Read more about the CBC Marketplace Story that aired March 22nd: https://ift.tt/2HzbSqX
When Airbnb Bookings Go Wrong – Stories About Airbnb Scams, How They Happen, and How To Avoid an Airbnb Disaster
Airbnb has revolutionized the short term accommodations market. Long gone are the oligopoly days, replaced by a plethora of choices for the discerning consumer. When it comes to vacation rentals and short term accommodations, the consumer has never had more options to choose from.
Although Airbnb isn’t the first platform to connect hosts with guests, it’s the largest and most well known. Millions of vacationers and holidaymakers have used the Airbnb platform to find short term accommodations during their trip abroad. Most experiences are amazing, but sometimes things go horribly wrong. Recently CBC Marketplace did an investigative journalism story on a Canadian named David Jackel who was the victim of an Airbnb scam during his last vacation to Mexico. David had booked a vacation rental in a condominium a full six months in advance only to have his stay canceled by the host just a few short days before his arrival, leaving his scrambling to find a last minute place for him and his family to stay. Although most people who use short term accommodation websites like Airbnb, Home Away, and VRBO had good experiences, David Jackel’s story is more common than you might think.
How Common are Last Minute Airbnb Host Cancelations?
Consumer review analysis by market watchdog AirDNA and independent research conducted by travel blogger Asher Fergusson show the most common complaint by Airbnb guests is last minute cancellation by the host, leaving the guest scrambling to find alternative accommodation. Imagine landing at St. John’s International Airport on the first day of your Newfoundland vacation only to power up your mobile phone at the baggage carousel and find out your host has cancelled your stay at the last minute, leaving you stuck and often times scrambling to find an alternative place to stay when almost all places are already booked and sold out. It’s not the way anyone want’s to spend the first day of their Newfoundland vacation.
Why Are Last Moment Cancelations By Hosts So Common On Platforms Like Airbnb?
As in any marketplace, there are legitimate reasons why a short term accommodation host may cancel on a guest at the last minute, like natural disaster or flooding for example, but this doesn’t account for the higher prevalence of last-minute host cancelations on Airbnb. It turns out, there is another motivation by unscrupulous hosts, and that motivation is monetary. What some hosts will do is advertise their accommodations on multiple platforms like VRBO, Home Away, Booking.com, and Airbnb at varying prices. Then, at the last moment, the host will honor the booking that will pay them the most money, and simply cancel the other bookings at the last minute, leaving the guest stuck in a foreign city with no place to stay.
How Do I Avoid An Airbnb Scam?
Home sharing and short term vacation rental services are here to stay, and they’re a great resource when it comes to finding a short term rental in Newfoundland or anywhere else in the world. The key is to do your homework and choose hosts that are reputable. Online platforms like Airbnb have online host reviews that go a long way in helping you select the best vacation rental. “If you’re not reading host reviews before you book on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and Home Away, you’re playing a game of Russian roulette,” says Jarrod Penton at Whale House Guest House “You need to do your homework and choose a host with 5-star reviews or super host status. If dozens of other guests have rated their experience as five star, your experience will most likely be great. If, however, other guests have left bad reviews about their stay, you should think twice and look at alternatives before making your final decision”.
Should I Book Direct With A Guesthouse, Hotel, Or Bed And Breakfast Instead Of Using Airbnb, VRBO, Or Home Away When Choosing A Short Term Vacation Rental In Newfoundland?
There is no reason to totally avoid platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, or Home Away. Owners of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts that tell you to avoid using short term accommodation rental websites like Airbnb are often doing so for selfish reasons since most hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts use short term accommodation websites like Airbnb to advertise their vacancies. What you do want to do is look at online reviews and wrap your head around the value in a short term accommodation provider that consistently receives positive reviews. While it may be possible for a host to get a friend to post one or two fake reviews, it’s virtually impossible to fakes dozens or hundreds of positive reviews. Your best indicator of if your experience will be positive when looking for a short term accommodation rental host or vacation rental by owner is to see how others have enjoyed their experience in the past, and don’t just go by the star rating but actually take the time to read the actual reviews. When you do this and take your time in choosing a place to stay, you will almost always end up with a high-quality short term Newfoundland vacation rental that meets and exceeds your expectations.
Are You A Victim Of An Airbnb Scam Or Short Term Vacation Rental Gone Wrong?
If you’ve been the victim of a short term rental scam or Airbnb rental that went horribly wrong we want to hear from you. Newfoundland is a great place to visit, and if you’ve chosen to come to see this special Canadian Province, as always, we just want you to be happy. If you’ve been a victim of unscrupulous hosts and need last minute accommodations whale house guest house will give you a discount on your first night’s stay with us along with a free VIP upgrade. To qualify simply post about your experience below and let us know how we can help you best. Just because it’s not our fault doesn’t mean we can’t make it better.