As Airbnb struggles with plunge in travel ahead of IPO, hosts are complaining about missing payments

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky.

John van Hasselt | Corbis | Getty Photos

It has been a brutal few months for Airbnb hosts, who depend on earnings from the home-sharing web site to assist make ends meet. The coronavirus pandemic has battered the travel and hospitality business, significantly in huge cities, leaving trip leases vacant for prolonged stretches of time.

However misplaced income is not the one downside hosts are going through. Even for the nights they’re able to e-book visitors, some property homeowners are complaining of late and lacking funds from Airbnb.

Earlier than Covid-19 pressured hundreds of thousands of Individuals to shelter in place, Airbnb hosts sometimes acquired funds from the corporate inside a day after check-in. Airbnb takes funds from guests on its web site after which remits the cash, minus a payment, to the host. 

Now, some Airbnb hosts say funds from the corporate are taking for much longer to reach or they’re outright disappearing from their on-line dashboards. Lacking and delayed funds current one other challenge for Airbnb to deal with because it prepares to go public, probably this yr. The corporate plans to submit a confidential submitting with the SEC this month, a supply acquainted with the matter confirmed to CNBC. 

In an emailed assertion final week, an Airbnb spokesperson stated that the corporate “recognized a small technical challenge with our strong fraud safety system, affecting fewer than one in 1,000 hosts on the platform.” The corporate stated, “We count on imminent decision for the impacted hosts.”

Deric Mathew manages 26 short-term trip models all through Florida. Previous to Covid-19, he completely listed the models on Airbnb. However since March, Mathew stated he has seen that Airbnb has didn’t pay him on a number of events, and that missed funds add as much as $3,000 to $4,000. 

Most lately, Mathew was owed $726 for a visitor’s keep on July 18. Unable to get ample assist from the corporate’s host help service, Mathew stated he determined to now not listing his properties completely on Airbnb and stated his challenge with the corporate stays unresolved.  

“Us little guys, we take a look at this firm they’re like our livelihood,” Mathew stated. “However they’ve actually really proven their true colours over the previous couple months. When issues went unhealthy, they solely appeared out for themselves.”

Deric Mathew manages 26 Airbnb short-term trip models all through Florida, however since March, he stated he has seen that Airbnb has didn’t pay him on a number of events.

Courtesy of Deric Mathew

The coronavirus pandemic introduced the journey business to a halt, leading to an estimated $320 billion of misplaced income for the reason that starting of March, based on an Aug. 6 report from the U.S. Journey Affiliation.

Airbnb has been pressured to slash advertising prices and lift billions of {dollars} in debt. In Might, the company announced it will lay off 25% of its employees, or practically 1,900 staff. When the corporate eventually goes public, it’ll possible come at a drastically lowered valuation from its non-public market peak in 2017.

Airbnb could also be sluggish monitoring funds to hosts in an effort to hold onto money, stated Henry Harteveldt, a journey business analyst at Environment Analysis Group.

“It is little doubt a mirrored image of the horrible lack of enterprise they skilled earlier this yr,” Harteveldt stated. “This sluggish fee to the hosts considerations me as a result of inevitably a few of these hosts are going to decide on to place much less of their stock on Airbnb.”

A month earlier than the technical challenge that Airbnb stated got here up in August, a number of hosts informed CNBC about late and missed funds.

Kyler Clark, a bunch in Nashville, Tennessee, was amongst them. He stated he was lacking a $235 fee. Clark referred to as Airbnb’s host help and waited on maintain for an hour with out something being resolved. He additionally messaged Airbnb concerning the lacking fee and acquired an automatic response. When he informed Airbnb he was talking with a reporter, the corporate lastly took motion, he stated.

Clark stated the quantity he was due “wasn’t lots, however when you try this to each host on the platform at one time, that is some huge cash.”

Along with Clark, different hosts stated they lastly acquired funds after CNBC introduced them up the with firm. Much like its assertion final week, Airbnb stated in July that there was a technical glitch.

‘It is a huge deal’

“This week, we found and rapidly resolved a minor technical challenge affecting roughly 2% of host payouts over lower than every week,” an Airbnb spokesman informed CNBC on the time. “All payouts to impacted hosts are full or in course of.”

The corporate spokesman stated there are different the explanation why a bunch could not obtain fee for a go to, although he did not say in the event that they utilized to those hosts. For instance, Airbnb says it is required to carry funds if it would not obtain “legitimate and verified ID” inside 30 days of notifying hosts that they have to present proof of id, the spokesman stated. 

Kelly Aplin in Brooklyn has been an Airbnb host since 2017. She grew to become rather more depending on her property in upstate New York after she misplaced her job and her husband’s dwell leisure enterprise was damage by the coronavirus. Aplin stated she’s lacking a fee of $1,983 from a visitor’s keep on July 17. 

“We have misplaced most of our earnings this yr, so it is a huge deal,” Aplin stated. “I won’t really feel comfy renting via Airbnb going ahead if we will should harass them to receives a commission with no response.”

After being contacted by CNBC, Airbnb issued Aplin her lacking fee, she stated.

The issue is not restricted to the U.S.

Christina Strutt, who has a property in Somerset, England, stated she’s complained to Airbnb about 4 missed funds from the corporate. Strutt stated Airbnb owed her £1,300, or greater than $1,700.

“I am fairly upset as a result of I do not like huge folks bullying little folks,” she stated. “It is simply irritating when they do not get again to you and brush you off with excuses.”

Quickly after CNBC informed the corporate about Strutt, she acquired her fee. 

WATCH: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the future of travel and outlook

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PJ is the Digital Marketer & Founder of PJ Digital Marketing, has involved in this field from 2010 onwards. Also the owner of a few more sites in different fields.