Sour from Airbnb Cancellation Gone Wrong

I have been online and on the phone with Airbnb all day. I cancelled a cottage I rent every summer at the same time I annually attend a workshop at a college. The college cancelled all workshops last Friday. I canceled my Airbnb on Saturday.

My agreement stated I could have a full refund by June 28: “After 3:00 PM July 7, full refund minus service fee.” So 80 days out from July 7, Airbnb is keeping a service fee of $97.78 for what the case manager basically said, tough luck. That’s the the agreement I made when I hit the ‘reserve’ last July 2019. Greedy.

Airbnb-Hosts-square

Airbnb Inconsiderate of Older Travelers

Airbnb refused to refund my March 18-25 stay, which I cancelled on March 9 after the CDC urged people over 60 to socially distance and not travel. Their ‘extenuating circumstances’ policy for refunds doesn’t kick in until March 14, days after the CDC issued contrary guidelines for older travelers. This makes no sense and is, if anything, discriminating to those of us in that age cohort. I’ve long been an Airbnb booster, but this ends now.

Airbnb-Hosts-square

Unilateral Change of my Cancellation Policy by Airbnb

Airbnb has overridden host cancellation policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This allows guests to cancel at any time without any penalty and without any justification. I have just had a cancellation for £2500 with just three days’ notice and there is nothing I can do about it. I was not consulted and the guest did not have to provide any proof or justification about the virus. Guests have travel insurance for genuine cases but hosts have no fallback provision. Airbnb does not care about their hosts. They bite the hand that feeds them.

Airbnb-Hosts-square

30-Day Stay Cancellation Policy: Host in Wynwood, Miami

I made a 30-day reservation on Airbnb for my daughter who moved closer to home. The reservation was about two weeks before the arrival date. Well, long story short, she was not able to stay at the place, so I cancelled seven days before arrival. I only got back approximately $60 out of the $495. Why?

Because it was the host’s cancellation policy, which was not clearly mentioned before making the reservation. It was hidden apparently at the end (after making the reservation) and not very obvious. The $60 was for cleaning and admin fees. I contacted the host and Airbnb intervened too but the host declined to refund the money.

Apparently, there is a loophole in this policy, which Airbnb has not addressed. If you do not cancel a month before a long-term stay like a 30-day or longer stay, then you forfeit the money paid. But this does not account for reservations made a week or two before the arrival date. In theory, this policy should be null and void.

Talking to an attorney, most courts would not enforce this policy. From the advice of an attorney, the best route is pursuing it via the credit card company. There was no service received, it was cancelled timely, and the ad was seemingly misleading (since it was not clear it was a shared room from the site I initially went on, which was not an Airbnb site but directed me to Airbnb). I do not expect any help from this since it seems most people have lost this same cancellation issue too.

My advice: do not book long-term stays at all. Make sure they are one-week stays. Two weeks is cutting it close and apparently it appears to default to the long-term stay policy.

Note: if this has happened to you per a host’s cancellation policy, an attorney said if there are enough of people impacted by this, we could sue Airbnb and the individual hosts together. Airbnb’s practice is arguably similar to the fine print tactics but they hide the policies after booking. It is considered unfair and deceptive business practices under Florida state laws and federal consumer protection laws, with not making it clear of these policies.

Sites like Priceline and other sites make it very clear that the reservation is either nonrefundable or refundable. Why doesn’t Airbnb do the same?

Airbnb-Hosts-square

Airbnb Service Charges not Returned on Cancellation

I was interested in a villa in Colombia for March (four months from booking). It was a large villa and I wanted to confirm the guest. I asked the host for three weeks to cancel, rather than his normal 48 hours. He agreed and this was documented clearly in Airbnb Messenger. I cancelled after two weeks as I could not organize the guests and Airbnb refused to return their service charges of $864.79, citing their policy.

The end result was Airbnb Customer Service protected the customer and left the host and the guest out to dry, the complete opposite of customer service and common sense. This wasn’t a last-minute cancellation. This was a documented exception for four months from now. Airbnb protected their bottom line and sold their soul.

I pity the poor people who are getting excited about the Tokyo Olympics with Airbnb. They are lined up for a living hell. Frankly, I think that any normal travel company would never have a strict 48-hour cancellation policy. That really is the opposite of customer service.

Airbnb-Hosts-square

blank

Free Cancellation in 48 Hours that Doesn’t Exist

blankblank

I looked for a month’s rental through Airbnb and I found one that I wanted. I read the cancellation policy carefully, stating that it could be cancelled within 48 hours for a full refund. I clicked first because I didn’t want to miss the rare room and figured if in two days I found it was something I didn’t like, e.g. the exact location, I could cancel.

It was a lot of money – 3000+ USD – and I suddenly thought that maybe it was better to find a way to be able to escape the long-term cancellation policy. I just cancelled it within hours. The refund was kind of a process but something they didn’t mention in the cancellation policy was that my payment method would be charged on March 26th for 600 USD. This amount was never mentioned.

I wanted to make sure before rebooking but it seemed like Airbnb just ignored me. That made me scared to proceed to any other booking; I was afraid of the fraudulent listings. Agoda and Expedia have never had this policy and the 30-day fine for advance notice was quite unfair. I then tried to figure it out by separating the booking into two periods. It’s more difficult but it should be more flexible.

Airbnb-Hosts-square

Airbnb Refund Confirmed then Rejected

I booked a stay in Vegas over Christmas and New Year’s back in April and paid a deposit of £710.60. The host’s cancellation policy stipulated “cancellations must be made within 48 hours of booking to get a full refund. Otherwise a 50% refund will be given if cancelled one week before check in date”.

Unexpected events last week meant I needed to cancel, and I thought I would be courteous and give the host plenty of advance notice so that they could get another guest in over the holiday period. I submitted a refund request through the resolution centre for 50% of £710.60 (minus service fees, etc.) which was then rejected by the host, stating that the refund should in fact be for $774. I then received an email from Airbnb advising that I was to be refunded £593.29 and that it would clear on my card within five working days.

Five working days later and there is no refund showing on my card. Apparently, Airbnb has been communicating with the host and he has now refused any refund whatsoever. The last communications I have just received from Airbnb state that if I had paid the full amount (£1,303.89) I would then be entitled to a refund of 50%. Nowhere in the host Ts and Cs does it stipulate this.

Airbnb had apparently “reached out to” the host and he has “refused to give any partial refund and wants to stick to their cancellation policy.” I have screenshots of said cancellation policy and all the notifications back and forth confirming refunds.

Basically, I am now out of pocket by £710.60 and the host has ample time to get another guest in. If I’d paid the full balance and cancelled a week before arriving, I would be entitled to a refund of 50% of £1,303. It actually wasn’t worth me being courteous to a host and cancelling so far in advance. No idea where to take this further. Any suggestions, anyone?

Airbnb is Inconsiderate to their Customers

On Monday August 26th, I scheduled an Airbnb at 9:24 PM. My check-in day was August 30th. Later I found out I couldn’t make it and needed to cancel. I went to try and cancel, and it said they would only refund me $250.78 out of my total of $1,615.09.

I called the Airbnb customer support number at 10:16 PM, less than an hour after I confirmed my booking. I was told I need to be handed off to a case manager. The first case manager told me they need the host’s approval to issue a full refund and that it was my fault I didn’t read the full policy, which states “a cancellation must be made within 48 hours of booking or creating the reservation” (which I did) and “a cancellation should be at least 14 full days prior to the listings local check-in time” which according to Airbnb I did not do.

However, since I booked this on a Monday and my expected check-in day was Friday, it falls under seven days anyway – basically a trap. After this the customer support team stopped responding to me. I reached out the host myself and they had no idea what I was talking about and kept telling me to call Airbnb, which I already did. The host then stopped answering me.

The next day I called Airbnb and asked why no one from customer support responded to me. They said, “oh, your case manager went on vacation.”

Basically, no one was going to reach out to me and address this issue? I then was given a new case manager. He told me that if the host doesn’t respond within 24 hours to myself or Airbnb, I would receive a full refund and I should expect a call from him later that evening around 6:00 or 7:00 PM. he also advised me to cancel the reservation and receive the $250 refund.

Well, 8:00 PM rolled around and I heard nothing, so I called yet again. The case manager was on the phone working on another case, but the customer support member assured me he would call me that evening. Yet again, I heard nothing, so I called the next morning.

I called Airbnb again and my case manager was not in; this time I had another new case manager. Long story short, she said no one had been able to make contact with the host and I would not receive a refund. She also told me I was basically in the wrong because “I didn’t read the policy”.

Not once have I ever had an issue with Airbnb until now. I always cancel within 48 hours if need be. I tried to be considerate of the host and cancelled ASAP so they could find someone else to rent the house for the weekend. This case manager was no help with her rude attitude, and I asked to speak with her manager or supervisor. She told me they would call this afternoon. Here we are again with empty promises and I received no call. I called my bank to dispute this transaction because I was at the end of my rope and quickly losing patience.

I woke up with a message from customer support saying:”We have attempted to contact your host multiple times regarding your reservation and we even have attempted to call them, apparently, we did not receive any response and at this point, we would need to abide to the Cancellation Policy applied on the reservation. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for. We do our best to fairly and reasonably mediate these cases. We regret that this decision has negatively affected you, but we believe this to be a fair resolution, all things considered. Per our Terms of Service, Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination regarding these disputes. Please know, we are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case — we’ve issued our final decision and will uphold it accordingly.”

I received a call about two hours after this message and it was my case worker. She told me they finally made contact with the host and he was only willing to give me a 50% refund. This man waited until the day before I would check in, and purposely did not answer anyone so he could steal my money.

Airbnb is protecting their hosts but could care less about their customers. The amount of frustration this has caused is unbelievable. I have taken hours out of my work day for this inconvenience. I personally feel scammed and violated about this whole situation.

blank

Strict Cancellation Policy Costs me Hundreds

blank

I reserved a duplex in Las Vegas for a business trip. I used a corporate credit card to make the reservation and paid the full amount for one receipt (almost two months out from reservation). The host has a strict cancellation policy, but I was okay with that because I had no intentions of cancelling the trip (already paid for the conference I was attending). I read through the policy as best I could.

The next week I found out I violated the company travel policy and was told to cancel the reservation ASAP. I did. I got back half the total amount, minus service fee, since it was past 48 hours, but well within 14 days.

I contacted the host for mercy on the refund policy, since it was extenuating circumstances. Initially the host said I could either re-book another date, or she would refund two thirds of the price if the place was re-booked. I asked again for mercy that I could not afford to just leave $450 out there. My complaint was that if I had only paid the down payment, I would have only been out half of that amount (a quarter of the total). I was stupid enough to pay the full amount, not expecting any problems. I stated that I would pay the service fee plus another $100.

The host cut off all contact with me. I got a case worker involved and another case worker when the first was awful, then a manager of the case workers involved. Now I can’t even get the two-thirds refund that was stated in the host’s message, and Airbnb has told me they can mediate no longer with the host since she wishes to stop all communication. So I get screwed, while Airbnb and the host profit off of half of a six-day rental that I never took… and the place did re-book. What is Airbnb’s responsibility to the guest?

The last message said this: “We can no longer continue to assist you, as a final decision has been made on this case. I’m truly sorry for all that has happened, and I believe the host should be accountable, but we can no longer mediate anything from them as they are not willing to mediate with us any longer. We have a final decision already made by the last agent, so there would not be any further discussion about the refund.”

Apparently the host can decide when the case is shut, even more than a month before the reservation date. How is this even legal? Thankfully it wasn’t a super expensive place that would’ve cost me thousands instead of hundreds. Lesson learned: never pay the full amount up front and never rent from hosts with a strict cancellation policy.

I have a lakefront property that I was considering renting through Airbnb and wouldn’t ever do this to a renter. How do people sleep at night, knowing they essentially stole money from someone? I basically donated $450 to the host and Airbnb for a few email exchanges and phone calls. I should get a donation receipt.

My Airbnb Refund is in the Clouds Somewhere

I initially made a reservation for a luxury condo on Wednesday, September 19th online through the Airbnb app. All I received as confirmation at that point was an email. It did not give any policy information about cancelling.

The host then responded and had questions that I needed to answer about those that would be staying under the reservation, to which I had to respond through the message link on the Airbnb application. After responding I received a booking receipt in an email on September 20th. On none of the emails was there any information about the host cancellation policy.

There were six of us planning to go. I paid the initial payment of $2,266.75 on my credit card. I tried to contact the host through the app ten months ago to pay the final amount as some of our party wanted to make sure it was paid for before traveling. I had planned to ask if we could change out one guest for another due to one not being able to travel. The host did not respond to my message.

I contacted Airbnb directly on March 15 about how to cancel due to another one of the guests being in a car accident and not being able to travel due to serious medical issues that were detected during examination after the car accident. I reached out to Airbnb due to not hearing back from the host previously. I was told by the Airbnb representative over the phone that if the host had not made contact that I should report it to my credit card company, which I did on March 15th.

I was told by the credit card rep that it wouldn’t be a problem and that CitiBank would open an investigation. I was also told by the Airbnb rep that if the guest that had been in the accident would provide his medical records, Airbnb would do a refund due to special circumstances. The guest did not want to provide his personal medical information as he felt that was a violation of his privacy, which he has a right as to what medical information he wants others to see.

The Airbnb rep said to report it to my credit card company, which I did when I made the initial call. I had to respond to an Action Required report that the credit card company sent out and I returned on April 1st. During this timeframe I also found out that my mother was gravely ill and unexpectedly passed away in early June. We were planning on her traveling with us to Grand Cayman as a replacement for the guest that was in the accident.

As you can imagine this is devastating to me and to my sister who was also part of the party traveling. The Airbnb rep also told me I should get a full refund due to special circumstances and cancelled the reservation. Not true; I got no refund. In the meantime the credit card company did their investigation and the host or Airbnb send the cancellation policy information to them. They in turn sent it to me but is was not legible, neither the paper copy nor the emailed copies.

The credit card company sided with Airbnb and the charged me back the $2,266.75, stating that all information was conflicting on my part. The host rebooked the accommodation because it was not available after the cancellation At that point not only did he make money off of me but off of others as well. I did not receive any of the policies that he sent to the credit card company in the chargeback investigation.

I resent my justifications to my credit card company and let them know that Airbnb stated to me that this was a special circumstance. This is a special circumstance with one party being ill and unable to travel and another party now deceased. I feel that the host did not provide the correct information when I booked the reservation. It should have been clearly stated on the email confirmation which it was not. Also, his failure to respond to my correspondence should also be taken into consideration.

I should not be responsible for services not received, especially when not receiving proper documentation. Never, when cancelling other overnight accommodations have I been asked to provide personal, private, or medical information.

I decided to reach out to the host directly through the Airbnb app message portal hoping by chance he would get it, which he did. He responded on July 16th that he thought it was all taken care of by my credit card company but since it was not, he would refund me $1,980 (less a service fee, which I was okay with). It was supposed to get a credit back within 5 to 7 business days.

I waited ten days and contacted my credit card company. They stated that they did not see a credit. They also reopened the investigation with the new information from the host I provided. I then contacted Airbnb who stated it was not something on their end that I needed to contact my credit card company. I told them I had but they again stated that there was nothing they could do. I again reached out to the host who contacted Airbnb and was told it would be processed shortly.

Three days later it was still not processed. Airbnb was contacted again, and this time I was told it was going to their investigative team and they would reach out to me in a day or two. As of August 16, I still have not heard back from them. If the host is wants to refund me, what is the hold up?

This was my first experience with booking an Airbnb and will most definitely be my last if I ever get this resolved. That amount of money may not be an issue with Airbnb but it is to me. Expenses relating to my mom’s funeral are immense and I am not a wealthy person. I work for state government for a very meager salary.

Any advice or direction on how or who to contact would be greatly appreciated. I have not faults now with the host. He seems to be genuine. My issues are with Airbnb directly. And of course my credit card company. It’s been a battle to say the least between the Airbnb and my credit card company. Very stressful at an already difficult time. Still awaiting refund or at least communication with Airbnb and my credit card company. Maybe I need to go to social media or national news.