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.

Currency Nightmare: Complete Denial of their Problems

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.

Airbnb Laundered Over $100K into Unauthorized Account

We are a corporate housing provider. One of our employees opened up personal Paypal accounts under their own name and Airbnb deposited over $100,000 into these accounts. It has been two weeks, several phone calls, and follow-up emails with still no response. We will have to engage a lawyer as Airbnb has shown no initiative towards a resolution in recouping our funds. If anyone else has experienced such fraud, and negligence on Airbnb’s part there should be a class action suit.

I have discovered a person who was working for me opened an account under his name with Bank of America and Airbnb through utter negligence was sending my payments for my company into this person’s account through Paypal. The result of this egregious negligence on Airbnb’s part is that over one hundred thousand dollars of my money went to someone else’s account. There was grand theft committed against me and my business solely due to lack of any security by Airbnb. In the past few months I called Airbnb multiple times and asked if there were using any other account for my company except the two authorized accounts I have. Each time the Airbnb representatives assured me that there were no other accounts being used except these two. I continued digging into all my Airbnb transactions and bookings as I was going over all of our company bookings and many tenant payment methods were missing. I thought it somehow linked back to Airbnb, yet they continued to have no answers.

Finally, on November 30th, I called Airbnb yet again and I asked them to go over every single payment they have paid me. When we got to the last few payments they weren’t in either of my accounts and the representative couldn’t tell me into which account they were deposited. After putting me on hold to research this, the representative came back to me and said that the payments went to a Paypal account. Not only did they never realize this in all my past conversations with them, they also – to my shock – had no information on this Paypal account and they asked me to call Paypal for more information. After I called Paypal I found out that multiple accounts had been opened and closed through my company, using someone else’s name since 2014, with Airbnb being the sole source of deposits. This was shocking news, again leading to what I have found to be well over $100,000 in theft.

Airbnb Non-Payment from Successful Stay

I had a guest for two days and Airbnb did not pay. They claim the payment did not materialize and now they have been “looking” at the issue for a week. A case manager is supposedly solving the problem with no results and no feedback on what is exactly going on. I called today and the person I spoke to threatened to hang up on me. I was not satisfied with her answer, “someone is already looking into this case,” and have no idea about the status of my claim. I asked and told her that I wish to speak to her supervisor. Her response? “There is no supervisor.”

The bottom line: I told the people I spoke with that this issue is not my problem. They approved the guest, their fees are collected lightning fast, and the mind boggling avalanche of data flows to your email, SMS, the Airbnb app, and any other contact information they have registered for you. It works with terrifying efficiency. I am not the one responsible for going after my non-paying guest. This is an issue that is definitely up to Airbnb, who subtly suggested I contact the guest for payment.

Airbnb Charged my Account without any Bookings

My PayPal account was charged over £669 on September 3rd, 2016 by Airbnb: £422 from my bank account and £247 from the backup credit card listed on my PayPal account. I was not a guest and I had not booked or tried to book anything via Airbnb, but they still charged me. Fortunately, I had set up the PayPal email warning system to tell me every time my account is used and my husband noticed the warning. I have never used Airbnb or had anything to do with them, having seen all the reports in the UK press about the horror stories. I did not lose anything, as the charges were eventually reversed. However, there have been no details from PayPal about how this could have happened. I have emailed them several times asking how it was possible Airbnb could apply charges to my account. So far, all I’ve heard is silence and a load of standard emails telling me they are always trying to improve their security systems. My opinion: they’re not good enough.

Closed my Account, Airbnb Still Owes me Money

I had rented my condo on Airbnb for about two years with few issues from the company. I finally decided to pull my listing and shut down my account early last January as I no longer wanted to use them as a service to host. Shortly after, I started receiving emails to my account stating “It’s time to get paid” and I needed to update my payment information; they had over six hundred dollars that was still owed to me from a guest staying. I did not realize I had any more money coming my way. I tried to log in to update my payment information as the email suggested but the system would not let me as I no longer had an account. I called customer service many times and waited on hold while paying long distance, but they said they could not help me as I did not have an account they could pull up. I wrote multiple emails in response to the emails they sent me and to customer service team and not once did I receive a reply. Airbnb is basically holding the money they owe me hostage despite them repeatedly admitting they owe me a substantial amount of money through a bombardment of recurring reminder emails to collect the money owed me. I am still getting these emails every few weeks but have exhausted all options to collect it from them as Airbnb will not help me get my money from them. This is totally illegal and straight up theft by Airbnb.

Airbnb’s Little Loopholes that Screw Hosts

I have had two separate “awaiting payment” issues two days in a row. Airbnb doesn’t give you any indication that a guest’s payment may not be valid until you accept the reservation. This automatically holds the reservation and prohibits the host from declining guests or opening up for other guests that might have their affairs in order. I called Airbnb and spoke to a representative about declining these guests; they would not change their policy, so my listing is off the market with no secured payment for 24 hours. Why would Airbnb hold a host’s opportunity to make money hostage? I was told that the odds of the payment issue being fixed are greater than the chances of it failing. Nevertheless, Airbnb takes all the host’s rights away in order to protect the company’s interests for 24 hours. The fact that a host hits accept and gets an immediate “uh oh… there seems to be a problem with the payment” is proof that the software Airbnb uses can immediately detect if there is an issue with a guest’s payment option. This simple line or two of software code should be implemented when guests click “book”, not when the host gets stuck with a blocked calendar. I told this to the Airbnb representative… he would not help me cancel the reservation awaiting payment and left me feeling like this policy is not going to change.