Our cancellation by a host in Portland, Oregon was issued about a week before the arrival date. The excuse given was pipe repair and the apartment was to be closed from August 18th. This booking was made well ahead of August 21st so that we could see the full solar eclipse. At the time of the cancellation all reasonable Airbnb accommodation was gone; most hotels were fully booked and those that were not were asking astronomical rates. We could not find anything and have changed our itinerary and have to forgo seeing the full eclipse (a once in a lifetime experience). When asked for proof of the pipe issue, none was offered by the host or Airbnb. Did the host cancel on us for a much better offer? We will never know. Did Airbnb offer appropriate remorse and compensation? That we do know; they did not. They offered a full refund or if we booked another Airbnb property we could use the refund plus 10%. What a joke when demand for that night was through the roof and at a massively increased cost. So… highlight of vacation ruined, extra cost incurred, and the host and Airbnb carry on regardless. Preplanning a stay is fraught with risk under these circumstances. We will never use Airbnb again and will revert to less expensive hotels of good quality where a bed for the night is guaranteed. Airbnb should be held liable.
Upon arriving in New York, we caught a cab and gave the driver the address of the Airbnb we booked. He pulled up to a parking lot and said, “this is it”. We got out and went up and down the street trying to find the address. It was non-existent; there was no such address. It was rush hour, 85+ degrees and we had gotten up at 4:00 AM. Needless to say, we were frantic.
I called Airbnb and could not get through. After dialing continuously for over 30 minutes and being put on hold for over 15 minutes, I finally got someone on the line. She was very nice and promptly gave us a credit on this booking. Then we had to find a hotel, which, obviously, was a lot more expensive. This is the chance you take when you use Airbnb, so just beware. Will I book with them again? Probably, but I will really read the reviews. This particular apartment had a lot of reviews – believe it or not – so here again, beware. Airbnb is a crap shoot for everything to work out. We had booked in Barcelona and nothing went wrong.
For a one-day meeting in Boston I scheduled an Airbnb stay with an early morning flight out. The agreement was for me to arrive “around 5:00 PM” which is what I did; at 5:02 PM I showed up in front of the locked door of the apartment building. The profile didn’t say which apartment, and the host hadn’t told me me. I called, and there was no response. I texted… nothing. I waited, and no one showed. Fifteen minutes later I texted again. Thirty minutes later again… nothing. By 5:45 PM I had had enough and called a cab to find myself a hotel in Boston, which, on a Friday evening, is a tricky and expensive thing to do. I ended up in the Park Plaza with a shoebox of a room for $330, and I immediately contacted Airbnb through their website to report this issue. Yes, I clicked the “This is about the current trip”. A day later and there’s still no word from Airbnb and no acknowledgment of my email, let alone attendance to this issue. I will continue to nag. I want my money back and I want the added expenses refunded that this has caused me.
On June 30th, I booked a one-night stay in Barcelona. The host messaged at what time I was supposed to check in. It was in Spanish and I couldn’t understand a word of it. My battery was extremely low and I was running out of data. I asked him to reply via text or call, and in English. He did neither. I’d been travelling all day from Granada and had a train to catch for Paris at 7:00 the next morning. It was essential that I slept well. He ignored nine calls and still hadn’t replied to a WhatsApp message over two hours after the time I’d arranged to check in.
I had to find somewhere to sleep and after asking at hostels and hotels that had no available rooms I eventually found a place after walking around with my luggage, tired and annoyed. The only available room they had was 127.34 euros. Was I supposed to walk around and compare prices to find somewhere within the price bracket, assuming they had a room at all!? What’s the alternative, sleeping in a park? What are the chances of finding a last-minute room in Barcelona, let alone one for 60 euros? It’s an impossible task.
Airbnb offered me zero assistance in finding additional accommodation. I was told by the adviser on the phone (after calling twice and being on hold for around ten minutes) that it was too late to book an alternative Airbnb room and I was left totally alone. I had no data or phone battery to research. I had to wander around from hotel to hotel. After being told at numerous hotels and hostels that there were no rooms, I booked the first available room. I didn’t just decide to book the most expensive room available.
I have now been told in a very highhanded manner that I can’t be reimbursed, as I didn’t clear it with Airbnb first. Should I have stood in reception and been on hold for another ten minutes with a dying battery to be told it was okay to book a room? The customer service representative has also refused to forward my case to a senior manager and told me that he considers the case closed.
On Facebook they asked me to send a direct message with my email on Twitter. I did and waited over a week for a response. They only ever messaged via Twitter despite asking for a direct email address. I kept it up and they sent this response: “Thanks so much for your patience throughout the revision of your case. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns with our team. However, we have decided to reiterate our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic. Thank you for your contribution.”
The arrogance is astonishing. This is the most appalling customer service. Any advice on what I can do?
I booked a vacation to travel to Hawaii with family and friends for the week of July 4th. We excitedly booked a beautiful home in early February, and counted the weeks down until we would land for our respite in paradise. I’ve used Airbnb many times, recommended it highly to friends, and have had nothing buy incredible experiences, until 11:00 PM on June 30th.
We arrived at the airport, rented a car, and headed toward the property. It dawned on me that I had not received the email I had grown to expect from each host with a greeting and instructions. I had received numerous emails from Airbnb, and recalled seeing one with the house rules, so I decided that I must have just overlooked the details on how to enter the home. We were weary travelers, and had wandered our way to this property down a narrow road with no street lights.
As we arrived, we exited the rental car and went to the front door, assuming there would be a lock box, or instructions, or an indicator of sorts how to enter the home. Nothing. I promptly pulled out my cell phone and dialed the property manager. No answer. I pulled out my laptop and looked up the email from Airbnb to see if I had overlooked instructions. Under the ‘House Rules,’ there was no information about entering the home. I dialed the property manager again. No answer. I sent a text message. I looked up the number for Airbnb and called them. An automated system placed me on hold. There was no messaging explaining how long I would be waiting, and given the fact that it was late at night on a Friday, I had no idea if a person would even come on the phone.
I waited and waited and waited (for twelve minutes), and finally I received a call from the woman who was listed as the property owner (who was actually the property manager) on Airbnb. She explained that she had been fired by the owners, and they had retained a new property manager. She told me I needed to call the new manager. I promptly hung up and dialed the number she provided. The woman explained that someone else was in the home, and I wouldn’t be able to check in until they checked out the next day. I asked her what she would have me do in the interim. She told me she’d have the former property manager phone me back. I tried to call Airbnb again and waited and waited and waited yet again (in excess of ten minutes).
We decided to drive to a restaurant so that we could have light and hopefully wifi. About twenty minutes passed when both women called me back on a conference call. One explained that they had a miscommunication and the property had been double booked, and that I can only stay there for 2 of the 8 nights I had rented. I asked them what they would have me do. Both women sat in complete silence on the phone. I explained that it was now midnight on an island that was closed down for the evening, on one of the busy travel weekends of the year to Hawaii, and we had no housing accommodations. I again asked them if they had suggestions about what we should do. Again, dead silence. I explained, calmly, mind you, that I was traveling with four additional people, and that we have no familiarity with hotel or rental accommodations on the island, and asked what they can suggest. My questions were met with silence.
The fired property manager explained that she would have Airbnb refund my money. I asked if they had any suggestions about a hotel I could call to get last minute reservations. Silence. Literally. I finally explained that they were not being helpful, and that I needed to hang up so that I could find accommodations for five travelers at midnight. With no wifi (the little diner didn’t have it) and bad cell reception, all five of us got on our cell phones to research options, which turned out to be a painfully slow process. Every hotel was labeled “sold out” except two.
I called the first one, and they explained they no longer had rooms. I called the second one, and explained our circumstances. The front desk staff at the resort explained that they had one room prepared and one room that was dirty. She said she would find a way to get the room cleaned, and advised us to come over. Traveling to the resort required us to traverse the entire island.
En route, during the 1.5-hour drive, a representative from Airbnb called me, and explained that the property manager called to advise that they were canceling my reservation and had requested my money be refunded. He was very nice, and kept repeating that this situation was horrible and unacceptable. He repeatedly apologized. He advised that he was going to do something to make this right, and he would send me an email with the details so that I could focus on driving. Including tax we paid $600 for each of the two hotel rooms, a total of $1,200 (the only two hotel rooms we could find on the island).
Our entire week at the house rental was going to be $2,300. I was panicked because we could not afford a $9,000 hotel bill for our vacation. I woke up the next day and phoned Airbnb to see if we could find another property. The agent told me they would have my particular customer service agent call me back. Fearful of being unable to check out of the hotel, and with the clock ticking, I got online to see if I could find another property myself. I lucked out. I found a beautiful house and the property owners were lovely, and incredibly kind. I was able to do an “Instant Booking” which allowed me to get contact information for the homeowner. I called them immediately, and explained our circumstances. The couple was great, and prepared the house for us.
Eventually, the agent from Airbnb called me back. By this point I had received an email from Airbnb explaining that they were going to refund my money, and give me an additional $100 refund to held defray my expenses of having to stay some place else, and additionally they would give me $100 credit towards a future rental. When the agent phoned me, I explained that I had already booked a new property, and no longer required his assistance to do so as time was of the essence. I inquired about whether Airbnb would considering reimbursing my additional out of pocket expenses due to this mishap. He explained that he would have been able to do more for me had I called Airbnb the night prior when the crisis was occurring.
I explained that I had attempted to reach Airbnb multiple times with no success. He explained that due to the holiday week, they were exceptionally busy and their hold times were very long. I shared that there was not even an indicator in any of their recordings that someone was actually working that late at night. I told him I just started to assume that it was so late, I actually might be holding until someone reported for the next workday. I explained I was very surprised when someone actually did call me back, and considering that he had worked the late shift, I was further surprised that he himself was calling me back again the next morning to help me find a new place. I jokingly asked him was he working a 24-hour shift. Ultimately, I asked Airbnb if they would refund me any additional money, as I was out $1,000 in hotel expenses. They refused.
Lessons learned: check, double, and triple check with the host prior to departure. Assure they are ready for your arrival. When a host is not personally responding timely to your email messages or seems to have disappeared, that’s a huge red flag. Based on my past experiences, I assumed all was well. I had found Airbnb hosts to be remarkable people with incredible attention to detail. My mistake.
Lesson number two: don’t count on Airbnb to rescue you or reimburse your expenses. Had I not found another location, I could have netted an additional $6,000 in hotel expenses, and Airbnb would have not suffered any loss. Additionally, the moment Airbnb cancelled the reservation at the original property that night, they disconnected my ability to leave a review or comment about my experience with the property owners/agents. The Airbnb agent assured me that they were taking ‘disciplinary’ action against the property owners, noting that they had ‘other complaints’ from other travelers about them as well. By the agent’s comment, Airbnb knew there was an issue was this property, but I had not been warned. I was out $1,000 in addition to the night from hell we spent on the first night of our vacation finding new accommodations and driving. Buyer beware. I wouldn’t have believed it myself had it not happened to me.
This review is intended to dissuade anyone from utilizing Airbnb due to the misrepresentation of their listings. I have already tried to resolve this in a reasonable manner with Airbnb customer service only to be ignored for the past few weeks. I booked a property via Airbnb for a boat in Barcelona only to be told on arrival by the host that the boat has failed a safety inspection and is not even in the water. Apart from anything, this property is still listed as available on the website which is unethical and a complete misrepresentation.
Following this, after waiting half a day of a four-day trip, Airbnb assigned us another property. We went to this accommodation to find it damp, with no air conditioning or natural light. It was not listed this way on the website, so we informed both the host and Airbnb that these conditions didn’t meet suitable standards and we would not remain on the property. We then had to book another hotel and received no help or compensation from Airbnb. The only refund I have received is a £42 late check-out fee. This is completely unacceptable, and Airbnb has refused to pass on the details for the correct way to escalate this within the organisation. When a company of this size acts as though they are too big and too powerful to care about individual customers, it is important people know about the poor service. This is especially true considering it is no cheaper than a high standard hotel that upholds their standards and policies.
Once a year, our family gets together in a waterfront home large enough to accommodate all of us so we can relax and spend time together. As our family has spread out across the country, this vacation gives all of us and our significant others a time and place to reconnect and create new memories together. We typically select an east coast location in the middle states. Today, the ten of us who traveled as long as 18 hours to get to our vacation home thank this host. Without her my wife would never be able to say, “someday we will look back on this and laugh.”
This host is a self proclaimed intimacy MD. When advertising her psychiatry practice and her book she touts, “Achieve change. Are you ready for your best life ever?” If you are ready for your best life ever, stay away from her Airbnb and HomeAway listing in Virginia, listed on Airbnb and HomeAway.
Giving credit where credit is due, the house is very pretty. Beyond pretty. However, the host was only looking out for her interests, not ours. The problems started when she requested a $200 deposit to use the boat listed with the house, which is a direct violation of Airbnb policy. Naturally, she accepted checks, but if you are already traveling how do you mail her a check in advance of your arrival? She also wanted us to take an online course and send copies of our driver’s licenses.
Once you arrive, be aware there isn’t a phone line in the house. Okay, she made it clear in her listing that there wasn’t a phone line. The listing stated there was Internet access, but upon arrival there was a note stating the Internet modem would need to be reset frequently. Frequent resetting didn’t matter The wifi never came up as available. Somehow the settings on the DSL modem/wifi unit were different than what was listed in the host’s looseleaf notebook about the house.
We would have set up our own hotspot, but there was limited cell service at that location. We could receive calls, but sending and receiving email was rarely possible. A number of us are techies. To fix the problem, we set the wifi to the settings she had written in the notebook. Unfortunately for us, the Internet modem did in fact need to be reset frequently. The unit barely functioned for any period of time.
The bigger problem was the A/C didn’t work. I couldn’t get the house under 88 degrees. Upon closer inspection, the return filter appeared to be clean, but was not connected to any ductwork. The air conditioning would not function. That is the reason the A/C kicks on and the compressors make noise. Cold air was never delivered because there wasn’t a return. Lucky for us, the host left us a notebook that said, “If you encounter any problems, please call #. We have a property manager who lives in the area but may not always be immediately available. We will do whatever we can to fix your problem as soon as possible.”
We called him. He asked us the address of the home. When provided the address, he told us we had the wrong number. What could we do? I called the host, but the call went to voicemail. The good doctor never answered her phone and only responded via email. When we emailed her to discuss getting internet access and air conditioning, she emailed back, telling us to leave and go to a local motel… talk about callous.
Ten people booked her rental home months in advance, paid good money, drove all that distance along with two dogs, and were told go to a local motel. Since I found it hard to believe, and you may too as she is an intimacy doctor, I pasted images of her email with the photos. Her next act to provide herself with her best life ever was to refund our long held deposit and email us to get out by 11:00 AM the next morning.
This goes to what Airbnb will never tell you about our stay. By refunding our money, this host ruined our vacation and prohibited us from posting a review of her home. Where do you go with ten people and two dogs for an entire week during the summer? By cancelling our reservation, even though we stayed in her 99 plus degree hell hole, she made sure that Airbnb and HomeAway would never let you hear about this.
If the self proclaimed intimacy doctor should ever read this, please note that there was no intimacy in your hellhole. At 99 degrees, which I am sure you never experienced in your personal home, intimacy is the last thing on your mind. Be sure to note that before you write your next book and invest the money somewhere else. Please don’t invest in another house and then use it to ruin peoples hard earned vacations.
Lesson learnt. Don’t ever use Airbnb. I used it once and cancelled my account. Airbnb will not check the size of the room and the number of people that it can accommodate; it’s up to the host to decide. Even in a small room they will accommodate many people for money. No mercy for kids, either. They will fake the review, even if you call them and complain. They will talk to you nicely and will tell you that they will file a complaint and send you an email copy regarding that. In fact, they will not do that.
My wife got a job in Lake Mary, we moved from NJ to FL. The place was totally new to us. I was trying to book a hotel for a five-day stay (because we got an apartment for rent near my wife’s office after five days) with my family. One of my friends suggested booking an Airbnb based on the host’s reviews, which I am regretting now. Since I was traveling with a kid and the area was totally new, my wife and I decided to rent a place with a kitchen to cook fresh food for my son. The rent was $100 than a residential hotel. Since the reviews of the host were good, we booked the place.
The property was hosted by a young couple from the same land where I am from. The first day we reached the place around 7:00 PM and the hosts were so good; they asked us to feel free to use the common area since the room was very small for three people to stay. Starting the second day, the nightmare began. When we started cooking around 1:00 PM on the second day and since they were very friendly and set very high expectations, we started asking about little items like salt, sugar, etc. We cooked with most of our pots and pans. Even though they put in the Airbnb listing that new stainless steel equipment was available in the kitchen, we didn’t see anything there. When we asked for some, they were not happy.
Since we were new and we didn’t have all the items we need and no car, we could not go to the shop and buy everything on the second day. The host was not there and his wife was messaging him about everything happening and keeping him updated. So far so good. The guy came home. He had spoken nicely to us the previous day. However, he entered his home with anger in his face. My kid went and talked to him; he never responded properly. I noticed something was going wrong. I went and talked to him. He was telling me that we were asking for items which we should not ask, overutilizing the kitchen and not cleaning the dining table area properly. In addition, he was very arrogant telling me that if we did not clean the dining table area properly, he would cancel the booking. I was scared that with three big suitcases, three big hand bags, and a little kid, in a place which was really new to me, where would we stay?
I quietly told him we booked the room because we had a kid and we had to cook fresh food. To my knowledge, we were also cleaning the table. He told me that when they eat food, they clean the floor around the dining room table because small food particles might be there. I told him that I would clean the floor if that’s the case. Then I went to the kitchen and saw a piece of rice in the sink. His wife was there and I told her I would clean that up; otherwise, he would not be happy. After hearing this, he told me in a rough voice, “Come here, don’t talk to my wife. Talk to me. What did you say…?” as if I was going to do something to his wife.
I never expected that kind of harshness from him and I explained what I had said. After having our lunch, we went to the room. I Googled around and found some hotels nearby. I told my wife we should get out of there. However, my wife was not completely okay because of our kid and the amount of luggage we had. We went out to talk to the hosts to tell them we were ready to move out. They said that they will not be at home starting the next day so we could use the kitchen. However, we had to clean it properly. My wife said this was okay and convinced me to stay.
After that incident we didn’t want to go out when they were there and kept our son in the room. We basically locked him in the room. The room was so small for three people. I don’t know what kind of verification Airbnb is doing if someone is ready to host by allowing a certain number of guests, especially kids. The room can accommodate only one queen size bed, so they put a bed on the floor by the side of the main bed for my son.
As they said, no one was there for first two days. I went out and prepared something for my son and fed him as my wife left for work. During dinnertime, we went out because they were there. On the third day his wife was there the entire day, so we never went out. We had only oats for my son and I and at night, as usual, we went out. I was waiting for the fourth day because that was the day we were checking out and going to our new apartment. I was so happy when we stepped out of the room. Please don’t use Airbnb and suffer like I did. It’s better to use a hotel.
On May 24th, I stayed for one night at a flat in Barcelona, and it was an absolute disaster. That night, things were very loud. Despite going to bed at 10:30 PM I wasn’t able to fall asleep until 3:30 AM when the party outside my window finally died down. These conditions were not conveyed to me ahead of time. I calmly approached my host about this the next morning at 8:40 AM. Rather than trying to resolve or talk through the issue, she canceled my reservation and demanded I leave the flat by 12:00 PM. I received a refund at 9:30 AM after which I frantically tried to contact Airbnb for support while I searched the website for alternatives. I couldn’t get ahold of anyone from their support team, and the website yielded “zero available rentals during my preferred time frame.”
By 9:40 AM, my host became hostile. By 9:55 AM, she was back at the flat demanding I leave immediately. She threatened me by saying: “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Don’t make me call someone to remove you.” I tried to reason with her; I was afraid and alone, and I felt it best that I leave immediately. I hailed a taxi to a nearby hotel where I shelled out 500 euros per night for the remainder of my trip (2500 euros total). This was five times what I had budgeted for the trip – the host’s flat was only 80 euros/night. Seven days later, I still have not heard back from Airbnb support on this issue, despite sending the desperate email attached. I am massively disappointed with their vetting process for hosts, and for their lack of customer support in resolving the issue and making me feel like a valued customer. I have three upcoming trips planned with Airbnb over the next six weeks, and I’m tempted to cancel them all.
This happened to both my sister and myself and is not yet resolved. We live in a university town and the biggest moneymaking weekend of the year is graduation. The prices we posted on Airbnb were higher than usual, but because the site automatically reverts to your minimum price if you make any change to the reservation, like adding another night, I stand to lose $700 if the guest doesn’t agree to pay the difference. I’ve had many times where I set the price on a date on the calendar, only to find that it hasn’t “taken.” I also couldn’t respond to an interested guest once when reception was poor – I kept sending a message but the guest never got it, and that affected my responsiveness rating. I’ll be relying on other rental sites unless Airbnb gets a more responsive site. That’s a crushing loss for us, and due entirely to the automated settings they substitute without your approval or knowledge. And of course, you can’t reach them to give that feedback or get help.