We booked a house in Norfolk, UK for a week, and received confirmation from Airbnb. Everything seemed okay so far. The cost was obviously in pounds. We used our AMEX account, which is in the UK. We clearly paid in pounds from a UK bank account, but because our address is currently in Australia Airbnb charged us in US dollars and 8% for the currency conversion. So Amex paid out in dollars and converted it back into pounds for us to pay off the credit card in pounds. The house originally cost £681 and it has cost us £727. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. The host cancelled, so I telephoned her to find out why; she said she hadn’t heard of us. The dates had been booked out for ages. She was so fed up with Airbnb she was withdrawing her property. So beware folks: check which currency you are paying in. My complaint was dealt with by an email quoting some obscure terms and conditions. I had the last laugh though because I was lucky and received a refund into my Amex account in US dollars, which Amex converted back into pounds. Due to a more favorable exchange rate, I actually made a very small profit. I will never use Airbnb. I think we got off easy.
We have been hosts for Airbnb for two years and pride ourselves on making sure our home is in a ideal state for guests. This year on the day our first payment was due Airbnb contacted us with a claim that our bank details were incorrect. We were surprised, because nothing had changed since our last payment, but responded as requested immediately afterwards. Now it’s been three weeks and there is still no sign of the $5000 we are due. We tried to call the company, due to the fact no email address is available. We have had to phone four times now, each time waiting in a queue for over 40 minutes, all on our bill. We asked to speak to the relevant department, but was told they don’t have access by phone. Because of this, we asked to have their email address; they avoided answering this request. Basically you receive lip service but the person at the call centre has no understanding of anything. I was told I should use PayPal, however I informed customer service it would incur a cost to us. They didn’t care, just saying, “well, if you want the money.”
On my last call I was in control and explained I wanted to resolve the problem so therefore I needed to speak to someone who would be able to help and understand the process. Eventually the help centre representative informed me she would be terminating the call. I was left speechless, put out of pocket for thousands of dollars with no way of getting any assistance to resolve our situation. We literally have no other phone lines to which to turn. Other than Airbnb being a very corrupt company, I don’t believe this level of looking after your customer service provider is the norm.
I have been having quite a time or should I say waste of time trying to get a problem settled with my Airbnb account. Let me say up front I do a lot of business with Airbnb and have for the last six years. It works as long as there are no problems but when there is a problem good luck; it pretty much is a matter of luck trying to get something resolved. The situation at hand is a matter of the payout. I have been talking to customer service at Airbnb every day for about two weeks. I have been hung up on, I have been lied to, I have been told to wait 24 hours and it will be resolved three times, and during the last call I was told I was in a queue and I just had to wait. Customer service can’t seem to talk to accounts. Accounts is responsible for payouts. Hosts and guests can’t get to accounts and it seems that customer service can say or do anything they want without recourse. Now I know Airbnb is a privately held company and they are very reticent in letting people know how Airbnb works. They grew fast and I have heard time and again that these problems are just growing pains, but this is seriously affecting my ability to pay bills. One of these bookings in question was for three months; they are living in one of my apartments now. There has been no money exchanged. It’s not the guest’s fault and there’s no way to get this settled until Airbnb decides to respond. Who knows when that will be. The Secretary of State of Rhode Island has told me I will have to hire a lawyer. I’ve told this to Airbnb and received no response. They don’t seem to care about bad press or a host that is bringing in over six figures a year in bookings for them. I find it a bit unbelievable how this kind of business practice can continue but they have gotten so big that I guess it just doesn’t matter. I would be interested if anyone out there has any suggestions on what to do next.
A lady stayed for five days in my flat alone. Everything was fine then I noticed I never received payment, £898. Airbnb never told me; I noticed in my bank account. I have spent six weeks calling their San Francisco and London numbers over 30 times. I have not had contact from anyone on the payment team or a case manager. I have emailed constantly and messaged the guest myself with no luck. I have posted bad reviews on Instagram and asked them to DM me. No luck. So the lady has been allowed to stay for free in my home. It’s outrageous. I’ve been a host for three years. I have 80 reviews. This means nothing to them. You cannot get in contact with anyone. I very much doubt I will get my money; the guest is still listed on the website so she can do same thing again. I have contacted Watchdog in the UK and informed the guest and Airbnb. Six weeks and no contact. Being told my case is the highest priority for weeks now is just rubbish. If I don’t keep contacting them they will just ignore what happened. I never got compensation from a guest for a plumbing issue which came out of my security deposit. After so many messages I never got more than £89. I will go to the London newspapers with this story as the public needs to know that if they host they may never get paid.
I made a booking on the Airbnb website. It showed me the total was SGD $877 (Singapore dollars) and said it would be billed in SGD. I paid using a credit card issued in Singapore, with the default currency in SGD. My card got charged in USD instead, and there were hefty currency conversion fees from the bank. As usual, you can never find any number to call Airbnb for help. So after a long time navigating their “help” pages, I finally sent them an email to describe the problem. Someone actually replied, sounded polite, and earnestly tried to resolve the problem, but after a couple of email exchanges, you could already smell their dirty tactics on handling complaints. I can summarize their dirty tactics in just one sentence: blatantly lying, refusing to admit their mistakes, and then shifting the blame to others. They replied that the problem was that I was using a US credit card even after I emailed them evidence that my card’s default currency was SGD. They just kept insisting otherwise. They insisted that my credit card wanted to be charged in USD, which was never the case (I even called my bank to question them if such a thing was even possible). When I pushed for a more explicit explanation, they asked me to contact my bank and then simply stopped replying, both on Facebook and through email. The whole time they just gave template replies and sent me links back to their help page, which is obviously useless.
I am new to vacation rentals. I signed up for Airbnb and VRBO in October but then had to suspend bookings as we were completing renovations; I needed time to get my affairs in order with them. When I signed up for VRBO I was instantly helped and hooked up. Ever since then my problems were resolved immediately when I called. When I tried to sign up for Airbnb I first realized that my personal travel account had been hacked. It took three weeks of horrible calls and emails to get it fixed. Once it was resolved, I built my host site and begin taking bookings. The response from travelers was very quick and efficient. After about four weeks of taking bookings I realized that I had over $3000 on my payout screen so I begin setting up a payout method. That’s when it really begin to hit the skids. When I first reported my issue, they said it would take a couple days and they would resolve it. That was three weeks ago. After eight phone calls and emails, two computers, four browsers, 50+ attempts to add a payment method, and three different payout methods attempted, there has been no resolution and they are now up to $5700 in payouts. I am proactively telling my guests that we might have to cancel because I feel like it will be at a liability to me if I proceed with their bookings. It really has been a horrible experience.
I am a host with Airbnb. I set up an account as a host, but I forgot to set up a payment method. I did not have a guest until November 30th, a 60-day stay. They told me that I would be paid a day after the guest arrived. When I did not receive payment I called Airbnb and they said I didn’t have a payment method select. I was instructed to go into my account and set one up. I logged in but forgot my password since I rarely used it. I was talking to an Airbnb agent who walked me through the procedure of resetting my password. I logged in only to find that I was blocked from my account. I could not go into my settings to set up a payment method. I called over seven times; all the agents were apologetic but they said this was out of their control. A case manager had to deal with me. It has now been over two weeks. I am still blocked, they still have my money, and my guest is still at my house. The policy of blocking someone out of his account without just cause is outrageous. All companies – credit cards, etc. – call, text, or email if they suspect fraud. They verify charges with the customer before cancelling their card. Airbnb does not. To wait more than two weeks and counting is unheard of. To hold back a payment is unlawful. Airbnb should change their policies or a new player in the rental business should take over. I posted a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and found out Airbnb has a 92% negative rating.
I received a guest’s reservation for one person from 12/10-12/29. After the reservation was confirmed, Airbnb sent me an email saying he did not finish sending payment and the reservation was not confirmed. The next day, Airbnb sent an email saying the payment had been confirmed and the reservation was confirmed. Before arriving, the guest texted me around 6:00 AM Saturday morning saying “we arrived early in Boston” and asking if they could check in early. Seeing him use “we” seemed to indicate the reservation for one person may be wrong. I asked how many people were coming, and he said three. I asked them to update the reservation through Airbnb as three people. He agreed. I replied it was okay to check in at 10:30 AM.
When they arrived, I saw the guest and three young girls (in their 20s, claiming to be college students). His profile on Airbnb indicates he is married with his wife and son in the picture. Some hosts reported negative experiences with him. I chose to trust him and accepted his reservation. During check-in, I asked what they were here for as they are spending Dec 10th-29th with me, which included Christmas. The girl hesitated for about five seconds and looked at my guest, as if she didn’t know what they were here for. Then she said they were here for work. Then he started to explain: he lives in Boston and has a food packaging business with a warehouse near Acton. The three girls were his employees and were staying at the Airbnb; he would not be staying as he lives in Boston.
It all seemed very sketchy, so I asked for his ID. He showed me his driver’s license, on which a California address was printed. I could not verify what he said was true and if his driver’s license was authentic. He said he could not change the reservation to three people so I did. He accepted the change. However, right after the acceptance notification, Airbnb sent me an email saying he had not paid for the new change and will email me if they confirm payment. I would not receive payment until it had been confirmed he paid. Fast forwarding to that first night: the guest never left. They were very loud and noisy. I texted them asking them to keep their volume down and also follow through with their payment. No response was received. I did not force them to check out as it was late and I didn’t want to interrupt three girls living downstairs even though I heard the guest and knew he was staying with them downstairs.
The next day at 1:52 PM, Airbnb notified me that the reservation had been canceled. I won’t be receiving payment as they did not receive my guest’s payment confirmation. Note that Airbnb did send an email confirming payment had been received for the initial reservation before it had been changed. That is how the initial reservation had been confirmed. I saw no record of the reservation and I was not even able to comment on this negative experience with this guest to warn other Airbnb hosts about this incident.
More facts: the guest cancelled his reservation without paying anything (as far as I know from Airbnb emails). He complained my place was cold and not safe while there was central heating; I told him upon arrival that it was set to 68 degrees. Other previous guests felt it was warm and comfortable but he thought differently. They broke a vase and left something red dripping on the floor and the carpet (partially wiped off on the concrete floor side but I can still see the red color; red bloody dots on the carpet are clear and visible). It is hard to tell if it was a red drink or blood but it’s certainly disgusting.
That night was loud and noisy. I am not sure if Airbnb can and will send any payment to cover the one night plus the cost of the broken vase, but I am not hoping for much. I removed my listings. I had another experience with a German guest, who broke the bathroom handle. The German guest paid $50 in damage fees but it turned out to be an $800 cost to change out the complete bathroom set. Of course I complained to Airbnb afterwards with nothing being done.
Conclusion: Airbnb is not doing what they are responsible for, keeping hosts safe and protected. Hosts are left vulnerable by any illegal actions committed by the guest and may become responsible or punished for other people’s wrongdoings. Guests who should not belong to Airbnb community cannot be checked and verified properly through the website.
Almost two months ago my guest absconded. No problem, I thought. Airbnb took payment for the month he was here and will cover the other two months by deducting payment from his credit card. However, Airbnb did not process the payment for the month the guest left. I have now phoned and mailed Airbnb so many times I cannot remember and still failed to get any answers from them, let alone money. The guest lived in my apartment for free, left it in a horrendous state and, because it was in a student town, the apartment was empty for the period in which I should have had a tenant. Airbnb had no response. No help, no explanation, no payment!