I wanted to book a room for two nights and found this listing that I liked. I was under the impression that if a room is advertised it should be available, so I went ahead and sent in my booking request to the hosts through Airbnb. I have verified myself on Airbnb through my driver’s license. This reservation is during Christmas when prices go up within a few hours. After almost 12 hours, the host responded and requested I cancel the request as she has family coming over. I went ahead and cancelled, but I still saw the listing available on Airbnb. Why is it still up if they know family will be taking up those rooms. Is this not discrimination?
I accepted a three-night rental in our one-bedroom apartment. In doing so, I blocked off those nights so that I could not accept any other inquiries for those dates. Then, the very day of check in, I received a message from the guest that he wanted to cancel, presumably because of a sick relative. They used their “extenuating circumstances” excuse to waive my cancelation policy. No other hotel or vacation rental site would allow a guest to cancel only 5-6 hours before checking in. And this is not an isolated situation. In the past several months, I have had three other cancelations, all at the last minute. So, I have resigned to the fact that Airbnb is not at all reliable. I don’t want to accept a rental for any length of time for fear that it will be canceled at the last moment and I will lose the rental income for that time period. What I am doing is blocking off all the future dates in my calendar and then only unblocking two or three nights ahead for last-minute, last-resort bookings. Since TripAdvisor and VRBO do not have such a policy, I will depend on them for virtually all my future rental bookings.
Don’t trust this person for booking your holiday weekend; they are unreliable and untrustworthy. Anyone who cancels a booking to accept another offer for more money because it is a holiday weekend should get treatment a million times worse than what they have just done to us.
I had been planning a trip from NY to Miami for Art Basel for months with my closest friends, working around everyone’s busy schedules and of course the expensive and difficult task of booking somewhere to stay on a holiday weekend. After careful planning, we thought we had selected the ideal Airbnb: the place looked decent, the price was good, and the location was perfect. Because we had already been confirmed, approved, and billed, of course we thought we were safe with our choice of accommodations and had nothing to worry about. We are now less than two weeks from the start of our trip, and our host sent us a pathetic message to us explaining that there was “some glitch in their booking system with another site so actually someone else booked the same listing already and they didn’t notice.” As a result, they would be cancelling our reservation. The host was so rude he even suggested that “it’s not really [his] fault so we can’t be mad at [him].” In other words, this is a holiday weekend in Miami and they found someone to pay more.
Now, we are completely out of any other halfway decent options and have nowhere to stay. Not a single option that is still available on Airbnb is even close in comparison, and we have been completely screwed by this host. The best part is that Airbnb has done absolutely nothing to help us remedy this problem, and offer no help or suggestions as to what we can do when we call. Their feedback is that they are sorry, but not sorry enough to actually help.
Airbnb does not listen and does not care. I’ve just been sent an automated request for feedback on my experience. The guest has not even responded to my most recent communication four days ago and blamed my son – an excellent Airbnb host, as can be seen by the reviews by guests – for calls he has been getting about a place in the Netherlands that has no connection to him. Airbnb has not noticed that this place has no connection to him so this has caused him a nightmare, including Airbnb cancelling a booking to his real place in Brighton, UK due to the fact he was not responding to booking requests for a place that has nothing to do with him in the Netherlands. Airbnb refuses to compensate him the £600 he lost, saying he must be to blame for this false account. He is extremely careful with security and has done nothing to compromise his account.
On November 1st, he had another booking request for this retched place in the Netherlands and had to call Airbnb again. If there is such a place on Airbnb, why is it not linking to whoever actually owns it and how are they taking bookings for it? Where is the money going? Because it is certainly not going into my son’s account! Confused? Not as much as we are and Airbnb refuses to speak on the phone to sort this out. The guest just sends emails; Airbnb can only communicate this way and that is just not good enough. I gave them a zero in their feedback. Until they listen to hosts and guests, no amount of feedback will lift that score.
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It seems that this new policy is leaving a huge gap in the non-discrimination policy. Airbnb is apparently allowing rampant and blatant discrimination against what certainly is a fair percentage of users. I expect that a federal lawsuit against Airbnb will be necessary to right this wrong. The discriminated group are the pedophiles, child molesters, rapists, and criminals that search for victims among single females or hosts with children in the home. Do you want to hurt the feelings of these criminals by making them feel less than welcome? I should hope not! Certainly you are only partially addressing this discriminated group by creating a mandatory policy for forcing single white women into having black males in their guest rooms! Just because fifty percent of blacks have a criminal record by the age of twenty-three, it is not their fault! This racial discrimination against black criminals has got to stop! I expect that the present administration will use the justice department to correct this grievous injustice in the near future (after all, if they are no longer in prison haven’t they “paid” for their crimes?) and now deserve to be restored to full rights regardless of how many times they have been convicted? Thank you for forcing everyone to stand up and “do the right thing.” This is just the camel’s nose under the tent for moving forward with the political allegiances which should be included in the future mandatory statement. Great job, Airbnb; it is all about controlling the masses and deciding what is best for them whether they like it or not!
Airbnb revoked an already existing booking for a two-week stay just three days before departure, and never responded to any emails to correct it. Essentially I got a notice that my credit card refused to process an Airbnb payment request for a booking. I then cancelled that booking and tried another place. The same message appeared but allowed me to resubmit payment, which I did, using another card without any block. That cleared with both me and the host being given confirmation of the booking. About half an hour later I received emails from Airbnb telling me my account was disabled and my money was being returned for my confirmed booking because the original l payment was blocked. When I checked with the credit card company, the reason my bank didn’t honor the charge for the booking is because the credit card fraud unit considered Airbnb’s charge to be suspicious and would not pay without confirming it with me.
So it’s a beautiful catch-22 completely orchestrated by operating systems. The bank’s computer refuses to pay because Airbnb’s charge sends up a red flag, something that I cannot know will happen when using a valid card with plenty of available credit for the charge. Airbnb’s computer returns the favor by immediately flagging me for not paying my bill. Their computer, without human intervention, orders my account disabled while refunding the money and cancelling the reservation I made and paid for 30 minutes. Without an accessible Airbnb account, I cannot contact my host, contact the Airbnb help center, or get information of any kind how to resolve the problem. I have sent five emails to Airbnb in the last 24 hours. I have heard nothing back from a human being. I remain blocked from my account and have to rebook a reservation in three days outside of Airbnb under considerable stress.
Airbnb has the worst customer service system I have ever seen. They cause a problem, then give you no method to contact them whatsoever, except emails that no one ever responds to. Do not use them. They will screw up your plans for reasons beyond your control.
I prefer to not even recollect the awful experience with a past guest, but I’ll try (above all mine is a criticism against Airbnb). Basically the guy started complaining from day one. He seemed to be bent on finding any hidden cracks and obscure issues – a truly nasty character who refused to provide the time he was arriving and then dared to complain he had to wait in his review (like it was someone else’s fault?). However, that was only the start. After three weeks I was left with two broken appliances (cooker and washing machine) and for the very first time I decided to use Airbnb’s Resolution Centre (after having about ten guests and very positive reviews).
The documentation they requested was nearly impossible to provide. The appliances had been there for nearly 20 years (but Airbnb wanted the receipts). Secondly, I wasn’t in the property and most of the documentation requested was out of reach; I was miles away from any “useful” documentation, but I posted the bill from the technician and the receipt for the new washing machine. The technician was paid the day my nasty guest left, as he didn’t notify me of the issue (the cleaners found out) and I had to fix the problem for a new guest arriving the next day. So I had to order a new washing machine just the day after receiving confirmation the old one was properly broken.
The other problem – the gas cooker – we discovered later on (remember: I wasn’t there and couldn’t verify these issues on the spot) that there was no cooking involved. The guy took some pictures of the burned knobs but no picture of any meal he made? A burned chicken? Or any dish ready to enter the oven? Nothing whatsoever. The cooker oven (electrical) was then turned on and left unattended for how many hours? Days? That’s a very good recipe to burn any cooker! It’s called inappropriate use or negligence, but the guy clearly omitted this fundamental detail (of course, I’m not there) and blamed me for being irresponsible for not providing an extinguisher and access to the gas canister and assembly.
Now, I’ve been a guest in certain properties advertised on Airbnb and I can assure you none had facilities which are common in hotels (would you paint an escape route in your house?). So basically the guy wanted the professional approach of an hotel at a fifth of the price. In my opinion we have a typical opportunist who deliberately stays in Airbnb properties (many like mine) where he knows there is no extinguisher to be found and he knows there is no escape route marked on the wall, then deliberately uses these issues as weapons whenever he files a complaint with Airbnb.
So the company is a lame duck; they can’t see this guy for what he is and boot him out of the system. Let’s face it: Airbnb can’t check all these properties and can’t compete with hotels in terms of a professional approach to guests (in general, certain hotels lack that too). This is the root of the problem. When first approached, Airbnb staff seem reasonable; they promise you a full investigation. The truth is that they don’t really want nor need to find out. I’ve received two calls from their headquarters in California during the period of the investigation. The phone rang only once and as I tried to answer, they hung up (so they can safely say, “look we tried to contact you but you didn’t answer the phone”?)
Their task is simple, to discourage complaints and break down any attempts at compensation: you start complaining and they put you under immense stress. It reminds me of the origins of eBay – does anyone remember the reviews? On paper you might have the advantage but Airbnb has the perfect solution: they encourage your opponent to escalate the matter (even without any evidence) and they too are allowed to ask for compensation for issues which were never ever mentioned during the whole stay. For example, my guest never complained about the Internet or noisy neighbours but all of a sudden these and other issues were presented and the guy is encouraged to request the full amount he paid back into his pocket? What kind of mind game is Airbnb playing here? This is the cheapest trick, the kind kids do in kindergarten. The guy shouldn’t be credible (not if there was no previous complaint), so how can Airbnb fall for it? They aren’t failing to investigate, they are just at the mercy of nasty guests like mine. Enough of Airbnb.
I have used many sites to book weeks, weekends and one-night stays all over the country for years, but never had a more overpriced, over represented or more frustratingly terrible, amateur experience than booking through Airbnb. First of all, Airbnb charges fees, no matter what. Once you fall victim to them, they will never be refunded for any reason whatsoever. Also, they do not vet their so-called “hosts” (any Joe-blow anywhere who wants to rent out his nasty rooms to people who haven’t heard about this scam), their hosts’ practices, the actual properties, amenities, and any claims that hosts are allowed to post their listings, whether real or not.
What I booked, at the price of a 5-star hotel, for a weekend, was described as a beautiful downtown apartment, entirely for my use. It actuality, it was actually a third story walk up in an old, nasty building. There were no amenities or comforts provided; not even a spoon or fork in the kitchen, no chairs of any kind to sit on in any part of the so-called apartment, one shelf of refrigerator space, an unusable, old Keurig that leaked all over the counter and couldn’t make a cup of coffee, a metal sign outside the window that creaked, banged and made racket all night in the wind, and a full size bed with what appeared to be twin sheets stretched over the rubber sheeted mattress that came off all night and made sleep impossible. This bed was in the middle of the one “furnished” room – that’s all, just the bed; it had no bedspread, blanket or cover of any other kind. The host graciously left one newly purchased, never washed, Walmart towel for the entire weekend for 2 people.
We had to wait two hours to get into the place when we arrived because the host’s representative said she locked her keys in her car and couldn’t bring us the key to the apartment. They did not answer my calls or texts about where to leave the keys until the day after I sent them and were both upset that I left because I got tired of waiting for instructions and needed to get home. All in all, an extremely horrible experience. From now on, I will stick with the professional sites that stand behind their customers, vet their renters and properties, don’t charge hidden, exorbitant fees, and give you real value for your money.
I’ve used Airbnb around 40 times as a guest since 2013, and have never had too many bad experiences. Sometimes rooms aren’t as nice as described, and amenities are limited to the letter of what was promised (watch out for rooms that don’t come with “essentials” – I’m pretty sure you can get away with not having a shower curtain). Sometimes you make arrangements with hosts and then they don’t answer their phones when you want to pick up the keys. Some hosts think they can charge seriously premium prices based on their location, and then not do the slightest bit of upkeep. When you stay at Airbnbs as much as I do, you’re bound to have a few disappointments. Basically, it’s let the buyer beware, and for the most part hosts have been fantastic.
So overall, you could say I’ve been a very satisfied Airbnb user for almost four years. After my last Airbnb stay, I logged into my account to discover that I was locked out. Airbnb offered only a message:
“To help protect your information, we’ve temporarily disabled your account. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue.”
There was no explanation of why the account was disabled, what “temporarily” means, or how to get it unlocked. I emailed that email address a few times, but never got a response. A week later the account remained disabled. One note about Airbnb customer service: if you’re familiar with this site, you can probably see it coming. Airbnb does everything it can to push the resolution of customer service issues to its online help system. But if your account is locked out, you can’t use the online help. Even the “contact us” page says “please log in to your account to access help.”
Fortunately, Googling for Airbnb’s phone number turned up a help desk number: 1-855-424-7262. You can call that number, but the help desk staff can’t actually do anything to help you. I’ve called multiple times already, and obviously my account is still disabled. If you do call, they’ll ask you for your name, email address, phone number, and associated payment information. But all they can do is put your issue in a queue sent to a technical support group (which “doesn’t take phone calls in or out”). And as you’d by now expect, that group is completely unresponsive and ineffectual.
Some lessons from this experience:
- Your Airbnb account is the property of Airbnb, and they may take it from you at any time with essentially no recourse.
- Do you need access to message your guests/hosts, upcoming reservations, billing receipts, or even Airbnb’s online help? Without access to the Airbnb website or mobile app, you’re essentially out of luck.
- If you do get locked out of your Airbnb account, take action immediately. The “temporary” lockout will not go away on its own. Call Airbnb (1-855-424-7262) as soon as you discover your account is locked out. Tell them you are trying to make a new booking for an upcoming stay in the near future. This will flag your issue as high priority. Which may or may not help, but it can’t hurt. I’ll keep this post updated if I make any progress.
Hi everyone, please see the attachments and the photograph of the host in it. This guy is Alejandro. He owns three rooms at the Ft. Lauderdale Hilton Beach Resort. He likes to play games with people and raise the rate on them while they are trying to book a reservation. He had his property listed at $349/night for a stay from December 25th, 2016 to Jan 1st, 2017. My wife and I were using the Instant Book feature to put all of our information in to reserve the room. While doing so, we used the phone app to message Alejandro to make sure the place had a pull out bed. He replied that it did… and then sent a follow up message that he had adjusted his rate. In the middle of us trying to book the reservation, he raised his rate from $349/night with a 3% discount for booking more than four days to a $439/night rate with no discount. I messaged him about it, but he ignored the message. I called Airbnb Customer Service, and they said they really couldn’t do anything about it. However, they agreed that Alejandro was running very shady business by treating customers that way. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Ft. Lauderdale, I would avoid any of Alejandro’s properties at the Hilton. He’s greedy and dishonest. Find another host to save yourself the headache.