Airbnb Has No Idea Who Has My Money

I was living in the UAE and made a purchase for an Airbnb in Australia, as I was moving there for one year. Before I left the UAE, I closed my bank account.

A few days before we were meant to check into our Airbnb in Australia, the building caught on fire. Since this was out of everyone’s hands, the host agreed to give us a refund. I told Airbnb that my bank account in the UAE was closed, and asked if they could instead refund it to my current bank account in Australia.

They said as per their policy, the refund had to go back to the original card that made the purchase. They told me not to worry, as if my account was closed, the money would bounce back to them. Seeing as I had no choice in the matter, I reluctantly agreed.

I waited for one month to see if the refund would be bounced back to them, and upon following up twice Airbnb told me the refund was successfully processed. This couldn’t be possible.

I made multiple long distance calls to my bank in the UAE who confirmed my account was already closed and this was not possible. When an account is closed, it’s impossible any money would enter the account. I relayed this to Airbnb who then told me that it was actually Visa who had my refund. I was confused, but contacted them anyway.

Visa told me they only deal with lost or stolen cards and had no idea what I was on about. Again I went back to Airbnb, and they gave me a ‘payment code’. They said this code would only be generated if the refund was processed and that any bank in the world would be able to use this code to locate my refund.

After more international calls to my UAE bank, they said that this code was useless to them, particularly because I have no account. After more back and forth, Airbnb then told me the refund was actually with PayPal. Again I was confused because I’ve never even used my PayPal, and why was Airbnb giving me so many different answers as to where my refund has gone?

Just to be sure, I contacted PayPal, and gave them the payment code. They told me there has been no activity on my account and no refund received. I went back to Airbnb, who now said it was actually in my bank account and if my UAE bank doesn’t have it, they will need a letter issued from my bank that declares that they are not in possession of the money.

I called my UAE bank again, and they said they don’t issue such requests but I can get some documents to help but would need to come in person to get them. Airbnb at this point just said basically sorry that they couldn’t help me.

I waited an entire year before coming back to the UAE and it was the first thing I did. It was just my luck the coronavirus has started, the phone lines were down, and banks were temporarily closed. So again, I waited.

My bank then told me I needed to request an MT letter or swift from Airbnb which is basically a letter or any kind of proof that this refund was in fact sent to my bank. Airbnb support said they didn’t have access to such information and don’t provide this. Instead they referred me to their help center page where I could request my data.

How is this relevant? Why can’t I get any kind of proof that this refund was sent to my bank, under my name? It’s ridiculous. An MT or swift is an internationally recognized request. It’s also fishy that they said they don’t have access to this. How do you have no record?

I have been to my bank again and raised hell, where I paid to receive my bank statement from the last year as well as a proof of account closure letter. The bank would have a record of any kind of refund even being attempted to go into my closed account and they showed me there was no record or proof the refund was sent to my account.

This is a good sum of money and these are hard times. I’ve gotten absolutely no help from Airbnb other than three different answers as to where my refund is, and “Sorry, we don’t have access to that information.”

I have been robbed, and I am pissed. With the documentations I have as proof and over a year of conversations with Airbnb support via messages, I will be getting a lawyer if this is not resolved after the final and last phone call I am about to make to them as of tonight. Wish me luck guys.

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The Flophouse Fiasco Made us Leave Early

A friend and I recently took a trip to Denver using Airbnb as lodging. It was our first and last time and here’s why. We finally arrived in Denver and made our way to a neighborhood that was reminiscent of Fallujah. As we were unloading our things into the house the “host” pointed us towards a queen size mattress in the corner.

I looked around (we were in the living room at this time) to see three more “living areas” in this same room. Not to mention some sort of party table was right next to this queen size bed. We were told we were the only ones staying there via email but as we stood there in utter shock we watched a stream of “people” come in. By this time my buddy and I were very tired after driving all night to get there but it finally hit us – they expect my grown male friend and I to share this queen size mattress for three days in the middle of this dump house with people flopped everywhere.

Now I like my buddy but sorry I’m not sleeping with him for three days. After confirming that was the plan, we promptly grabbed our gear and left. We ended up just getting a hotel room and eating the fee from Airbnb. I’m not sure how they can legally rent one mattress to two adults but doesn’t matter because never again will I do Airbnb. People just get a hotel and save yourself the hassle and extra expense.

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Staying in this Airbnb was like a Mental Institution

At first glance, this Airbnb seemed really nice and friendly. Then we went to stay at it, actually looked at the house, and realized it’s a mental institution. To book the room my boyfriend had to give references; while the host called them, she blocked my boyfriend from seeing her page and gave him a full refund for the stay.

She called his boss and everything checked out… maybe because we’re normal people. So why did she do this? Because he had a review of five stars, but said we were a little loud the first night, so she said that his review wasn’t stellar. First off, this lady was completely rude and unwelcoming to my boyfriend and me when we first got there. She told my boyfriend that we could come to the house earlier than the check in so we could park our car there. We had a concert to go to; my boyfriend paid for us to go to Tumble Down festival that weekend.

Anyhow, we parked our car, checked out the backyard super quick and then boom, this lady appeared… when she told my boyfriend she’d be working all day. Anyways, she left us real fast saying she had a children’s play to go to. He and I went to walk around Nurlington to wait for our friends who were showing up before we entered the festival. We went and bought these special limited edition #plumpciders that Twiddle created with another brewery, got something to eat, and went back to the house to drop the ciders off in my car so we didn’t have to walk around with them (plus the festival wouldn’t let us in with those).

This is where we met the host again… did she just drive around the block and wait for us to leave to come back to the house? Anyways, super unwelcoming again. We bought her cupcakes from a bakery in Massachusetts, she did not take them from me so I awkwardly put them on a table. She then asked us if we knew she lived there full time… we didn’t because it wasn’t in the ad that she was so crazy about us reading (my boyfriend and I both read it multiple times).

She then ridiculed us because we had asked her two questions: whether she had a fridge (wasn’t in the pictures and also wasn’t listed in the ad at the time under appliances when everything else was) and whether she had AC (wasn’t listed in the ad and she didn’t after all). After this terribly uncomfortable conversation we left and went to the festival. Our friends were there (who did walk into the house and scared the host, although we did say to call us when we got there; it was a little miscommunication).

The festival was no entry so we had to fight to get our tickets back, which we did because the box office people were very nice. We left the festival and went to the brewery right across the street to read a message from the host saying this might not be the right fit for her (meaning to stay at her house). Now, fearful we might not have a place to stay we messaged back apologizing for the miscommunications. We grabbed our friends and met up with her at the house for check in at 7:30. I knocked on the door; this scared her and she said she needed three more minutes.

Thirty minutes later she came out with wine and glasses for us to “hang out” and give us a tour of the house… when she knew we had a concert to go to. This all took about an hour if not more, extremely rude. Now the house was odd but cute at first. It was nothing like the pictures because she rearranged everything to block off certain rooms and half of a room. Whatever, we could deal with that.

That night we didn’t get to go to the concert due to rain by the time we got down there (money wasted), so we went back to the house, cracked open a beer and begin to hang out. I picked up a magnet from her fridge. The first one I touched said “paranoid”. Now, I know I may have overreacted at first, but this magnet came after I was looking at her fridge reading her lists that look like an anxiety attack; all to our own I suppose, but it freaked me out.

I went into the cabinet to grab a glass and there were also notes. Which I have pictures of, they are crazy: “fascination w/ gone (my fam) LYING…” (this one was super weird because she showed us a picture of her dead grandmother that she painted on her wall. In the picture it said something like ‘granny looking GOOD’), “unscrambled egg, sock”, “path our of adversity, after patio”, “DOUBT!!!!!”, “Not allowed to be….”, and more. However, those are the only pictures I have to show.

Then we found multiple books that were all pretty dark: “Masters of Deception”; “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, just two of the many to paint a nice picture. Now we move to the paintings. I mentioned the dead grandma one; let’s go to the upstairs one. On the ceiling wall was a beautiful one of a cat and a woman. On the one across from the bed we saw the word ‘worry” inside it. The painting was set up with 2-3 weird red gooey looking dripping blotches (maybe to resemble blood). The rest of the walls were painted white, but painted white to cover up some other paintings.

Let’s move to the best painting of them all, the downstairs living room painting. This one should be framed in the welcome lobby of that hotel from “American Horror Story – Hotel”. It would fit very well there. This painting looked very normal, but when you’re up at 12:30 AM, your friends have gone to sleep, and you’re a little buzzed from the beer you had, you begin to just stare at things, and I looked at this one. What words did I find? “Bleed out”, “boogeyman”, “dare”, “how”, “are”, “the”. They were strategically placed. It makes one think what sentences are in this painting.

Anyway, I was not feeling comfortable at all. How could anyone after the meeting with her, all these discoveries, and now an eerie feeling of just dark and extreme sadness in this hellhole? My stomach was killing me and my boyfriend’s chest was hurting. After trying to fall asleep, my body wouldn’t let me. Research how your body reacts in dangerous or uncomfortable places; it’s an instinctive reaction.

My boyfriend and I drove to the nearest Walmart parking where we found comfort; my stomach stopped hurting, as did his chest. We still could not sleep though. We waited until 4:00 AM came and drove to the Courtyard Marriott. The man working that night heard our story, saw how disheveled we looked, felt bad and booked us the last room they had because there was a cancellation.

He tried to give us the discounts he could, including the AAA one. He said check in would be at 1:00 PM. I couldn’t make it until then with no sleep and I couldn’t sleep in that damn house, so he said to call at 7:00 AM, ask for a certain lady and tell them that a room was blocked off for us by him. We drove back to the house and waited in the car until the sun rose, went inside and then at 7:00 AM we called and found that we were able to check in at 10:00 AM.

Our friends woke up at 7:30 AM and we went about our day… with no sleep. Well, our friends fell asleep upstairs without knowing about our adventure, until we showed them everything. My boyfriend and I went to the hotel room that day, slept for an hour or so, showered, met up with our friends and went to lunch. We told them they could stay with us that night; we had a two bedroom that was comfier and felt a lot safer.

That night we went to the concert, and went back to the house. Have you ever walked in somewhere and your heart started beating fast? Maybe I was a little anxious; I’m not a doctor so I don’t know what it was. We grabbed all of our things and went to the hotel room. We left that morning. You think that would be the end of the story, right?

The host texted my boyfriend asking if we had made the beds because they were so nicely made. He didn’t answer because he wanted no further contact about it. She continually texted him over and over asking about these beds… I just wanted her to wash the sheets and leave us alone.

The weekend to stay there cost us about 450ish dollars plus the $220 to stay at the hotel. Rightly so, my boyfriend wanted a refund for the second day because we didn’t stay at the house because if we wanted to have an experience like the movie 13 Ghosts we probably would have camped at Dudley Town… I guess we weren’t feeling it that weekend.

Airbnb refused our refund because we didn’t have proof that we didn’t stay. I called the hotel and the front desk lady emailed the receipt to me that we did stay there; however, my boyfriend didn’t want to peruse this anymore. You’d understand if you tried calling Airbnb; they’re awful with customer service. Check out Airbnb Hell if you’d like. They have plenty of stories on that website.

Anyhow, this begs the question, “why are you posting this then?” This lunatic decided to wait until the last day you can make a review to give us a horrible review on Airbnb, which other employees can see and help to make their decisions as to if we could stay at their house. This was very dirty on the host’s part. My boyfriend and I had decided we wouldn’t blow her spot up on the Internet, then this happened and well… we’re angry.

There you have it. I know I did a horrible job painting this picture of how uncomfortable this house was, and maybe some of you think that we were being overdramatic. Airbnb likes to use the word “subjective”. For those who know me, I’m not an overdramatic person nor am I a scaredy cat; but that house turned me into the biggest little bitch ever and I don’t think a refund for the night we did not stay there is a bad thing to ask for. Here is the link to the house.

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Host Discriminates Against Guests’ Dietary Needs?

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My name is Ryan Lobo and I am an author, filmmaker, TED Talk speaker, and photographer based in India. I am writing to you because I believe that I have been discriminated against due to my Indian ethnicity by a host in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I had inquired with this host about renting his apartment in Almaty for my wife, child and myself and requested a discount as we were taking it for 20 days. My wife is of Russian ethnicity and I am Indian, evident from our photographs.

The host wrote me immediately, saying that Indian food or spices are strictly not allowed in his apartment and asked for an extra deposit/amount from me which he would return after ‘inspecting’ the apartment if I were to take the place. As far as I know, Airbnb’s terms state that people cannot be discriminated against or charged extra based on national origin/race and additional charges or deposits cannot be placed on them.

The host then declined my inquiry when I told him that I do not eat Indian food and requested to know why he was charging me extra. Do please look into this as I believe Airbnb is supposed to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. I have flagged the post.

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Never Again: Airbnb Holds Payment for Thirty Days?

Airbnb is a joke. They got their money. My guests came and stayed at my house. I chose PayPal as to how I wanted to receive my money; the system told me I would have to wait 3 to 5 business days, which was cool with me. I called today to check on the money and talked to a non-native English speaker. I couldn’t understand everything he was saying but he told me that they were sending my money to my Paypal account today. Then he put me on hold for about 40 minutes and never returned. I hung up, called back, and talked to an American English speaker. She informed me that since this was my first time using Airbnb without a certain number of guests, hosts have to wait 30 days to get their payout. Are you serious? What’s the reason I have to wait if all my credentials check out? I’ll never use Airbnb again. I will be taking down my profile and anything I have on this website. There’s no reason for me to wait 30 days for a payout; it’s ridiculous.

Airbnb Host Accuses Guests of Swapping TV

I’m a minority that stayed at an Airbnb in Detroit at Carla’s place from March 30 – April 28, 2017 as my husband and I prepared to move into our new home. I really believed I had a great experience. I even posted a five-star review about that experience. A week later, I received an email asking if I switched the Roku box because it was different from what she thought she had. I responded I had not. I’d never even really heard of Roku until staying at that place. (no big deal, or so I thought.) Well, the next morning I awoke to what I considered to be a bold and brazen email from the host stating that there was a smaller TV in the unit than the one she had supplied. She said she would never put one that size in the unit; it was a Proscan, and she was wondering how it got there. I froze. I made my husband check all our televisions since we did bring our son’s old TV so that he could play his video game. My husband was floored and assured me that we took our own (five year old) TV home with us. There were no new TVs in our home.

I then became angry because I felt as if I was being accused of stealing a TV a week after the fact. The brand that was in the unit was one I had never heard of. When I Googled the brand, it stated that it came with built-in Roku (the service they provide). When I asked the host about this, she apologized and said maybe her staff switched it without her knowing. You mean you would offend a guest without checking with your staff first? I told her I was surprised that she didn’t take inventory. I was hurt and felt targeted. That was very unprofessional. I informed her that I would leave another review about my experience. She asked that I handle it privately since I barbecued on the lawn and she didn’t say anything: again, unprofessional… why bring it up now? Since there were picnic tables on the lawn, I assumed we could do so. We had a small table grill and we roasted hot dogs and cleaned up our mess. Had I known we weren’t supposed to barbecue, we wouldn’t have. In closing, she said in the future they would put stickers on all their items. I have no idea what to call this experience. All I know is that, it wasn’t good after the fact. I’m still angry.

Chilean ID isn’t Enough to use Airbnb in Chile?

I have used Airbnb many times before, but now I am surprised to see that they have asked for ID verification. After supplying images of both my government ID and Chilean driver’s license, the site said that these types of documents are not valid in their system… after they specifically asked for them. I am residing in Chile and looking for an Airbnb rental in Chile. Why wouldn’t they accept a Chilean ID? This brings me into a neverending loop where I cannot book anything, making Airbnb in Chile unfeasible. I might as well permanently stop using Airbnb, since I can’t reserve anything. Add to that, there’s no real way of contacting anybody to get this fixed. What a slap to the face for customers.

Expected to Clean a Guest’s Blood After Stay

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I hosted a mother and daughter at my apartment in Sydney February 17th-20th, 2017 for the entire home. I returned to the apartment upon check out and went to change the bed as is my usual practice after guests. I noticed my sheets were missing. After twenty minutes of searching I found them scrunched up at the bottom of my laundry basket under my washing. I pulled them out to find them splattered with blood. I also found my quilt underlay had been turned over by the guests and it also had blood on it. I opened a Host Guarantee claim for the damage. The guest admitted via Airbnb messages that the damage was done by the mother and they didn’t think they had to clean it, something I still find remarkable. I told Airbnb I refused to clean it because I am not touching someone’s blood as it’s unhygienic and unsafe. They refused to compensate me for the damage as they told me I had to attempt to clean it to show that it had been permanently damaged. Unbelievable!