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Air B &B ridiculous charges

41 replies

notjudgingjustasking · 14/01/2020 11:46

Just wondering what others think. We've used Air B&B amongst other sites very many times very successfully in the past but now that they seem to have marginalised other options like home away owners direct etc their prices seem crazy high.
They give a headline price of say £200 per night but then when you look at booking there's now a service fee and a cleaning fee. Surely all this should be in the headline price?
I love staying in a private property because of the freedom and privacy but looking at our plans for this year it actually works out a similar price to stay in a nice hotel wi th breakfast.
Am I imagining this? I doubt the property owners are benefitting from these extra charges.
What is a service fee?

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Cohle · 14/01/2020 11:54

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Kazzyhoward · 14/01/2020 12:02

Yep, we have started using hotels again as holiday home renting has become very expensive.

The online platforms and holiday letting agencies have hiked their fees now that holiday home renting is so popular and most people use such sites these days as opposed to dealing with owners directly in the past.

Credit card charges can be high - again, used to be avoidable if you paid the owner directly by cash or cheque like we used to do.

Of course, house prices are higher than ever, especially in popular areas, so the owners' mortgage repayments etc will be higher, hence them needing to charge more.

Plus power, utilities etc prices are rising higher than inflation and holiday home renters won't think twice about heating etc if they're not paying the leccie bill themselves.

Local authorities are also getting wise to holiday home letting and are charging business rates etc (for those with more than one) and refusing to make refuse collections so forcing holiday home owners to make their own expensive arrangements with private refuse collection firms (like other businesses have to do).

So, all in all, everyone wants their slice of the action and that puts up the prices.

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CaptainCaveMum · 14/01/2020 12:11

After several years of successful Air bnb trips I no longer use them. Prices have been hiked up plus we had a very bad experience of last minute cancellation (2 hours before check in as we landed in a foreign country). Then a replacement property that wasn’t fit for human habitation that we still had to pay for because we used it ( yes Airbnb we didn’t choose to wander the streets of a strange city at 9 pm with 2 kids and suitcases). This experience just underlined that they don’t give a shit and you have no come-back if things aren’t as promised.
I always look at hotels now.

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misspiggy19 · 14/01/2020 12:11

They give a headline price of say £200 per night but then when you look at booking there's now a service fee and a cleaning fee. Surely all this should be in the headline price?

^I agree. It is not like the charges are optional extras.

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Santasy · 14/01/2020 12:14

Not everyone charges cleaning fees or a deposit (i don't as a host).
I don't book a place if they charge separate cleaning fees (should be included as it's not optional) or a deposit

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astrorosa · 14/01/2020 12:16

And now you have to pay for each person. Last time I booked (2 years ago) I paid as if 1 person was staying. Ridiculous.

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BorneoBabe · 14/01/2020 12:26

I do a lot of work-based travel and I've also gone back to hotels. Airbnb is far too pricey, and without the service standards of a hotel.

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puckingfixies · 14/01/2020 12:34

I wouldn't mind paying a small service fee for the use of a site if the properties have been verified/assessed but this isn't usually the case. I don't know how any of the sites can justify a fee of 15 - 18% for the guest while they are also charging holiday home owners commission (airbnb, homeaway and trip advisor all charge guests and owners).

I use the sites now to find suitable accommodation and check reviews and then google the property to see if the owner has their own website/social media in order to book direct - usual savings in the region of 20 - 25%.

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notjudgingjustasking · 14/01/2020 12:52

It seems to me that all the "fun" element has gone. There was always a risk booking places off the internet as I've found before . The "5 minute walk " to town that Edmund Hillary would have struggled with - let alone my 82 year old mum was of particular notecas was the bed full of ants in Italy. But I at least it was an adventure now it feels like a slog. Exact address after booking? Surely you should know where the property is?
Well it's all over for me - back to hotels and no washing / ironing on holiday , guess it's not all bad !

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HelloClouds · 14/01/2020 16:42

As an owner I'd like to make a few comments:

Cleaning fees are unique to each property - like many owners we don't charge an additional cleaning fee but some do. Airbnb doesn't oblige you to charge such a fee though.

Whether the prices varies depending on group size is also up to the owners. Spanish owners, for example, are accustomed to charging per person whereas British villa owners don't always do this. We usually charge a flat price for the week that doesn't change however large or small the group is.

Even if you don't see the exact address of the house before booking, it's often possible to use the location map to see where the villa is (and even street view!).

The service fees on Airbnb and HomeAway are really frustrating for owners! As puckingfixies says, you can save up to 25% by booking directly with the owner. If you find a villa you love, google the villa name and town/village. It's usually fairly easy to find the owner's own website and personal contact details, and I'm always surprised that more people don't do this. Speak to the owner on the phone. Everyone who has tracked down our website has chosen to book direct with us. Plenty of owners take credit cards these days too.

I do understand the disenchantment with Airbnb, I think they're the Amazon of the holiday rental world! Things were better for owners and renters before they came along.

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FuckyNel · 14/01/2020 16:47

I’m in Seville at the moment Airbnb and there’s a nice little grafffiti sign which reads ‘Airbnb increases rent’ just a few meters away. Feel bad now! I probably will go back to using hotels I expect - even though generally I’ve had good Airbnb experiences overall in the years I’ve used them. I’ll take a pic later!

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notjudgingjustasking · 14/01/2020 17:55

Hello clouds
Is your house in the Uk?
Perhaps you'd DM the details I'd like to take my mum somewhere in the uk this year

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Branleuse · 14/01/2020 18:09

I wont use air bnb, seems much more expensive than using a hotel now and more faff. Last time I wanted to stay somewhere overnight and it still had a standard £60 cleaning fee

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mummymeister · 15/01/2020 15:12

if you find a property on airbnb then the chances are that they also advertise independently somewhere else and you can cut out the 15% plus hike that airbnb add on and book direct for the same property. it does take a bit of effort finding the one you like then doing an internet search either on its name, the street, google maps etc but is very well worth it. owners dont like advertising on it because of these costs but its a very powerful tool so thats why they do it.

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notjudgingjustasking · 15/01/2020 18:19

I think some owners are a bit frightened of air b&b
I have just , despite what I said above , (although that is what prompted my comments) booked an air B and B for 3 nights the hotel where we wanted to stay was full so hotel owner recommended this place.
We are travelling next week so I guess we are a good booking for her. There are 5 bedrooms we will only be using 2..
I asked could re make our own arrangements as very high service fee and also a hefty cleaning fee especially as we won't be using the whole place.
She said no she would only go via them in case they find out and also is reliant on getting good reviews.
I agree that they seem to be the amazon of accommodation

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BlueSkies2020 · 15/01/2020 22:19

Don’t touch Air bnb now for all the reasons outlined above. It’s not great value for money. And it’s very risky.

I now go to hotels or guest houses directly. I don’t use booking sites because it is cheaper (by 10-20%) to go direct.

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BritWifeinUSA · 16/01/2020 04:44

We have had many successful air BnB stays. There has been the occasional problem but that’s life. We were looking last weekend at Air BnBs for a trip we are taking to my husband’s home town in Southern California later this year. Found the perfect place just around the corner from the restaurant where he had his first weekend job as a teenager washing the dishes. When we went to book it we saw a $275 cleaning fee! We were only wanting to stay 3 nights. Just 2 of us. No kids or dogs. $275! Who’s doing the cleaning? Madonna? Or does the owner clean it for 10 hours? We didn’t book it and opted for a hotel instead.

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Oliversmumsarmy · 16/01/2020 04:59

The only problem with hotels are there are 4 of us.
Booking 2 rooms becomes very expensive and even then we like to come back in the evening and watch our own TVs or go to bed or have a quiet drink and you can’t do all of that with 4 people in one hotel room.

We also book villas with their own private swimming pool and again you don’t get that in a hotel

We find because we spend the day lazing around the pool and having brunch and drinks that we have bought from the local supermarket it works out so much cheaper than ordering from a waiter by the pool and being charged hotel prices

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Oliversmumsarmy · 16/01/2020 05:00

We just add on the cleaning and booking fees and divide by the number of days we are there for,

It always works out cheaper than a hotel

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CodenameVillanelle · 16/01/2020 05:07

Airbnb hosts set their own rates
Airbnb add a service charge (which is their commission) but the nightly rate, cleaning fee, extra person charge are all set by the hosts. Cleaning fees and extra guest charges are optional, as are deposits. And hosts will only charge what they think people will pay...

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JoeGargery · 16/01/2020 05:23

The per person fees have changed, I believe. Booked last year in Italy and it was way cheaper as a big group (2 families). Now, even searching using no of people and exact dates, the headline prices seem reasonable but then when you click through to booking, you’re being charged multiple times the price you clicked on.

We went through another villa booking site that very obviously charges per property and saved thousands.

Even trying to book for a work trip to a UK city recently worked out way more than a hotel, or even booking.com.

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CodenameVillanelle · 16/01/2020 05:25

@joegargery the hosts set the per person fees. The hosts set every bit of the fees apart from the service charge, and that is a % of the fee set by the host.
None of what people are complaining about it set by Airbnb.

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JoeGargery · 16/01/2020 05:32

Sure, @codenamevillanelle, I understand what you are saying. But even the place we stayed last year has a vastly different price on Airbnb and other sites. So perhaps it’s the effect of seeing what others charge on there. I dunno. I’m just saying what I observe.

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JoeGargery · 16/01/2020 05:33

Or Perhaps the fees Airbnb charges hosts are much higher?

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CodenameVillanelle · 16/01/2020 05:43

Airbnb takes their profits from guests not hosts. Hosts pay a very small fee from each booking but the bigger charge is the guest service charge.

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