WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4
13,587 Views

I have been travelling all over the world using Airbnb listings for almost a year. There have been times I've ended up in nice listings that ended up having really poor internet connections, but because the stays were only a couple of days long, I just let it go.

 

I've currently rented a place for a month and they listed WiFi as an amenity. This is a major city in Europe, and while I have stayed at other listings in this city that didn't have the fastest internet, it was useable enough and definitely NOT as slow as this one. I need internet for my work, and let's just say the internet is not even real WiFi but a mobile hotspot (MiFi) they stuck in the flat.

 

I didn't know this, nor was this mentioned on the listing anywhere, so I didn't think to ask because no one has ever done this from my experience.

 

Anyway, once I realised I can't even do much except slow Google searches (think the days of "dial up") on my laptop, I reached out to the host to ask for help about the speed. This is how I found out that the WiFi is actually a mobile hotspot (MiFi), with speeds not above 3 mpbs...that's about 1/3 of what we all get on our mobile phones on the street! I explained the issue to my host, I asked for help, and now I'm being told I obviously need internet speeds for "business" purposes, except..I can't even log onto AirBNB with the speed, without getting error messages because I can't stay connected to the internet at 2-3 mpbs per second (the lowest I've experienced in this city was 15, and that was for a month, but I made it work...but 2? 3?!!).

 

So, now there's talk of "other options" from the host - but the kind of options that would be coming out of my pocket. I have reached out to AirBNB and asked them to discuss this with the host and they (customer care) sounded understanding on the phone to me, but I've had the experience before with customer care where they say all the right things to me, but then turn around and email a cop-out answer instead. I don't want to wait for that surprise, so I'm asking for help/input.

 

Internet is my livelihood. That's how I'm able to afford staying at an entire place and paying hosts all the money for lengthy stays. But if they list WiFi, and the internet is so slow I can't even connect to AirBNB, what is a reasonable fix for this issue without me paying even more for an amenity I already paid for - which I'm not getting? I'd rather stay put at the listing, but one needs a working amenity, no?

Tags (3)
48 Replies

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Penny31 yes this is a problem, for sure.  Some hosts even promise WiFi when what they are really doing is piggy backing on their neighbor's WiFi. 

I would suggest three things: 

When searching for a place, send the host a message using the Contact Host link to enquire what the actual WiFi speed is.  A knowledgeable host will know and will be able to answer forthrightly. 

I would only search for listings with the Business Travel Ready badge...they have a small suitcase icon. 

If you stay at a place that offers Wifi, and it is not up to speed so to speak, I would suggest you ask for a partial refund through the Resolution Center to compensate you for an amenity you didn't receive. Here's how: 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/767/what-is-the-resolution-center

Hope this helps! 🙂

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

Hi Clare. 

 

Thanks for that thoughtful response. I have read some postings just now on hosts piggy-backing on neighbours' WiFi and complaining about guests who don't like the internet speed. Unreal!

 

As for asking for a partial refund, that would only help somewhat financially, but it ultimately wouldn't help me with the situation I find myself in, which is I need internet to work where I'm staying. I usually do ask for WiFi speeds, but being that the hosts are both in IT and that they are young-ish, one wouldn't think that MiFi is what would be tried to passed off as WiFi. And I have explained to them repeatedly that every day that I'm unable to work on the internet, I'm losing money, they are sort of like, oh...we'll work something out. Except what, they don't know, and they want to take up my (finite) time researching what options are available in their city, with me, on my time. This is starting to really frustrate me. I even explained to them how I have informed AirBnB of this issue because I'm still within the first 24 hours of checking in, and that I like their listing, and that I'd like to stay on for the next month (per plan), BUT...that I can't do that if I don't have internet that I can even connect to Airbnb with...I don't know how else to explain the importance of this issue - both to the host AND to the Airbnb Customer Care who said all the right things to me on the phone and how she'd get it resolved TODAY and now has emailed me that she'll be gone for the next 2 days and for me to let her know what solution me/host will come up with. What?? Why do these customer care people say things they don't MEAN on the phone?

 

So what now?

 

ETA: As expected, the same person from customer care who promised to get this issue resolved for me TODAY has now emailed me with, "Let's see what the host does in the next few days" - except I'm losing money, we're headed into the weekend, and that's not what they (customer care) told me on the phone?? I'm still within my 24 hour period and I need to know if I should just move to another listing already get a full refund, and go on with my life. I didn't come here to spend my days working out listing issues. My time in this city is limited!

 

Help, please!

 

Thank you.

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Penny31 While I'm not an Airbnb employee (just a common host) I would say that you register a "listing not as described" refund request through the Resolution Center and look for another place to stay.  That initial 24 hour period is very important.  

You're right, it's not your job to be sorting out WiFi issues with the host.  They either provide it or they don't. 

Where are you, anyway?

 

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

Thank you, this is my point. The host saying, "I'll come by in the next few days and we'll figure out together what options there are" just made me extra frustrated. I can't sit at "home" waiting for a fix, when I'm here to work and sight-see! 

 

I'm in Austria. 🙂 I have experienced, overall, not the best WiFi connection all over this city and I thought the UK was bad! Compared to Austria, UK is tech heaven! haha

 

I have finally convinced the host to come by tomorrow and am going to try to get a "guarantee" from the customer care person that they will still give me a full refund for my stay so I can move elsewhere if the 24 hours turn into 36, while they are waiting for the host to decide what options are available. Really not fair to my as the guest, as I'm losing money/time/days...for something that should already be working.

 

Thanks, Clare.

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Templeton, CA
Level 10

@Penny31 Well, you are a very kind guest!  If you were my guest I'd be like a person with their hair on fire to get you what you need, especially if I had advertised WiFi as an amenity.  Ironically, my listing doesn't have WiFi at all, but I make double sure all my guests know that before I accept their reservation request. 

I hope it all works out for you!

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

Thank you! 

 

You understand my point exactly: if you don't have WiFi, don't advertise WiFi...call it what it is, a mobile hotspot. Otherwise, it's beyond misleading.

 

I once found a GREAT place in Scotland to rent and was all set to reserve it, but the host wrote me to say they didn't have WiFi and had read in my profile how that is essential to me as a guest. Now there's a host one wants to work with, not only are they honest, but they pay attention to details - such as reading a future-guest's profile! Honest and upfront. Sounds like you, Clare. 🙂

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Como, CO
Level 10

I just checked my speed and it is just under 5mbps and obviously good enough for AirBnB and YouTube, Netflix etc. And  about as good as anything else available up here. Mobile, maybe 3G in places, more likely 2G - 4G forget it.

 

Now if you want to have 3 things running at the same time or in HD whatever then I am sure it is not going to work.

 

If it really is 2mbps you should not have any issues with email, general surfing etc, so sounds like something else is going on.

 

WiFi is just a way of connecting to the WWW, does not imply any particular speed.

 

There has been other threads about this as a general topic, I assume most people have it for their own use and will tick the box but do not include it as a cost.  I rent acomodation, I am not an ISP.

 

I remember being charged by Hotels for access, much less common these days, and then I could see a refund if it did not work.

 

Perhaps the tick box needs to say may be available, speed not guaranteed?

David

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

But you're saying you have WiFi, this is not WiFi - it's a mobile hotspot, which is equivalent to plugging your laptop into your phone in a poor reception area and expecting miracles.

 

One shouldn't list WiFi when it's not WiFi - they should call it what it is, mobile hotspot the size of a pager.

 

I can't even respond to this message without waiting at least 20 seconds for the text to load. And the provider has already said, this is as good as it gets (obvi, it's a hotspot, no WiFi).

 

You see the issue.

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Como, CO
Level 10
 

There is only the option to tick a box, MiFi falls within the definition of WiFi.

 

Perhaps it is safer just not to tick it.

David

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

@David126 Or just mention it in the listing about how the WiFi is actually a mobile hotspot. I've had future potential hosts sound a bit annoyed when I've asked about WiFi speed. I get they know their internet speed is great, but a guest does not and I'm always trying to avoid future problems by asking certain questions.

 

The same thing applied with the current listing. I didn't ask about WiFi, as I thought it would work, but I asked about the availability of a dryer - a tumble dryer - for clothes. It was a straightforward question, but one where the host opted instead to answer with, "Everything you need to know is in the listing description" - except this wasn't, and wouldn't it have been less work for everyone to just answer me, then to type out the other sentence?

 

But back to the point, a simple "WiFi is actually a mobile hotspot with speeds UP TO blabla" would just save everyone time and grief.

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Troms, Norway
Level 10

@Penny31

A tumble drier is possible to tick off in the amenities section and should be able for a guest to find looking at the listing.  The trouble with the airbnb site is that filters are so limited and finding what you are looking for is too time consuming.

 

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

Level 10

@David126   Many hotels offer it for free now because of the problems, which they have no control over.

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
Crozet, VA
Level 10

My listing is in a very rural area and has Wifi, enough to stream Netflix and run a laptop and it is shared with the upstairs tenant.  It is not super fast Wifi that is avaiable in bigger towns. I checked "wifi" but explain that it might not be as fast as what some guests might be used to. I have no idea what the "speed" is - I just know it's the fastest avaiable in the area. Since high speed internet access is a must have for you - perhaps you should lead with that stipulation when inquiring about a host's listing. 

Re: WiFi Issues With Listing

in
United Kingdom
Level 4

Ali, I often do but the fact that this is a 3G MiFi is the issue, it's not even WiFi per se and the speed is unusable. I've had to rely on my mobile internet speeds to even use Airbnb, and I have limited data as I'm out of the UK...which says something about the MiFi speed in this listing.

 

I usually send a list of questions to hosts to clarify certain things in a listing, and you wouldn't believe how many sound annoyed that I'm asking basics that they've failed to describe. It's hard to know where to draw the line...ask questions, put off future host...or don't ask questions and get stuck in a bad listing. Doesn't always happen, but has happened often enough.

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