When I listed a new property on Airbnb – seeing as I had listed once before, but had since changed my address, phone number and bank accounts – I sorted the new information about me, on my Airbnb page. Lovely, or so I thought. Then I got to the ‘preferred payout’ page. I attempted to change my bank details, and the gates to hell opened and welcomed me in.
First I tried to delete the defunct bank account, in order to put the new one in. No way. Impossible. Then I clicked on ‘add payout method’ (or whatever it says), and I felt so happy that I was able to do this. I added my PayPal details, and then my life took on a role that no horror movie comes close to; not even hell itself matches this. In fact, I think I need a month in a sanatorium to help me get well (if I ever recover). The message I got was ‘we will call you to verify it’s you.’
The problem is I cannot change my phone number (the new one) on their payout page. Interesting that on my profile page it was simple, just a new phone number. However, when it came to the payout page, it was impossible. Not possible in any way shape or form to give them my new number to verify me. Why? because very smartly, from my profile page’s new phone number, they have not simply changed my number on the payout page. I guess this would force them to pay me right?
I have recorded the amount of messages, and phone calls (to and from people who cannot speak English employed in their ‘support’ department). As it’s obvious, Airbnb is shipping their ‘call out’ problems to places like India. Phone companies do this too. It’s not unusual; it’s just hair tearing, mind-blowingly insane, and annoying. So far, and still going. I’ve contacted them over 52 times, messaging and calling… impossible. In the meantime, I had a guest and was owed money, hence my frantic efforts. Would I get the money? Heck no!
I decided to write another message to some poor person, who struggles to write in English, never mind understand it, and is obviously trying their best – needs the job and all that. I get it, but I need the money due to me. I translated my messages using Google into every language it allows. In the desperate hope that one, just one of the ‘helpers’ would get the message in their language, and so could not possibly misunderstand me. I also used English often. Nothing happened. I kept getting the same message, which caused me to take tranquilizers. ‘The money has been paid into xxx bank account, and you should have it.’
What do they not understand here? I’ve explained why I won’t get my money. I’ve explained clearly that it’s impossible to change my phone number on their payout page. They’ve blocked that one. I’ve explained that I do not own that account and haven’t for over ten years. I’ve explained that the bank has not got me on their books (they keep asking me to call the ‘bank’?) and I cannot add my new account either.
I then started writing to their ‘help centre’, using very simple language, like children speak. I put a full stop between every word to help the poor person, who cannot easily understand English, to take it easy and read slowly. I was hoping I’d get some luck. Doing it this way took a lot of time and effort. I even Googled easy words, so as to make it as simple as possible to understand only two things: I do not have that bank account. Closed. Gone. Unknown. Impossible. I cannot change my phone number, because Airbnb has blocked that part. Impossible. Cannot. No way on the planet to do this.
Still, this very morning, I got another message from another person (not their fault, I get it) to tell me, in the best English he or she could put together, which was only just understandable, (I’m educated, and I had to reread the drivel over three times to understand what on earth was being written) that the money due to me, is in my xxx bank account (the closed one, to which I don’t have access)… and would I please call my bank (not my bank, explained over 52 times and translated into every language, plus used very simple language a nursery school child would understand to help whoever has to deal with this).
So where does this leave me? I’ve now eaten an entire cold pizza, because I’m trying so hard to keep calm. I could bite my own arm off. It’s impossible. I’m not going to try again. I’m going to somehow get these people to pay me, in whatever way it takes, and I’m now searching for a new hosting company. The fact that every single day, a new message in broken English is sent to me makes me not want to open my computer, because the rage it incites is destroying my life. It’s not worth it. They know it. I know it.
They are hoping, if they irritate me enough, that I’ll just leave this, and move on, right? I don’t think so! Here comes every single social media platform open to me, including a letter to Trump for what it’s worth. I will not stop, and in fact, hit ‘send’, on my messages to social media about ten times a day. Just to cheer me up and help others avoid these thieves, and because they should not get away with their scamming people. If it were possible to speak to someone who had a brain cell, this could be sorted out easily. So easily I wouldn’t be in this horrific position or frame of mind.
Please if you wish to host, for whatever reason, stay clear of these people. Unless you want to host for free, get your place torn to pieces by the ‘visitors’, without compensation from Airbnb, and are hosting for charity. The likelihood of being paid, if there is even a slight problem on their side, is almost nil.