Racism from a Superhost over Airbnb Cancellation

VRBO

I am writing this message on a serious issue of racial discrimination by a “Superhost” on Airbnb. I require Airbnb’s support or I will report this to mainstream media and trigger a public discussion on the Internet.

I made a reservation with this host for a trip March 29 – April 3. The host contacted me after the reservation had been confirmed, and asked me to cancel: “If you are traveling from China, just so you are aware, our government has imposed a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.”

I told him that I was not traveling from China and have been staying in Canada for over three weeks. He insisted I cancel the booking. I found the official guidance on Airbnb: the host should initiate the cancellation on his end, otherwise the guest will lose half of the refund and service fees.

I followed this official guidance and asked the host to do so since it is his intention to cancel this booking, or he can contact Airbnb for help. Soon the host became rude, and said if he cancelled he would lose his “Superhost” status.

On the refund, he said: “It’s Airbnb that will take your money. We don’t handle the money.”

On the confirmed reservation, he said: “You will not be allowed to check in.”

On the cancellation policy, he said: “Let Airbnb take your money. I’m not cancelling.”

He keeps sending me messages like: “You need to start taking this pandemic seriously! For the health and safety of everyone.”

I am very confused. He accused me harming “the health and safety of everyone” just because I have an Asian name. My family and I are all German citizens.

Are such racist opinions from a “Superhost” tolerated in the Airbnb community? This kind of racist speech will damage the reputation of Airbnb and the trust from all its members. All the messages are on Airbnb as proof.

I ask for your support. I need a full refund because it is the host who wants to cancel but refuses to do so on his end. This host should not keep his “Superhost” status for his dishonest intentions. For that status, he blamed and pushed a guest to cancel a confirmed reservation.

Lastly, but the most dangerous issue: racism on Airbnb, a global community, should not be encouraged. I have been a member of Airbnb for five years and traveled a lot using it every year. I meet wonderful people and have good memories.

I treasure their work to build up a global platform to communicate with people around the world, to let people know each other better. So, please, do something to stop racism on it.

VRBO

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Airbnb Hosts Fighting Back: Unlist Your Account on April 1

VRBO

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Calling all Airbnb hosts: Anyone who wishes to participate in the #HOSTSFIGHTBACK initiative please read onward.

On April 1st, 2020 at 9:00 AM we will delist all of our properties from the Airbnb platform in an effort to communicate to Airbnb Corporate that we are not in agreement with their cancellation and refund efforts made during the coronavirus outbreak.

To date, I have lost 65 reservations and almost $48,000 in revenue across my short-term portfolio from Airbnb for the months of March through May 2020. Some of which were guests who received a full refund without falling under the extenuating circumstances policy.

Reading some of your comments on this Facebook Page, it appears that hosts’ cancellation policies are not being upheld and instead of finding creative and fair ways to offer guests and hosts a fair solution during this pandemic, Airbnb has almost completely sided with guests offering full refunds during this difficult time, leaving hosts completely out to dry.

Other short-term rental platforms like VRBO are upholding cancellation policies entirely, and booking.com and corporate hotels are offering travel vouchers to use to be used at a later date. Why are we being treated differently by Airbnb?

Aside from the total disregard of our cancellation policies, I find it appalling that Airbnb is still collecting its host fee on these cancellations they are processing in-house. I have confirmed via the payout transactions page on my personal account that Airbnb collected $79.29 worth of host fees on cancellations from my end, which means they have collected $158.58 total, including the guests’ cancellation fees.

It might sound like a small number, but multiply it by 150 million users on the platform to find out how much Airbnb has taken from you. Go into your “transaction history” page and download a CSV of your transactions. You will see the “host fee” column once you download it.

It appears that the “host fee” is being still being charged or collected on Airbnb’s part and split with the account owner. As you will notice when you check individual reservation details, the service fee is clearly being taken out of your payout (see screenshot).

I believe as hosts and as property owners who are risking our most precious assets, we have a right to be heard. Without us, the platform would cease to exist. Let our voices be heard by delisting your property on April 1st starting at 9:00 AM to trigger an Airbnb meltdown, forcing Brian Chesky and the other decision-makers at Airbnb to hear our concerns and pay attention to our policies.

You do not have to deactivate your account. We are asking that you un-list. How do you unlist? Sign into your Airbnb account and click “listings”. Scroll down to “listing status”. Click “edit” and then “unlist”. This will temporarily unlist your Airbnb listing from the platform which will in turn trigger a response from Airbnb Corporate.

VRBO

COVID-19 Cancellations due to Government Directive

VRBO

I booked accommodation for my family travelling to the UK from a few countries. Due to COVID-19 they are all not allowed to travel to the UK (government directive).

I have sent multiple message to Airbnb support through the website around cancelling my booking as the host will not cancel and said I needed to contact Airbnb. It has now been five or six days since I did this but there has been no response yet.

My final payment is due at the beginning of April which means I will be out of pocket for a substantial amount of money. The Airbnb website advice has also not been updated since March 19th. A lot has changed since then but there has been no change to their policies.

VRBO

Airbnb vs VRBO: Host on Both Platforms Offers Thoughts

As a host with properties on both platforms, my policy is simple: I offer a lower rate with non-refundable options. I suggest that the guest obtain travel insurance if they are concerned about unforeseen events. If a guest does not get insurance and can’t travel, it’s like someone buying a car and not having insurance. When an accident happens, and I don’t have coverage, I want someone else to pay. This is what insurance is for to offer coverage and benefits in unforeseen situations.

I am a host on both platforms and agreed to the initial terms. Airbnb unilaterally changed the terms on me as a host, and offered full refunds against my policy and suggestion to obtain travel insurance coverage.

VRBO gives us the discretion to make the decision for refunds and suggests we do, but it’s at our suggestion and the reason why I stay with VRBO. I have worked with guests to provide win-win solution and am happy. I will change all my listings to VRBO while avoiding Airbnb at all costs as they screwed us by going back on our agreement on strict refund policy with the guest to obtain travel insurance.

What’s next? A regular flu, or there’s a accident that the guest gets into to fully refund them because of an unforeseen tragedy? Or should they encourage travel insurance vs unilaterally changing terms on a host?

If hosts don’t list on Airbnb because they screwed them, then guests wont be able to rent a good place… or not the better places at least. I won’t list my upgraded properties at low prices on Airbnb ever again.

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Long-Term Trip Cut Short by Coronavirus

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These are unfortunate times for all of us. Upon hearing the news that nobody could leave their houses, I read this message and realized it applied to me during my stay in downtown San Francisco. The government issued orders that meant I should stay indoors and would be better off at home than raising concerns for other Airbnb residents or hosts by staying in an Airbnb room.

In this case, I took the most reasonable decision to return home only 10 days or so into 30-day reservation. I am seeking a refund for a portion if not all of my stay due to this inconvenience and to maintain goodwill in Airbnb going forward.

I’m disappointed that upon reading a detailed policy and not seeing the refund, I am not sure if I was approved for a refund. I am asking Airbnb to reconsider my case. It’s my first time using the extended stay option and I’m now very hesitant to use in the future if a fair refund isn’t possible.

Unilateral Change of my Cancellation Policy by Airbnb

Airbnb has overridden host cancellation policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This allows guests to cancel at any time without any penalty and without any justification. I have just had a cancellation for £2500 with just three days’ notice and there is nothing I can do about it. I was not consulted and the guest did not have to provide any proof or justification about the virus. Guests have travel insurance for genuine cases but hosts have no fallback provision. Airbnb does not care about their hosts. They bite the hand that feeds them.

Villa Offered as Quarantine for COVID-19 Virus

The neighborhood monitors the Airbnb which is ruining our neighborhood. The host of this Airbnb has offered it as a quarantine location.

First, there are not 14 available sequential days, the designated virus quarantine period. Second, and most importantly, what will they use to completely sanitize an 8000 square foot house with a 1000 square foot pool house when the quarantined quest leaves?

We’ve all watched the cleaners in between guests. They do the laundry and are in and out in about 2-3 hours. I don’t know what the CDC procedures are for cleaning a public house or room following someone who has had the COVID-19 virus, but for a public place like an Airbnb, I seriously doubt it can be done by just a simple cleaning crew.

Airbnb Cancellations: All Corona, Hold the Virus

In the middle of February I booked a trip, before this pandemic was announced. I booked an Airbnb with a strict no-refund policy: “refund applicable except the first 30 days.” My booking was for 34 days total.

Fast forward to the pandemic announcement and the panic that ensued by mostly everyone. Personally, I did not want to deal with self-quarantines, airport security measures, and quite frankly the risk of putting myself in a situation that could be avoided by simply not traveling so I proceeded to cancel my flights with no issues. I have cancellation insurance on my credit cards, so it was easily done.

Now the Airbnb host who happened to be from the same country as me but whose listing was in another one — pretty standard I’d think — said he would not refund my money due to a global pandemic. I read that and understood his rule, but he told me to contact Airbnb because they have some extenuating circumstances policy. I read something about an epidemic and being sick but documentation is needed: a doctor’s note or obituary when a global pandemic is announced.

I contacted Airbnb support via their magical robot, which had me wait 24 hours for a person, and proceeded to cancel my reservation. I thought I would be entitled to a refund due to a global pandemic, which to me fell into the “epidemic” category. Wrong. They said they needed documents such as a doctor’s note saying I was unfit for travel, not because it is in the public’s best interest to avoid crowded airports and in my case a crowded destination, with lesser health care, to avoid spreading COVID-19.

This was on March 9th. I continued to message Airbnb back and forth for the next couple days, eventually losing contact altogether because my messages became colourful.

Fast forward to March 14th. Airbnb announced (probably after most people panicked and cancelled reservations with certain cancellation policies in place) that anyone with a booking made before March 14th is entitled to a full refund via “manage my trips.”

Because I cancelled on March 9th and not March 14th I did not have this option anymore as my booking had already disappeared. I am now currently waiting for the same magic robot to let me know if I am entitled to any sort of refund, or if Airbnb plans on keeping my money altogether — which by reading some of these stories, would not shock me one bit. I have been waiting now 8 hours with only 16 left to see if I will get any money back .

No Refunds due to Coronavirus Cancellations

A few days ago I cancelled my deposits for Airbnb stays in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Of the three places, Vienna gave us no refund and the other two places gave me only partial refunds on my deposits.

I am 70 and my wife is 60. Considering what is going on around the world with this virus and travel restrictions, you would think that full refunds would be the norm.

What is Airbnb management doing about this deplorable behaviour? We should be entitled to a full refund in this unique situation. I look forward to some answers and hopefully to a prompt resolution.

Airbnb Does not Support Hosts During Outbreak

I seem like a regular host on Airbnb — one person who rents one apartment — but in fact I am a full-blown company. I am also a Superhost.

As a company we take pride in this because we are a full-fledged business with over twenty vacation rental properties. Airbnb is not our boss; they are a third-party company that we use to gain more customers we have on our own website. We also use other platforms and can say with certainty that Airbnb is by far the worst platform to use. They only care about themselves, not the hosts and not the guests.

Coronavirus has been handled completely wrong. According to the U.S. transportation guidelines — which is what airlines typically use — you have 24 hours to cancel and get a full refund and travel must be booked seven days prior to your arrival. This is why airlines do not give out refunds unless the problem is something on their part such as cancelling the flight, safety hazards, and so forth.

With the coronavirus situation they know better and this is why they have not refunded passengers. Most of them are issuing flight vouchers and waiving rescheduling fees. For refunds this is not the case. This is the proper way to handle these circumstances.

Airbnb started off confused, which is not good. First they threw the blame ball to the host and said they were not refunding service fees. It was up to the hosts. If we had strict cancellation policies then they flat-out changed them all — no consistency, and no regard for the hosts and the amount of money that we are losing. No regard for the fact that we still have to pay bills and rent.

Hosts that are businesses such as ourselves are suffering. We get no support from Airbnb. It has been a nightmare to be on this platform during this crisis. Our cancellation policy is not being honored.

All Airbnb needed to do was either honor the cancellation policy  — which in many cases gave the guest a 50% refund, which is better than nothing — or simply offer a credit for a year to allow the guests to come back and reschedule their travel. Many guests were cancelling simply because their conferences got cancelled. That is not because they were coming from an impacted area or because they were sick themselves. It was not because flights stopped.

Our main guests were coming from the U.S., literally in the state of California coming down from NorCal to SoCal and only wanted to cancel because Disneyland had closed. This is completely unfair to the hosts. I understand if it was Italy but if the country hasn’t been closed then there is no need to panic; it is the guests’ own fears that are causing them to not want to travel.

At the end of it all, as much as we would like be angry at all the guests that have cancelled we are truly angry at the monster that is Airbnb. In the end, this awful corporation can take the financial hit but not smaller businesses like ours.

Next month everything might be back to normal and people will start booking again but what about us, the smaller companies that have several vacation rental properties with rent to pay but no money? Will we still be here because of all the lost revenue?

We are in severe jeopardy over nonsense. It is unfortunate that this occurred. As far as being a host here on Airbnb, I hope to not continue.

There will always be bad apples to give hosts a bad name but there are many of us who are ethical, really do this hosting with pride, and love hosting guests and offering great hospitality. For Airbnb to not want to protect the great hosts that keep them bringing them all this revenue that keeps their lights on is just disgusting and unfair.