Moderate Cancellation Policy Leads to Terrible Customer Service

After our Airbnb reservation was canceled by the host less than 24 hours prior to our arrival in Los Angeles (it had been booked for two months), we were in desperate need of booking a new place as soon as possible. We quickly booked the first one that looked good to us but unfortunately once they showed us the address, we realized it was in the wrong location. We then canceled it so we could book a new place in the right location. The cancellation policy was ‘Moderate’ which essentially means they only refund you 50% of the full payment. The Airbnb property had been booked for less than twenty minutes and we felt we should have gotten a full refund. We could have used it towards a new reservation in the part of the city we were expecting. After speaking with about six different customer service representatives who all told us the exact same thing – we cannot get a full refund because it’s ‘policy’ – we were furious. We were in a 24-hour battle over the phone with a number of different reps who did absolutely nothing to help us. They were unsympathetic toward our situation which we wouldn’t have even been in in the first place had our original Airbnb host not canceled on us. They refused to refund us the rest of the costs and did nothing to even put us up in a replacement Airbnb. We ended up having to book a hotel room for our first night in LA because our Airbnb account had been disabled. This was a huge inconvenience for us and had a huge negative impact on the rest of our trip. We will not be using Airbnb in the future and will tell all our family and friends to boycott it as well. Airbnb should get better customer service.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Suck it up buttercup.
    I’d like to see you trying to get all your money back after you just signed your name on the bill of sale for a home or a car.
    And not after 20 minutes but after 20 seconds.
    Because that’s what clicking accept is, the equivalent of your signature on a legally binding contract.
    We have a strict cancellation policy and will only refund 50 % of the nights that we are able to rebook. However we don’t even have to do that.
    Tuff break, I booked hotels on Expedia for ex at twice the price posted on their sign, they didn’t refund me either…it’s buyer beware

  2. This persons reservations was cancelled by the host – just like mine was. I was left in a terrible bind with no place to stay since it was a holiday weekend and everything but the scummy hotels were all booked up. I want to start a petition that AIRBNB hosts need to compensate the people they cancel on by paying them for all other travel expenses they could not get refunded. It is not right that they get to do this with no repercussions. If I cancelled at the last iminute – the host would get to keep my money.

  3. I have a difficult time understanding why guests get so upset when the stated cancellation policy is followed. The map on the listing shows the neighborhood (in my case in a 1/2 mile radius). As you found it frustrating to be cancelled on; I would think that you would respect hosts’ cancellation policies. If you decide to use Airbnb in the future, I would recommend that you choose only listings with a flexible cancellation policy.

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