Ripped off by Guest and Airbnb’s Horrible Customer Service

The guests checked in at 3:00 PM. At 8:40 PM they sent me a text complaining about seeing a cockroach in a 70-year-old beach house in Hawaii. I did not see it until 10:00 PM, so I planned to respond in the morning. I woke up at 5:20 AM to find an email from Airbnb stating I had until 5:40 AM to respond. I wrote them back immediately and at 5:50 AM I received another email saying the guest had been refunded completely for their booking: $3,600.

I disputed it and contacted Airbnb immediately. After a day of them ‘investigating’ it and getting staged photos from the guests showing the house was not clean I was sent an email with a link to their refund policy. Nothing. These guests and Airbnb just ripped me off. I will never use them again. They do not look after the host of a property. Stay away from Airbnb.

Toronto Host Gives us Runaround for Six Hours

We asked for an early check in and our host said it would be fine at least three days before check in. As we were driving she asked for an estimate as to what time we’d arrive because her previous guests asked for a late check out. We arrived about an hour before check in to drop our luggage and leave. That’s when we heard a key enter the lock to the outer door and a man walked in, said “sorry,” and disappeared. We were scared as he opened the door with a key and then was gone when we went out to ask him who he was. So we immediately left and called Airbnb to say we were uncomfortable and wanted to leave with our money back. They said they had to speak with the host and figure out the whole story. At that point we had been driving around for about an hour in another country with all of our stuff in the car, having nowhere to go. They called back saying they were having trouble getting in touch with her and that we should try to go grab something to eat. As we’re eating (now about two hours after the incident) the customer service representative called saying that it was “probably” just the cleaning guy and that we shouldn’t worry and to just go back to the place. No one could tell us definitively that it was a cleaning guy, but it probably was. For all we knew it could’ve been the previous guest who still had a copy of the key and could come in at any time during our three-day stay.

After being hung up on twice and being on hold for about two hours they also said they couldn’t give us a refund; only the host could. We tried to get in touch with her and she said to “go ahead and cancel” to which I replied: “Will we get our money back?” She didn’t reply for another five hours. Airbnb refused to help us, saying they needed to protect their host and they couldn’t take her money as it couldn’t be proven we were in any immediate danger. No one cared that we were not safe and felt uncomfortable and had to barricade the door with the couch just to feel safe; they had to protect their host. To top it all off, after we returned home the host sent an email requesting money saying we checked in early and wasted her time because she was on the phone with Airbnb for 39 minutes. She wasted the entire first day of our vacation and she wants to be compensated. Absolutely the worst customer service I have ever dealt with.

Beware Airbnb Service Fees: Refunds are Impossible

This isn’t terrible, but I feel like a lot of people are probably getting ripped off right now without realizing it. I booked a place that was covered under the 100% refundable policy. This policy clearly states service fees are refundable up to 24 hours before your trip, and the Airbnb refund policy in general says service fees are refundable for guests up to three times a year. See the attached pictures, screenshots from the Airbnb website. When I cancelled and requested a refund, it was not automatically given. After drilling down through multiple levels of their help center clearly intended to prevent you from talking to anyone, I finally go to chat with someone. He told me it was against Airbnb’s policy to refund service fees, but he would do me a ‘favor’ this once because I had booked another place. I thanked him for the refund, but afterwards I pointed out that it said in two places that the fee was refundable. He said, “That’s right, our service fees are not refundable” along with some other wholesome crap about Airbnb being a community. At that point, I moved from classifying customer service representatives as humans to examples of a failed Turing test, and I just hope their developers look at this and at the very least clarify their policy.

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.

Homeless in Prague After Host Cancels Last Minute

Tonight I will have to spend the night in the streets of Prague because of an irresponsible hostess. Five weeks ago I booked an apartment in Prague through Airbnb for me and my two friends. Although the hostess has cancelled reservations for other people a couple of times before, I decided to take the risk because the place and the price were excellent; however, this was a huge mistake. This woman sent me a message the night before my arrival (yesterday) telling me that she couldn’t accommodate us because she was apparently sick. It was terrible for me, of course. I told her to cancel so that, at least, I could receive a complete refund, but she didn’t. She alleged that she couldn’t do it but then she asked me for my bank account number to transfer my money back to my account plus some compensation. The whole day has passed and she hasn’t done a thing. I need Airbnb to give me a refund as soon as possible, though that is not going to fix our situation right now, at least I will get back my money.

Quick Cancellation, Dirty Room, but Good Customer Service

I was an avid Airbnb guest. The hosts I met were awesome: clean places that appeared as they were listed. However, my last dealing with Airbnb made it my last with them period. The first Airbnb I booked cancelled because they were out of town and did not respond to my request until four hours after the check in time. The host apologised and actually refunded the full costs of the rental with no problem. He admitted it was his fault because he himself was traveling and had failed to respond – remember this, because it comes back to bite me.

I started searching for another place. This is where I should have taken my money and paid for a hotel. I lucked out and found a place, but it was in an area I never stayed before. Given that I was new to this area, I should have researched the area before booking. The host contacted me after I clicked “book it now”. He called and stated that he just got confirmation that I booked his place. I asked him if it was a problem, to which he said it was not. Since it was getting close to 8:00 PM I just wanted to get into a place to unpack and relax… I was in for a real treat.

I received the addressed and entered it into my GPS. I told him it would be about 15 minutes before I arrived and he said that would be fine. After what should have taken 15 minutes took about 45 minutes I arrived. The area I pulled into was super sketchy. When I found the place, I tried to park but couldn’t find a place at all. The host failed to mention only street parking was available and you have to park in the direction of traffic flow or you will be towed. After making a round or two around the neighbourhood (and I use that word lightly) I parked my car. As soon as I parked my car, the neighbor next door started to whistle at me and make uncomfortable remarks to me. However, at this point I was so tired and ticked off I could have taken out a 600-lb man without thinking twice.

I was greeted by the host who proceeded to let me in and show me the place. I was totally confused. The posting stated I rented a house to myself. What I got was a room to myself, sharing a bathroom with two other people. I don’t have a problem with that ordinarily, but for the price I was paying, I was expecting the place to be in a better area and more of what the listing had mentioned.

Anyway, the host was using the area that was to be mine. He was in the process of making a model for which the glue fumes were so bad we had the windows open to air the place out for four hours. Did I mention it was winter at this time and 40 degrees outside? While he was picking up his project I went into the bathroom only to be grossed out. The bathroom had not been cleaned. Mind you, the host and his girlfriend use this bathroom too and neither cleaned it. I sucked it up because I needed a place to stay and it was now close to 10:00 PM. I just wanted to shower and wait for my boyfriend to get me for dinner. I got some cleaner and cleaned the bathroom like it had never been cleaned. Apparently it really had never been cleaned because the host remarked “I never knew the floor was that colour white!”

I finished cleaning and he finished picking up his project. I took some clothes out of my bag and sent a text to my boyfriend telling him where to pick me up for dinner. I showered, put my clothes on, and went into my room where a wall of icy wind met me because the windows were open. I closed the windows, turned on the space heater that the host left me, and waited for my boyfriend to get me. When he came he was super worried and asked why I booked a place in this area; that’s when I told him what happened. While we were having dinner, my boyfriend tried to get me a hotel but everything was super expensive (before anyone questions it, this is before we moved in together and he was renting a room with three other people – I couldn’t stay with him).

After dinner my boyfriend dropped me off and asked that I deadbolt the door. I did and went to sleep… or tried to at least. The bathroom was right next to my room and the walls are not that thick, nor is the door since it has a glass inset; I could hear almost everything happening on the other side of the house. The bed I slept on was a Murphy bed about as old as the house (from the 1800s) – every time you moved, it would make a noise. Eventually I decided to sleep on the couch.

The next day I looked at my account to make sure I had some spending money, and guess what? That refund I was suppose to get? Well, I didn’t get it. In fact, I was charged three times for the same amount. I called Airbnb and stayed on the line for 45 minutes. I spoke to a guy that actually helped me and did exactly what he said he would do. When I questioned him as to why I was charged so many times? His answer was: “we have never had this happen before.” He apologised again and issued a refund, which unfortunately would not go through until Monday because it was Saturday. Amazingly enough, I got the refund that was promised on Monday. As for the weekend stay with the misleading post, well I cleaned that place up and left it cleaner than when I arrived. After that ordeal, I won’t be using Airbnb again.

Airbnb Nightmare in Paris Leaves Guest Struggling

This was the worst Airbnb experience I ever had. I had booked a room at Catherine’s Hostel from February 27th to March 13th and from March 21st to April 1st. The first week everything was fine; I had a single bathroom which was quite fine and so forth. However, a few weeks before March 13th Catherine told me I couldn’t stay in her flat any longer because she had too many guests and there was no room left for me. She wanted to arrange another hostel on Airbnb for me, but the room was located in the 19th arrondissement, which is quite dangerous for someone who’s new to Paris. Even my local friends suggested I not stay there.

I’ve told her this whole situation is unacceptable: after all, I booked the room prior to my arrival and confirmed it before I came to Paris. Now I’m here but I’m not allowed to have a room? This is completely unreasonable. I told her I can’t accept how she dealt with this situation; she took a strong stand against me saying I couldn’t stay at her place, even if I had made a reservation. She said she would give me a full refund if I couldn’t deal with the change. I asked her to do so and found myself another place to stay. I was supposed to receive a refund of at least €300, but for some unknown reason in the end I got €255. I didn’t argue with her because I didn’t want to ruin my holiday mood. If you’re not fond of unanticipated situations in your travelers, I suggest you avoid this Airbnb in case of any trouble.

Airbnb Customer Service is Filled with Liars, Plain and Simple

My boyfriend and I were looking to book a place for two nights. I was booking this through the Airbnb app. After maybe four attempts, my card kept getting declined, so I said to myself, “okay, I’ll try again tomorrow.” I woke up the next day, and my card was charged. I checked my emails and there was no confirmation of my transaction. I called my bank, and they told me that in fact I was charged by them. I called Airbnb to tell them that I was charged but didn’t receive confirmation, so I’d like to cancel and re-book. I decided that I wouldn’t book at this place, so we booked another place. After several phone calls, talking with various different representatives, and receiving different answers, I couldn’t get anyone to locate the payment. I called my bank; they told me to wait 15 days, and then to open a claim. I did this, and visa returned my money within 2-3 days. I just received a notice in the mail that the transaction had been reversed. They still want me to pay the amount, even though we did not stay there, did not confirm the booking, and received no confirmation of this transaction, other than my bank confirming it. Airbnb went on to deny that I contacted them, even though I have many emails between myself and them. I don’t know what to do about this anymore…

Airbnb Refund Hell: Designed to be Complicated?

Airbnb has no mechanism for dealing with outright reservation mistakes. I inadvertently clicked on the book button when I just wanted to see how much a stay was going to be. It took several days before a refund could even be considered because the steps to initiate a refund is kept in a deep, dark hole accessed through a maze of misinformation and platitudes. There is no easy 24-hour buyer’s remorse option which should be standard for cases like mine. To initiate a refund, you have to get out of the main website and go to a resolution site. The steps initially shown for refunds are misleading. It is not as easy as it sounds; you do not get all of your money back.

The whole refund process is extremely stressful because Airbnb does not make it easy, period. I had to contact the poor, unsuspecting host and tell them I made a mistake and didn’t mean to book at the time. I’m lucky the host was sympathetic and you will need yours to be, if ever you make the same mistake I did. Why? Because Airbnb will ask them to advance half the refund amount. Who does that? Who would advance a substantial amount of money on behalf of someone they don’t know? Apparently, 100% of the money that I paid first goes to Airbnb. Airbnb did refund me 50% of what I paid right away, less the booking fee. As for the remaining 50%, they absolutely have to keep this money for 60 days for reasons unknown before they release it to the host.

If Airbnb has my money, why can’t they just refund me? Why do they even have to involve the host who doesn’t have any of my money and who hasn’t been involved in the whole process? Why even release the money to the host 60 days after the fact when they already know that the booking was made by mistake? There is a lot that can be done to make this whole process easier but I believe Airbnb set out to make the whole refund process complicated. It’s like Airbnb is hoping that people just walk away in frustration and forget about getting their money back. That way they get to keep it all. Even if it’s not intentional, this unwieldy way of getting refunded one’s money is shameful of a big, extremely profitable company.

After Host Cancelled, Customer Service Stalls Giving Refund

After hearing a lot about Airbnb, I decided to make a reservation. I booked a home in Loma Linda, Ca, confirmed with the host, and paid the rent. About a week later, Airbnb told me the host had cancelled, and offered a refund. I should have grabbed it then, but I was stunned about the cancellation. A few hours later they told me they would contact the host if I was still interested in staying there for the dates I had booked. I said yes. I also contacted the host, who told me she had never cancelled the reservation, but Airbnb had inadvertently cancelled it. I emailed Airbnb again, asking for some type of confirmation of my “renewed” reservation. Well, needless to say, this went on for some time, in which I kept emailing, and getting very delayed replies (2-3 days later) saying that they still had not been able to contact the host and confirm availability. Two different stories were floating around.

I finally decided to give up, and call and ask for my money back. If you like elevator music, you can enjoy sitting on hold for 30 minutes or longer with Airbnb customer service, listening to their selection. Then a representative came on, sounding like he’d just woken up. He was absolutely no help whatsoever, telling me that my case had been “escalated” to a level that he could not interfere with. I just finally got a confirmation of my cancellation, and hopefully will see a complete refund in the next five business days. However, I will never use this service again. VRBO is far better, in my humble opinion.