Please Avoid Airbnb’s Customer Service

I really want to tell someone about my horrible experience with Airbnb. I will never use their services anymore. It is so much better to stay in a hotel and avoid all your frustration rather than dealing with Airbnb. I reserved a luxury two bedroom townhouse in Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. After we checked in, we found the house was old with lead paint everywhere in the house, dirty (my kids’s feet immediately turned black), rusty (the kitchen pot, the bath tub were all rusty), and filled with cheap supplies (kitchen utensils, bedroom sheets, etc).

We requested to move out. I was offered for an alternative and I was told that I had to wait for 4-5 days to know whether it would be available. I stayed for four nights and was then showed an apartment by the host which was nice. However, I was told that the apartment would not be available for eight days. That meant I had to stay in that dirty place for eight more days. I reached an agreement with the host to discontinue the rent and moved out. The host refunded me the money I asked for.

However, some genius at Airbnb decided that I should not be refunded for the whole trip. Their calculation was like this: my entire trip cost $3100 (36 nights); I paid $2700 upfront. I requested $2300 refund based on my payment ($2700 minus the cost for the four nights I stayed). The host immediately refunded me the money. However, Airbnb decided that my cost was $3100 and I only paid $2700, so I owed them $400. They refunded me $1900 ($2300-$400). What a math genius. How did I owe them money for things never even happened?

One month later, they sent me a bill to remind me to check out the apartment and to pay them the remaining $400 balance ($3100-$2700). They had no records to show that I checked out one month earlier. I’ve called them three times so far. Every time I get the same answer. The customer service representative (he or she) would explain to me why they held the $400 from me the same way every time and they had no intention to listen and accept my explanation.

They would say that they had to talk to a case manager who would be available to talk to them but not to me directly. They would then tell me that I had to wait for a case manager to contact me. I would then receive an email from Airbnb to say “case closed”. I’ve spent more than five hours of my precious time to call them so far and there has been no resolution yet. This is really a great way for Airbnb to make money. I have no idea when I can get my money back. When you book on Airbnb, you will have no idea what you get yourself into. For me it has been a nightmare and horrible experience. The worst part of Airbnb is the customer service.

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


  1. Another crappy airBnB story. I pay 50% deposit w the understanding I pay my balance at the time of the trip. I go to check on the trip this week for the weekend I find the trip was canceled and AIRbnB is keeping my deposit. The reason ? I didn’t pay the balance two weeks ago ??? They have stolen my money and basically told me to go F myself. Never use them again , period , end of story.

  2. I’ve had two bad experiences as a guest. My takeaway is that Airbnb is happy to take a juicy service charge per stay, but provides no support when there is a hiccup. Takes all of the upside, doesn’t take responsibility for any downsides.

    1. Host has a mentally handicapped/unstable son we are not aware of. We wake up hearing someone outside our window making serious threats to murder someone, which we assumed was some sort of drug deal gone bad.
    Text the hostess, no response. We hide in the bathroom and call the cops. Cops arrive, we come out, and apparently the son was not on his meds. Airbnb “support” is some incompetent 20 something traveling across Asia and taking calls in her downtime. Does not respect the gravity of the situation nor attempts to make it up in any way. I leave a review indicating that the host has a son who is schizophrenic just so people in the future don’t have the same scare we did, and it gets taken down by Airbnb as being “identifying” or “discriminating” information. Just doublespeak for “don’t make the rentals on our platform look bad because we want to make more money”.

    2. I rent a place day of in a downtown area. I get there and the actual location given by the host (different than in the Airbnb system) is 2 miles away in the hood. I didn’t even enter the place, and just went to a hotel. Host acted all “sorry you didn’t want to stay with us” but denied my refund request, customer “support” said there was nothing they could do despite the clear discrepancy, so I am now going through the dispute process with Airbnb, and if that doesn’t work, then via my CC company.

    I will be looking at other platforms in the future (Homeaway/VRBO, Booking, etc).

  3. I am waiting 6 days so far just to resolve a problem that is very basic. The host has asked me for more money outside of the booking, so this is a simple resolution. Terrible considering it’s supposed to a large company. has much better customer service, so I will defintely use them more in the future.

  4. What a crappy way to cheat unsuspecting consumers! Agreeing to “terms of service” is a poor way to make people expose themselves to a filthy health hazard or else lose their money. It has nothing to do with basic reading and everything to do with having an ethical business model.

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