Absolutely Frustrated with Last Minute Cancellations

My wife and I are writing to express our absolute frustration with Airbnb. We have had our reservations cancelled, at the last minute, three separate times in the last two years. The latest cancellation was for a stay in St. Louis, and our reservation was finalized almost a year ago. We aren’t questioning the host’s reason for the cancellation, but each of these cancellations was received just days before we were to arrive. Each of these reservations was made so that we could attend a specific event in St. Louis, and since the cancellations were done so close to the event, there were no properties left to rent anywhere close to the event venue at all. No hotel or bed and breakfast rooms were available either. Airbnb offered us a refund or an additional $50. for another Airbnb property is pretty laughable compared to the time, effort, and extra expense we have had to make to even locate a rentable property that is quite a distance (12 miles compared to 5 blocks) away from the event. We also planned to do other things in the area where the original property was located, but now that won’t be happening. We should also mention that, for each of these cancelled reservations, we were (and are for this latest cancellation) in the middle of a vacation. Trying to deal with this situation while on the road has been extremely difficult. We couldn’t be more frustrated with this situation and are wondering if Airbnb can give us a reason why we should continue to book with them.

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  1. Everything up to your last sentence is answered by your last sentence (or this entire site, if you prefer). Stop booking places through airbnb. It is a scam. Sure you might get lucky some of the time, but why continue to bash your head against a wall? I wouldn’t have booked again after the first time, but you say you’ve done it three times? Use a bonafide hotel next time. airbnb is rife with scammers after your money, and there is nothing at all to protect you (unless you’re blessed with the ability to identify the 5 or 10 percent that aren’t trying to scam you).

  2. Things happen.
    We never cancelled a reservation on our guests, however the water tank did broke in the middle of the winter when Alex was out of town.
    He is a general contractor and was on his way back but our guest decided to get a hotel room for the remainder of his stay.
    There’s also other problems that can happen, like the sewer back up, a break in, a previous guest damaging the place, your host getting sick and not having a back up plan, etc.
    We used to have a stove in our 2 bedroom suite.
    Very few guests actually used it, nobody ever cleaned it and a few definitely abused it.
    The last straw was when a long term guest – a couple that stayed with us while their home was being renovated, never cooked for 3 weeks as they were leaving early, returning late and probably ate out.
    However, on their last night the cooked with so much garlic and spices that the entire suite smelled like a Carribean road side diner. It was during winter so they didn’t open the windows, probably found the kitchen fan too loud.. Who knows.
    Luckily we weren’t booked back to back, because we actually had to wash the walls and it took about 10 days to get the smell out.
    Needless to say the stove went out and now we tell all our guests that cooking is only allowed outside, on the BBQ or on its side burner.
    However, if we were booked back to back, we would’ve probably cancelled all upcoming reservations instead of risking a bad review and an unpleasant stay for our guest..
    My advice?
    If it’s really important to attend an event/conference just book a hotel instead.
    They have hundreds of rooms they can substitute for unexpected problems while a ABnB host might only have the one or a couple at most.
    Happy trails!

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