I am currently in the middle of a sabbatical trip that I have been planning for over a year. I am a musician and small business owner from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I have been severely burnt out in recent years from the rigors of running a small business. Six months ago I started planning a four-month trip to the Dominican Republic. This past May I booked an apartment with Airbnb in Punta Cana and made an initial payment of $1,711 using my debit card. Shortly before leaving for my trip I had to replace my debit card. I called Airbnb the day before I left to give them the new card number for the future months’ rent. Unfortunately they made a mistake and cancelled the original payment (which had been made six months earlier) and charged my new card for the same amount. I did not authorize them to do this.
As soon as I saw that money had been taken out of my account I called them back and asked what was going on. They said there was nothing they could do to cancel the new charge but said the original payment would be refunded and the two amounts would even out. However it has now been over two weeks and the refund has not been credited to my account. I have communicated with Airbnb customer support at least five times over the past two weeks to resolve the situation, and they have been unresponsive and unhelpful.
Airbnb has left me alone in a foreign country with nearly $2,000 less in my bank account than I am supposed to have for over two weeks. I am fortunate that I still have enough money in my account to get by for the time being, but the consequences of this situation could have been disastrous if I had been on a tighter budget. Since Airbnb has been totally unresponsive, I have found other accommodations and am initiating the dispute process with my bank for the fraudulent charge. I am completely shocked that a reputable company would do this to a (repeat) customer and leave me in potentially perilous circumstances. I will never do business with Airbnb again, and I suggest than anyone reading this think long and hard before booking lodging through this awful company.