I have had two Airbnb experiences. Both were a nightmare, but the second was the worst. I cancelled an Airbnb eight weeks prior to my stay and the host still kept my deposit. It is the most unfair practice ever. Even hotels allow you to cancel up to 48 hours prior to your stay. Eight weeks. The host had plenty of time to re-rent the suite, so he basically stole $300 from me for the deposit. He was unresponsive and I think that Airbnb should be shut down.
My friends and I needed a last minute apartment that we could spend the night in as we were going out of town. I found a very good apartment that was near the city centre and was available for the night we needed. I booked the apartment and the money got taken from my bank. Then the host messaged me saying that the apartment was now unavailable. This now left us with nowhere to stay and down £125. The host said to contact Airbnb for a refund. However, I am finding that their customer service is awful and the number I am ringing doesn’t recognise my booking. When I message them, they’re very unhelpful. It’s becoming very frustrating as I just want my money back.
Our host cancelled our reservation the morning we arrived because we were early. I contacted him over the phone (which was on the reservation). We have had issues to get on the wifi so communication was limited at some point before. He was very angry that I got in touch to see if we could check in earlier. I offered compensation and my apologies. He was okay and told me he was letting me in the house with a key code.
As soon as we got in, he called me on WhatsApp to say he was not going to host us and was going to cancel our booking. He told me to tell Airbnb so they could get me a new place. Now he is not cancelling officially on the Airbnb site and I have emailed him, so I can get my full refund. I believe he is waiting for me to cancel, to get some money. This is not fair as he decided not to host us today, when we were due to check in. He is leaving us with no place to stay and taking part of our money. I am starting to think this guy does this all the time.
I reported this to Airbnb a few hours later. I messaged him straight away after he cancelled. I have politely requested him to cancel my stay but now he is not answering my messages. As for Airbnb, they haven’t done anything either; they should step in and refund me. I have made sure I requested this in writing within the time frame, and it was the host who decided to cancel. I’m still waiting, short on cash and with nowhere to stay.
In October of 2018, I booked an apartment in Cambridge for the weekend of the Boston Marathon in April of 2019. As I was preparing to fly to Boston, I realized that I had not heard from my host. I sent an email and then a text message the next day.
On April 11th, before I was to fly to Boston on the 12th, I unearthed a telephone number for Airbnb, called and asked for help. They contacted the host and told me that the listing had been withdrawn. I was in total freakout. They gave me a $60 credit to help find another listing.
Seriously? Everything in Boston had been booked for weeks or months. I posted something on the Airbnb Facebook page and their customer service was calling me with new listings and higher credits. Well, all of the listings were for “Boston” but were actually in towns like Salem, miles away from public transit and Boston proper. It was like planning to stay in NYC and being offered lodging in Connecticut.
Finally, one of the reps who called got it: that location was critical and that Boston lodging had been booked for months. I was lucky enough to stay with the daughter of a friend of a friend. I will never again use Airbnb when I have to have guaranteed lodging.
After cancelling a booking five days after I made it and after messaging Airbnb about this, I waited over a week my refund. The host’s cancellation policy clearly stated “cancellation within 48 hrs. of booking and 14 days before check-in to get a full refund”.
I notified my credit card company, who promptly issued me a refund. I thought all was well (I love Mastercard). Three weeks later, a charge was posted to my credit card for $487.00 (the amount of my first deposit). I messaged back and forth many times to Airbnb asking them to remove this charge and got a whole string of double-talk but no refund.
I opened a dispute with Mastercard and they collected the money from Airbnb. However, I have never experienced so many stalls, lies and downright BS from any company before. I do not recommend them and please be extra careful if you do decide to book – they are not reputable.
If you are like me, Airbnb has become my #1 priority when booking accommodation for a trip abroad. However, Airbnb cancelled my booking in New York with only weeks to spare, even though the booking was made eight months prior. Their customer service has no responsibility to find you alternative accommodation.
For Airbnb this is good business, because now the betrayed and baffled traveler has two expensive options: to book again with Airbnb and either pay more for a similar listing, or select a poorer quality listing. Alternatively, a person can book a hotel which is also more expensive as there is such a short time left prior to the trip.
What was shocking is that Airbnb originally blamed the host for cancelling. Moments after this, I received a message from the Superhost stating that he had no idea why it was cancelled. He had 50+ five star reviews. Airbnb removed all traces of the booking including our conversation chain and the host’s profile.
Airbnb might be good for small cities but for big ones, I would avoid booking as there is a high risk your booking will be cancelled and you have no way to expect the sudden additional expenses.
I had been renting out rooms using Airbnb for about three years and had very good ratings. Five months ago, an Airbnb guest left an external door unlocked and my house was robbed. In order to make it safer for me and my guests I installed an external security camera system which is very common at many accommodation places in Australia. I informed the Australian Government of an Airbnb guest overstaying their visa.
Airbnb responded with limited information notifying me they will lop $180 off my next guest. Shortly thereafter they cancelled my account. Beware, as most of the guests wanting accommodation have no ratings. The cancellation policy is meaningless as Airbnb can arbitrarily cancel a guest’s booking at any time and give you almost no information as to why they are cancelling it.
Based on what has happened, I doubt the bond system by Airbnb is worth anything. As a host, you and the Australian Government do not know who the guests staying in your house are. Airbnb doesn’t even know who the extra guests are. As Airbnb is getting more hosts, the room rates have dropped a lot so it is definitely not worth putting up with garbage like this.
I just heard about this site and wish I had earlier so I could have posted this then. About three years ago, a friend and I booked a beachside condo in San Diego (approximately $400/night). We were driving in from about six hours away. One hour before we got to the condo (late at night), I received a phone call from the “agent” of the owner telling me that the unit was no longer available because the owner had let some friends use it instead. I asked the agent what we were supposed to do and was told to find something else.
I am quite fed up with Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy and their customer service agents’ performance. My guest wanted to cancel her reservation last weekend due to the Eurostar not operating. I contacted Airbnb customer service and offered to give a 50% refund to this guest.
Customer service just deducted my payment and gave a full refund to the guest, referring to their “Extenuating Circumstances” policy , which I think is totally unfair to hosts. I understand circumstances we can’t control, but my guest can make a claim and complaint to Eurostar for this incident. I tried to be fair to both sides and offered 50%.
In addition, my guest can get compensation from her travel insurance because this incident was caused by Eurostar, but I have to pay her a full refund? When she cancelled her reservation last weekend because of this incident, how could I find any guest to replace her? I have lost income for this last weekend as well.
I contacted a customer service agent who dealt with my case. All she could do was refer to Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. As per their policies, they only protect the guests, not the hosts at all. Their customer service agents can only refer to the policies, but they fail to solve the problem based on the situation. I don’t think they deserve a booking fee from hosts and guests because they only provide poor service. Two thumbs down.