Airbnb Stole My Refund — No Results for a Month

This matter is super easy, for a normal company. Of course for the spawn of hell, Airbnb, it is impossible.

I checked into an Airbnb. The apartment had construction in progress that was not disclosed. I immediately cancelled with the host in line with their cancellation policy. We stayed two nights and the host agreed to refund the rest. Airbnb confirmed on June 2 that the refund was paid.

It is now 32 days later and there has been no refund. Airbnb has taken the money from the host and this refund has now been misappropriated by Airbnb. Never in my life have I dealt with a more incompetent and horrifically inept service team than at Airbnb. They lie and lie without taking any action to resolve anything. I have escalated this over five times and very single time the consultant says they don’t know where the refund is, then transfers me to an “expert” who I assume is the same person with a different persona. Then after that they suddenly never respond again.

Airbnb has already agreed to the refund? So why not pay it? What is Airbnb hiding? All I want us to know where my refund is and then for Airbnb to make immediate payment. Airbnb is hands down the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of using. I will pay more to stay directly with hotels in future in order to receive actual service.

Airbnb Hosts in Spokane Were Scammers

The story I am about to tell is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I traveled 2500 miles and thought I found a perfect Airbnb. Upon meeting the host and his wife I felt good about the decision to pay upfront and thought the place was beautiful — this was only a first impression, though.

I went about my business and upon returning home I noticed my curtains were opened. I then quickly checked my belongings only to find a few prescription pills missing and then a credit card. I decided to hold off and sleep on it before making any accusations. Much to my surprise, the host told me he had to ask a young women to move out early because she was smoking. I said I have never smoked and hadn’t smelt anything although her room was directly across from mine.

Near the end of the week I was trying to reach out to the host and he was not responding. I received a response indicating I needed to look at my Airbnb message board and found a message telling me to “revert.” I didn’t know what that meant so I messaged back inquiring and was told I had violated the host’s smoking policy…. but I don’t smoke.

Then I received a message from the host that said if I initiated a cancellation then he wouldn’t wouldn’t have to and doing so would get me refunded for the days I didn’t use. I immediately called Airbnb and they said quite the contrary: it is the host that has to initiate cancellations and if their reasons are baseless and unproven you get your unused days refunded. So basically the host was baiting me with falsehoods so that I would initiate a cancellation and be liable for his losses.

There is a point when you know that a person is trying to run a scam. I eventually was able to get my refund but wanted to also let everybody planning to visit Spoken to stay away from hosts like this one.

Airbnb Refusing to Refund Service Fee Despite Cancellation Policy

My wife and I booked an Airbnb property that stated it had a full cancellation policy if we cancelled by August 15. I went to cancel on June 21 (two months ahead of the date where the policy changes) and the website refused to refund the $500 service fee. I contacted customer support and they stated if we cancelled that day and ahead of August 15 we would receive the $500 service fee.

Customer support has been a nightmare and then later said the cancellation policy states the service fee is non-refundable. My wife and I both checked the cancellation policy ahead of time and it was a full free cancellation. In addition, the previous customer service person agreed that the service fee is refundable. The property is no longer showing on the site so I’ve asked them to produce the actual cancellation policy tied to the listing and show it to me. They’ve failed to do this. This is horrible customer service. $500 may be a small amount for a company like Airbnb but this is a huge amount for a family. Extremely disappointed by their level of service here.

Locked out of the Building by the Neighbours

I stayed at an Airbnb last year in a small town close to Thessaloniki, in Greece. There weren’t many choices, so I chose one that had the most good ratings and was nearest to the beach. I’m a single woman in her 40s —not someone who’s having parties or blasting music all night. The host was a surgeon and was generally in Athens. He wouldn’t be there to meet me, but he left detailed instructions on where to get the key to the front door of the building, and then, once inside, to the apartment. So far so good.

The building was in good shape and the apartment was decent. The television and satellite weren’t hooked up, so there was no cable/streaming or wifi. The host promised to send someone to fix that the day I arrived. That didn’t happen, but as I was only there for three days and wanted to be out and about I wasn’t too bothered. I did notice what felt like hostility from the very few other residents I encountered that I just tried to ignore it.

The second day I was walking back from dinner in town and saw a couple outside the building next door and said hello. They spoke a bit of English and were curious about who I was and where I was staying. When I told them, they seemed really surprised and said “But he cannot do that. The building does not allow this and he had a lot of trouble last summer.”

I told them I was leaving the next day but that everything seemed okay. I had booked a car to the airport the final day at noon, so I went down to the beach around 10:00, with a plan to come back up at 11:30, have a quick shower, throw on my clothes and leave. 11:30 came and I walked back up to the property, wearing a bikini and sarong and found, to my absolute horror, a brand new lock on the door to the building… and my key no longer worked.

I rang all the doorbells; no one would answer. Several residents came onto their balconies and shouted down at me but no one would unlock the door. I rang the host and left several messages with his PA. I tried ringing Airbnb, who were worse than useless, telling me that the host was entitled to change his mind about letting me stay. They seemed to totally miss that it was the end of the stay and I just needed to leave.

The car showed up. I had to pay him EUR 100 cash to sit and wait (small town, no cabs, I’d booked him in advance and if he left, I’d miss my flight). Finally, around 1:15, the neighbours I’d spoken to came home and saw what was happening. I pleaded with them for help and they finally convinced a man in the building to let me in to get my things. That man stood there and literally watched every move I made. I couldn’t even change my clothes because he wouldn’t let me close a door. He gave me five minutes to get out.

I never got any joy with Airbnb. Their view was that I’d stayed as planned. The host finally rang me as I was en route to the airport and absolutely reamed me for ‘being mean to his PA and calling repeatedly.’ Never mind that he was prohibited from renting on Airbnb or that I’d been locked out in a bikini for almost two hours. Or that his neighbours were so angry they changed the locks on the building. When I left a review reflecting this, he left a response saying that I had parties every night, the neighbours called the police because we were using drugs… all made up of course. Never again.

Horrible Host + Horrible Customer Service = Airbnb Nightmare

blankblank

My husband and I checked into our Venice beach studio late for a five-night stay. Exhausted, I fell into bed, but thought “This looks like a 3-star place, not 4.82.” The photos showed a bright and sunny room, but the reality was tired and sad: old bathroom and kitchen, tiny room sparsely furnished. We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside, so I didn’t think much of it.

The next morning my husband called “first shower,” but quickly retreated. The bathtub was covered in dried human feces. I immediately called the host and told her we were checking out and wanted a full refund. She agreed and we left immediately and checked into a much more expensive hotel. I tried to call Airbnb, but after a half an hour wait I was cut off.

That afternoon, as instructed by my host who said she could not issue a refund until I had cancelled the reservation, I cancelled online. The next day I filed a formal request for a refund with Airbnb’s resolution center. My host had 72 hours to respond and despite my repeated requests, she was radio silent. Finally, my host wrote that she had spoken to Airbnb and was under no obligation to give me a refund, but “out of the goodness of my heart” would refund less than half of our $1,226.

Then I entered Airbnb Hell. I filed a complaint with Airbnb, twice, and only got the response “Here are some articles that might help you.” I wrote to Brian Chesky and several people high up in Airbnb. No response. I DM’d Airbnb through Instagram and got an immediate response: “We are going to assign you a Support Ambassador, a specialist assigned to your case.” For eight days I awaited word from my Support Ambassador (and yes, I kept DMing Airbnb through Instagram and kept getting reassuring responses that they were very concerned about my case).

Eventually, a canned response came from my Support Ambassador which said, in essence, “Sorry. Not our problem.” In the meantime my host was again running the clock and although I did not post a damning review of her studio (or any review), she slammed me with one implying that I had caused the plumbing problem, that I had harassed her, didn’t wait for the problem to be resolved before leaving, and that she had issued us a full refund. Her last ageist jab was: “Cranky old lady. Don’t host her.”

This cranky old lady is also an experienced travel writer. Airbnb says the first thing when there’s a problem is to contact the host. Done. Then Airbnb. Done through the Resolution Center. Bad experiences can happen. Airbnb can be a crapshoot. But why won’t I use them again? Because they take no responsibility, despite their exorbitant fees, for their product. Brian Chesky was just listed as one of the wealthiest people in America. Let the attached photos speak for themselves.

blank

Nightmare at Mexico Airbnb Makes Us Leave Early

blankblankblankblank

A misrepresented listing led us to find serious issues with listing in Cholula Puebla, Mexico: three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, three-story house, two years old. It was not only dirty but there was no PPE or COVID-19 sanitizing protocols or cleaning supplies even though the host is a dentist. The host said they only cleaned once a month; there were no cleaning supplies at all, so guess we missed that window, right?

We walked all over the house. There was no gas or internet. We were told to wait for the gas truck and cable company to do installs, while the hosts left. The workmen took 7.5 hrs to finish (no PPE while going up and down the three floors) you can see the installation on the photos I will include. The gas people finally showed up and the pilot was lit, immediately there was a strong gas odor. The host said it was nothing and “just leave the boiler door open” except that the gas leak was very strong all over especially in the kitchen. I should say the boiler temperature never increased from the pilot level so the gas couldn’t get worse which meant no hot water.

We called the host several times about the gas leak, and they finally said a plumber would arrive right away. They never did. I opened the rear sliding door only to be met with all types of flies and mosquitoes. We had to keep it closed. I should add the home was very hot, with no window coverings. We were told the internet would work the following day but it only worked on the first floor due to the installation plus this was an old issue they were aware of.

We gave them benefit of the doubt but couldn’t sleep due to the gas situation and being bit by fleas or bedbugs as soon as we lay on top of the bed. Add to this house wasn’t as advertised — new, modern house completely outfitted — the living room furniture was badly stained, dirty and full of dust plus broken (they were same style as listing but different fabric), and the same for the dining room and kitchen.

The upper floors were stifling hot so they had small fans everywhere. Everything had serious calcium deposits which affected the use of any water, the microwave was dirty and greasy, and everything was old and mistreated. There wasn’t one pan for cooking, just old beat up pots but no spoons, spatulas, coffeemaker, blender, even where you drain dishes didn’t have base on it so couldn’t be used.

They say they’re set up for long-term stays? Definitely not. They also gave us limits for utility use: 500 MX for gas, 500 MX every two months, (roughly $25). You pay for anything over. The host made a abig deal of utility conservation yet with a gas leak, only multiple ceiling lights, no small table lamps available so you’d use much more electricity, plus a very hot house requiring fans everywhere gives the reason for their utility limits.

We left the very next day after seeing had odor was worse, there was no plumber and the internet was still not working properly. We notified Airbnb about getting a refund. It’s been over a week and even though they replied, there has been no resolution yet.

Ransomware Attack Doesn’t Qualify as Extenuating Circumstances?

My family booked a trip in the mountains for North Carolina. Three days before our trip, the Colonial Pipeline was hacked and held for ransomware. This lead to a gas shortage and state of emergency that was declared in the state. We contacted Airbnb customer service to see if we could cancel our trip due to the state of emergency and the fact that we wouldn’t be able to make it to our destination. They told us they would look into it.

We reached out to them every day for five days, and continued to be told they were looking into it. Finally, after our trip was scheduled to be over, they came back and said it wasn’t covered under the extenuating circumstances policy but wouldn’t tell us why, even though a government-declared state of emergency is clearly listed as part of the policy. We asked for a manager to give us a call, so that they could give us a better explanation.

Instead of a call, a manager that was based in Europe emailed us to let us know that the decision was final and that she couldn’t call us in the U.S. because of the time zone difference. We asked for a manager located in North America or more specifically in the eastern time zone. She came back and said if we want to talk to someone, we can call the customer service line again and start over with a new ambassador. We still believe that our claim falls under the extenuating circumstances policy and would really like to talk to someone that understands why the decision was made to deny the claim.

Airbnb Host Tries Bait and Switch Over Memorial Day Weekend

This is the letter I wrote to Airbnb about my experience:

I am writing to tell you about my horrible Airbnb experience in the hopes of getting some resolution. My family and I have used Airbnb several times and never had a bad experience before now. We are so devastated by what has happened to us that we will never use Airbnb or VRBO again.

I have reached out to customer service three times with no result. I get the impression that I am calling a call center in another country and that the people that are answering the phone are just telling me that my issue is being investigated with no result. I have reached out to the Better Business Bureau, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the Virginia Beach Housing Authority. I will be seeking the advice of my attorney. I have also discussed the situation with my bank’s fraud department and they are conducting their own investigation.

We booked a condo on May 13, 2021. We planned to take our 16-year-old daughter to Virginia Beach to see the beach, aquarium, and Norfolk Botanical Gardens. As we were leaving around 8:00 AM on May 28 I looked at the listing to see what the check-in procedure was and it said there was a lockbox. I messaged the host on the Airbnb app and she asked me to let her know when we were an hour away.

I messaged her again at noon to tell her we were an hour away. She said the house wasn’t ready and check in was at 3:00 PM. I told her no problem, I was just letting her know when we would be arriving in the area. Then she called my cell phone and said something about how she was waiting for a delivery but she would try to get the house ready for an early check in.

We arrived at the condo at 2:30 PM. We called the host and let her know. She sounded flustered and said that the toilets were broken at the condo and that she was waiting for a couch to be delivered. She told us she wanted us to stay at her other property, that it was brand new and we would be the first guests. She gave us the address. It was 15 minutes away.

When we arrived we were shocked and disturbed. The apartment was in an unsafe looking neighborhood in what looked like Section 8 housing. When we walked into the apartment it was hot, there were boxes of her personal belongings in the middle of the floor, the furniture was unplaced and still had tags on it. There was only one bed and only one bedroom was furnished. There was no TV.

She offered to blow up an air mattress for us. She said that she was waiting for a bed and mattress to be delivered. She called the delivery company and put them on speaker phone. They told her they didn’t know when they would arrive. She instructed us not to tell people that this was an Airbnb and to tell people that we were her friends. We told her that we were going to get a cold drink and called Airbnb and spoke to a young lady and told her what was going on. She said someone would email us.

We went back and told the host we were uncomfortable and asked her to cancel. She said she didn’t know how and suggested that we call and lie and say that we were cancelling due to COVID. At one point she handed me her phone and asked me to help her figure out how to cancel. When I cancelled the trip on her account it said that the trip had been referred to a support team. She then said that the toilets were fixed and that we could go back to the original condo if we wanted to. We didn’t believe her and didn’t feel safe interacting with her anymore.

We left and as it was a holiday weekend it took us two hours to find a hotel. I called Airbnb again that night and spoke to a young man who informed me that he may not be able to help me because we didn’t take pictures, but that he would try to help me. He said he would contact me with updates. I never heard from him again. I called and spoke to someone the next day and she said that she would investigate and update me. I have not heard from anyone.

I am a social worker in private practice and my husband is a mechanic. We cannot afford to lose $828. This has been an incredibly upsetting experience for us, particularly as the whole thing happened in front of our 16-year-old daughter. This trip was a treat for her as she has been cooped up in the house for a year doing online learning. I am appalled at the customer service I have received from Airbnb. I implore you to help us resolve this issue.

blank

Host Lied About Cleaning Filthy Airbnb During Pandemic

blankblankblankblankblankblankblank

I have used Airbnb for years but never again. My pictures will show that this new host had no concept of what was clean and had not cleaned let alone touched high contact areas. It appears a long-term renter had been there as we were unfortunately the first guests in what they say was a newly refurbished property. They had painted bedrooms but left the kitchen and washing machine cupboard untouched: door handles were sticky, light switches filthy, dirt built up deep and when you opened the fridge door you could see the dirt build up.

The kitchen stank so badly of cat spraying and wee, it also smelt like something dead like a mouse. I told them and sent pictures. They blamed a cleaner but wouldn’t tell me who that was so I could raise a complaint and they said they would clean the next day, a day into our trip. We stayed out all day in the hole so they could do a deep clean. We couldn’t find anywhere else to stay.

We got there late the first night with our son who has Crohn’s and is a higher risk. We couldn’t get anywhere else as everything was booked and we were complying with Airbnb and giving them and the host a right to respond. Airbnb said not to cancel — it had to be done by the host. Anyway, we got back and found that only superficial cleaning had been done: no hoovering the dirt in cupboards, no cleaning next to the washing machine or the machine.

I had such a bad night with my severe cat allergy and knew something was really bad in the kitchen so I tried to find the issue. The photos of the fridge, floors, washing machine, and cupboard are after they had the chance to clean. I was fuming and told the host I sent photos to Airbnb. The host said they would refund me but are now refusing and changing their story because I left an honest review. I am still waiting for Airbnb and I will be taking legal action. The host has now posted defamatory statements about me in their reply to my feedback.

I am at a loss how people can be like this and rip people off and lie so blatantly. I have photos, I have their emails admitting they didn’t clean, admitting it’s wrong, admitting they would refund me and now because I didn’t play the game and lie on my feedback they are refusing. Had I lied I think they would have still refused, and they would have said my feedback showed I’m happy. The biggest issue for me is Airbnb and this is not fit for an enhanced cleaning program. A host gets a badge and is shown to be COVID safe when they are not even doing basic cleaning. I would love to do a class action on Airbnb to look at this and the facts.