Awful and Stressful Experience Contacting Airbnb

The host was unreachable. I booked this reservation for my 21-year-old son. The host did not leave a building key and promised to let my son in by buzzing him in through his cell phone. My son was left out in the freezing cold a few days in a row because the host would not respond. He could not get into the building. We wrote to the host on Airbnb and barely got responses. He promised to leave us the building key but never did. He then claimed my son lost the key and was going to charge us for it; he never left it. This was an awful and very stressful experience. My son left the premises after just a few days because he did not have easy access to the apartment.

I am disputing the charge with my credit card company but it seems that I will have to eat this cost because Airbnb is completely unreachable. There is no email address to contact them. Their help on the site has questions and answers but no phone number. You can never speak to anyone. I used Google to search for a contact number, was on hold for over a half hour, and then hung up. No one answered if that was even the right number. Do not use Airbnb. You will be throwing away your money.

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

3 Comments

  1. Mine is a story of being scammed by the host – without ever having spent any time on the property! My husband, children and I were hoping to spend a week in Punta Cana, DR and I looked on airbnb as a possible alternative to a hotel stay.This would be our second stay with airbnb. The first trip- two years prior, went smoothly so I had no doubt this would work out well. I pressed “book” because under the “book” button, it stated, “Your credit card will not be charged”.
    About 1 hour later, I then contact the host to let her know that I was having trouble getting flights to PC that week and could I extend the return date ? No answer! I sent another email to the host Julia, stating again, that I may have to cancel because I could not get flights. NO REPLY . I was alarmed when I saw my credit card was charged $1729.00 so I contacted Julia again! I received a standard reply about the rules of the house, etc. and at the end of this long email she said that the dates could not be extended but that I could book at another property in the complex. I told her that I would probably need to cancel in that case and also asked if perhaps she could take me out of that week and into another week. NO REPLY YET CC WAS CHARGED!

    When I realized this host was not responding to any of my concerns, I cancelled the reservation by hitting the cancel button (less than 24 hours after her one and only reply). Julia credited me $812 instead of the full 1729.00 I contacted Airbnb that same day and very long story short – I called daily and they took 3 weeks to “resolve” the issue.
    I pointed out that I cancelled the reservation less than 24 hours after host replied, and 45 DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP was scheduled!!! When Airbnb finally got around to addressing this, they emailed saying asked the host if she would refund the $917.00 and “Julia said no” Really??? Oh OK then, go ahead and keep nearly $1K of my hard earned money !

    I have pleaded with Airbnb to get my money back and explained that the host not only had 45 days to book the property SHE BOOKED IT! I also noticed the listing on TripAdvisor and again, that week was booked! Julia lost nothing! She gained 917.oo of my hard earned money that I saved for nearly a year so that I could take my children and husband on a vacation!

    Airbnb said Julia has a strict cancellation policy and that there was nothing they could do!!!

    AIRBNB has proved to be as unethical as their scamming host! Btw, the host advertises $75 per night but she has nothing under $190 on “off season weeks” and charges $750/nt for Christmas week! That, of course, is her business and not mine! The fact that she scammed me out of nearly $1000.00 and Airbnb is shrugging their shoulders is an OUTRAGE! Had my cc company not stepped up I don’t know what I would have done because Airbnb insists they can’t help me “her policy is strict”. Honestly, if you press the “book” button and 30 sec later you cancel, Julia’s strict policy says you are out of luck?? If that is the case then CHANGE THE POLICY AIRBNB! Karma is Karma and I have to let this Sh@t go! Thanks for listening

    P.S. Good luck to all of the others suffering from the Airbnb unethical practices and scamming ways

  2. Putting aside Sal’s (incoherent) ravings. You made a third party booking which is against AirBnb’s TOS. As the rest of your complaints are third hand its difficult to put any credence in them. The link you provided isn’t to a single listing so it’s also hard to check the reviews the host previously received.

    So your son stayed outside for three days??????

    “My son was left out in the freezing cold a few days in a row because the host would not respond. He could not get into the building.”

  3. I don’t know if it’s ever occurred to anyone that might actually be in a position to do something about it, but what’s needed is a law that forces all scam companies like airbnb and ebay (any non scam company would do it willingly of course) to add real reviews for all listings, and to always have the default sort order going from negative to positive. You’d also need paid reviews (like 50 percent of those on amazon) to be made illegal. Plus the ability to post photographs in all reviews. A picture speaks a thousand words. That way people could see the truth about a property, or whatever it was in the listing. Of course, all the scammers would then just delete the listing that had ‘gone bad’ with truthful comments and create a new freshly sparkling one, then carry on as before. Rinse and repeat.

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