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Airbnb Cancelled My Nonrefundable $1,600 Booking

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My family and I booked an apartment in Bangkok for two weeks. I paid with my boyfriend’s credit card and checked in around midnight after I got the key from the owner. I checked everything in the apartment and found that the air conditioning in my bedroom was not working.

I reported this to the host who said he would fix it for me tomorrow. The next day my family and I left the apartment around 9:00 AM and came back again at 7:00 PM. The air conditioning in my bedroom was still not working. I contacted the host again and he told me he couldn’t fix it in one day because he had to change some motor or something.

Then I called Airbnb support. They recommended I find another place or hotel. The host agreed to refund me fully and Airbnb said I would get a refund in a few days. Ten minutes after Airbnb cancelled my booking I received an email saying I was no longer allowed to use the platform anymore due to fraud. I really didn’t understand what happened but thought I could just use Agoda or Booking.com.

It’s been a week and I still have not received any refund from Airbnb. I contacted support and they said my booking was still active and Airbnb would not refund any money. They said they had already paid the host and I had to contact him.

After contacting the host, he said he had received the payout but Airbnb told they would take the money from his next booking. He forwarded that email to me. If he gave me cash, I would still be missing roughly $200. Now I have no idea what should I do.

Host Said I Booked a Listing that Does Not Accept Reservations

I sent a notification of a dispute and an attempt in good faith to negotiate an informal resolution. The dispute involved my confirmed reservation for an Airbnb listing in Clearwater, Florida. My confirmed reservation was for Dec. 11 to Dec. 18, 2021. This story shows that Airbnb has fake listings on their site, does bait and switch with listings, and allows host to cancel at the last minute if they can get more money elsewhere or from a different guest.

On Sept. 28, my husband’s sister called us to say she was driving to Clearwater to spend a couple months on vacation. We had not seen her in over four years and were really excited. After talking it over, my husband and I decided to drive from Baton Rouge to Florida and spend a week on vacation at an Airbnb to spend time with his sister. I spend several days going through the Airbnb listings and finally found the perfect one. I knew I would not find any listings the week for Christmas so we decided to celebrate the week before.

It was a whole house, would take the dogs, had a fenced yard, was on one of the canals, had a heated pool and included a pontoon boat you could take to the beaches. It was also only a few minutes away from where my husband’s sister was staying. I wrote Airbnb about the issue that the listing asked people to book on the Sandbar Vacation Rentals website instead of with Airbnb. I did not do that, but instead booked from the Airbnb site where I had originally found the listing.

As you can see my reservation was confirmed right away. Half the payment was made and we started to prepare for our vacation. I had not had a vacation in years and had been saving up my vacation days for a trip to Europe after COVID died down, but decided to use some of my days for this trip to visit with my sister-in-law. I applied to my employer to take the days and before I left for vacation, as required by my employer, I entered the vacation days into my timesheet. As far as I know once you do that they cannot be recovered.

I baked Christmas cookies, made fudge, and ordered some wonderful lamb tenderloins for our Christmas dinner. We planned an outing to the aquarium, a pontoon boat ride to look at Christmas decorations and even ordered our first meal from Casa Tina. We also planned a drive to Orlando to pick up a dog I was going to rescue. I got regular emails from Airbnb confirming my reservation, notifying me that the second half of my payment was due, and then received. I assumed the host also received these notices from Airbnb.

We loaded up the car and proceeded to drive eight hours to Tallahassee. At 2:00 PM on Friday, Dec. 10, I texted the host to let them know we would arrive and check into the house at 4:00 PM the next day (Dec. 11). The host asked me to confirm my name, saying he did not have the cell number on file. I texted my name and reservation confirmation code back to him.

He replied, “I’m sorry, but you booked a listing that does not accept reservations. We do not have a reservation for you.”

I texted back the confirmation number and that I had paid in full. The host confirmed I was talking to them and said they did not have my money, suggesting we call Airbnb. I got sent to a “customer ambassador” that would help me with my issue. He was nice enough but did not speak great English and seemed to not understand the situation. He said he would call the host and get back to me. He seemed to be reading from a script and was very concerned that I have the Airbnb cancellation policy, even thought I was not the one cancelling.

After he talked with the host, he called me back and essentially said they did not have a reservation for me but gave me no other explanation of how this happened. He admitted that Airbnb had a fully paid active reservation for me on an active listing but did indicate why the host was not going to honor the reservation. He said I would get a full refund but that it would take 5-15 days. I asked if it could just be applied to a new listing as we would need a place to stay. He said that was not possible as they just didn’t do that. I said we still needed a place to stay and could he find us comparable accommodations. He said he would work on it and call me back. I never heard from him again.

When we got to our hotel in Tallahassee, I immediately got on my computer and looked for a place to stay. My sister-in-law also started looking. Even the host sent some suggestions, but Airbnb never did. None of the listings that the host sent worked as they would not take two large dogs and were also not even in Clearwater. Everything, even nice hotels, that would take two large dogs and were close to my sister-in-law’s house was booked, since it was only a week before Christmas.

They next day we had to decide to drive on to Clearwater with no place to stay or to return home. My husband, bless his heart, felt like Airbnb would find a new house for us to stay in and wanted to drive on. I did not share his opinion since they had never called us back. With a grumpy husband, a grumpier wife, and two large dogs lacking exercise I said we were driving home.

Everyone was angry and depressed. He broke out in hives, his sister cried, and I tweeted my displeasure. My tweets got responses from Airbnb saying they would follow up. It’s been five days and the only real follow-up I got was to say I would get a refund: no help finding another place to stay, no apologies, except they were sorry for the “inconvenience”. Every message I got sounded like it was a canned AI responding to me with no mention of my situation.

My vacation was ruined, my vacation days stolen, and I am depressed and have started on medication. I submitted my mileage, my hotel bill, and the value of my lost vacation days to Airbnb, asking to be compensated. I got back another stupid canned message saying they couldn’t issue a refund as per their policies.

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Dominican Republic Property Not as Advertised for Anniversary

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Here’s my first and last experience with Airbnb. My wife, a friend and I rented a condo in April 2021 after reading positive reviews. This was to be a long-term stay for January, February, and March in Juan Dolio, the Dominican Republic.

Our friend arrived on Jan. 1. He called me after arrival and said the place was a dump but he was somewhat vague even saying he was not in the right condo unit. I was now worried. At that moment our hosts showed up; I could hear them in the background laughing. The following day I called my friend and asked what happened. He said he was still in the same unit and it was still a dump. I was still in Canada but flying out later that afternoon with my wife.

I called the host and told her my concerns and said I was thinking of canceling our flights. She assured me everything was fine and if there were any problems they would be rectified. On this assurance we decided to go. We told the host we would not be arriving at the condo till after midnight. She said this would be no problem as the reception is open 24 hours and they would register us and she would leave a key with them.

We arrived as said after midnight, registered and asked for the key. No key was left. We went up to the 12th floor and proceeded to try and wake our friend which took some time. By now exhausted from the travel, we decided to go to bed and face things afresh in the morning. The bedding and pillows smelt musty.

We awoke in the morning, and our fears were confirmed. It was a dump: filthy walls, cobwebs, cupboards falling off the hinges, rusted out washer and dryer, broken dishwasher not attached to the cupboard, all three showers broken, filthy stained couches, soiled mattress with what looked like urine and blood stains, patio furniture covered with blankets to hide the stains. This place was just plain worn out. It slept up to ten people and we believed it was a Party Palace where it was rented and trashed. We paid $4,300 CDN for the month of January expecting a luxury rental condo, not this dump.

We asked our next door neighbours to come take a look and they agreed it was disgusting and a health hazard. I am not a toxicologist but there appeared to be mold on the walls and furniture. It was definitely not COVID compliant. Our neighbours took us next door to have a look at their place; it was night and day in comparison.

I called the host to complain. She sent up the maintenance guy. I refused him entry and told her it was unfixable and she needed to come over. She said she would be there later then late afternoon cancelled, saying she would come the next day. I didn’t know it then but I was being played. If she came the next day the 24 hours to report to Airbnb would have expired.

The following day she showed up. I showed her the pictures on my iPad and she said it would be fixed. I told her it was beyond fixing , and she said she would move us. This was on Jan. 4. It was left this way on the understanding we would be moved to be notified later.

That day we went to the beach to try and relax. The beach area and surrounding grounds were amazing and beautiful, just what we anticipated. We returned to the condo around 3:30 PM to be met with a crew of six and the host in the condo without our permission. Two painters, two maintenance guys, two cleaners and the host were replacing showers and the washer and dryer, painting, cleaning, taking away part of the couch in all this chaos, and more the next day.

While it was good they acted quickly we were on vacation; nobody needs to go through this nonsense. They also painted over these black mouldy walls I still believe were a health hazard. The stained mattress was still in place, and there was a broken dishwasher and cupboards.

We got in touch with Airbnb. I spoke with 11 agents getting absolutely nowhere. We had sleepless nights from a bar directly below our tower that blasted music until 3:30 AM. Dogs were barking, chickens crowing, and cars racing and backfiring loud exhaust. After being passed on from agent to agent and specifically asking them the question over and over with no response and being told over and over “my shift is about to end, I will pass this on to the next available agent.”

We had our couch returned after being gone for 11 days. Each time we asked about the couch we were told by the host it was still drying after being cleaned — it was 30 degrees C. This was on Jan. 15, an unforgettable day in our lives. We decided on that day, we would stay until Jan. 31 having paid $4,300 Cdn and move on to new accommodation, thereby terminating our rental agreement due to no contact with the host or Airbnb to rectify our disgusting rental unit.

At first the host was okay with this, then she went ballistic with over 50 threatening texts telling us we were to vacate the premises by 11:00 AM the following day giving us 20 hours to pack and find other accommodation, she said cleaners would be at the condo at 11:00 AM and it had already been rented out the same day.

I contacted Airbnb with numerous emails telling them we were being evicted and this was an emergency situation. We needed help, and nobody replied. This day was to be unforgettable as our host also knew this as I had told her and she had recommended a nice restaurant for us to celebrate our “50th Golden
Wedding Anniversary.” I was fuming; I am in my early 70s and my wife will soon be 80. To evict an elderly couple with 20 hours’ notice to find other accommodation in the Dominican Republic on the weekend is reprehensible. Needless to say, our anniversary was ruined.

On the good side, I was able to secure accommodation through a local realtor team who really came through and found us a nice two bedroom. It was the same location in a different tower. Had we dealt with this exceptionally good team, we probably would have stayed but we returned back to Canada on Jan. 22. Airbnb rewarded our host with $4,300 and gave us a $24 refund.

That is why l will never use Airbnb again. I now tell all my friends and acquaintances to be beware. Thanks for reading.

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Airbnb Hosts Get Guest Arrested After Misunderstanding

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On Jan. 11, I moved out of my apartment and chose to stay in an Airbnb for two weeks with my three-year-old son until getting a different place. I paid $1,136 for Jan. 11-25. The first four days my son and I were there, 6-7 different men came in and out of the unit fixing and replacing things. The first Friday, our fourth day, the host asked if someone could come over the weekend to fix yet something else. I did not answer this text message as I did not want to be rude and say no.

I just did not want anyone there for the weekend as we had had no peace. On the first and second days there, they locked up the piano that was advertised with the place. This happened while my son and I walked to lunch a block away. On the fifth day, nobody entered, nobody texted, and nobody called. The next day at 10:30-11:00 I heard a knock as I was in the shower. I left the door open to the bathroom because of my three year old.

I was taken aback and yelled “I am in the shower you will have to come back!”

Approximately 2-3 minutes later, I was exiting the shower and I heard “beep beep beep beep waaaahhhhhh!” There he was, standing in the doorway looking at me in the nude, in shock, unable to cover myself. I recognized him as the same man who fixed the shower, and put the lock on the piano. He left very quickly, leaving the door unlocked.

I instantly texted the host saying I had enough, that I was going to Airbnb about the privacy violations. She fed me a sob story about how I would be messing with the income for her family of six and I dropped it and let it go. The next day, her husband along with herself came over to fix the drip under the sink and spray for bugs because that water had brought cockroaches according to the feces left behind.

We began to talk about my personal life and I advised them that I moved out of my townhouse because my ex father in law had just brutally assaulted me there. I proceeded to tell them I recently received an email from the efile system stating I had a warrant for breaking a NOCO. I continued to tell them that I am not a fugitive on the run, that I in fact wrote the judge an emergency statement asking for permission to turn myself in so that I could find a suitable sitter, being I am the sole provider for my son. He agreed.

Less than 24 hours later, I was arrested at the Airbnb while the host had someone video tape the entire incident, take pictures of my guests, and called me in on behalf of the warrant. Upon being released from jail the following morning, I powered my phone on to read a text message sent by the host two hours after my arrest saying they packed up all of my belongings and removed them. I had nowhere to go, and none of my child’s belongings, nor mine.

She has since posted a review on my profile for Airbnb which will prevent me from renting further, including false accusations such as “she has a very concerning record.” When in fact, Airbnb conducts background checks, I sent her my government issued ID before checking in, and I’ve only ever been in trouble for driving with a suspended license.

Her husband just now brought me my belongings, $100s in spoiled food, and ruined toys. Airbnb has turned a blind eye to all of this. Furthermore, the host’s husband offered me permanent residency via their church and exclaimed they only want what’s best for my son and I.

What was deemed an emergency situation two weeks ago has still gone unheard and unnoticed. I have begun contacting legal representatives as a week ago I requested a new case manager and mine is still emailing asking the same questions as on day one.

New Year’s Eve Trip Almost Ruined by Greedy Host

I rented a house in Las Vegas for New Years and my husband’s 30th birthday as a party of seven people from Boston. I rented this house for $1,200 in May.

Right before Christmas, at 3:00 AM, I got a notification from Airbnb that my host cancelled. I asked the host why he cancelled and his reason was he was selling his house. I looked up his house and couldn’t find it; my friend looked it up and it was still there. I assumed he cancelled because he knew he could get more money for the house since houses around his are now going for more than $3,000 a month before NYE.

I messaged Airbnb Help who offered to give us $200. I could not find any houses able to accommodate our party for that amount of money. I try to explain to Airbnb that we are now out of our flight, event tickets, reservation deposits, etc. They pretty much told me to screw off. Thankfully we have family out that way we could stay with. I fought this issue right up until the trip and they didn’t care at all. If we didn’t have family out there we wouldn’t have been out thousands.

A Terrible Experience with Airbnb During Omicron

In late November 2021 we booked a trip to Los Angeles for a week in January and paid $3,100 for a stay in a condo in Marina del Rey. In late December, omicron appeared and we realized that we could not risk traveling, especially with a two-year-old.

We contacted the host a few days before the date that we would not be able to get a refund of half of the amount. We asked to rebook in the spring but could not do it online because the calendar did not go out far enough. We contacted our host, asking her to do this and stating that we could not travel at this time. We never heard from her and so we contacted customer service.

They promised that they ‘had our backs’ but did nothing except run out the time until we were past the deadline. The host contacted us once to say that she heard from Airbnb but thought we were another booking so didn’t answer. Then after we were due to have arrived, she contacted us and said that she was not going to give us a refund, a credit, or rebook. Customer service kept promising help but never delivered anything but hours on hold listening to the same piece of horrible music over and over.

As it turned out, one of our party got COVID during the time we would have been in LA but this doesn’t seem to be enough to trigger a refund. When I called to ask about what kind of proof they needed of this COVID case, I got put on hold for 40 minutes. I finally sent a message asking to be called back and hung up.

We never were able to ascertain what responsibility to answer inquiries the host needed to fulfill and in what time frame. We got inconsistent and inaccurate answers from customer service (referred to in the future as customer disservice). Between us we spent literal hours on hold. All in all, an appalling display of purposeful incompetence, lack of ethics and callous behavior far below any other travel entity we have dealt with during COVID. We will never use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Accused Us of Extortion After Host Lied

We stayed at an Airbnb in Paris. The apartment was okay, but had some issues (dirty dishes, smoke smell) . We posted a review that mentioned these things, but also the good points. I guess the host did not like the review, so they told Airbnb that we had told them that if they gave us $100 we would post a five-star review; otherwise, we would post a negative review.

We had made the mistake of communicating with them using our own email (instead of Airbnb), so I guess they doctored an email to support their claim. Airbnb told us that we had violated their rules of conduct and our review would not be posted and if we continued this behavior we would be banned from Airbnb. They would not show us their “documentation” of our threat, nor even entertain the fact that possibly, the host was lying. I tried to contact Airbnb through their support, but got no response (and closed).

Lesson learned: do not give an Airbnb host your personal email address.

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My Airbnb Host Lied about COVID to Cancel My Trip

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Picture this: you are a 20-something business professional who event plans for a job and loves to celebrate every birthday. 30 is a big one, right? All you want is an amazing home with family and friends where you can eat delicious food and drink yummy wine.

After hours and hours of scouring Airbnb, you find the perfect home that sleeps eight people, has an ocean view, and even a spa. Amazing. You book this six months in advance (you’re very organized). You also message the host to double check that you are allowed to have a friend visit (not stay) to enjoy birthday cake and the property in the day time bringing the number of guests on the property to nine. You also want to ensure you send everyone’s vaccine certificates (you’re organized and respectful, remember?)

The host immediately thinks this is now a party despite your best efforts to say it isn’t. They go on to say they previously had a terrible guest that ruined their home. You sympathize and understand it must be difficult to trust other guests. However, you do your best to reassure the host.

Luckily, your birthday falls just after New Years so everyone is already enjoying their Christmas holidays, yourself included. Fast forward to Boxing Day and you receive a long winded message from your hosts explaining they need to cancel 11 days in advance as they had “close contact” with a COVID case (not confirmed person) staying in their home.

We’re in New Zealand; bear in mind there were maybe two cases at the time and none in the town or city where this home is located. The host then went on to say they were “devastated” but could not find a cleaner prior to our check in. Isn’t the home meant to be cleaned upon arrival anyways? In 11 days? They then went on to say they needed to cancel the listing until the end of January.

Okay no problem. I took it upon myself to find a cleaner so our place wouldn’t be cancelled, because you can best believe I have family and friends traveling more than ten hours and cancelling is not an option. Before I can even suggest this, the host cancelled and terminated any dialogue.

I’m absolutely devastated and also now out over $2000 NZD. Fast forward a few days. I went to check the listing and what do I see? My weekend was still available to book on the host’s calendar, and the following weekend which was available was now booked. What’s more, they updated their listing to include “no parties, 8 people max” which was never in the listing to begin with.

Being an understanding person, I decided to give the benefit of doubt and thought I would ring up the first cleaning company I could find on Google. They were available that weekend, as were two others.

It’s obvious this host not only lied to us about COVID but forced me to dramatically change my 30th birthday plans with zero remorse. I have family members and friends back home (I’m from North America originally) who’ve passed from COVID so to use this as an excuse is not only negligent, but disgusting. As I mentioned I’m respectful and organized, but also petty.

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Airbnb Host Hiding from Negative Review with Proof

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I stayed at an Airbnb near downtown Atlanta from Dec. 24 thru Dec. 28 and left an honest review that was deleted. The house had had so little toilet paper and paper towels we rationed them. The hand soap was refilled with water to stretch it (I threw away the bottle to force them to buy more). The hangers in the closet were a collection of store inventory (the kind they use at the store with the size on it), the wireless hangers were from a dry cleaner, and likely some from an old rummage sale.

There was literally both razor wire and barbed wire on the fence, guys walking up and down the block smoking marijuana, a collection of grocery carts full of trash across the street, enough towels for three people when the listing advertised hosting for eight people, and the loft/den on the second floor had a small area rug and love seat — that was it. There was no additional furniture in the room, so everyone had to either stand or sit on the floor. I mentioned that the neighborhood was hopefully “up and coming,” but cautioned that there were more than a few homeless encampments in the area.

I posted the review, and was told it violated standards. I had photos to prove what I said, but the review was removed. The host begged me to reconsider the review and claimed that less than a four would get them kicked off the site. They deleted their positive review of me and had mine removed as well.

Lying Airbnb Superhost in Vancouver Kicks us out

Compared to other stories, this is not the worst, but it was truly upsetting, especially for old friends, one of whom was dying. We rented an apartment with a view, which was beautiful, but nothing else was up to snuff.

The apartment was so tiny that one of us had to sleep on a love seat (the only soft, albeit uncomfortable, place to sit in the place) and another on the floor of an unheated, cold, windy porch since there was not even floor space inside. We were charged extra for a third adult, with no mention that the apartment was really not meant for more than a close couple or an individual.

The Airbnb property manager refused to give us more than one key, because he didn’t like the woman traveling with us (three retirees from different parts of the world). The Airbnb “Superhost” said the security guards would let us up on the elevator to our floor and we could deal from there, if we wanted to go out individually. The security guards would not let us up and thought that the manager was a scammer. We had a difficult time trying to coordinate our schedules so that we could get back in since our phones didn’t work internationally and we couldn’t buy any phones for short-term use. There were many uncomfortable situations.

We at least knew that the manager did have the owner’s permission since we were kicked out (without a word of thanks or accommodation) one evening so the owners could come in with their contractor. Much to the manger’s chagrin, we were late getting out so we met the owners, but couldn’t stay because there was literally no room for six people in the apartment.

This was not an inexpensive rental. We would have done better at a hotel down the street. So, beware, shop around, and don’t always trust Airbnb reviews.