Inequality? Airbnb Host Treatment vs. Guest Treatment

I’ve been both since Jan 2012 and hosted hundreds of rentals with mostly 5 star reviews. The seldom time when I had issues and needed to contact Airbnb, I found that they’ve always been very “Guest-Centric” in their decisions. Even in the help area of the website, the topics are very guest-relevant and less so for Hosts. I found this to be very discriminating and unfair, especially it is hosts that are the revenue generators for this $1Bn company.

What has been your experience?

I have been involved with Airbnb mediation once. A guest on a 3 night stay contacted me after the first night to complain that the swimming pool of the apartment building was not in working order. Since administration had not informed me about this I had no idea. I apologised many times, explained the situation and offered a compensation of 100 USD or a full refund in case he wanted to move to another place. The guy stayed another day without answering me, then contacted mediation service. He told them the pool was the only reason he took my apartment and his holiday was wrecked. He accused me of knowing about the pool situation and that I deliberately did not inform him about this. Then he demanded back 800 USD from a total of 920 USD. I was pretty stunned by his demand and just stated that this was completely out of proportion, especially since he did not move to a place with a pool despite a full refund and the first night free. Airbnb only took a couple of hours to decide in my favour. They awarded him 110 USD compensation and even paid the money from their own funds. So, this was a very positive experiance for me as a host.

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