Imagine going for a vacation to chill out with a holiday home only to be told by your hosts to self-serve despite paying the cleaning fees. This is exactly what has been going on at Airbnb for the past few months, and it has finally gotten social media’s attention. The stories told by people who went through guest disservice, have many and varying tales, but they all agree on one thing. They are not happy with Airbnb’s services.
The case of Airbnb is a prime example of what a company should not do; they care very less about customer experience. The ongoing issue with Airbnb’s “customers vs. host” is that customer has to clean the house, mow the lawn, take out garbage, do the laundry and wash plates. In the end, the customer will still be paying money for cleaning and staying to the Airbnb host. This is like getting a house-sitter who is going to pay you money to take care of your house.
Airbnb's are wild
I go into a hotel, pay the rate and just sleep.
Airbnb's got like a zillion fees and then charge me if I don't pick up the landlords dry cleaning before checking out.
— DnD Sesame Tweet (@DnDSesame) September 19, 2022
The Outrage on Social Media
The guests are given a list of things to do as part of chores like cleaning, laundry, etc., at Airbnb even after paying a cleaning fee, while these chores are handled by the staff all over the Hotel and Apartment Rental industry at no extra charge. Travelers are complaining on Reddit, Twitter, and even TikTok; they are expressing their distress as if they have already paid a cleaning fee, why would they clean then?
What’s worse, even after paying the cleaning fee and thoroughly cleaning the Airbnb apartment, if you miss one spot, the host will give you a negative review and have you charged via Airbnb for not following house rules. This extortion is the one making news above all as many Airbnb does not even have proper cleaning tools to complete the chores. Tourists are choosing hotels over Airbnb in the USA, especially because of the cleaning fees. The same cannot be said for Airbnb in other countries where cleaning fees are measly US$10-20 with minimal chores.
Airbnb: $200 cleaning fee
Also Airbnb: 𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈
— 𝐁𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐚𝐡𝐧 (@Buncahn) April 25, 2022
Is Company in the Right to allow over US$140 as a cleaning fee?
No matter how you look at this, the company is not right to do this. We interviewed John Hughes, who is hosting multiple Airbnb in New York, and this is what he had to say,
“charging twenty or thirty dollars for cleaning is already plenty, we do not ask any of our customers to clean our Airbnb apartment upon leaving, just lock the door and leave the key in the designated area.”
Adding to that, Hughes also said,
“The host these days are using the cleaning fees as tactics to lure customers as they will set the Airbnb apartment price very low and earn the money back in the cleaning fees. In my opinion, Airbnb should not allow such practices.”
The Impact on Airbnb’s Brand Image
Airbnb’s stocks are down over 31.5% in the last six months. The people over social media are looking for Airbnb alternatives, and many have gone back to using hotels like the good old times. This is because Airbnb initially started out as a cheaper and better option for hotels, but this is not the case now. Airbnb costs the same as a hotel, plus you have to do cleaning and everything else as well, while at the hotel, it is taken care of. In a nutshell, Airbnb is allowing exorbitant cleaning fees while the host still has to clean; this way, the host, gets a house-sitter who will keep their house clean and pay them as well.