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I was never aware that the site charges you a fee

Complaint Rating:  77 % with 13 votes
77% 13
Contact information:
United States
Horror, I would not even start as to where they rate. Basement is a good start.
I have been working on deal for what they call a flat, we know it as a apartment. After agreeing to a price that the owner of the flat excepted. But total miss communication that could have been handled with a simple email. I invested 12 day's of my time. As well as someone flying in form a country other than mine. Now I have a plane ticket, as she and no place booked to stay. I arranged for us to stay 2 nights at another location due to the owner asked that I could have the place on the 30th of july. Low and behold. We agreed to rs1, 800.00. I booked the deal and then it was rejected, because I emailed the owner and made a statement that he owed me some money, due to the conversion rate of rs1, 800 is about $1, 100 us. Not $1, 284.00. But I was never aware that the site charges you a fee (The person that books the deal). Well I let the owner know that he owed me a refund. And he canceled my reservation over the fees that were added from the site that I had no aware of upfront. So I lost out my reservation and I lost 12 days that I spent putting this deal together. They send me emails, and I even went on a limp to apologize to the owner and that I was not aware of the added fee's. You would think that the person using the site pay's the fee's. Then I asked him to please, rent the unit to me. He now said that his family is going to be there. But in fact he has his unit still for rent. I blame the site for not disclosing the fee's up front. I have better things than to be sitting here typing this email.
Complaint comments Comments (7)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Unauthorized Charges


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N  9th of Sep, 2011 by    +1 Votes
While I somewhat agree in the sense that they don't just include the fees in the listed price, they absolutely do disclose the fees before you pay a dime (see attached screenshot). It's not their fault you didn't read things.
D  9th of Sep, 2011 by    +2 Votes
Screenshot attached

N  13th of Aug, 2012 by    +1 Votes
Feoy74, Most sites has no reservation fee and only charges a nominal fee for cancellation. My experience with airbnb is utterly bitter for a 30+ years seasoned traveller.
It is unethical that service fees is disclosed only during payment time. By doing this only serves to hide cost from the consumer. Such should be upfront on listing page like most other sites. Besides the service fee is a hefty 6 - 12% addition to daily/nightly price.
Also, you should also know that any information on airbnb pages are meaningless. They are as good as not being there in the first place. My case, I discovered the host increased the price without my knowing by billing me a 2nd person charge. And even though i have screen dumps of the listing page showing the erroneous charge (extra people charge was after 2 guests, we are only 2 person) airbnb will not do anything. Simply because I have already paid up. Airbnb then suggested that I cancel with this strict cancellation policy - meaning I loose 50% of my money (=thousands of $) for a reservation that I booked for over a day.
Now! Do you still think it is not airbnb's fault that the guest did not know the host can manipulate payment figures; did not see all these hidden costs and all these cheating coming from a US-based company? I advise you'd better rethink again.
It has been a year since this complaint has been lodged. And I think there are more than the handful of people placing complaints here. Airbnb is certainly in the business of cheating.
A  26th of Sep, 2013 by    +1 Votes
File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Enough complaints and they will have to answer for their bad customer service and negligent business practices.
N  8th of Jun, 2015 by    +1 Votes
I'm a vacation rental owner who was listed on Airbnb for all of three months. I agree with you that Airbnb is totally inappropriate in its business dealings. I was unaware that guests are charged up to 12 % of their rental rate as a fee to Airbnb. I did know that I was charged a percentage, which goes to Airbnb. The owners have no control over what the guests are charged...in fact, the owners are not even paid until some time after the guests have actually stayed at, and departed from, the rental home. In the several months I was listed on Airbnb, I received only one reservation, and it was two days after the guests' departure before my account was credited with the rental monies. Airbnb is collecting huge amounts of interest on the funds guests have paid, sometimes months before their actual vacation.

Overall, I found Airbnb to be a most difficult company to work with, with their website being virtually impossible to navigate, and always had an underlying suspicion that they were incredibly unethical. As an owner, Airbnb requires that I provide them with my checking account information, so the rental fees collected by Airbnb can eventually be applied to that account. There is no other option that I know of. I received a notice from my bank that I had four "insufficient fund" checks, at a charge of $35 each. I went to the bank, and, after looking at the printout provided of my account's recent transactions, I discovered that Aibnb had helped themselves to $300 from my account...they had no right to debit my account at all, only to deposit and credit.

I spent a full day trying to resolve this situation...hours waiting in a cue to speak to a human being...hours... and, with no resolution to the problem at all, Airbnb removed my listing and blocked my access to them via phone and email. So, I guess my money is gone for good.

I would never recommend Airbnb for your vacation plans...there are so many more venues, Homeaway, VRBO, etc., that charge a guest nothing and the owners pay a nominal annual fee for the listing. And, guests and owners are allowed to have direct contact via phone and then in emails! None of the internet rental sites have any legal involvement with the owners, yet, Airbnb certainly controls the purse strings for all involved! I think you can trust most owners...we're basically honest, decent folks, just trying to make ends meet with the rentals. We want you to be happy guests...you're guests in our homes!!! Makes sense we wouldn't want you to be angry!!!
N  13th of Jul, 2015 by    +1 Votes
Wow~ I am completely shocked at what these people are saying. I am an AirBnB host and have been for almost two years. I have had HUNDREDS of guests (as I have three rooms available) and have never had one problem with AirBnB. While it is true that the host does not receive the money until after the guest checks in, it is within a day of the guest's check in unless it is a weekend. This is made quite clear when one signs up as a host. Also, I have found no way to "manipulate" my guest payment once they have made their reservation. My fees have changed since I began as a host but once they book, they pay the fee listed. Also, I charge extra for a second person in the room - it is VERY clear when you look at my listings that this is so... .and the price for the 2nd person is listed. I am also a bit suspicious of the person who says AirBnB took money from their account. Most banks will not pay out monies to a third party unless authorized to do so. This is the person who also said that "the owner h(host) has no control over what a guest is charged" - not at all true!!! The host gets to decide exactly how much they will charge - but they do not have control over the AirBnB fee. So folks... here is why AirBnB charges a fee... they have control over the money... which I am glad about!!! I do not get a guest's info (phone, email, etc) until they have paid AND they do not get my address, email, phone until they pay... making it MUCH easier for me not to get involved with a guest who doesn't want to pay what they were supposed to pay... or says, hey, can I pay tomorrow... or something else. And, having had guests before AirBnB who pulled these kinds of stunts all the time, I am grateful to AirBnB for the way they do things.

Just my two cents. AirBnB has been a delight for me!!!
N  20th of May, 2016 by    0 Votes
atlantahannah, it's good that you are happy with airbnb's services - but I think you have misread/misinterpreted what Falling Water has posted. Effectively, both hosts and renters get stung by hefty airbnb fees. These once used to be reasonable, but as the site has grown in popularity, its fees have increased and its customer service decreased to the point of being virtually non-existent. As a previously frequent rental user of the site, I found that some hosts listed on multiple rental sites and that, in every case, the overall rental price on the other sites was much cheaper because the renter was not hit with the hefty airbnb fees. I have also spoken to savvy hosts (because I am in the process of setting up my own rental) and all have told me that they have chosen to use sites other than airbnb because of the hefty airbnb fees and the poor customer service they have also received.
I have just finished a 5 month trip through South and North America and have terminated my account because of the many issues I encountered. The number of substandard accommodation we stayed in was appalling - no due diligence appears to be done by the site to ensure a reasonable standard or cleanliness, let alone value for money. Hosts varied from great to don't give a damn (other than about getting the money). Prices charged were high, particularly when I compared the price for the same property listed on the airbnb site and another site (like booking.com). And, the icing on the cake, airbnb showed no ability to comply with its own publication guidelines, allowing false and defamatory comments to be posted on its site and failing to address the issue when it was raised. The site double dips, charging both hosts and renters hefty fees and offering neither any support nor service. Hosts, find another site to advertise on (like VRBO or Stayz). Renters, do your due diligence - check if the property is listed elsewhere, as it will likely be cheaper, and check tripadvisor for property reviews - better yet, use kayak or another booking engine to find what you are looking for.

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