? Sorry, we can tell the host of your concern but we won't take down the listing! But....Have a great day!!

lisar44
New Reviewer
7/31/14

Beware Airbnb! I made a request to book, then spoke to the host about a different property which we ended up booking through them directly. Airbnb sent me an email confirming that they voided the charges, but still put through the charges on my credit card. Now I am stuck with the charges until they contact the credit card company and have no one to speak to at Airbnb to sort this out. I will never trust them again.

vs23
New Reviewer
7/26/14

AirBnB cancellation fee is ridiculously high. We lost 62 GBP as we had to cancel our trip to Tel Aviv because of the recent conflict. Never will book using AirBnB.!!

timb60
New Reviewer
7/25/14

Customer service as a guest was great. Host had a serious problem with their place, we moved out, host was being unreasonable on our request for a refund, but within a few hours of calling airbnb and providing photo proof of the problem, a full refund was issued. I couldn't be happier with airbnb's customer service (and especially the efforts of Holly at customer service, Patsy at Airbnb trip experience, and whoever else was on the team that handled my case). I've dealt with hotels, airlines, all sorts of institutions where problems sometimes arise, and I've never before seen such a fast and fair resolution.

rg25
New Reviewer
7/25/14

The AirBnb fee structure totally sucks. I have two Guest's who are complaining at me. The way you calculate fees is in transparent, the way you display the fees is crap, the method of describing this to the Host and Guest at price point is confusing to new users and frankly dishonest. We should have to "discover" your fee structure - it should be laid out in clear English. Please fix else I will be subscribing with competitors. Thanks

dag25
New Reviewer
7/24/14

I have never used it as a guest, but as a host it is a terrible company. If they treat guests like they treat hosts then stay far away from them. The customer service is non-existent, they do not even list a telephone number! The owe me money from 13 days ago, they say they pay in 3-4 days, and they also owe me money from 30 days ago. I have e-mailed them three times and have gotten no response except that they are working on it, that was six days ago.

Good luck.

andresr10
New Reviewer
7/23/14

I am new to airbnb and tried to book several apartments for my trip to DC. However, all the apartments ( i wrote to 5 hosts) declined my inquiry without even a message explaining why i was declined. I am assuming hosts saw that i had no reviews on the site since i am new to it and haven't stayed at any place yet and decided to decline. There is no way to start using this site if no one accepts my inquiries. I decided then to contact listings on flipkey instead and found a great apartment that responded quickly and i am now booked for my trip.

mikej91
New Reviewer
7/20/14

As a host, AirBnb will ruin your holidays.
Letting your place on AirBnb is a lot of stress before, during and after the guest(s) stayed at your place. It's a lot of stress before, because it's a huge amount of work to prepare your place. It's a lot of stress during, because you are away and guests always have questions and requests.It's a lot of stress after, because you worry about bad reviews that could hurt your popularity. Altogether, if you want to enjoy headache free holidays, don't let your place on AirBnb. If you really want to do it, hire a landlord or an agency, you won't regret it.

vc3
New Reviewer
7/16/14

They sent duplicate tax forms for us to the IRS, so the IRS thinks we owe them twice as much as we do.
Airbnb has been totally unresponsive, giving us the runaround, and then dropping off the map.

What a shameful company you are. Between the legal problems we can get from using them, the risk of random people using and abusing your lovely home (as they have in the past), and then Airbnb making you pay DOUBLE the amount of taxes you owe because they screwed up is nuts. Stay away from these vipers. Their mishandling of this very serious matter was disgusting and legal action will be taken on our part.

naekok
New Reviewer
7/8/14

Great experience. Had an issue with a host on my 2nd booking. Airbnb immediately intervened and made an honest and fair decision. Completely trustworthy company. Without them, I could have been scammed out of thousands of dollars!

lewisr6
New Reviewer
7/6/14

On my second airbnb reservation my host cancelled. i learned that this is the hosts prerogative under their policies. Airbnb states that a refund to a credit card should take about 5 days. It took much longer: eight days until they documented my refund request and another eight days until it showed up as a refund on my credit card.

annes31
New Reviewer
6/25/14

I booked an Airbnb experience, and Airbnb gave the host and I the wrong date and so charged me for the experience the week before it should have occurred. So now I am out $40 for the experience that never occured. There is no number to call Airbnb to talk to customer service on the site. I am now afraid that something will actually go wrong with the apartment I rented through them. I hope it is there when I arrive in Paris in a few days! Do not pay for any experiences on the site since they mislead you and charge you for experiences that never happen!

denisec18
New Reviewer
6/23/14

Beware of fees!!! Booked three nights and had to change reservation. Now, a $170 night reservation ($510) has cost $120 in AirBNB fees. Will never book through this agency again and will avoid hosts that utilize this service.

garyl33
New Reviewer
6/23/14

Our host Patrick was delightful. The rental was over the top, amenities provided were beyond expectations, Garden apartment in the Kenwood area of Minneapolis was a perfect location. We could walk or use public transportation along with our rental car. It was everything and more, especially paying attention to every detail. I would recommend anyone to stay at this location. Superb. Thanks you Patrick Porter. Sincerely, Brian, Jeff, Wayne, and Gary

kayv5
New Reviewer
6/19/14

My husband and I are long-time Airbnb hosts and have had, with one exception, only positive experiences as hosts. We've only been guests once, and that was somewhat negative.

I'd like to set the record straight regarding a number of complaints made by many on this review site. And then I'll offer my own positive/negative thoughts about Airbnb.

First, as a host I have spent countless hours answering questions from potential guests who DO NOT read the listings. If they'd only do that, they'd see that their questions are already answered. Yet over and over I have to repeat what I've already written in clear, precise English, with correct grammar and spelling, and with bulleted lists of the amenities offered.

Second, before posting a listing, the host must choose their own cancellation policy, from a choice of three. They range from a) allowing the guest to cancel at any time with a full refund (although I'm not certain if Airbnb charges some fee), to b) Moderate - the guest gets a refund if cancelled with five days of the arrival date, and finally c) Strict - there is no refund at all even if cancelled long before the date of arrival. Airbnb does not set the cancellation policy; the host does, and it would behoove any guest to check a host's cancellation policy BEFORE making the reservation. If you don't want to get stuck, don't reserve a place that has a strict cancellation policy. You can even set this as one of your search parameters, and you won't be shown those listings.

Some of the reviewers here obviously didn't bother to read or understand the cancellation policy of the particular accommodation they booked, and then faulted Airbnb for not returning their money. As I said, guests do not read the listings. They should.

2) Other reviewers complained about Airbnb not keeping calendars up to date. That is the full responsibility of the host. When a guest looks at a calendar for a place they're interested in, it will say clearly when the calendar was last updated. It is up to the guest to contact the host to determine if the required dates are available. Some hosts never bother to update their calendars. But that certainly isn't Airbnb's fault.

One reviewer urged guests to book a place that only has photographs done by official Airbnb photographers. That can be very misleading. I'm no photographer, but my unaltered photographs happened to come out great, so I did not use a photographer that Airbnb will supply free to hosts. And I included some long shots that give an idea of the relative space. However, our one rental experience DID use an Airbnb photographer. When we got to the apartment, it looked exactly like the photos, except for one minor detail: the apartment was a dollhouse version of the photos. The pro zoomed in on the sofa, then the kitchen, and finally the living room. There was no way of us knowing that all three were contained in one tiny space smaller than our bedroom closet. Nor did the photos, which showed a clean apartment, give us any hint of the grime imbedded on the windows and every surface that wasn't part of those photos! There was no long shot in the bathroom we couldn't tell that it wasn't big enough to lay the bath mat down flat. Claustrophobia was the name of that game.

After returning home, I wrote a balanced review of that place, with a few positive statements, but mostly negative. It was not removed, nor was another completely negative review that was posted after we'd booked it.

But I am no apologist for Airbnb, even though as hosts, the company has been mostly very good for us. Airbnb's non-existent customer service, lack of transparency, and inability to keep its website or app functional will be its undoing. It is disgraceful to have to hold the phone for up to 45 minutes before speaking to an untrained and powerless C.S. rep who has no answers and doesn't have a clue how to deal with anything. It is disgraceful that there is no way to escalate a question or problem to a supervisor, let alone anyone higher up the food chain. It is disgraceful that one has to spend half an hour before finding an email address or a phone number to reach a company whose business model is an online business only.

Our one bad experience as hosts concerned a threesome of Asian exchange students on Christmas break from a university in the midwest. I didn't realize that I could have set certain requirements for our guests in advance, because Airbnb didn't make this clear on their website until after we were in the throes of dealing with the problem. The three guests, due to limited English, misunderstood our listing and thought they were renting an unoccupied house, rather than our guest rooms. They expected us to hand over the keys and leave the house. They had been planning to sneak in four more people, plus their two unhousebroken puppies, which I had told them in advance they couldn't bring. We didn't learn this until the day after their arrival when, we found that the puppies had been left in their car overnight in the cold of winter. Second, when we called Airbnb to report them (they did bring in a fourth person - not part of the original rental - because they obviously couldn't leave HER in the car overnight), we were told that someone had just left a negative review of them. Seems they had come to us from another state (the first part of their midwinter party vacation), and totally trashed that house, leaving a trail of damage from the dogs and the seven people who were discovered occupying the place, which they had booked for three. They were supposed to stay in our home for a week, but mercifully they left as soon as we confronted them about the dogs. I guess they realized the jig was up and their plans had been thwarted. But they did manage to cancel the rest of their reservation and get a partial refund, much to our dismay. I added my own negative review to the previous host's, and they are both still there to this day, six months later. But, and this is a big but, I implored Airbnb to boot the girl who was the account holder of record off the site. These two negative reviews, and the damage they inflicted to the previous host, who lost a long-term rental from having to repair her house, should have been enough. But she's still there, and still able to cause nightmares to any host not savvy enough to read her reviews. This is a cautionary tale, and one of the many factors that I suspect will cause the downfall of Airbnb. When a company does not value customer service and the customers it serves, but values money above all else, it is doomed. Maybe later rather than sooner, but doomed nonetheless.

If you are one of the few who has read this to the end, I congratulate you. You're a rare breed, indeed!

jakef25
New Reviewer
6/18/14

I've had a decent experience with the site. I used it to find housing in Asia and it worked really well. I think it depends which city you're looking for. For example, in Berlin there are almost no listings and people want a lot of money to stay there. So it depends on how desirable the location is and what the level of inventory.

scarletc
New Reviewer
6/18/14

Used to love the Airbnb experience as a host until recently when I was enlightened with the real picture of the horrible customer service offered by this company.

Fully agreed with some of the comments given on this site - appalling customer service. One day out of the blue my account was disabled for no reason. I tried to call them to (1) understand what happened and (2) reinstate the listing as everyday of it not being active costs me reservations and $. Customer service line was always busy, and I ended up waiting on the phone for 30min for what must have been 10 calls to a US number within the course of 2 days (I am based in the UK). The reason why I had to call them 10 times is because half the time the person I was on the phone with was clueless about what was going on (more than one of them was adamant to me that my account was still up and running - and only after 10 minutes of closer look or so realised that actually yes it was disabled!). In addition, the whole process was hugely opaque - all they could do was to pass on your "case" to "a specialist department" to investigate. I never heard anything meaningful from this "specialist department" - they sent me back an email saying the account had been reinstated (without an explanation as to why it had happened in the first place) but when I checked it turned out it was still disabled. Appalled, I called back (and waited on the line for 30min again) to only find myself back in the original helpless explaining - waiting process. Nothing has been resolved or updated since.

Worst is the attitude of some of these call-centre people: When I expressed my concern that, because I can't even access my account and because the whole incident has been such a bad experience, I may consider delisting the place to avoid getting into the same trouble in the future, the lady on the line cheekily said "you don't have to stay with us - but if you cancel your future reservations we will charge you penalties". Helpful, isn't it? Considering I can't even *manage* my future reservations not being able to log into my profile. How am I to welcome my next guest in a few days when my account is disabled? Is it fair that they took down my business AND fine me for not being able to accommodate my guests?

But seriously, having thought about all the risks, the trouble of going through all of this again, and the appalling attitude of this company, the $200 cancellation penalty fee seems utterly small. I have decided that it's not worth it - so bye bye Airbnb, never again.

N.B. I am reading in this thread that many people have experienced abrupt and frequent cancellations from the hosts recently. I suppose those hosts may be going through the same thinking process as I am. Sorry guys but it's Airbnb who's screwing us all.

bettinaf
New Reviewer
6/13/14

Having made some good experience with a wonderful apartment in Tel Aviv, I have the impression that airbnb is going down. Nothing works anymore, the hosts do not answer and the calendars are not reliable at all. It's a waist of time to try to get accommodation by airbnb. Better stay away :(

claudiar4
New Reviewer
6/6/14

Their cancellation policy (which I mis-read) caused me to lose $100 for canceling a booking I made two months in advance. Other reviews I've read they've lost their deposit to fabricated damage claims by host.

DON'T BOOK UNLESS YOU ARE 1000% CERTAIN OF YOUR TRAVEL PLANS.

martinc34
New Reviewer
6/3/14

Atrocious and horribly slow phone and email support by inattentive and inarticulate customer service employees.


In my attempt to resolve a billing issue, which began on May 19th, and is still unresolved, I experienced numerous instances of 35 to 45 minute hold times to speak to a customer service representative, often followed by another 10 to 20 minutes on hold while they researched the problem.

I experienced numerous instances of emailing detailed information to customer service representative Garret who repeatedly ignored my specific requests for action to be taken on his part to resolve the situation expediently.

I have repeatedly requested he provided me with contact information for his supervisor which he still has not to this day.

In a phone call to a different customer service rep on May 28 or 29th I was promised a return call from a supervisor by the end of the day. As of this day, June 3, that has still not occurred.

I have spent three hours of my life attempting to resolve a situation that should have been resolved in less than 30 minutes. It remains unresolved as of today.

While I love the concept, and I've found some lovely homes and hosts, this is I classic case of growing too fast to provide quality customer service to the customers who have fueled your phenomenal growth.

tomm830
New Reviewer
5/26/14

I certainly love to be a host, but don't think it is worth for me to rent out there anymore. Just too many people do it now and prices dropped dramatically. Unless you rent out all the time there is no chance to get a good price for your rental. That said..it is safer than Craigslist.

kirar1
New Reviewer
5/12/14

Hello,
I'm replying to this forum Airbnb experience. I went to this site based on previous recommendations from friends to book a rental home in Italy. This was my first and only time booking on this service. I emailed several hosts to find out further information on variety of properties before I booked. I wanted to be sure of the location information and misc details that they listed on their homes. I received responses from everyone I contacted within 24 -48 hrs. I chose the property that I was planning to book, which looked amazing on the pictures, and a great price. Once I contacted the host, he replied back to me stating he was out of the country, and that I should contact his listing agent/consultant to find further details. He provided me with the email address which was "someones name@consultant-airbnb.com). I didn't think anything of it, and contacted this person to ask further details on the property and to confirm the dates I needed. I received a response very quickly with the airbnb logo in the email from that email, stating it was "team airbnb". He confirmed the dates availability and told me to go ahead book the reservation on the site, provide my cc info, and then he will send me a separate invoice for the confirmation with further details and instructions. I followed this email and booked on airbnb with my credit card. After the booking was complete, I received another email from airbnb stating the confirmation of the reservation, and that they would follow up with the host to confirm availability. I then received the email from "booking@airbnb" also with response and instructions, providing me with an invoice of the reservation. The email stated that they canceled my reservation, but not to worry, the property is still reserved for me, but since the owner doesn't take a cc, I need to pay in cash by wiring them the money to the agent that represents the property. The agent will hold on to the money until 24 hrs prior to us checking in. The instructions on the invoice gave all the bank information, along with a UK phone number to contact for any questions on how to wire the money. I also had to pay an additional $500 deposit on top of my rental. Total cost of the property rental including deposit was for $2729 (US $). I didn't wire the money right away, since I was traveling on business. I received an update email from "airbnb" stating that I needed to reserve the property within 24 hrs, and if didn't proceed with the wire, my reservation would be canceled. Being unfamiliar with this site, and the typical procedures, I got nervous, and didn't want to lose the property, so I proceeded to follow the instructions, even called the phone number provided to verify I was speaking with an airbnb agent in UK. He told me on the phone that he is an agent of Airbnb, and he works out of the UK office, even provided me with their location in CA. He reassured me that all will be ok, once they receive my wire, they will further confirm the reservation and I will also get the $500 deposit back once we check out.
Once the wire transfer was complete, I continued to correspond with the "agent" and gave him confirmation of the transfer. He said it usually takes 3-4 days, but he did email me back and was happy to see that it took less time then that.
Within a day of the completed wire funds, the listing "disappeared" from airbnb site, and I was no longer able to access the listing, nor the photos of the property. Also all my communication emails were not on the airbnb site with the host or his "agent" The only email that showed was the initial one that I was told to contact another email address. Also it did show the airbnb reservation as being "canceled".
This is where I started to get suspicious, and emailed the agent again, asking about why the reservation showed canceled? They responded with "not to worry" they are having issues w/their servers, and it will be fixed in the next few days but for me to be assured that they have my info and have my reservation booked.
At this point I started to get further leary, and researched further properties in Positano, and found the same exact photos of the property I booked on other sites. I of course got concerned, thinking that the home we rented was really not the home, and that the pics were being randomly copied and posted. At this point, I still thought that I had the home reserved, but was just thinking it was a different home than the photos posted. I contacted the "agent" as well as the host/owner on airbnb asking for the physical address of the property and asked them to email me pictures again. I received a response 2-3 days later with the property address, as well as additional photos of the property, again with their apologies for delay in replying as well as stating my reservation is still valid.
At this time, I started researching reviews online on airbnb in general and came onto tons of scam alerts, as well as exactly the same situations and previous scams that I went thru.
I did contact airbnb in CA immediately once I realized what was happening. I spoke two different times to 2 different official Airbnb customer service agents, who were very nice, apologetic and assured me that they will investigate further into the matter. Since this all transpired during a holiday weekend, it may take an extra day to get back to me. I filed a case/claim with airbnb on Saturday as an urgent claim. I received an automated email response giving me their anti trust/policies and scam alerts. This was not clearly stated on their site when I initially signed up for an account though.
In the meantime, I also contacted my US bank to do a wire recall to attempt to get my money back. I'm waiting now for further updates from my bank if they will be able to retrieve any of the funds from the UK banks. I'm also still waiting back from airbnb on my claim.

The long winded review, is hopefully a warning to all reading this, and first time users of airbnb, to not do what I did, and do not wire any funds. The emails are very deceptive, and they look very legit! They all have some form of airbnb in the emails, also copied all their logos, and really are professional. This to me looks like a sophisticated scam operation. I am extremely distraught that I fell for it.

If any one of you who is reading this, got your money back and was able to pursue this in legal matter, please please contact me. I would love to hear any feedback or advice on this.

thank you for reading!
Kira

jeand15
New Reviewer
5/7/14

I have been using Airbnb for a number of years and have never had a bad experience. I've booked 8 separate flats in London, one each in Yorkshire, Paris, Chicago, Pennsylvania, St. Lucia, and New York. I always exchange several messages with hosts and read between the lines in the reviews. Whenever I have had a question or require additional information, Airbnb representatives return my call or answer my emails in a timely fashion. My deposits have always been returned and, twice, I received $25 bonuses. Not a single host has complained about dishonest or disagreeable guests. In fact, several of the hosts have become friends. One make-up artist wouldn't let me leave the flat without doing my make-up. One host sent me to Wales, to stay in his flat without charge, and another took me to Italy, to stay with his mother in her villa. I'm 65 years old and don't enjoy the isolation of a hotel. This has been a blessing for me! Do your homework and you, too, will have a pleasant experience.

debm11
New Reviewer
5/3/14

The booking experience through airbnb was the easy part... That's where it went downhill...
My sister and I used airbnb to rent (what appeared to be) a cute two bedroom, two bath place in the California wine country. In addition to the daily charge, we paid a cleaning fee. We arrived to a locked door, and no key where we were told it would be. The house not only looked as though it had not recently been cleaned, it looked like it was never cleaned. There was long expired milk in the fridge, filthy floors, broken fixtures, etc. I could go on and on. The place not only looked dirty, it smelled dirty. We swept the floors, dusted, cleaned baseboards and kitchen cabinet doors and counter tops, and washed the sheets before we dared to sleep in them. The interior looked nothing like the professionally taken photos in the listing. The most baffling thing of all is all of the positive reviews for the property! Not only do I not trust airbnb to honestly represent properties, I now know that they care nothing for the condition or cleanliness of them. I will NEVER use them again and would advise against it to anyone who asks!

markowitza
New Reviewer
5/1/14

So so disappointing! Needed housing for the month of may in NYC. First reservation taken and paid but three weeks before move in received a cancellation with no reason. Made a second reservation and also paid in full, just received an other automated cancellation again,, supposed to move in in 2 days. How can this be allowed. There is no accountability and no one to talk to and no cancellation reason given. This leaves me stranded in ny to start work on Monday. I can't believe a reputable place would allow this. I even had an appointment to meet a person to get set up in the room. Two days to find replacement housing. Bad bad business!!
Will NEVER consider using or recommending airbnb again.

debrab20
New Reviewer
4/25/14

I booked a place in New Orleans in october for a stay that would take place in december, everything was great, hosts were nice, house was true to pictures. A few days after getting home i received an email from AIRBNB saying they have released my $250 deposit and it would show up in my account within a week. I never received it so i contacted airbnb and they claimed that it should be there and this is now my banks problem. I contacted my bank who said this was airbnb's problem. When i contacted airbnb again they were apologetic and said that they themselves had contacted my bank and everything should be fine, of course it was not! My bank NEVER received anything from them! I told airbnb this and they sent me some letter that they apparently sent my bank saying that they have in fact allowed me to receive my deposit back, my bank said they would give me a temp amount until they got the proof from airbnb.
It is now APRIL! and i just got charged the original amount on my credit card again ($1620) which included the deposit!! because my bank never received proof that they were giving me back this deposit....i called airbnb to file a complaint and the guy i spoke with said hed have to send it to a different department because he cannot deal with something like this at his position and the department he's sending it to has NO PHONE NUMBER!!! NO PHONE NUMBER???!! A WELL KNOWN INTERNET BUSINESS COLLECTING PEOPLES MONEY AND THEY DONT HAVE A PHONE NUMBER?!? He claimed i will receive an email from them and i can tell them whats going on there...UM NO I DO NOT WANT TO TALK TO "A PERSON" VIA EMAIL, I WANT TO SPEAK TO AN ACTUAL PERSON AND FIND OUT WHERE MY $250 IS!!!! ....I DO NOT RECOMMEND AIRBNB!!! -TERRIBLE

emilyp11
New Reviewer
4/23/14

We booked a place in Amsterdam with Airbnb. The place worked out fine but when it came to getting our deposit back which they assured us had been done a day after checking out it has been nothing but hassle. They charged my card the full amount and included the deposit and try telling me that they never charged the deposit to the card. My credit card company said they had to do a credit , they couldn't just cancel the part that was the deposit. I must of corresponded with 7 different customer service people who just did not get that concept. It's over 4 months and still not received the $300 deposit back to my card. They said someone of higher position would contact me and they never have. Not worth the hassle if you don't get the deposit back it makes it expensive not a good deal.

theresel
New Reviewer
4/14/14

It seems to be a nice and quick bookong.
Owner contacted me I had to Phone.
So i phoned from europe to Vs Arkansas.
Did get a new phonenr from the manager.
The want to know if i do timeshare.
Manager could not find the reservation.
Give me a false email .
Next day airnb told me the house was not available
but looking on the site again it is still for rent.
Send airnb a mail wich they dont respond to.
Warned them for the person who is looking for victims that they can sell timeshare to.
So cost me like 20 dollar for phoning and no house,
Decided to not using airnb anymore because you can fall in to a scam.

elsr
New Reviewer
3/26/14

AVOID this site as a guest or a host!!!
I recently started hosting and had bookings almost every night. After a month of having herds of strangers going through my flat, washing sheets, cleaning and waiting on them – I still haven’t had any payments released to me by Airbnb....
Many expensive calls to their US office later and talking to many totally incompetent members of staff all I have is assurances that they are dealing with the problem.
In the meantime, I am forced to cancel all the reservations I have through them, which means that some of my potential guests will have no place to sleep when they arrive to London.
I am fairly certain that nobody in Airbnb is going to help them, as in my experience “24/7” and "local contact number" are a myth - you can only really get to talk to a human on the US number, during US office hours, after 7-12 minutes of being kept on hold only to get to speak to some American kid who sounds a bit retarded.
Sorry guys. Good luck to everyone who decides to put their holiday and money into Airbnb hands…

me4807
New Reviewer
3/23/14

First let me start out by saying my husband and I have been renting out home thru VRBO for over 10 years…By and large we have been pleased using their platform for renting our home. Any way we received an offer to add our home to AIRBNB.com for free… seemed like a good deal…. WRONG…. this platform and business model is terrible… FIRST and most importantly to all person advertising on AIRBNB.com chances are VERY good that their “host guarantee” does not cover apartments, villas and condos which make up 90% of the vacation rentals owned… this is buried in the fine print… this site is a scam… I am shutting down my site and want nothing to do with them… The whole idea of turning over your home to an unknown guest without first communicating with them is absurd. SECOND…they allow guests and OWNERS to cancel right up to the moment of arrival….can you believe that….YOU get NO money until guests have checked in…….absurd business model when you are dealing with your property …we are not the Holiday Inn. … right now we receive a deposit with the balance due 45 days prior to arrival. VRBO guarantees to the guest that the person renting on their site has been vetted and that they will receive their money back should there be a problem…AIRBNB…NOTHING… this web site is like I said a sham and at least a very poor business model…who the heck thought this one up….READ the fine print…..ALSO GUESTS beware…..airbnb.com adds a 12% commission that you pay….so you know that good deal you think you are getting….guess again….. stick to vrbo.com …. We pay to advertise but at least we get to talk with our guests and make our own financial arrangements with them… and guests are completely covered by VRBO… stay away from airbnb.com

eddyt3
New Reviewer
3/22/14

Very Bad Customer Service! Never return the money even if it cancelled, everyone of them promised to give us a call back but unfortunately they are nothing but LIARS!

jennifers86
New Reviewer
3/22/14

i have had an horrible experience with them. First I tried to book a room with my account and the night before it was canceled by airbnb without explanation leaving me and my husband with no where to stay. Also they triple charged his credit card which took so much hassling with them to get it back. Then they canceled my account with no explnation. Next My husband made his own private account and we tried to be a host. After 3 weeks of our listing not showing up and many calls and e mails to them with them saying they cant help us and would not tell us the problem they canceled his account without telling us why.
They are a horrible service center and I dont trust them at all.

jil231
New Reviewer
3/18/14

First, the rules on the website pit renters against the hosts when there is any sort of problem. Second, Airbnb customer service is absurd; the people manning the phones don't know the rules of the site, don't know their way around the site, and simply read the rules back to you rather than trying to help. You can hear about 4 other conversations at the same time, and there is no supervisor on site. Escalations have to be referred to someone offsite via email. AVOID!

melm20
New Reviewer
3/16/14

I rented a place at 10:40 at night, only to discover on the confirmation there was no parking which I need. Also - my fault for not reading more closely prior to booking - there was no coffee maker, internet, air conditioning. I canceled at 4 am the next morning. The reservation was for a future date - 3 1/2 months out.

My issue is that the reservation was on the books 6 hours for future date of 3 1/2 months but they kept 1/2 of the entire reservation money. Contacted Airbnb and they support the host in this thievery.

If they will steal from you in that way, I hate to think in what else they will do.

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