THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

Another tech giant isn’t being either honest or fair and to be honest, you know, to be fair, I’ve had just about enough…

Airbnb, a service I once admired for it’s ease of use and focus on customer satisfaction is not playing ball, and I can’t get to the bottom of it.

There are two thrusts to the story, Airbnb Experiences that are listed and Airbnb Experiences that I wish to list, and I’ll deal with them seperately.

LIsting an Airbnb Experience

The process is friendly and upbeat and easy enough although a little time consuming, choosing text and images, but nothing more onerous than building a web page. Then you wait for a decision. And then you get ‘Thanks for taking the time to submit your experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet our quality standards or policies and can’t be listed on Airbnb.’ 

When you then engage with Airbnb and ask why, so that you can make appropriate changes, you get, effectively, tumbleweed. They do respond but state that the marketing managers choose which experiences are listed and the helpline staff are unable to contact them or put you in touch with them. So you are left with two options – walk away or submit again with a few tweaks, and likely again and again and again… As if you are not advised as to what is ‘wrong’ with your listing you cannot easily remedy the wording or images or price etc. So really, the only option is to walk away…

Listed Airbnb Experiences

So you then look at similar experiences listed on Airbnb and the text and images are not dissimilar – so what was the fault in your listing? And the pricing… Many listings are priced at a rate that is uneconomic. Airbnb insist that even if only one person books an event they MUST be serviced, so, you will have to deliver the experience. There is one leader offering a 7.5 hour guided walk in the Brecon Beacons for £28. Now it is likely that he will get a few book on but if he doesn’t, if he gets one book on, after Airbnb’s cut and petrol and a cup of coffee he’s left with a grand total of £15 for the day. Totally not sustainable and surely there is something going on there that means that most that have listings on Airbnb are breaking the rules of Airbnb.

My fault

And maybe that was my fault, putting up my events, life drawing and a walk in the Brecon Beacons, at a cost that would actually work with Airbnb’s system of having to deliver even if only one person booked.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll list again at a rate that just about undercuts the competition and see if it is allowed. If that’s the case then we are on a dive to the bottom for sure.

But maybe, just maybe I won’t try again. Maybe I’ll just avoid the big tech and take a financial hit but in the long run have an easier life. And that’s what my punk brain is saying to me. ‘Fuck Them!’ is what I am hearing…

This was my last message re other providers listing walks at £28pp and Airbnb’s less than satisfactory response:

Andrew ‘So, you are saying that multiple providers will spend a full day of activity delivery for £25 income. This means, after expenses for the day they are likely to walk away with £10 for 7 hours work. SIMPLY and HONESTLY please explain how this can be… NO ONE would put in a full days work for £10. Therefore something else MUST be at play. Please escalate this discussion to someone who can look into this for me and who will deal with this matter across all of Airbnb experiences in the UK’

Airbnb ‘This support case is closed. Still need help? Visit our Help Center.

I’ve followed up with this: ‘I’m not impressed that to date you have not been able to answer my questions or assist me at all. 1 why are my experiences disallowed and 2 how is it that a good few experiences are priced at a rate that makes no pp sense. I have set aside March 27th and will be visiting your London Offices and notifying the press and live-streaming my visit. I will not leave until I have had a meeting with someone who is prepared to assist. I do not wish to have to go down this route but it would appear that all of the large internet companies have complete disregard for the people who are supposed to be their clients and their partners and it takes threats such as this to have some sense brought to the table. I am happy to engage remotely in the meantime to see if we can find a resolution to these matters.

I’ll keep this page updated with progress, if any is made…

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Andrew Lamb avatar

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)