Credit Card Verification – Security Check Process is a Failure

I’ve just read the post on April 18th on Airbnb Hell from the first time guest who had a nightmare with the verification process and needed to book a room. Specifically, he was asked to enter specific amounts from his credit card into boxes on his screen. When he was unable to do that (because it’s impossible to know what amounts to enter), he was asked to submit a credit card statement. Still, Airbnb requested more information until he gave up. I am going through the same experience. The difference is: I’m no first time user. I’ve been a host for two years with a dedicated townhouse that I use for short-term rentals on Airbnb all year round. I’ve been a guest for much longer. I have a single credit card that I’ve used for years, which I’ve used many times before to make Airbnb reservation. I used it to buy airline tickets within an hour before I tried to book accommodations through Airbnb on April 18th.

After submitting my credit card statement, which I did quite reluctantly, I received a message that Airbnb would get back to me within 24 hours about my reservation. They didn’t. I checked my credit card balance. I have a credit. In other words, there was no debt on the card, which has a large maximum. I’ve never defaulted it. I didn’t get a response yesterday so I called again. I asked the customer service representative to escalate it. She was nice and pleasant and said she would. I also replied to the email I received from the customer service representative I talked to the day before to let her know how badly Airbnb was managing the situation and that I wanted a resolution.

I just got off the phone with my third customer service representative in three days. She was able to get a supervisor on the line. He said he will try to resolve it for me and promised to call me back within two hours. He said that Airbnb has new security procedures in place that are being handled by a separate unit. He admitted that they aren’t working so well and other guests have been having the same problem. This security unit is somewhat isolated in that they will not deal directly with guests. I get the feeling that the customer service unit has little or no access to them as they held me hostage while determining if I am a risky guest. Meanwhile, I’m waiting. It’s certainly possible that the accommodations I tried to book (for 4/28-4/30) are no longer available and that other places may not be either as time is quickly passing and my trip approaches. Not only is this a problem for guests, but for hosts as well, as they are forced to wait and wait to see if a guest’s credit card is approved long after a booking request. The entire process is seriously deficient and needs to be modified by Airbnb. Needless to say, I’m quite disgusted and my confidence in Airbnb has plummeted.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I am giing through the same proccess the second time around. I had terrible issues when I signed up the first time and thought I would’ use them again.
    4 month later I log into my account and they treat me like the first time, and request a credit card statement— is that even legal??

  2. I am having the same problem with the so called verification process. Three days ago I was told a number would be sent to my credit card and to enter the number to complete my booking. Still waiting. Spoken to various people at airbnb. No result. Said there was noone I could speak to on the telephone as that service wasn’t available. Just as well the two hosts I want to book through are understanding. Thinking I will make private arrangements for payment. How hard can it be to send number through. Disgusted.

  3. Despite my frequent travels and despite no changes in my payment card, they popped this on me and then LOST THE VISA BILL THAT I UPLOADED, so I entered a long customer support interaction about how I was not uploading one again, due to their reckless incompetence at handling private information. They have now suspended my account… while I am travelling in Europe.

  4. This is nightmare, their new system doesn`t work at all. I will never use Airbnb again, booking and VRBO is 1000 times better.

  5. Happened to me as well!
    It’s been more than 48 hours already and nothing… I’m losing good appartments for nothing. Sent the PDF with my Visa statement, after I obviously couldn’t retrieve those 2 low sums.
    I stayed in Airbnb appartments for four times in the past two years, using this exact Visa last time and nothing like this ever happened. I also emailed them via Help Center (took years to get to) on Airbnb website today, still haven’t recieved an answer.
    Anyone having any progress with this?

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