I’m a long time user of Airbnb and have had no problems using them up until now. This last instance has totally soured me on the experience. The lack of help and support that I have received from their customer service makes me never want to use them again.
I was travelling to Montreal for Canada Day weekend and had booked a two-bedroom apartment for $700. While driving from Toronto to Montreal, we received a call from our host indicating that she couldn’t host us anymore due to flooding. I then went back and forth with customer service on the phone trying to find a suitable alternative. I had to find a similar place at the last minute on a high demand weekend and the $350 credit they gave me didn’t cover the extra cost at all.
I finally thought I had found a suitable location based on the recommendation from Airbnb’s customer service. It was $1500, which was a lot more than what I had wanted to pay, but it met all the requirements. About five minutes after booking I received a call from the new host. He then told me that if I wanted to stay at his place I would have to pay an extra 15% in cash on top of what I booked because of Montreal property taxes. This is not true at all; I stay in Montreal all the time and no one has ever charged me this.
The place I wanted to book was not available since it was new and the host said he had an alternative place at which I could stay. There was no way I was going to give this guy an extra 15% payment for a place that I knew nothing about. I called Airbnb customer service to cancel this booking because this did not seem right at all. I was in the process of cancelling this booking with an agent but the phone connection cut and it wasn’t finished.
I had to book a new location quickly because I was almost in Montreal and I still didn’t have a place to stay. I proceeded to book a new Airbnb for the weekend. Based on my original conversation with customer service I thought I was going to be able to cancel that Airbnb with the individual that was misrepresenting himself, but I found out that he had a very strict cancellation policy and after talking to customer service Airbnb would only give me a partial refund of $514.
I was literally booked with this guy for an hour and I would have stayed there had he not tried to hit me up for an additional 15% and had it been at the actual place he was advertising. The next day I argued this point with customer service but apparently it’s totally okay for their hosts to do this and that they would see what they could do. I’ve tried contacting Airbnb since then but they keep on telling me that the case manager is the one I need to speak with and that I have to wait for her to call me back. I never receive a return call probably because they just want me to get fed up and pay.