Late Arrival, Host Abandoned me in Belfast

I was suppose to stay with a host in Belfast tonight. We agreed to check in at 8:00 PM earlier in the day. After encountering an accident in the highway I messaged to say that I would be there around 20:30. I arrived at 20:30 only to have him message me, saying: “You missed check-in. Your problem. You know the rules.” He then stopped responding to all forms of communication. Firstly, that is a shocking response. Airbnb hosts surely can’t be allowed to be completely rigid on precise check-in times, especially when you’re traveling from far away. And if they do need to go somewhere surely there has to be a way to come to a solution. I even offered to come and collect the keys from wherever he was and no reply. Secondly, having no way to contact anyone or to charge my phone, I was left stranded in the cold. Airbnb was also no help and the call center was unresponsive. I love Airbnb but now I can see that it’s a horrible service when they have not vetted the host properly – because central customer support is shocking. I didn’t even get a full refund; they kept the funds for future use. I’m inclined to never use the service again.

Thirdly, the “community” that Airbnb is supposedly trying to build surely doesn’t have room for this kind of host but it’s in moments like this that I see that they don’t do anything to vet hosts. Lastly, even after posting all of this, I’ve tried to find a way to contact Airbnb and complain; there is basically no way to contact them. It’s shocking. What are they taking the +10% service fee for? Surely there should be an email complaint service that all customer based organizations have – even terrible ones. The reservation was canceled and so trying to get help about it is no longer an option. Pathetic, especially from a company built upon an image of customer service. The minute you and the host can’t resolve an issue it all goes pear shaped. Airbnb, I hope being left stranded doesn’t happen often. You have no idea the emotional distress caused by being stranded alone, with luggage and in a foreign place especially when it’s dark, rainy and cold. I at least could afford a hotel – most people can not.

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2 Comments

  1. I experienced the same situation too in Oslo. I was delayed and couldn’t meet the host’s flatmate to retrieve the key. The host herself wasn’t staying in the same city. I called and messaged the phone number she listed and no one answered. I tried to see what the address so I could go and ring the doorbell. The host left out the street number on her listing.

    I was left out in the Nordic winter in the most expensive city on earth at 11pm. The hotel I found for one night costed the whole 3 nights of airbnb. I opened up a claim in the resolution center saying I was denied entry. They refunded the full amount to my card immediately but the next day, the host disputed my claim and requested for the 1st night of booking.

    I denied her claim and the last I checked in the resolution center, the case was marked as “resolved” but I haven’t officially heard from airbnb.

  2. Has anyone else been conned into staying above a garage, just off the Ravenhill Rd in Belfast? I had an awful experience, what was marketed as a ‘Private Guest House’ turned out to be a room above a dirty garage. To top things off there was no hot water, and a crappy little heater. I posted on the AirBnB site but the whole page has disappeared?

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