I booked a house in Sydney prior to COVID-19 and had to cancel due to international and domestic border closures. I contacted the host who owns the three-bedroom property regarding this and he said as it was due to COVID it was no problem. So I duly cancelled and it read that I would receive $400 of the initial $466 paid.
Then I got an email saying there was no refund as I didn’t meet the extenuating reasons for cancellation. I contacted the Superhost and he said he had nothing to do with the money as he didn’t get paid until the booking date. After a lot of contact with customer service, all I got was that the host blocked any contact and some condescending customer service personnel.
It is beyond belief that COVID is not an extenuating cause to cancel. I did cancel prior to having to pay the final installment as it was obvious international and domestic borders were not going to open and the airlines had already cancelled our flights.
The last straw and respect for Airbnb was when a customer service person said that the host had had a lot of cancellations and still had bills to pay so he was refusing to reimburse. Eventually I was told to write feedback that customer service gave me with my concerns and it may be resolved. I did that and two months later have heard nothing.
I just don’t know who to believe within the organisation and will avoid this company at all costs. I think both the company and the host are unscrupulous and both to be avoided. I did send a message to the house site on the web after the date that we were meant to be there telling the host that I hope he was able to pay a bill with his ill-gotten money. No response.