I issued a refund to the guest according to instructions on the Airbnb website. It was more than the amount Airnb originally charged. Airbnb gave the guest the amount they calculated as the refund I owed as well as the amount that I refunded. Trying to resolve this is a nightmare. I have called and been disconnected or hung up on twice. Even though I gave my phone number for the second call, they never called back. I did finally get an email several days later saying that I had made a mistake, not them. When responding to that, my email was kicked back saying the ticket was closed. I have never worked with a company so intent on avoiding customer service.
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.
One week ago I found a good place on Airbnb to stay for a four-week holidays in Corsica (France). The price was good and I asked the host to confirm if the price included taxes, cleaning fees, or anything else unexpected. I asked the host to check the price, and he answered the price was the total amount. I booked and was asked by Airbnb to pay the whole amount as it was a “long stay”. Since that was finished, I purchased flight tickets straight away from Sweden to Corsica (the more you wait, the more you pay) – non-refundable tickets to stay on budget. I wrote to the host about my time of arrival.
Two hours later the host sent me a message, asking for more money or he would cancel the reservation. The reason? The price was wrong…
I have contacted Airbnb. There’s just one week now left before I’m supposed to arrive, but I’ve received nothing except an automatically generated reply: “we are working with your case.” There’s been no answer or anything from Airbnb. The host has sent me a request for an update of the booking and for me to pay more money (25% more). I have not confirmed anything nor rejected the reservation… yet. This is my first and last booking with Airbnb. I’ve never seen something so bad before. Has anyone been in a situation like this? What should I do?
This happened to both my sister and myself and is not yet resolved. We live in a university town and the biggest moneymaking weekend of the year is graduation. The prices we posted on Airbnb were higher than usual, but because the site automatically reverts to your minimum price if you make any change to the reservation, like adding another night, I stand to lose $700 if the guest doesn’t agree to pay the difference. I’ve had many times where I set the price on a date on the calendar, only to find that it hasn’t “taken.” I also couldn’t respond to an interested guest once when reception was poor – I kept sending a message but the guest never got it, and that affected my responsiveness rating. I’ll be relying on other rental sites unless Airbnb gets a more responsive site. That’s a crushing loss for us, and due entirely to the automated settings they substitute without your approval or knowledge. And of course, you can’t reach them to give that feedback or get help.
Letter to the owner of Airbnb. This is my fifth attempt sending it. Of course, there has been no response.
Dear Brian, Alena, Anvita, and others,
First, Brian – I’m appealing to you since you left your email address stating to bypass the Trust and Safety Department and communicate with you directly. I’m taking you at your word that you will become involved. Utter frustration, there is no other way to put it. Yesterday I spoke with a supervisor of the “non-trip department.” I requested the following: “Please have the Trust and Safety Department call me.” I left my phone number and once again requested they email me. I also gave her another email address for them to communicate with me since my first one was not getting through. Incidentally, they also have this other email on file. She assured me she would “accelerate the case and the would get back to me.” I’ve heard that from 20-25 non-trip representatives… very laughable. That’s the line of BS that is common amount if all the reps. Now I’m being financially compromised, and I literally am losing sleep… I cannot rent my home since I don’t have a calendar of my renters and I’m afraid I’ll double book someone. I’m also with VRBO and I can’t rent with them as well. I will soon initiate a lawsuit. I regretfully have been left with no other choice and I will inform the media how Airbnb treats its hosts. As a 5-star host since 2014 I wonder what I’ve done to deserve this? Everything is documented below.
On May 15th:
The Trust and Safety Department blatantly ignores my problem. It was Anvita, now it’s Alena… maybe they are the same, who knows? Avery, your tech, said that they fixed the back end but not the front end and therefore I’m not able to log into my account. I’m in serious trouble. These people are so inept. I have no clue as to who my future renters are and I cannot reach them to give them directions to the house, not to mention I cannot rent my home. Please help! Please!
On May 11th:
Dear Mr. Hassell,
My name is Alan Mayer and I’ve been a 5-star Airbnb host since 2014. My relationship with Airbnb has always been excellent until just recently. Approximately five weeks ago, unbeknownst to me, Airbnb deleted my account and changed my email address to an unknown email address. Subsequently I have not received any inquiries for the past five weeks and my profile has been assigned a different property. In addition, this incorrect property information is being sent to my renters, causing confusion and anger. Six days ago I contacted your technical support team and spoke to several individuals who all assured me that a urgent high priority ticket would be sent to the appropriate team. I was told that Anvita would be assigned my case. For the past six days, I’ve received multiple phone calls and assurances by your representatives that the case ticket has been forwarded to Anvita. I have received no correspondence from Anvita. Therefore I’m locked out of my account and unable to correspond with my renters or access my Airbnb calendar. I respectfully request immediate assistance in solving this issue. Neither of us wants bad reviews nor loss of revenue.
Today is even worse than the past week. The password Anvita sent to get into my account doesn’t work and the wrong home is still being displayed. Regina (who’s been wonderful) tried to activate the password to no avail. Anvita at the Trust and Safety Department issued a notice saying the issue has been “solved,” when actually it’s worse than ever. Respectfully, I’m requesting another case worker be assigned. Anvita isn’t qualified nor will she communicate with me.
I’m searching how can I get a live and not automatic reply to the problem my parents encountered during their last visit to Barcelona. My parents’ English is not good enough for written communication so I’m writing on their behalf. My parents booked an apartment via Airbnb from my mom’s profile. They wanted a Russian-speaking host in order to overcome any language barrier. The host’s name was Olga. Unfortunately, there is no possibility of leaving a review on her page, for a reason… It is very important to me that this post gets the notice of Airbnb so that they may remove the host from Airbnb and other people won’t experience the same problems we did.
This host is a thief. When my parents arrived in Barcelona, they contacted Olga and she told them she was a realtor and not the owner of the flat. The flat owner, Ivan, should provide them the key. She told them she was not in Barcelona now and could not meet them. My parents tried to contact Ivan with no success for a few hours. My parents are in their mid 60’s – not a young couple – and this was very stressful for them. To find themselves in the middle of Barcelona with no place to stay, in addition to the fact they do not know Spanish and their English is very poor. After understanding that they were deceived on Airbnb (the website that we use a lot while traveling and usually are very satisfied with it) they had no other option but to just book a room in the hotel just next to the host’s apartment since they didn’t feel well and were very tired.
From the next day they found a cheaper hotel and booked there for the rest of their stay. We find it unacceptable to not have an opportunity to get in touch with someone at Airbnb and all the system provides is automatic replies. I asked Airbnb to contact us and to refund the difference between the booking and the hotel price (both hotels were the most simple ones). I have all the needed receipts and some Whatsapp conversations with the host and the owner of the flat. There were also lots of calls that were of course not recorded, unfortunately. I’m waiting for someone at Airbnb to please contact me asap.
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.
We booked and paid for a pad for our family of seven including minors in Lagos, Portugal. With a confirmation and weekly reminders we were excited for the upcoming trip and stay. Finally, when we arrived at the reserved place there was no host or key. We were abandoned by Airbnb and literally on the streets of a foreign county with children who were worried and traumatized by the experience. Our 3:00 PM check in to a place after a long transatlantic trip never happened. Calling Airbnb was a total waste of time because they did not seem to care that we didn’t have a place to sleep. Airbnb cancelled our reservations to the place the following day. We were supposed to be staying in a place I had paid for all the way back in February. I will never use Airbnb again and if you have children I would advise you to be careful booking with them. They never answered my letter of complaint and that just proves how careless they are when it comes to customer service.
I own a house in a “regeneration” area of Dublin. Regeneration is a kind word; this street is clearly not suitable for unsuspecting elderly tourists. Think Little Red Riding Hood surrounded by wolves. I arrived last week from overseas to show the house to an estate agent to let it out. I was greeted on the doorstep by an elderly retired nurse from Canada who had booked it for four nights and paid about 400 euros. I’m not sure who was more surprised, this lady or me. I took pics of her reservation. It appeared the previous “tenant”, who I finally got to leave the month prior, had been using the house for Airbnb. Heaven knows how many bookings she took and how many other unfortunate tourists will have the same experience. The elderly lady took fright – actually she was in shock. I sat her down in the house – which was quite clearly unoccupied. I offered to get bedding so she could stay, but she was very anxious and no longer felt safe in Dublin. Eventually I dropped her back at the train station to return to the West of Ireland.
I contacted Airbnb. I got a call centre. Then I got a nonsense email. At this stage I went to the police and showed them the details of the reservation. This was a very unpleasant experience, which might have had an even more unpleasant outcome had I not turned up that day. If Airbnb does not already do it, they need to have hosts confirm they have permission to use the property. In circumstances where a property owner like me calls, they need to transfer callers immediately to a fraud/security department. They need to confirm to house owners immediately their properties have been removed from the site. They also seriously need to improve their interactions. In all future lettings I will include a clause in the contract to state subletting on Airbnb will nullify the lease and result in immediate expulsion from the property. I would recommend guests confirm that the host actually has the right to sublet on Airbnb.
My wife and I recently booked 30 days of travel through Iceland and Western Europe through Airbnb. I would caution anyone who considers using Airbnb to consider that after eight days of calling and hours of dealing with customer service there is no way for a traveler to reach a manager after a case worker. Once it reaches a manger at this level the case is basically frozen in time. If you have an issue there is no resolution. I am quite worried about leaving a trip like this in the hands of this company. I know that before leaving my front door that if I have a problem there is no chance to get help. I did open a Twitter account to try to communicate with Airbnb when I couldn’t get through via email or the phone center. I received this response from them: “We see that a final decision has been issued on this matter and will disengage from further discussion. Thank you.”
I can only warn people at this point to run the other direction from Airbnb. If it goes badly you will regret it.