Airbnb’s Unethical Service Fees

Let me start by saying I am a host and other people have cancelled on me before. I also use Airbnb to travel to other sites. It is currently April. I booked a trip for July for work back in January. However, funding for my trip was cancelled and I am no longer able to go on the trip. I wrote to the host and asked if she would be willing to cancel my trip and issue a full refund. She said, “Yes of course! Let me just figure out how!” So I waited and waited and later got notification that she acknowledged my cancellation and issued a refund of about 3/4 of the money she said she would. Meanwhile, Airbnb kept $70 of the original amount I paid, citing that they were “service fees” and, therefore, nonrefundable. A service rep wrote to congratulate me that the host refunded the room outside of the strict policy (less than she said she would refund). I responded asking to be refunded the $70 services fees. Back and forth, back and forth. And still the answer was “no, the service fees will not be refunded.” Note that it is early April and there are still over three months before my planned check-in date. As a host, I KNOW that the likelihood of re-booking is high. Airbnb has a valuation of billions of dollars and now I understand why: keeping money for services NOT rendered and unethically keeping any money they are able to process… simply because “you agreed to” when this caveat is written in fine print somewhere. The attitude reminds me of street vendors in 3rd world countries. I’m not opening a dispute with my credit card company and hoping to find an alternative to Airbnb to both host and locate other go-to destinations.

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

2 Comments

  1. Bear in mind that airbnb service fees are for THEIR/the platform service which you HAVE used. Searching, booking, processing the payment, using customer service. You have used their services even though you did not stay in an accomodation marketed through their platform.

  2. It clearly states the service fees are non-refundable; I have no idea why you’re complaining. If you have an issue, don’t book through AirBnb

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