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Airbnb reviews

156 reviews
17%
888 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
terms@airbnb.com
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156 Reviews From Our Community

Rating Distribution

Detailed Rating Summary

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality

Review Highlights

kayv5

First, as a host I have spent countless hours answering questions from potential guests who DO NOT read the listings. (in 98 reviews)

kittyr1

I understand they do have insurance and have given me only good customer service on occasion when I've needed it. (in 32 reviews)

tn1

Your credit card isn't charged until after the fact. (in 20 reviews)

All Reviews

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gabriellef2
New Reviewer
11/21/14

Airbnb is a wonderful company with great ideas. However, sometimes people can become frustrated especially when dealing with people across various time zones. Travel is a messy business. That being said, most of the problems come from the hosts, and not Airbnb itself. For example, my first experience with the company involved my host canceling just days before my arrival, based on the status on my age (Airbnb standards state you have to be 18+, however she wanted 21+)... Obviously I was frustrated. She had my money and wouldn't let me stay in her home. Airbnb quickly cleared the air, refunded me my money, and gave me 20% off plus an additional $100 for reparations and funds for my next booking. Often times its easy to blame the whole, when really it is simply the disorganization and miscommunication between host and guest. I encourage everyone to use Airbnb and support locals!

Tip for consumers: Make sure you book far in advance, and keep close communication with your host/hostess

Ask Gabrielle about Airbnb
saml63
New Reviewer
11/21/14

Airbnb is a scam, they don't protect the homeowner, they charge fees for taxes that are mandatory. They don't know the laws, and they take fees if the reservation is cancelled in a few minutes. Stay at hotel, or use a vacation property!

Tip for consumers: STAY AWAY

Service
Value
Shipping
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Quality
Ask Sam about Airbnb
danaa7
New Reviewer
11/20/14

We were cancelled by the owner for double booking. I emailed the owner to make sure his place was available and for the price during the holiday before booking online. Almost a month passes after booking then we receive the cancellation. Very unreliable and unprofessional!

Tip for consumers: I do not see how this site can be used with confidence

Service
Value
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Ask Dana about Airbnb
susanr39
New Reviewer
11/10/14

DO NOT USE AIRBNB. THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE OWNERS WHO POST ON THE SITE. In August 2014, I booked a home in Parkland, Florida for 14 members of my family to stay for 4 nights over Thanksgiving weekend. My family was flying in from all over the U,S. This was my first experience with Airbnb. I paid $3392 to Airbnb in August, the full price of the rental of a 7 bedroom, 5 bath home. Last week, I received an e-mail that the owner of the house, Gary, has CANCELLED MY RESERVATION. Airbnb was very sorry. No reason was given for the cancellation. If I had cancelled at anytime, I would have lost 50% of my money. Gary, the owner, was able to walk away. The house is no longer posted on Airbnb, although it is on VRBO.

As a result of the cancellation, Airbnb gave me three links to other homes as possible replacements. Two were in Miami which were geographically undesirable. The third was a "mansion" listed at a price $1,000 per night. When I wrote to the owner to see if the home was available over Thanksgiving, "Richard" said that it was but that the price was now $8,000 for the 4 days. Because someone else showed interest in the house, he was reducing the price to over $6,000 since that was what he had quoted them. ($2,000 more than what was listed). Supervisor, Elena G., offered me money from her "discretionary " account to make up the difference, thus encouraging hosts to gouge their prices.

Airbnb has no control over hosts who can cancel at any time. Additionally, hosts can freely charge what they want regardless of what is posted in the listing, Airbnb allows this to happen. I was not able to find a house for 14 people in time for Thanksgiving. We are all staying at hotels and have not figured out where to have our Thanksgiving dinner at this time. A supervisor at Airbnb did give me a voucher for $500 for my troubles after I asked for some compensation. I was also promised my refund of the $3392 which Airbnb had since early Sept.

Service
Value
Quality
Ask SUSAN about Airbnb
angelosc1
New Reviewer
11/5/14

I just love this site. I travel now almost exclusively with Airbnb since I rather stay in apartments than in hotels. I also have my own apartment spare room in Airbnb. However this is not for people looking for the safety of a hotel. Using this site, you are going to people's houses. You need to check first your host to see that he/she is reliable and then book. The same applies to hosts. Take a look at the reviews of a person before accepting them to your house. It's common sense. Only negative is their high cost. They charge 15% on top of each reservation for their service. It could be 10%.

Service
Value
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Ask Angelos about Airbnb
davidj108
New Reviewer
11/5/14

In fairness to air b and b, I only have an upcoming stay booked but REALLY dislike their policies and wish that we had never booked through them. I further have an instinct that much of the appeal of this site is to make yourself feel cool and current using it.

In further fairness to the site, I could have personally researched their policies before participating in the transaction described below. I simply (and reasonably) assumed that we merely were booking a place for $X/night and would pay most or all the amount at the end of the stay. I also figured that there might have been some form of cancellation fee, but not that we were gambling roughly $1,000.

My travel (and life) partner booked a vacation a few months ago, and he advocated using air b and b; again to be fair, his experience renting places has been positive. I have not accompanied him on these trips.

The primary issues that I have with this service, which does not seem to even have a customer support email on its website, are that it collects all your money at the time of the reservation, does not allow cancellations for any reason, charges the person making the reservation a 10-percent fee on top of the 5 percent that it charges the homeowner, and does not even pay the homeowner until after the stay is complete. (I do not know if the homeowner gets the money if we do not go.)

I have no cause for complaining that my partner selected a place at the upper end of the price that we were looking to pay. I also accept the clearly stated cleaning fee, which likely will net the owner a nice profit for spending what surely will not be more than one hour of cleaning.

I would have shared concerns had I know that we had to pay the full amount at the time of the booking and that we would be paying a 10-percent fee on top of that. Not only does that make a pricey place a bad bargain, but I do not understand how air b and b can effectively assert regarding the five-percent fee to the owner that the company offers someone who rents a place for $200/night twice as much service as a homeowner who rents a place out for $100/night.

For that matter, the booker paying the 10-percent fee does not get any more service from air b and b for renting the $200 place than the $100 one.

I did express fairly strong concern to my partner on learning of the cancellation fee. I pointed out that we are out all that money in the event that weather, a mechanical problem with the plane, sickness, a family emergency, etc. requires not taking the trip, (Even the not-so-friendly airlines merely charge a large fee if we do not travel and seem to use some discretion regarding imposing that penalty.)

I also noted that we could have stayed in a nice hotel with a location that is as good as our air b and b place, good amenities, daily maid services, and other perks (and would not have required paying anything in advance and would not have charged us if we had cancelled the reservation the day before) for the same total amount that we are paying for the air b and b place.

One suggestion regarding all this is that air b and b do a better job making its policies prominent; these terms should prominently pop up when you enter search terms and should require that you affirmatively click an icon to proceed.

I was promoting the service to friends in the process of researching a place but now am more vocal in warning people against it.

The final bit of fairness to air b and b is that the service may make sense for a family or two couples traveling together who need a full kitchen and/or two or more sleeping areas. It also may make sense for a long-term stay. It definitely does not make sense for a couple or a single person traveling for a week or less.

Service
Value
Ask David about Airbnb
lauraa17
New Reviewer
11/2/14

My issue with airbnb started with being unable to use their service to begin with. I do not send images of my license or my passport to anyone but government officials. The "confirm a few details only you would know" choice let me to a never-ending loop. I replied to their email telling me that my reservation request had not been sent because I was not "verified" and that I could send a video. A video? Of What? To where? They refused to answer any more questions and simply kept sending the same email about my request not being sent. I contacted the host directly, but she did not understand what they wanted either and could not help me. They have my credit card number, my name, my address and my social security card number. How much "verification" can you possibly need??? I feel sorry for hosts and am amazed that anyone goes through all this for a deal. It has been five hours of B.S. I am going to bed.

alejandraa2
New Reviewer
11/2/14

DO not put your listing on AIRBNB. They delay your payments and its been almost 3 months since the last person checked out of my place and i still have not receive my money.

The customer service sucks and they pretty much use standard templates to answer you

Tip for consumers: You are not going to receive your payments after the person checks out of your unit

Service
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Ask Alejandra about Airbnb
dand54
New Reviewer
11/1/14

First (and will be the last) experience attempting to book with this service was not good. I see that hosts like the idea that the service is "free", but they make their money on excessive fees and lack of flexibility. Too much for the customer to read before booking, hosts are not allowed to modify anything. We are vacation rental hosts, and use HomeAway/VRBO which has a yearly fee, but charges no percentages or fees for bookings or cancellations, we are in complete control of that, offering our customers the very best service. BUYER BEWARE AND READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE BOOKING IF YOU HAVE TIME FOR THAT CRAP!

vickiec5
New Reviewer
10/29/14

I found a cabin I wanted to rent near Yosemite. When I spoke to the owner for booking, they told be to go to airbnb.com…… That was the beginning of the end. First of all I have never had to give out so much personal information just to book a reservation and I felt very uncomfortable doing so but I wanted the cabin so I pushed forward. When I got to what I thought was the end? Well NOTHING! I got no confirmation that they had my information or that I had a reservation. Just nothing. So I went to FAQ which didn't help at all. I contacted the owner who said they had not received confirmation of payment and to maybe try tech support. I looked for Tech support but guess what? Nothing! I clicked on "Contact" but that took me back to the bottom of the page. To make a long, annoying story short, I kept going around in circles to no avail. I checked what I assumed was my status and it had "Verify me" still there as if I had not just provided my life's history and information so I clicked it again and yup, you guessed it….Nothing. This went on for about 45 or so minuets while I tried to contact someone. I finally gave up and tried to call the owner back but no one answered the phone so I hit the big cancel button and moved on to another cabin that does not use this system. After I was all booked into another cabin with another company I decided to stroll back through the airbnb site. I was concerned about all my personal information floating around without knowing what happened to it. Then I notice in the upper top corner a little telephone icon with the work "Urgent" next to it. I decided to click on it and low and behold, it began to ring. A live person answered the phone. I started telling this person my woes with navigating their site and the man (Very condescendingly) said he was sorry I had problems with their site but he assured me my information was safe. I told him to please delete all the information and delete me from their files. I complained that there was no means in which to solve my problems, no person to talk to, no tech support etc. He asked me if I was using google chrome. I said no, I have a MAC and I use safari. Oh he said, sometimes that is a problem. I said well maybe you should say something at the beginning of your site about only chrome users need apply. He also informed me that the phone icon was for people with "Real emergencies". I also informed him, that their site directly cost his client a four day reservation and that I would not book with any company in the future that uses them. It was obvious he couldn't care less. Bottom line……An annoying site, a waste of time and a lot of personal information given out for no real reason! UGH Horrible to navigate, horrible customer service!

Tip for consumers: A waste of time, A very annoying site, No support and worst of all, You have to give out a LOT of personal information

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Ask Vickie about Airbnb
anab35
New Reviewer
10/29/14

Stay away is right. Although we did book with a host from airbnb, the host forgot to mention that machinery and noise in the surrounding area of the Waikiki townhouse is constant and one is unable to get away from it for a moment. We had the possibility of a hurricane coming our way so were advised to leave three days ahead but our host simply said, "tough luck!"....I would NEVER do that again. Uncomfortably hot during the day as well. No view at all...whereas it was listed as having a view.

Tip for consumers: Don't do it!

Service
Value
Ask Ana about Airbnb
jessicap33
New Reviewer
10/27/14

DO NOT book with AirBnB. I never do this kind of thing (ranting online about anything) but this NEEDS to be shared so no one else gets $#*!ed over like i did! i used AirBnB for the first time to book a few places in Europe in June (which alone was enough to never want to use them again, a lot of hidden fees etc, and a lot of issues including getting hacked twice, but with no repercussions - luckily...) and then did not use it since. Then about two weeks ago, apparently someone hacked my account and made around 5 reservations bookings to places in London! My credit card was charged over $8,000 (!!!!!!!) of reservations I did not make! Visa said that since i did 'originally' provide my credit card to them (in JUNE, for certain transactions THEN...), it was my fault and would have to be dealt with AirBnB. It was an absolute NIGHTMARE trying to deal with AirBnB, no one could give me a clear answer as to what was going on or the status of my 'reservations' which I obviously immediately wanted to cancel - i was lied to about refunds several times ("oh yes you will be refunded immediately, check your account in a few hours" - HA.) and I had to BEG BEG BEG them daily to refund me (they finally did bit by bit) - absolutely terrible customer service, they are SO eager to hang up on you and clearly don't want to help. Calling them is a big inconvenience for them it appears (and have you noticed how hard it is to find their phone number?? I dare you, try to find it on their site.) The worst is that for the first 4 days (and me calling every day) I had to literally YELL at someone, and then they told me no one had even been assigned to my case yet but that it would be taken care of "soon" and I'd be contacted. I never was, not even once. No email, no call. I had to constantly be calling them and beg THEM to fix their $#*!ing stupid mistakes. Also - did you know that once you enter a credit card, it STAYS in the system? You have NO way of deleting it. I finally demanded my account be shut down immediately. I can't log in now, so I *think* it might be shut down but I keep getting notifications about bookings in London, so clearly they did not fully shut it down. So sketchy, and again, huge lack of respect for members. This site is an absolute $#*!ing joke and a mess, they are completely unsafe and offer no care or support whatsoever to members. ESPECIALLY in an emergency/crisis situation - instead, they choose the old 'ignore and hope everything goes away' philosophy. I strongly, strongly recommend never using this site!!!! If you think it saves you tons of money, straight up it DOES NOT. Just stay in a hotel - you won't have to deal with this bull$#*! unsafe sketchy site, you don't have to talk to or deal with any creeps (or 'hosts' as they like to call them), you don't have to pay random fees that they decide to charge you ("oh, you're not renting a 4 bedroom villa by yourself? We'll have to charge you extra for each guest plus, an extra cleaning fee then!" - Airbnb), just BE SAFE, be comfortable, and me smart - stay in a hotel. Or hostel. At least they try to be legit.

Tip for consumers: Get off the site, that's my only advice. Or if you really want to use it, make sure your credit card is set to a low maximum so that when they charge up your card and max it out it's not thousands upon thousands of fake reservations. But you are stupid to stay on this site, straight up.

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Ask Jessica about Airbnb
kerstina1
New Reviewer
10/22/14

I can't even begin to describe what I think of the entire air bnb concept. It is very unsafe and I would highly advise against booking with them. We had booked through them a couple of times and its never really been that great but it was acceptable and we understood the risks when booking. However, this time it was just not acceptable. We booked early in September our two weeks trip to Tasmania. The last stop would be 4 nights in Hobart over New Years Eve. We booked a lovely cottage and rested in the knowledge that we did well as we booked early on and the trip was all sorted. Late October the Host cancelled our booking for some personal reason. Now we still have't found any alternative accommodation as its all booked out now over the busy period and airbnb has done nothing but apologised and given us our money back. There is no security in this system and I will never ever use this company again!
We have used websites like stayz a lot and this has never happened before.

Tip for consumers: Do not use this site! Unless you like to be left in the behind without accommodation in the end.

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Ask kerstin about Airbnb
milts
New Reviewer
10/17/14

I am zero for two on Airbnb. The host for the first place in New York didn't realize the date and time I was to arrive didn't answer his phone and showed up two hours late (around midnight) after I had booked a hotel room thinking he wasn't going to show up at all. Then, the toilet didn't work for the week and he never came around to fix it. The second place in Jerusalem was very run down and dirty. Both locations had fairly good reviews which I will never understand. I will never use Airbnb again!!

Tip for consumers: Don't ruin your next vacation - use a reputable site.

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Ask Milt about Airbnb
cants
New Reviewer
10/15/14

This site is very strict with both parties ensuring a confident booking of Bed & Breakfasts. Everyone must communicate through the site and it has a pay structure that protects the buyer and the seller.

As always, pay close attention to reviews of individual renters. Having avoided badly reviewed B&Bs, I have had nothing but good experiences.

susanf30
New Reviewer
10/13/14

AIRBnB DOESNT SERVICE THEIR RENTALS WELL

In September 2014, we rented a condo from Airbnb for 6 nights. . It was represented to us as a luxury condo with a view of ........ The price was $2,500

Here is a list of the problems we encountered during our brief stay.

1. The toilet in the guest bathroom was running constantly. It never stopped the whole time we were there. On the second day, the toilet bowl would not refill unless I took the top off and moved a few parts around. Had to be done every time the toiled was flushed. Maintenance came up and got it to refill but not stop running about every 45 seconds. They said the whole inside needing replacing. This never happened and toilet was running when we left. The whole 6 days!!

2. The light over the vanity in the same bathroom was out. This was fixed 2 days later.

3. A table light in the living room had a short in it. I didn't fix it but got it to work.

4. On day 4, we went to use the Washer only to find it full of dirty, stinky water that would not drain out. When we entered the condo on the first day, we found 3 bags of dirty laundry on the floor of utility room. It was removed and we didn't pay any more attention to it. After we tried to use the Washer and found it full of the stale water, we figured out why the dirty laundry was on the floor. Someone knew the Washer was broken when we moved in but did nothing about it. We were told it would be fixed but along with everything else, it was not. We were able to use the small washer in a unit 9 floors up and at the other end of the hall from ours. Had to make 4/5 trips to complete the wash.

5. Last but not least, The view out the bedroom window was of the roof level of the parking garage and the view out of the living room area was a continuation of the parking garage roof full of cigarette butts and garbage. Looked like it had not been cleaned in years.

I sent this to Airbnb, but needless to say, I never heard a word from them

Service
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Ask susan about Airbnb
suj20
New Reviewer
10/12/14

If you want to protect your identity DO NOT book with Airbnb. Their policy (that airbnb does not have the courtesy to disclose upfront but only when you pay after spending hours researching your vacation accommodation options) of requiring offline AND online identification is crazy. For offline verification, US clients must give last 4 of SSN and birth date or passport or drivers license uploaded to airbnb's site PLUS they also want online verification - a link to your twitter, linkedin or facebook!! And if you can't supply that then a uploaded video of yourself to airbnb's site! I do not give this info to the IRS or my bank AND they do not request it either. Airbnb certainly is not my personal friend and they now have access to nearly ALL my life both financial and social! In this day and age of ID theft, crazy! Bye-bye Airbnb. I'll be back if you revise your new policy.

Tip for consumers: Be aware Airbnb wants ALL your personal information before using this site. If this is OK with you, go ahead. Otherwise don't waste your time.

Ask Su about Airbnb
bens76
New Reviewer
10/12/14

The first time I used AirBnB it was fine - we arranged a room at short notice and it all went smoothly. Since then I've tried multiple times and I've always been rejected by the hosts - despite having a positive rating. Hosts don't usually even provide a reason. I was hoping to use AirBnB instead of a hotel or hostel but that really doesn't work if it's unreliable.

Tip for consumers: Book a hostel - at least when you make a reservation you're guaranteed to have somewhere to stay!

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Ask Ben about Airbnb
thomasl47
New Reviewer
10/2/14

*****DO NOT USE AIRBNB@@@ Here are reasons why;

1. Airbnb does not do proper precreening or check up on condition of the rooms/places as they leave it to their "hosts" to provide rooms for their guests in whatever the condition hosts feel is proper. I once checked into a room where kitchen was filled with crawling maggots! My wife and I had to clean up the place we paid to stay for 4 days as Airbnb failed to help! She basically paid her money to Airbnb to clean the kitchen and rest of the stanger's apartment during her vacation!

2. Airbnb Customer Service Reps are almost nonexistent. You can hardly EVER get anyone on the phone. If you somehow ever do, person on the phone sounds terribly undertrained. No help at all other than keep aplogizing for their failures.

3. Airbnb will secure your payment FIRST then try to resolve any problems whilst holding your funds hostage. For example, if you ever try booking and transaction does not go through, it will still hold your money more than a month on a canceled reservation. You have to call and email them more than two, three dozen times, begging them, to give you your own money back. They admited they have some flaws in their payment system, but these flaws only come in play when it comes to refunds, not when it comes to taking your money.

4. Horrific verification process- even AFTER you log on to your own accout, have your reservation accepted and have your bookings FULLY PAID FOR, Airbnb will STILL demand you to enter your personal information such as last four digits of your SSN, date of birth, address and oh yeah, SCANNED COPIES OF TWO GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDs online. If you don't upload your IDs onto their website, they will LOCK YOU OUT from seeing any of your existing reservations, even ones you AREADY PAID FOR IN FULL. Sure, they "promise" their website is very secure, but don't they all say such until there is a major breach and hacked into? Can you REALLY trust them with ALL your personal information such as following?
1. Last 4 digits of your SSN
2. Date of Birth
3. Address
4. 2 forms of Government Issued IDs

Am I buying a house? I am just merely trying to rent a place to stay! I don't know any other travel website that demands so much of your personal information that should be protected at all costs, do you?

So, ask yourselves...whether you are taking your time off to spend quality time with your love ones on your vacation or in a business trips, is this kind of service or shall I say no service you want to deal with while being away from home?

Tip for consumers: Don't ruin your trips by using tis comoany. They are only a middlman making money off of properties they do not own by providing a bridge between property owners and guests via their website.

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Ask Thomas about Airbnb
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!

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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
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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.

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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.

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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!

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