Airbnb is a Cheap Company That Won’t Reimburse

I recently booked a stay at an Airbnb in the center of Paris for two nights. When I got to the Airbnb in the middle of the night, I was unable to get into the Airbnb because the key was missing. I later discovered that the host knowingly did not leave the key for me and said it was because the cleaning was not finished; however, oddly enough, the reservation was confirmed by both the host and Airbnb itself and I was expecting a place to stay during my time in Paris.

When I was unable to contact the host when no key was found, I contacted Airbnb, who then requested that I book a hotel for the two nights and they would refund us for the bookings as well us reimburse us for the hotels. Since it was 1:30 AM in the center of Paris during the summer, no hotels were available and I was left stranded and on the streets along with all the homeless people camping outside.

Airbnb assured me that they would try to find a hotel and at one point even told me that they found one and were processing everything, but about an hour later told me they had nothing. This forced me to go out and walk hotel to hotel in the middle of the night looking for some type of shelter. After about six hotels and begging, I was denied by the sixth and left to stand outside still on the phone trying (with no luck) to get a room from Airbnb when finally the concierge came out and made a deal with us to give us a dirty room that another person had just left, but only if I paid full in cash. This left me to run down the street to a random ATM to withdrawal 200 Euros just so that I wouldn’t be left out homeless on the streets by Airbnb.

When I was finally able to take care of this issue, Airbnb assured me that I would be reimbursed for both nights at the hotel. The case manager then went on to explain that she would be in contact with us again the next day to book us a hotel. The next morning I called Airbnb and spoke with another agent to confirm that I wouldn’t be left stranded on the streets again. I was then notified that no hotel had been booked and that the case manager would be the only one allowed to handle the case. It was unsure of whether or not she would be coming in that day. I was then told to book whatever hotel I found available and Airbnb would reimburse me when I sent the invoices.

Therefore, I went on to take care of the issue myself and was able to find a room at the Shangri La Hotel, a high end hotel, that actually had a few rooms left because of the high cost. I booked the room, checked in, and everything was fine again. Finally at about 8:30 PM, my case manager from Airbnb finally called me to confirm that everything was okay. I told her that I had found a room at the Shangri La Hotel and had checked in. She confirmed that I would be reimbursed.

After I checked out of the room, I sent her invoices for both the nights and she confirmed that Airbnb would be reimbursing me 1,713.80 Euros (the cost of the hotels for both the nights combined). She then gave me a call back after about 30 minutes and informed me that she, in fact, was not going to be able to fully reimburse me and stated that Airbnb had said that they would only reimburse me for the first night and not the second (which they did not). They then continued negotiating that they would only reimburse me 50% for the second night. When I questioned her about why this was never stated, she then went on to suddenly change that 50% and say that she would only be able to give us $200 for the second night.

After arguing with her for a while, because she had no knowledgeable answer or power, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was transferred over. The supervisor then went on to tell me that they were going to reimburse me $450 for the two nights; they suddenly changed their reimbursement for the second night from 100%, to 50%, to 200 Euros, to 250 Euros just because they didn’t expect the expense of booking a hotel last minute in the center of Paris during the high season. They now refuse to reimburse me for the expense of the hotel for the second day and are using a loophole of saying that they didn’t say the word “full” for the reimbursement. Everything is recorded on the call and they had confirmed the amount of 1,713.80 Euros they were going to refund as well.

Account Cancelled After Guest Makes False Claims

I have been an Airbnb Host for about five years. My reviews were mostly five stars. Even when they were less they were always good to outstanding reviews. I made Superhost twice. About two months ago I was warned that my listing was not conforming to discrimination rules. I was not permitted to limit single women to a maximum of three nights (or lose my girlfriend). I was not permitted to limit people who were heavily medicated or using drugs. I was not permitted to state that my place was not a good fit for handicapped people. I fixed all that and then they reactivated my listing. I was also warned that if I had one more violation that I would be barred from using Airbnb and never be able to reactivate or list again. I booked several guest and had five-star reviews from all in the next two months.

Then I booked three guests, two of which I had booked at an earlier date for three or four nights and had given them a very good review, stating they were trustworthy and clean. The three guests were booked for four nights. They did smoke (often in their car). They tried to hook up the living room TV with the HDMI for a PlayStation. Before I went out for the evening I noted that they left the TV on with unknown source. I turned it off for them and went out for the evening. The next morning the TV was in internet mode. The guest had tried to pull the TV off the wall which is not possible because of the custom mounting. The cables for the sound bar and TV were in wrong places. Of course the TV and sound bar would not work. I could not find the controllers and so pulled the power plug to turn it off until I could get help to remove the TV, check it out, and cable it properly and then do the required setups. After two hours it was working fine.

The guests violated house rules by not closing their window and turning off their intake fan in the daytime. They could have been violating the no-smoking house rule. On the third day I was out and about most of the day and returned to find the house unlocked. A short while later, the guest returned and parked in my neighbor’s parking space. I called them to move the car. I was then confronted with one of the guests. He said that my place was full of rodents and insects. I said that was impossible unless they brought them.

He then screamed racial slurs at me. I asked them to leave and he stated that they were on the way out. I called the police who arrived shortly after they left. The officer and I checked the room for rodents. There was something on the sink and a few leaves and sticky spots on the floor. Nothing had been stolen. I noticed that a computer desk caster was broken and called the next day to make a claim.

Airbnb told me that the guest had submitted images of rodents and insects everywhere. I wanted to see the pictures since I said they had to be planted by the guests. I lived here since 2004 and my sister was here ten years before that. There was never a single mouse. Insects were not welcome and well under control. I noted that several extra washcloths were used. Probably to catch all the mice and remove them from the house. They were all gone.

I purchased glue traps and other traps to make sure since I had a guest coming in two days. That guest was an Airbnb host. I told her about the three guests and the rodent pictures. She had never placed a claim with Airbnb. I tried to place a claim and had pictures taken of the broken desk; they kept up a non-response procedure.

They refunded one day’s stay to the guest. I questioned that and then the fee was restored since the first Airbnb person had not consulted with me. A second Airbnb person had overruled the first since they had not followed Airbnb procedures. Then the broken desk claim still needed to be processed. That became impossible, since about five days after the guest left, my account was cancelled.

I was able to book one guest on another site. He emailed me to say his stay had been cancelled. I had not recorded the contact information of the other guests – my mistake. At one time in the past Airbnb had cancelled one of my guest for some issue. When he showed up, he wanted his money back and called his friend for help. The friend burst out laughing.

However, if I had not been home, that guest who had the keypad code could have been in my house. Then what? My general feeling with Airbnb over the years is that they tend to keep changing their rules. Sometimes, I feel that they tend to be very nasty. I have listed my place on VBRO and had my first booking within five days. It seems like most of the places are higher priced. Not so with Airbnb.

Generally, hosts should not expect too much from Airbnb if you ever have to file a claim. Airbnb prevents you from writing a bad review for a guest when your account is cancelled. The fraudulent guest at my place had three okay reviews and one was from me. Any guest can do the same fraud or similar schemes. They do it against many companies. It’s a lot to consider if you host. I think the best thing is to raise your prices high enough for any strangers that you are willing to host. Don’t expect Airbnb, who got too big too fast, to really care about losing you as a host.

Host Cancelled Less than 24 Hours Before Arrival

Our host cancelled on us less than 24 hours before we were due to stay. This left us with no accommodation in London and our travel was all booked to North of London. It was difficult getting in touch with Airbnb and once I finally got through a person, he was just reading from a script and only offered £27 to help us which I felt was completely unacceptable. They showed us five alternative properties and four were so far south of London they were unacceptable. The final one we tried to get but were rejected due to it being so last minute. After we got rejected, we tried to contact Airbnb again. We got no reply until the next day, which was too late as we were traveling. We had to book alternate and much more expensive accommodation through another website and have been offered no other apology or compensation. The host has removed the property from Airbnb.

I had the worst experience of my life booking with Airbnb

I’ve got the worst experience of my life booking with Airbnb. My host cancelled my stay the day I landed in New York. After 2.5 hours spent chatting with the customer care without finding a solution, I was told by my representative that she would have finish her journey shortly and another person would take care of my situation soon. I was contacted two days later after opening a complaint against them.

It isn’t over yet. Since I had no place to go I decided to book a hotel (only 3% were available that day), then asked Airbnb for a full refund of the difference I had to pay between the hotel and my room ($600). After about ten days of emails back and forth they agreed to a payment of $300. Be aware your host can cancel your reservation; you won’t have a full refund and potentially no place to go.

Last Minute Cancellation, No Response From Airbnb

Our first ever Airbnb booking was cancelled this morning, two days before we were due to land in London. Airbnb sent a text message saying they had emailed us with an offer of 10% off an alternative booking. No such email arrived. I called them; they said a Case Manager would call me to assist. I called back again two hours later and there was no Case Manager to speak to. I was told a refund could take more than two weeks.

When I made this booking, had I cancelled it even an hour after having made it, I would have been charged 50% of the fee I paid but there is no meaningful compensation for the host having cancelled at the last minute. I have now had to book a hotel in London, costing a lot more, and Airbnb cannot even be bothered speaking to me about what is literally a breach of contract. I have other bookings with Airbnb for this trip throughout Europe and now don’t know whether we will even have accommodation when we get there. This is thoroughly unprofessional, skewed in the hosts’ favour and I will never, ever use Airbnb again.

To Effect Change, Just Don’t Use Airbnb

I really think that the best way to effect changes in the Airbnb system is to simply not use Airbnb. Money talks. I will never again stay at an Airbnb property. I discussed my concerns with a live agent from Airbnb and she confirmed that there are no site visits to the properties and no real training is provided for hosts. Not everyone is suited to be a host, plain and simple. Properties need to have standards enforced since some hosts just don’t know how to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment.

My most recent stay was in a very cute converted garage (built around the 1940’s) which I do not believe had any insulation. The space was very hot despite using the fan provided. Many of the electrical outlets were apparently original to the garage and were so worn out that some could barely hold a plug without it falling out; this is a fire hazard because a loose outlet can produce an arc if it can’t make solid contact with the plug. Also, the housekeeping staff heavily oiled all of the varnished wood tables (you don’t oil sealed wood furniture) so that I had sticky oil all over my fingers, laptop and the mouse. There was hair in the shower, and the bath exhaust fan was so filthy that I couldn’t figure out how any air could pass through.

This was my second experience staying at an Airbnb facility; my first experience was better, except that the mattress and box spring were directly on the floor (no bed frame of any kind.) Hosts need to be trained and the lodgings need periodic inspections. Of course Airbnb will never do this because it costs too much.

Left Airbnb After Host Lied About Internet Access

I was a regular Airbnb customer, and this is my story. I went to Brazil for a business trip, from Ireland. I booked a room in Sao Paulo. I was arriving on a Sunday, and I work remotely for an Irish company. Therefore an internet connection is a must for me every place I go. I arrived to this place, and there was no person to welcome me; the host left one key with the concierge of the building, who works for the building and not for the host, so he gave me the key and that was it.

I entered the place, and there was no internet. I worked with it, spending two hours trying to fix it, but everything seemed normal – the reason there was no internet was actually that there was no service, so you could connect to the network, but there was no connection. I went to a bar with free wifi and contacted the host. She told me she lived 800 km from there, and that she would contact the internet company. Then she confirmed there was something wrong and that the company would fix it on Monday.

As I had to work, I moved into a hotel beside the property, where I was able to connect to the wifi. I spent ten nights in that hotel and the internet problem was never resolved. The host said to Airbnb that there were no internet problems, and that the issue was probably my device, being that I had four devices, and I worked in IT. Therefore I requested a refund from Airbnb. After the first night, Airbnb told me they would not refund me if I cancelled from their website. In fact I did not cancel the booking from the website, and they told me: “Okay, but you left the place” I said: “Yes, I left, but I still have the key.”

Then they asked me to provide pictures. I provided pictures of the modem with all the lights on, the devices not connecting, etc. The host got her money for no one being there, Airbnb has had my case open now for four months, and no one has yet contacted me. When I call Airbnb they say: “Your case is with the legal department…” I believe Airbnb could have stopped the payment from going to the host until the case had been resolved.

Airbnb Tried to Evict us the Night before my Husband’s Funeral

I rented an Airbnb for myself and my adult children. The purpose of our trip was a memorial service for my husband/their father. He had passed away unexpectedly three weeks ago. We checked into the Airbnb on Friday, March 16th with my son’s trained service dog. Shortly after we arrived, the host started texting me about Levi (my son’s dog). I have saved all the texts, ugly messages calling me an indecent person for not disclosing ahead of time that my son had a service dog.

She was rude and demanded documentation, which I provided, even though that was out of line and she had no right to ask for it. We remained in the Airbnb Friday night. On Saturday, my daughter and one of my sons went out to do errands related to my husband’s memorial, which was to take place on Sunday, March 18th. My son remained at home with Levi (my son is 25 years old).

Shortly after we returned to the Airbnb, I had a call from Airbnb telling me that they were concerned about the situation, they had a call from the Airbnb host saying that Levi had been left at the home alone (he was never alone, not even for a second). I told her that he had never been left alone, my disabled son stayed at the house with him. The Airbnb “specialist” said that she would send me of list of alternate places that we could move to.

At this juncture, my husband’s memorial was less than 18 hours away, and we had dinner cooking already. We are reasonable folks, though, and looked at the other properties they sent us. There was only one property in close enough proximity to the memorial service; the rest were anywhere from an hour to two hours away. The property they suggested we move to was $3800 per night, and we were expected to pay it.

That was not possible; the $650 per night we were paying for where we were staying was already too much to spend. My husband had just died, and he was the sole provider. When we told Airbnb that was too much money, they said to both my daughter and myself “Well, I can give you an hour.”

I said, “An hour to what?”

And she replied, “An hour to get out!”

They were going to forcibly remove us from the Airbnb, myself and my kids and my son’s service dog. I became hysterical. Where would we go? We couldn’t even pack in an hour. My daughter is an attorney and was able to get on the phone with the owner of the house. I’m not sure how she did it but she convinced her to let us stay. Thank God. But the scary thing for me is that Airbnb was going to put all of us out on the street because of my son’s dog. It’s very scary that Airbnb has the power to evict a family who did nothing wrong.

A Holiday from Hell Thanks to Flooded Apartment

We arrived in Palma to find our apartment had been flooded. Our host took us to another that had been hurriedly evacuated by a Roma family (at least that’s how it looked). Our dealings with our Eastern European host were through a go-between who was simply charming and promised the Earth, but delivered nothing. We were promised we would eventually be settled in our booked apartment but it was never going to happen.

On our third day, water poured out from our shower and flooded the place, so we were moved to a hotel for one night. At first the go-between, who was on a sympathy kick, told us how lucky we were and he was paying for the hotel out of his own pocket. Fawlty Towers would have been an improvement.

Despite being asked to provide three rooms, the owner waited until we arrived before frantically searching for bed linen. We were asked to wait with our cases half way up an unlit staircase while he went looking. After twenty minutes or so there was a frantic knocking on the front door – the police. They had come to arrest a guy in the room opposite the one I was destined for. There weren’t three rooms, only two.

At this we told the go-between to forget it. He finally put us in a hostel. It was clean and modern and had ensuites so we were okay with this. But we had no idea where we were staying the following night as he had confessed our originally booked apartment was nowhere near habitable, the cost of the hostel was twice that of Fawlty Towers, and he wasn’t sure he’d get back what he’d already paid.

We had already started negotiating with Airbnb by email and phone (they hate you using the phone and hide contact numbers). They had only two responses to urgent messages: Airbnb didn’t believe we weren’t in the booked apartment so we had to send photos to prove it. Of course, by then we were in the hostel. Luckily I had taken a couple of pics to send to my wife so we retrieved those and sent them to Airbnb.

They then agreed on a partial refund but debited us the full cost of the first night, despite the fact that our original contract had not been honoured. We had already booked a new apartment so the refund was good news but still cost us. Then as we were (mid-afternoon) on our way to the new place the phone rang and it was the go-between, saying the leak had been repaired and we could go back to our revolting apartment. We told him where he could shove it.

The new apartment was lovely, modern and clean. However it turned out this apartment was next to a drug dealer’s home. Although the block had a entry lock I think they disabled it at night. We had paper-thin walls, and comings and goings all night long. This ended at 5:00 AM on our last night with a couple of guys hammering on the door and kicking it trying to attract attention. I’m not sure anyone was even in. I got out of bed and went to our door to suggest they stop (unpleasant confrontation in the extreme) but parted telling them I was calling the police. They left. The end of a lovely holiday.

Loyal Host Jaded: The Horror Stories are True

My family and I are staying in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day and my host just cancelled my reservation. We leave for Ireland in twelve days – do you really expect that I can find reasonable accommodations less than two weeks out? I had been researching neighborhoods and looking at places months in advance.

I am honestly trying to be understanding about this situation because I am an Airbnb host as well as a traveler. I do get that stuff comes up and I definitely know the risks that come with hosting. Airbnb needs to have an insurance policy in place so that you can put people in a decent hotel accommodations when something like this happens. I am so angry with Airbnb that I would have absolutely booked an overpriced hotel just so I have the guarantee that I have a place to stay.

Unfortunately, I am planning this trip for my family. It is their first time out of the country and they cannot afford thousands of dollars for a hotel simply for two nights in Dublin — I had to persuade them to go on this trip in the first place. I had no choice but to book another Airbnb, but I really believe it should be comped for their mistake.

They gave me 100 dollars for my trouble. We just spent $1138.68 for two beds for two nights. It is a much smaller place, a shitty layout and only has one bathroom. It is a farther walk from where we will be spending our time and does not have an in-unit washer and dryer (which was a request from my mother). I am so disappointed in Airbnb. I’ve heard horror stories before, but I guess you just don’t know how it feels until you experience it yourself.