First Airbnb Experience was Extremely Disappointing

I joined Airbnb on Sept. 1. I found a suitable place and went ahead with the booking process for a two-week stay. Having booked various hotels and properties previously, I assumed it would be straightforward.

After inputting my details, dates, and agreeing on a price, I was asked to enter payment details. Fine, I thought. It asked to check my details — fine, I thought. Everything seemed to be okay but it was only after all of this I was then I was asked to verify my identity. There had been no mention up to this point including when my card details were checked which came as a surprise.

Unfortunately I couldn’t do this at that time which was 10:00 AM until I returned home at 6:00 PM. The booking was due to commence the next day and by 3:00 PM the host hadn’t confirmed. I was unaware they couldn’t confirm anything until my ID was verified. I checked my bank and the funds had been taken by Airbnb despite them clearly informing me no bookings could go ahead without official ID verification. I cancelled the booking so that I could verify my ID and rebook later.

I then contacted Airbnb by phone at 6:00 PM when the money had not returned to my account, nor made transferable. I was told by Airbnb it was my bank’s fault and the money should be available. Maybe it was my bank’s processing time, I was told. I was told for the future I should upload my ID before making a booking. Like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I contacted my bank (Halifax) the following day who said no, it was Airbnb who needed to cancel the pending. It wasn’t even a refund so should only take 24 hours maximum. That was last Thursday.

Skip to today, and there has still been no movement on the funds. I contacted Airbnb and the rep clearly didn’t have a clue how to resolve this. Not her fault at all, so I asked to speak to someone who may have dealt with this before because. The only other resolution was to raise the issue and complain via the bank and let them complain to Airbnb.

she agreed to transfer me to someone but then said they would call me back. I said okay, but asked if I could have her details in case there’s no call back. At which point she then started to pretend she couldn’t hear me for about a minute. She told me I’d pressed mute, which I hadn’t. I knew she was lying because there was an echo on the line and she paused at one point when I spoke over her to say I could hear the echo. I called back and what do you know…. no follow up recorded. Completely unprofessional.

My money should never have been taken. These people have not only prevented a host from a substantial booking, prevented me from rebooking, but now caused excess expense to me as I’ve been in a hotel waiting for this to resolve. With regard to trying to resolve it they’ve got systems not fit for this purpose and clearly employ dishonest tactics. They simply do not care at all. They have left both guest and host out of pocket.

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