In this post: we look at bad experiences people have had at properties listed on Airbnb. And we collect learning for anyone wanting to start an Airbnb like platform.
What are Airbnb reviews
Airbnb is a platform built to bring people – service providers and travelers – together. The idea of spending a lot of money for short term accommodations at hotels was proving extremely expensive, and Airbnb capitalized on the lack of supply of affordable accommodations.
Ever since Airbnb has generated a lot of traction. The platform has over 5 million listings and is present in over 190 countries. It couldn’t grow this well if it didn’t allow its assets (hosts and guests) to review each other and pay attention to what they say.
What do negative reviews mainly contain or complain about
Airbnb allows guests to rate and review their stay, building trust for future users and rewarding hardworking hosts with positive reviews. However, not all reviews remain positive. There have been accounts of reviews about nasty property owners, poorly managed homes, and lack of basic amenities.
The main discrepancy travelers find is that some properties don’t look like the photos in the listing at all.
An American woman had a terribly bad experience with an Airbnb listing, that she had to pay a lot of money for a poor property. She was in a big city, and couldn’t find a hotel to stay, and had to book a trailer for the night at $270 per night. The trouble was, she looked past the bad reviews as she had nowhere to stay.
When she arrived, she was flabbergasted by the condition of the trailer and the lack of basic amenities. The innards smelled full of meth, there was no door lock and a part of the trailer was torn open at the back.
When this was taken to the owner’s notice, the property owner arrived early in the morning, woke the guests up and demanded for a positive review. This is an absolute nightmare, and doesn’t bode well for Airbnb as a neutral, trustworthy platform.
This was brought to Airbnb’s notice and was asked for a refund, and rightfully so. Airbnb replied that refunding the amount was not possible due to the host’s strict cancellation policy. Frustrated, the guest’s boyfriend took to Twitter to highlight Airbnb’s ignorance and lack of empathy.
Airbnb head of trust and risk-management Nick Shapiro told Inc. magazine, “These types of [negative] experiences are extremely rare.” Seventy-five percent of Airbnb users post reviews, and upward of 90 percent of those reviews are positive. “We’ve refunded the guest and removed this listing,” Shapiro said. “We are very sorry this experience did not go well. We want all of our users to have positive experiences. If anyone shows up at a home and it’s not as advertised, we ask that they reach out to us, and we will refund or rebook them.”
What is Airbnb’s refund or re-booking policy
Shouldn’t guests be treated with empathy and provide adequate resolutions – such as a refund or a rebooking? What does Airbnb’s policy on cancellation say about all this?
This is verbatim from Airbnb’s website about refund guidelines:
Eligible travel issues
Situations that may be eligible for a refund under this policy generally fall into one of three categories:
- The host fails to provide reasonable access to the booked listing.
- The listing is misrepresented (ex: number of bedrooms, location, lacks promised amenities).
- The listing isn’t generally clean, is unsafe, or there’s an animal in the listing that wasn’t disclosed prior to booking.
Airbnb will either provide you with a refund or use reasonable efforts to find and book another comparable accommodation for any unused nights left on your reservation. The amount of any refund will depend on the nature of the travel issue.
There is more to this to get a refund. Airbnb is more than happy to help guests out with handing out refunds where possible. To be eligible for a refund, the guests need to do the following.
Airbnb wants guests to contact them to bring the travel issue to attention. It says “if you notice the issue during check-in, contact us within 24 hours. If the issue occurs during your stay, contact us right away. We’ll ask you to provide photographs or other documentation that show what you’re experiencing.”
What can we learn from negative reviews
The first lesson to be learnt is to allow ratings and reviews and make it visible for both travelers and hosts on each listing. A good Airbnb clone script will allow you to do this. The second and the most important factor is to pay attention to reviews – especially negative reviews – on your platform and on social media sites such as Twitter.
Enough resources should be dedicated to address negative reviews, solve them and highlight the solutions – this helps you to build trust with both your assets (hosts and guests).
Creating your own Airbnb like business
The founders of Airbnb had to sit and write code to create their flagship website. And they have perfected and innovated the platform since the day of launch. So, if you want to create a business like Airbnb, then there is no need for you or your team to sit and write codes.
Like any website template which has to be created once and can be used any number of times. Similarly, Airbnb’s fundamental code can be cloned and be used any number of times. The best thing about using a clone script is that it comes packed with features which would take a large team and a lot of time to build.
RentRoom is one such Airbnb clone which has been written with all the features, security, and data privacy. You don’t have to hire a team nor spend a lot of money, all you gotta do is download the clone script, install and customize it to your heart’s content. Visit Rentcubo to know more.