$1500 Gift Card Funds in Deactivated Account

This is a copy of the email I finally wrote out of utter desperation to hopefully get the attention of someone with some authority to resolve my issue. The letter is self explanatory. At this time, I haven’t heard anything back. I’ll repost and hopefully have some good information to share whenever I finally get some attention and a resolution. I addressed it to Aisling Hassell and Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb.

Here is my issue in short: Airbnb is holding $1500 from gift cards in my daughter’s disabled account and I have not been able to get these funds transferred to my account after four calls to your customer service reps for over a week. A year and a half ago, my then 15-year-old daughter opened an Airbnb account with my knowledge and permission. She entered her information correctly and accurately, and supplied a picture and information from her passport as her identification.

Nowhere in the process was she eliminated as underage. She was allowed to proceed and went on to make two reservations for trips she and her father, and she and I took. At no time was her age an issue. If it had been, she would have told me and I would have opened an account for us to use.

Last Monday, June 11, she was attempting to make a reservation in Chicago for our trip in July, and entered $1500 in Airbnb gift cards for the planned two-week stay. She was promptly contacted and told her account was deactivated due to her age. The $1500 is locked in this inactivated account.

I immediately called your customer service number on Tuesday and explained the problem. Your rep said she was unable to resolve my issue and I was assured that someone with that level of authority would call to rectify the situation. When no one had contacted me on Friday, I called again that morning and was advised to open an Airbnb account so the funds could be transferred. Again, I was told that the person on the phone had no authority to help. She said another, higher-level person would contact me within the next half-hour and help resolve this problem.

Once again, no call or email came, and I called back Friday afternoon. For the third time, the rep said she had no authority to help, and the situation had been communicated to another department and I had to wait to be contacted. There was no way for me to contact them, and they would contact me at a later undetermined time. I finally called again today, Tuesday, June 19th, and got the same story from yet the fourth customer service rep.

He had me add a payment method to my account. I’m hoping that is only to have a way for the $1500 to be transferred to my account. Beyond that – same song, 4th verse – he cannot help me and has referred my issue to this mysterious department that can resolve my problem, but just never does it. On top of that, he insinuated that my daughter had been dishonest in the information she originally entered to open her account.

This infuriated me; she used her passport information. Airbnb allowed her to open the account and successfully make two different reservations for stays in New York in February and Chicago in April this year. This is due to Airbnb’s oversight in not recognizing her age. Please look into this. I now have had $1500 tied up in an account for over a week that I still cannot access.

It is unbelievable that there is no one in your first line customer service representatives who have the authority to truly help your customers and not just have to pass us along to another, unreachable, unanswering department. I would appreciate any help you can give me in resolving this issue as soon as possible.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. This is a lie of airbnb!!! They stole my money swell over $600 for no reason they do this to a lot of people and are frauds and using amazon to do this too! Just because you broke a term of service they cannot steal your money! They said I broke a term of service and won’t even tell me which one stole my personal information as well. These ppl shaming you are liars and airbnb will see it’s karma and day to burn in hell. They have scammed many ppl. Including me who broke no terms.

  2. To be honest , Ron King, contacting the CEO can often be the most direct and effective way to be heard.

    They are the people who truly care about their company and represent the company legally and financially in every respect.

  3. Terms of Agreement clearly stipulate that “legal minimum age in country of residence is applied.” You and your daughter willingly ignored this and you’re wasting precious customer service time. A 15-year old with 1500 bucks in gift vouchers? This smells of money laundering.

  4. I’m not sure how people can be so stupid. Who the hell emails the CEO of a multi billion dollar company with some gripe?

    Here’s the bad news sweetie. You and your daughter broke the Terms of Service by attempting to book under age. This is your fault, not Airbnb’s. You sound a lot like you’re trying to pull some sort of scam.

    Gift cards cannot be transferred around to different accounts.

    Learn some personal responsibility, accountability and common sense.

    • Ron King & Mitch you both got some f*cking nerves. Airbnb defaulted on their own contractual terms. “The legal minimal age in the country of residence is applied.” ?.?. What in the entire h*’ll does that means? What is the legal minimal age in the country where she resides 18, 17, 14 or 8 ? There’s that gray area/loop hole.
      In most cases, if not majority of websites provide a numerical number of the legal age requirement.
      For reference purposes only one “Does Not” need be 18 years of age to legally consent.
      Although the account was set up error on behalf of Airbnb. That still does not give them the right to withhold funds that was not used for purposes intended.
      Keep in mind this is a multi-billion company. At bare minimal the very least the IT department could & should do, is keep their firewalls active & up to date at all times.
      Or does Airbnb set up its website in a way for such purposes described by the author.
      To the author, what are the terms & conditions of Airbnb’s gift cards? I would either do some research or request in writing Airbnb clause on deactivated accounts.
      If all else fails contact the Office of the Inspector General.

      Best Regards.

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