The Pandora’s box of Airbnb horror stories has been opened. After one user blogged her terrible story, another user complained to TechCrunch of meth pipes.Now BI reader Thad McIlroy writes writes that after a few great trips through Airbnb, he tried to find a room in New York and failed.
Listings that were shown as open weren’t, renters were unresponsive, and so forth.
Airbnb customer service wasn’t very responsive either.
This certainly isn’t as terrible as having your apartment ransacked, but something caught our eyes: Thad says that when he searched, Airbnb was full of fake listings, especially listings that were shown as available but weren’t, or listings whose price fluctuated.
If true, this is pretty damaging for Airbnb: its success as a rental marketplace depends on how many places it has. If it advertises fake listings–and the company was previously caught farming Craigslist for listings–it’s certainly a much less valuable service than it seems at first glance.
And that, moreso than a handful of terrible horror stories, might be more damaging to its future.