Has anyone used AirBnB to find lodging?

Nov 7th, 2012, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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IME typical homeowners insurance would NOT cover you for any 'for pay' visitors.
janisj is online now  
Nov 7th, 2012, 09:41 AM
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As I said I would, I called our agent, and she tells me that our particular policy covers us for renting our guest room. As long as it is just a room, and not the whole house, there is a clause that covers "temporary borders". If we were to operate our whole house as a "business", i.e., a "rental property", we would need to add a rider to our policy.

Even if we are covered, we know that anyone can sue for almost any reason, so we added a rather large umbrella policy to our basic coverage long before we ever thought of renting a room. It didn't cost that much, and it picks up costs if the basic home owner's policy money runs out.

Obviously, you should check with your agent for the provisions of your specific coverage.
nukesafe is online now  
Nov 7th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 27,866
"due to some health issues and the location," thinking that it could mean stairs to get to apartment and that the health issues prevented them from climbing stairs, but who knows, really. That is why trip insurance exists. Foolish to not buy it, no matter your age etc as things can change in an instant.

The most recent poster will most likely never come back, just posted to complain. Nomad probably did a google search in attempt to vent and found this thread and posted.
DebitNM is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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I used them for a West Virginia trip and a Maine trip recently. I had a disappointing stay in Maine and sought a refund for 1 of the two nights I booked through them as the dwelling was unsatisfactory . When I approached them for assistance they told me to work it out with the owner as they are a broker and have no responsibility legally! Working it out with the owner is pretty hard under these conditions. Beware of undated reviews and their customer service department which is bogus.
richkopec is offline  
Nov 7th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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They ARE only a broker. They bring together the parties, that's it. Best to be an informed consumer.
DebitNM is offline  
Nov 9th, 2012, 04:30 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Many thanks, NUKESAFE, et al - I appreciate the info & your efforts, although I probably will never get up the nerve to rent out the ol' Issaquah basement!
mimi89 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Air B&B is a broker, a third party, hey just do the advertising. The pictures you see, may be different from what you get. If the house has a bug problem, a clensiness problem, a noise problem, an odor problem, inappropriate material in the home, or a neighborhood problem, you can not see that on a picture. Two of the above I experienced in my recent stay in a home in San Fernando California .
Also from speaking to several professionals in the Dep of health and environmental health departments, they do not manage them, so if you have a complaint about clensiness, you are on your own.
Air b&b does not care about your complaints, and if they do, they require a lot of proof (pictures), that will be disregarded based on their discretion. Therefore if you are requesting a refund for days canceled and your cancelation was not done properly via the Internet, you will loose that money too. I was instructed on how to cancel a reservation, it turns out I was informed how to do it incorrectly and I lost 4 days out of a 5 day stay.
As a customer they did nothing to help me, they want your money however they can get it.
Be careful
wiseinfo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I used Airbnb over a dozen times and never had a bad experience. Actually, I thought I got pretty good deals - my last stay I got a 2 bedroom condo on the Jersey Shore with a water view. However, I've never booked overseas and mainly stayed in touristy/vacation destinations, I used homeaway or some other specific vacation home site to book houses outside the US.

Before that, I booked a room in Niagara Falls, CA in a beautiful well maintained B&B. Actually, I think I found the B&B in Airbnb and found the B&B's website and booked directly with them to avoid the Airbnb fee, which is pretty hefty.
nstevey is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2013, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,350
My friend's daughter just rented a room in a guy's apartment in Chicago. She had a private room, but shared the bathroom (with him). She had use of the kitchen, but didn't use it because she was there a short time so ate out. She had a great experience.
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2013, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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This is my experience with airbnb.. We arrived to a dirty and mildew/musty smelling townhome that was unsafe and unclean. We did not stay because we were concerned about breathing the mold especially because my youngest has allergies/asthma. The company is telling us they are working to resolve the issue but we are not entitled to a full refund. We did not stay at the townhome. We walked in and saw that it was not safe to stay. We tried to call the owner of the townhome, but his number was not working. We emailed him. We called and emailed airbnb, and the property manager contacted us as well. She informed us that the a/c was leaking and causing the mildew/musty smell. She asked if we still wanted to rent the townhome, and we said no. Even if the a/c was fixed, the mildew/mold would still be in the walls. This has cost us a considerable amount of time and money. We had to scramble that night to find a hotel. We have to stay in the hotel until we locate another townhome. All of my refrigerated items needed to be discarded because the hotel did not have a full size refrigerator. We feel we are entitled to a full refund because the residence was not safe for our family.
speechpath70458 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Sorry this happened to you. Could you give us a link to the property? I cannot locate it using only the property number.
nukesafe is online now  
Dec 8th, 2013, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
I have been a proud host of Airbnb for a year now and I recommend them to anyone looking to stay away from cold, impersonal and expensive hotels.
I have read many reviews here and I think there is a common thread: some guests should have been more careful, there are pictures of the houses and reviews from previous guests. I wouldn't go to a home without pictures or without previous reviews!
The policy of lower prices is fair, when you first start as a host, you have to promote your room so you offer it at a low price until you have reviews and you can prove that you are offering a service worth of the money you are asking for.
It is absolutely impossible for Airbnb or any company to visit and supervise the rooms! It is thousands of them!
Airbnb is a community... we have to regulate ourselves, it's the logical law of offer and demand, we have to make sure we are offering a good service from our own individual situation. Micro-managing.
I also read a letter a guest got from the host... that was cruel, indeed!!! But that host should not be with Airbnb, and if the guest had complained, she would have been sanctioned and maybe blocked forever.
Airbnb's phone numbers are not hidden, you have to know how to get them. And that is something that happens with all companies these days, they try to channel consults through their websites, it is safer for everybody!!!
And finally, Airbnb's customer service is one of the best I have ever used. I only call if I have a problem and they always help me in the most efficient way possible.
Bottom line: please don't judge a company out of bad experiences with people that are a headache for everyone around them, I bet many of those bad guests or hosts are also a pain in the neck to their neighbors and families!!!
Just make sure you read all the info and enjoy the experience, it could be the greatest thing ever.
Good luck and possitive vibes!
Pro8 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2015, 08:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Hi, Everyone!

I'm an owner of a vacation rental and have been listed on various sites since 2003, including Homeaway, Flip Key, VRBO, Vacation Rentals, etc. Early this spring I listed on Airbnb. I believe their site is very difficult to navigate, that they charge an outrageous fee to the guests, and, they also charge the owners without warning continuously. Surprises all around!

In the several months I've been listed, I've received only one confirmed reservation for three days, representing a payout to me of a very small amount of money. The amount of time and effort I've expended to accommodate their confused system has been off the charts.

None of the other websites on which my home is listed charge the guest anything, and I pay only a nominal annual fee. My rates and what I'm paid are the same across the board, so, you are welcome to use any of the other sites, and save yourself up to a 12% added on fee from Airbnb, as well as saving a lot of hassles and confusion. None of the rental sites protect anyone involved in the rental process except themselves....don't be fooled. Basically, we're all grist for the mill!

On all the other sites, I and my guest are able to speak directly with each other, either through email or by phone. It seems very important to me to have an open, frank relationship with my guests to ensure confidence for both parties. I would hope all of you potential guests out there understand that an owner's primary goal is to ensure guests' happiness. Why in the world would an owner want a bunch of angry, unsupervised people in their home, taking out their anger on the furniture and artwork? At least that's the way I operate. I know, there are unscrupulous characters everywhere, the vacation rental business included, owners and guests, too.

One of the major problems I have found as an owner in dealing with Airbnb is that I do not receive any payment at all until sometimes days after the guests have arrived and departed. And, I understand from other owners, they're sometimes never paid at all. Airbnb collects big bucks in interest from all the money charged to guests in the interim....sometimes months. And, the entire process keeps Airbnb right smack in the middle of the arrangements, which causes unbelievable confusion, delay, and misunderstandings all around with a third, disinterested party involved.

An owner is required to give Airbnb checking account info so the payments from guests can finally be credited to the owner. I just received today notice from my bank that I have five "insufficient funds" checks. I went to the bank to discover from the printout of my recent activity in that account that Airbnb has, quite literally, raided my checking account....no notice, no reason given.....they just debited a bunch of money from MY personal checking account! Outrageous! I've spent eight hours on the phone dealing with the situation. Airbnb has no right to take a dime OUT of my account, only to deposit, and, certainly should not remove funds from my account without a discussion with me beforehand. Can you imagine the havoc this wreaked in my little world????

Anyway, I made four phone calls to Airbnb.....sat in a cue on hold for over an hour with each one, as I listened to the same irritating little ditty play again and again and again. Two of the reps pretended they couldn't hear me mid-way in the conversation..."Hello, hello, are you there?" and disconnected the call! Another told me that all I had been told by the previous reps was untrue. On the fourth call I was promised a return call from someone in the "payments department".

Instead of a call, I received an email from Airbnb, from a guy claiming to be a "payment specialist," requesting that I reply to his email with additional info. When I "replied" and sent, I received a responsive email from Airbnb telling me that my email was not received. I tried resending several times, and received the same response.

With endless patience, I got on the phone to try to speak with them again, when a never-heard before recorded message came on, asking me for my phone number. I pressed it in, and the voice came back on, telling me that my phone number was no longer valid. Tried a couple of more times, same result. End of the line with phone calls!

Apparently, they blocked my email and my phone number.....they can work miracles when they want to! Went online and discovered my listing had been removed entirely. So, Airbnb does not deal well with problems, or, conversely, they deal very well!!! They just make it absolutely impossible, not difficult, impossible, for you to communicate with them....they don't need to "not return calls or respond to emails". They just make it so you can't contact them at all. Pretty good trick, eh?

There is no limit with Airbnb. Period. And I'm out more money than I ever received from them in rentals! Good deal for them! But, I'll have to close that checking account and open a new one to keep them from raiding it further.

Beware of Airbnb....you deal with them at your own peril. Go to VRBO, Homeaway, etc. None of them are perfect, either, but are definitely the lesser of the evils.
FallingWater is offline  
Jun 8th, 2015, 11:32 PM
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You joined the Forum just to blast Airbnb, Falling Water? Why do I find this suspicious?

I also find your claims about Airbnb's business practices and methods of operation to be ungrounded or grossly exagerated. I can say that as we have been Airbnb hosts for five years now, and none of the things you mention have happened to us or to any of our friends who also list with them.

We are charged only a modest fee for each rental. Funds are credited to our account promptly 24 hours after the guest arrives and finds the accomodations as advertized. Our calls to Airbnb when (rarely) there are problems are answered promptly and to our satisfaction.

As for your not getting many bookings from your Airbnb listing, I might have an explanation. Prospective guest are reluctant to rent properties that have few reviews. Our bookings started out slow, but once we got a number of five star reviews showing on the site the occupancy rate went way up, and we are now usually close to fully booked, at least during the spring through fall months.

As for having your bank account raided, I think you were scammed. Airbnb has no access to my bank account except to make deposits they have been holding from the renters. I suspect that
Payment Specialist" you talked to was not from Airbnb, but from Nigeria.
nukesafe is online now  
Jun 9th, 2015, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If Air BnB doesn't work for you - then just don;t use it - stick with the other sites you have used before.

And if the money taken from your account is more than a couple of dollars I hope that you:

1) informed your bank any activity from that source is not valid
2) filed suit against them in small claim court

I don;t know enough about the inner workings of air BnB to know if this was really them or a scammer but I would investigate the latter with your bank.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 6th, 2015, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 21
Airbnb in my opinion and experience is a HORRIBLE choice. I made the mistake of booking with them. My experience: their customer service is arrogant and they are in my example untrustworthy. I was planning a South American vacation in June and heard about Airbnb. I went to their website and thought it was a cool concept. I could save money and try something new. What a mistake. After booking and paying for my room some 35 days in advance I thought everything was set and cool. At the last minute, practically on the eve of my departure, they suspended my account and canceled my paid reservation without explanation. I only found out through a private message from my chosen host as I was packing to leave. When I tried to correct Airbnb over the matter they demanded a copy of my passport, access to my Face Book and Google accounts and reconfirmation of my cell number. I didn't want a last-minute derailment of my plans so I unwisely complied. After all that, they wrote that my already 30 days ahead paid reservation was illegitimate and that my account was suspended. Attempts to receive a reason were ignored and I was repeatedly told that they didn't have to give an explanation and were not liable in any way for the mess. Subsequently I had to revoke their permissions, change passwords and accept their corporate hubris / insulting customer service as the "final word". I am now very committed to telling the world of my wretched experience in hopes of sparing other trusting travelers a similar big steaming pile or Airbnb treatment. The good news is, my money was refunded (they had no choice really), I didn't add to their profits and my host of choice understood and received me with a nice welcome. Beware of Airbnb. They might jerk you around as you're in departure as well. I am glad to say that already 4 other friends have now dumped their plans to use Airbnb and I will continue on a righteous mission to share my experience honestly as a cautionary tale regarding Airbnb. The exponential result should make it worthwhile. Choose wisely and seek accommodations elsewhere.
Alamojo is offline  
Aug 6th, 2015, 08:20 PM
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Sorry, Alamojo, that you had a bad experience with Airbnb. Our experience as hosts has been very good, and mostly so as guests.

It seems you only joined the Forum today to blast Airbnb. I would like to hear the other side of the story.
nukesafe is online now  
Aug 8th, 2015, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 21
I'd like to apologize for bombing in here and on numerous other treads. I should have just started my own. I also realized that I didn't do as good job of stating my case as I would have preferred. I'd like to close out with some clarification as follows below. Please note that there is no "other side" because Airbnb would and will not offer one. This is the main reason why I was so irate with Airbnb and hold them in contempt. Yes, I mainly joined this Forum and others to state my case against Airbnb and warn others. I will also use it as a general travel resource just as most do. I end it here with this:

Okay. I admit that I was venting (ranting). I further admit that I take the point that posting on several threads here was inappropriate. I thought I had already addressed this moving forward, but I see that as my error. I lead a busy life and don't actually spend much time on Forums, albeit good ones like this. This is an "anomaly" for me.

Every group has a culture and style which I did not take time to appreciate in this forum. I should have been more objective. Allow me to attempt to amend any misunderstanding. I mean no insult to anyone personally. I do mean to call Airbnb into question with the sincere hopes that no others experience a similar situation.

Please consider the facts I presented. I should have done a better job of it and not undermined my criticism of Airbnb with what is perceived as "weird" and emotional diatribe. I offer the following as an alternative submission in hopes that I can correct my presentation and more appropriately address my grievance against Airbnb.

I mistrust and disparage the use of Airbnb because:

1. In planing a trip to South America, I heard about Airbnb and thought on examination I'd give it a try. It seemed there were (and are) many happy customers. I did not do my due diligence and look for negatives. I simply whet to their site. This was my first mistake and a rookie one at that. My bad.

2. I opened an account and communicated with a host who appeared to be (and was) a good fit for my visit.

3. Over 30 days prior to my departure, everything was set and paid for. I had fulfilled all the requirements that Airbnb set forth. I was confirmed by my host, had paid the bill in full and as far as I was concerned, my booking to my new first time visit to the country in reference was as perfectly in place as a booking could be. At this juncture, all was okay and Airbnb was of value to me.

4. Roughly 24 hour prior to my departure, I was contacted by my host to inquire if I was still coming. It happened for reasons unknown to both the host and myself that Airbnb deemed my booking as illegitimate and canceled everything. I was both shocked and bewildered.

5. On learning of this I placed a call to Airbnb, but the operator informed me that the matter was handled by a separate department and could only be reached by email; a dead end.

6. On emailing Airbnb, I was the asked to prove that I was who I said I was. I was asked to send a copy of my passport, give them access to my Face Book and Gmail account and reconfirm my cell number. I did this because I was complaint and wanted to work the kink out. The various requirement were fulfilled but to no avail.

7. Airbnb still did not relent their decision to cancel and I was momentarily stressed out by this last minute derailment. I asked them to please explain their position to which I received the following reply.

"Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation as to the action taken against your account. Furthermore, note that we are not liable to you in any way with respect to disabling or canceling your account. Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with respect to such matters, and this decision will not be reversed. Your payment method has been refunded in full and that should be reflected on your payment method by this time.

Moving forward, we will no longer be able to assist you with this or any other issues. Please see our Help Center for further information:

8. I found this reply to be corporate hubris and completely unacceptable. That's why I "ranted". I find this behavior unacceptable. If one is accused of doing something wrong or illegitimate, one should at least be told why in my opinion. This is why I could offer no relevant facts as to why Airbnb did what they did. They refused to offer any.

9. In researching this, I have found I am not the only one who has been treated in this manner. Perhaps I am spoil;ed as seasoned traveler, but honestly, I find Airbnb's attitude appalling and unacceptable.

10. I agree that there were no financial damages because my monies were refunded. Please note that because I had in fact done no "wrong" Airbnb had no defensible position to keep my payment. I was indeed lucky to have already established prior good communication with the host. Otherwise, I would have had to find accommodation in a major city during a major industry gathering in less than 24 hours. Airbnb's action would have in fact left me without any accommodation... or left me with no option but to pay top rack rates for a hotel costing me multiples of my budgeted amount for accommodations . It was at the least highly unpleasant and I remain of the opinion that Airbnb was unprofessional and unfair in this instance. Posting my experience is my only recourse apart from ignoring it which were I not currently in sabbatical, would be the case.

11. Therefore, anomaly or not, I deem Airbnb in this instance worthy of disapproval for their behavior and continue to recommend avoidance of them as a traveler's resource for good cause. Thus, it is a cautionary tale for any wishing to take it as such.

I hope this clarifies the matter somewhat... and some ruffled feathers are back in place. The onus should be on Airbnb and not me. I see that I should have presented it better.

There is simply no justification for Airbnb's position as they have obstinately refused to offer any. I am a good citizen and considered by major airlines and hotel chains to be a preferred valued frequent flyer and guest. Obviously, not by Airbnb. On the road of life they are a mere pebble that temporarily nested in one of my traveling shoes. It annoyed me greatly for a moment. I am done with it now on this forum.
Alamojo is offline  

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