Travel SOS: Can you trust Airbnb?

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Cameron has heard a lot of Airbnb horror stories and isn’t sure whether the platform can be trusted for his next holiday.


Q. Cameron
I am planning a holiday next year and was thinking of trying Airbnb for the first time as I have heard you can save a lot of money. However, since I mentioned the idea to my wife, I have seen a lot of horror stories about people who have been scammed or had horrible experiences. Can Airbnb be trusted for accommodation or should we stick to hotels like we normally do?

keys in an airbnb front door

A. There are certainly price savings to be had by renting through Airbnb, but the experience is very different to staying in a hotel, so you should be prepared for fewer amenities than you get in a hotel.

Airbnb’s review system is usually pretty trustworthy and if you see a lot of positive reviews for a place where you want to stay, you can usually expect that it will match what people say about the property.

Airbnb is acutely aware of some of the problems that have been reported and continuously works at ways to improve trust further.

According to the site, it is now using predictive analytics and machine learning to instantly evaluate hundreds of signals that help to flag and investigate suspicious activity before it happens.

Airbnb also advises to always pay and communicate directly through the Airbnb website or app. As long as you stay on Airbnb throughout the entire process—from communication, to booking, to payment—you are protected by Airbnb’s defence strategy.

Many of the problems people encounter occur when they start communicating with their hosts directly and not in a monitored environment.

Have you rented through Airbnb? Would you recommend it to a friend?

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Written by Ben


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