Airbnb Changing its Mind Regarding Refunds

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In February 2020, we booked a trip to Hawaii for two weeks for July 2020. Due to the pandemic, the trip was obviously cancelled. One of the stays was only offering a 50% refund, which didn’t make much sense in the first place since we are in Canada and we aren’t even legally allowed to enter the U.S. until at least July 31.

I reached out to Airbnb regarding this, and the support agent mentioned that in order to be eligible for a full refund, I would have to wait for the extenuating circumstance policy to be updated. But if I wanted, I could still get a 50% refund now, and the balance would be refunded if the policy was extended. This is all in writing, through the support inbox.

A few days ago, I saw that the policy was extended for reservations until July 31, hence the refund of the balance would be possible. But when I contacted them, they said it wasn’t part of the policy and that I wasn’t entitled to a refund for the balance after all. I’ve attached the screenshots of the conversation with the support agent, who confirmed in writing that I’d get a refund for the balance.

Getting a hold of someone was a challenge. I tried to reach them for five consecutive days without getting a single answer, until someone finally answered. After some arguing back and forth (just asking to get what was promised by them), I was offered a 90% refund of the balance.

Why they decided to keep the extra 10% remains shrouded in mystery. Also, why they would risk aggravating and permanently losing a good customer for a balance of less than $200 in total is completely baffling. I’ve never seen a company make such a stupid, shortsighted decision in my entire life.

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