Airbnb Hosts Complain 25% Reimbursement Policy Payments Can’t Cover Their Losses

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
Airbnb Hosts Complain 25% Reimbursement Policy Payments Can’t Cover Their Losses
Photo: Depositphotos

Airbnb hosts are complaining that those payments that they can get in the framework of the company’s coronavirus relief program are just a drop in the ocean.

Barely a month after Airbnb announced a 25% reimbursement policy from the $250 million coronavirus relief, its hosts are complaining the payments will cover hundreds of dollars’ worth losses, while they encountered thousands of losses. Besides, hundreds of hosts have taken to online groups to further complaints, whereby some said they have not received any payments from the $250 million coronavirus relief fund.

Airbnb Payments to Hosts

Previously, Airbnb had announced that it would allow guests to receive full refunds for any trips starting on or before May 31 that were booked prior to March 14. The decision overrode existing order cancellation policies that allow the guest to receive partial payments to cover for those bookings.

As a result, Airbnb hosts were hit by thousands worth of losses during that period. However, the company promised to set aside $250 million to pay the hosts for the missed bookings.

The recent claims by the host beg the question if the management staged a public show and never delivered the money to the deserving hosts.

Coronavirus Effect on Airbnb Operations

Despite the company struggling to stay in business this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb said last year that it would go public in 2020. However, other fundamentals like the $320 million net loss the company had in the nine months through September, down from a $200 million profit in the previous year, are making investors wary of investing in such hyped unicorns.

Also putting into perspective that investors experienced troubled debuts of Uber Technology Inc (NYSE: UBER) and also from Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), whereby the companies were in losses only for the company valuation to drop after the public listing.

Airbnb which allows people to list their properties for rent on its online marketplace has been dubbed one of the largest private companies in the United States. In its last funding round, which took place in 2017, the company was valued at $31 billion.

It was possible to hear from people close to the company, who said that any IPO this year would likely be in the third quarter or later. With the bad image the company is tainting itself in such a time when humankind should be valued over profits, it might be a bad mixture to go public soon before the problems are fixed.

In response to the claims, the company has come out strongly through its spokesperson and said:

“This week, we began the first round of support payments totalling over $140 million to eligible hosts. Support payments will continue to be issued to hosts impacted by these cancellations between March 14, 2020, and May 31, 2020.”

Maybe the response is the answer the Airbnb hosts were waiting for.

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