Having hosted someone from Italy for 12 days in our Australian apartment in January we are still waiting for payment. We received an automated email saying we would be paid on January 23rd. We have been on Airbnb’s books for four years now and have Superhost status. Despite numerous calls to their call centre – the staff of which point blank refuse to pass you on to the management level and if you persist with the request, cut you off – nothing has happened. All they do is pass a so-called ticket to their non-responsive team. Despite many emails to this group no one comes back and now my emails are bouncing back saying they are not deliverable. I wonder what filter they are using to do this? Is it fraud? The work of the FBI or maybe Brian Chesky? On top of this, someone within their organisation has switched my daughter’s bank account details back to those of one that was closed in 2014. So despite receiving money being deposited in 2015 and 2016 now it has been changed back. Hence my use of the word fraud. I can’t help but notice articles in Forbes Magazine where this is now a worldwide issue regarding non-payments and the behaviour of their call centre. It also mentions that the company is worth $25 billion, which clearly adds up to a lot of non-payments. I also noticed that they had a TV ad shown during the Super Bowl. What’s the cost of one of those, three million dollars?
In late 2016 I made two reservations on Airbnb for a New Zealand holiday. In mid-January 2017 (i.e. one and a half months later) I discovered two unauthorised transactions dated January 14th and 15th using the same credit card for Airbnb in China and two non-Airbnb charges in the UK. I contacted my bank and told them which transactions were unauthorised; they cancelled the card. The bank notified Airbnb of the two unauthorised transactions and refused the two pending charges in the UK. Three weeks later Airbnb contacted me to tell me that their security team had identified suspicious transactions. They just cancelled the two earlier reservations in New Zealand without checking with me to see if they were legitimate. Then I had to try and contact them to get the problem fixed. Emails just bounced back as undeliverable. I couldn’t contact the hosts to try and let them know that we were still coming and what happened.
Finally, I located an Airbnb phone number and waited until someone answered. I explained the problem and was told how it would be fixed. I then received repeated email messages telling me the reservations had been cancelled, and there had been a problem with my card. I couldn’t reply by email, spent ages on the phone, and could not get transferred in their call centre to the person who knew about my case. They promised they would call back, which sometimes happens and often does not. I am recovering from cancer surgery and the New Zealand holiday was something to look forward to doing with my wife, but it is now a nightmare that I can totally do without.
To cut the story short, they still have not managed to fix the problem and are trying to charge my cancelled credit card, not using the new card in my profile. We had used Airbnb twice before without any issues and thought it was a good service. Now, I will never use them again and will tell all my friends to do the same. This is a classic situation in customer service. A customer who complains is giving the company an opportunity to fix the issue. If it is fixed promptly the customer will go away but still tell others about a good experience. If it is not fixed the customer goes away and becomes a negative walking and talking advertisement for the company, because not only did the company screw up, but they did not fix the problem or – in some cases – even try to fix the problem. Customer service like this damages the brand far more than any positive advertising can hope to repair. Airbnb really needs to up its game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.