33 responses

  1. John Ivanov
    April 26, 2018

    What kind of people, what pigs… I once booked a room through airbnb, and there was a dead mouse 🙁

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      April 26, 2018

      Yuck!

      Reply

  2. Keri Black
    July 26, 2016

    I host on AirBnB. I’ve got scores of great reviews. I’m very good at this and go the extra mile. But doing this job wears thin. I have a guest at the moment who does everything on a whim. Totally unpredictable about everything. So. We don’t know when we can have a shower, because she might be in it. We don’t know when we can go to sleep, because she might have a hairdryer on at midnight. We don’t know whether we can make noise, because she sometimes decides not to go to work but doesn’t make anyone aware she is home. It isn’t a hotel. She’s entered another family’s life….and she is such a law unto herself that it has been very stressful to us. I’m putting the price up to get better people.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      July 27, 2016

      Having a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get different kinds of people. Hopefully your current guest is leaving soon, though.

      Reply

  3. Keri Black
    July 26, 2016

    What did you pay? Not a lot? Well then, stop complaining. Or book a hotel. Easy.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      July 27, 2016

      It doesn’t matter how much someone is paying. They shouldn’t expect to have a kitchen that is full of disgusting mess, rodent droppings, have the kitchen sink completely fall apart, etc.

      Reply

  4. Thomas Woodard
    March 29, 2016

    Their lack of control on their host is obvious, they just try to increase their listing as much as they can.They have incompetent customer service who actually simply do not care about customer.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 29, 2016

      I disagree solidly about their customer service. So far in all of my experiences they have been VERY good.

      Reply

      • Keri Black
        July 26, 2016

        Indeed. This person probably tried to keep it as cheap as possible for himself or herself and now has the hide to complain. Suck it up is what I say.

        Reply

  5. Clare
    March 23, 2016

    I live in Sydney (Australia). The press over here are always banging on about how Airbnb is a way for people to make big quick easy bucks. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for its decline – i.e. ppl who should not be in hospitality and have no experience in this area trying to make money.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 24, 2016

      I think you’re probably right. I think that is precisely why things seem to be going downhill.

      Reply

  6. Belinda
    March 22, 2016

    We are about to stay in our first (3) AirBnBs across Japan… i hope I have made good choices! WiFi seems to ge easy to find, but full size beds were harder. I hope the photos and reviews live up to expectations!!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 24, 2016

      I’m crossing my fingers for you!

      Reply

  7. Tina
    March 22, 2016

    Not every experience is going to be as planned or better than planned. Having said that, that place that you found in Mexico was a disgrace … I hope they refunded your money.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 24, 2016

      I never expect perfection. But I also don’t expect a place like this. 😀 Waiting on Airbnb now as the host didn’t respond to my partial refund request. The ball is in their court. I’m pretty sure with the photos I sent that I’ll at least get what I requested.

      Reply

  8. Jennifer
    March 22, 2016

    The cleanliness is totally unacceptable! No way would I eat off of anything in that place without scrubbing it down, which I should never have to do on a holiday.

    I stayed in an Airbnb in Milan a few months ago. It was a person’s actual apartment that they would rent out when they were away at their lake property. It was extremely clean and great location, but it was uncomfortable because every cabinet and door in the place had a post it note about whether this was acceptable for guests to touch. It was hard not to be paranoid that I’d accidentally touch something I wasn’t meant to.

    This owner was also supposed to be a superhost, but the owner did nothing special to actually fit Airbnb’s definition of a superhost. I was even staying there with two friends that work on Airbnb’s marketing team as they were in Milan for meetings with their client and they agreed there was no way the owner really qualified as a superhost.

    I’m just not sold on Airbnb.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 24, 2016

      That’s crazy! How uncomfortable for sure. I hope your friends took care of things back at the office so to speak.

      Reply

  9. donna
    March 21, 2016

    As a vacation rental owner, these are great tips and happy to say we do all of these and have great reviews because of it. We have found though that anything that can be stolen…is. Beach towels, pillows, glasses, wine bottle openers…you name it. We have had only one complaint in 5 years and the renter was unreasonable (quarter size stain fhat had been laundered on the mattress pad under clean sheets that wasn’t noticed until after they stripped the beds at the end of their stay) and demanded refund which was probably their intent from the start. Could you do a post on how to be a good guest now? We have horror stories of bad quests too including a group of Catholic Priests.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      Catholic priests are some of the worse, unfortunately.

      With Airbnb a host can be reimbursed for stolen or damaged items. We had similar problems when we managed a hotel. I don’t get these people.

      I would NEVER complain about a stained mattress, unless maybe it was still wet or something when I arrived. Guests can be absolutely ridiculous. I think your suggestion is a good one. I’ll ask for input from other hosts for their horror stories.

      Reply

  10. Scott – Quirky Travel Guy
    March 21, 2016

    This is timely, as I’ve noticed an obvious decline in Airbnb properties recently. Even in the listings themselves – I now see bizarre listings like “I accept cash only pay in person upon arrival” (against Airbnb’s terms of service) or “female guests only” (which is illegal).

    I also get really bothered by people having super-restrictive check-in and check-out times. If I can’t check in until 5 and have to leave by 11, I’ll just stay at a hotel instead, thank you. One listing I saw the other day said “You may not change the thermostat temperature,” which sends the message that the host’s comfort is more important than the guest’s. That should never be the case.

    Just yesterday it took me a couple hours to find a decent Airbnb host for one night in Miami, when it used to take about 10 minutes. Someone should send this post to Airbnb because I question whether they’re even aware of the growing discontent with their service.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      Excellent point about the check-out. In fact the reason we’re in an Airbnb right now is because our plane has a late departure time. In a hotel, I’d have to sit around the lobby for 4-5 hours, but with Airbnb I just double checked with our host that they would be OK with it. Much nicer sitting in my living room until it’s time to leave.

      I’m glad, and sad at the same time, to see that someone has noticed a general decline. I thought maybe it was just me.

      Reply

  11. John
    March 21, 2016

    I hope this somehow makes its way to Airbnb hosts to read. All fantastic advice. We’ve also only recently started to have some bad Airbnb experiences (although continue to have some fantastic, superhost experiences too). The check-in, the wifi, and the cleanliness – all huge factors to consider that you would think would be common sense. We recently had an Airbnb host who showed up 2.5 hours after the agreed upon time and did not respond to any of our calls or texts during the lengthy uncertain waiting period. Once he showed us the room, we found the floors to be covered in dirt and we don’t think the sheets had been cleaned. The icing on the cake was when he didn’t have a key for us, so his solution was to just leave the front door to the house unlocked. This was in Mexico, by the way. Unacceptable!
    On the bright side, the wifi worked great. Sometimes its funny what you’ll put up with for good wifi, lol.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      Good gawd! You’re way more patient than me. I would’ve been in contact with Airbnb’s emergency help line. What an awful situation. Did you contact Airbnb about all this? I’m sure you’d get a refund at least.

      Reply

      • John
        March 28, 2016

        We probably should have contacted airbnb, but did not. It was only a short stay, so we put up with it and tried to work with the host. He agreed to have a housekeeper come and clean the next day and she thoroughly cleaned everything. He also promised to get us a key. After our four days there, the key never showed up despite us asking repeatedly. On the second day, we literally just saw a bunch of keys on the living room shelf, so we tested them all in the front door and our door to see if one of them worked and thankfully we at least found a key to our room, no thanks to him. The host was elderly expat (and we presume also a stoner). The problem with reporting him was that he was otherwise a super nice guy that probably would have given us the shirt off his back. He was just absolutely clueless and should NOT be running an airbnb. Nice shouldn’t trump competence though, and in retrospect we probably really should have contacted airbnb.

        Reply

      • Talon Windwalker
        March 29, 2016

        It’s harder when they’re genuinely nice people. I just think about the next person and what they might encounter if I say nothing.

        Reply

  12. Alrica Goldstein
    March 21, 2016

    As someone else who uses Airbnb a lot, I totally concur with this. We have been very hit or miss. Our current place is amazing, but we have gotten stuck with some pretty bad deals too. This is particularly frustrating when they have great reviews. Come on people, nice doesn’t cut it, we need honesty! When we walk into a new place, my kids look for can openers first since only one in ten have them. We have also seen a big difference in the meaning of “included.” It isn’t included wifi if I have to pay for data and a rope to hang laundry in the sun does not count as an included clothes dryer.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      I get irritated with some of their amenity listings. A dryer does not include a clothesline, as you said, or a rack to hang clothes on. And if your washer is broken, and has been broken for a week, take it off your list!

      I SO agree about the reviews as well. I always leave honest reviews. If it was amazing, I’ll let people know. If it was hell, likewise. If it was in between, I’ll list both the good and the bad and let the reader decide. The purpose of reviews is to help people know what to expect, good or not so great!

      Reply

  13. Kristin
    March 21, 2016

    Yikes!! Those pans are nasty! All good points. We try not to book unless there are hefty good recent reviews. We’ve had fairly decent luck throughout our year and looking into Airbnb again for Scotland this summer. I have definitely questioned the cleaning in a few. We have had the arrival communication problems like you where a neighbor finally saw us outside and offered their phone to help. We have had some leave us fruit and water, which was awesome. One in Lisbon, left us wine and cheese!!!(I think they had property management assistance). One interesting experience was we found dirty socks under couch and lots of prescription meds in desk drawer….I think for depression….not a good sign.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      Oh dear about the meds. We didn’t have as good of luck in Scotland with Airbnb. I mean we didn’t have bad places, but we had a really hard time finding places that were more economically feasible than staying in a hotel. We ended up staying in B&B’s and hotels most of the time because of it.

      Glad to know I’m not alone with the check-in issue. What makes them think everyone has phone service?

      Reply

  14. Sean
    March 21, 2016

    Great post!

    I suspect in some cases, hosts get burned by guests who steal or take things (like having extra tp or paper goods around). I wonder if in some places people are more likely to take even the utensils as well. The problem of bad guests cycles into bad hosts.

    It doesn’t excuse the lack of cleanliness or a kitchen not being functional at all, though.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      The thing is Airbnb will reimburse owners for stolen items. And if you can’t afford to replace 1 roll of TP, you probably shouldn’t be an Airbnb host or you need to bump your prices by a couple of dollars. TP and paper napkins do not cost a lot of money.

      Reply

  15. Erica
    March 21, 2016

    Talon, this was a great post. Lots of good information. I haven’t had the occasion to use AirBnB yet, but I’ll come back to this for ideas when I do.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 21, 2016

      Thanks! It’s a really useful service, and we’ve had mostly positive experiences. Our string of failures is just taking its mental toll on me right now. A bright side is that Airbnb does offer great customer service when you’ve had experiences like mine. So at least there’s that.

      Reply

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