As a Airbnb host in a country where Airbnb does not deposit into hosts’ accounts, I receive some of my payments via Western Union. This has proved successful; Airbnb sends you an email when payment is made quoting a Western Union reference number. I go into Western Union, quote the number, and collect my cash or cheque.
It was great until last week. Airbnb did not send an email with a reference number. After seven hours online with the support center, they gave me a reference code. Immediately on seeing the code I told them it was not a valid Western Union one. Basically a Western Union code (known as a MTCN) starts with MTCN and is followed by ten numbers (no letters).
They supplied a reference with less than ten digits and mainly letters. I explained this to them and they told me to reach out to Western Union. This cannot be done quite simply because I do not have a valid reference number.
After seven hours of back and forth yesterday, Airbnb stopped responding. I started the support process this morning and eventually received a message saying this support case was closed. I then sent through a query, asking how can it be closed if it is not resolved? To which I received the reply: this support case is closed.
Here I sit wondering how to get my 500 USD (slightly over) and how to feed my family. We host not to earn a little pocket money but as a family income. Basically it is the only income we have, so here I am with over 330 five-star reviews, Superhost status for three years… and penniless. Thanks for caring Airbnb. I care which is why I share.