Dreadful Customer Service with Airbnb After Host Bailed

On June 30th, I booked a one-night stay in Barcelona. The host messaged at what time I was supposed to check in. It was in Spanish and I couldn’t understand a word of it. My battery was extremely low and I was running out of data. I asked him to reply via text or call, and in English. He did neither. I’d been travelling all day from Granada and had a train to catch for Paris at 7:00 the next morning. It was essential that I slept well. He ignored nine calls and still hadn’t replied to a WhatsApp message over two hours after the time I’d arranged to check in.

I had to find somewhere to sleep and after asking at hostels and hotels that had no available rooms I eventually found a place after walking around with my luggage, tired and annoyed. The only available room they had was 127.34 euros. Was I supposed to walk around and compare prices to find somewhere within the price bracket, assuming they had a room at all!? What’s the alternative, sleeping in a park? What are the chances of finding a last-minute room in Barcelona, let alone one for 60 euros? It’s an impossible task.

Airbnb offered me zero assistance in finding additional accommodation. I was told by the adviser on the phone (after calling twice and being on hold for around ten minutes) that it was too late to book an alternative Airbnb room and I was left totally alone. I had no data or phone battery to research. I had to wander around from hotel to hotel. After being told at numerous hotels and hostels that there were no rooms, I booked the first available room. I didn’t just decide to book the most expensive room available.

I have now been told in a very highhanded manner that I can’t be reimbursed, as I didn’t clear it with Airbnb first. Should I have stood in reception and been on hold for another ten minutes with a dying battery to be told it was okay to book a room? The customer service representative has also refused to forward my case to a senior manager and told me that he considers the case closed.

On Facebook they asked me to send a direct message with my email on Twitter. I did and waited over a week for a response. They only ever messaged via Twitter despite asking for a direct email address. I kept it up and they sent this response: “Thanks so much for your patience throughout the revision of your case. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns with our team. However, we have decided to reiterate our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic. Thank you for your contribution.”

The arrogance is astonishing. This is the most appalling customer service. Any advice on what I can do?

Foreign Phone Number Only Contact for Airbnb Host?

Please don’t book any rooms or apartments listed by this host. I had made a reservation through Airbnb for a one-night stay on June 23rd, 2017 at a studio apartment listed in Boston. An amount of Rs.5708 was paid for the stay upfront and the reservation was confirmed by the said host. As per the details provided to me through email by Airbnb, check-in could be done anytime after 8:00 AM.

I reached the address at around 6:00 PM. To my surprise, the building at the address was an office and there were no apartments. I tried all possible means to reach Airbnb and the host to provide the correct address of apartment. The phone number provided by the host was a Vietnam number and was unreachable or temporarily out of service. I used the messaging platform provided by Airbnb to contact her at periodic intervals; however, nothing developed. I had also written emails to the address provided by Airbnb. No response was received from the host, even on that medium.

I tried reaching Airbnb Customer Care, however they kept me indefinitely on hold and I was not able to speak with any of its Customer Care Agents. In fact on one occasion, they kept me on hold for twenty minutes and I was still not able to connect with any Airbnb Customer Service Agent. This incident was also brought to the notice of Airbnb through emails. The following response was received from Airbnb:

I’m sorry to hear that you have had difficulty with host responsiveness. We urge our hosts to keep their calendars up to date and respond to all inquiries and requests. Although we do our best to encourage all of our hosts to stay active, some hosts may not be as responsive as we would want them to be. I will be forwarding this to our trip team. I hope this helps but if you have any more questions, please let us know.

It may be noted from the aforementioned communication from Airbnb that even its team members had failed to get in touch with this host. Please note this was the last communication I received from Airbnb on the matter. Because of the Airbnb host, who had failed to provide details of the correct location and access related details, a situation had arisen where I had to spend the night on the side of the road or the lobby of this office building.

As no details of the apartment had been received, I had to make last minute arrangements for an alternative stay. I could not have waited the whole night on the road expecting communication from Airbnb or its host. No such communication from them even happened in the end. The last minute arrangements cost me an additional $215. Airbnb and its hosts are in the business of servicing clients by providing arrangements for guests to stay. Once a stay-related request of a client like me is confirmed from the side of Airbnb’s host after receipt of payment, it becomes a contractual agreement on the host’s part and the part of Airbnb that has to be fulfilled.

I was surprised to see that a host at a US property had a Vietnam mobile number listed and Airbnb displayed it as a verified number. Furthermore, this number was actually out of service and thus there was no way to speak with her. Even Airbnb employees were not able to reach her. Thus, as a result of poor management and insensitive behavior of Airbnb towards me (i.e. their client), including insensitive and irresponsible behavior on the part of Airbnb’s host, I was forced to look and make alternate arrangements. This had cost me $215 in addition to the amount I already paid to the host.

As Airbnb and its host had failed to fulfill the said commitment, I have sent numerous emails to Airbnb and the host to refund INR 5708 that was charged to me, compensate me $210 that I had to pay for making alternate arrangements for the night as a result of the failure on the part of the host and Airbnb, and $1000 for the mental agony and torture I have undergone. I have not received any response from them to date. I would suggest potential Airbnb users avoid making any booking with this host and in fact, avoid Airbnb as it does not provide any help in situations when it is most needed. Airbnb and its hosts can leave you stranded in a foreign land without shelter, and as a result spoil your holiday by gifting you the worst mental agony.

Reservation Mix up with no Fix in Sight

Our first Airbnb experience has been horrible. We booked a room through Airbnb for our vacation to Nashville. We got our reservation confirmation through Airbnb for June 19-24th. On our way down we called the resort to confirm and they had the reservation as June 19th-23rd. Right away we tried getting in contact with the host who never once got back to us even though over a period of four days we had called, emailed, and texted. After that wasn’t successful, we contacted Airbnb who told us our case was a priority. After didn’t hear back from them we called again and again. Finally we were told that they got in contact with the host and the situation has been resolved. The next morning after that message we called the front desk to confirm that it had been dealt with and the checkout date was the 25th and found out that nothing had changed. Now after we have been dealing with this for our entire vacation we have to check out tomorrow morning two days early even though we paid for two more nights. This has been beyond frustrating. There needs to be three-way calling for some way to confirm the host actually does what they say they are going to do. The host has been horrible. He hasn’t gotten in contact with us even once and he’s the only one that can fix this. We will not be using Airbnb again because they ruined our vacation. Something that was supposed to be family fun and relaxation has not be that but consumed with trying to fix this.

 

Stranded in Seattle, Airbnb Host just Ignores Us

We booked a room through Airbnb for three nights in Seattle. There were four of us staying in the room. We are all from Orlando, Florida, and booked this vacation because we were headed to Alaska on a cruise. We left May 10th and had a layover in Houston. We were supposed to receive an email confirmation for check-in 24 hours before the 10th but never received a call or email. We decided to call them in Houston to make sure we could check in at our scheduled time. When we called they proceeded to explain to us that the guest who stayed in the room the night before had completely wrecked the place and it needed to be inspected to make sure it was safe for us to live in for the remaining days. The man on the phone sounded sincere at the time and said no matter what happens he would set us up in one of his other places if the inspection came out negative. He also offered to send a shuttle to the Seattle airport to pick us up and bring us over to our room.

At this point we figured everything would work out okay when we landed. After a 4.5-hour flight to Seattle we made it and called Saigon Hospitality (the host) to let them know we were waiting on them. There was no answer. We called a few more times; again, there was no answer. We all called from our phones probably 5-8 times each. At this point we decided to get an Uber and go to the Saigon Hospitality Office so we could check in and get settled. We arrived at the office; the door was locked and there was a large window in the front through which we could see inside. Inside there was a lot of furniture. It looked like the furniture to the room in which we were supposed to stay. It was all stacked in the office front room as if they were using the office for storage.

We headed over in another Uber to the address of the room we were supposed to be staying in. It was a large building that was locked with no numbers or indentification outside. I asked some people going inside if it was residential and they said it was strictly an office building. At this point, we were on the side of the road in Seattle, with nowhere to stay and an Airbnb that was paid for in advance. Once again, we called Saigon Hospitality. There was no answer. After thirty minutes of waiting outside in a city with which we’re unfamiliar, we called Airbnb to see if there was anything they could do.

Let me just say that I used to love Airbnb and never had issues with them until this day. However, I will never use them again because of this event. Airbnb told us that they would try to call Saigon and see if they could reach them. They got no answer. We spent anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half on the phone with Airbnb back and forth. Airbnb said there was nothing they could do for us except refund our money. They also said they would pay back our Uber rides and $25 for food. So they told us to wait it out and they would call us back.

Imagine being in a new city with four huge pieces of luggage on the side of the street without a place to go. We paid over $500 for our Airbnb and it wasn’t guaranteed when we got there. Airbnb said they wouldn’t find us another place until we waited a few hours to hear back from Saigon. We were already on the sidewalk of 1st Avenue for two hours. We started looking for hotels, only to discover a convention was in town and all hotels were $400 a night. We struggled all day to find a place that was available to us for three nights. Airbnb never called back so we called them after we finally found a new hotel, and sent them our receipts for Uber.

Ten days later, and we still have heard nothing from Saigon Hospitality or Airbnb. Airbnb is a big company all around the world, and I will never use them again. It’s their responsibility when a hospitality management company leaves you stranded to find you a new place. Nobody helped us from either of these companies. Honestly, it takes very heartless, selfish, and terrible people to leave their guests on the streets for hours with no place to go. They didn’t have to tell us they would send a shuttle; all they had to do was call us back. Saigon Hospitality has some terrible people working for them – this is not a company worth giving your money to. Don’t book with them. If you do you could end up starting your vacation miserably.

Airbnb is unreliable and that’s why I can’t book with them anymore. We got lucky that we were stranded in our home country. Imagine if we had booked a property in another country and were left on the side of the road. Airbnb should have something to fall back on when their hosts screw you over. They don’t and therefore they are an unreliable company that doesn’t deserve our money. I would rather book a hotel and know there’s a roof over my head on vacation.

Abandoned in Chicago: No Way to Reach Host

I attended a conference in Chicago in April. I decided to attend based upon the anticipated total travel expenses. To assure costs were low enough to justify attending the conference, I booked both flights and accommodations well in advance. The airline booking process was straightforward. I knew the services and transportation that I would have, as well as the protections in place and remedies should they fail to perform to their commitment and industry standards.

I decided to try Airbnb for the accommodation portion of this trip. I received confirmation for a one-bedroom “whole home” in Chicago for five nights through Airbnb. The host, Evie, sent a welcome note and suggested I send an email to arrange a meeting point to receive the keys prior to my arrival. Airbnb required and received $599 on February 7th, 2017 at the time of the booking, about seven weeks before my trip was scheduled.

The day before my departure I sent an email to Evie to set up the key exchange at Airbnb’s instruction. I was surprised to receive an automatic reply from Airbnb that her email address had “expired”. Note that Airbnb had made no apparent attempt to inform me the contact information was no longer valid. It is clear that they were aware of this change in Evie’s email status, and that I had a reservation with her. However, Airbnb made no attempt to inform me of that situation; in fact, the website was still recommending this means of contact. I had to leave early the following day on a non-refundable ticket.

In the interim I informed Airbnb of the problem. Have you ever tried getting in touch with Airbnb customer service? It’s not an easy task.

Once I arrived in Chicago I finally got an Airbnb response asking me to wait an hour while they tried to contact their host. The next communication was that I should look for other accommodations. They were going to refund me $499 ($100 less than I had paid). I learned this while on the train from the airport. As it was cold, raining and late in the evening and Airbnb was completely indifferent to my situation, I got a room on HotelTonight – which I highly recommend – for one night.

That evening Airbnb responded, stated they had failed, and offered a full refund plus $53 for booking an alternate location. I thought I’d give them another shot; I found another (more expensive) Airbnb and tried to book it. I was informed I would have to wait 24 hours before they could confirm. In the interim I saw the same accommodation listed again, but at an even higher rate. I then received notification that my accommodation had been declined because “we are sold out, unfortunately.” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see what had happened with the booking.

Having no other viable options, I booked a room for the balance of my trip at another hotel. After arriving at the hotel I connected to the internet and ran an internet search for telephone numbers to reach Airbnb. I found a number, but not on Airbnb’s website. I was able to reach customer service. I explained the situation and they promised to have a supervisor call to discuss this situation. I received an email several days later. In subsequent phone calls I explained Airbnb’s failures to meet commitments and how these failures caused me financial and emotional harm. The accommodations in Chicago were $1003.78, or $404.78 more than the $599 I had already paid for the Evie accommodation. In addition, the stress of being adrift in Chicago certainly made my time there less than fully productive.

The facts are clear that Airbnb:

1. Was aware that the only email contact between myself and Evie was using the Airbnb system.

2. Was aware, or should have been aware, that Evie’s email had “expired” on the Airbnb system prior to March 31.

3. Was negligent by failing to inform me of the change in status of Evie’s email contact information.

4. Was aware that Evie had cancelled other accommodation commitments on or shortly before the commitment start date. Note that these occurred after I made the reservation and therefore I was not aware of these failures to meet commitments at any time prior to my arrival in Chicago.

5. Was negligent by failing to provide any indication that the Airbnb accommodation commitment was at risk due to Evie’s repeated failure to perform.

Airbnb Tilghman Island – Where Guests Are Housemaids

Welcome to your Airbnb rental! Your host knows you love doing housework. That’s why he didn’t bother to have the place cleaned before your arrival. I hope you like dirt and grass clippings all over the floors, food dropped on the stairs, globs of toothpaste in the bathroom sink, dishes in the kitchen sink, unmade beds, and wet towels in the washer. That was the experience we wound up with when we chose to rent an Airbnb property for a weekend getaway on April 22 -23, 2017. The rental fee was $554 for the two nights, which included $395 for the property, plus (laughably) a $100 cleaning fee and a $59 service charge. The check-in time was at 3:00 pm, but when we arrived, we found the place was left unlocked by the previous tenants and we actually entered and saw it between 1:30 and 2:00 PM.

I immediately called the owner to complain, but naturally, he didn’t pick up. I left a voice mail message describing the condition of the house and stating that we did not want to stay there under those conditions and requested a full refund. The owner didn’t respond, so I followed up with a text message at 3:30 PM. Hearing nothing, we located and rented a hotel room (another $143 apiece) for the night. Finally, just before 6:00 PM, the owner sent a text message with an apology but no solution to the problem. When I told him we were staying elsewhere and asked about the refund, he replied that he couldn’t process a refund without proof, so I sent several photos I’d taken at the house documenting the conditions (see attached). He responded saying the previous tenant denied having left the house as I described it. When I pointed out that I had the photos as proof and a picture of the note they left to the “housekeeper” as evidence that they fully expected that the house to be cleaned upon their departure, he texted back that he would come to see the place the next day to verify my story.

The next day, we waited for the owner to get back to us throughout the day but heard nothing from him. Finally, around 5:00 PM, we decided to cut our trip short and return home a day early. Around 8:00 PM that night, I finally texted him myself to ask if he’d visited the house to verify the conditions I described. Surprise – he had not. A day later, he sent a message stating that he would refund $400, which he characterized as “very fair given the facts. I would have gladly worked with you to make this right on the day of your arrival.” Since he didn’t even respond until 6:00 PM on Saturday night, it’s safe to say there was no way he was going to “make it right” on the day of our arrival, especially since he lives in another state at least a 2.5-hour drive away from the property. Given that this dispute stems from the place not being clean, it’s somewhat amusing (but nevertheless galling) that the refund he offered is essentially the amount of the two-night rental cost less the “cleaning fee” and “service charge”. My advice to potential customers: do not rent from Airbnb. There’s no third party resolution support if anything goes wrong (hence my writing on this website). This is my first and last rental through Airbnb.

Scammed by Airbnb Host with Personal Problems

I booked this entire place from a girl named Danica, in Vancouver, the Westminster area. When my boyfriend and I arrived, we followed the instructions to enter the place, but then we saw the front door wasn’t locked. We went up to the number of the suite as we were instructed by the host in the message, then we were surprised that the suite door was opened and not locked. We opened the door: the bed was a mess and looked like someone had just used the room. I went in and checked the rest of the place. There were trash bags still in the kitchen.

Then I messaged the host to ask her what happened; she didn’t answer my text or calls. I asked someone in her complex if she was home, and one girl said she was. We asked her if she could call her down to talk to us, and the girl just disappeared. A few seconds later, Danica answered my texts… so she was home the whole time but didn’t want to come down and resolve the problem. When I told her I wanted a refund, she initially agreed, then she said her housekeeper must have made some mistakes. I said I didn’t care anymore; this was just unacceptable to us. We had just arrived in Vancouver and went all the way from the airport to her place (a 34-minute trip).

Then she told me that she was trying to resolve her divorce case… excuse me? I don’t have to know about a host’s personal matters, and would we be in any position to understand her issues? I asked her to refund me ASAP, then she just ignored me. Nothing has been resolved, and I still haven’t gotten my money back. It’s so difficult to contact Airbnb customer service: I called, and no one picked up. This is outrageous, the worst experience with Airbnb ever.

Host Didn’t Respond Correctly and Won’t Give Refund

We booked an apartment on the morning of April 12th after having confirmed with the host for an early check-in time as was allowed in the Airbnb rules. The host confirmed and said it was fine. We left the previous apartment where we had been staying and reached the given address. Then we contacted the host for the keys and he didn’t reply. He started saying he could not let us into the apartment before 6:00 PM; we reached the apartment at 10:45 AM. We started beseeching him, saying that we had only left the previous apartment because he confirmed with us… now he starts saying he couldn’t check us in before 6:00 PM?

It was really unfair when we booked the apartment and then someone says it is not possible. After an hour-long discussion with the host I said I would be cancelling the booking as it was not possible for us to wait till 6:00 PM with family and luggage. He messaged me by asking where we were. I told him we were waiting at his door step, which was unfair. Then he refused to give a refund and started saying that he would offer a 50% discount. I said I didn’t even have the keys yet… how could he deduct the amount? It was because of his own rules.

I would welcome any suggestions as I have requested a full refund. The host has not been replying anymore. We were not able to cancel our booking, so we didn’t get a room in Paris that day, just roamed from one hotel to another because of this incident. At night we got an apartment from booking.com and then I cancelled my Airbnb booking. I had a talk with the host to refund 50% of the cost, which has still not been done yet. I’ve attached screenshots of the messages. I don’t want to lose this money. This has made me lose trust in booking from Airbnb.

Lost in LA after Being Locked out of Inglewood Airbnb

I reserved a room for a week and confirmed with the host that I would be returning at 1:00 AM from a conference each day. He did not have a problem with this and I was quite respectful of his space. On the third night when I got back I was locked out. He had locked the inside door to which I did not have keys. This was my first Airbnb experience and the last. It was 2:00 AM (I took an Uber from Downtown LA through construction). I had a long day at the conference and had to be back up to prepare for the conference bright and early. As a woman locked out in Inglewood, not knowing the area, only having enough money for food and transportation for the week, it was a pretty traumatic situation.

I could not locate Airbnb’s phone number to file a complain anywhere online when I looked during my brief breaks I had at the conference. After it was over, I finally searched online for awhile and was able to find a phone number and called only to be strung along by Airbnb. I don’t know which is worse, getting locked out in the middle of the night or the fact that Airbnb staff was unwilling to assist me in this matter. I have called three different times and spoken with a supervisor, who was not very helpful either. She said I needed to go through the resolution center. The host and I communicated through Airbnb before I contacted customer service. He was only willing to reimburse for two nights when he locked me out, and an additional night so I could stay there. We spoke briefly the following day after he locked me out and I informed him I was not comfortable staying there given the fact he locked me out and I didn’t have access to my belongings. He offered to reimburse me $50 at first. I have asked to speak with a manager and the supervisor informed me she was the highest person there. She refused to inform me who her supervisor was. I am not impressed and would not recommend Airbnb.

Nonexistent Host Still has Friendly Neighbours

I live in the north of Belgium, close to the Dutch border. I booked a nice looking single room for two nights, approximately 50 minutes drive time from where I live. It was the cheapest accommodation in that area. I used Instant Book because I had never had any trouble reaching hosts before. The host, ‘Anna’, had been on Airbnb since December 2016 and apparently, nobody had booked her place yet, since there were no ratings or comments on her page. I thought that was logical since the street she claimed to be living on was in a small, not at all touristy place; it wasn’t close to a city, and not far away enough to be off the beaten track either. Nonetheless, it was perfect for my purposes and every host needs a first guest, right?

On my departure day, I hadn’t heard from Anna. I didn’t know whether she had seen her latest reservation, I didn’t know whether checking in at 5:00 PM was okay, and I didn’t know what her house number was. I called the telephone number on her page before I got into my car. It went to voicemail right away. I really wanted to get away for a weekend; I wanted to go hiking, so I didn’t give up on Anna yet. I drove past the street she claimed to be living in because it was more or less on my way to the nature reserve that was the purpose of my journey. I thought: I might as well see whether some neighbor knows where Anna Hendriks lives, then, when I hopefully reach her, I’ll know instantly whether she is willing to host me instead of when I come back from my hike.

I thought my plan would work out when I saw a house with a rather large name plate: Hendriks. The woman that opened the door was clearly not the Anna from the profile picture. I explained to her that I had booked a room through Airbnb on her street and that I am now looking for its owner.

“There is an Anna living on this street, but she is a young girl,” she responded. “There is also a woman with grey hair but her name is Corry and she doesn’t rent out her rooms either,” according to friendly Mrs. Hendriks.

I thanked her and apologized for disturbing her. I told myself I would not bother her neighbors, Corry and Anna, because it will probably not lead me anywhere. I feel betrayed. I called the host for a third time and left a message on her cell phone. I have the feeling she doesn’t exist, which is a shame, because she has at least one nice neighbor.

I decided to file a complaint against her with Airbnb. I switched on my mobile data and cancelled my reservation. It was too late to get my first night refunded but I did get my second night, according to the automatic Airbnb help menu. Thank god the host has a flexible cancellation policy. I later asked for a refund for the first night but she didn’t respond. Of course not: she doesn’t exist. Nowhere in the Airbnb help centre can I find any information telling me how to deal with hosts that don’t exist. I want to get my money back and I want to prevent other people from booking with Anna. What can I do?