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Old 06-02-2013, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Where I'm At
582 posts, read 963,926 times
Reputation: 1386

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I've been researching Airbnb and so far I like what I see. Some of the hosts/renters seem quite interesting and the reviews from the travelers appear to be truly genuine.

By the way, Airbnb stands for airbed and breakfast. Their website basically allows people (they're called "hosts") to rent out their spare rooms or entire homes/town homes/condos/villas/cabins/castles/barns (yes, I saw a couple of converted barns for rent)/etc. for prices that are usually – but not always – cheaper than hotel rooms.

The company's been around since 2008, is headquartered in San Francisco, and it has over 300,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries. Unfortunately, it's recently been banned in New York because renting out your apartment or a spare room in your apartment is illegal. Airbnb Stays Are Illegal In New York, Court Rules : The Two-Way : NPR

So, has anyone on here personally used Airbnb, and if so, how was your experience?
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:00 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,500,217 times
Reputation: 4916
Airbnb has recently instituted some new *security* procedures for member verification that you may not be aware of, as of May 1. They are causing a bit of a stir.....and Airbnb is attempting damage control, but has not retreated on its new verification procedures.

It appears at this time that in order to register as a member of Airbnb (and you have to be a member to use the service) you must provide:

* A link to your Facebook page or your Linkedin page OR a 30 second video of yourself
* Your social security number
* A copy of your drivers license
* Your home address and phone number
* Your full credit card information

There has been quite an outcry over these new requirements. Because certainly there is no guarantee that their security procedures are worth the computer script they are printed on. And all of the required information is ripe picking for identity theft--which you have just handed over to a nameless faceless internet company.

I wouldn't touch Airbnb with a 10 foot barge pole.

Some interesting analysis here with links and comments worth looking at:
Doc Searls Weblog · Let’s help Airbnb rebuild the bridge it just burned

And here is a bit of backround on the founders of Airbnb, who are requiring all of this extensive personal information:
The Seedy, Spammy Past of Airbnb's Co-Founder

One possible alternative to their data mining and invasive requirements is VRBO, where you deal directly with the property owner without third party internet snoops.
VRBO® is Vacation Rentals By Owner
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:37 PM
 
814 posts, read 960,940 times
Reputation: 967
I've used Airbnb at least a half dozen times and know many others who have also done so. I have yet to hear a single complaint from anyone about a negative Airbnb experience. I've found that it can really be a comfortable, less expensive alternative to hotels. Obviously, this is just my personal perspective, but the review system they have in place helps a lot.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:47 PM
 
2,482 posts, read 4,974,365 times
Reputation: 4525
Myself and 2 friends used it on our last trip and it was great. We ended up staying in a very nice apartment for cheaper per person, than a hotel. And since it was an entire apartment all to ourselves, we had all the anemities of home. I"ll be using it again in the future.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Where I'm At
582 posts, read 963,926 times
Reputation: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Airbnb has recently instituted some new *security* procedures for member verification that you may not be aware of, as of May 1. They are causing a bit of a stir.....and Airbnb is attempting damage control, but has not retreated on its new verification procedures.

It appears at this time that in order to register as a member of Airbnb (and you have to be a member to use the service) you must provide:

* A link to your Facebook page or your Linkedin page OR a 30 second video of yourself
* Your social security number
* A copy of your drivers license
* Your home address and phone number
* Your full credit card information

There has been quite an outcry over these new requirements. Because certainly there is no guarantee that their security procedures are worth the computer script they are printed on. And all of the required information is ripe picking for identity theft--which you have just handed over to a nameless faceless internet company.

I wouldn't touch Airbnb with a 10 foot barge pole.

Some interesting analysis here with links and comments worth looking at:
Doc Searls Weblog · Let’s help Airbnb rebuild the bridge it just burned

And here is a bit of backround on the founders of Airbnb, who are requiring all of this extensive personal information:
The Seedy, Spammy Past of Airbnb's Co-Founder

One possible alternative to their data mining and invasive requirements is VRBO, where you deal directly with the property owner without third party internet snoops.
VRBO® is Vacation Rentals By Owner

Unfortunately, I have read about their new verification process (implemented on April 30, 2013) http://blog.airbnb.com/introducing-airbnb-verified-id/, which randomly selects 25% of its USA users to go through the Verified ID process. It will expand the process to all of its users, soon - no specific date has been given for this full implementation.

Frankly, I'd be shocked if Airbnb fully implements this system due to the enormous amount of negative feedback they're already receiving from their hosts and travelers. I think, and actually hope, that their Verified ID System will be dropped the same way that Bank of America dropped its heavily criticized plan in 2011 to charge its customers $5 per month for debit card purchases.

In 2011, Netflix also learned an expensive and valuable lesson from 800,000 of its customers when it tried to raise the monthly subscription price from $9.99 to $15.98 (a 60% increase). Money talks, BS walks.

Only time will tell if Airbnb follows Bank of America and Netflix's lead. Until that time, I'm still exploring all my options, including VRBO (thank you for the link ), Armed Forces Vacation Club/AFVC http://www.afvclub.com/, and Trip Advisor Vacation Rentals http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,934 posts, read 4,869,290 times
Reputation: 2246
no. i've checked airbnb a bunch in the past and have never found it to be competitive with priceline as far as price goes. and i've never heard anything but bad things from ppl who have tried it. i will not be giving those ppl my money. it's a rip off.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: NYC based - Used to Live in Philly - Transplant from Miami
2,306 posts, read 2,261,053 times
Reputation: 2599
Yes, I used it for the whole week. I think it is a hit or miss.
My host was so nice. I got the whole third floor with private entrance.
The only reason she lists it on airbnb is because she is a widow with a huge house. So again, you wont know until you are there.
But like somebody else said, airbnb had put some security measure to deflect weirdos and questionable people to post their ads.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,811 posts, read 3,731,867 times
Reputation: 3972
I've never used their service. However, I've compared their prices to other online apartment rentals. I've found cheaper and better places in other places. I'd suggest you maybe look further. You may find something better.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:36 PM
 
5,023 posts, read 4,417,921 times
Reputation: 3062
We just used it for the first time this weekend. Our friends have used it many times and they love it. We shared a log cabin with them this weekend and the property was gorgeous. It was everything it said it was.

I just found it a little expensive.

We do have a property that we are going to rent out and last night I tried to list it with airbnb ; gosh that site was so frustrating that I gave up in the end.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:39 PM
 
2,331 posts, read 4,043,755 times
Reputation: 2113
I have used Homeaway and VRBO many times, but not Airbnb (which always seems to be a bit more expensive, in part because you pay the Airbnb fee).

Compared to booking a hotel, you need to work harder to find a place that fits you, but it does pay off. I have stayed in great places in Paris, Chicago, NYC and DC (and every year on the shore somewhere, in Maine, MA or NJ), in real neighborhoods, experiencing the city like a local even if only for a week.

That's slightly OT for the thread but I really hope someone in Albany figures out that to ban (almost) all short-term residential rentals is a pretty dumb thing to do.
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