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Old 12-25-2016, 12:36 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,300,838 times
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I had one bad experience last night.

I booked an airBnB for Christmas eve after a long trip, but when I lugged my suitcase to the place, I couldn't get in as planned. The property owner called me and said the previous guest took the key with her and never left it where she was supposed to. He apologized several times, however there was nothing he could do. I asked "don't you have a second key, and he said no" - which is quite surprising to me. How can he have only one key? I suspect he is out of town or doesn't want to come on Xmas eve. In the end I was not able to stay there and had to stay somewhere else at the last minute.

These things could happen from time to time, and the risk is on ourselves. Airbnb does have excellent customer service as someone called me shortly and promised to give me some sort of compensation. However, it was an extremely unpleasant and stressful experience nevertheless.
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Old 12-25-2016, 01:04 AM
 
2,231 posts, read 3,097,713 times
Reputation: 1700
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I had one bad experience last night.

I booked an airBnB for Christmas eve after a long trip, but when I lugged my suitcase to the place, I couldn't get in as planned. The property owner called me and said the previous guest took the key with her and never left it where she was supposed to. He apologized several times, however there was nothing he could do. I asked "don't you have a second key, and he said no" - which is quite surprising to me. How can he have only one key? I suspect he is out of town or doesn't want to come on Xmas eve. In the end I was not able to stay there and had to stay somewhere else at the last minute.

These things could happen from time to time, and the risk is on ourselves. Airbnb does have excellent customer service as someone called me shortly and promised to give me some sort of compensation. However, it was an extremely unpleasant and stressful experience nevertheless.
Interesting because what about the cleaning crew? If somebody stayed there before you there should have been somebody there to "clean" the apartment.

Granted somebody might have cleaned the apartment and they have their own set of keys. But ultimately he's got some issues.

1. If he only has 1 set of keys he should have that person who cleans check and make sure when they leave that the key to get in is there.
2. He completely blew having a back up plan in case the key was lost. It's not rocket science to know that people lose keys etc.

I'm really curious here. How were his reviews? Sounds like he is somebody who doesn't know how to run a rental property.

I would make a point in the review that this host is not very prepared for simple problems like loss of a key. A lot of hosts are out of town in my experience. But they still have people that can come through for them that live close by. I remember one place I stayed had about 4 people I could call in the event of some type of emergency.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:30 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,300,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
Interesting because what about the cleaning crew? If somebody stayed there before you there should have been somebody there to "clean" the apartment.

Granted somebody might have cleaned the apartment and they have their own set of keys. But ultimately he's got some issues.

1. If he only has 1 set of keys he should have that person who cleans check and make sure when they leave that the key to get in is there.
2. He completely blew having a back up plan in case the key was lost. It's not rocket science to know that people lose keys etc.

I'm really curious here. How were his reviews? Sounds like he is somebody who doesn't know how to run a rental property.

I would make a point in the review that this host is not very prepared for simple problems like loss of a key. A lot of hosts are out of town in my experience. But they still have people that can come through for them that live close by. I remember one place I stayed had about 4 people I could call in the event of some type of emergency.
I completely agree with you.

It was my fault to not have checked his review - when I looked for it, he had none although he joined Airbnb a year ago. I think something fishy is going on here. How can one have no review whatsoever in an entire year? Does it mean nobody has ever stayed at his place? I don't know.

Unfortunately I can't leave a review because the stay was not materialized. This is also a problem with Airbnb. If for example you booked and get cancelled a day before the trip, you can't leave a review. I don't know why it is designed like this.

And if he is really being honest with the key issue, then like you said, he is bad in managing this. How can you have only one set of key without a backup plan? I need to raise this issue with Airbnb.
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Old 12-25-2016, 12:18 PM
 
2,231 posts, read 3,097,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I completely agree with you.

It was my fault to not have checked his review - when I looked for it, he had none although he joined Airbnb a year ago. I think something fishy is going on here. How can one have no review whatsoever in an entire year? Does it mean nobody has ever stayed at his place? I don't know.

Unfortunately I can't leave a review because the stay was not materialized. This is also a problem with Airbnb. If for example you booked and get cancelled a day before the trip, you can't leave a review. I don't know why it is designed like this.

And if he is really being honest with the key issue, then like you said, he is bad in managing this. How can you have only one set of key without a backup plan? I need to raise this issue with Airbnb.
Hm..okay so sometimes when I look at peoples reviews. I see something along the lines of "Host Canceled prior to visit". See if you can see that listed in the reviews.

As far as him not having any reviews and being on the site a year that is really weird. Only thing I can think of is if he has zero pictures the whole time or declined every person interested only to finally find you and ********* over basically.

I would def call airbnb and express your concerns. You'd be doing any one who uses airbnb a service for getting a horrible host off the site.

As a big time user I can't stress enough about reading reviews. I'd say the biggest tips I have for you is to A, always read reviews and make sure they have a certain amount of reviews. A lot of hosts have multiple properties so pay attention to that too. Because they might be a big time host with 4-5 different properties. But then they buy a new property and nobody has stayed there yet. Well, as long as you can look at their other listings that should suffice.

Also send a PM before ask them about back up keys etc. Just let them know you've been screwed before so you have a concern. At least then you can have proof by a message that they say "hey I have somebody local that can assist if the key is lost". I'd also ask them if they plan on being in the area in case problems happen. They should either say "yes". or "No but I have contacts in the area to help with any problems'
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Old 12-26-2016, 02:27 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,704 posts, read 40,103,214 times
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I find the reviews very overinflated, and reality can be worse, a LOT WORSE!

Ymmv. 30 yrs as a host, but never for airb&b. All my Airb&b hosts have had a lot to learn about hosting.

One air b&b stay on rural vineyard in Portugal, the farm was abandoned and no one there to let us in. Friday night, had driven several hours to get there. No other places nearby. ... another long night...
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,809 posts, read 1,037,936 times
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My travel partner and I had great success both in Edinburgh and Prague and more locally here with hosts on Vashon Island.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:56 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,291,742 times
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I used airbnb while living in Chile. The only thing that made it worth it was that my landlord let me pay in cash and not deal with the ridiculous fees.

My personal opinion, hotels are typically a better option.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:46 PM
 
39 posts, read 41,893 times
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We have rented houses for years-ever since we had twins 18 years ago. Back then they were harder to find. We also use our former home as a vacation rental so we have experience on both sides.

It is not that hard to find an ideal (for you) place. You just have to put in the time. I always spend a considerable amount of time. We like a quiet, private location, ideally near walking or hiking trails. We like a really clean place although it doesn't have to be fancy or elegant. You have to know the lingo and watch out for code words that can mask defects. Sometimes rustic, cozy, authentic, one of a kind, are good but often they aren't. You should also make sure you get the exact address and use google earth and explore the area. I saw in a recent rental that it was next to a small farm which was fine with us but other people may be bothered by animal noises and smells.

When reading reviews take note of who the reviewer is. Younger people traveling solo or with their bf or gf may have very different expectations than a middle class family with children. We only ever rent places we have to ourselves-some AirBnB places can be misleading and you have to read them carefully to make sure no "sharing" is invovled. Homeaway is much more primarily a whole house rental place. Tripadvisor also has vacation rentals now.

We've only recently started using AirBnB as we has always used Homwaway. I do find it takes more time for me to vet an AirbnB place. But we've used it 4 times over the past six months and had all great experiences. They were primarily with superhosts as I recall.

Another thing to note these days is you can find the same place on all three rental sites, Homeaway, Tripadvisor and AirBnB but at different prices. This happens because of the way the host and/or the renter is charged by the site.
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:37 AM
 
402 posts, read 205,078 times
Reputation: 1053
The first two times I used AirBnB, it was great. The last two times were terrible!

The main problem is that they take no responsibility when the hosts flake out. I have to confess that I didn't read every single review, so I missed the review that said there was no air conditioning in the desert room. It was over 90 degrees! She advertised "forced air", in other words, a fan!

There is no way to contact Air BnB to cancel. I prepaid for four days, and ended up having to find another place to stay, after spending all day travelling.

It was a nightmare.

The time before, I was in Europe, and I had scheduled my room months in advance, before the world-wide sports affair was announced for that town, that weekend. When I showed up, the host was really obvious about lying that his uncle was in the hospital, and he had to leave, and so did I. Again, I'm stuck in a strange town, in this case, in a foreign country, and I can't contact AirBnB, and have to find a hotel in a sold-out city.

Air BnB has no customer service at all. The thing is, things like this are bound to happen, and they should have a stand-by number to call. They charge a big enough service charge for what they do, which is basically provide a website.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:57 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,300,838 times
Reputation: 7587
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
Air BnB has no customer service at all. The thing is, things like this are bound to happen, and they should have a stand-by number to call. They charge a big enough service charge for what they do, which is basically provide a website.
I don't agree with that.

Despite my bad experience in Lyon, AirBnB processed it very efficiently. I received a call from AirBnB 20 minutes after the owner reported the problem, and the customer service representative was very helpful and professional. She apologied and issued an reimbursement for the stay, for my train ticket to nearby town, and also a credit of $50 credit for my future booking.

Of course the owner was not experienced resulted in the mightmaire, but I would say AirBnB's customer service was very satisfying.

AirBnB is cheaper (in most cases) and is often managed by experierced owners, so once in a while bad things are bound to happen. That's what we pay for the lower price. Of course if you can't accept such risks at all, just avoid it and use hotels. I still think it is a great option and will not hesitate of using it in the future.
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