I Effectively Loaned Airbnb $3504 for Six Weeks

Here are the grisly highlights of the single worst customer service experience I have ever dealt with in my 36 years on this planet. That includes all credit card companies, landlords, and United Airlines. Three months in advance of our arrival, I booked a villa for ten guests in the Caribbean island of Anguilla for $3504. Two days prior to my arrival, the host (Host A) had to cancel to due septic issues: very plausible on a sandy island. Host A offered a replacement villa; it was not satisfactory, lacking the same amenities and farther away from our planned activities. Host A found a better replacement listing that was operated by Host B.

Keep in mind this is happening as other guests are arriving from all over the world. Host A’s concierge met two other guests and I at the ferry terminal in a van to take us to Host B’s villa. Host B could not find said villa; we ended up at a vacant lot down a dirt road. Instead, all ten guests had to make new bookings on the fly at a local motel. Host A responded by offering a new villa after the trip free of cost. I passed this along to someone who was staying in the Caribbean. I live in the Bay Area, so returning was not feasible for me.

Airbnb did not refund my payment for six weeks. I called them over thirty times to have this situation resolved. This is a conservative estimate confirmed by a representative when I asked how many times I called. It took another dozen or so phone calls to pry a $175 credit out of Airbnb for my trouble. Feel free to ask for details. This was literally Airbnb Hell.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve lived in San Francisco for the last 10 years working for Tech designing products and experiences for users. I witnessed the merge of Airbnb as an user and I am terribly disappointed of the number of incidents I have had with them, especially this last one which is the same situation above and I’ve decided to gave up with Airbnb for god. I spent at least more than 20hrs calling Airbnb repeating the story over and over, calls being transfer and never called me back, even some representatives hanging off the telephone pretending they lost reception or leaving me on hold. I waisted so much money, time, stress and efforts. I’ve been trying to book a place in London for my trip in August 2017 since April 2017. I got 3 cancelations about a month after confirming the booking for each property from different hosts. Everything they cancelled the prices increase and distance from downtown along with it. They really act like Scam, as after they cancel they offered me links to other properties. After calling Airbnb as a motivation they sent me new listings that they assured me they where verified and coupons to continue booking with them, offering extra $200 from the second cancelation and extra $500 for the last cancelation. I never saw those coupons applied. I end up requesting a full refund of my money as I couldn’t afford another cancelation one week prior my trip and a very mediocre support from Airbnb. So I booked a hotel which I paid a lot more money of my initial budget using Airbnb, however this last minute hotel in London cost a bit less money than booking another Airbnb one week before my departure and Hotels are very responsable with all liabilities a guest can have, I guess they follow strict regulations or just years of customer responsibility/service culture. In order to recover some of my money I lost, I planned to book other properties with Airbnb in a different country for the rest of my trip so I can cash out those coupons Airbnb gave me. But the moment I booked the first one which it was about 90% cheaper than the ones in London I unsuccessfully booked, as it is a small town in Northern Spain, only 3 days vs 7 and a later calendar date after high season. Airbnb delayed my already requested full refund amount from the one in London, and paid the reservation from my “refunded” money vs using the coupons, and finally they removed the coupons from my account. I never saw those coupons again. and I didn’t get my full refund I needed to pay my hotel debt for London from my credit card. After multiple calls to case managers from customer service they said: I lost those coupons as I was suppose to booked something more expensive than my first Airbnb I booked in London even thought it was a different trip date or location. When I tell them that there are not disclaimers in the email where I got the coupons or the last case manager ‘Mika’ gave me the $500 coupon over the phone, she never said that unsense and abusive rule. l am afraid all was a fake show from Aibnb to hold my money for months, and take as much as they can with fake hooks/coupons. Zero business integrity and customer care.
    I emphasize with all the brilliant ideas people come up every day to solve other people issues through technology and Airbnb has not really solve one yet but created a new one finally I wonder what the Airbnb CEO would think about his company culture?

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