A former Airbnb enthusiast took to a travel forum to ask: is it just them, or has Airbnb lost its charm? They provide the context they used to uphold Airbnb as superior to hotels for better quality and value. However, they recently had a negative experience with high cleaning fees, a list of chores, and passive-aggressive signs in their rental. They feel like Airbnb has lost its charm and soul and is heading down the same path as eBay, where mass-produced items flooded the site, turning it into a poor substitute for Amazon.
Despite all the poor recent experiences, they hesitate to share their feedback for fear of retaliation from the host. Airbnb’s business model seems to be deteriorating, and they’re not alone in that thought, with numerous others sharing their pet peeves about the service.
Overregulation of Hosts
According to comments in the thread, one of the top reasons why Airbnb has lost its charm is the overregulation of hosts. Many hosts now have to comply with a long list of rules and regulations, which can make it difficult for them to provide the unique and personal experiences that Airbnb was once known for. One traveler notes that hosts in their area must now obtain a license, take a course, and pay a fee to rent out their space on Airbnb. Another Airbnb frequenter notes that hosts must undergo a yearly inspection and obtain a permit in their city, which can be expensive and time-consuming. These regulations can also limit the types of properties that can be listed on Airbnb. For example, one user adds that only primary residences can be rented out on Airbnb in their city, which means that unique properties such as cabins or vacation homes cannot be listed. Overall, the overregulation of hosts can make it more difficult for them to provide the unique and personal experiences that made Airbnb so popular in the first place. It can also limit the types of properties that can be listed, reducing the variety and charm of the platform.
Prioritizing Profits Over Community and User Experience
Many people feel that Airbnb prioritizes profits over community and user experience. Airbnb’s fees have been a point of contention among travelers for some time now. Many think that the platform’s fees are too high, and additional charges for cleaning, amenities, and taxes are making it more expensive to use the platform. This has led to a decline in the value proposition that Airbnb once offered. One traveler shares that if Airbnb charges them a cleaning fee, they don’t believe they should be doing free labor for the property by cleaning up the place. The cleaning fees aren’t small, either. As one person puts it, “If I’m paying a cleaning fee of more than $50, I shouldn’t have to do a thing other than laundry in the wash. Why am I stripping beds and loading dishwashers when you’re charging me $200 to “clean”?
The Rise of Professional Hosts
Another reason Airbnb has lost its charm, according to travelers in the thread, is the rise of professional hosts. Some hosts have multiple listings on the platform, and many run their properties like hotels. As a result, many people feel that the platform has lost its authenticity, and the unique experiences that it was once known for are becoming harder to find.
Unfortunately, many Airbnb users reported hosts abusing the review system. Several people recall being left negative reviews for arbitrary reasons, including “not being chatty enough,” “being too quiet,” and not performing some unreasonable cleaning requests. One claims a host left instructions at their property to run the dishes through a cycle in the dishwasher before leaving. However, they weren’t provided with detergent. Even after sending a message to the host explaining that they would have done this if they had the supplies (still cleaned them and left them in the dishwasher), the host still left them a bad review.
Limited Options for Cancellation and Refund Policies
Another common complaint is the limited options for cancellation and refund policies. Some guests have had bad experiences with listings that did not meet their expectations but could not cancel or get a refund. This has led to frustration among users who feel the platform is not doing enough to protect them.
Privacy Concerns and Safety Issues
Finally, someone raised concerns about privacy and safety. Some users have reported safety issues in their rentals, such as broken locks or unsafe neighborhoods. Additionally, some people are concerned about the lack of privacy in some rentals, especially those shared with hosts or other guests.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Our Woven Journey and inspired by this thread. Featured image credit: Deposit Photos.
Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.