Very interesting. I like this advice offered: “Never book a place with zero reviews: Only stay at places with a 4.85-star review average or higher.”
Gosh there is nothing at all about providing an authentic experience?!
Next up, survey of tweets by hosts about scamming guests.
Equal opportunity, please.
Here’s the top complaints (all related to Airbnb service and security not the hosts:
72.2% of Airbnb problems related to customer service problems, from limited support in emergencies to unreachable or rude service.
The next most common problem: scams, which accounted for 22.3% of complaints—from fake listings to hacked accounts.
People are much more likely to post about a negative experience than a positive one. That said, the advice at the end will serve those of us with many reviews and high ratings well.
A total of 127,000 tweets, over five years, relating to a company with around 7,000,000 listings that books 200m to 300m stays a year.
Definitely a representative data sample…
The problem isn’t the seemingly small number of tweets. In the US a sample of 800-1200 people is typical for a poll on social and political issues and that “represents” all 120M voters or 200 M citizen adults or whatever.
The problem is that tweets are only a sample of self selected complainers. “The Insider” told us years ago that 94% of stays don’t report any problems from either host or guest side.
I remember, and in actual fact, I seem to recall that it wasn’t so much that the other 6% did report problems, it was that 6% required input in some shape or form from CS. This contact could range from a simple enquiry from guest/host through to those who are having a problem.
The actual number of trouble free bed nights served up by Airbnb is likely to be higher than the quoted 94%.
I think you are right.
I’m sure there are some hosts with misrepresented or fake listings. However, I don’t think those are as common as the article reports.
Based upon the postings on the rentals by owners Facebook group for my area, repeatedly those scammed were lured to pay off-platform for a discounted rate.
Then they were angry Airbnb wouldn’t refund the money of provide them a place to stay. Airbnb never had their money so Airbnb couldn’t help them.
So true! However, if you are a reader of Reddit, all that seems to be discussed is first time users being ‘bait and switched’ - so many that I even began to think this was a big deal. But as we know, no guests go online to praise, only complain (same with hosts lol)…
The other thing to be aware of is that many of these guest complaints are the result of them booking the cheapest place they can find, with new listings with zero reviews and new listing discounts, by guests who think you just book a place and then show up at the door, without having exchanged any messages with the host.
If I were looking to book a new listing, I would first send an Inquiry, to get a sense of the host, ask important questions, and decide whether to book there based on the responses and how quickly the host answered.
I see guest posts all the time where they post a link to a new listing and say “Hey guys, this place has no reviews, does it look fake to you?”
I always point out to them that it’s a brand new listing, so of course it has no reviews, everyone has to start somewhere, (and more often than not, it’s a newbie guest who I point out also has no reviews- “I see you also have no reviews yet- does that mean hosts should be extremely wary of accepting a booking from you?”) and why haven’t they considered messaging the host to see if it sounds legit and the host responds in a way that might set their minds at ease?
A pretty worthless and skewed report. Host scams would have to be very rare as a % of actual bookings.
Yes! I’ve never verbalized this, but I got the very distinct impression my very first booking/stay sought me out….new, taking IB out of the gate, generic Air house rules, clueless host, discounted way too much (I had the bad luck of coming online right around Formula One weekend so I was a “steal”).
He knew just how to screw me over and was legit livid that I called him on the carpet for all the lousy stuff he did & he was even angrier Air charged him. The best part? The rep chewed him out; told him the bottomline was he was disrespectful to me and of my home.
In his profile he claims to do “travel and business for AirBnB”. I was naive enough to think that was a good thing.
They claimed they flagged his account as a security risk because he had other like-complaints but he booked monthly up to 2/2020. His rating is 4.5 in every category. He has 15 reviews, with 3 bad plus 1 bewildered host saying he booked but someone else stayed w/o the host knowledge. Would you book him? Many others have. These days, I would not.
that eliminates all the new competition.
Surprisingly, and very coincidentally, I happened to have stayed in that exact same building ( not the same unit ) as the family who died, just 3 weeks prior to them. This could have happened anywhere ( in Mexico.) It is the guest who has to turn on the hot water system when settling in to a unit. The luxury complex was Tao in Riviera Maya near Akumal. The issue was that the propane didnt have the horrible odor that is required for safety…and the family could not smell the gas. This was a gas company failure.
When I stayed there, I found the instructions complex ( I had already had a glass of wine ) and asked my roommate to handle the system.
Just telling my story of the townhouse and my personal experience. Means nothing. Just sharing.
It was a sad tragedy for sure.
Well that’s fine with me. LOL.
Seriously I think it’s good advice for dim folks. I could probably find a new listing and suss out if I should stay or not but it’s not worth the extra work.
In fairness, the author of the study makes his bias clear: he had a bad experience and he went looking for evidence that it wasn’t him that was the problem and he found it.
I hope you didn’t hear me complaining?
You’ve got that a bit wrong. My understanding is that the family died of carbon monoxide poisoning ( which is why Airbnb added CO detectors to the amenity and safety list on the heels of that tragic accident), which has nothing to do with a gas leak. And all gas in Mexico has that smell added to it. I know, I live here.
Many people have no understanding of the difference between a gas leak and carbon monoxide fumes. Gas leaks don’t produce CO, and CO detectors don’t detect gas leaks. Gas has a smell added to it, CO is colorless and odorless.
Carbon monoxide is produced when the appliance isn’t adjusted properly, so the air and gas mixture isn’t correct and the gas isn’t combusting properly. A gas flame is supposed to burn blue-if it’s orange or yellow, it isn’t adjusted properly, which is something a technician has to fix, not the user.