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Old 11-13-2016, 05:01 AM
 
Location: South Florida
202 posts, read 125,008 times
Reputation: 175

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I booked an Airbnb for this past week when I was in the Miami area and let's just say I left mid-stay due to a bug problem. Oddly enough, this Airbnb had a perfect rating with over 80+ reviews. However, the experience of going to an unknown neighborhood, if there are loud neighbors, not knowing how the place will smell, has really questioned if I'll ever try this service again.

Who has had positive/negative experiences with Airbnb?
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:43 AM
 
5,048 posts, read 6,965,556 times
Reputation: 4146
So, talking about the strictly airbnb (unlicensed, unregulated) vs the licensed, regulated professional B&B, whether they are both taking advantage of advertising on airbnb or not.

In the not-too-long-ago days (and still in many places) when owners wanted to be legal and able to join a b&b group to advertise, the only b&b type option in the US was the professional licensed b&b, many inspections were required before they opened and during their time in business. Many approvals, including approval from neighbors; zoning; historic review board; historic district; if historic, then city, state and fed requirements; at any age house, health inspections signed off; construction; safety ( sometimes sprinklers, sometimes at least an exit sign, sometimes secondary "easy" egresses such as back stairs/outside stairs, sometimes ADA requirements, fire extinquishers, etc etc ) while still allowing for the fact that the property was a private home. And the pop in inspections on the kitchen and any peeling paint (lead if old enough), any signs of things like mold, mildew, and so on.

I had many friends who owned and ran successful licensed b&bs and had some personal involvement. And all the inspections just flowed, even though the list seems long. Once approved it wasn't bad.

The laws kept everyone safe and healthy.

And it was, afterall, a business.

That said, if people know going in that there are no legal parameters on these, in some or many case, illegal b&bs and people don't mind some of the odd accommodations and some of the risks...hey, it's up to them. Sadly, I think some people still have in their minds the recent pleasant licensed b&bs blending into this new option and have higher expectations.

Some areas do allow airbnb legally under the option of short term rental laws. Some areas then have a few or no inspections for these.

And, some legal as well as illegal under the radar b&bs (can't figure out how those cities allow this while other b&bs in the same city have to get all the approvals) some of them are very very nice. Some so nice I can only think they don't go for the licensing because they are concerned because they are in an HOA or an elite neighborhood where neighbors may not approve. I mention these situations because I know of them.

In the end, that multi billion dollar company is eking its way into the state level. That pits state against city when the city can't make the decision to allow them and make their own restrictions/taxes/etc and when the money goes first to airbnb and then the state...and who knows what else to the city.
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:40 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 2,708,437 times
Reputation: 5631
The above post (#2) pretty much says it all. You are dealing with an unlicensed business that is in many cases illegal because some big cities have outlawed airbandb to protect the hotel owners. And unfortunately you are dealing with an individual who may be stretching the truth quite a bit or outright lying in their description. It is a roll of the dice. I have heard of some real horror stories of swindlers on airbandb in other countries.

I got lucky when I used airbanb a few years ago on a trip outside the US. The area I visited was having holidays and many visitors at that time, which pushed up the price of hotel rooms. An average hotel like a Holiday Inn was between $300 and $400 per night with higher end hotels several times that, so I decided to try airbandb. Dealing with airbandb was a nightmare, and their incompetent employees caused me to not make my first night at their property, so I had to stay in a hotel. I wasn't even made aware until the next morning if I was approved to stay in that property or any of their properties at all as I never heard a word back from them. What a way to run a business!! Airbandb never even had the decency to notify me, but the host family called me and invited me over. They were very gracious and kind and staying with the family was an excellent experience. So I give five stars to the host family, and zero stars to airbandb. Would I use airbandb again? I would hope their service and employee attitude has improved, but I really don't feel like the drama of finding out by having to deal with them, nor do I feel like taking a chance on the accomodation. Besides, the dollar is now up against almost every currency on earth, making it less expensive to stay at a decent hotel than it is to use airbandb, so why take a chance?

Airbandb has sent out new terms of service by email to everyone who has used them in the past, claiming they are not racist. If their employees spent just a small amount of the time that they spent on that BS checking out and better vetting their properties and hosts, it would be a much better experience for all.
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:32 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,628 posts, read 39,998,659 times
Reputation: 23780
Of course the Air BnB ratings are different and highly inflated, as the Customer rates FIRST, and is THEN rated by the host. All our hosts made it a POINT to REQUIRE they be rated HIGH, or we would be 'sorry'... Of course! it is cash flow to make their rent / payments.

There are a lot of threads here on Air B&B, some like it. Mine (8 this yr) have been terrible (dogs LOTS of stinky barking hunting and farm dogs IN THE HOUSE night a day to chase you from bed to bath at 3AM, bugs, filth, noise, weed, college parties (adjacent rooms), moldy bathrooms (and bedrooms), wow... great.


OTOH we have stayed 25+ yrs in private guest homes ($10. night worldwide) 200+ this yr alone. No problems.

YMMV
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:33 PM
 
2,687 posts, read 1,545,393 times
Reputation: 2597
^ how did you find the private guest homes?

My own experience with ABB, all found and booked by my 30 year old daughter, have been mixed at best, and often seemed over-priced for what we got, given the locations.
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:47 PM
 
Location: South Florida
202 posts, read 125,008 times
Reputation: 175
My experience with Airbnb's customer service has been great. I've been given several credits, refunds, and coupons due to various issues that have happened (like a host canceling my reservation due to her not realizing she was going to be out of town during my specified dates or me leaving early because of the bug issue).
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,317 posts, read 6,979,763 times
Reputation: 3504
I think there are a few threads about this already and I probably responded more extensively on one or two of them. Overall I've really enjoyed my experiences (probably about 20 times total dating back to 5 years ago)

Some stays have been 5* in terms of the property itself, and some have been 5* regarding the host's professionalism, kindness and attention to detail. Probably the worst I've experienced would be about 3* for property and 3* for the host. 90% of the time my expectations have been met or exceeded, 10% I've been slightly disappointed. But I'm pretty careful to vet them...I usually ask a handful of questions and study all the reviews/photos so that I can get the type of booking that I am seeking, be it luxury appointments or simply a safe place to crash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Of course the Air BnB ratings are different and highly inflated, as the Customer rates FIRST, and is THEN rated by the host.
No. Reviews are made in any order. You only have 14 (i think) days to write the review but you are not able to see the other person's review until you've submitted yours or the 14 days are over and you can no longer review. After reviews are public then you can write a response to the review if you wish. This has been the procedure for at least a few years now.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,449,460 times
Reputation: 4409
I like it. If you spend some time sifting around, and especially as a budget traveller, you can find rooms that are private that would cost about as much as a bed in a huge dorm, even factoring in the service fee.

I don't think I've ever had a bad experience. Although I do recognize that sometimes things just happen.

The worst part of it is if you're in a time crunch and a host is taking awhile to get back to you. Sometimes you're scoping out several different places, but the one room you really want is the one not responding to your messages immediately. You don't know whether to play it safe or wait just a bit longer to see what's going on with your most ideal room.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:02 AM
 
9,829 posts, read 5,025,705 times
Reputation: 33969
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Of course the Air BnB ratings are different and highly inflated, as the Customer rates FIRST, and is THEN rated by the host. All our hosts made it a POINT to REQUIRE they be rated HIGH, or we would be 'sorry'... Of course! it is cash flow to make their rent / payments.
The host cannot read the guest's review until they have submitted their review of the guest.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:18 AM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,356,895 times
Reputation: 9264
I have used AirBNB four times, all very satisfactory.


The last one was with my family of four. We got a three-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis for $100 a night. It was walking distance from the US Bank Stadium, which was perfect for us. We never saw the host, which was fine with me.


Another time, my teenage son and I got a room in an apartment in downtown Chicago. The owner lived there, but we only saw him once as he worked fulltime and went out at night. The location was two blocks from Union Station, so we took the train in and rolled our suitcases down to the apartment building. Perfect.


One was a block from the beach and the bathroom smelled a little mildew from all the beach towels. But that was the only problem I've had.


In every case, the hotels in the area would have cost much more and we would have had less space.
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