I had to call the police because a nutcase Airbnb host in London wanted cash if I wanted to stay longer than planned (I had paid for three days or so). She demanded that the cash be pushed under the door of her room. I found that bizarre. My nieces and I decided not to prolong our stay. She refused to return our luggage. I had to call the police. Airbnb put us in a hotel but didn’t care about the fact that I had to call the police so other guests were probably exposed to that woman. This situation shows that: 1) Don’t trust Airbnb to care about criminals 2) Don’t pay for your whole stay online. If your host is a lunatic you may have trouble getting your money back. By the way, Airbnb didn’t ban the host. They banned me.
Before I give my story regarding Airbnb, I want to state here that I am looking for other hosts that have similar stories, in hope of starting a class action lawsuit against Airbnb. Attorneys will only take a case against Airbnb if there is the potential of a large payout, and this can be accomplished only with a class action lawsuit.
I own a house in Havana and have had an Airbnb account for a bit over a year. I started hosting last year in December. From December 2016 to April 2017, I earned about 15,000€ and was really happy. I was booked out the entire time and got consistently good reviews; guests were happy to stay with me. I even got referrals from friends and family from guests who stayed.
Then, all of a sudden, on May 4th, 2017, I got a frantic message from a guest who was travelling in South America stating that I had cancelled his reservation. I had no idea what he was talking about, as I had not cancelled his reservation. In Cuba, aside from email, there is not much of any internet, so I went to an internet hotspot to check my Airbnb account. Upon attempting to log in, I was greeted with a message that my account had been temporarily disabled and to please write firstname.lastname@example.org. The only response I received was that they received my email and would respond to me shortly.
The following week I travelled to Germany and decided to call Airbnb customer service. Although very friendly, they weren’t able to handle my concern because some “other” department was handling it. Upon asking what other department, I was told that they could not tell me that. I then called a few more times the following two weeks, and always received the same response. In the month that followed, I called every single day during my breakfast to check on the case and was always told that another department would respond.
After about two months of no responses, I wrote a certified letter to the CEO of Airbnb in San Francisco. Needless to say, I also did not receive a response. Almost three months later, I received the following email:
We apologize for the unusual amount of time it took for us to reply to your inquiry and wish to offer you support in the event that you are still having any troubles. At this time, your issue should be resolved – please take a moment to log into your account and ensure everything is correct. Once you login, you may be prompted to complete additional verifications on your account. If you still need assistance, please visit us at https://www.airbnb.com/help/contact_us.
Best regards, Airbnb
No explanation of any kind, Airbnb owes me several hundred Euros in payouts that they haven’t paid due to the account having been disabled. I immediately wrote Airbnb customer service to demand the funds. Within 24 hours, Airbnb responded that the matter had been transferred to another department. I called, only to be told that the same department that took almost three months to respond to the disabled account issue now will decide over the fate of my money. Sorry, but that’s not the way to treat people, that’s not the way to do business, and that’s not the way to treat the people that earn money for you.
I have lost tons of money because of this. There have been no guest for three months. All the while I have to pay for taxes, cleaning personnel, and security. There have to be dozens or even hundreds of other hosts out there that have similar stories. And while it is nice and fine to vent here on Airbnb Hell I think that Airbnb needs to reap the consequences of their (maybe even illegal) actions.
This company needs to be sorted out. They are an absolute disgrace. They have blocked my account – also those of people I know – without giving any reason whatsoever. They are disrespectful and unprofessional. I am actively boycotting them and encourage everyone to do the same. Here was a message I received from Airbnb customer service:
Thanks for reaching out. As previously mentioned, we regret to inform you that we’ll be unable to support your account moving forward, and have exercised our discretion under our Terms of Service to disable your account(s). This decision is irreversible and will affect any duplicated or future accounts. Please understand that we are not obligated to provide an explanation for the action taken against your account. Furthermore, we are not liable to you in any way with respect to disabling or canceling your account. Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with respect to such matters, and this decision will not be reversed. We’ll contact you if anything changes in the future, but until then, we won’t be able to assist you any further with your account issues. Please see our Help Center for further information.
And my response:
First of all, please refer to me as Mr. ___. I certainly do not know you and I expect to be respected. How on earth can you possibly think this is the correct etiquette in business and moreover, customer service? I will do my utmost to pass onto everyone I know to boycott your company as you are unwilling to provide an answer to my questions. There are many more companies that provide the same service as you do, that are of no concern to me. But I will be contacting the ombudsman and also look into contacting the CEO of Airbnb. This situation cannot be accepted and I will not tolerate such unprofessionalism and disrespect.
I joined Airbnb because my sister had good experiences with them. I entered all my information and scanned in my passport. I made a reservation to stay at a flat in Paris. The reservation was accepted and the payment came out of my account. Two days later I received an email from email@example.com:
Thank you for uploading your ID for our ID Verification process. Upon review, and given information uncovered pursuant to online public records, we have determined that it is in the best interest of Airbnb, and for the users on our site, to deactivate your account permanently. We realize that this may come as a disappointment and that you may have questions regarding this determination. We hope you understand that this decision is exercised at our sole discretion and that we are not obligated to provide an explanation as to the action taken against your account, nor are we liable to a user in any way with respect to deactivating or canceling his or her account. Should you choose to dispute the decision, please submit any documents you think may be relevant to us, at no additional cost to Airbnb. We will forward those documents to our Legal Department for review before any decision regarding reinstatement of your account can be made. Additionally, please understand that this removal will also entail the immediate termination of your pending or accepted bookings. As such, we have communicated to your host that your reservation has been cancelled and refunded in full. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I could no longer log into my account. I called Airbnb several times. Every time they claimed the issue would be escalated and I would get a response shortly. To this day, there has been no response from “higher up” and no refund (as the email suggests refunds of both pending and accepted bookings). I was not able to communicate with the host of the accepted booking through Airbnb. I could not log in to sent her a message.
Five days before my booking the host contacted me through @host.airbnb.com. From her message it seemed she had no idea my account was terminated. She was still expecting me in Paris, so I responded with a nice message stating what time of day I’ll arrive. I also questioned her if she heard anything from Airbnb the reservation being cancelled. I received no response. I continued calling and emailing Airbnb to sort things out and get in contact with the host. They only replied by sending me the same email as shown above two more times.
I arrived in Paris. There was still no confirmed response from the host through the @host.airbnb.com email she was using. I knocked on the gate to the flat. It seemed like nobody was there. I never received a reservation reminder prior to the check in date. My sister said that she gets a reminder email every time she books through Airbnb. My sister and I both assumed that the reservation had actually been cancelled and I would likely get my refund as their email stated. I ended up getting a hotel room for the five days instead.
It’s now well over a month since they charged my card. I’ve contacted them several more times by phone. It seems the only way to get the refund would be a lawsuit. They are completely denying that their system messed up. They try to tell me: “No, bookings actually accepted do not get refunded.” The emails they sent me on three different occasions is a lie. There is absolutely no reason why a company like this would terminate my account “given information uncovered pursuant to online public records.” I have no criminal record. There is nothing bad online about me. I travel the world all the time completely trouble free. They lost a good customer and they’ve lost many more because I’ve shared my experience with others. The existence of a website called Airbnb Hell is proof that Airbnb is a poorly run company with questionable business ethics.
After six years it saddens me to say we were thrown off Airbnb without even a phone call -just a email and all future bookings refunded to the guests. We were erased like we never even existed. They say we broke the rules of not allowing four single men to rent our two bedroom with just two beds. After a phone call they said they planned to have girls over, which would have brought the total to eight people in my two bedroom. I am not anti-gay or anti-lesbian. We just had a great gay couple weeks prior to this and none of this matters to me. What matters to me is fitting double the occupancy for my apartment. When you have this many people coming through our place you’re bound to have a few arguments with people. I’m not saying we are angels; we have had to straighten out some people trying to damage our property.
Here in Medellin, Colombia things can crazy with our renters partying too hard. On top of all this, in September Airbnb renters had a underage girl in our apartment. Someone called the police and they came at 1:00 AM. The renters were rude to the police. They found the girl and kicked all of them out and then sealed our building. It took two weeks and $8,000 to remedy. To this, Airbnb said they were sorry. No financial help. No million dollar policy they claim in ads is available to help. We were left with the bill. We swallowed hard, paid it, and opened back up. Now we have been removed? It’s the silliest thing I ever heard. We have done nothing wrong accept say no to a booking which included four men and four more on the way to stay there. Above is a picture of the guy opening the door to a slew of police. Six years and many happy clients are gone in a blink of a eye. Try to talk to Airbnb about it: you can’t. They are the Microsoft of the industry and we will hurt because of it.
I am writing to you to raise an issue about an Airbnb property rental on August 3rd, 2015. After using their service over many years, I only had positive references from hosts, though I did have some odd situations where I felt I was being stalked but nothing serious enough to have my accounts closed. After I began to get stalked when an incident on Twitter got out of hand, these online trolls began to target me on other websites. I still managed to find two great properties and some nice hosts. After being stalked in public unrelated to Airbnb, one host didn’t show up to meet me and his address was incorrect; I had to ask them to help me find a different place at the last minute. I found some lovely places where the hosts immediately offered me accommodation and they had secure references. Unfortunately because of the individuals stalking me, somebody contacted Airbnb and closed down my account, their excuse being because I asked them who exactly was behind messing with me. I was forced to return to the UK as I couldn’t find alternatives that weren’t Airbnbs or hostels.
I had reserved another place in advance through Airbnb. My account was reopened but after I asked them for clarification through a polite email if a third party had been behind what happened abroad, they canceled my reservation and closed my account permanently with no explanation. My solicitor tried to get them to provide a legal reason, and their response was: “We as Airbnb have the right to cancel anyone’s account without providing a valid explanation.” Since then, we haven’t had any further clarification. It’s been three years and I have been struggling to find another rental. My previous references from people I rented from were on Airbnb, so if I find a property they will ask me to provide a reference from a previous rental. I can’t do this since my account was closed down and I have no access to any of these hosts I rented from. They shouldn’t allow third party individuals or companies to manipulate their organization on whether I can or can’t use their service, or to spy on users. Support guests as much as hosts who are being troubled by online trolls or stalking problems that weren’t their fault.
The consequences of having my rentals closed had an extremely negative effect on my future travel plans in 2015. A guest’s personal possessions are not insured but of course, the host’s are. So if a friend of the host comes along and tries to steal your stuff, it’s gone. For a laugh, the corrupt company has even added a woman to their homepage that resembles me, as a piss take on me. This is how extremely arrogant they are; this wrecked three years of my life. Not only did they cause severe grievances that were a consequence of what happened thereafter, they have been arrogant to use a member as their “theme” on their site, instead of being professional and keeping quiet about what they participated in – discriminant and illegal. They are absolute hypocrites. They don’t seem to have any respect for users’ privacy so I most likely will never be able to use them again.
Somebody had told me a media production might have been stalking me through this rental service. I didn’t think that was possible until I noted recently they have even posted three film directors on their front page that have no relevance to renting. What are they doing? Hiding cameras in people’s bedrooms as part of a snuff film? They are the typical silicon valley “we’re nice hipsters but secretly we’re planing on using you, ruining your life and future plans, and closing all your rentals and accounts. We are millionaires and you’re an insignificant guest; we can do what we want.”
If you look at all the other rental providers, they have struggled to offer nice properties because Airbnb has been hogging all the best available short-term sublets. At least that’s what one rental company told me when I was struggling to find a place: they said they didn’t stand a chance in offering a lot of available places as Airbnb was taking all of them.
So if your account gets unfairly closed down, you need a flexible rental service that doesn’t ask for rental guarantors and other references, if you’re worried about your safety and are in need of finding a rental that shows exactly with whom you’re sharing and that they have been securely verified, there are very few platforms like Airbnb offering those. I tried Spareroom and Gumtree and got messed about by weirdos and trolling kids. I am desperate to find a nice home. The last time I tried to get in touch they refused to reply to my emails. Are there any other similar alternatives for rentals in the EU if not the USA, that show with whom you will be sharing the property, with profiles and verifications?
I was a host with Airbnb and for whatever reason they disabled my account with no explanation. I tried contacting them over 100 times, and all I got was a runaround and no explanation as to why they took the actions they did. Airbnb is making billions of dollars right now so I guess they feel like they can treat all their guests and hosts like pieces of trash off the street. I want to do everything in my power to try to shut them down, or alter their income in any way I can. They have the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my life, I don’t understand how a company making billions of dollars can’t spend a few extra dollars on their customer service to accommodate their guests and hosts. I only found this site out of the frustration I was going through after going through Airbnb customer service hell. I knew there had to be a platform like this, as I thought I could not be the only one going through this experience. It is only a matter of time before a real competitor steps up to the plate, busts Airbnb’s bubble, and they float back down to earth and realize what they are doing is not right.
All of you that have been through the Airbnb nightmare: we have to unite and somehow stick it to them. After all, they do say there is power in numbers. I love hosting and I will not let Airbnb dictate what I can and cannot do, with no good reason or explanation as to why they terminated me. The best thing we can do as frustrated and pissed off guests and hosts is to bring the business to their competitors; I see that being the only way to stick it to them, and hit them where it hurts in their pocket books. Please, everyone that reads this post should check out Homestay, FlipKey, Tripadvisor or Homestayin. Out of all these sites I find Homestay to be the best alternative to Airbnb; they are still upcoming and not that well known, but the more exposure they get and as the word gets out they will be just as big as Airbnb, minus the horrible customer service and lack of appreciation for their hosts and guests. Please everyone who has gone through the nightmare with this overpaid unappreciative company: please do your part and spread the word about their competitors.
I was a superhost. My listing was always booked which means I was making Airbnb the 18% commission they get from each booking. My reviews were amazing, averaging to 4.7 Stars. My location prevented getting 5 stars. I am 6 miles from the local attractions and most found that 6 miles was worth not giving 5 stars, but that’s okay. Many of my guests just raved about how I was the best Airbnb experience they ever had. I was listed with instant book, meaning that I welcomed anyone into my home that booked. I never cancelled the first guest. My criminal background is clean as a whistle and I never did anything that would go against Airbnb’s Terms of Service. Hurricane Matthew came around and I had many guests cancel. That was all good. Of course this applied as extenuating circumstances and guests received full refunds. The Hurricane was on a Friday. On Monday I checked my inbox and saw nothing but cancellations. I was panicked, scared, and in disbelief. So because I was a superhost I had a direct phone number for Airbnb that got priority service. I was panicked but I knew that Airbnb would help me fix this right away as I figured it was just a glitch in their system. The customer service representative who answered the phone was also shocked, said that they would escalate it, and a manager would call me in a few hours.
So I waited. The call never came so I called back in four hours. I was then told that I do not exist in the Airbnb system and they could not find my account. However, I was told not to worry; they would take care of this and a manager would call me back. We played this phone tag game for three days. Finally I received an email from Airbnb and told me I had been dismissed from Airbnb and this decision was irreversible. I was told that no further support would be available for me and that they were under no legal obligation to provide a reason. They cancelled my account.
I was devastated. I was in love with hosting. It was the best experience of my life. I never received any bad guests or reviews. I had one guest whose father in law passed away a few hours before boarding a flight to come and spend the weekend with me. Needless to say, calling Airbnb to cancel was not her highest priority. I offered her a full refund and she refused. So I told her when she is ready to rebook, the trip would already be paid when she arrived. I advised I would just credit her the money towards a future booking. The greatest sadness I felt through all of this was that I could not honor that lady’s booking. I do not have her contact information as all of that was removed when Airbnb cancelled my account without warning or explanation. One guest cancelled six hours before his arrival time and Airbnb gave him a full refund and a $100 credit to stay elsewhere. I feel abandoned and just saddened by the loss of hosting and all that the Airbnb community stood for. Despite all the horror stories you may read I was in love with the program. I still do not have anything negative to say about the company other than the way they cancelled the guests with no explanations and no warnings. I live in a major city so the chances of finding last minute accommodations are slim to none.
My account was hacked sometime before October 17th. I realized something was wrong one week later, because I could not receive the emails my future host was sending me, and I wrote Airbnb asking for help. There was no reply. On November 6th I realised, entering my account via Facebook, the system didn’t recognise my email, my account had been hacked, and my email address had been substituted with another. I was not able to change it back again, because I was asked for a password that I didn’t have, as it had been changed as well by the hackers. From that moment on I wrote six emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and never received a reply. I kept calling the assistance number in Rome and every time I was kindly told that they would take care of the problem.
On November 23rd, as no one had helped me yet, I tried something different: I cancelled my account. I could do it with no password, just a click. Then I called the number again in Rome, fearing that I would not be paid the following month, for the guest I am currently hosting, and again urging them to find a resolution to my case. I received two different replies: according to the first person I talked to, I wouldn’t receive any payment, because my account had been cancelled; it didn’t matter if my guest paid and or if I was out there without an account. Airbnb had my IBAN. That made me furious. The second person I spoke to told me to keep quiet, because I would receive my payment on time, even without an account. Well, I waited until today, because my payment was due yesterday. In the meantime I wrote two more emails to email@example.com, telling that I had cancelled my account, yet I was expecting a payment. There was no reply. Today I have called again and have been told that the payment has been blocked by them and there seems to be no way out other than to keep waiting for Airbnb to solve the problem. I have a long-term guest, who will stay here until June for 600 euro a month; she can’t cancel, because she would have penalties that we were not able to measure. So for the moment she is paying Airbnb for a month’s rent and they are not forwarding the payment to me. I am really angry and don’t know what to do…
We booked a three-bedroom unit in London for a week, with our host, “Caroline”. After a few days, Caroline informed us via the Airbnb email system that she was cancelling the reservation because the unit was booked on another website. Really disappointing, but I guess that happens. So we started over and found another three-bedroom unit we liked with a new host, “Lola”. Lola had some great reviews. Again, I prepaid the entire reservation on my Visa and it seemed like we were all set. Then we received another message from Airbnb stating that our payment method was not valid, our new reservation had been cancelled, and our Airbnb account was to be closed immediately. Our payment method was certainly valid and in fact Airbnb had now charged us for two reservations. I called our credit card company (Citibank) and they said that no refunds had been processed. Now, I’ve booked a hotel and I’m fighting with Airbnb to get my money back. They say they have processed the refunds, but Citibank says they have not. What an amazing scam… I mean service.