Airbnb Built on Institutionalized Fraud

Airbnb takes the full payment amount from guests when bookings are made. Then they keep the money for however many days, weeks, or months before the guests actually arrive and are supposed to pay the host as follows: “Airbnb releases your payout about 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in.” What actually happens is that Airbnb sends an email to the host at the point when they should pay and suggests that the bank will take time to pay. This is a total lie. In New Zealand, payments are processed very quickly. The banks may sit on interbank payments for up to one day and do not process interbank payments on weekends and public holidays, but they do not just sit on the money for days as Airbnb suggests. What is actually going on is that Airbnb sits on millions of dollars of guests’ and hosts’ money for days. Meanwhile the guest has checked out and often even left the country before the host is paid. This is just another way that Airbnb is screwing the market. Remember, Airbnb does not have any property. In fact, they have nothing except an APP which causes frustration in communications, so they can keep the guests and hosts at arm’s length until they have got their money. I would strongly suggest that guests instead find a property outside of Airbnb, especially if it is a hotel or guest house and they can check the price directly. When there is no commission to Airbnb, hosts can often offer a better price. If you pay money out to a host who owns a hotel or guest house that has been in business for some time, you at least know where they are; they have a physical location. Whereas you struggle to even get Airbnb on the phone in some random foreign country. Best wishes from a host still waiting to get paid.

Cancelled in the Keys: Ruined Christmas and New Years

I’m still in disbelief and my host is a despicable example of a human being. His name is Aaron. On July 1st I used the Airbnb app and paid for three nights on his “boat in the bay with all the toys” to spend New Years in the Keys with my two youngest sons. You must understand this trip was their Christmas gift. Instead of buying them toys and such they might forget in a few days or hours I take them on a trip every year. Being a single mom this is no small feat. This year I wanted a new experience for them since we usually go to the mountains. The Keys were going to be great. I made a deposit on a fishing charter and was about to call to make a deposit for a snorkeling trip. I decided to communicate with the host again since we would be heading his way in two days. I sent him a text explaining how excited we were and asking if we were to meet him at the address provided at the check in time provided. I got an immediate notice through the app that my trip had been canceled.

I texted him. No response. I called him, and it went to voicemail. I decided to check his listing out again on the app and noticed all the trips he had canceled. Most were much further out than two days so I’m not sure why mine was not canceled earlier. I was mad and in tears at this point. After some searching I found a customer service number for Airbnb. The poor man got an earful and tried to find something else close by. He offered me a $150 credit towards another stay but we could not find anything close by that I could afford. I applied for the refund and will be keeping an eye on that to make sure I get my money back but I still lost my $416 deposit for our fishing charter. My boys were devastated. My pocketbook was devastated as well. That may not be much to you but it’s a lot to me and my boys. While the customer service experience with them was good the business model sucks. Please beware of the scammers!

Airbnb Cancellation Policy Cost Me $1200

Beware of this Airbnb host. I am sharing my experience so that no one else books a strict policy booking with this host and loses their money. I accepted a lower priced invitation (1200 USD) to sleep in this hosts living room for the month of January. She encouraged me to book and pay immediately since there were other interested parties. I did. Unfortunately, two days later, a family emergency arose and I realized I would have to cancel the stay. I immediately contacted the host so that she could rebook with the other interested parties and reimburse me. This is when I discovered that she had imposed a strict cancellation policy on the booking. I did not even know such a policy existed since, in my experience, normal and fair business practices are flexible bookings. The strict policy means that no matter what, you do not get any money back. Family illness, death, force majeure… it doesn’t matter. The host declined to pay back the 1200 or any part thereof, even though she had ample time to find someone else; I was not due to arrive for a few days. As a landlord, if a tenant’s plans change, I try to reimburse what I can. I would not keep a full month’s rent when there’s the possibility of finding a new tenant. I find that such an extreme position shows a lack of class and character. I have always had positive Airbnb experiences but the fact that they even allow such a policy makes no sense to me. There are hosts offering real private rooms (not living rooms) at similar rates and they offer flexible bookings. Most people are reasonable. Things happen in life. Unless you are prepared to throw away money on services not received I would not risk a strict booking with this host or any other hosts on Airbnb. Flexible bookings are another matter, but make sure you check.

Airbnb Made it Impossible for me to Book

I’m not really an Airbnb guest nor do I intend to ever be one in the future. I recently tried for literally two hours to book one of their properties. I was repeatedly asked to verify my phone number and email, which I did without a problem. They also asked for a photo. I’m thinking: “What? Who do they think they are?” But I sent one in. Then they wanted a copy of my last credit statement. This is after providing verification several times and spending hours doing so. This was the final straw. I have done business for years with both VRBO and Homeaway, without needing to provide pictures and credit card statements. To verify our credit card, all they needed to do is run it. Ultimately, we made other arrangements, through a competitor. The end result? Airbnb lost a potential customer who uses similar services 2-3 months a year and the associated rental fees, but most importantly, the host lost the chance to book their property. We will do business where the process is simple and our platinum credit card is honored. It was pretty poor customer service. I hope this isn’t a publicly traded company because with this business model, they probably don’t have much time left before bankruptcy.

I Lost £200 One Hour After Booking Airbnb

Four days before our flight we booked accommodation through Airbnb and it was only afterwards we realized it was a house share, which was a deal breaker for us; we like our privacy. We cancelled within one hour of booking. The total order was for approximately £346, and we were refunded only £146 a few days later. When I called Airbnb to find out why, they said they have a strict cancellation policy and that I would need to ask the host to refund in full. I emailed the host and said whilst I appreciate the terms and conditions with all due respect she did not lose business in this hour between our booking and cancellation. She said that she hardly gets any money, and the majority goes to Airbnb. So neither the host nor Airbnb are willing to help. I am sure this was the quickest £200 they made. Surely they should apply some common sense here and refund us but they are sneaky and hiding behind the terms and conditions. I am absolutely disgusted at both the host and Airbnb; they should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, I am sure many other people will have this problem, I would recommend people stay away from this nasty organisation that clearly lacks common sense and customer service.

Host Declined Reservation, But Room Still Listed

I wanted to book a room for two nights and found this listing that I liked. I was under the impression that if a room is advertised it should be available, so I went ahead and sent in my booking request to the hosts through Airbnb. I have verified myself on Airbnb through my driver’s license. This reservation is during Christmas when prices go up within a few hours. After almost 12 hours, the host responded and requested I cancel the request as she has family coming over. I went ahead and cancelled, but I still saw the listing available on Airbnb. Why is it still up if they know family will be taking up those rooms. Is this not discrimination?

Airbnb Cancellation Policy is Unfair to Hosts

I accepted a three-night rental in our one-bedroom apartment. In doing so, I blocked off those nights so that I could not accept any other inquiries for those dates. Then, the very day of check in, I received a message from the guest that he wanted to cancel, presumably because of a sick relative. They used their “extenuating circumstances” excuse to waive my cancelation policy. No other hotel or vacation rental site would allow a guest to cancel only 5-6 hours before checking in. And this is not an isolated situation. In the past several months, I have had three other cancelations, all at the last minute. So, I have resigned to the fact that Airbnb is not at all reliable. I don’t want to accept a rental for any length of time for fear that it will be canceled at the last moment and I will lose the rental income for that time period. What I am doing is blocking off all the future dates in my calendar and then only unblocking two or three nights ahead for last-minute, last-resort bookings. Since TripAdvisor and VRBO do not have such a policy, I will depend on them for virtually all my future rental bookings.

Last Minute Cancellation at Chic Apartments in Miami

Don’t trust this person for booking your holiday weekend; they are unreliable and untrustworthy. Anyone who cancels a booking to accept another offer for more money because it is a holiday weekend should get treatment a million times worse than what they have just done to us.

I had been planning a trip from NY to Miami for Art Basel for months with my closest friends, working around everyone’s busy schedules and of course the expensive and difficult task of booking somewhere to stay on a holiday weekend. After careful planning, we thought we had selected the ideal Airbnb: the place looked decent, the price was good, and the location was perfect. Because we had already been confirmed, approved, and billed, of course we thought we were safe with our choice of accommodations and had nothing to worry about. We are now less than two weeks from the start of our trip, and our host sent us a pathetic message to us explaining that there was “some glitch in their booking system with another site so actually someone else booked the same listing already and they didn’t notice.” As a result, they would be cancelling our reservation. The host was so rude he even suggested that “it’s not really [his] fault so we can’t be mad at [him].” In other words, this is a holiday weekend in Miami and they found someone to pay more.

Now, we are completely out of any other halfway decent options and have nowhere to stay. Not a single option that is still available on Airbnb is even close in comparison, and we have been completely screwed by this host. The best part is that Airbnb has done absolutely nothing to help us remedy this problem, and offer no help or suggestions as to what we can do when we call. Their feedback is that they are sorry, but not sorry enough to actually help.

Airbnb UK Host Held Responsible for Fake Listing

Airbnb does not listen and does not care. I’ve just been sent an automated request for feedback on my experience. The guest has not even responded to my most recent communication four days ago and blamed my son – an excellent Airbnb host, as can be seen by the reviews by guests – for calls he has been getting about a place in the Netherlands that has no connection to him. Airbnb has not noticed that this place has no connection to him so this has caused him a nightmare, including Airbnb cancelling a booking to his real place in Brighton, UK due to the fact he was not responding to booking requests for a place that has nothing to do with him in the Netherlands. Airbnb refuses to compensate him the £600 he lost, saying he must be to blame for this false account. He is extremely careful with security and has done nothing to compromise his account.

On November 1st, he had another booking request for this retched place in the Netherlands and had to call Airbnb again. If there is such a place on Airbnb, why is it not linking to whoever actually owns it and how are they taking bookings for it? Where is the money going? Because it is certainly not going into my son’s account! Confused? Not as much as we are and Airbnb refuses to speak on the phone to sort this out. The guest just sends emails; Airbnb can only communicate this way and that is just not good enough. I gave them a zero in their feedback. Until they listen to hosts and guests, no amount of feedback will lift that score.

The Airbnb Community Commitment

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed by AirbnbHell.com users do not necessarily reflect those of the Airbnb Hell staff.  That being said, we will continue to provide a free and uncensored platform for all of our contributors to share their Airbnb related stories, opinions, and experiences.

It seems that this new policy is leaving a huge gap in the non-discrimination policy. Airbnb is apparently allowing rampant and blatant discrimination against what certainly is a fair percentage of users. I expect that a federal lawsuit against Airbnb will be necessary to right this wrong. The discriminated group are the pedophiles, child molesters, rapists, and criminals that search for victims among single females or hosts with children in the home. Do you want to hurt the feelings of these criminals by making them feel less than welcome? I should hope not! Certainly you are only partially addressing this discriminated group by creating a mandatory policy for forcing single white women into having black males in their guest rooms! Just because fifty percent of blacks have a criminal record by the age of twenty-three, it is not their fault! This racial discrimination against black criminals has got to stop! I expect that the present administration will use the justice department to correct this grievous injustice in the near future (after all, if they are no longer in prison haven’t they “paid” for their crimes?) and now deserve to be restored to full rights regardless of how many times they have been convicted? Thank you for forcing everyone to stand up and “do the right thing.” This is just the camel’s nose under the tent for moving forward with the political allegiances which should be included in the future mandatory statement. Great job, Airbnb; it is all about controlling the masses and deciding what is best for them whether they like it or not!