Ghosted by Airbnb After Atlanta Booking

I was invited to book my trip to Atlanta and opted for the installment plan. It had been awhile since I’ve done a reservation. Didn’t realize the booking should have been in pending status while waiting to book. In any case it wasn’t.

The reservation still didn’t show up even after my first payment came out of my account. Initially I thought maybe it had to be paid in full before I saw it, though I couldn’t find any article that stated this.

I started to get worried. I’ve emailed the host but the first time I wasn’t able to select my dates because they were blocked off. I didn’t think the message went through. I tried to find the listing again but for a different time period pretending to book a different trip just to get a hold of her.

She did contact me but only invited me to book that trip. She didn’t respond to my message. I’ve asked a couple of times. I decided to message Airbnb even posting to messenger on Facebook. They took that one down.

It’s been over a week with no response. I tried to report the listing but none of the options fit my situation. I wanted to dispute the charge at my bank but I have to have proof that I cancelled the booking. I will call them tomorrow. Wish me luck.

At this point, I want a refund. I’ve already booked something else and it’s the right process. I’m waiting for the host to respond with the invite and already see it pending in my upcoming trip section. This is only my second bad experience with Airbnb.

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Airbnb Profiting from Pandemic Cancellations

Here is the summary of my issue with Airbnb. I put down a $2,777.40 deposit in December 2019 for a rental house in Eugene, Oregon. The rental was for June 21-29 so four of us had a place to stay to watch the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field.

In March, with COVID-19 spreading, everything started getting cancelled. The Olympics in Japan were cancelled and shortly after so were the U.S. Olympic Trials. Once the trials were called off, I cancelled my reservation on March 17, 2020.

Normally, I would have lost my deposit because it was well past the two weeks since I made the reservation – the policy for this rental place. Airbnb posted a COVID policy: if you made a reservation before March 14 and your reservation was for a stay before the end of May 2020, then you would get a full refund.

I argued that my reservation for June was cancelled directly because of COVID and the arbitrary end of the period for eligibility in May made no sense. Airbnb still refused my claim. It’s not like the Olympics being cancelled was some secret.

On July 1, Airbnb changed their policy to extend eligibility for refunds for stays through August 2020, as long as the reservation was made before March 14, 2020. I thought now I could get that refund. But no – Airbnb claims that my eligibility for a refund depended on the policy that was posted when I cancelled my reservation. Nowhere on their site is such a policy posted, only the current policy that extends refunds for stays through August.

The latest twist is that the house owner was told by Airbnb that they were refunding $800 to her – she said she would forward that to me. Thus, Airbnb is keeping the remaining $1,977.40 – for what? A great way to make money off the pandemic. Oh, and they did refund me a whopping $20.40. Thanks Airbnb.

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Host Cancelled My Stay with Bogus COVID Excuse

I booked an Airbnb in December 2019 for a stay July 16-31, 2020. A week before, the host cancelled my vacation. The email indicated it was because of COVID. I sent a message to the host and called the COVID reason out as she just had a renter leave a review from June 2020.

She then said they had a leak in the basement, and plumber was going next to look at it. If it was an emergency plumbing situation, she would have said so. When I booked in December the nightly rate was $259. After my cancellation notice this morning I logged on and noticed the two weeks were now available at a higher rate: $370 a night.

Shortly afterwards one week was no longer available and thereafter the second week was no longer available. I called the host out and she said it was her right to cancel any reservation and that she was no longer comfortable hosting as I messaged her during the day trying to get to the bottom of it.

I am left in a lurch with no other rental options at the last minute and vacation time off of work. I read the cancellation procedure for hosts. If they cancel a vacation three times in a year they have their listing suspended. She used COVID as a reason with Airbnb; therefore she will not receive an automatic cancellation review from Airbnb. Shady and unethical business conduct.

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Possibly Going to be a Part of a Satanic Ritual

I booked my first Airbnb trip this past 4th of July weekend. Upon arriving, the host insisted on having my partner and I call her. Her front gate was horrible to unlock, having to add pressure and weight to somehow jiggle the key in. Naturally, we called her to let us know we were there.

She ended up helping us with getting the gate unlocked and in we went. We went up the stairs and took a right to arrive at our “apartment.” I took notice of a photo of a woman staring directly into what seemed to be a lamp light?

Upon entering, I noticed a rancid smell. I understand old houses tend to have a smell because of the old wood, but this one smelled like very strongly of something rotting. To counteract the smell, we turned on the AC. The listing said that it would be our own apartment for $85 a night. Perfect, and for the 4th, a steal.

The vibes were good as we drank some alcoholic beverages and began to watch a movie. We also ordered pizza and wings around this time. After a few drinks I ran to the restroom to pee and went into the bedroom. This is where this it gets bad.

I noticed a photo frame in the main bedroom. It was a photo of a little boy looking in the direction of the bed. I yelled for my partner. He ran to me, saw the photo, and began to say “what the f— is that?”

We were both horrified as we barely noticed the artwork. We attempted to calm each other down and failed. He Facetimed three of his buddies. I Facetimed my sister and my friend who all told: “calm down”; “you guys are already there just stay”; “you all are paranoid”. So there we were.

We then noticed small things we hadn’t noticed before: a small coat closet close to the entrance and the fact that the bedroom closet light was “on” when neither my partner nor I had been in there. We inspected the closets again, this time with knives in our hands, and we noticed the closets have exits to the attic and a floor below them?

The coat closet had a tiny piece of artwork next to its door. This artwork? a small golden mockery of a Jewish mezuzah, embossed with eight downward facing angels with “X” marked on their faces falling towards a script I cannot decipher. The owner said “oops I placed it upside down” and then tried to say “one of our guests flipped it”.  She’s lying and her contradiction proves it.

I have contacted the police department. When we told her we left and were going to return the keys she said “please call me when you’re here so its easier”.

The story is still developing. So far I’ve noted: the upside down angels represent satan, as does the light the woman was staring at; the photo of the boy had a double mirror; I have a direct link to the photos but will post them once this gets approved to be shared.

After seeing this we literally packed everything up while our bodies were shaking from fear. We managed to leave safely but I feel I need to seek spiritual guidance with religious priests. After two hours on hold with Airbnb they finally told me they were investigating. I haven’t seen a refund yet.

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Airbnb’s 48-Hour Free Cancellation Was a Lie

I have had the worst experience with a reservation I made in Hawaii for my sister’s wedding. We booked a place that said we had 48 hours to cancel the reservation. We booked it because we didn’t want to miss out on the place. Shortly after booking two people in our party backed out. I then tried to cancel the reservation and wasn’t given an opportunity for a full refund. I have tried to contact customer service and was told multiple times someone would reach out.

I originally reached out on June 17. It’s now July 7 and I haven’t heard from anyone. I finally got fed up and called today and was hung up on after holding for an hour. I then called again and now have to wait another two hours. I’m really fed up and am disappointed the way this whole situation has played out.

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Host Declines Refund During COVID-19 Pandemic

Two other coworkers and I excitedly reserved a nice two-bedroom condo in Telluride, Colorado for a June wedding weekend. The hosts graciously accepted our deposit. They were so friendly and accommodating at first. They even promised that if travel was still discouraged in June (due to the worsening pandemic), then they’d happily void their own policy and offer us a 100% refund.

After the COVID-19 pandemic virtually shut down all of Colorado, the wedding was postponed. We promptly cancelled our reservation and kindly requested a refund, expecting the hosts to deliver on their promise. Wow, were we mistaken.

Unfortunately we cancelled right before Airbnb’s new refund policy came out, so we weren’t covered there. Even after we reminded our hosts of their personal promise, their kind demeanor rapidly changed, and they insisted on adhering to their original strict policy. They also claimed that unless we provided them with medical proof showing we were at-risk for complications due to COVID-19, they wouldn’t offer us anything. I’m pretty sure that kind of request is against HIPAA law and Airbnb policy.

They even had the guts to say that because Colorado was in a “safer at home” phase, travel was now encouraged, even though the government website explicitly discouraged nonessential travel, regardless of whether you’re “at-risk” or not. They also claimed that they’ve been losing tens of thousands of dollars in cancellations, so they can’t refund everyone or else they can’t pay their bills.

How is that possible if you’re not refunding anyone? Also, do we not have bills to pay either? Shameful.

Weeks later, Airbnb support responded and offered zero support whatsoever. It was an automated response. I’m sure if someone actually read the messages between the hosts and I, they would’ve seen that the hosts blatantly lied, and failed to deliver on their promise — which was in writing.

The best part is, we can’t even leave an honest review about the hosts since we didn’t actually stay at the property. Huge bummer, as prospective guests should really be aware of our awful experience dealing with them. We never would have booked this property had we known about the hosts beforehand. This pandemic has really brought the worst out of people.

We strongly, strongly urge anyone visiting Telluride, CO, to avoid booking any property with these hosts. If you do, mentally prepare yourself to throw all your money away if plans change. They’re “Superhosts” with great reviews, but how is that possible if things like this happen? Believe me, we learned the hard way.

Unless you stayed at a property, there’s no way to leave an honest review about the hosts. Evidence that Airbnb caters to the hosts and not the guests. I suspect we’re not the only ones that had to endure this experience.

 

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No Seizures Allowed According to Airbnb

My husband and I were looking for a place to take the kids for the summer and found a beautiful summer home in Arizona. It was perfect: pool, three bedrooms, big property, the works. We booked it.

After the 48-hour window had passed and I really started to read the reviews I realized that the wording on the post was an outlandish lie and that the owner’s son would also be on the property in the detached house. One of the reviews also stated that when one of the guests was about to operate something around the house, they would get a message telling them how to operate that devise. There were cameras everywhere and someone was watching.

After reaching out to the host, she refused to cancel and stated that the 48-hour window had passed for a full refund and that at best we would only be able to get a refund amount for half of what we spent. Having plans for a summer vacation, the thought of losing ~$800 was not ideal so we decided to bite the bullet and go instead.

As a good gesture, and because we had gotten off to a rocky start, my husband reached out to the host and apologized for getting off on the wrong foot, reassuring her that we were happy to be coming to such a beautiful home (despite having an unknowing guest). The next day, as a common courtesy, he let her know that we were bringing his seizure service dog. The host said that no pets would be allowed, even service animals.

After pointing to Airbnb’s policy on assistance animals, she said that having the dogs present would impede the safety of the owner of the home whom I was lead to believe would not be present while we were there. She then went on to say that having the animals there would be a life or death scenario for the owner who would be present and that if we brought my seizure service dogs, the police would be called on us and my family and I would be escorted off of the property and arrested.

I wasn’t totally clear on Airbnb’s policy on discrimination or the Arizona laws on disability discrimination but it seems a bit extreme to call the police to have Airbnb guests escorted or arrested because of the need for a service animal. I even told the host that if it was going to be a big problem, she could cancel the reservation and we would find somewhere else to vacation. She said she would not be cancelling, and the police would be waiting for us.

Having spent about 12 hours on hold with Airbnb for the past several days, I was starting to see that their anti-discrimination policy is nothing more than a webpage set up to look good. Now to make the final decision, lose $1,600 (as the host now stated that she wouldn’t be paying back anything) or have the police called on a man in a wheelchair.

Try This Method to Get Your Money Refunded

I’m having had a super hard time with Airbnb since COVID as a host. I had been using them as a primary partner but am now looking at other options. I get that the first couple weeks after COVID shutdowns would be difficult for them, but now it’s just an excuse to provide the worst service. There are too many nightmare stories from the hosting side to know where to begin. Reading stories from the guest side concerns me even more.

We work our butts off to provide guests with a stay that is superior to any hotel. We are Superhosts and have dozens of five-star reviews. But if Airbnb and some horrible hosts treat guests like this, Airbnb is not a sustainable organization and they will undoubtedly suffer consequences to their business very soon that will be very difficult — if not totally impossible — to ever come back from. It may be a great opportunity for someone to copy their business model, but with competent people, which they are clearly lacking as of now. They can forget about going public as they’d planned If they don’t get it together, and soon.

Guests: try to dispute any charges for unrefunded nights with your credit card company. I’m pretty sure that your credit card company will refund you while they investigate and take it up with Airbnb directly. At the very least, Airbnb will have to respond to the credit card company’s complaint or the credit card company will just pull the funds from Airbnb and they will be out. Either way, you win as Airbnb must resolve this or you’ll get your money back. I’d contest the charge with your credit card company even if the reservation was over a year ago. Many times if you booked with your credit card it has travel insurance that may extend refunds under some of these circumstances.

Services Not Available Due to COVID: False Advertising?

We booked a condo in Myrtle Beach that advertised the use of multiple pools, a hot tub, and lazy river on site. However, when we arrived we were met with locked up closed pools. A maintenance person said it was because they didn’t have insurance while the main desk person said it was due to COVID. All the properties up and down the beach had their pools open.

When we contacted the host they said that they didn’t know about that because they didn’t manage the pools and therefore weren’t responsible. But I know, from working in the property management and rental business, that owners and rental agents are always notified of any issues involving the property good or bad. The front desk person said all owners and their agents knew about the pools being closed.

I simply asked for a $200 refund on an $850 rental because it did not offer what it said and, had I known, I simply would have booked elsewhere. I filed a resolution complaint to the host with no resolve. Then I contacted Airbnb and they have yet to reply. Now every time I go to their resolution center and try to contact Airbnb I get no response. How disappointing. I won’t rent from them again.

Father Died and Airbnb Won’t Refund My Money

My dad died a week before my family and I were supposed to go to SC for a week vacation. His burial was the day before the reservation started. I cancelled and let Airbnb and the host know immediately what was going on. The host was fine but Airbnb only gave me a small portion of the refund even thought it was a family related death cancellation. I sent them a support request with his obituary and a copy of his death certificate and some Help Bot over eight days later just closed the request citing COVID-19.

I called Customer Support and was told it was being processed. They could not give me an answer as to when it would be approved and processed. Now I have a new support request on their site and am holding on the phone, probably for hours, before someone speaks to me again about my refund request. This is a sad excuse for customer service. I am recording the dates and printing out all of the details and will forward this to my attorney and just let them deal with Airbnb after this last attempt at getting them to do their job per their refund policy.