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Guest Dispute Turns Host off Airbnb for Good

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After holding a room for a month, Airbnb guests arrived far after the check in time. They insisted that they did not want to unload anything for one night. The lady sat on the floor talking to my husband, playing with the dog. Unbeknownst to her, we had a guest.

Ten minutes after my husband left, she and her husband ran in and out of the house. Later I got a text saying it wasn’t a good fit. Airbnb said they would review and handle. Crickets. I left the room as occupied. Then another month was deposited in my account. I had strict cancellation policies and long term cancellation policies. It didn’t matter.

The guests sent a picture of a dog hair in the bed, a rat turd in a chair, a snowman in one of the two master closets and a shower that had fresh, hostess-supplied amenities. None of this was mentioned to my husband during the talk. I objected strongly to the dog hair and rat turd.

My guests staying upstairs verified the room. They left sheets and towels on the floor. The drugs she said she had shipped to our house to arrive the day they arrived mysteriously never came.

I have wonderful reviews and, as I said, witnesses. Airbnb gave me 24 hours to respond. One minute after I submitted a partial response, I got a phone call saying they reviewed my response and were siding with the guests and need the money back. I blocked them from my bank account, my phone and email. They can rot.

Being told ‘No matter what, I cannot get my money back‘

We are four senior women (over 70) who booked a friend’s vacation back on January 29 for travel beginning on May 11. We paid in full, looking forward to the vacation. Then COVID-19 hit. We contacted the host and explained we were concerned: two ladies had frail husbands and one lady had respiratory problems. We contacted the hosts on March 31 to express our concerns and ask about our options.

The hosts were very understanding but asked that we waited until at least May 1 to cancel. We agreed, but on April 20 we received an email from Airbnb talking about possibility of getting a 100% refund due to COVID-19.

At that point we reached out to the hosts, who said to try and cancel using the Airbnb website. I did but could not find a way to get a 100% refund. It said I would get a little more than 50% back or I could accept a travel voucher for 100%. We opted for this, because we did not believe we could get our money back.

I talked again with the hosts, who said they were going to try and help. When they got back to me, because I had accepted the travel voucher, they didn’t think there was anything they could do to help.

Since then, we have spoken with several hosts who indicated they were refunding their customers 100% of their money without documentation, and I needed to pursue this by calling Airbnb. They gave me a number to call. I called on May 7, explained the situation, was told my case was being escalated to case management and I would get a call back.

I did not get a call back. We pursued calling Airbnb again, explained our situation again, and again we were told we would get a call back. Again nothing… we called back again, waited on hold about 1.5 hours then was told over and over again that they were sorry , but there was nothing they could do.

There was no one that could help me get my money back. Because I had agreed to take a voucher then I could not get my money. I find the entire refund policy unacceptable. I will not be paying Airbnb ever again to stay at one of their properties. I will make sure everyone I know also hears the same story. Shame on Airbnb for stealing some people’s money. How dare they accept stimulus loan money.

Airbnb not Paying Hosts, Even for Normal Reservations

In the last two months Airbnb raised $2 Billion to survive on the coronavirus outbreak. It seems they are running out of cash. I have a group with several Airbnb hosts who are reporting the same problem: Airbnb is not paying the guests’ reservations to the hosts. The guests are paying, but the hosts are not receiving this money, because Airbnb is holding the money without a reason.

Their customer service is evasive, and they can’t explain why the payments are not being made. After ten days and several phone calls and DM’s, they said the problem was “with my bank”, but they refuse to give the transaction ID to the bank. I called my bank and Airbnb hasn’t sent anything there.

It’s a unfair lie. It’s a scandal. They used exactly this same narrative in 2015, as this Forbes article explains. This is a police case. They are running out of cash and holding the hosts’ money hostage. I know several hosts who are facing the same situation, and would like to collect more stories to publish an article to explain this cash flow scandal.

Airbnb Illogically Refunded the Cancellation Fees

I had a booking from a couple of guests from China back in mid-January. On January 30, they decided to cancel the booking saying: “Sorry, my friend wants to stay at another place. We shall meet next time!” Hence a partial refund was returned.

Then a few weeks later, Airbnb took that partial refund away saying the guest couldn’t travel and qualifies for the full refund because of extenuating circumstances. I do understand that it is unfortunate that the two couldn’t make the trip. However, the point is that the guests cancelled the booking because they chose to stay in another place.

Had they decide to stay in my place and cancel, I would fully respect that. Logically, I should get to keep the cancellation fees.

Am I being irrational? I had months of long messages with Airbnb support and their supervisor, who then abruptly said the decision is final and closed the case without allowing me to ask for the reasoning for their decision. The responses were expectedly slow because of the situation.

What’s interesting is that in the conversation, I asked for the contact for someone beyond the support supervisor level and the supervisor said that there is no one above him/her and closed my case. I went on Twitter about it. They asked me to DM my case.

Within five minutes, I got a response saying that he “thoroughly reviewed” my case and that the decision is final. How can you thoroughly review a case in five minutes including coming up with a response? At this point, I am tempted to just send the CEO a tweet since he stresses that he love feedback.

Airbnb not Helping this Host in the Least

I had a bad guest stay recently. Everything from broken tiles, burnt plastic on pans, stolen bathroom fixtures, the whole place smelt of weed… the worst was when they broke the hot tub by smashing in the inlet grate.

Airbnb refused to give me a claims advocate until I lodged a quote, but that wasn’t possible for five days until the hot tub repair person arrived to determine what the issue was and how much it would be. As soon as this happened I lodged the claim and got a claims advisor only to be told that as another guest had checked in, my claim was now invalid. What?

Countless emails and messages has only led to Airbnb becoming elusive and not calling me when they said they would. It feels like the DMV on steroids. As a host I just need help on this. I feel like I’m in some sort of a bad dream.

No Response After Long-Term Guest Cancelled

My guest cancelled her one-year reservation on Feb. 26 after staying just one month, sent an email, and was gone the next day. I’ve contacted Airbnb and they promised to contact my guest.

Since then I haven’t received any messages from Airbnb. I did call twice myself (since I live abroad, it’s an expensive phone call) and got the same message: “We will contact the team involved and they will be back with you asap.”

I also wrote three emails asking about any kind of update. So far I haven’t received anything. I put my apartment on hold at Airbnb, and told them in an email that I would have a look at Booking.com. Now thanks to the coronavirus madness everything is on hold anyway, but boy I am disappointed about the attitude of Airbnb.

Airbnb is Scamming Hosts During this Crisis

I’ve been a host with Airbnb for about seven or eight years. We’ve had our differences but nothing too bad. Mainly, after the first couple of years, getting help from them for a situation was difficult, then they got better, but really, it was for minor things.

I’ve been a Superhost now for a couple of years so I take my role as host very seriously. Well, I had a guest that I was in communication with the whole time and she had to cancel at the last minute because of travel restrictions back in March due to the virus.

As per my cancellation policy (100% if a week, 50% if less than that), I received half of my expected fee and she got her half. Just last week, we get this email with great fanfare from the CEO about how they were putting five million dollars into helping the Airbnb community. I thought that was nice.

I have one guest who is here because he’s working on a job for an essential industry. When I received my payment, Airbnb had deducted my 50% from the cancelled guest and had returned the entire fee to the guest.

I don’t object to that given all the money Airbnb has but to take it from me, who is a small business person who relies on this income and works hard for it  — in Massachusetts we register as small businesses and pay business taxes — seems very unfair, especially because they are giving a false narrative about how they are taking care of the whole “Airbnb” community. Three hundred and fifty dollars is nothing to a corporation like theirs. They should be able to take care of the guest and me.

Airbnb not Paying out more than Four Months

I own and rent out an apartment, mostly through Airbnb, in Budapest, Hungary. I realized only in January that the last payment I received was on November 11. The business is being managed for me by a company who specializes in this and who have been doing a great job. They have registered/contracted with Airbnb — not me — but Airbnb has been paying my account directly.

The management company has been in contact with Airbnb customer service — as difficult as it is to make meaningful contact with them — but only told that we need to wait for some payment system issue to be resolved. Then of course nothing happens for weeks and weeks.

As I personally am not even a client, I am unable to contact Airbnb directly which is incredibly frustrating. Having managed to get through on Airbnb’s phone line, they managed to set up a call with a CEE regional manager, who promised to investigate and get back to me.

This was three weeks ago and obviously nothing has happened since. Airbnb has been holding my money ($6-7000) for more than four months now and seems to be ignoring its obligation to immediately resolve this situation that is clearly in conflict with their contract and with the law. Their behaviour is just unthinkable and unacceptable in every way. Any help with what the hell I can do would be greatly appreciated.

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Airbnb Hosts Fighting Back: Unlist Your Account on April 1

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Calling all Airbnb hosts: Anyone who wishes to participate in the #HOSTSFIGHTBACK initiative please read onward.

On April 1st, 2020 at 9:00 AM we will delist all of our properties from the Airbnb platform in an effort to communicate to Airbnb Corporate that we are not in agreement with their cancellation and refund efforts made during the coronavirus outbreak.

To date, I have lost 65 reservations and almost $48,000 in revenue across my short-term portfolio from Airbnb for the months of March through May 2020. Some of which were guests who received a full refund without falling under the extenuating circumstances policy.

Reading some of your comments on this Facebook Page, it appears that hosts’ cancellation policies are not being upheld and instead of finding creative and fair ways to offer guests and hosts a fair solution during this pandemic, Airbnb has almost completely sided with guests offering full refunds during this difficult time, leaving hosts completely out to dry.

Other short-term rental platforms like VRBO are upholding cancellation policies entirely, and booking.com and corporate hotels are offering travel vouchers to use to be used at a later date. Why are we being treated differently by Airbnb?

Aside from the total disregard of our cancellation policies, I find it appalling that Airbnb is still collecting its host fee on these cancellations they are processing in-house. I have confirmed via the payout transactions page on my personal account that Airbnb collected $79.29 worth of host fees on cancellations from my end, which means they have collected $158.58 total, including the guests’ cancellation fees.

It might sound like a small number, but multiply it by 150 million users on the platform to find out how much Airbnb has taken from you. Go into your “transaction history” page and download a CSV of your transactions. You will see the “host fee” column once you download it.

It appears that the “host fee” is being still being charged or collected on Airbnb’s part and split with the account owner. As you will notice when you check individual reservation details, the service fee is clearly being taken out of your payout (see screenshot).

I believe as hosts and as property owners who are risking our most precious assets, we have a right to be heard. Without us, the platform would cease to exist. Let our voices be heard by delisting your property on April 1st starting at 9:00 AM to trigger an Airbnb meltdown, forcing Brian Chesky and the other decision-makers at Airbnb to hear our concerns and pay attention to our policies.

You do not have to deactivate your account. We are asking that you un-list. How do you unlist? Sign into your Airbnb account and click “listings”. Scroll down to “listing status”. Click “edit” and then “unlist”. This will temporarily unlist your Airbnb listing from the platform which will in turn trigger a response from Airbnb Corporate.