Stranded With Young Children At Night In London

I booked a three-bedroom flat in Limehouse Basin on Airbnb about two months in advance of the stay. We were taking the three children to London as their Christmas present to visit Hamleys and do some sightseeing. We were in the taxi on our way to the flat when host suddenly cancelled the booking without warning, claiming the place had been ‘trashed’ by the previous guests. Amazingly this was only discovered at 4:00 in the afternoon. Airbnb did nothing whatsoever to help; they left me on hold for 15 minutes with a fast draining battery and wouldn’t answer messages or ring me back. You can imagine how we felt being stranded in central London, with three children under ten and the best Airbnb could do was offer an extra £30 and a link to the app. Be very very wary booking with Airbnb – their support and help has been non existent. I also discovered I couldn’t leave a review for the host (she has ten properties listed on Airbnb) to warn others.

No Help with Refund One Hour After Reservation

Earlier this evening I made a reservation on the Spanish Airbnb site for myself and five other friends to go to La Coruña in March. Having made the reservation, we were given the address (I cannot understand why this is not available before payment is made) and now according to my friends the apartment is not where it appeared to be from the photos uploaded. Therefore, it is too far away from where they wish to be. I have been asked to cancel.

When I try to cancel I am told that the amount I have paid (50%) will not be refunded as the payment policy is strict. I am stuck I have tried to cancel one hour after making the reservation and cannot possibly understand how I can be charged 50% now when the reservation is for mid-March and only one hour has gone by. The host says she is new to Airbnb and cannot as intervene “because she will be penalised.” As you can imagine I am not happy at all about this and have emailed Brian Chesky requesting him to please intervene and authorise a full refund as I cannot speak to anyone – every time I try the Help Centre telephone number it cuts out. As you can see I am not a happy bunny

No Penalties for Airbnb Hosts Increasing Rates

My mother is visiting me in Sydney from Canada this February. She booked her trip months ago after we told her of our news that my husband and I will be expecting our first child. She is visiting for close to three weeks and we wanted her to be comfortable and within walking distance from our place in Coogee.

Having lived in the eastern suburbs of Sydney for almost five years and a host on Airbnb myself I know how quickly places near the beach book out especially in summer, so I started my search in September as soon as she booked her flight. I was thrilled when I found her a two-bedroom apartment close to the beach within ten minutes walking distance from us. Not only that but the price was reasonable; it seemed perfect.

I contacted the host prior to sending through my booking request letting him know I was booking on behalf of my mother visiting from Canada and asking if I could go ahead with my booking request. As an Airbnb host myself, I always appreciate receiving a message from potential guests finding out a bit more about them and feel it is important to do the same as a guest. He replied right away, agreeing and advising that he was “flexible with check-in times so to let him know what time she arrived.”

This was great news, so I proceeded to book and pay for her accommodation. However, while my husband and I were overseas on holiday over Christmas I received a notification from Airbnb that I had been refunded my booking fee for my mom’s stay. I received no other communication from Airbnb or the host explaining why this had been cancelled. I contacted the host as soon as I found out, asking him why he had cancelled my booking and did not receive a reply. I still haven’t over a week later.

I soon discovered he had rebooked his apartment on Airbnb for double the original asking price he initially listed for my exact dates. I contacted Airbnb right away and was informed by a member of their customer service team that the reason for the cancellation was that I was in breach of their “third party booking” policy and that I should not have booked on behalf of my mother. My mother is 70, not particularly tech savvy, and has never booked with Airbnb before. Not to mention I would be staying with her some of the time, I was making the payment in AUD, and I had checked with the host.

I screenshotted my correspondence with the host to Airbnb and the customer service representative merely offered an apology that the host had not informed me he was “uncomfortable” booking on behalf of my mother. They did not address my concerns that he had subsequently relisted his apartment at double his original asking price for the same dates I had booked. I also asked the representative if the host had been in contact with Airbnb to which he replied: “No. I have yet to speak to him.”

The customer service member also sent me several links of new places to check out. Out of the four links he sent me, none were remotely in the location I wanted and were well over what I had paid originally. In one case, a rental was almost $1500 more. I did a quick search myself and there was less than 3% availability left for our dates in my area. To add insult to injury, on my Facebook, Instagram and Airbnb app the apartment I booked is advertised everywhere as a place to book. Seriously?

On the Airbnb website it states: “Because cancellations disrupt guests’ plans and impact confidence in the Airbnb community, the following penalties will be applied for host cancellations: unavailable/blocked calendar. Your calendar will stay blocked and you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of the cancelled reservation.”

However, when I asked customer service why this has not applied to the host involved in my case, this is the reply I got: “Hosts and guests do have the ability to cancel a reservation for whatever reason they choose on our platform and in this situation, he will not be penalized for wanting to cancel this reservation.”

The bottom line is Airbnb safe guards the host’s right to make more money should they decide they listed a property at a bad price. There is no booking protection for guests. None. You can pay for accommodation and think you’re secure but you’re not. Airbnb presumes to know why a host has cancelled a booking despite never having been in contact with them. Hosts don’t need to have a reason to cancel your reservation. I have advised Airbnb that I want to escalate this matter further, to which I haven’t received a reply.

Airbnb Customer Service a Maze of Communication

What a nightmare trying to resolve a refund issue. I recently made a booking in Granada and on receiving the address found that it was too far from the area we needed. My husband has an injured leg and cannot walk far. The next day we cancelled and the host was very understanding. This was six months in advance of the stay. Then we received our refund from Airbnb, who had gouged $220 from our credit card. We contacted our host and she said there must be some mistake because she didn’t receive anything. Then the frustration began: how to negotiate with Airbnb. They just give you the runaround on their website. I found a phone number on the internet for Sydney. I rang it. Their reply was: “This is Airbnb. We are looking forward to speaking with you”… and then nothing. Can all this be legal? I can find nothing on the website that warns of this gouging.

New Year’s Eve in New Orleans Cancellation

I booked a condo months in advance for my family near the French Quarter in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, as we were returning from a cruise that day. The listing had a normal price (not New Year’s Eve French Quarter pricing).

Three days before, host cancelled due to one of those rare plumbing problems that can’t be fixed within three days. I spent the last day of my cruise on the computer, trying to figure out an alternate plan with everything nearby booked up. With no luck and $500 a person to change flight dates, I rented a one-way car and set out to drive home. I’ll spend New Year’s 2018 with my kids in a motel on I-55.

The best part is, with my reservation canceled, there is literally no way to leave a review for either the host or his listing and no way to complain to Airbnb other than generic website feedback. Maybe the plumbing problem is real (who knows?) but why should a situation like that not be allowed to be noted in the reviews? I can tell you my first Airbnb experience will also be my last, and I wish the host and his plumbing anything but a prosperous New Year. Cheers to all from the Motel 6!

Beware of Moderate Cancellation Policy, Negative Reviews

My family of four plus two grandparents booked a whole house in Phuket, Thailand with a moderate cancellation policy, allowing for cancellation during the stay. In the master bedroom, the en-suite bathroom smelled of poor toilet drainage, and the house was generally filthy despite the advertised housekeeper. After a few nights we decided to cancel and book ourselves into a hotel. We would have acted sooner but were very jet lagged after a 24-hour flight, We gave the host a heads up and followed the moderate cancellation policy (allowing for a 50% refund for unused days).

The host was very angry and wrote a negative review saying we were the worst experience he ever had. We left the house in a cleaner state than when we had arrived with no breakages. We were highly courteous throughout the stay. After going back and forth with the case manager Airbnb decided that the review was within guidelines. I am writing to warn future guests to document everything through email and photos and if you make a complaint do it within 24 hours even if there is a moderate cancellation policy.

Host Took Over $2000 for Immediate Cancellation

An Airbnb host is stealing over $2000 from me (50% fee) and there has been no answer from Airbnb for days. A “dedicated case manager” is just a waste of time and a way to make time thinking you can “forget” or maybe settle for much less. This must be a scam in which both Airbnb doesn’t care (makes a profit too) and some hosts steal from customers (especially first time users like myself) on a regular basis.

I am a first time user coming from a difficult situation where a host had just canceled a rented property (still waiting for a refund on that too) and needed a house ASAP for seven people including seniors and children. I explained this to the host and he agreed that I needed more than two beds for seven people (his information said sleeps “up to 16”). He then claimed that because of the five minutes from when my transaction occurred between booking, texting, and canceling, as per his claim, he was free to charge me for a cancellation. That five minutes’ processing time is now going to cost me over $2000 right before Christmas. I’m filing a BBB complaint and I want to start a class action lawsuit against Airbnb after reading lots and lots of complaints.

Airbnb Refunds are not Honoured as Advertised

I cancelled a long-term reservation and fully expected to pay a penalty. What I did not expect was that the penalty would be 100%. The host’s listing stated that if a reservation is cancelled more than seven days prior to the start, then a 50% refund would be given. See photo of screenshot.

After contacting the host a couple of times, who did not respond, I sought a resolution by involving Airbnb. They correctly stated that Airbnb’s policy is a one-month penalty on long-term bookings but that hosts can decide on different terms not strictly supported by Airbnb. If that is the case then it is misleading, deceiving travelers into thinking that they will get a refund when in fact they will not.

The host has since changed his listing to match Airbnb’s conditions. The host has also found a loophole in Airbnb’s platform. Somehow the host was able to delete all previous reviews of their listing. Again, this is deceiving travelers. All this was pointed out to Airbnb in the photos attached. They closed the case and are now refusing to respond to my emails. I have now lost a substantial amount of money which I believe was through misleading information. I will never use or recommend Airbnb again. I feel sorry for all the legitimate hosts using Airbnb’s platform.

Customer Service over Cancellations is Lacking

We had a reservation in South Lake Tahoe over Christmas paid in full, that was abruptly cancelled today, nine days prior to arrival. There was no explanation why, just a gratuity voucher if we could find a replacement for $195. This is the first time some of our family have used Airbnb, and I have to say we are all totally dissatisfied with all that has transpired. Our daughter has received no response to her email from Airbnb or from the host. We reserved in August, well in advance of the holiday. Two of the families are flying up here from southern California. This cancellation has not only made a mess of our well planned trip but also left us scrambling to find a replacement which is not proving to be easy at this late date near the holiday. I haven’t even mentioned the stress of the entire issue. I would think there would be some restrictions to the owners in regards to cancelling, as there is to the renter. $195 for our trouble doesn’t even begin to make things right. They can be sure we will be sharing this with all we know especially to those who use the service.

Valid Cancellations Don’t Mean Instant Refunds

Yesterday I booked a condo in South Padre Island and got a message from Airbnb to call a number. I called the number and it was the property management guy. He told me that Airbnb did not charge me for the cleaning fee and that I needed to pay him for that. Well then, I see that they charged me $100 per night and the host told me he would charge $90 a night. Then I realized Airbnb had overcharged me by about $150. The property management guy told me to cancel my reservation through Airbnb and then rebook through him. Well it was within thirty minutes that I cancelled my reservation and then had to contact Airbnb to get my full refund back. They authorized the refund but now it can take up to 15 days before I get it. This is such BS since the cancellation policy stated I had 24 hours and I cancelled within thirty minutes. Does anyone know who I can contact to get my refund ASAP?