I recently went onto Airbnb looking for an apartment in Amsterdam to rent for a weekend. I found a perfect one, sent it to my friend, and we all agreed to book. I clicked on the “contact your host” button on the Airbnb website, checked with the host if my dates were available, and got an email back from an Airbnb email address with a price and reference to confirm and pay. So I paid. I then got an email from the host introducing himself. I thought it was weird that he had my email but then thought we at least we can communicate about things to do and see and the time of our arrival. He then emailed to say that Airbnb did not validate my payment and that there was a refund coming back to me; Airbnb would send another payment reference. I contacted Airbnb about my refund and was told they had no information or record about a booking. I hoped for the best and that this was some sort of mistake.
I was constantly sending emails to Airbnb but getting little to no response back then finally I was told I hadn’t requested a booking or sent payment through them. I forwarded the email I received back to them. Then the worst email came:
“We are sorry to inform you this email did not come from us at Airbnb. Although it has an Airbnb email address and has been made to look like the company’s email, it is not one of ours.”
How had I received this email, from someone who had my email address and knew I was looking? The host of the apartment had emailed me back from the contact sent through Airbnb. I contacted Airbnb again to see what safeguards they put in place for their customers. Again I waited constantly for a response to be told they can’t do anything as the payment wasn’t through them. I am still trying to get to the bottom of this and see what they put in place for their customers if anything, and if they don’t why they don’t. Why don’t they validate their hosts like their websites states? Whatever happened to companies safe guarding their customers at the end of the day? Airbnb put me in direct contact with this scammer. I am still currently trying to sort this out but the more and more I search the more and more I see I am not the only person. In fact, there are hundreds out there just like me. Do not book through Airbnb. I’m a little over £1000 down the drain and nothing can help me.