Sour from Airbnb Cancellation Gone Wrong

VRBO

I have been online and on the phone with Airbnb all day. I cancelled a cottage I rent every summer at the same time I annually attend a workshop at a college. The college cancelled all workshops last Friday. I canceled my Airbnb on Saturday.

My agreement stated I could have a full refund by June 28: “After 3:00 PM July 7, full refund minus service fee.” So 80 days out from July 7, Airbnb is keeping a service fee of $97.78 for what the case manager basically said, tough luck. That’s the the agreement I made when I hit the ‘reserve’ last July 2019. Greedy.

VRBO

Airbnb Asks for Proof Pandemic is Real

VRBO

My two-week trip to the UK with my family had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country is in lockdown so domestic travel is prohibited, restaurants and tourist sites are closed, my return flight was cancelled by the airline, hotels I had booked are closed, and my own country (Canada) would require a 14-day quarantine if I did make it home. So it was pretty obvious that the trip couldn’t happen.

Airbnb is refusing my request for refunds for two bookings that were part of the trip, allegedly because I don’t qualify under their Extenuating Circumstances policy, although I clearly do qualify under any rational reading of the policy.

Initially, they asked for ‘proof’ that the trip had to be cancelled in spite of virtually everything mentioned above being all over the press and in various government announcements. Within about 24 hours after making that demand, while I was considering how to respond to it, I received another email advising me that my claim was closed, presumably because I hadn’t responded in time (although no time limit was specified and 24 hours is ridiculously short). When I complained, I was told that the decision was ‘final’. I’ve rarely seen such heavy-handed, arrogant treatment.

Adding insult to injury, Airbnb directly lied to me the first time they denied my refund request, claiming that it was actually the hosts who denied the request. I contacted one of the hosts directly and was told that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision and they fully expected that I would receive a refund from Airbnb.

I learned at that time that it is Airbnb that holds reservation deposits and not hosts, so hosts actually have nothing to refund. It is completely disingenuous to blame hosts for Airbnb’s decision, undoubtedly motivated by greed. That they are doing this during a major global health and economic crisis is truly reprehensible. They are pretending to have a sensible, fair, customer-friendly policy to deal with current conditions but this is just smoke-and-mirrors. They just want to keep the money.

That will prove to be a very short-sighted decision for them. I have been a regular Airbnb customer and am in my prime travel years. They are not the only private rental platform out there. What a disgraceful company.

VRBO

Airbnb Refuses to Refund First Responders

We had a group of first responders planning to stay at an Airbnb for three days in April. During this time, the COVID-19 virus had made its way to Southern California. We have been transporting symptomatic patients everyday and many of our paramedics/firefighters have been contracting the virus. This virus has the possibility to be asymptomatic and our fear was coming in contact with civilians that could suffer life-threatening symptoms.

I reached out to the host explaining how it was best if we cancelled. Our host had the ability to give a full refund and said he was on board. Immediately after I canceled, he went back on his word and kept the money.

A few days later, Airbnb released extenuating circumstances for a full refund for customers that fell within certain dates. Although my dates were included, I had already cancelled; they refused the refund. I tried to explain the situation I had with my host.

I received very generic and automated responses from customer support denying any help. I am very disheartened about how Airbnb customer support has handled this situation. This has cost me a lot of money and I don’t see my myself ever using their services again. To all that are reading this: stay safe during this tough time.

Host Tries to Charge Guest $6,000 for Fake Damages

Last November I was traveling with a friend from Tennessee to Delaware. We stopped several places along the way and our first stop was actually in Alabama. We got there and the Airbnb was difficult to find and seemed like it was in a sketchy area. Once we found the place, it wasn’t so bad.

The next morning we wanted to do a load of laundry and there had been a washer and dryer listed for usage. Well, in order to use the washer, I had to get the host’s stuff out and load it into the dryer. I thought I was being helpful anyway.

After a few minutes, my friend and I smelled something burning. I went over there and sure enough there was something wrong with the cord. We were not told that this was the case, but I had to make sure to unplug the dryer. I had to move the dryer to make sure I could unplug it which was difficult since it was hot to the touch.

We opened windows and the door. We even called 911 to get the fire department out even though there wasn’t a fire just yet. We knew we needed to leave, but needed to make sure nothing happened. We stayed until the smoke cleared, but from a distance so we wouldn’t inhale the fumes. We also called the host and told her exactly what happened and she was cordial and okay with us when we were on the phone and thanked us for letting her know.

That night I got a call from the host screaming at me for ruining her stuff and that I had caused significant damage. I let her know it was due to her error in not letting us know the dryer had faulty wiring, but she insisted that it was on us. She went ahead and complained to Airbnb and said we did that as well as stole some stuff. We are not thieves.

We got a call from Airbnb letting us know the complaints and we let them know the real issue. They told us, “Yeah, it is a little ridiculous what she’s saying and it’s way more than could happen in one night.” So they said that we would be okay and that they would eliminate this complaint.

About three days later I got an email trying to charge me $6,000 for the damages. I called about it and once again they apologized and said they would remove the charges. However, a few days later I got an email saying that my account had been disabled due to not following the terms and conditions in accordance with Airbnb policy.

I have since tried and tried to talk to Airbnb and ask why my account was disabled, but they keep emailing me and letting me know to reply to with my Airbnb inbox, which I cannot use since they disabled my account.

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Airbnb Punishes COVID-19’s Most Vulnerable

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My mum booked the whole family a weekend away for May and paid half of the cost of the accommodation up front. On March 16, the UK Government announced that all over 70s and anyone with an underlying health condition should self-isolate due to COVID-19. This was quickly followed by a further announcement on March 20 for a full lockdown of the country.

As three of our party are considered part of the vulnerable group (my mum included), we decided to cancel our booking. We made it clear that this was a COVID-19 cancellation and the host stated that he understood our position. My mum received a notification on her account stating that she would receive a refund of £240. All good – we were happy because this is all we had paid so far so would be getting a full refund.

After we didn’t receive the funds my mum got in contact with Airbnb. It turned out that this £240 was a refund of the whole cost of accommodation and not what we had paid so far, in short, we would get nothing back. Of course we questioned this as we believed we qualified for a COVID-19 refund but apparently we cancelled ‘too early’ despite our reacting to government guidelines.

What’s worse is we could have applied for a refund under the Extenuating Circumstances policy but because our position wasn’t made clear for sometime, the 14-day appeal period had long since expired. Airbnb told us we would need to rely on our host to give us a refund, which he, of course, refused. Turns out he’s not so understanding after all.

We made this cancellation in good faith that we were covered under the COVID-19 policy (our date is included in it now) but because of the miscommunication and not only confusing but ever changing policies we are to lose our money. An example of Airbnb penalising those who fall in the vulnerable category but outside their policies. Shady to say the least.

Our host has now ghosted us as we tried to appeal to his better nature. Obviously we will be getting my friends and family on TripAdvisor to give him the review he deserves.

Getting Refund from Airbnb Employee like Talking to a Robot

I had to return from Cozumel because of a family illness on March 29. I had scheduled a week-long stay at an Airbnb on March 28. My hotel was closing. My stay was supposed to be from March 29 through April 5.

I contacted the host as soon as I reserved my flight back to the states. The host was very courteous. I explained that I would like to return as soon as Cozumel tourism resumes. Airbnb deleted all my contact information with my host so I’m unable to return to the unit I paid for nor will they refund my stay.

My last message from the customer service robot was I needed to contact the host… which is impossible since Airbnb has blocked any contact information. I’ve contacted my credit card company.

Sick of Greedy Airbnb Hosts

I’m trying to get a partial refund from our host as we unfortunately had to cancel our trip due to COVID-19. Her cancellation policy is strict but a tiny bit of compassion and flexibility would be so welcome these days. Times are tough for everyone — I get this — but the host (who is a real estate agent by the way) is ignoring our emails which I find extremely frustrating.

Airbnb has tried to help but with no success. I have never reported a listing or complained about anybody online but I find the greedy attitude of this Airbnb host baffling and frankly I am sick of these sort of people. We are shutting down our account and will be looking at more ethical travel options. If you are travelling to Inverness, Scotland spend your travel money wisely and stay away from this host.

Airbnb Keeping Money Despite Full Refund Promised

This text was also submitted to the Florida Attorney General and other sites. I made several Airbnb reservations for an extended trip, and made sure the cancellation policy for each allowed for a full refund up to 14 days ahead.

Then coronavirus struck, and as a senior citizen we decided to cancel. I have two complaints. The first is that despite very clear words on the reservation page and confirmation email that I would get a full refund, Airbnb is keeping their service fee. They provided a rule that only three are refundable per year, and my trip involved seven, so I would lose four service fees or about $210 of my $950.

My complaint is they practiced deceptive advertising: the reservation page said “full refund until September 1”, but users would have to click a link for full details, then from that page a second link with more information let someone find this rule in the “fine print”. An exception that overturns my ability to get the full refund promised on the checkout page should be clearly stated on the first page and as part of the checkout process, not requiring the user to click backup “info” links and searching through backup webpages.

The second and bigger issue is that I settled for losing these four service fees to get the bulk of my money back. I cancelled the reservations and have emails stating they are refunding me $740 of my $950, but after ten days I called and they said my refund failed with no explanation, and any attempts to resolve this have been not only unsuccessful, they will not even talk to me or reply to my messaging.

When I call, I can talk to their first-line clerk but they know nothing and cannot help. They say they “will elevate” the call but nobody ever gets back to me. When I message them, they ignore me and do not reply. Airbnb is deceptive and in my opinion criminally keeping my money but there is nothing I can do.

No Refund, First and Last Time with Airbnb

Unfortunately, this is my first and last time booking with Airbnb, due to terrible customer service and criminal practices against consumers. The fact that there is a website created to voice complaints says a lot about a company. I just wish I had seen this website prior to booking.

I booked my reservation on February 9, which met their March 14, 2020 “booked on or before” requirement. I paid my down payment. My check-in was April 10, checking out April 13.

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic and our trip was canceled. I canceled my reservation on March 12 on their website with my host. I was told then my host was covered and I would receive a partial refund. I clicked on the link to get my refund because something is better than nothing.

I never received my refund and when I followed up, I was told they decided my reservation does not meet the COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances. When I called Airbnb they could not tell me the exact reason. The reasons kept changing, and they put me on hold most of the conversation.

The initial reason they gave was that I did not cancel with Airbnb. I told him I canceled on their website and when I pressed for him to show me where it is posted on their website that I need to contact someone other than the host and trip reservation on the Airbnb website he put me on hold for ten minutes, never giving me the location, just the COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances.

Next I was told the host was paid out and declined my refund. I am reading the hosts are not getting paid and have a class action lawsuit against Airbnb, so I’m not sure I believe that. Finally I was told I waited too long to reach out to the Resolution Center about a refund, which was only two and a half weeks.

In summary, initially I was told due to my host’s cancellation policy I would get a refund. Then when I got back on the website after not receiving the refund, and tried to request the refund again. After no payment was sent again, I reached out to the Resolution Center. Since then several of my communications with my host were deleted and I was not allowed to request a refund any longer. Now I am given the run around with several fluff excuses that you cannot validate when asked for specifics. When I told Airbnb most companies during this unprecedented time are giving a monetary refund or equal voucher for another stay, they said nothing.

I realize the impact this has on businesses and Airbnb is doing everything they can to keep money in their pockets, but they are taking advantage of both guests and hosts. However, in the end, a business that takes a customer’s money for a service they don’t provide or offer anything in return is criminal. At this time, I will be happy to join a class-action lawsuit against Airbnb.