Host Declines Refund During COVID-19 Pandemic

Two other coworkers and I excitedly reserved a nice two-bedroom condo in Telluride, Colorado for a June wedding weekend. The hosts graciously accepted our deposit. They were so friendly and accommodating at first. They even promised that if travel was still discouraged in June (due to the worsening pandemic), then they’d happily void their own policy and offer us a 100% refund.

After the COVID-19 pandemic virtually shut down all of Colorado, the wedding was postponed. We promptly cancelled our reservation and kindly requested a refund, expecting the hosts to deliver on their promise. Wow, were we mistaken.

Unfortunately we cancelled right before Airbnb’s new refund policy came out, so we weren’t covered there. Even after we reminded our hosts of their personal promise, their kind demeanor rapidly changed, and they insisted on adhering to their original strict policy. They also claimed that unless we provided them with medical proof showing we were at-risk for complications due to COVID-19, they wouldn’t offer us anything. I’m pretty sure that kind of request is against HIPAA law and Airbnb policy.

They even had the guts to say that because Colorado was in a “safer at home” phase, travel was now encouraged, even though the government website explicitly discouraged nonessential travel, regardless of whether you’re “at-risk” or not. They also claimed that they’ve been losing tens of thousands of dollars in cancellations, so they can’t refund everyone or else they can’t pay their bills.

How is that possible if you’re not refunding anyone? Also, do we not have bills to pay either? Shameful.

Weeks later, Airbnb support responded and offered zero support whatsoever. It was an automated response. I’m sure if someone actually read the messages between the hosts and I, they would’ve seen that the hosts blatantly lied, and failed to deliver on their promise — which was in writing.

The best part is, we can’t even leave an honest review about the hosts since we didn’t actually stay at the property. Huge bummer, as prospective guests should really be aware of our awful experience dealing with them. We never would have booked this property had we known about the hosts beforehand. This pandemic has really brought the worst out of people.

We strongly, strongly urge anyone visiting Telluride, CO, to avoid booking any property with these hosts. If you do, mentally prepare yourself to throw all your money away if plans change. They’re “Superhosts” with great reviews, but how is that possible if things like this happen? Believe me, we learned the hard way.

Unless you stayed at a property, there’s no way to leave an honest review about the hosts. Evidence that Airbnb caters to the hosts and not the guests. I suspect we’re not the only ones that had to endure this experience.

 

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