COVID-19 Airbnb Cancellation not Refunded

I have never experienced customer service as terrible as this. I had a house booked in a couple weeks just outside the full cash refund bracket but that was fine; I was still entitled to a full credit refund which I could use in a future trip.

When I had realized the current state of emergency wasn’t getting any better, cancelling the Airbnb booking was a must. I went through the app to cancel and was shown two options. The first was a “receive a $0 refund from host” as it had surpassed her cancellation date, and the other option was “receive $320 travel credit for next trip.”

Part of this was my mistake, as I didn’t realize I needed to select an option. I had thought it was giving me the details of my refund rather than giving me the two options I had. As far I remember I don’t think there was anything that said I needed to select an option either.

Straight after that I had contacted Airbnb, first through messages and then a call. I was on hold for about 50 minutes, which is understandable during this period. Once I got through I explained my details to a very uninterested lady. She asked if I was looking for a full refund to my credit card, I said I was more than happy to accept travel credit.

I explained I think I had accidentally selected the wrong option as I didn’t see any travel voucher/credit to my account after that cancellation. She had told me she didn’t have the power to do the refund and that she’d speak to someone higher up and contact me later.

One week later, I hadn’t heard anything back. I sent them another message in case she had forgot. At that point I decided to call back, this time with a different person. I explained the whole situation again, and told him I had been waiting to be contacted by Airbnb. I asked if he could help me but once again he said he could not but will speak to somebody that can.

He then sent me a message after the call and said: “Thanks your patience, somebody will get in contact with you within 24 hours to resolve your issue.”

Six days later… nothing. So now I’m wondering if they’re going to refund my money or just tell me there’s nothing they can do as it is my fault for selecting the wrong option. Is it common for these guys not to contact you when they have promised or do they just try getting out of giving your money back?

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7 Comments

  1. Airbnb’s customer service is godawful. I do believe that some of the customer service reps I’ve spoken to have tried to help but there is some black and white manager overseeing what should be “do the right thing to keep customers” who shouldn’t be there. They promised full refunds but deliver travel credit vouchers (the original host sees none of the money). But you can only apply one voucher per rebooked stay. So in the end, you have to calculate each stay to match the canceled stay dollars. It’s a scam and one that does not benefit the hosts at ALL. And of course, Airbnb ‘s response “I’m sorry, these are the rules and we must abide”.

  2. At the very bottom of the cancellation page is an option to apply for a full refund. You have to explain why you are applying of this in 200 words and supply evidence ( yes absolutely this is a pain in the arse, but worth it if you can get your cash back) All my guests who have gone through this process have got their money back. Take a deep breath and either call them back rather than waste your energy on here.

  3. Absolutely crazy,
    Thanks for the comments guys.
    I may try calling them one more time and if not resolved will certainly be contacting my credit card company to get my money back.
    Which I heard would possibly put a ban on my Airbnb account also?

    Such a shame, I really liked a lot of the amazing & affordable places they had on there but what a poor excuse of a company. I hope someone picks up the pieces and replaces them.

  4. Sadly this is the way many call centres work. Often they have large displays in front of a team, and each member is given so many minutes to complete an incoming call. After that it counts against them on appraisals. If they put you on hold, it doesn’t count and they can probably take another call. They hope you just get bored and disconnect.

    When queues of calls requiring escalation get too big, they are summarily deleted. That’s why you never get a call-back.

    That doesn’t mean you have to accept this – put your business elsewhere, with an organisation that operates more professionally.

  5. I checked with our Guest when Airbnb told us we had to give back the money they already paid us since the cancellation was well before the Corona Virus issues. The Guest said ONLY the service fees were credited as a future stay. NOT the actual cost which was taken back from us, the HOST as Airbnb stated to give the guest the full refund. So the Guest did not get the money and the Host did not get the money…mmmmm I wonder who kept the actual money paid…..Oh yes, Airbnb!

  6. Something similar happened to me! Well, I chose the extenuating circumstances to get a refund because my travel dates fell right within their current policy. I called again and again and again, spoke to at least five different managers and still no refund. They literally refuse to give me a refund that I AM ENTITLED TO! So, what’s the next thing you can do? Call up your credit card company and dispute the charges because under the law you are entitled to a full cash refund based on their policy. The credit card company will get your money back for you and personally I would boycott Airbnb for future travel and use other apps or book through a hotel. At this point I wish I went through a hotel and not Airbnb because most hotels give an option to cancel and receive a full cash refund under certain policies such as spending 20 dollars more for the option to cancel and when you do cancel through the hotel they do not ask a million questions on why you need the money more than a BILLION dollar company does. I hope Airbnb goes bankrupt after this.

  7. I lost all my bookings as a host too, I undertand the crisis but my decision was not sought. I was promised 25% off the bookings lost and as a single mother with this my sole income, was destitute. I have not received the 2600$ income from march lost and neither the 25% offered. I think the money is banked somewhere between host and guest I guess. airbnb corporate investment?

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