Airbnb Nightmare in Paris Leaves Guest Struggling

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This was the worst Airbnb experience I ever had. I had booked a room at Catherine’s Hostel from February 27th to March 13th and from March 21st to April 1st. The first week everything was fine; I had a single bathroom which was quite fine and so forth. However, a few weeks before March 13th Catherine told me I couldn’t stay in her flat any longer because she had too many guests and there was no room left for me. She wanted to arrange another hostel on Airbnb for me, but the room was located in the 19th arrondissement, which is quite dangerous for someone who’s new to Paris. Even my local friends suggested I not stay there.

I’ve told her this whole situation is unacceptable: after all, I booked the room prior to my arrival and confirmed it before I came to Paris. Now I’m here but I’m not allowed to have a room? This is completely unreasonable. I told her I can’t accept how she dealt with this situation; she took a strong stand against me saying I couldn’t stay at her place, even if I had made a reservation. She said she would give me a full refund if I couldn’t deal with the change. I asked her to do so and found myself another place to stay. I was supposed to receive a refund of at least €300, but for some unknown reason in the end I got €255. I didn’t argue with her because I didn’t want to ruin my holiday mood. If you’re not fond of unanticipated situations in your travelers, I suggest you avoid this Airbnb in case of any trouble.

Miami Airbnb Nightmare: No Refunds Allowed

I was trying to arrange the trip of my life with my sisters and a friend. We are all mums and have busy lives and very little time for ourselves, so this was going to be our trip. I booked with this woman, Gigi, for a twelve-night stay. Before the trip (I live in Switzerland) I contacted her and told her that my sister could go to see the place. If she was okay with that, she could give her the keys at that time. She said she had to hand me the keys in person so I said that was okay. I also told her I would be arriving at the apartment about 8:30-9:00 PM on February 1st, which we did.

At 9:00 PM, we were outside the house and she was not answering the phone. After a while, she appeared but didn’t want to be seen (she was going to get in the car and go shopping). I recognised her from the picture and approached her, asking if she was Gigi. Her husband or boyfriend was also there but he was in the car. He knew we were the guests because he heard us talking about her before she appeared, and were the only ones with baggage at almost 10:00 PM. She reluctantly told us that she needed more time to get the apartment ready so we would have to wait in the lobby; she needed to get some pans and pots from the shop.

After fourteen hours of traveling you don’t want to wait anywhere; we just wanted to get inside, relax after this trip, and settle in. Because I told her we didn’t want to wait at reception she started to make a fuss about it and started talking to her boyfriend in Spanish that we didn’t want to wait. I also speak Spanish so we understood what they were saying. After some time she got really upset and rude. She suggested that I cancel the reservation, but I told her I wanted to have my money back. She only said that it had to be done through Airbnb.

I tried to reach Airbnb customer service that night, which was impossible. Therefore I had to deal with her first and then I had to fill out the forms in the help centre on Airbnb. That night we had to book a hotel at the last minute in which we stayed two nights. We had to pay almost $500 on top of the 1500 Swiss francs I had already paid. A few days later I received an email from someone at customer service claiming to “totally understand my situation and my frustration”. She generously wanted to give me a $200 coupon for another booking. I wrote her back and received an automated email that said that the case was closed. Still, there was no money in my account. I kept filling our the refund form until I got $562 back, but i paid 1500. I kept trying to contact Airbnb and finally got through to customer service. They wrote this:

Hi Marcela,

It’s Sarah here from Airbnb, thank you for taking my call. Marcela, I can confirm that you will not be entitled to any further refund from your cancelled booking with Gigi. When you cancelled the reservation, your host’s strict cancellation policy was applied. Outside of this policy, your host sent you a refund of CHF562 which she did not need to do. We have already explained to you that to be considered for a full refund under our Guest Refund Policy you would have had to contact us within 24 hours of check-in, provide documentation of the issue, not to have caused the issue and used reasonable efforts to remedy the situation with the host prior to making a claim. I am sorry that things did not work out for you on this occasion and I hope that you understand that these situations are very rare.

Kind regards,

Sarah

I couldn’t check in: Gigi never let me. I did try to contact customer service. I did everything I was supposed to do – even arrived on the premises on time – and I get punished and robbed? Is this normal? Is this how companies treat their customers? Where is the decency and where are the company values? People just want to screw people over and no one cares? If I wanted more I could tell Gigi that she should have paid for my hotel expenses. The apartment was not ready upon our arrival and it was not my fault. Why should I have to pay?

After Host Cancelled, Customer Service Stalls Giving Refund

After hearing a lot about Airbnb, I decided to make a reservation. I booked a home in Loma Linda, Ca, confirmed with the host, and paid the rent. About a week later, Airbnb told me the host had cancelled, and offered a refund. I should have grabbed it then, but I was stunned about the cancellation. A few hours later they told me they would contact the host if I was still interested in staying there for the dates I had booked. I said yes. I also contacted the host, who told me she had never cancelled the reservation, but Airbnb had inadvertently cancelled it. I emailed Airbnb again, asking for some type of confirmation of my “renewed” reservation. Well, needless to say, this went on for some time, in which I kept emailing, and getting very delayed replies (2-3 days later) saying that they still had not been able to contact the host and confirm availability. Two different stories were floating around.

I finally decided to give up, and call and ask for my money back. If you like elevator music, you can enjoy sitting on hold for 30 minutes or longer with Airbnb customer service, listening to their selection. Then a representative came on, sounding like he’d just woken up. He was absolutely no help whatsoever, telling me that my case had been “escalated” to a level that he could not interfere with. I just finally got a confirmation of my cancellation, and hopefully will see a complete refund in the next five business days. However, I will never use this service again. VRBO is far better, in my humble opinion.

Airbnb Customer Service Can’t Decide What To Do

My family and I tried to book a house through Airbnb for a vacation together. I found the house on my account and my sister-in-law logged in to pay for it. Airbnb would not authorize the payment, and kept sending emails saying our reservation would be cancelled if we did not resolve it. We tried to resolve it with customer service but they could not help us. We spoke with the host and we decided to cancel and book through a different account in order to make sure our reservation was not in jeopardy. After cancelling Airbnb told me that I had an outstanding service fee charge for cancelling. I have yet to talk to an actual person through customer service who can actually help me. We should not have to pay two service fees for the same booking. All of the sudden they charged my sister-in-law’s card for the service fee today. Now Airbnb can charge the card for a service fee but when we tried to use it for our booking we were unable to. It’s ridiculous. I’m still trying to talk to someone with authority but we are beyond mad. Any suggestions or help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

Airbnb Host Cancelled Ten Minutes before Arrival

We were on our way to the Soho apartment we rented after a nightmarish morning of driving two hours (opposite side of the road of course, very stressful), and a broken down commuter train. We were in constant contact with the host to let him know our progress, and always received a “no problem” or “no rush” reply. Finally, in a taxi ten minutes away, I got a host cancellation notice from Airbnb. I arrived at the apartment to find a sheepish host saying he’d just arrived at the apartment to find his flatmate hadn’t cleaned out some moving boxes and apartment was not suitable for guest. He wouldn’t even let us see the place. This was in the afternoon; there was plenty of time to have it cleaned. Airbnb’s response was to email seven or eight alternatives and let us look through them and decide… on a noisy London street on my mobile phone with no idea where these other places were while we were exhausted and furious. We were lucky to find a hotel. Then I found out I couldn’t leave a review for this jerk. They simply put an automatic “host canceled ” notice with no information about how horrible the experience was. They say they deducted payment from his next transaction, which only means he makes a little less money next time, but more importantly it means Airbnb makes money off bad hosts. Who comes up with these stupid rules?

Hosts Cancel, But Airbnb Sends Reservation Reminder

In November 2016, my wife made two different Airbnb reservations for a trip to Atlanta, where I would be attending a conference. The first reservation was cancelled within days by the host. The opportunities to get a room where the conference was being held were limited. She went ahead and made the second reservation with another host. About a month later, the that one was cancelled too. There was still time to book with the conference hotel, but we decided we could do better and found a UU’re Home host very close. We’ve stayed with UU’re Home hosts before, and they were wonderful.

Fast forward three months, and the trip was coming up. Guess what? Airbnb sent me a “Reservation Reminder” (my wife put my email address on the trip), and it said the second reservation she had booked was coming up in a few days. I logged in, and voila, the trip shows: “Cancelled – this reservation was cancelled by the host.” Are we going to be billed? Does Airbnb’s system really know what is going on? I found the 855 number to call Airbnb to complain. However, they won’t talk to me because the reservation was made by my wife. All I want to know is if we will be billed. I can forward the email from Airbnb, but they won’t talk to me. My wife has to call and wait in their queue. Do they know why I received an email reminder for my cancelled reservation? They want more information, but won’t talk to me. I’m going to tell my wife to call them and make sure we won’t be billed. I’ve saved a screen shot of the Airbnb page showing the cancellation. Why can’t Airbnb get their act together? And why do they let hosts cancel stays frequently?

Host Cancelled Ten Days Before our South African Trip

We made reservations for three days in Simon’s Town (near Cape Town), with plans to go shark diving. We also have two little kids, so it was fairly important that a particular location was large enough; we also wanted a pool for the kids. The reservation was made three months before the scheduled trip dates. Ten days before we were to depart for South Africa (from the United States), I received a message from the host that she didn’t realize the dates we selected were during the Easter weekend and that she had to cancel the reservation because they would be using the house. While we were able to find different accommodation, this was highly unprofessional. Airbnb also doesn’t allow you to leave feedback for a host that cancels a reservation; there is only an automated message that’s posted to their account. This is very frustrating because it doesn’t let you express your views of the host and thus there is little incentive for a host to think carefully before cancelling a reservation. I’ll think twice before using Airbnb again.

Unprofessional, Rude, and Unhelpful Customer Service

My partner and I had confirmed a reservation for a modest accommodation in Brentford. It was small; however, it suited our needs due to the location and all amenities. I had been in touch with the host, Gurneet, and we had spoken throughout my booking and afterwards. Gurneet asked yesterday if we’d be able to change our dates to April 31st to May 2nd rather than March 28th- 31st. I told her we wouldn’t be able to as we have no other accommodation in place for the other dates. She assured me that was fine and that the accommodation was still available. When I asked what the issue was she said it was merely a maintenance issue with fire alarms that she’d discuss with her landlord. Fast forward two hours: at 11:00 PM I received an email from Airbnb notifying me that our reservation had been cancelled. Though Gurneet and I were in regular contact on Whatsapp she cancelled the reservation then sent a message through Airbnb.

As soon as I received this, I called Gurneet. She did not answer. Instead I received a message asking me not to call, as others were asleep. I asked her why she had not given any notice of this being an issue prior to cancelling, to which she could not answer. In fact, Gurneet blocked me on Whatsapp. I then tried to call Airbnb, as they claim to be open 24/7. After spending an hour waiting on the line with no answer I went to bed. This morning I called Airbnb again, hoping they could help me. I spoke to a lady called Kira who actually shouted down the line. I’ve never spoken to someone so rude and unprofessional. After discussing the issue at hand, Kira informed me that Airbnb could only issue me with a refund plus 10% of what we spent. However, had the host cancelled 24 hours or less before the date we planned to stay, Airbnb would have helped us rebook. I explained that this whole situation has been so stressful and we had failed to find another accommodation in the same or similar location with the same amenities. She told me to continue looking and rushed to get off the phone.

When I said I didn’t find it fair of Airbnb to only offer 10% when all other accommodations nearby were higher than our price range this is when she shouted at me and asked why I didn’t think it was fair. When I responded to ask why she raised her voice. I said I found it incredibly unprofessional for a member of Airbnb’s staff to shout at a client. She claimed she hadn’t raised her voice – still shouting – and said if I didn’t let her speak she’d hang up. I said I couldn’t believe how poor the service she provided had been and put the phone down. I also explained to Kira prior to this that the experience was much more stressful as my partner is coming from Australia, the airline had already cancelled his original flight which had been due to arrive on March 27th and issued him with one arriving March 28th, so I had to change bookings accordingly. Now eight days may seem like a lot to some people, however we specifically booked in advance as we knew we wouldn’t be able to manage everything if not. Now we are receiving no help whatsoever and I just have to hope I can find another accommodation in time. In regards to Kira, I hope no one else has the unpleasant experience of talking to someone like her who clearly doesn’t suit her job. When she should be encouraging and helpful, she offered no help whatsoever, instead taking it upon herself to shout in a situation that was already stressful to myself as the guest.

Host Requires Direct Deposit for Confirmed Reservation

I have been traveling in New Zealand and using Airbnb. I have used Airbnb in the US, Europe and now New Zealand. Until now I have had good experiences with all my hosts, until I stayed with Richard in Rotorua. I made reservations through Airbnb and they were accepted by the host. On the day we were to arrive we texted to let him know what time we would come. He called back and told us that he had rented the property to someone else (seven people instead of two) who had paid a deposit into his bank account. To confirm, we called a second number given on Airbnb and talked to someone who said it was “no problem”: we should show up at the address and he would send someone with the key. When we arrived we found the seven other people had arrived five minutes before us and they had already been given the key. We then had to scramble to find a new place to stay at an inflated price. The people we talked to had strong Chinese accents and poor English, so it was very difficult to understand them. The only thing I can figure is to reserve with Richard you need to wire money directly to his bank account and not assume that the Airbnb reservation confirmation is real. I have never had this issue before and it was not evident from the Airbnb website or emails that there was an issue with the reservation or an additional deposit was required outside the Airbnb system. I have seen deposits required before but always paid what the Airbnb site charged, got my reservation confirmation, and had no further significant issues. After several attempted phone calls to Airbnb at +1 855 424 7262 I finally got through to a “Case Manager” at Airbnb who said they would refund our rental charges. I’m waiting for their final response to see if we should join Airbnb Hell’s class action lawsuit.

No Solution to Accidentally Using Instant Book

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This is only the second time that I have used Airbnb. I understand the process to be: I message the host and the host returns the message and you both decide if there should be a booking. I thought I was messaging Dorothy, based in Washington DC. There is a new feature to automatically book. So that’s what happened; I didn’t want to automatically book. She has been a host since January 17th. I messaged her instantly that this had been a mistake, and requesting that she return my funds. I called Airbnb to return my funds. There are no features on Airbnb to correct this mistake. I cancelled the booking, but both Airbnb and Dorothy are refusing to give me the money back. The charge was $3389. Then I got a message after my multiple calls to Airbnb over a week and a half later that I would get a partial refund of $2477. Then I received another email from an Airbnb representative saying I would only get $2161. I said this was unacceptable. I did not agree to a partial refund, which is what he was trying to state in his email. I said I wanted a full refund. They insinuated that I couldn’t get a refund. They will not return even a partial refund if I don’t agree to their terms. This is how they trick you.

The thieving host and I texted a lot. She was trying to convince me she had nothing to do with the transactions, but as I found out later the hosts have the power to issue a complete and full refund; she is just refusing to do so. She lied and the amount she can steal from me is over $600. All because there is no recourse for correcting the automatic booking process. This is wrong and it’s stealing. I think this new feature is a scam on Airbnb’s part and the hosts (at least my thieving host) don’t care if they harm customers financially. Airbnb’s customer service is not helpful and difficult to reach. The representatives will not speak with you or hear your complaints. Then if you don’t agree with the resolution, they threaten you with getting nothing back. Dorothy from Washington DC is a scam artist because she knew this was a mistake. I tried to send her a message. I told her the second it happened because there is no feature to undo the automatic booking. She made a fast $600 with no regard to the harm she caused. I’m a hard working woman with four children, two in college. For Airbnb to have unhelpful and threatening customer service agents and thieving hosts keep these funds and not correct this mistake immediately is egregious. Beware of the instant booking. Thieves like Dorothy use this as a means of stealing your money and customer service representatives will not help you. If anything, they will actually threaten to withhold partial payments if you don’t agree with the resolution. I don’t agree with their resolution. I want and need all of my money back.