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My Experience With Airbnb: Traveler Beware

Updated on July 2, 2018

Los Angeles Neighborhood

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Why I Chose Airbnb

I needed a place to stay in Los Angeles for a month and a half over the summer while I was taking a class in-residence. After I had looked on Craig's list for possibilities, I ran across an advertisement for a place that I could rent through Airbnb. After reviewing the site, I felt that my money was safer in the hands of a business which made the guarantee of safety and promoted a community of trust. It seemed to be a much safer bet than renting directly through Craig's list and it was much less expensive than a hotel.

Choosing a Host

On Airbnb each host/guest can create a profile in which other members of the community can write reviews and share basic information. It gives accountability to the process of hosting because you have an online reputation to uphold. The host that I choose had a 100% recommendation rating. Even with hotels, it is very rare for guests to have a 100% satisfaction rate, so I should have begun to be suspicious at this point. The host can approve/disapprove of your request to stay. Mine was approved, which I thought was great at the time. You can talk to your host over the phone. My host seemed perfectly fine and normal.

How Would You Rate Your Airbnb Experience

If you have stayed at Airbnb, would you recommend to a friend?

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My Stay

After initially meeting my host she quickly dismissed me to continue surfing the internet. My introduction to her apartment (and Los Angeles) was very brief. After reading all the customer reviews on the Airbnb site about how friendly and accommodating the hosts were, I was taken aback by her rude and condescending attitude. It began to be obvious that she didn't want me there, and she was just using Airbnb to make ends meet.

Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable in her home. I had to go shopping several times in order to make up for several items that you would take for granted in a hotel. For example, she didn't have a coffee maker and I had to go out and buy one. Her apartment also had no A/C which I would have like to have known beforehand. I also did not have a private lock to my own room.

Shortly after my stay, the pin codes on one of my credit cards stopped working. Also, I had received a couple of security alerts on other cards and my bank. In addition to that, there were a couple notifications from my email accounts of unauthorized attempts to access my account. At this time, I do not have proof that it had anything to do with my host but the combination of her unfriendly attitude and the weird things going on with my finances/email I had to get out. I decided to cut my losses and cancel. After I did so, the host sent me a threatening email.

Pros and Cons

My personal experience with Airbnb was negative. The fact of the matter is, many people have used the service and had great experiences. Here are some pros:

- Inexpensive.

- Staying in a home is often better than staying in a hotel.

- Some hosts enjoy telling you about the local area.

Cons:

- Airbnb does not do background checks on hosts. My host had a criminal record that I didn't know about.

- You will more than likely not have a locked room.

- You will share an internet connection with your host which compromises the security of any information you send over the internet.

- Many people host through Airbnb because they can't afford the place they live in. This means they really do not want you there, contrary to what the site would have you think.

- You will get fined if you cancel, regardless of the fact that your host may be a criminal, hates you or rifles through your stuff when you are gone.

- Negative reviews are often deleted so the information upon which you base your decision to stay at the location is false.


Recommendations

If you still think you want to rent from Airbnb, I have some final thoughts. First, I would like to say that Airbnb has the same amount of risk as finding a place through Craig's list. The only thing that is different is that Airbnb collects a fee. Also, with Craig's list you go in with eyes wide open and with Airbnb you are making decisions based upon false information (overly positive reviews). I have also read reviews on travel sites indicating that other guests have had their negative reviews deleted.

Do not rent through someone that has a strict cancellation policy. Think about it, if they need to have one, there is probably a reason. Hosts that are confident in the lodging experience that they have to offer would not insist that you pay for 30 days after you leave in the event that you have to cancel.

Airbnb does not enforce their own policies. I was threatened by my host when I had to adjust my dates, even though the Airbnb manual states that a host agrees not to do this. I was the one that got penalized for my shortened stay.

Do a background check before you decide upon a host and understand that the 100% favorable reviews are inaccurate. Airbnb maintains the host reviews and have total control over what reviews stay up and which ones do not. This is clearly a conflict of interest.

Ensure that you have a cheap/affordable option in the event that a host cancels. This happens quite frequently and Airbnb does not assist you in finding alternative lodging.

Talk to your host beforehand and ensure that they have a positive attitude which conveys an enthusiasm for hosting. Be direct and inquire into why they enjoy hosting people and what they will do to make you feel comfortable. Also ask them if they have had any negative experiences. Ask if you will have a key to your own room. Do not leave valuables in the room and do not send secure information over the internet.

Good luck in your travels. While hotels are expensive, it is generally your best bet and there is much more privacy. Also, most hotels are reviewed on third party sites which gives you accurate feedback.

Comments

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    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      4 years ago from Wyoming

      @ CeRen: many people have good experiences, and it can also be a change in the way we interact as a community. However, there are hosts out there who are really just interested in making ends meet.

      @Tony: Good luck with your travels. When I was backpacking in Europe in college I was more of a risk-taker. Now i just prefer taking the more travelled path.

      @greeneyedblondie: Hope you have a good trip! It's a smart thing to check out both sides of the story.

      @Kiki: Yes, the deleting comments thing gets to me. Supposedly you are able to leave reviews which is supposed to motivate the host to provide a quality service. However, if they can delete their own reviews it kind of defeats the purpose. You definitely get a skewed perspective. If Airbnb at least had a 3rd party site for reviews, I would change my mind about the service.

    • profile image

      Kiki 

      4 years ago

      Yes, I also had a bad experience with a host in New Orleans. We arrived for an early check-in to an uncleaned place even though the early arrival was approved at BOOKING weeks earlier, then on the site were blamed for the host being unable to clean because we came too early in the morning. Despite no one staying there the day or night before and despite her prior knowledge of the early arrival. The place was also falling apart with what was clearly thrift store furniture. Fine. But sure enough, a set of blinds broke through very light use(I'm talking maybe one or two times and not with any unusual strength) and we were required to pay. The trip had both negatives and positives and I wrote about both in my review(but with an overall very positive tone even thanking her multiple times) and the host responded by blasting me in the review I left and in a review on my profile- and I didn't even bring up the flimsy blinds or unclean place - she did and blamed every single negative thing on us! I was so taken aback by this horrible unprofessional behavior that I didn't even bother responding and clarifying or defending myself. Especially after learning the host can delete comments anyway so this can happen to someone else. I will not be using AirBnB again. I have had multiple wonderful experiences renting from other reputable sites so this was incredibly disappointing. I also suggest renting from people who use a reputable property management company rather than from any old Joe(or Jane in my case) who is just looking to make quick cash for the bare minimum work.

    • profile image

      greeneyedblondie 

      4 years ago

      I've seen several mixed reviews on this service. It seems like there are just quite a few bad eggs in a good program. I'll have to keep looking on the good and bad reviews to see if it will be worth it for me one day.

    • profile image

      Tony 

      4 years ago

      This is good to know, because I was considering using this service on my next trip. I've not a huge risk taker, so I should probably stick to hotels.

      http://demenagementpausecafe.com/?lang=en

    • profile image

      CeRen 

      4 years ago

      I also agee! I loved this idea because food brnigs people together, and it’s a source of happiness, so only great things can happen from this kind of service.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @Bunny - thanks for providing the hosts perspective. Surely respect and trust should go both ways.

    • profile image

      Johnc112 

      5 years ago

      Good web site! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I've subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day! gceekaaeaake

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      5 years ago

      It's always a risk having a stranger stay at your place. In case your furniture is ruined, head over to this furniture retailer http://emfurn.com and tell them about your experience. That's what I did and ended up getting a huge discount lol :)

    • profile image

      Bunny 

      5 years ago

      I'm actually happy I came across your article. I decided to google rude guests. Only because I've come across the opposite.

      I decided to be a host on airbnb because I couldn't find a suitable roommate to rent out the spare bedroom. It's like telling them they have to fill out paperwork is Stone Age jargon. I'm like you have to do it if it was an apartment or house to rent. I'm basically doing it because I need the extra money, after my pay went cooky at my job before I was fired, I realized taking care of a house by myself is hard. Luckily I got a new job after two months struggling. But it's still expensive and it's not even my utilities that are an issue. It's taxes and then repairs that come up out of nowhere that are killing me.

      So my first experience with airbnb was with this lady who wanted to rent the room out for about 3 weeks in July. However she whined about the prices, I had to keep canceling and rebooking her until she finally decided she didn't want to rent it and found another place AFTER she booked with me. The next few people wanted to know what the neighborhood was like and if public transportation was close by. I'm ok with that but then to tell me that's not going to work after we go through the whole process of booking a reservation is ridiculous. Then I happen upon a really great guest. He only stayed for 3 days, but he was really genuine and acted like he had some sense. He even took the trash out for me which wasn't needed.

      Then I got my second guest. Who honestly is by far the most rudest, inconsiderate person I've ever met. Every time I asked a question I got attitude. It took me 3 tries to find out when he was arriving because I needed to know because I had to go to work. He tells me he'll be here at 11am. He showed up at 9:41am. Then he wanted to look at the room which I said ok, after he sees the room he looks at me all smug like and says I guess this will do. Then he demanded I get him the wifi password, I'm like can you wait a minute he told me no I need it now. I'm like well you'll have to wait. I asked him them was there anything else he needed. He said no. Then no more than 5 mins later he's demanding for a chair in the room. Then tells me how he's relocating and doesn't understand why places want to rent a minimum of 3 months. Like, that's how things work. But before you relocate I would think you have a game plan together, also. So he's shut himself in the room the entire times I've been home. I'm like already fed up with his terrible terrible attitude. I think airbnb needs to be more considerate and stop telling people everyone is hosting a hotel. I don't mind people coming to stay and I've had roommates before. I just don't like the rudeness and being inconsiderate. Regardless it's still my house. You're free to do whatever you need to do but don't be overbearing with it you know??

    • emily dickenson profile image

      emily dickenson 

      5 years ago from California

      I agree. Don't rent out your place to make ends meet and advertise it as "a vacation rental". A vacation rental should have good towels, linens, possibly a TV or stereo, decent dishes and cooking equipment, and possibly a coffee maker, drapes that cover the windows when you're sleeping, locks on doors! and basic cleanliness! There should not be all your personal items like cat food, notes you jotted, food in your refrigerator, mail, half done crossword puzzles or photos of your friends and family all over the place.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @Al, thanks for reading but next time try to actually read the whole thing before making comments, then you will make more sense.

      The very definition of rude is to turn and look at a computer screen while someone is talking to you.

      No, people should not be using Airbnb to make ends meet. If you have only one room and you need that person to rent out that room in order to pay the check (unlike most hotels who do not need all rooms to be lent out in order to make money) then that puts undue pressure on the renter to stay even if they are uncomfortable. I also reiterate like I have said many times before, Airbnb promises a community of trust, advertises that it's hosts are friendly and love showing people around. If you will be staying with someone who isn't financially savvy enough to rent out a place that they can afford, they should be clear about that.

      I simply do not understand your last comment, it was nonsensical. Please clarify. I do realize that most people don't buy a coffee maker on a trip, because most places that charge you to lodge there have coffee makers available. That only reinforces my original point.

    • profile image

      Al 

      5 years ago

      You gave virtually no other reason for calling this person "rude" and "condescending" other than the fact that she dismissed you to go back to her business. You say she was using Airbnb to "make ends meet" - what do you think other people do that for, the passion of renting a room out to complete strangers?

      Also, do you realise that most people don't go out and actually *buy* a coffee maker while they are on a trip?

    • profile image

      Bmf 

      5 years ago

      Can I send you my story? It's a lot worst experience with Airbnb (including pictures) soytufan.net@gmail.com

    • emily dickenson profile image

      emily dickenson 

      5 years ago from California

      We stayed in Monterey, CA. We first dealt with Airbnb directly, but had to wait 20 minutes on hold. A woman began the process for us and then called back with still no resolution. So we left the rental next day after calling the host and emailing the host of our decision. We asked her to refund our money but she wouldn't. When we returned home (after trying to find a hotel in Monterey for remainder of trip) we called our credit card company and they credited our acct. pending the investigation with Airbnb. They said there had been other complaints. If you feel unheard and you are justified (i.e. the place was mis-advertised) then call your credit card company. They will deal directly with Airbnb and they get through faster, I noticed!

    • profile image

      Elizabeth (HRH) UK 

      5 years ago

      Does this Air BnB Company actually have a Human Face ???????

      I've tried unsuccessfully for over an hour now, to find a Direct Contact to the AirBnB Staff !!! ???

      ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      francati@btinternet.com

    • profile image

      Hawk82 

      5 years ago

      Can I ask where you stayed? My wife is in LA now and having a similar experience. The woman was mean, rude, and made my wife feel unsafe. She left to a hotel. Please let me know how I can contact you via email.

    • emily dickenson profile image

      emily dickenson 

      5 years ago from California

      My boyfriend and I had a horrible experience with AirBNB, but I guess not as horrible as the woman who rented in Barcelona! The host had all her food in the refrigerator, cats in the house, on the furniture, everywhere (and I am allergic). She didn't post this on the site. Also the house as filled with her stuff, old photos, clothes, etc. I guess we didn't realize that this was actually someone's home and not a vacation rental. And it wasn't cheap either. We could have stayed at the Marriott Courtyard or Holiday Inn, but we wanted an authentic experience and WE GOT IT! Never again, never.

    • profile image

      Irene Lucia 

      5 years ago

      My friend and I rented an apartment from Jose and Fab(there wasn't a Fab, there was a Pablo). I arrived from CA at midnight and asked Jose for a key. He refused to send me one. My friend arrived at 8 PM and got into the locked building by a man going in and holding the door for her. I used the outside bell which I didn't know wasn't working. I had to spend $120 for a Holiday Inn. The apartment had a broken window, no pillowcases, very difficult doors to open to the building and elevator, no bath mat, one towel for each of us for an 8 day stay, one towel raggedy, dirty silverware in the silverware drawer, dirty dishes in dishwasher. We paid $2671 for 8 days for a very crummy, disappointing apartment.

    • profile image

      Sandy 

      5 years ago

      I am an airbnb host - and I do have a strict cancellation policy - primarily to protect against last minute cancellations (when you book, those days are no longer available to other airbnb searches) and because I do ensure that my guests are comfortable and this sometimes includes purchasing food and snacks, new pillows, bedding and in one case a portable air-conditioning unit. I do try to extend a partial refund when possible and always contact my guest and explain that the non-refundable amount can be used against a future stay at my home. I have had very remarkable experiences with airbnb and will continue to utilize it in the future - for travel and hosting.

    • Magen Morris profile image

      Magen Morris 

      5 years ago from Chicago

      This is good to know, because I was considering using this service on my next trip. I've not a huge risk taker, so I should probably stick to hotels.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @ JS, sorry to hear about your loss of refund. That is a lot of euros.

      @CJ Lizotte -- As long as you have a group of friends with you, you should probably be okay. Since you have the apartment to yourselves that will definitely make it easier. Make sure you understand the cancellation policy beforehand and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a plan B. It's always helpful to plan ahead as to how you will keep your valuables safe (more than likely don't keep anything in the apartment unless you are okay with getting it stolen. Keep all money/confidential items like ID on you at all times.)

    • profile image

      CJ Lizotte 

      5 years ago

      I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience, and it has opened my eyes a little to the cons about this type of site, since everything is so positive. However, I am looking to rent an entire apartment in Tokyo with some friends, not share a space. Do u think I will still have the same kind of issues doing this?

    • profile image

      JS 

      5 years ago

      I've just lost 267 euros - cancellation policy strict! I've given 3 months notice and no chance of refund, ethics are not part of the air bnb service I'm afraid.

      Burned and angry.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @alinapolsky -- that sounds like an awful experience. I think that is one of the huge problems with Airbnb, the fact that so many people use it as a means of necessary income. I'm disappointed that there was no follow up through customer service. Isn't that what you're paying those extra fees for? To have some accountability and customer service?

      @ KatRR -- I've heard of both good and bad experiences as well, mine was bad but many people I know love the service. The Facebook messages is a good idea. I've heard that people are allowed to leave negative feedback but I've also heard that negative comments can be deleted. I think a third party rating system would be ideal. In the end, I think the host can always retaliate and give you a bad review. It turns into a situation where nobody wants to say anything bad about anyone else. I just don't think it works.

    • profile image

      KatRR 

      5 years ago

      I've never used Airbnb and I've read a few horror stories so I'm not sure about it. But I've also spoken to friends who had a good experience so I think it's hard to say definitively. But I think talking or chatting (using Facebook messages) is a good thing to do before booking. Did you do that? Do you think that the rating system on Airbnb is fair? Do you think that having an objective or outside rating score beyond Airbnb would have been helpful in this scenario? (i.e. an average of the person's ratings on other websites?

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @ Danielle: It's definitely true that some hosts are good at what they do and make it a positive experience. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Danielle 

      5 years ago

      I'm sorry you had a crummy experience. We are hosts and love having the guests in our home. In our area, we seem to get a lost of guests who are localish to the area but want somewhere to stay while they do some home renovations or are looking for a temporary place to search for permanent housing if they are newer to the area. We do have the strict cancellation experience and that's because we get a lot of inquiries and there was a history of last minute cancellations so we'd lose out with an empty room, despite a few inquiries for that same timeframe. We also arrange our own schedules partly around guests. We want the guest to be sure they actually intend to stay when they book, similar to prepaying hotels for a discounted rate, etc. We haven't had any more last minute cancellations since this. I actually do wish they had background checks for both hosts and guests but I try to chat back and forth a few times before someone books so they get to know me and we get to know them.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @ Will, thanks for your insights. For the record, AirBNB does base it's business model on community and trust. We're not talking BFF's here but some type of people skills/customer-service is clearly in order, as many hotels try to foster.

      It is frightening if you keep valuables in your room and you have no way to make sure that nothing will happen to it. Otherwise, you're stuck lugging everything around. Most hotels have a lock box.

      My hosts advert didn't specify whether she had A/C or not.

    • profile image

      will 

      5 years ago

      Part 2: Jenna- are you serious? I would believe that you are the random person staying in someone elses home- its not your room. You are the guest! Why is it frightening as hell that a guest room doesn't have a lock on it? That's absurd! Further- the listings specify whether there is AC.

    • profile image

      will 

      5 years ago

      There are two sides to every story. Im not buying all of this drama. For starters- a host has no obligation to be your new Bff. It is also not a given that a hotel room would have a coffee maker in it.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      @ youcef kim, thanks for stopping by and sharing your point of view. I'm sure many people have good experiences, I just wanted to make sure people knew about the risks.

      @ Jenna, glad you found some piece of mind. Yes, air conditioning would have been nice for LA and it's scary to think what could happen if you aren't able to lock your room.

    • profile image

      Jenna 

      5 years ago

      I just took a trip out to LA as well. I had one really good experience while I was out there with Airbnb and the other not to much. I don't know if I can trust the whole experience again. The place we stayed at had no key to lock up our room (which was frightening as all hell) and then it didn't have any air conditioning (it was 95 degrees while we were there) so we had windows open (no screens). At 4 am we decided to leave and not stay our second night. I would much rather have the peace of mind that we wouldn't have a random person hanging out in our room when we got back and not sweating our butts off. I don't even care if I don't get a refund. I just needed piece of mind, and air conditioning.

    • profile image

      youcef kim 

      5 years ago

      i like airbnb and my experience was good with hosts

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      I've heard a lot about how hosts can suddenly cancel. That's why its best to go though a more reputable company.

    • profile image

      Eugene 

      5 years ago

      I wrote a review that was mainly positive but partly negative. As the review was partly negative the host decided to slander us on Air BnB, saying how dirty we had left his place. I sent Air BnB e-mails from two other companies saying how happy they were with us and how clean we kept their places. I also posted a reply to his slander saying he was talking nonsense, questioning his timing and asking for proof of his allegations.

      All that happened was that they deleted my review and his comments. So, no one will ever know that we view the host as a dishonest jerk. I cannot trust Air BnB again knowing that they delete negative or partly negative reviews. How do I know what I am getting myself into with a host?

      Besides that, I had contacted a different host in a different city before this whole incident. He told me his place was available. Then suddenly he said it was not available. Then he substantially increased his prices. Then he contacted me to say his place is available. I did not book with him and went through a company not affiliated to Air BnB. I had reported his bad ethics to Air BnB but received no reply. He is still advertising his place.

      Air BnB will not see me again.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      5 years ago from Wyoming

      I think you can have people that you know write an endorsement. That's all I can think of. Or maybe if you stay at another airbnb location the host would be willing to say that you were a good guest and that might help.

    • profile image

      thisisedvin 

      5 years ago

      Hi, thanks for your thoughtful post. I am currently thinking about being an airbnb host. I would be interested to read users feedback on their experience so that I won't come off as a bad host. My question is how do I get people interested in staying at my place if i don't have any reviews? thanks

    • Dave Hopkins profile image

      Dave Hopkins 

      5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      As a very good host on airbnb, I was bummed out by your experiences. I always go above and beyond to help my guests and make them feel welcome. I'm at the eighty plus positive review level and I have a strict cancellation policy. The reason is that a lot of guests are fickle and will make and cancel reservations on a whim. That's ok if you have hundreds of hotel rooms, but if you just have one or two rooms and a guest cancels the booking last minute odds are good that it will be empty and would have been booked by someone else had the listing been available. On the rare occasion that I've had a guest write and tell me a legitimate reason that they cancelled I generally refund the money or offer them a steep discount when they reschedule. Of course I don't state that in the ad. I can't speak to the personal ethics of who you were with, but I really think your experience is more the exception as opposed to the rule as far as privacy. The other thing to keep in mind is to ask if you will need things during your stay. Don't assume the host will have the same amenities as a hotel. Before I started hosting I didn't have a coffee pot, hair dryer, or 20 different cell phone and electronic cords. Those are all things that I've picked up over time because people requested them. The consumer also has to take the time to read the description. I'm sure that the space indicated the lack of ac on the checklist on the profile. If it didn't you'd have a legitimate way to get out of the obligation to stay. The last thing I'd comment on is the entire background check thing. Until you book via the site you won't know you hosts last name or address. If someone wrote to me via the site asking for my personal info before booking the room I'd immediately get nervous. In fact I doubt I'd accept the reservation. You had a crummy experience, but I think you have to have had more than one experience to be able to accurately portray the service. It's kind of like writing a guidebook to all of Europe and only visiting one country. If you'd like to try it again in Chicago drop me a line and I will comp you a room for a few nights. Search for a 'posh flat close to downtown' to see the listing.

    • profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago

      Yeah, I am staying in a long term rental, I suppose I am lucky, I made sure the room had a private lock. But, there is no coffee maker or living room. An older woman lives in the apartment and doesn't speak very good english. She spends a lot of time sitting at her kitchen counter listening to spanish TV on her computer loudly. When I want to cook, she awkwardly sits there while I cook. The living room is, strangely enough, filled with suitcases that I have seen her shuffle around the beautiful antique furniture that is piled up and cluttering the room. It is very strange and makes for an uncomfortable space. But my room is clean and cozy. She also rents another room in the apartment, so there's always other strangers coming and going, which is sometimes ok, and sometimes disconcerting. Another girl that lived here had some confrontations about fees that weren't explained very well. Also, immediately after I moved in they raised the fees to an excessive amount for a room, thankfully I had locked in my rate. All in all, my experience has been ok, just okay.

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      6 years ago from Wyoming

      Thanks for your comment Lisa but the actual hosts profile stated that she had a strict cancellation policy. The host always has the ability to refund money. The site merely guarantees to uphold the host's decision.

    • profile image

      Lisa 

      6 years ago

      RE: the author's statement: "Do not rent through someone that has a strict cancellation policy. Think about it, if they need to have one, there is probably a reason. Hosts that are confident in the lodging experience that they have to offer would not insist that you pay for 30 days after you leave in the event that you have to cancel."

      Because she had reserved for a month and a half, Airbnb's Long Term cancellation policy was in effect, and that would have been stated when she was in the process of booking her reservation. If the booking had been for less than 28 nights, it would have followed the host's chosen policy.

      From the Airbnb website:

      -If the Strict: 50% refund up until 1 week prior to arrival, except fees

      -Long Term: First month down payment, 30 day notice for lease termination

      -Note: The Long Term cancellation policy applies to all reservations of 28 nights or more.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      WOW, that is awful! Thank you for the warning. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Escobana profile image

      Escobana 

      6 years ago from Valencia

      Great hub! Very informative. You might wanna try another way of travelling safe and cheap. Try www.homeexchange.com. It's more expensive to start a profile but you can travel the world and exchange your home with another home for free.

      I've not tried Airbnb but I understand the cons to this type of travelling. As I am fond of my own space I wouldn't share my private space very easily with a stranger but exchanging home's can be a very positive way of travelling.

      Voted up, shared and useful!

    • kmes profile imageAUTHOR

      Kayla Swanson 

      6 years ago from Wyoming

      @ Kori Cox, yes I would say that background checks would be a given for any type of hosting business, both ways for the host and guest. Glad you got back safe from your time in Europe.

      @FlourishAnyway, yes I will not try that again. I guess I was just in a hurry to find some type of housing and I was lured in by the lower cost.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 years ago from USA

      Whoa! You really learned some valuable lessons the hard way. Thank you for sharing your experiences so others don't make the same mistake. Criminal background and no lock on the door? Being female, I'd never chance that type of arrangement with anyone I didn't know. Thankfully, you are safe, and wiser for the wear. Welcome to HubPages!

    • Kori Cox profile image

      Kori Cox 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for great information. I tried staying in someone home in Europe one time through couchsurfing. It wasn't the experience that I exepected it to be. I'll just say a background check should have been done.

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