I just lost £500 on a booking I made back in September for a November trip. I’d planned to stay in Munich for 30 days and after my booking was accepted, all seemed fine. Until, that is, the host didn’t reply to any of my questions. For six weeks there was nothing. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now I need to know if he’s going to be home when I arrive. I asked him repeatedly for contact information, and nothing. No replies, as before. His phone number also just keeps ringing; he doesn’t even have voicemail. I tried ringing Airbnb to see if they could contact him, but Airbnb’s phone just rings and rings; no one there answers.
Since I can’t get any money back on the long-term policy, I thought to change my stay to 27 days, in line with the strict cancellation policy, get some money back (50%). But for my reservation to be accepted at 27 days, Airbnb needs the host to accept the change. The host isn’t picking up his messages, so what good will this do? Yeah, I could’ve just turned up at his house. But would he even be there? Does he even know/remember I’m coming? Is he even in Munich? I have no idea. I feel trapped by all this. So the host will get my £500 whether I turn up or not, and that sucks. All of this could’ve been prevented if he’d just answered his Airbnb emails – it’s called manners. I haven’t had any problems with Airbnb until now. But losing money like that when you can’t even explain the problem to Airbnb, talk to anyone there, and get them to help, makes it worse. I can’t even write a complaint about the host on his profile, to warn other users about him as well as let him know what I think of him. Instead I feel powerless (and out of pocket). I’ve realised Airbnb does nothing to protect the guest; they’re always on the host’s side.
I managed to get through to Airbnb the next day after I posted this. At first, they said they’d ring him themselves and if no reply in 24hrs, they’d cancel on my behalf. But I explained to them everything and ‘what’s the point of you doing that when I’ve tried that myself?’ and maybe I sounded very stressed – so they cancelled my reservation on the spot during the call! I got a 100% full refund a few days later, and the host’s profile is now being monitored by Airbnb.
I’m glad I was able to talk to Airbnb. I learned a huge lesson about booking hosts.
Airbnb doesn’t pay the host until 24 hours into your stay, so keep after them, they still have your money and can refund you. Alternatively, go to Munich and if he is not there to welcome you, ring Airbnb emergency and hand the problem to them.