Pending Birth + COVID-19 + Airbnb = Stress

VRBO

My wife and I have been living in an apartment inside a six-unit villa for 12 years now. Everyone else that lives here is an owner, except for the couple who bought the unit above us a couple of months ago.

The place was vacant and on the market for almost a year, which was great for us, but in saying that, we were delighted to meet the couple who bought the place, as we’re all friendly neighbours in the villa and look out for one another. Upon introducing myself, I kindly asked if they would be renting it out, or staying there themselves, to which they blatantly lied to my face saying it will be for them or family as they were yet to decide.

A couple of months went by. They frequent the place, often quite late to furnish the apartment, many times around midnight. It is around this time when the COVID-19 outbreak kicks into high gear and our state puts in strict rules and guidelines regarding isolation, interstate travel and social gatherings.

We didn’t even know it was an Airbnb until their very first guests mentioned it whilst on one of many loudspeaker calls on the balcony. The language these guys use would make a sailor weep. Every second word was either f*ck or c*nt.

It was during one of these loud and obnoxious phone calls that we overheard him say he had traveled from interstate and had to self-isolate for 14 days. We found this odd, as we had seen him out visiting the liquor store and take out restaurant around the corner just a few days earlier.

My wife is expecting our first child in under a week and we have been completely cut off from our friends, from our family and from our support network. Yet this asshole strolls about risking everyone in the community, laughing at the threat of a $1000 on the spot fine for breach of quarantine.

To top it off, this prick had two guests over last night, which is also against the rules that are needed to curb the spread of this virus. The blaring of Eminem and System of a Down at 11:00 PM is the least of my worries right now. The fact that this is the first “guest” is a worrying sign of things to come.

It’s not the dream we had when starting a new family. We now feel alienated in our own home. Screw the owner for lying to our face and not providing a phone number to contact her. Screw the asshole guests who aren’t taking this pandemic seriously and screw Airbnb. I shouldn’t have to feel petty about this.

VRBO

Airbnb Not Honoring Policy, Screwed out of $1017

VRBO

I was not given the refund outlined by Airbnb’s COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Policy at the time of cancellation. When I cancelled, my host instructed me to go to Airbnb customer service.

I went round and round with my customer service agent for several weeks when he would take 24 hours between responses. He gave me three different excuses for not getting my rebate.

The first excuse was that the booking dates/location were outside of the policies in place at the time of the cancellation. This was not true since my reservation was made before March 14th and for March 17-20, well within the COVID-19 affected dates.

The second excuse was that the cancellation occurred before March 14th. However, Airbnb posted a note on my reservation saying this was in a COVID-19 affected area and they would honor a refund.

The third excuse was that they said they needed to see a message from me asking for a refund within 24 hours of canceling. I asked to have this policy shown to me but they refused to do so.

At this point, I think customer service was making up stuff to get rid of me. I paid $1836 for a reservation that was not fulfilled because of the virus shutdown. My host gave me a partial refund of $820 based on the standard cancelation policy set in place before the policy. I am owed $1017 from Airbnb.

VRBO

Canada Closed but Airbnb Refuses to Refund

VRBO

The Canadian Prime Minister closed the country’s cruise ports until July 1. All cruises until July 1 are cancelled, including ours. We were coming from the U.S. to Vancouver for one night at an Airbnb. It would have been our first time ever using Airbnb. Every other airline and hotel gave us a full refund the same day we called.

Not Airbnb: they have a COVID-19 policy until May 31 only. We were checking in June 1. Even with a ton of documentation, their “case managers” still denied us a refund because their policy is just until May 31.

The host is very difficult to work with and won’t budge on her strict policy even though we just booked it days before the shutdown in March and we’re two months away. What a selfish human being.

We have no control over this global pandemic and they have been a nightmare to deal with. We call everyday and get the runaround from customer service. Airbnb is a fraudulent company. I’m talking to a lawyer.

VRBO

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 Travel During a Worldwide Pandemic

The Airbnb website says if your travel is before May 31 you are entitled to a full refund. However, when I tried to do my cancellation it charged me the cleaning fee. I have sent repeated messages to our host and she has not responded to what kind of documentation is required for a refund.

I would think that with a worldwide pandemic and stay at home orders everywhere that further documentation would not be necessary but I cannot get a response and I have not received any confirmation of the cancellation or the refund.

This booking was for 11 days in the UK so it is a lot of money I am out if they do not follow through. If they fail to refund, I am hoping the attorney general will take action to ensure we are not cheated out of this refund.

Hosts Have a Big Say in Your Refund

In the middle of a global pandemic, this host was incredibly uncooperative, rude, arrogant, and kept reiterating that my refund was up to Airbnb. In addition to keeping in contact with the Superhost, I was also in touch with Airbnb. I got the runaround, until finally, I spoke with a decent human being.

I sent a link showing my state’s stay at home orders. I had to jump through many hoops and talk to a variety of people at Airbnb before anyone acted on it. To make matters worse, the Superhost was completely uncooperative.

Airbnb’s policy is unclear and dishonest as guests do not truly have an option for a refund during the COVID-19 crisis. You only get a refund if your host has updated their cancellation policy. It is ridiculous.

Keep in mind that the host does have a say. I am a host with a strict cancellation policy. When the guest cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, I thought that was it. Several days later I had to approve his request for a refund. Why should I have had to approve it? Shouldn’t Airbnb automatically do it?

I don’t even get paid until the host is scheduled to check in. Airbnb is holding that money, and probably making money on it. Of course I approved his request, as in my eyes it would have been unethical to do anything else.

We are in the middle of a global crisis and nobody should be traveling, let alone haggling with unethical hosts and Airbnb. So, keep in mind that when a host tells you they don’t have anything to do with the cancellation policy, it is a lie. Hosts set their own cancellation policy, based on choices Airbnb provides.

All hosts were contacted and encouraged to alter their cancellation policies due to the pandemic. As some of you have experienced, many have not done it. I encourage you to write reviews naming your hosts and as much details about their rentals, as possible. This way, for those who dare to continue using Airbnb, potential guests can at least find out who was unethical during the pandemic — and avoid booking with them at any cost.

COVID-19 Scam Over Bali Cancellation

I booked an Airbnb in early February 2020 with a host in Bali, Indonesia from May 15, 2020 through May 28, 2020. Well, sure enough, because of the coronavirus, my flight got canceled and both Singapore, where my layover was, and Bali are no longer accepting non-essential travel. This can be proven on both governmental websites.

I decided to cancel on March 25, 2020 and called Airbnb to speak to a representative. The representative informed me that because of their extenuating circumstances policy, I would be able to get refunded since I booked in early February.

Due to her negligent misrepresentation about the company’s policy, I cancelled my trip only to be refunded $0 and my cancellation had to be accepted by the Airbnb host. I immediately called back and was informed now the host had to accept my cancellation.

Well, the host never accepted my cancellation, told me he basically “had mouths to feed”, and I wouldn’t be seeing my $560 deposit. I immediately called Airbnb and told them I was impossible to go to Bali and it is unconscionable to take my money due to the first representative’s misrepresentation and the fact the government isn’t allowing me to travel. She informed me to submit documentation for internal review.

After this, Airbnb informed me he’d be eating my money too since I cancelled before the policy updated to extend to May 31st even though I cancelled five days before the extenuating circumstances policy updated.

I am advising everyone not to book with this Superhost who should have this status revoked and never to book with Airbnb. I have filed a complaint with the BBB since this is unconscionable and is a complete scam.

Even people who are covered under the extenuating circumstances policy still have to go through the same runaround and get the host to accept their cancelation. Airbnb is a scam.

Anti-Social Behaviour from Guests Escaping Pandemic

We had a family move into our village Poulton Gloucestershire Airbnb. They have been here since Friday before the lockdown and are still here. Their anti-social behaviour is getting worse.

Their rubbish piled high at the property will be too much for the district council to remove. They are loud, unruly, and acting as if they are on holiday and not compliant with a pandemic and lockdown. They are flouting every social rule that we are all trying to respect as this unprecedented time. They are raucous and have no respect for social distancing.

I am sure they believe that now that they are in Gloucesterhire, they are immune to COVID-19. We have an elderly community and I feel that Airbnb has been irresponsible to allow people to circumnavigate the government guidelines. My next step is to lodge a complaint with Cotswold District Council and then my MP.

COVID-19 Airbnb Cancellation not Refunded

I have never experienced customer service as terrible as this. I had a house booked in a couple weeks just outside the full cash refund bracket but that was fine; I was still entitled to a full credit refund which I could use in a future trip.

When I had realized the current state of emergency wasn’t getting any better, cancelling the Airbnb booking was a must. I went through the app to cancel and was shown two options. The first was a “receive a $0 refund from host” as it had surpassed her cancellation date, and the other option was “receive $320 travel credit for next trip.”

Part of this was my mistake, as I didn’t realize I needed to select an option. I had thought it was giving me the details of my refund rather than giving me the two options I had. As far I remember I don’t think there was anything that said I needed to select an option either.

Straight after that I had contacted Airbnb, first through messages and then a call. I was on hold for about 50 minutes, which is understandable during this period. Once I got through I explained my details to a very uninterested lady. She asked if I was looking for a full refund to my credit card, I said I was more than happy to accept travel credit.

I explained I think I had accidentally selected the wrong option as I didn’t see any travel voucher/credit to my account after that cancellation. She had told me she didn’t have the power to do the refund and that she’d speak to someone higher up and contact me later.

One week later, I hadn’t heard anything back. I sent them another message in case she had forgot. At that point I decided to call back, this time with a different person. I explained the whole situation again, and told him I had been waiting to be contacted by Airbnb. I asked if he could help me but once again he said he could not but will speak to somebody that can.

He then sent me a message after the call and said: “Thanks your patience, somebody will get in contact with you within 24 hours to resolve your issue.”

Six days later… nothing. So now I’m wondering if they’re going to refund my money or just tell me there’s nothing they can do as it is my fault for selecting the wrong option. Is it common for these guys not to contact you when they have promised or do they just try getting out of giving your money back?

Prague Airbnb Nightmare During State of Emergency

I’ve been wrangling with Airbnb since March 13 when I canceled my reservation in Prague. On March 12, Prague went into a minimum 30-day state of emergency. That increased over time.

My reservation was from April 29 to May 2. The host refused to come off his strict cancellation policy and would not return my last 50% payment, even suggesting I request one under extenuating circumstances. I did; he still refused.

Since then I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time messaging Airbnb, dealing with front line people who have been instructed to just pass the buck and stonewall. Delta/KLM has cancelled my flight to Prague and are willingly going to fully refund me in cash, not eticket. Clearly everything around my reservation screams extenuating circumstances.

I keep reaching back to Airbnb even after they deemed my case closed. We’re talking $265 owed to me. I asked them if this amount was really worth it to Airbnb to screw with me. Apparently very much so.

Be wary and keep fighting if you’re owed money. I’ve been an Airbnb Superhost in Florida. As I stated to Airbnb, I’ve never been out to make a buck on a legitimate cancellation. It’s just unethical and dirty.