Airbnb Outrageous Cancellation Fee

I recently had a nasty surprise that others using Airbnb should definitely know about. Last week I booked an apartment in San Francisco which was advertised at 109euros a night, which ended up being 649euros for 4 nights after all the fees (Airbnb service charge, local taxes and cleaning fee). This total amount turns out to be just over the cost of booking a hotel, but we thought it would be worth it. After one week (more than a month before the date of arrival) I was offered a place to stay with a friend. So I cancelled. First I got a mail saying I would be refunded 572euros (because unlike hotels, Airbnb keeps their service fee even if you cancel), and then I was told that the host charges a $100 fee for cancellations! This of course appeared nowhere in the booking confirmation or the description of the place! Now that Airbnb is becoming more popular, they are being bolder about fleecing their customers and allowing their hosts to do the same. Beware of ‘The Suuny Upstairs Apt’ in San Francisco!

Web site

Used to be a great site, now they’re re only interested in stock options and how cool the site looks. Doesn’t help either that they have turned totally towards the property owner. If you want to rent they could care less. And will fuck you over

Nightmare

It’s 2 a.m. in the morning in Sri Lanka. We booked a room in a guest house slightly east of Matara. It is an ongoing nightmare. First we were told we should have brought our own soap. Then the internet didn’t work. The bed is hard as a cement sidewalk. There is an ant’s nest behind a bathroom tap and an ant highway in the bathroom. My girlfriend couldn’t get the shower to work because she wasn’t familiar with the controls. Instead of explaining how the shower worked our “host” said the pressure was low! even though the sink tap worked fine. They had assured us they had the adapters to connect our Canadian plugs into the Sri Lankan grid. They didn’t, and they finally sent a flunky into Matara to buy one only after we vehemently insisted that we needed to plug in our electronics. The worst was yet to come. It is two in the morning and our bedroom is sounds like the inside of a disco because our “hosts” have decided to have a party which they said will go on all night and we should have brought earplugs if we don’t like the noise. We were told this din will go on all night! We have stayed at some wonderful places through AirBnB here in Sri Lanka but this experience nullifys that. Remember when you book on Air BnB that what you get may be absolutely the opposite of what you were led to expect!

Running out of propane, water, and wakened at 1:30 AM by family fight

Our first, only and LAST EVER time as a guest with AirBnB was at St John USVI the Christmas of 2014. The apartment looked nice in the pictures, but when we got there it was run down—although clean, and the location overlooking the bay was indeed awesome. The host required $50 cash to check in, and we knew this was coming, but it violates AirBnB rules. We were told to use as little water and propane (stove/hot water) as possible, and to avoid taking showers as much as we could. When we returned late after dinner, a guy was delivering propane, which was loud for about an hour for some reason. That night we were awakened by the host upstairs, screaming at her kids, including the phrase “It’s 1:30 in the morning!” which is how I knew what time it was.
We gave her a good review anyway, out of charity. Clearly the only way she can survive is with AirBnB. But I am done with this outfit.

unauthorized charge and airbnb won’t even tell me what I’m expected to pay for

Checking my credit card statement recently I noticed a $100 charge from airbnb. I didn’t go anywhere. I called airbnb, actually got to talk to someone, and later received an email saying that airbnb found the charge to be “legitimate”!!!! No, I did not authorize this charge. So I asked them, well, where did I go? THEY WON”T TELL ME! What a business model–charge your customer but don’t tell them what they’re paying for. airbnb told me I would need a subpoena to get the information.

I should have read this site first!!

Not an original story judging from others on this t but thought it may be worth sharing to prove they haven’t improved! I used the site last year with great success – 3 bookings on a trip to South Africa, the system in place then was the request and approval system, once you had a list of approved places you picked and paid; easy. Impressed, I decided to use them again this year. Well it has been hell! stem requires that you pay immediately for any place you’re interested in, so you have enough money to cope with it being held for 1 week if the host backs out and . you need to book another place. After two failed bookings I am now 1 week to my trip my card is maxed and I can’t find accommodation. The airbnb site doesn’t list any way of contacting the owners and refers you to ‘the community’ fat lot of good that is. Take note: Don’t use them, your holiday could be a disaster.

bed bug disaster

My sister and her friend just got bed bugs from a dirty bed at the host´s apartment. they had evidence (doctor´s approval, photos), that they have not had them before. they were thrown on the street after the host told them THEY brought the bugs – also they had no more money left because the airbnb money they already paid in advance takes a while to get back to their accounts. after hours of exhausting phone calls they finally got 500$ from airbnb to stay at a hotel and a few options for new apartments (btw they were in treatment already and the bugs are gone). after booking another one after a week airbnb called the host to throw them out again because they´re too dangerous. funny thing is: the apartment where they got them from is available again!

Security breach

Warning to AirBnb users: Read my story! A few weeks ago I received an email that my AirBnB account has changed. The hackers changed the email address (i.e. userid) so I could not login. I had my credit card and drivers license and address and phone numbers, so they could adopt a kid using my identity. There was no way to contact AirBnB. No phone numbers, no email. After trying different ways, I signed up with a new email address and explained the situation. First, I received an automated email which did not help at all. After reiterating the story, they corrected the situation, set my correct email address and gave me a temporary password. I logged in to my account and to my horror I realized the hackers posted many phoney listings for rent and discussed the prices etc with unsuspecting poor travellers. As an Airbnb user, I know that (most) property owners like to offer a direct deal to customers to avoid AirBnB charges. That means these guys probably got scammed with no traces on Air

Photographic deception

24 mm lenses are used for landscapes but not to describe reality or give an impression of how a room or apartment looks like hence majority of pictures in this site are outright deceiving as we experienced two times. It is indeed a short term vision to depict homes like that: surely most of the guests will have a wry feeling about the actual experience but be patient about it because “the host was so nice and after all, it was the site who orders the way it s being shot”.

AirBnB refused to publish my negative review

We stayed in an AirBnB flat in Istanbul for a week in Nov 2014. The host, Ercan, was in-hospitable. He informed us we were not welcome, and that we were cramping his style.He gave us a key the to external door. It didn’t work. We were forced to depend on other building residents for entry. The host stole my digital camera & transportation pass. Flat was supposed to have wifi and internet access. It didn’t. Was supposed to be walking distance to Blue Mosque. It wasn’t. I sent a truthful but negative review to AirBnB. They refused to publish it because the host failed to send a corresponding review re his experience as our host. — On the other hand, we spend an additional 3 days at another Istanbul flat and the Hostess, her home, and other guests were wonderful.