Abandoned by Airbnb When Berlin Host Cancelled

I was already in Germany and moving around, enjoying the flexibility that Airbnb offers. I made a booking request on July 19th for two nights, from the 25th-27th and then left Berlin for a campsite for a few days. I wasn’t able to check my account again until the 24th but found that the host had accepted my request the day after, on the 20th. So far so good.

Unfortunately the morning of the 24th, four days after she’d accepted the booking, the host cancelled on me. A crisis of some kind. I was obviously not pleased. I contacted Airbnb to ensure they knew of the problem and begged them to call me ASAP. I was sure they would call but they didn’t. I logged on again that evening (I have a very old phone) to find a cursory and unhelpful response. An insulting offer of £4 compensation, some very stupid suggestions of alternative places to stay that were well outside the S+U Bahn network, and no phone call at all. I had no choice but to rebook at 12 hours’ notice for twice the price.

I resolved to pursue this matter when I got home on July 27th. On checking my email, I discovered Airbnb had informed me on July 26th they considered the matter closed. On the 28th I made it clear it was not in any way closed and asked them to call me. On the 29th I was called by someone who required me to explain the whole story to him from scratch. He offered me $25 in compensation which I said was nowhere near enough. For all the trauma and expense, I believe they should pay all of my last two nights (£80) if not more for having abandoned me when I needed help. The Airbnb representative assured me I’d be called again shortly by his superior. It is now August 9th and I’ve heard nothing. They’re ignoring my emails.

My faith in Airbnb has been torpedoed. I’ve just used the opportunity of reviewing my last host to post this complaint about them (I told her I was going to do this and she didn’t have a problem with it). It doesn’t seem to have appeared though. They’re watching out for this kind of thing.

UPDATE: Interesting development. A few hours after submitting my story Airbnb contacted me. They apologised, refunded the £78 for my last two days in Berlin, and gave me a £50 coupon code for my next stay. They did the right thing… eventually.

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4 Comments

  1. Hello sir. My name is Mary I’ve used air bnb for the last 8 months…my fiance and I decided we can save moving costs by using air bnb for a year and save up over the course of one year to rent an apartment since here in Boston it’s about 5,000 to move in (broker fee, first, last, security) rent here is 1400 CHEAPEST for a one bedroom which is a bargin. We knew we would have to separate the stays up since no one would host us longer than one to a couple months.
    Needless to say we have had 6 different hosts. 1st host convinced me air bnb let’s you pay cash “it’s only a platform to find a host and payments are left up to us” he stated. I knew immediately why he did this. He started doing major construction with no permits. Literally knocking down walls and tearing up the entire bathroom and kitchen leaving us no running water. We opened a case within the 24 hours. One day I came home after having to shower at my mother’s and he had gotten saw dust over all my belongings and the door was closed so you can only imagine how much work he was doing. We took our belongings and left loosing 600$ for the rest of our stay and knew we weren’t going to see a penny since we didn’t pay over air bnb but I’m a student and got no work done due to the noise level. I knew that it was my own stupidity.
    Next home was filthy and disgusting. I opened a case and sent plenty of pictures. But I said to myself I’ll just leave her a review and tell all the nasty parts of her “home”.
    Next home we had promised parking my boyfriend is a Longshoreman and works up to 40 hrs at a time and 80 hr weeks. There wasn’t even street parking he had to walk a HALF MILE EVERY TIME HE PARKED FOR A MONTH. once again we had an open case after 24 hrs and nothing came of it once again.
    Next home was one of the worst; I had another case open within 24 hrs due to roaches mice, crack cocaine smoke, and domestic violence. Once again no school work got done. We were supposed to stay 2 months but we left a month early and Thank God we were paying month to month.
    Next home we had to be emergency removed and replaced to another air bnb because he put me in a different room than listed we were promised TV, AC, and a fridge BUT we were put in a completely occupied 90 degree room with a tiny dusty fan. Closet filled, drawers filled, completely occupied. Then it was the bed bugs that’s when air bnb said we had to find another listing to be emergency placed to but they said I had to be the one to find a place for the same price within 20 minutes before arriving.
    Needless to say I went to an air bnb that had no reviews but I had no choice since it was the only instant booking in my area. Now this place was disgusting too and I had belongings stolen from my “private room”. The host came in while I was changing and also while I wasn’t home to turn a fan off due to electricity bill during the middle of a heat wave TWICE. He would wake up at 2 pm and walk around in his bathrobe all day he made a living renting out 3 rooms with the same bathroom while listing it as semi-private thinking okay they must not shower and just use the bathroom. Well needless to say there was hair everywhere, soap scum, flies, trash overflowing. We stayed a month less once again. Now this is the final and worst part.
    We went to an air bnb and my fiance dropped the keys down the elevator shaft and we called the host who said no prob I’ll call my landlord and get a new one see you in a half hour. 15 minutes goes by and the police and landlord of the host we’re knocking on the front door saying the host is illegally renting to us and leave immediately. Well we know our rights and once you pay for a 30 or more day stay in Boston you have an incredible amount of rights. The cop was just mediating and got pissed and left because it’s a civil case so we shut the door in the landlords face. And said well we will just call a key Smith and bill it to the landlord which is legal in Boston if they won’t provide a key. Next was an email from air bnb saying they canceled our reservation and needed to leave the premises by 8 pm which is when our rights went out the window. My fiance said he would rather sleep in a hotel and borrow money from my family for it since they said a total of 10-15 days before I see the money. BUT air bnb convinced me to use it again that he would find me a 5 star review super host HAHAHA WHAT A JOKE. So they found me a host who took my month long stay money and said you have to arrive in 2 DAYS since I don’t live there and can’t give you keys, see you in a couple days meanwhile I just trusted air bnb again I couldn’t believe this while I have everything I own in the car with me and she just stole my money for 2 nights. So we made an incredibly scary decision to justove into a hotel and loss everything we saved over the course of our bank lovely stays but if it meant a place to live and do homework then I would spend the savings THATS HOW MUCH I wanted to never speak to air bnb again. My mom thankfully lent me the money till the refund comes for the hotel well 10 days later and 1200 dollars in debt with my mom we got the money back, not 15 minutes after receiving the refund air bnb took 1500$ from me on a double charge on the house I was evicted from! Now since we have no money for the hotel and owe my mother 1200$ for the hotel stay we are living in our car. And I’m writing to this community for support because I’m still supposed to be at my reservation and I’m living in my car. No money for food, no money for gas which I will be fired soon since I can’t drive to work, we are probably going to be towed any day now since we are parked in a parking lot overnight for a week now. Now I was really naseaus these past few days and I spent my last money on a pregnancy test and I’m pregnant. How can I live like this? Air bnb ruined our lives. I have been on the phone with them for hours on a daily basis and all I hear is “yes you have been double charged but I don’t have the ability to give the refund but you’ll hear back ASAP. I have sent 18 emails and have spent hours and hours on the phone every day about 5-10 times a day explaining the story over and over and over. I think I’m going to lose mind. I wish someone would just give me what’s rightfully mine we have saved this money over the course of 8 entire month of HELL. now it’s all gone. Every penny. Over a double charge no one will fix, email me back, or just a freaking curtisy call. We are such hard working and good people. I’ll stop rambling! I wanted to know how and what you did to make them simply care….

  2. I quite like “Paul”‘s comments 🙂 Nina, why don’t you take up some English classes? You can’t write a single sentence in correct English.
    ‘I you seem’ LOOOOL

  3. So you didn’t check emails for 4 days and then moan that Airbnb doesn’t pay out à la minute? somebody is crooked here…..

    • Paul, I you seem to enjoy writing negative/rude answers to every post here. The person above had his booking cancelled one day before arrival hence, it had nothing to do with failing to read e-mails. Please “Paul”find something better to do: Go out, have a coffe, take a walk in the park, read a good book. Your answers here does not help anyone.

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