I had a long, long drawn out fight with Airbnb that I thought would never get solved. My fiancé and I booked a house rental on March 16th, with out check-in date set to May 25th. On May 24th, one day before out trip, my fiancé (the account owner) got an email saying our trip had been cancelled because “We (Airbnb) don’t believe this transaction is legitimate”.
This trip has been booked, paid for, and cleared over a month before this email. The money had been long gone. We called and were told by a woman that it was a computer glitch that Airbnb was aware of, and technical support would call us ‘soon’. She could not offer any time frame at all, and did not seem to care that we were packed, had taken off of work, and paid long ago.
The call from technical support never came. The money was ‘refunded’ to us in the form of account credits. Not money. Our trip was for five days total, and cost about $800. We missed our trip. About five days later, we got another email saying his account was now completely banned and deactivated, and “We sent you an email about this issue back on the 1st”. We searched through all of our emails, and had definitely not gotten that one. In fact, on the 20th we got an automatic email telling us to “get ready!” for our trip.
Now, there was $700 in a deactivated account. Airbnb had no problem keeping their $100ish booking fee, and we never saw it again. Because the account was totally deactivated, and our phone numbers and accounts were blacklisted. This meant if we called or chatted with someone, we were automatically disconnected and never got help. We both even created second accounts. Several customer service people had no idea what to do, and sent us just one or two messages before closing the chat. We got one single message through to someone claiming that they would “forward our message to the appropriate person”. That chat is still open. I sent a message on it every few days asking if anyone was every going to answer.
Finally, my mother-in-law made a great suggestion: go to the BBB. I am 100% positive we would have never seen that money again if we hadn’t taken that advice. I filed a formal complaint, and they kept me updated the whole way. I got an email shortly after filing that said they were escalating my claim and reaching out to Airbnb. Only four days later we finally got an email from Airbnb, offering us a gift card that we could regift. I pushed for a check, and the next week we had $700 deposited into our Paypal account.
Please, other readers, file complaints. You don’t have to be seeking just money back, you can report them for being as terrible business. If enough people do, we can get them shut down eventually. They fully knew what they were doing, and knew that we obviously count not use credits put into a deleted account, and they kept ‘their share; of the money. I fought for that, too, but was told they would not give it back.