FRAUD – Airbnb has been accused of “making it too easy for scam artists” after it was reported that almost a 1m people may have fallen victim to fraud on the website last year.
As many as 1.1 million bookings were also cancelled at the last minute, often leaving holidaymakers on the streets of an unfamiliar city with nowhere to stay, according to a new analysis of the home sharing business.
The report claims that when things go wrong Airbnb’s customer service is appalling, with more than four in five people who had a bad experience saying the company was unhelpful, rude or failed to refund them properly.
The findings come from a study by a travel blog that analysed more than 1,000 “Airbnb horror stories” to establish what happens when things go wrong, The Times reported on Saturday.
Some of the worst cases included a guest being held hostage and sexually assaulted by a host and another finding a rotting corpse in the garden of a property.
The research found that one in five complainants had a host cancel their stay at the last minute or never turn up. More than a quarter reported unsafe conditions, such as a bug infestation, or the accommodation not being as described.
One in six said they were victim of fraud, such as the host demanding extra cash when they arrived.