Our cancellation by a host in Portland, Oregon was issued about a week before the arrival date. The excuse given was pipe repair and the apartment was to be closed from August 18th. This booking was made well ahead of August 21st so that we could see the full solar eclipse. At the time of the cancellation all reasonable Airbnb accommodation was gone; most hotels were fully booked and those that were not were asking astronomical rates. We could not find anything and have changed our itinerary and have to forgo seeing the full eclipse (a once in a lifetime experience). When asked for proof of the pipe issue, none was offered by the host or Airbnb. Did the host cancel on us for a much better offer? We will never know. Did Airbnb offer appropriate remorse and compensation? That we do know; they did not. They offered a full refund or if we booked another Airbnb property we could use the refund plus 10%. What a joke when demand for that night was through the roof and at a massively increased cost. So… highlight of vacation ruined, extra cost incurred, and the host and Airbnb carry on regardless. Preplanning a stay is fraught with risk under these circumstances. We will never use Airbnb again and will revert to less expensive hotels of good quality where a bed for the night is guaranteed. Airbnb should be held liable.
Last December I booked an apartment in London for eight nights in July via Airbnb. This booking was the reason for my coming all the way to London from Asia. A few days prior to moving in to the apartment I had exchanged pleasant enough messages with the host, so you can imagine my disbelief when three days before my booking , I received a two-line email saying my booking had been cancelled. There was no reason given and no apology offered.
With such short notice in the peak tourist season there were very few properties available and of course the prices has risen sharply. My much anticipated holiday was in ruins. I have written to Airbnb and been told that I would receive a proper and professional reply but there has been nothing so far despite my follow-up reminders.
On the basis of this my first foray into Airbnb, I would advise anyone else considering Airbnb quite simply: don’t even think about it. It is difficult to conceive of a less professional and ethical organisation whose vetting of hosts and properties alike appears to be non-existent.
I booked a house for a whole week in summer in Hawaii. I looked up a lot of Airbnb houses about six months before I was set to arrive. I found a good condo near Waikiki Beach for a reasonable price. I booked and paid in full right away. It was a family vacation. My parents, my sister’s family (four people), and my family (four people) were gathering and I made the booking on Airbnb.
Horrible things started happening just a few weeks before our vacation began. Airbnb sent us an mail stating that the host had just canceled my booking. That’s it. How could I find another house or hotel in a few weeks in the summer season in Hawaii? They simply refunded me but I could not find any place for that price at that time. They didn’t offer me any alternatives for the same days (Airbnb properties) so I had to spend almost double the money for a very bad hotel for a week. I felt guilty in front of my parents and sister for the whole week. There is no remedy if you had to pay more for the housing because Airbnb cancelled your booking. I’ve traveled a lot every summer and winter but never used Airbnb until now. It’s better to stay at nice hotels with a great breakfast. You may save a few dollars with Airbnb, but you’ll ruin your life.
I originally booked this Chéticamp property in February. Since we were trying to get as much in during our time on the east coast, we changed our booking with this property a couple times, all in accordance with the change and cancellation policies. Early this week, the owner sent us an email stating that we cannot have any seafood at the cottage. When asked why, it was due to the next tenants having seafood allergies. I thought this was an odd request and so after consulting many people, agreed that this was indeed a ridiculous request. I replied to the host that this was a ridiculous request; that is why we booked a cottage where we would feel comfortable buying seafood and cooking it ourselves in the cottage. Since they were not willing to budge, I cancelled this reservation within the guidelines of the cancellation policy and luckily was able to find another place for the days we needed.
Once we cancelled, we received the following response from the host: “That’s good. Don’t book with me again – that’s even stranger.”
I responded that this restriction was not fair and they should have such restrictions listed on their website for people to be aware of. He responded: “Don’t bother me. Thank you. You can’t afford to go to a restaurant like everyone else.”
I stopped responding. I found this reaction disturbing and very unprofessional. When we complete our trip, our next step will be to provide his property with the appropriate feedback.
Our host neglected to update their calendar to require a three-night minimum. I therefore successfully booked and paid $3436 for two nights. I was excited and let our party know it was booked; they sent me their share of the cost on Venmo, etc. Then the host emailed me that it was a ‘purely business decision’ to cancel my processed payment and reservation. Translation: they can get more than my processed $3436 and they are greedy.
This type of transaction destroys the integrity of Airbnb. Mind you this is a “Superhost” that completes benchmarks such as:
1. Completing at least ten trips in their listings in a year (translation: they aren’t struggling to get reservations, so why are they so greedy?)
2. High Response Rate (translation: they quickly respond to let you know they can get more than your $3436, so they are cancelling your reservation)
3. Five-Star Reviews (translation: if we wouldn’t have unfairly cancelled your booking you would have loved it)
4. Commitment – Superhosts honor confirmed reservations — they rarely cancel. (translation: how ironic. This ‘Superhost’ is a joke)
Lastly, this host has a very strict cancellation policy – only a 50% refund up to one week prior to arrival, except fees. Why is it so easy for them to cancel with impunity? That just doesn’t sit well with me and makes me question the morals of Airbnb and its hosts. The Airbnb motto of “Belong Anywhere” should be updated to “Belong Anywhere as long as you’re the highest bidder.”
If you are looking for an Airbnb the Galway area, avoid this host. I take issue with a few things that happened in my encounter with Airbnb. This was my first time attempting to use the service and because of the way this cancellation was handled, I am unable to leave a review of the host on the other end of this reservation. I think the way this was handled was extremely unfair. I don’t think it is good business practice to not allow me to review this host so that others may avoid this problem in the future.
I booked the reservation for myself and five other travelers. Within just a couple hours of payment, the host contacted me and said that she had accidentally listed the wrong dates and could not accommodate us. However, when I attempted to contact her, the phone number she messaged me with came up as disconnected. I was also unable to message her. I could not reach her to ask further questions about how the cancellation would work and the money was already taken from my account.
I was obviously concerned, so I called Airbnb’s customer service number and spoke with a representative. While he was quite helpful, he did not seem to grasp what I was trying to tell him. She, the host, was the one who canceled the reservation, not me. Airbnb and the host alike both seemed to expect me to cancel the reservation so that the host could avoid a penalty. To some extent I understand this, but on the other hand I believe it to be a dishonest and inaccurate way to handle the situation. The bottom line is, she cancelled, not me. She does not have to pay a penalty but I am out $440 for up to five days as a result of her canceling.
Not only was that situation incredibly frustrating for my first experience with this business, but I am unable to leave any sort of review for this host so that other users may avoid this situation in the future. I am unsure how Airbnb handles affairs with their hosts, but the fact that this cancellation was handled like I was the one who canceled it so that the host could skirt around the penalty is very suspicious and untrustworthy. It is unfair to users who have their money suspended for a week while the host gets off. It is even more unfair that she is completely unreachable and Airbnb has no way for me to leave a review or lodge a formal complaint about this woman.
I had already had an Airbnb host cancel for the Formula 1 weekend in Montreal, so my choices were limited. I picked someone despite evidence of recent cancellations and a 2.5 cleanliness rating. Communication was minimal but the host said she was busy at work; there were no major worries. I sent a reply through the Airbnb site on Thursday to let her know I would arrive at around 5:00 PM and would text once we knew our exact arrival time. There was no response. We flew into Montreal, met a friend, parked near the apartment, and then went for lunch. While eating, the text notification came up: “Your host has cancelled”.
She did not have the common courtesy to provide a note or reason. We were stranded in the middle of Montreal on its busiest weekend. I phoned Airbnb but could not get through. I knew they would not do anything (their 10% credit if you rebook is a joke) so I headed to the race. I tried to find acceptable lodgings but there was nothing in the city under $250 per night. In the end, we found a bar beneath a flophouse and I went in to charge my phone and look for places far away. On a whim, we checked the flophouse and there was one room left. With no other option, we took it. One of us slept on the floor in a room with no aircon, and a fan that would turn off with the light. Prostitutes use this place for an hour at a time. It was not pleasant.
Airbnb is only as good as its hosts, and there are many good ones. However, it just takes one useless piece of garbage like this to ruin the whole experience. This host also removed the listing, but I’m sure she’ll be back under another name to ruin the weekends of more travelers.
I was one of Airbnb’s greatest fans. I loved the service. I was both a Superhost and a regular traveler. I could not believe it when a last minute cancellation caused Airbnb to leave me stranded with my young children in a foreign city without any assistance. First, the case manager was unable to make outgoing calls. So, all she did was periodically send emails apologizing for all the trouble. In the meantime, I was on my own with my children waiting for an alternate reservation. It was like living through a bad dream all day long. Finally, I had to find my own hotel and paid a lot more than I was planning for a last minute reservation.
Airbnb will not do anything for you if you get into trouble with finding accommodation. All they do, at best, is reimburse you. By that point it’s too late to do anything. What you need is accommodation. They truly do not care about you or anyone else. Considering the fees they charge for bookings, they are pocketing all of the money and doing very little for those fees. I would not have believed it until it happened to me. As a result, I took my listing off Airbnb. There is no way I was going to take a chance that someone would trash my place. Now I knew Airbnb would do nothing to compensate me if something went wrong. I will not be fooled twice. I was stranded and they did not even help me get a hotel room. If someone trashed my place, I knew I would be on my own as well. This company cannot possibly last because eventually, something horrible will happen to all Airbnb users.
We booked our vacation to New Orleans four months in advance through Airbnb. It was for Halloween, the second busiest time of the year after Mardi Gras. About two weeks before our flight and week-long vacation, I contacted the host about our arrival, getting the keys, etc. He never responded. His profile had been altered and he had no contact number. I did finally find his old number from an archived email and texted him. He said he was no longer a host for Airbnb and now lived in Texas. He claimed his profile had been taken down, but it was still up. Neither the host nor Airbnb had informed me of this. So, here my wife and I were, without accommodation, and almost all the hotels were booked up… a very stressful place to be right before your supposedly relaxing vacation.
Apparently, Airbnb hosts can just cancel on a whim with no financial consequences to them, but if you as a guest cancel, your penalties may vary from 50%-100% of your deposit depending on the terms to which you agreed. When I contacted Airbnb customer service, their response was apathetic and unhelpful; they just sent me about five links to other Airbnb properties that I could spend the better part of the next week frantically trying to contact on my own. What would guarantee any of these hosts from also canceling? Their response was that Airbnb is just a “Third Party Community Platform” that “brings people together” and they’re not responsible. I responded that this is the equivalent of me buying my plane ticket on Expedia, the airline not honoring my purchase, and Expedia simply denying responsibility since they “are just a third party that brings people together.” It’s pathetic.
In any case, I informed Airbnb that this is an appalling way to run a business. This would be the first and last time I would ever use their service and would be shutting my profile down. They never responded. Luckily, I was able to book a motel on Booking.com where our reservation would be Guaranteed. Truth be told, I never saw any big difference in price between Airbnb and their traditional hotel competition (at least not in NOLA).
Remember: your Airbnb host can cancel on you at any time for any reason. Planning your Honeymoon to Paris three months in advance at peak season? Watch out. I know lots of people have had great experiences with Airbnb, but the real test of a great company is how they handle problems and stand behind their customers, not when things go smoothly (which has nothing to do with Airbnb anyway – the host turned out to be good). So essentially, they take your money in service fees, but if things go wrong in any way, you’re on your own.
We made reservations with a host in Amsterdam in September 2016, but our host cancelled our reservations in April 2017 without any reason other than Airbnb’s Amsterdam agreement to limit the number of nights hosts can rent out their apartments to 60 days per calendar year. Why would you make reservations ten months in advance, purchase airline tickets and foreign currency with no confirmed lodging in place? That is the question we’re asking Airbnb to answer for us. If any host can cancel your reservations, why even reserve with Airbnb?
Now we are out $2600 for airline tickets because we refuse to settle for lesser accommodations. The ones we booked were listed by a “super host”. A super host listing doesn’t mean anything to us because we no longer trust the Airbnb business model or platform to uphold a confirmed reservation. This was our first time booking through Airbnb and we can honestly say that we will never trust Airbnb or any similar entity that rent out vacation properties in this manner. I’m looking to join a class-action lawsuit with other Airbnb guests that have been inconvenienced for the convenience of an Airbnb host. This practice is not fair or ethical by any means.