I recently booked two nights through Airbnb for the Manhattan area in New York. I was very excited to find such a great deal for the area. It turns out it was too good to be true. Within minutes of me booking, my “host” contacted me via text to request an additional security deposit of $500. This amount was not included on the additional costs page and was not included in the total that I had already been charged. I cancelled because I didn’t feel comfortable. This all happened within maybe 20 minutes. Now I cannot get my “service fee” back and there is no direct customer service phone, or email. I am extremely disappointed and upset that I just lost money because I was scammed. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
If you’re smart, it’s really not a scam or hard to navigate. It’s not a hotel business, so you have to read the rules. If you can take a trip and nothing at your fault is making you cancel, don’t cancel it. If you have a medical issue or there’s a natural disaster, they’ll look at the circumstance but you have to go through the steps and menus in their help center to send them an e-mail about that specific ocasion. Most things can be answered on the FAQ thing, so I understand they don’t want a billion 80-year-old’s calling about how to do something basic that they breezed by because they don’t want to read.
I feel like AirBnB IS a scam. They charge you service fees but you have to jump through hoops to be able to call them.