Airbnb Denied Refund for Rental in Austin, Texas

I was in Austin, Texas for the week of February 6th, 2017. I decided to stay an additional night and went back to Airbnb again. The place I had booked was not available for Friday night, February 10th, so I booked a place in an area of North Austin called Hyde Park. From the photos it looked like a sweet deal. I went by the location Friday morning to drop my car off and was quite shocked by the area: it was run down, “no parking” signs were everywhere, and there were several gun concealment signs. The few people in the area did not look inviting at all. Given the air of the location, I was concerned about leaving my car parked on the street as well as my safety staying the night there. I promptly cancelled my reservation and booked a hotel. Given my concerns I requested a refund from the host and then Airbnb. Both refused. In one of the replies from customer service, the agent stated, “…we have issued our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic.”

Talk about just telling a customer to f*** off. The bottom line is I feel I should have my money refunded. The area of this rental is unsafe for any visitor. Airbnb deleted my review. My review was not inappropriate nor did it indicate anything about the inside of the unit. It simply stated my concerns about the area. If Airbnb insists on keeping my money, my review should be visible for others to read and decide for themselves. If there were other past reviews of this rental that did indicate a problem with the location or safety and Airbnb deleted them, then shame on them for their actions.

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


  1. Reviews. I think it is very important they put in good and bad reviews. Like Trip Adviser and Expedia. I am a host and with that come responsibility to your guest. Exactly like a hotel.
    It’s a business and by getting bad reviews it is part of learning to lift your game.
    When you read a range of reviews you can see a pattern. You cannot please everyone that’s just human nature. But if you censor reviews your not only putting people at risk you can ruin it for those of us making an effort.

    I have heard the horror stories from people that have bad experiences, especially young women.

    Airbnb you owe it to your consumer to show it warts and all. Let the buyer then make an informed choice.

    I have booked into hotels that had some crap reviews. But you compare them with the good ones. Then as an adult you decide.

    Airbnb needs to grow up. Not sugar coat it’s tevies. That’s not good business.

    One stuff up can loose you a good client, because trust is gone.

    That is the cash cow of Airbnb if they wake up.

    Trust is what we are selling here.

  2. More BS from Jan. Unsupported drivel

    “As for reviews – When a company has control of what ‘outside’ reviews make it or get canned – those are not reviews – they are merely subjective & censored portrayals of ONLY what Airbnb WANTS you to read to keep YOU as a BLIND sheep coming back to their company again and again.”

    Sigh. Maybe some closure Jan

    • Thank you David for your thoughts and comments, they are duly noted. At first I considered you to be a huge distraction – however, it’s been pointed out to me the gift horse that you are by helping keep the topics alive and open. Thank you

      For everyone else who might still be concerned about this review issue:

      (You might want to stop reading this about now David if this is causing you any distress or heartburn)

      Verbatim from the Airbnb Policy Page:
      “By posting content in public areas on Airbnb, you agree to abide by these guidelines and all other Airbnb policies. We reserve the right to remove any content, in whole or part, that violates these guidelines or our Terms of Service,
      **** or for any other reason at OUR sole discretion.” ****

      – Content that refers to the details of an Airbnb investigation

      In addition to the above, the following guidelines apply to specific types of content on Airbnb:

      – Reviews that do not represent the author’s personal experience or that of their travel companions

      Airbnb has taken GREAT care in the writing of the Terms/Policy pages walking a VERY gray line as to interpretations. The ridiculous statement ‘that reviews that do not represent the author’s personal experience will be removed’ – Last time I checked I was still the owner of my home/property and therefore my review was my personal experience – therefore reviews that DO represent the author’s personal experience are in fact removed also.

      This is an email I received from airbnb notifying me of my review being removed:

      Lizz, Feb 6, 02:07 CST:
      “We don’t allow reviews to mention any actions taken by Airbnb, including investigations or mediations in our Resolution Center. With that being said; I’ve removed your review from xxx’s account as you did refer to an open Airbnb case”

      As a HOST these are exactly the type of reviews I NEED to be made aware of when considering a Guest party for a stay in my property. And I am sure most other HOSTS would agree with me on that one. Airbnb is only damaging themselves by disallowing the review of a well-documented case to be deleted from the site. These guests WILL be back – and unfortunately they will damage the home/property of another Host. And slowly, but surely us Hosts will delete ourselves from their site one by one – as I already have done. And yes David (because I KNOW you could not look away)- I will sludge on and ONLY when the admin of this site personally decides he has seen/heard enough and makes the decision to BLOCK me – will I stop sharing with (and trying to SAVE) the other victims of the airbnb carnage.

      And it should be noted that – It’s amazing what a few years can do – considering in 2012 this is what was stated in the terms/policy for reviews:

      “We believe in free speech, transparency, and clear communication. Our community is built on trust, and trust comes from honest conversation. Therefore, we ask for reviews that are truthful, clear, and helpful to both the review’s recipient and the wider Airbnb community. Airbnb’s default position is not to delete, censor, or edit reviews. However, there are some cases in which we may take the extraordinary step of removing a review or disallowing review responses.”

      Any sane persons interpretation: name calling, threats, damaging personal information released – those are reasons for reviews to be deleted. Not: someone trashed my house and damaged furniture to the tune of $2800 to the Host – and Host has NO other recourse than to contact Resolution Center to ASK for refund, because NO actual damage monies are collected and retained prior to guest stay.

  3. Unfortunately you have entered into Airbnb’s world and there is nothing you can do about it now friend. Their canned – stock response is heard throughout the land by just about everyone that encounters a problem with them “…we have issued our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic.” I personally find this sentence degrading and insulting, as if they are talking to a 12 yr old.

    Airbnb has no problem with taking money from Guests or keeping it from Hosts. My only guess is that they figure there are so many folks on the planet that even if they burn EVERYONE of us – one person at a time – they still won’t get through us all. Just take a look at the live World Population Clock:

    I’m sure they have it playing live on big screens throughout their corporate offices. And underneath all those wonderful screens – the words: Ha.Ha.

    As for reviews – When a company has control of what ‘outside’ reviews make it or get canned – those are not reviews – they are merely subjective & censored portrayals of ONLY what Airbnb WANTS you to read to keep YOU as a BLIND sheep coming back to their company again and again.

    The best thing you can do now is work HARD to expose them in the best manner that you can. Take to Social Media, tell your friends & family. EVERY person that shares, even if they only save ONE other person – then they have done a great job!

    Chin up my friend – Airbnb WON’T stand behind you – but all the GOOD folks here WILL…. Take care~

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