Promised a Full Refund, Only Received Half

Anticipating the craziness of a parents’ weekend lodging nightmare, I made a reservation right away on September 19 after we got home while my hubby was still dragging bags from the van. The reservation was for October 1-4. At matriculation day on August 15, I received an email from my son’s school that the weekend was cancelled due to COVID-19.

I went online on the 16th to cancel my reservation. The instructions stated I should call my host to ask for a full refund. If she agrees, I would get my full refund. She did. I got an email back that I would be refunded the full amount of $200.98 but in reality, I only got half: $100.74.

I called the host back. She said that she gave me a full refund of $170 and sent me the receipt with a note stating it was a “penalty free” refund. I told her I did not get the $170. Instead I have $100.74 and I do not need the $170, just $100.74. She said that I should take it to Airbnb now since it is between me and Airbnb. Her partner explained to me that when I booked, the money went to Airbnb; they get paid after the guests stay. I compared her refund receipt number and the Airbnb refund receipt number; they were the same.

What happened to the $170? Where is my money? Their cancellation policy on COVID-19 is quite confusing because it states that they will give a full refund if the cancellation is due to COVID-19 and the hosts agree, which I qualify on both. But, it has also a window of dates that they consider “emergency dates” which my reservation and cancellation did not fit since I booked before COVID-19 and cancelled past their end of emergency date. Thus only a 50% refund.

Why would I be penalized for something that is out of my control? I made the reservation in good faith, paid in full for an accommodation I wouldn’t be using until a year later, and I did not cancel for whatever silly reason. I cancelled because due to COVID-19 our son will be “secured” in the barracks until his December holiday pick-up.

I called the number for help but of course there is no option about my situation because they do not entertain refunds (only current reservations). Instead, they encouraged me to read the link they sent me which is more or less the explanation again of their outrageous and unfair cancellation policy.

My son has two years left to complete his degree; I guess we will have to stay at Howard Johnson then. At least it gives me a clear option to book securely for an extra $10 and get a full refund in case of cancellation. I will continue to fight this to the end and will inform my son’s school’s alumni office which helps parents with accommodation information. We certainly do not need this degree of aggravation due to unfair policies. Thank you for providing this space where we can express our angst of injustice.

Host Agrees to a Refund, but Can’t Contact Anyone

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I can’t travel to Spain from Australia due to COVID-19. I tried to contact the host, to no avail. I left a negative Google review, and the host made contact with us by email and said if we removed the negative review they would refund our money. Since then, no contact.

Airbnb originally sent a request for the host to reply with authorization for us to cancel but the host didn’t respond to them. So we are stuck in the middle with no one to talk to. Airbnb won’t deal with us anymore as their system email to the host ‘timed out’ and so they say our case is closed. I have an email from the host confirming they will refund us and can’t put it in front of anyone at Airbnb because they won’t deal with me.

Airbnb’s Facebook chat tells me my case is closed as the ‘system timed out’ with no response from the host. Airbnb’s resolution centre just says my case is closed. When I try to phone Airbnb the message is that they won’t deal with anyone unless it’s just before your booked stay. I’ve tried emailing the host through other accommodation sites. I’ve tried to contact the host on Twitter and Facebook — no response. What can I do? Nobody will talk to me.

Airbnb is holding our money and their business partner, the host, is blackmailing us over our Google reviews and then not responding to anyone. Airbnb should refund our money and sort out the host who is messing their customers around.

Is COVID-19 Not an Extenuating Circumstance?

How is anything related to COVID not an extenuating circumstance, after the government put in place a stay at home order after having everything open, preventing anyone from traveling into the island?

Our trip to the USVI got cancelled, per the governor shutting down travel, and in contacting the airline about this (they gave us our full refund without question by the way) the airline told me that if the island was shutting down they would not be flying in — so we could be stuck there.

Now the host had told me that I would need to cancel for reasons including COVID and I should get my full refund because it was out of their hands. Airbnb only refunded us half and it would’ve been less had I not done it sooner. The host said she is unable to do anything about refunding us because she hasn’t been given the money.

Airbnb stole thousands from me. Neither myself nor the host has been able to actually get in touch with anyone at the company, all I get is a phone recording that just hangs up on me. Never again. Do not use this company.

Avoid Airbnb in Bath That Refuses Refunds

In January we booked an Airbnb in Bath for two nights. The venue was booked so our family and friends could celebrate an uncle’s 70th birthday. We paid £1,960.85 including an exorbitant service fee of £262.85 (for what we have no idea).

Due to circumstances beyond our control — i.e. COVID-19 — we had to cancel the booking and did so in May. The guest of honour who lives in Ireland was not able to fly to England for the party due to flight restrictions caused by the virus. Consequently, we cancelled when we did in order not to lose the full amount. Had the coronavirus not happened, our party would have carried on with the booking as planned.

We received a refund of only £849.00 from Airbnb (50% minus the service charge). Our party of ten had hoped under these unusual circumstances, the host would have given us a full refund. The owners did say that if their B&B was rented during the weekend we booked, then a refund would be issued. No surprise that this did not happen so we didn’t receive the other 50%.

Losing this amount of money through no fault of our own was devastating for our financial situation which, because of the lockdown, is precarious at best. We appealed twice to the owner’s sense of fairness and compassion by asking them to send the other 50% refund (£849) realising that the hefty service fee Airbnb charges is likely beyond their control. This did not happen nor did we ever hear from them. Consequently, they have £849 of our money for doing absolutely nothing at a time they couldn’t have rented their place anyway.

We also appealed to Airbnb but they were useless in resolving this issue. This Airbnb in Bath did not act in good faith and if you are looking to book this venue in the future, buyer beware – the owners have no scruples and will take your money and run if given the opportunity. Our advice is not to book this place now or ever.

Not Traveling to Hawaii Just to Quarantine

I rented an Airbnb house in Oahu, Hawaii for 12 days on April 17. Just two weeks ago, the Governor of Hawaii announced that he wants every tourist to keep quarantining for two weeks until at least September and that they might extend this requirement past September.

I contacted the host and explained the situation, and she agreed to cancel my reservation and to authorize a full refund. It has been almost two weeks since she authorized it and Airbnb doesn’t want to refund me or cancel the reservation. The host has explained that they have the money and not her and that she authorized it.

I have called Airbnb multiple times and messaged them multiple times. Their response each time is that they will transfer my case to someone that can help me and no one does. I am at my wits’ end. I do not know what to do with them anymore besides dispute the charge with my bank. I can not travel with my two kids and husband for 12 hours on a plane to stay locked up in an apartment for 12 days.

Airbnb Not Allowing Some Guests to Book?

A guest who is trying to book my listing is getting the following message from Airbnb when she reaches the stage of entering credit card information in the booking process:

“Choose another place to stay. Airbnb prevents reservations for entire homes when a pattern of factors (like location or reservation time) suggests the booking may be unsafe. This restriction is not related to the coronavirus. For resources on coronavirus, see airbnb.com/covid. Please try a hotel room instead.”

My listing is not unsafe. It is perfectly clean and safe. I called Airbnb Support and they told me that this is some issue with the guest’s account. But then, the guest’s co-staying guest tried booking my listing using their Airbnb account and their credit card. The Airbnb system responded with the exact same message.

I’m not sure I really believe that this is a problem with the guest’s account. Is anyone else experiencing this phenomenon? If so, please share any information with me that you can.

Airbnb’s Dishonesty Over COVID-19 Cancellation

In February I booked a house in Manly Sydney for two couples from within Australia and New Zealand. Then came COVID-19 and with border closures flights were cancelled and borders closed.

I contacted the owner and was told cancelling would not be a problem and I would get a refund. I duly did so and it read that I would receive AUD 450.00 which was slightly less than I had paid. Then I received a email from Airbnb informing me that I would get no money as company policy was since I hadn’t paid in full, there would be no refund. I asked about a voucher but the answer was no.

Their blurb said if COVID-19 was the reason for cancelling and a booking had been made prior to shutdown then they would refund but actually that’s a lie. A lot of messaging between myself, the owner and the company was a waste of time. The owner blocked any communication and then Airbnb stated that due to COVID-19, property owners were struggling with their own debt hence the reason for no payment. They too refused to accept any further communication. The host did say that any reimbursement was out of his hands as Airbnb didn’t pay him until the date of the booking.

It is saddening that this company can take money from people and not return it when it’s a genuine reason for cancellation. The airline returned the full cost of tickets without even requesting the same but Airbnb is cheating us of our funds.

Airbnb has lost me as a user and I’ll stay with other honest short-term holiday rental companies that have been reliable in the past. I only used this one as it was exactly what we wanted and located where we wanted but I’ll look elsewhere and trust the company of choice. Use Airbnb at your peril but never again for me.

Cancellation for Employee Working on COVID-19 Response

Airbnb claims to be compassionate and supportive of people impacted by COVID-19 but my situation is quite the opposite. One of my staff was scheduled to attend the CSTE conference at the end of June in Seattle. However, she was pulled into the public health response to COVID-19 in our county.

We have been fighting with Airbnb for months about this and it’s still not resolved. All over $400+ dollars. Not only have there been numerous communications with Airbnb where they have refused to refund the money but my organization has also spent considerable time trying to resolve the situation. It’s spread like wildfire in our organization and we will no longer be using Airbnb for work and for personal travel.

Airbnb Hung up When I Asked for a Refund

My daughter and her friend were going to go to Santorini and I paid for the reservation. We fit right into the COVID-19 extenuating circumstances policy with all of the dates. I tried to get a refund through AMEX because I could not get through to Airbnb in early April.

I tried again today but could not get through. I called this afternoon. I had tried through my daughter’s account to find the cancellation button but could not. There was a 45-minute wait. I asked the rep if should could refund the amount. She would not give me a simple yes/no answer.

I asked for a manager per this site. She said I had to be verified. Then she said I had to go through my daughter’s account. I told her I wanted a manager as I had paid for the trip. She said she would need to hangup on me. I again asked for a manager as I had the reservation number dates, etc. She hung up on me. That is not customer service.

I went back online and found the cancellation button. The only option was a refund on half or full travel credit. Never again. Airbnb is the worst. This is our second horror story.

Being told ‘No matter what, I cannot get my money back‘

We are four senior women (over 70) who booked a friend’s vacation back on January 29 for travel beginning on May 11. We paid in full, looking forward to the vacation. Then COVID-19 hit. We contacted the host and explained we were concerned: two ladies had frail husbands and one lady had respiratory problems. We contacted the hosts on March 31 to express our concerns and ask about our options.

The hosts were very understanding but asked that we waited until at least May 1 to cancel. We agreed, but on April 20 we received an email from Airbnb talking about possibility of getting a 100% refund due to COVID-19.

At that point we reached out to the hosts, who said to try and cancel using the Airbnb website. I did but could not find a way to get a 100% refund. It said I would get a little more than 50% back or I could accept a travel voucher for 100%. We opted for this, because we did not believe we could get our money back.

I talked again with the hosts, who said they were going to try and help. When they got back to me, because I had accepted the travel voucher, they didn’t think there was anything they could do to help.

Since then, we have spoken with several hosts who indicated they were refunding their customers 100% of their money without documentation, and I needed to pursue this by calling Airbnb. They gave me a number to call. I called on May 7, explained the situation, was told my case was being escalated to case management and I would get a call back.

I did not get a call back. We pursued calling Airbnb again, explained our situation again, and again we were told we would get a call back. Again nothing… we called back again, waited on hold about 1.5 hours then was told over and over again that they were sorry , but there was nothing they could do.

There was no one that could help me get my money back. Because I had agreed to take a voucher then I could not get my money. I find the entire refund policy unacceptable. I will not be paying Airbnb ever again to stay at one of their properties. I will make sure everyone I know also hears the same story. Shame on Airbnb for stealing some people’s money. How dare they accept stimulus loan money.