No Country for Apartments: Airbnb in Berlin

My 13-year-old son and I had the trip of a lifetime planned to Germany and Austria. I travel to Germany often so I know my way around. We stayed in Hilton hotels in most of the cities in which we only stayed for three or four days before going to Berlin. We both love Berlin and stayed in apartments the last two times we were there. Unfortunately, the company I used to use to book the apartments has gone out of business due to a new law in Germany restricting the renting of apartments due to tax issues. I decided to book through Airbnb and found a great apartment for 16 days. I booked with the owner and paid for the apartment several months ahead of time. I printed the instructions from the owners a week before the trip and started our trip to Germany on June 15th, 2016.

We were having an enjoyable time until we showed up to pick up the keys from a bar in Prinzlauerberg after a nine-hour train ride from Vienna. It seems that Germany, or at least Berlin, has just enacted a law that doesn’t allow people to rent apartments using any service like Airbnb legally for less than 30 days. Now, any company that truly cares about its customers would make sure it notifies you about a cancellation with more than an email to your account… which went straight to my spam folder. They would call to notify you of such a problem or at least make sure you got an email. Airbnb did nothing more than send an email, so my son and I were stuck in Berlin for 16 days with no apartment.

I want to be fair to Airbnb and say when I called them they tried to help and offered to pay for two nights here in Berlin up to $200. They offered to try to get us another place here but every listing that was available online was not able to take us. We tried eight new ones. They were sorry about the fact that I did not get notification of the cancellation but would not take responsibility for not making sure I got the notification. I had printed the instructions a week before I left and therefore thought everything was ok. The money was refunded but not until a month later and my wife just got our statement with the credit yesterday.

Luckily, I am a seasoned traveler and was able to get us in to a Hampton Inn for the last two nights and was able to book the same hotel for all but the next three days here. My problem with Airbnb is that they did not make sure I got the notification of the cancellation in the first place. This is my first and last experience with Airbnb. A company as large as this should make sure that customers get notification of cancellations and not blame it all on the customer. A phone call would have solved the entire problem. I will never use Airbnb again. They have ruined the experience that they so want you to have as advertised online and on TV. We were so looking forward to staying in that apartment in Berlin.

WARNING: If you are trying to reserve anything in Germany from Airbnb, don’t! The laws here have basically made it illegal to rent through Airbnb unless the stay is over 30 days. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER Airbnb or you will soon be the next Internet company to go bankrupt!

Airbnb Cancelled due to Higher Bidder?

This was my first time with Airbnb and a bummer of an experience. Several months ago, I reserved a “cabin” in Monterey, California with “Kirk” for eight nights for a retreat I was attending in late July/early August. I received a cancellation notice, with no reason (or compensation) given. However, given the desirability of Monterey, especially in summer, I’d wager the host was offered substantially more than I had paid and cancelled without penalty, as hosts are able to do with Airbnb. (I wonder if he’s done this before – firm reservation vs higher bidder? Hmm…) Now, the inconvenience is on me and I’ll have to cancel my retreat reservations with a penalty as I can’t find anything nearly as nice for twice the price.

Airbnb: Once bitten, NEVER AGAIN. Won’t do it. Beware. Major risk. Apparently, accommodations can be pulled and offered to the highest bidder.

Horror, Thy Name is Airbnb NYC

We (a family of four) were travelling to New York for the first time. We tried to make bookings on the Airbnb site, but many hosts either did not reply or refused. The response time from hosts was a minimum of 48 to 72 hours. We then chanced upon a place on East 13th Street, Manhattan which was reasonably priced. We paid up in full two months (for our 5-night stay) before our proposed trip. We confirmed with the host the night before check in. We had an email also from Airbnb. Eight hours before check in, we get an email from Airbnb cancelling our reservation. The host informed us that the reservation was cancelled abruptly by Airbnb. We could not find a reasonably priced hotel. Airbnb was of no help. They just refunded the money after two months. We lost money on the exchange rate and conversion charges for no service provided. You are pushed in a loop on their website trying to contact them for a resolution.

I wish I would have read this before reserving!

Wow! I paid for a full month and was going to spend three months with a host on air Bnb.  When my daughter and I arrived, the place was freezing even with the fireplace going. This is in 38 degree weather! My daughter and I could not even take our jackets off! Plus the place was grossly misrepresented in the pictures! I told the host and told him we could not live in that environment. I was still charged for three days, cleaning and a service fee totaling $500!  Then I was told that usually the whole amount is kept!

I couldn’t even post a review! You only see the good reviews! Bastards! Fakes!

The place is in Phoenicia NY.

This website summarizes it all: AirCrapNB Hell!!

I recently had my trip cancelled, TWO DAYS BEFORE the trip. To add insult to injury, I was offered either a refund, or that if I re-booked with Airbnb, they would credit me up to $75 if the new host charged more- all this with TWO days notice. When I contacted the host directly, she said it was due to an Airbnb error in double-booking some of the days of my stay- and since they paid a slightly higher price, my reservation was the one chosen to be cancelled. I coudn’t find anything decent on AirCrapNB, so I ended up paying nearly $1,000 more to book a hotel with 2 days notice. Absolutely LOATH aircrapnb, and please think CAREFULLY before using, either as a customer (you WILL be screwed) or as a host (they are concerned SOLELY with maximizing THEIR income, and not concerned AT ALL with your finances OR reputation). DO NOT USE!!!!!!!

Problems with ID verification, no help from AirBnB

I have used AirBnB twice without any problems. My third booking was with a couple and I believe they had no reviews yet (I don’t recommend booking with someone without (good) reviews). They accepted my three night booking and the money was taken from my account, but the lady immediately messaged me that the third night would not be possible. However, the money was already taken. I told her that I then was no longer interested and cancelled the booking, but this only gave me a partial refund. AirBnB was helpful and told me the host should have booked. AirBnB gave me a voucher which I had to use that day to book something else (nice gesture but I didn’t have much time that day) and I did. However, I had plans to go on a trip and took the week off. I wanted to make my booking but suddenly was asked to verify my ID. The site however states that they can’t send a message to my mobile phone number (not sure why). AirBnB has been extremely unhelpful and my planned trip I could not book, so I had a week off but no place to go. After weeks, I still have not received any help from AirBnB with the verification or why my phone number is not suitable.