Airbnb Didn’t Explain Why I had to Change Places

I have copied my conversations with Airbnb regarding this story.

“This is your resolutions expert from the Airbnb Trip Team. I hope this message finds you well. This ticket was handed to me to ensure you have a continued support. Please give me time to review your concern. Rest assured that I will work on this case in accordance with our guidelines and policies. I will give you an update as soon as possible. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.” 

“Thanks for contacting me. Note that only on October 27th that I will be back to that hotel and I will recheck the place. I will take some photos and send them to you. Note that I am living in Cairo, so I have a lot of things: a table for a laptop, luggage, clothes, shoes, printer, etc. I must stay in a large room, clean and comfortable. It must be perfect. Not too expensive like that one. I also need a place to study, because I am studying Arabic here.

I just arrived here at the new place and the receptionist informed me that room will be available only tomorrow and I must stay in another hotel that belongs to them, again with my luggage up and down (40 steps). I do not know what it is better, to cancel this one or try a discount here. It is up to you. Talk to them and explain my situation, please. Thanks. They informed me to come on October 27th after 12:00, but then they changed it to tomorrow after 12:00.”

“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your side of the story. My apologies for the late response as I was out of the office from the time being you responded to my message. In your message, since you and your host had an agreement of you checking in on their listing starting October 27, 2019, I would like to know if you were able to successfully move in. May I ask as well if, you encountered another issue in the listing afterwards. If yes, you may proceed giving us all the documentation that you have to support your claim for me to be able to verify. Looking forward to hearing a response from you soon. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”

“I am so sorry but I am sure that you did not read my message to you before, so I will repeat it below. I agreed, through the site, with my host that I would arrive at the hotel on October 25th at night (he agreed and accepted through the site). I paid by my credit card. Note that I am living here in Cairo, so I have a lot of luggage and things. I came to the place, as agreed, and the receptionist from the hotel informed me that I would stay in the hotel only on that day, October 25th, but on October 26th and 27th I should stay in another hotel and that I must be back again at that hotel on October 27th. Imagine me, with all these items, having to be moved from place to place in a short time, staying here and there and having no firm destination, in a strange city and in a country which is not mine.

Do you understand everything so far? I need to be clear how much it pissed me off, how much it scared and tired me in the middle of the night, and how much trouble it brought me unnecessarily without knowing why. I did not accept all that and returned to the apartment where I had been. The owner, who is a spectacular and kind-hearted person, seeing my trouble, let me stay there without charging me anything, and it didn’t end here.

As the hotel boy had said I should return on October 27th in the afternoon, I returned at 16:00 and the same person informed me that no, that I was only supposed to come on October 28th in the afternoon. I had to return again with everything. This time I went to the other hotel indicated by the person in this hotel, where the guy who helped me carry my bags ended up damaging one of my bags… more inconvenience.

Finally, after this whole epic, I’m in the hotel, but guess what? There is no water to use the bathroom or shower. The cluttered kitchen and badly-cleaned utensils, the unhygienic, much less sterilized bathroom in the room, and the shower stall is grubby with dirt. Have you understood everything so far, or will I need to draw a picture and show how angry and upset I am with this whole situation?

Please make it clear to the Airbnb security team to review my history and note that I had stayed at this apartment several times before and that never, never, never had I had any kind of disturbance there. The host is a good person with great behavior, a super host and has had other guests from Germany, France, China who have stayed there who can prove what I am saying is true, if necessary.

Now I made the following decision, because of all the past trouble and loads of luggage and things I have I don’t want. I don’t want to move anywhere anymore. You need to get in touch with this hotel, make the situation better here, solve their problems, and not let them affect me, because I’m paying a lot to stay in this place. At this house I was paying R$1,700. Here I paid R$4,000 and it is not even close to the quality of the apartment where I was and on top of that there is this problem with the lack of water. Let them arrange a great immediate discount on my bill for all these inconveniences so far, and god knows how many more I have to face until the day I check out. We sincerely look forward to the arrangements and discounts to be taken by Airbnb for this particular case. Thank you very much. I will send some photos later. I will have some meetings today and tomorrow.”

“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your clearer and further side of the story. I already reached out to your host regarding this matter, and I am waiting for their response. As I’ve checked your interaction with the host, there is nothing registered on our Airbnb Messaging platform. I would like to ask you to communicate with your host using our messaging, so that everything will be well documented. Once your host responded to my message, I will also give you an update. In case that you have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”

“Note that the host came to my room to inform me that he will refund me for those two nights (October 25th and 26th) that I was not here or another hotel. This is okay, but what about all the inconvenience, stress, and trouble caused? I need the host to give me a discount on the total paid to him. If he can do this, everything will be perfect. Thanks a lot for your prompt response.”

“Thank you so much for responding to my message, and for giving me an update regarding this matter. I also received a message from your host stating that, when you arrived on the listing, they informed you about everything and you agreed with their statements. The host added that, when you arrived on their listing, you hadn’t completed the payment, and advised them that you would complete the payment later on. Regarding the water, the host said that the water shortage was just a few hours and the city workers were fixing the water pipes, which is clearly out of their hands. Furthermore, I confirmed with your host that they are willing to give a refund for the two nights which you didn’t spent at the listing. I tried checking if there will be any additional refund for the said reservation; however, the host has the discretion to indicate the amount that they want to have on their listing as a nightly rate. Once you confirm the refund for two nights, I will go ahead and process that one for you. Looking forward to hearing a response from you as soon as possible.”

“Want to know something? I am tired of being called a liar. I am 57 years old and I have no need, after going through so much trouble, nervous and angry and bothered, taking my bags from here to here, up and down on your orders, to be lying or making up something about what happened. Whether you believe me of not, I don’t like having to be repeating myself all the time and having to prove this or that. You take so long to answer me that time has passed, the dust has settled, and that’s all.

I repeat that I have been with Airbnb for over a year and with my track record you should know more about me and my concept of honesty. I will remain in Egypt for a long time but I will certainly not be staying with Airbnb, unfortunately for the simple fact that I am being treated as I am at the moment and always discredited. I was honest even when I made it clear to your security department that I would not need Uber to make my transfer.

I will return to Cairo in January and plan to use the services of Booking.com or Expedia.com. Let this case go. Keep believing in the host. Congratulations. The future and god will show you who was right, not me. I’m tired and exhausted with all this. Enough for me. I will finish my stay here and when I return to Cairo I will use another service, simple as that. I hope I don’t have to explain myself so much, prove anything to anyone, and have more peace and quiet to finish the work I came here to do.

I hope my Airbnb friends have had a great night’s sleep, because I didn’t have this privilege. I went to sleep today at 8:30 in the morning, because there was renovation, construction, and a lot of noise – chainsaw on, hammer knocking, dragging things, a real hell on earth – at 5:00 AM near my room. Once again, if you don’t believe me, talk to the hotel receptionist, who was also here at that time. I even called him to my room to hear the noise.

We went out on the balcony to check where it all came from. He said he would ask them to stop but the work and noise continued until 8:00 AM. I woke up now at 3:20 PM with a huge migraine. My head seems to be exploding so much that it hurts. I already took three pills and they didn’t help.

I spoke again with the receptionist. He assured me that tonight the noise would not be repeated. I doubt that very much: here they do what they want, where they want, and when they want. I want to know how I cancel my reservation here and if I will not lose anything already paid, if I will receive my payment in full due to all these inconveniences experienced so far. I no longer want to go through this psychological mess and no longer lose any sleep at night or wake up startled by the sound of sawing and hammering at 4:00 in the morning. I don’t want to use Airbnb anymore. I want to cancel everything and get my full money back. Please inform me quickly.”

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Airbnb Customer Service is not Responsive

It was a bad beginning; I could not enter the property for 1.5 hours. The “Superhost” was not answering his phone and there were no keypad instructions. Oops, sorry, amenities were also not available: soap, shampoo and hangers are amenities one expects, but not available. The big one was no cable TV as advertised. Oops again, we cancelled it, but you can use your own Netflix.

I don’t have Netflix and I was settling in to watch the baseball playoffs. My team, the Astros, were playing. It is fraud to advertise an amenity that you don’t have. Airbnb asked if I told my host I was gong to watch the playoffs…. a really poor defense. Can I advertise a hot tub and not have one?

I have called numerous times, written out my complaint numerous times and have been told numerous times they are sorry, they will get back to me. But they do not, hence all my calls and emails. Frontline personnel have little or no authority and they won’t connect me to a supervisor.

I am sure when all goes well Airbnb is a fine company but they should be measured by how they handle the difficult situations and for those times they fail miserably. Their hope is we go away, get tired of complaining, leave them alone. Mr. Brian Chesky, you need to empower your case mangers to resolve issues not to just give voice to incessant stall tactics. If you are unaware of unhappy clients go to www.airbnbhell.com.

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Worst Airbnb Experience Ever, no Refund

I paid $1471 for a two-week stay but had to leave after having vicious dogs running at myself and my dogs. I called Airbnb and told them I was going to have to find another place because our safety was a factor. I spent four hours with three different people on the phone with Airbnb and was assured my cancellation would be done by then. I paid another $1800 out of pocket to move an hour away to a private rental and gave Airbnb time to do my cancellation and let me know what was going on. I called every day trying to find out what was going on. This morning I got a refund for $289 out of $1471. I’m not going to sit and let this happen. This has been a horrible experience and completely wrecked my vacation. They are about to get sued.

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Airbnb will suffer… in this life or the next

I have not been paid as a host for the last two months. Despite calling about three times a week to their customer service, there has been no resolution nor are they making any effort to come to one. The amount owed is more than £1000. Airbnb is simply not interested. Customer service opens a case then does nothing to resolve the issues. They even find excuses for why the payment has not been sent then once the issue has been solved they find something else. I think Airbnb policies are truly evil, misleading and thoroughly dishonest. The people that devise this evil will be brought to account for their actions… in this life or the next.

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Cleaner Mattresses at the Tip than this Airbnb

My friend and I booked a “Cosy Mid Terrace House” in Bangor, North Wales. We were attending a five-day yoga course which commenced on the evening of Thursday, September 26th a short drive away. We checked in at the house where there was a key box; anytime after 4:00 PM was supposed to be okay.

We arrived at 3:45 PM and entered the house. On first inspection, it looked a little grimy and uncared for, but it was only five nights. However, on further inspection, we found that the kitchen surfaces were very greasy and there was mould in the fridge, the carpet into the sitting room was frayed and coming away under the door strip causing a trip hazard.

On venturing upstairs, again everything was tatty. The shower was full of black mildew. But the worst thing of all was where I was supposed to sleep for those five nights. Firstly, I could feel the mattress springs through the duvet that was on top of the bed but what really finished things off was when the bedding was pulled back, the mattress was covered in various stains. I have seen better mattresses than this at my local tip.

We contacted the owner to advise her we were not happy and would have to seek alternative accommodation. She gave us a spiel about running late as a single mum she had to collect the children from school and was on her way over. We told her not to rush as there was no way we would be able to stay and started to tell her all the things that were wrong, whereupon she hung up.

As the course was starting at 4:00 PM, there was little time to find alternative accommodation and we ended up sharing a very small twin room in a hotel not too far away who could luckily fit us in as most places we tried were fully booked over the weekend. I requested a refund from the host via the Airbnb site – which she, of course, refused – so I waited the 72 hours and asked Airbnb to intervene.

I have since then been corresponding via email with an incompetent “Senior Case Manager” who has become quite threatening in her gobbledygook English stating that I must accept her offer of a “coupon” to be used on a future booking within eight hours – four hours at one point – and now 24 hours. I feel that as they have offered a “coupon” for the full amount that they must believe our story with photos provided, but as we do not know when or if we will be booking through Airbnb again, this is simply not good enough.

I am awaiting her response as to how long the “coupon” is valid for (probably 24 hours). Despite my requests for her to escalate this case on two occasions she continues to email me in English that is barely recognisable as the language I was brought up with, totally ignoring my requests and just threatening me with more deadlines. It is interesting to note that the “Cosy Mid Terrace House” is no longer listed in the site but if ever it should reappear I do not recommend booking it or the host’s cleaning skills.

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Free Cancellation in 48 Hours that Doesn’t Exist

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I looked for a month’s rental through Airbnb and I found one that I wanted. I read the cancellation policy carefully, stating that it could be cancelled within 48 hours for a full refund. I clicked first because I didn’t want to miss the rare room and figured if in two days I found it was something I didn’t like, e.g. the exact location, I could cancel.

It was a lot of money – 3000+ USD – and I suddenly thought that maybe it was better to find a way to be able to escape the long-term cancellation policy. I just cancelled it within hours. The refund was kind of a process but something they didn’t mention in the cancellation policy was that my payment method would be charged on March 26th for 600 USD. This amount was never mentioned.

I wanted to make sure before rebooking but it seemed like Airbnb just ignored me. That made me scared to proceed to any other booking; I was afraid of the fraudulent listings. Agoda and Expedia have never had this policy and the 30-day fine for advance notice was quite unfair. I then tried to figure it out by separating the booking into two periods. It’s more difficult but it should be more flexible.

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Airbnb Experience Before Even Checking in

We have an upcoming booking through Airbnb here in South Africa. Our initial deposit was processed successfully in May this year and the remaining fees are supposed to be processed on the 13th of September 2019. Since May 2019, the visa card that was loaded as the payment method has since been replaced with another card.

I have been struggling for a week now to change the card number that has been saved as our payment method. The customer service consultant could not sort out the issue and eventually raised it with the web development department. I now get daily “updates” that she is still waiting for feedback from the web development team.

Earlier this week I asked to be provided/assisted with making the payment through an alternative method like EFT or PayPal as these options are not given when I want to change the payment method. Each time I indicate to the customer service consultant that I am unable to add a different payment method, the response is that they understand my frustration, but I should rather try a different payment method.

Is that not what I indicated I am unable to do? We have been going round and round in circles for a week now and the payment is due within the next two days. This is the first time that I used Airbnb and I am not sure that I will again if this is the experience prior to even checking in.

Airbnb Customer Disservice Leads to Threats

I actually have never had any problems with Airbnb. I’ve been a host for a couple of years, and thus far, I’ve had great guests, and great experiences. I just had a guest who wrecked something so I mentioned it in the review. She was shocked and went above and beyond to remedy the situation (her husband had used our white towels to clean his muddy shoes, but she ordered a new towel set from Amazon and had it sent to us).

Because she did this, I wanted to go and either delete the review or mention that she fixed the problem… just to be fair. So this is all great, but then I landed on a customer service guy who was the antithesis of anything customer service oriented. Here is our conversation. Remember, this is a customer service / resolution representative.

“It appears what I have told you so far hasn’t made it to you. So here it is again – shorthand. I’d like to change a review I made of a guest, as they left a significant mess but they remedied the situation and I don’t think it’s fair to leave that review up about them without also sharing the actual outcome, as she went above and beyond expectations to fix the problem.”

“Unfortunately, I’m unable to resolve your case so I’m forwarding you to a team that can better assist you. While response times may vary, we do our best to respond within 24 hours. Thank you for your patience.”

“Will they call me or how does it work? I’m not waiting on here for 24 hours am I? Are you still there? Hello? Anybody out there?”

“Relax, my colleague said within 24 hours and it’s been three minutes. I’m from Airbnb’s resolutions team, please let me have a look right now.”

“I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to wait here for 24 hours or what. Thank you for your kind communication and your efforts to help.”

“Wow. FYI the difference between 9:34 and 9:40 is six minutes, not three.”

“Relax? This communication is definitely going to head office.”

“So you are already threatening me? That’s not very nice of you.”

“I have just been assigned to your case. It’s not a threat. I’m telling you about accountability. I’m trying to do a good thing on here, and you’re telling me to relax? That’s very resolutiony of you. You were assigned to my case and came on and told me to relax? For real? You’re acting like you’re an anonymous Twitter user, and you’re not. You’re representing a company that is global, and makes a lot of money. I will absolutely be sending this communication for accountability. You hold your hosts and your guests accountable for their behaviour, so I think it’s only fair to do the same with the so called ‘customer service’ representatives.”

I particularly like how he says “You’re already threatening me?” showing us all that he perceives that gets threatened regularly and it’s just a matter of time. I’m guessing if one pulls up his other communications, there will be a lot of anger and animosity. This is not a guy who should be representing any company in a customer service way, and he might want to go back to his Twitter troll ways.

The great thing is that he’s not anonymous, and we do know where he works and who he’s representing with his toxic aggression. I will also be sending a hard copy of this communication to the address Airbnb Hell has supplied. Just because. If we’re all held accountable for our behaviour, so too should the jerks representing Airbnb.

Host Guarantee Means Nothing to Airbnb

I will be talking about the devastating and very much time consuming that I have been through since August 1st until today. Almost 40 tiring days have passed with no result but that feeling of being very much ignored with many saved responses by the case manager from the resolution center remain.

I had a guest who robbed my apartment, taking an expensive Canon camera 50mm f/1.2 lens and an ironing machine. I overlooked the ironing machine and the fact that she had left permanent stains on the bed cover which I bought new right and I considered them collateral damage after the one-month reservation.

However, the 50mm lens was $1,472. Thus I have reported this incident to Airbnb support center on the phone and by messaging from August 1st until the 10th. I talked with tens of agents and case managers and I sent them all the photos and documents that they needed. They told me they would contact me soon.

Anyway, this was a lie from all of them and my first experience with such an incident. On the 11th of August I called again and a case manager told me that I had to request a refund from the guest who robbed my property. I have done so and she denied it, so I got the resolution center involved.

They automatically send you an email that it should take seven days to have your case resolved. It took until today, which is 25 days. This required all the patience that I had. I sent all the documents that they requested with every tiny detail and I waited and waited. Then they requested a police report which was a very strange thing to ask for after 25 days (I had four guests in my apartment since then). Why didn’t they request it when I called, messaged, and reported this incident?

I managed to go the police station and told them every tiny detail. They gave me the police report. By the end of that day I thought Airbnb would honor their Host Guarantee. I then resent all the photos, conversations, and documents.

Since then the case manager took five days to respond to my emails. He emailed me very strangely as if he knew nothing about my case. He said – and I’m quoting from his mail – “Thanks for your response. In order for an incident to be eligible for Airbnb assistance, the reported damages must have been caused by a guest or an invitee of the guest. You are free to pursue reimbursement from your guest directly. However, per this requirement, this case is not eligible for reimbursement. You may review the Host Guarantee terms here. If you have other questions about the Host Guarantee and what is covered feel free to respond.”

As if I didn’t involve them after I requested the refund from the guest directly. I emailed him back and he didn’t answer of course. Then I called Airbnb and after a very long conversation – thirty minutes – in which I had to tell the whole story from the first detail, I requested that they change the case manager who is investigating my case. He responded shortly by email: “After a thorough review, we have decided to uphold our original decision. We determined that a payout could not be processed in this instance. We consider this decision final.”

I will unfortunately be un-listing my Airbnb apartment. Although I met with many great guests, I would never have done this if I hadn’t been that ignored.

No Payment from Guests who Already Stayed

Airbnb still hasn’t resolved my payout issue. They have taken funds from my previous guest and not provided a payment into my requested account. They seem to think it is acceptable for me to host guests but not receive any payout. I updated my payment details on their website prior to my guest arriving but often details that are updated do not save. I often find their site very glitchy.

After contacting them several times via their message centre they are still unable to resolve this and make payment into my proper bank account, one that is open and live. The customer service with this company is appalling. The open threads for resolving issues, though polite, are completely unhelpful and the message threads are closed every time without any resolution to my issues. The customer service is completely disappointing.

How do I go about getting payment for my previous guest? No one seems to be able to assist with this.