Airbnb's easily gamed reputation system and poor customer service allow scammers to thrive

It’s almost as though “disrupting” an established industry with norms, standards, and regulatory structures in place is a bad idea.


So they were defending the criminals because they have a (presumably non-criminal) similarity with them, to wit hosting on AirBnB, instead of condemning the criminals. Can’t say I’m surprised.

For a lot of people ethics and morality have little to nothing to do with right and wrong, and everything to do with what tribes they identify with. That doesn’t mean every decision is wrong - someone may defend a victim because they identify with them - but the notion, which they often delude even themselves into believing to avoid the discomfort of self-honesty, that they’re doing the right thing is usually a narrative they fabricate after the fact to rationalize behavior, when in fact they have no consistent moral compass.

That’s individuals. And to be clear not all individuals, just enough to enable the predatory behavior of criminals.

AirBnB as a company will avoid kicking off the criminals so long as they continue to make more money off of them than they stand to lose from public backlash against facilitating criminals, and if the individuals in charge of AirBnB don’t go along with that, they get replaced with individuals who do.


I’m always puzzled more by people who handwave concerns about their personal safety than the ones who don’t consider the lack of regulation. When my friends who travel talk about services like this I say something like, “Well, you could end up robbed, assaulted, or dead, but at least the service is easy to use and you get a bargain, right?” Convenience and cost seem to be their main considerations, so I guess the folks marketing these disruptors are succeeding.

This is good journalism. We need to call corrupt companies like this out more. I’ve been hoping for Airbnb to fold for years now. They really are the worst but unfortunately, a necessary evil at times. I try to avoid them unless there are no other options. They lose further points for all the bs fees they add on for both the guest and host.

I’ve had many problems with this company. They blocked me out of my account on three separate occasions. Twice now they have cut off my communication with the host after I had paid and was ready to go resulting in problems with check out and getting in touch with the host during trips in a foreign country. The whole idea of a middle man is already a burden to deal with.

Also hate that you often have to call the hosts and chase them around to get a key, code or whatever to get into the unit. It’s a pain in the ass. Most people when on the road want to pay for their rental, show up and check in on their own schedule and be done with it, without the big production and aggravation.

Hope some agency goes after Airbnb and they fold. They suck. The worst. Hate them.

Good question. If you have a solid company behind your cc this is definitely an option. I know that if something like this happened with my card they would absoultely send it to fraud and I’d likely beat them! It’s important to save all receipts and document everything! Emails, texts, etc. Cover all your bases and plan for the worst when using these companies and you’ll be prepared to do battle if things go awry.

Great work digging through some murky muck.

Ain’t post-regulatory klepto-capitalism grand???

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