Duped by Host, Airbnb Refused a Refund

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I booked a place in New Jersey for spring break based on reviews I read. I payed full price with a one-time payment of $811.03 for five nights. It was my first time ever using Airbnb. I stated that to my host and he used it against me.

The communication was good until I got to the place and saw the mess. The smell gave me allergies right away The floor was very sticky; the maid was still working on it but couldn’t clean it. The futon in the living room was broken, and the dishes were dirty.

I texted my host about it and he didn’t reply at all. I went to a hotel and the next morning he texted me asking me how my night was. I was so surprised. I told him that I didn’t spend the night and that I texted him the day before and was sure his assistant and maid told him that I had left. I didn’t understand his message. He didn’t reply. I asked for a refund and he declined, saying that he was never informed of the issues.

I immediately got Airbnb involved. They never reached out to me until I called their customer service line one week later. The first representative told that they were sorry, they were very busy and that they would refund me and even probably for the money I spent for the hotel. He told me he was going to make my case a priority and a case manager was going to reach out to me.

The next day a case manager emailed me introducing herself. She emailed me back, saying that the host said I checked in early and that’s why I found the place like that. I showed her that I was on time. She emailed me back now saying that I should have canceled the reservation and gotten Airbnb involved as soon as I noticed the issues. All she could do was refund me for one night and the cleaning fee.

I found it very disrespectful the way they treated my case because it was one excuse after another. Their representative on the phone told me that I had 72 hours after the issue to get Airbnb involved; I did it less than 48 hours after the issue. Now the case manager is telling me that I should have gotten Airbnb involved in the next 24 hours after the issue.

They are all from the same corporation but they have different stories to use to not refund your money. I thought Airbnb was a serious company but apparently not. Something needs to be done to shut that company down.

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

6 Comments

  1. Airbnb terms of service state to report problems as soon as they are evident. Also Airbnb does not forward payment to the host until you have been happily in the unit for 24 hours. Problems reported in the first 24 hours increase your chances of getting a refund (the host hasn’t received payment yet).

    Brian is correct use the Airbnb communication platform to notify the host of problems. Any voice or text communications off the platform may not be considered as Airbnb assists you.

    Hosts must have time to clean the home between guests. You stated you arrived while the maid was cleaning. It sounds like you arrived early (before check in time) so of course the home wasn’t cleaned. You left and did not return after the check-in time. It was your choice to not give the rental a chance.

    I don’t understand you criticizing the rental for lack of cleanliness because you never saw the final cleaned home. This is not an Airbnb hell story…this is an unreasonable guest story.

  2. Lessons learned: Take photos immediately upon arrival of anything wrong, especially items you may be blamed for breaking after you depart. Contact Air BnB immediately when things start to go south. Don’t telephone host; ALWAYS use the Air BnB message system for any and all communication with host. This is vital proof. EVERYONE renting should learn this comment by heart.

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