Cancellation Due to Failure of Second Payment

I want to make a complaint about my booking. The reservation was cancelled as the second payment failed. This experience and the service quality of Airbnb were disappointing. First, Airbnb didn’t try their best to contact me about the failure of my second payment. I did change the payment method but it seems that Airbnb was willing to see the failure happen and then ask to change the payment method instead.

Anyway, Airbnb didn’t do everything they could to contact us about any emergency. The only way they can is by sending email, no matter how serious the case it is. They should call you or send an SMS. Second, I do hope that Airbnb will show some pleasant customer service as they collect commission from us. However, they won’t admit they have flaws and only reply about their policy.

Airbnb didn’t help me with anything on my trip. As for agents, they won’t help you find an alternative solution. All you can do is to talk to the host or find hotels on other platforms.

I was hoping that Airbnb would have admitted that they had not tried their best to contact me and would refund or compensate me for my loss. This was a very naive thought. They are not real travel agents. They earn profits on your mistakes, carelessness and misfortune. They earn commissions by just providing a platform, not service.

All we need to know is to pay extra attention when using such a platform. They are irresponsible. Although there are many hosts doing great, many travelers have a terrible experience there. Airbnb won’t admit anything or improve upon it.

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The Worst Airbnb Customer Service Experience

Hey everyone, here is my story. We’ve been using Airbnb for two years and rented about 15 places around the world. The big issue came on our last reservation in Hawaii that we booked seven months in advance. We made a booking on July 30, 2019 for our stay for January 17-24, 2020.

On August 1st, the state of Hawaii had a bill passed that prevents short-term rentals to rent with no license for less than 30 days. It’s becoming a common practice around the US and the world. However, our host waited until the last minute to cancel on us and advised that their listing on Airbnb was flagged by local authorities, who advised them if they kept renting illegally they would get fined a lot of money.

While I appreciate the host’s honesty, I don’t appreciate that host was well informed about the upcoming laws and technically was running their own business illegally while Airbnb was paid – also illegally. The host cancelled four weeks before our check in. I reached out to Airbnb and they advised us that they don’t have any responsibility at all regarding local regulations; it’s up to the host to decide if they want to do business legally or illegally.

We decided to re-book a similar place but it was more costly since we only have four weeks left before check in. According to the bill, any short-term rental agent must provide their license or advise the customer if the property is listed legally. When I asked this question to my new host, the host ignored me and kept silent. I followed up on the next day asking the same question. The host then reached out, saying that they wouldn’t rent this place to us and wished me good luck. With a strict cancellation policy allowing no refund and refusing to cancel the reservation, this host told us we had to cancel. Well, this sounded like a scam to us.

We reached out to Airbnb with this situation and they also refused to do anything on their part. After multiple hours of calling them and asking for a manger they rudely advised us that they were denying my request to talk to a manager and we on our own. My first thought was, “Wow, we just got scammed by Airbnb in real life.”

Within twenty minutes of this disaster, the manager called me. I explained the situation to him, then he told me that he would reach out the host for clarification. Ten minutes later, the reservation was cancelled with a full refund that we still have not received. We were quite shocked about what actually happened and we probably would never use Airbnb anymore. We actually did some research and ended up booking a better option with a hotel.

It also looks like that price-wise, Airbnb and hotels are not that far apart, but if something goes wrong with Airbnb, you will regret any business with them. It’s actually a disaster dealing with Airbnb customer service.

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False Review and Guest’s Lies Lead to Listings Removed

I have been the owner and host for two Airbnb properties for the past two years, garnering positive reviews and mostly problem-free until now. On October 17th, a young male guest (24-25) with positive reviews arrived. His booking was for three days. During this time he left messages about how much he liked everything about the property and extended his stay by one day.

Meanwhile, my maintenance man encountered him and after a brief interaction texted me with concern that he appeared to be on drugs or intoxicated: he acted “amped up” and paranoid. A day or two later he saw and talked with him again and confirmed the same behavior.

After the guest vacated the property my co-host entered to clean it. She found that one bedroom lampshade had been crushed, as if someone fell on it. She brought this to my and the guest’s attention and said that she would contact the Resolution Center to handle it, the standard procedure. Little did I know that my life was going to explode in all directions thanks to this $10 lampshade.

These Airbnb messages between my co-host and guest reveal why:

“I noticed that one of the lamp shades in the bedroom was broken. I talked to the owner of the property and she advised me to file a claim with Airbnb to be reimbursed for the cost of the matching lamp shades.”

“Feel free to. I’m actually filing a complaint for the peep hole I found in the shower. I’m sorry you feel that way. I discovered the peep hole on my last night of the stay. I did however report the suspicious behavior on the premises prior to that. Facts are facts. I was not intoxicated. All my reviews pre and post my stay here are stellar. You are running a dirty scam, invading others privacy. How dare you. You will not be receiving any money from me. In fact, I have taken this matter straight to Airbnb Corporate with evidence of your intrusive misuse of hosting this home. My hope is that they resolve this matter accordingly, stripping your right to host any more illegal activity, reimburse me for this invasion of my privacy, and follow through with the apology I deserve. Shame on you.”

“Peep hole, illegal activity and dirty scam” were then red flagged by the Airbnb computers. What a surprise to learn that I’m accused of this at age 71. No such things or activities are associated with me or on my properties as established by the positive comments he made after staying there four days. What I also didn’t know at that time is that my Airbnb listings had been immediately shut down so I would not have any future bookings, depriving me of these income sources.

Meanwhile an Airbnb investigator was assigned to me. In the eyes of her and Airbnb I was guilty until proven innocent. She lectured that I had broken the “trust” of Airbnb with my actions. She then gave me 72 hours to provide evidence that I didn’t have a peephole and that people were not walking around on the roof at night (the guest stated that he had heard noises like this, confirming my maintenance man’s assessment).

The roof is totally covered with solar panels; water lines and swamp coolers = dangerous tripping hazards at night. Yes, photographs were submitted as evidence. Also in question is why the guest waited two weeks before submitting a scathing and accusatory review on November 5th. I have also asked Airbnb what evidence the guest provided to support his accusations and told that this information could not be divulged to me. I doubt that he took photos of the peephole before he vacated.

The maintenance man videotaped and narrated a “tour of the bathroom walls” to prove there was no shower peephole. I then sent the videotape to Airbnb after confirming their email, Airbnb.com/help. The email was rejected with “incomplete address” every time. I was now calling Airbnb every day to speak someone who could give me additional support or updates.

I reached someone who was shocked to learn how this case had been mistreated for so many weeks (she had access to my original “ticket” and opened up another to better defend me). She commented that it was blatantly obvious that the guest was lying and fabricating stories and that I was being vilified unfairly. When asked why the video was rejected she said that videos are unacceptable because they may have a virus. Then the original agent said all forms of media are acceptable but I couldn’t send her the video. This had become a Kafka nightmare.

Every professional, honorable company provides standard protocols and procedures to follow for every type of action that may occur. Airbnb does not. At no time did Airbnb send a notification to alert and explain an impending investigation. This is a simple, professional courtesy. Airbnb never provided me with information as to what steps I would need to protect my rights during this investigation. Airbnb never provided information as to collecting specific evidence (recordings, videos, photos) or a timeline to furnish them. The investigators failed to provide this.

Airbnb never informed me that my Airbnb listings were removed and when. Airbnb has yet to inform me how I will recoup my lost booking income since my listings remain inactive. Will Airbnb ever apologize to me for all my lost current and future booking money while my investigation was underway? Will Airbnb ban this guest for eternity? All the evidence supports that I was intentionally maligned.

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Charged in Different Currency Leads to Airbnb Nightmare

I have an Airbnb setup in Atlanta that was split into three payments. The first payment was on September 16th for 1570.44 USD that went through correctly and successfully. The second payment was on November 12th and it was supposed to be 1485.58 USD; instead, I was charged $1496.08 and a $44.88 international fee because Airbnb charged it in pounds. On the second payment I updated my Mastercard as the primary card on file was stolen.

When I called Airbnb, I first spoke to someone who was absolutely no help and blamed me for the issue. I called again and spoke to someone who said he would escalate it to the software team because it may have been a glitch and I would hear from someone. Nobody ever called or emailed me back. I then called a third day and spoke to someone who transferred me to his supervisor. I had to explain the entire situation all over again and she advised that she would try to process a refund in pounds back to my card and then re-charge me in USD for the correct amount.

She told me she would call me back in an hour. I told her I did not believe she would call back because nobody had returned my calls. She promised multiple times that she would call back but as I suspected, she never did. I called back a fourth time and spoke to someone who once again provided no help and advised he would “try” to get the original agent to call me back. I then called back and spoke to someone who was incredibly rude and said she couldn’t do anything besides request that a supervisor call me back.

I spoke to my bank and they are willing to dispute the charge as fraudulent after I explained what was going on. I am also in the process of filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau because I have never received horrible customer service like this before in my entire life. I will never be using Airbnb again.

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Very Unfair Airbnb Situation on Palawan

I just want to share my disappointment about the decision made by an Airbnb case manager. The decision was made without informing me. He promised us that yesterday morning he would inform us first. However, when we checked our account in the transaction history, the guest already had been given a full refund. Let me tell you what happened, so you can see the whole picture.

A guest checked in on November 15 at 5:15 PM. They called me on my phone at 5:23 PM saying that there was no electricity. We then explained them that the whole city was in total blackout (even our own house and our other listing on Airbnb had been affected). I explained to them that usually when it happens it does not last long. We were consistent in updating them. We also explained to them that they could use the emergency lights while waiting.

At 5:37 PM, they messaged me on my phone, saying that they wanted to cancel their reservation with a full refund. At 6:00 PM after contacting the electric company, I gave them an explanation: three electrical poles had fallen due to a car accident. We also assured her that the electric company was going to restore electricity. We also told them that there was no place to stay in Puerto Princesa with electricity except a hotel with a generator.

She messaged me around 7:00 PM saying they had found a place in Rizal (on the other side of the city) that had electricity. We thought it was their way of saying she didn’t believe us. Then I answered that if they have electricity, that hotel is probably equipped with a generator. After that I didn’t get any messages from the guest.

We messaged them around 10:00 PM to let them know that the electricity came back (after calling the security guards of the subdivision). They never responded to that, so we thought everything was settled. The guest never let us know that they left our place. We sent a message on their check-out day to remind them of the check-out time.

We got a surprise when a case manager contacted us more than 72 hours after the guest checked in. It was for the guest who wanted to cancel their reservation, right away. Why did they wait so long to cancel their reservation?

As an Airbnb traveler myself, we already encountered difficulties in some listings, and we called Airbnb right away. Airbnb called the host, and found an immediate and fair solution. In this situation, it took more than three days before we had been contacted by an Airbnb case manager, and it took four days, which was the last day of the stay before it was finally cancelled, giving them a full refund without our consent.

I don’t have any documentation that the guest really left our place that night. They had full access to the house during those four days; they had the keysafe code. The problem with the electricity was temporary and it came back that night since we had no power outage.

I’m reaching out to anyone here who can help us and give us a fair decision. We’ve been hosting here for years and we keep a good reputation as a Superhost. This is the first time in years that I was stuck in a very unjust circumstance here on Airbnb. I felt very upset. My husband and I are really affected. We felt hopeless. We as hosts strive to do our best for guests every time and this is what we’ve got in spite of all the hard work.

Airbnb Customer Service Ignores Fraudulent Charge

My wife and I received a fraudulent charge from Airbnb while we were out of town on our honeymoon during a holiday weekend. We could not stop the charge for $832.38 since the banks were closed for the weekend and the holiday on Monday. Our Airbnb account showed no upcoming trips for the charge to be tied to.

We contacted the Airbnb call center five times to have the charge investigated but we have gotten nowhere. Airbnb is protecting those committing fraud by structuring their company so that customers can never speak to anyone but the operators in the call center. They still refuse to refund our money or cooperate with us in any way. They are only concerned about money and the fees they are paid regardless if the charges are fraudulent.

I will be sharing our experience in as many places as I can find. I will never use Airbnb again and I hope others can learn from our experience.

Feeling Like A Freak, Felt Discriminated

I’ve never been able to use Airbnb. The first time I installed the app I was asked for a picture, driver’s license and credit card. I submitted everything, but I never received an approval nor an email, nothing. Since this was some months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico (2017) and we were surviving with the Google Loons, I thought that it was the lack of a good internet connection and forgot about it.

A year ago, November 2018, I wanted a place for a surfing trip. To my surprise all my information was in the Airbnb account: my ID checked, my profile with a picture, my Amex approved as payment method, all cool. When I tried to reserve something, I wasn’t able to do because my credit card needed to be checked (again) and since I wanted a place for the next day (swells don’t wait) I forgot about Airbnb.

In the last couple of weeks (October 2019) I started looking for places to stay during a surfing competition. All my information was there on my profile, and when I tried to reserve a place I wasn’t able to. The message from Airbnb was that my card needed to be verified. I agreed for some debits to be made to my credit card to confirm.

I had been a front desk and reservations agent for Hilton and Hyatt. This was kind of a strange procedure, but I decided to wait for the approval. I started receiving emails, text messages, and messages in the account inbox on the Airbnb app, all messages pressuring me to reserve, the property owner greeted me, but guess what?

I wasn’t able to reserve anything. Now they were asking for a picture of my credit card statement. “No way,” I said to myself. I kept receiving messages from them the whole night.

The next morning I had notices to reserve because I had a pre-approval from the owner while they verified my Amex. I tried to book, and once again I wasn’t able because they needed a picture of a recent credit card statement. Nervously to the maximum extreme, I took the picture and sent it.

A couple of hours later I received an email message through the app and a text message to hurry and book because I had been approved and verified and the property was being held for me for a couple hours more. But as you can imagine already, I wasn’t able to book. Now the nightmare begins.

I decide to review all the messages before contacting the help center and all the messages on the app were gone. My credit card information, gone. I wrote the help center and when they answered hours later it seemed that they thought I was hallucinating or something. They told me they were transferring the situation to customer service (the chat with him was customer service).

I explained the situation over and over to different customer service representatives who contacted me. My main concern was what happened to the information I was providing them. Had I been scammed? Was this procedure normal each time that you tried to book? They wrote me back each time: “Enter your credit card information on your account and wait for it to be verified.”

I couldn’t believe it. Were they morons? I breathed and breathed each time I answered back to be polite and well mannered and to restrain myself from saying what I just said. I even asked if I was talking to a computer. I wrote that I wanted to communicate with a supervisor. I was feeling very angry because I thought he was making fun of me for being a middle-aged Hispanic woman.

I was completely ignored now. I told them I would report them to Consumer Affairs. I was feeling like a freak. I couldn’t believed what happened. Was I overreacting? I took screenshots of this last conversation before they disappeared again.

Looking for their corporate information and willing to even write a classic certified letter, I found this blog. Now I know I’m not a freak. Airbnb customer service is the most inefficient, disrespectful and inconsiderate that I’ve ever seen.

Systemically Sick Customer Service at Airbnb

As a really respected and successful Airbnb Superhost, when I hit the road, I bring a serious set of expectations to the traveling guest side of the equation. As long as everything is perfect and there is no wrinkle in the reservation or use of the selected Airbnb, I have to admit that I generally enjoy exceptional experiences.

My only hedge in ensuring that outcome is picking properties with Superhosts at the helm. I know what it takes to get that status and keep it and it involves a level of commitment that should be the minimum requirement for being an Airbnb host. I wouldn’t have to be wasting a perfectly beautiful afternoon writing this if that was the case. It’s not.

One-hundred percent of my contact with Airbnb support over the last five years has been a nightmare. The level of competence can only be described as several sandwiches short of a picnic. Powered by the deadest batteries in the bunch. Problem solving individuals need not apply.

The sad part is that the robots Airbnb puts in these jobs didn’t start as robots. They are first people that have a brain and heart. However, after being held accountable to uphold and execute the policies Airbnb has in place to resolve the simplest to the most complex issues, they turn into idiots, non-thinking livestock that salivate when the phone rings and they fire up their prepared scripts, emails, messages that all say the same thing: “We can’t help you, it’s not our problem, it’s yours…”

This happens every painful time I attempt to get “support.” They are racing Comcast to the bottom on this one.

Example #1 – Travel Disruption (TD)

This topic is a multilayered nightmare when it rears its ugly head. Every organization I deal with in the “real travel industry” has solid plans and strategies for dealing with TD. It comes with the territory. Try getting Airbnb to help when there is a TD in your plans and you might as well go back to the alternate universe you apparently came here from. Airbnb is not a travel company; they only masquerade as one. You have an Airbnb problem? Good luck, because they have a policy that alleviates them from any help. Incredible. You’re on your own.

Example #2 – No Airbnb

This is different from a travel disruption because it precedes it and is directly caused by Airbnb and their blatant distancing from the false environment they’ve created. They don’t own any of the properties, so why should you expect them to manage them? You shouldn’t but you also shouldn’t have to pay for them when they don’t exist and you have a contract with an organization that says they do. The system is flawed, so buyer beware. Have that direct line to the credit card charges dispute line on your speed dial. It’s the only way to combat the incompetence built into the system to handle anything but a perfect rental.

I could go on, but the real work needs to be done a systemic level within the Airbnb organization, instead of wasting resources on “animal stay promotion” or “experience” sales. They make enough money on the float from the transactions, obscene amounts that haven’t been seen since American Express was in the check printing business.

There are no shortage of travel companies that could be used as a model for Airbnb customer support. Marriott and Westin come to mind. Avis and Alaska Air work. Don’t hold your breath. Airbnb is building a Part Patrol that will be as ineffective as the rest of their organization when it comes to service…