Broke and Unhappy After Customer Service Experience

I’m highly disappointed in my recent experience with Airbnb’s customer service. My friends and I booked what turned out to be a scam listing. We were already about 8 hours into our 11-hour drive to the beach when we received a notification from Airbnb that our booking had been canceled and we wouldn’t be penalized for the late cancelation.

We expressed that we were already over halfway there and were left with no place to stay. We were told that Airbnb would book us a new place to stay and get back to us within an hour. We never heard back from them. We ended up booking the only other pet-friendly beach house in the area that turned out to be four times the price of where we initially thought we were staying.

We reached out to Airbnb many times and were told that we had to wait until our assigned case manager contacted us and that no one else could help us. My friends and I now owe a difference of $700 per person for the new booking and Airbnb has refused to cover any of this difference. Now I’m broke and upset and my whole vacation was ruined because of this.

There’s No One Home at Airbnb Support

I just spent a splendid two weeks trying to get through to Airbnb support. I have received robot messages from several mythological support people. Some are insulting, some claim to be supportive and not do anything, and none seem to read the messages I sent. Yesterday they added another fun category of pretending to call me back and claiming there was no answer.

I think even a robot could see that the messages were being sent from my phone that was in my hands. I have blocked all my time with Airbnb and plan on finding a company with actual people in it to take my money for use of the website. They charge nearly as much is a reputable rental agency and give nothing in return.

No One Paid for the Damage to My Furniture

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My Sept. 11 reservation was a nightmare. The person lied about coming with her boyfriend. On the day, she showed up alone, inspected my place, and asked many personal questions. That night, four people came to my place and made noise until 1:30 AM. As a single woman, I was terrified after hearing many male voices.

Later at night, one person left and I found my house key in the mailbox outside the next day. The three men checked out at 11:00 AM on Sept. 12 and I found that they broke my chair. I took a picture at 11:04 AM. I wrote to Airbnb support at 11:16 AM. Since I have a security deposit and it is written that I have 14 days to claim damages (attached), I decided to wait for Airbnb’s response, while getting the apartment ready for the next guest.

I needed to move back the furniture that they moved. The apartment needed deep cleaning, especially when the extra beds were used without linens when I only prepared the main bed for the “couple”. Frustrated by the silence from Airbnb support, I wrote an angry review of the guest and told the sad story. At 4:53 PM, Airbnb sent an email saying that I could report a problem (attached). I was directed to ask for money from the guest. The guest paid the extra guest fee, but lied about the chair being broken when he arrived.

After being cornered by evidence, he began to swear at me. That’s when I turned to the resolution sector. An agent contacted me on Sept. 16 at 6:13 PM. The person technically made up excuses to prevent me from getting any compensation. He said that I need to submit a claim before my next guest checked in, which is not what it says under the “security deposit” information on my listing (attached).

After I explained that the very reason that I couldn’t study the submission process was that I had a guest coming, he said that “you can notify Airbnb either by opening a claim in the Resolution Center or by contacting customer support directly”. I sent a screenshot to show that I contacted support right away, but I never got a response. Then he said “after a thorough review, we have decided to uphold our original decision. We determined that a payout could not be processed in this instance.” I demanded a valid reason, but he closed my ticket without any further response.

It is not a fancy chair, even though the market price is about $267. What strikes me most is the lies about insurance and guarantee from Airbnb. I am not a fan of having strangers in my house. The earnings from Airbnb are inconsistent and I can do better with long-term rentals. I chose Airbnb because of the guarantee. If Airbnb allows stranger to get away with damaging my property and lies about protecting hosts, why should I open my doors to make Airbnb rich?

We just need to remind Airbnb that without guests, they can still run your company even with a reduced profit. Without hosts, they are done, nothing, zero. How dare they use hosts like this and treat us like fools.

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Fleas, Cockroaches, and a Late Check-in

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These Airbnb hosts made us wait an hour and a half after our check-in time to actually let us check in. Our dog caught fleas and there were live cockroaches, dirty floors, and a slimy shower. The hosts actually admitted to all of this. They said we broke their blinds when we never touched them and tried to charge us for it. They said I never paid the pet fee which is insane because we texted them like a month before our trip to pay it but they never responded to let us pay.

I reported all of this to Airbnb to which they sided with the hosts even with all this proof. They said they must stick to their guest policy and sent me a link. I went through the policy and showed that it said less than 24 hours after the trip ends, you can get a refund worked out. I told them if they want to stick to their refund policy then they should take the time to read their own policy and circled where it said that they would work out a refund less than 24 hours after a stay. Then I showed them that I messaged them in less than 24 hours.

The person I was speaking to said that it stated “24 hours before.” I zoomed in and screenshotted where it said “after,” circled it, and sent it to her again. They closed the case.

Three Weeks: No Advice, No Refund, No Help

To start, I want to say how helpful I found this page to be. After trying to get advice and assistance from Airbnb for three weeks, I got nothing. I found the email address for the head of housekeeping at Airbnb on Airbnb Hell and within four hours had a phone call from an Airbnb representative.

I am a host of a cottage and unfortunately we discovered the boiler had packed it in within two days of my first guest’s arrival — the first since March. I contacted Airbnb to let them know there was a problem and despite offering the guests alternative dates for their holiday, an alternative shower or to just remain while the plumber replaced the boiler, they chose to go home. I offered them a full refund for the inconvenience and I thought that would be that .

Over the course of the next three weeks I phoned Airbnb six times and must’ve written to them about ten times, all to no avail. All during lockdown, all reservations were cancelled and given a full refund by Airbnb but despite my requesting them to refund these guests, they did not. One employee wrote back saying it was my fault the boiler broke down because I hadn’t maintained it well.

30 days after the guests left, I found this site and the email address for someone at the head office, wrote to them, and within four hours had a phone call from Airbnb. The guests have now been reimbursed their service charge from Airbnb, and though I am significantly out of pocket, the end result is good. All in all really frustrating though.

Cancelled in July, Still no Refund in August

I made two Airbnb reservations for this summer in December 2019. I cancelled them both on July 6. There was no question at that time of whether I was allowed a refund or not — both hosts agreed to give me a full refund. I got the full refund for one of the cancellations on July 10. I got billed a “cancelation fee” for the other reservation on July 10, but I haven’t gotten any money.

I called July 6 to ensure that this would work out since I had changed my credit card, and the customer service person assured me there was no problem. And indeed, I got the other refund without a problem. They said to wait 7-10 days.

I called again on August 17 and talked to a customer service person who said it looked like there was a problem and “an expert would contact me.” But here it is August 24 and no expert. Today I tried calling, and got a phone tree that explained: if the reservation was made before March 15, no refund is allowed. If the reservation was made after March 15, no refund is allowed.

If this is not about a cancellation 72 hours from now or less, nobody can talk to a person, just leave a message and an expert will contact you. Based what I am seeing from other people, I think my mistake was not insisting that I talk to a manager last week when I had a live person on the phone. This is pretty terrible.

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Scammer Stayed 24 Nights but only Paid for One

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A guest booked a 30-day stay and claimed to Airbnb that he moved out after one night but actually ended up staying 24 nights. Airbnb mishandled the situation and now refuse to correct their mistake.

We are in one of the ten largest cities in the US. The place is very economic ($400/month, average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom-apartment here is $1350). It’s a shared room (3-4 people per bedroom, 10 people in the apartment) and he complained about cleanliness issues within 24 hours.

I do month-to-month rentals and usually have 100 guests at the same time across several location. Over 1000 guests in the last five years. 80% of our ratings are five stars, 90% are four or five stars. Nobody else in the apartment complained about the cleanliness issue. The guest didn’t have a single review.

Airbnb didn’t reach out to me until 14 days after move-in. I pointed out to Airbnb that the guest still lives there. 20 days after move-in they made the decision to refund him all the money besides the first night, because he told them that he moved out, even though he didn’t move out.

I have been chasing them ever since, telling them that he still lives there but they didn’t do anything about it. Everyone saw him and other Airbnb guests also confirmed to Airbnb that he lives there. They slow-walked the case and never asked me for any photo or video evidence that he still lives there.

After he moved out (after 24 days when an Airbnb rep called him and urged him to move out) they suddenly asked me to provide photo evidence that he actually lived there. Now they won’t issue his payout because they say that without video or photo evidence they cannot issue it.

Airbnb made a wrong decision regarding the cleanliness issue given that there were 20 other Airbnb guests living at this location (spread across multiple units) on the same day as the guest but none of them had any complaints. Furthermore, when they first reached out I told them that the guest still lives there and it took them almost a week to come to a decision. When they made their decision, they forgot that he actually still lives there. Now they don’t acknowledge that mistake.

I have attached the four pictures that were presented as evidence by the guest that there was a cleanliness issue. Those are the only pictures that Airbnb showed him. I would like to take them to arbitration and I am seeking an experienced attorney to represent me. Here is a detailed complaint that I sent to Airbnb.

I am challenging the decision that there was a cleanliness issue. This decision by Airbnb was wrong and is the reason there is a dispute in the first place. There was no cleanliness issue. Here is a list of all the Airbnb guests that stayed at this location on March 9 (the day of move-in); none of these people reported an issue. That’s 20 happy Airbnb guests vs. this guy, who doesn’t have a single Airbnb review.

I included the booking code so you can look up the address. The pictures you sent don’t show any cleanliness issues:

1st picture: burned stove counter. There are ten people living in the apartment and most are cooking. Sometimes they will burn a stove top burner and sometimes they don’t clean up right away. Once a week our cleaners come to make sure everything is spotless. It cannot be 100% clean in a shared room environment. You can expect that at a entire place at move-in but not in a shared space.

2nd picture: dirty toilet seat. There are three bathrooms in each apartment. Ten people use those bathrooms and so they get dirty. Once a week they are cleaned spotless but during the week one toilet can be a bit more dirty. There are two other ones where it’s not like that. Again, this is normal in a place where ten people live together and cleaners come once a week.

3rd picture: a kitchen table that’s not 100% clean when ten people live in an apartment to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. This is normal,

4th picture: a vegetable outside the fridge. There are ten people living there and they are cooking. When you cook sometimes a vegetable falls on the floor. That’s how every kitchen everywhere looks. I am sure that vegetable was picked up minutes after the picture was taken.

We have been around for over five years and have a great system to make sure people that share a space can live in a clean and healthy environment. We encourage all our guests to clean after themselves and have professional cleaners coming once a week to do the heavy lifting. There is absolutely no cleanliness issue and it was a wrong decision by Airbnb.

Whatever case manager made this decision didn’t look at the satisfaction of other guests staying there nor the fact that this is a shared environment. We are proud of the cleanliness we provide and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Neither Airbnb, nor Brian Chesky, nor the guest would be able to provide a cleaner environment in an affordable shared room setting like this one.

The guest moved in on March 9 and it wasn’t until March 22 that I received a message from Airbnb. That’s 14 days after move-in. I wrote back immediately that I didn’t agree to a refund and that as of March 19 he was living in the unit. Airbnb did not ask for video evidence then.

On March 24, Airbnb sent photos (16 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence. On March 25, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (17 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 26, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (18 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 27, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (19 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence).

On March 28, Airbnb made the decision to refund the guest and there was no word about the fact that he still lives there. No question about video evidence or camera. Airbnb also said that they would not get back to me for three days. It seems that Airbnb just gave the refund at the last minute before the work week was over without double checking if the guest still lives there or not. This is negligence on Airbnb’s part and the reason there is a dispute now.

On March 30 (22 days since he moved-in), I pointed out that the guest still lives there. On April 3, there were no questions asked about video or photo evidence. Someone from the safety team contacted me and then called the guest. Only then did he move out. At no point was video or photo evidence requested.

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.

Airbnb Asks for Proof Pandemic is Real

My two-week trip to the UK with my family had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country is in lockdown so domestic travel is prohibited, restaurants and tourist sites are closed, my return flight was cancelled by the airline, hotels I had booked are closed, and my own country (Canada) would require a 14-day quarantine if I did make it home. So it was pretty obvious that the trip couldn’t happen.

Airbnb is refusing my request for refunds for two bookings that were part of the trip, allegedly because I don’t qualify under their Extenuating Circumstances policy, although I clearly do qualify under any rational reading of the policy.

Initially, they asked for ‘proof’ that the trip had to be cancelled in spite of virtually everything mentioned above being all over the press and in various government announcements. Within about 24 hours after making that demand, while I was considering how to respond to it, I received another email advising me that my claim was closed, presumably because I hadn’t responded in time (although no time limit was specified and 24 hours is ridiculously short). When I complained, I was told that the decision was ‘final’. I’ve rarely seen such heavy-handed, arrogant treatment.

Adding insult to injury, Airbnb directly lied to me the first time they denied my refund request, claiming that it was actually the hosts who denied the request. I contacted one of the hosts directly and was told that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision and they fully expected that I would receive a refund from Airbnb.

I learned at that time that it is Airbnb that holds reservation deposits and not hosts, so hosts actually have nothing to refund. It is completely disingenuous to blame hosts for Airbnb’s decision, undoubtedly motivated by greed. That they are doing this during a major global health and economic crisis is truly reprehensible. They are pretending to have a sensible, fair, customer-friendly policy to deal with current conditions but this is just smoke-and-mirrors. They just want to keep the money.

That will prove to be a very short-sighted decision for them. I have been a regular Airbnb customer and am in my prime travel years. They are not the only private rental platform out there. What a disgraceful company.