Posted by William Charles on November 4, 2019
Recaps

Published on November 4th, 2019 | by William Charles

23

Recap: AirBnB Scam, LAX New System & More

 

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YoniPDX

All these minor quakes of late coming out of AS mileage plan – really hoping were not in for a big one any time soon.

I know it is inevitable, but the increased SUBs 40K and spending bonuses, also the extended miles sale last month. (This ast one just seem to a lot longer).

danny
danny

These tech startups like airbnb, uber etc have the worst customer service around. No surprise that a scam could so easily take place within that ecosystem. I do wonder how much research the writer of that article (and others mentioned) did on the property. I read through all the reviews and only book with hosts who’ve had numerous guests previously.

Erika

I only have five reviews on Airbnb even though I’ve hosted thousands of guests for over 15 years, mostly on VRBO. I only have five reviews on Airbnb because it was obvious to me from the beginning they were a terrible platform. And of the few rentals I’ve had off Airbnb, a significant percentage of them were serious problems. For example, a college student lied about his age last year and trashed several houses in the community, including mine. It appears that Airbnb has since “scrubbed” my account. I was not able to find the insane messages I received from customer service, including telling me they didn’t actually collect the security deposit that I’d set at the time of this guy’s booking.

We vacation rental owners used traditional safeguards for vacation renting, such as contracts and security deposits, for eons, for a reason. Airbnb has gutted the basic safeguards of the vacation rental market. Horrible, horrible company.

TT
TT

I’ll take things that never happened for $400, Alex.

debit
debit

Airbnb is shit. And amazon is getting there.

But nothing compares to orangutan.

Act wisely.

Frank

William Charles How is this guy not banned? Every single Recap post has some wildly off-topic anti-trump comment. I’d like to be able to read the comments without having an argument breakout about politics all the time

debit
debit

Frank i haven’t mentioned anyone by name. Why do you think that post is about politics? I have no idea what you ate talking about.

Sounds like you have some other issues that trigger very easily.

Frank

Not here to argue with you but you obviously know what I’m talking about. What you are doing offends me because you are risking harm to Will’s site. Otherwise don’t really care what you believe politically.

sam
sam

debit was talking about obama here, he is clearly being racist. i didnt agree with obama on much, but i would never call a human being an orangutan. ban him please

Eric
Eric

I’d hate to agree with “debit” but I had no idea what he was talking about when I read “orangutan”.

Matt
Matt

I don’t know if Debit is referencing this, but Trump once tried to sue a comedian for saying that Trump’s mother had sexual intercourse with an orangutan, which resulted in the birth of Donald J. Trump.

If Frank didn’t comment about Debit’s comments being anti-Trump, I wouldn’t have even guessed that was what Debit was referencing. Reading Debit’s comment by itself, it seems weird (but weird-only). But… IDK… maybe?

Frank

It’s a fairly common reference to trump. Check out Debit’s post history and you’ll see he’s a huge fan: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/lyft-job-access-program-free-discounted-rides-for-job-training-interviews-first-three-weeks-of-employment/#comment-831154

debit
debit

Witch hunt. I never said anything like that. I am doing so much for this website and some mentally challenged people like “shifty Frank” want to engage in this behavior. You know how people like Frank were dealt with in the past? Things were a little different back then, let me tell you folks.

Stone
Stone

me too… I didn’t get the Trump reference right away.. nevertheless lets leave politics out…of zero value on this site.

Greg
Greg

Same AirBNB scam happened to me in Miami a couple years ago. Luckily, I got out of there and found a better place for the same price, but it made me never use AirBNB again.

My two cents if you’re going to stick with AirBNB- always pay with a credit card and document everything. Download an app that can record phone calls. Take pictures of the place both when you arrive and when you leave; videos are even better. Never accept changes made by the host and always say you will handle through AirBNB customer service so that it is documented in a case number. Then, if AirBNB still cannot resolve the issue and will not provide a reasonable/full refund (I would not accept AirBNB credit), don’t be afraid to initiate a charge-back with your credit provider. Having everything documented only strengthens your case when you need to escalate to your credit provider.

Stone
Stone

I’ve had positive experiences on Airbnb in Europe, Dubai and here in the US. However I think I have been extremely lucky and I’ve also very carefully checked reviews and been good at picking out good hosts. However going forward I will 100% definitely NOT use Airbnb domestically, specially in large US cities.

I have read far too many first hand accounts of scams and severe misrepresentations and also frequently cancellations of early lower cost bookings around major events (this is another scam…. where the same properties are marketed at much higher rates via different accounts and when they rent..the original booking on the original account is cancelled.. Miami is a hotspot for this).

There is a whole industry of people who have leverage the system on an industrial scale and just as with ebay, when the system relies on goodwill of people to do the right thing, the honest parties can frequently be left severely maligned.

If you must rent on Airbnb, if there is any change to the booking do not stay at the property or an alternative! Even if you stay 1 night of a 14 night stay before you contact airbnb you are totally screwed. The moment there is a problem/change contact airbnb. Just stick to that cardinal rule. Recording calls, keeping an email chain etc is of little practical use once you’ve stayed even 1 night. Chase a forensic investigation with airbnb is like pulling teeth from what I’ve gathered.

Erika

Kudos to Allie for the amazing investigative journalism re Airbnb.

I am someone who was vacation renting my home long before it was trendy, and long before Airbnb existed. Let me tell you, Airbnb is one of the most toxic companies I have ever encountered. They are ruining this market for everyone involved with their unbridled greed and irresponsible policies.

The tragic deaths of 5 people in Orinda also were inevitable at some point. Airbnb doesn’t let owners vet their guests, forbids traditional security deposits, forbids photo ID verification by the owner, forbids signed contracts. You risk being banned from the platform by being a responsible owner. That didn’t used to matter as much but now they are a quasi-monopoly and can force terms. More deaths are inevitable unless someone (legislatures?) come down on Airbnb hard. Their customer service is horrific and they are notorious for not holding guests responsible for rules violations. Their review system invites abuse. Something is going to have to shift here.

YoniPDX

Depending on the Municipality/State an AirBNB renter potentially could turn a stay into a 90+ day eviction nightmare, depending on local property laws. Lack of background checks – Process serving to evict – Many PDs/SO are extremely reluctant to get involved in landlord/rentals with out paperwork signed by a judge.

Even background checks for property rentals don’t always protect landlords (yes they help). Portland Govt is making it even harder to screen based on credit reasons.

Wonder why we haven’t heard about issues of sexual assults/thefts – Uber seems to have people fall through the cracks with Uber.

debit
debit

Also i was reading in new York times today that private messages on airbnb network are sold to private companies to build up profiles on you to be sold to marketing companies. I just read the headline not the article.

Unbridled Capitalism is bad. Capitalism without regulation leads to chaos. Markets cannot correct themselves until it’s too late. Only idiots or charlatans fight ANY/ALL regulation. Airbnb/ uber/ lyft need strong regulation.

sam
sam

debit also learned what the word charlatan meant when he saw it in the new york times and now he feels all smart using it lol

MickeyMouse
MickeyMouse

We’ve had both good and bad experiences with Airbnb, but ultimately left the platform.

In Chicago during a 4 night stay after the first night we woke up with huge bites all over us. We searched the whole room and found bed bugs in the walls and the beds. Definitely a horrible experience. We took pictures and the owner even confirmed it himself to Airbnb, said the last guests seemed dirty and was right.

We got refunded for our stay but Airbnb refused to refund the $80 service fee. Which seems insane like if that happened at a hotel you’d get a refund plus a free week stay!

But another stay In Texas with a family made us feel really nice, they were courteous and actually cared that we enjoyed our stay and our trip.

Hyatt and Hilton which are both easy to get tons of free stays are significantly better and I wouldn’t go back.

aubergine
aubergine

We’ve had 5 bookings on airbnb, which turned into 4 stays of about 10k in value. 1 of them the ‘host’ cancelled and tried to coax us into some us other property prior to arrival. I did not communicate with them, as I figured it was a scam. It really feels like the Wild West out there, and its not my first choice for longer stays anymore. I look for *local* property managers, now. Some of them advertise on airbnb, but you can book direct if you do a reverse google image search, and that usually saves money and gets a safer, normal transaction to boot.

But expect a contract, a security deposit, and a post stay inspection of the property too.

DG
DG

Overall, I think airbnb has been a good choice in my experience as I’m a guy not wanting to pay for an apartment and can move around a city until I find a house I want to buy, seeing what various neighborhoods are like. I am now at my fifth AirBNB in the northern San Antonio area. Well, technically sixth, including a failed check-in a month ago: That one I booked for 61 days, kid sent me to an address where an older woman answered and appeared to have no idea who I was or what I was talking about. (Cold sound of a door locking after she closed it. I half-wondered if this wannabe loser airbnb’d a room without telling her.) Unlike other stories, it was obvious to contact airbnb ASAP and I called them. Support team gave that “host” an hour to respond (perhaps for the better, he failed to) and perhaps knew something was amiss that there was no address for that airbnb listing. (“Host” gave it to me via message after I had booked almost a month prior.) In short: Airbnb REFUNDED me the full amount, I got for that inconvenience a 54 off credit on a 400+ listing. (Code initially was good for a 980+ listing, but thankfully support lowered it rather than go back and forth on making sure it worked on the 688 listing — for 30 days — I picked. Kind of lucky I found something where the price was OK and location could hardly be better.) Would shrug whatever about the incident, but found it odd when I was checking listings on airbnb the other day (3 or 4 weeks later) I saw that phantom listing was in fact up. As I read airbnb’s policies (dumb luck perhaps), my understanding is airbnb only gives a host the money after they have a reasonable belief you checked in. (Or did not inform them of being unsuccessful in doing so.)

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