On Monday August 26th, I scheduled an Airbnb at 9:24 PM. My check-in day was August 30th. Later I found out I couldn’t make it and needed to cancel. I went to try and cancel, and it said they would only refund me $250.78 out of my total of $1,615.09.
I called the Airbnb customer support number at 10:16 PM, less than an hour after I confirmed my booking. I was told I need to be handed off to a case manager. The first case manager told me they need the host’s approval to issue a full refund and that it was my fault I didn’t read the full policy, which states “a cancellation must be made within 48 hours of booking or creating the reservation” (which I did) and “a cancellation should be at least 14 full days prior to the listings local check-in time” which according to Airbnb I did not do.
However, since I booked this on a Monday and my expected check-in day was Friday, it falls under seven days anyway – basically a trap. After this the customer support team stopped responding to me. I reached out the host myself and they had no idea what I was talking about and kept telling me to call Airbnb, which I already did. The host then stopped answering me.
The next day I called Airbnb and asked why no one from customer support responded to me. They said, “oh, your case manager went on vacation.”
Basically, no one was going to reach out to me and address this issue? I then was given a new case manager. He told me that if the host doesn’t respond within 24 hours to myself or Airbnb, I would receive a full refund and I should expect a call from him later that evening around 6:00 or 7:00 PM. he also advised me to cancel the reservation and receive the $250 refund.
Well, 8:00 PM rolled around and I heard nothing, so I called yet again. The case manager was on the phone working on another case, but the customer support member assured me he would call me that evening. Yet again, I heard nothing, so I called the next morning.
I called Airbnb again and my case manager was not in; this time I had another new case manager. Long story short, she said no one had been able to make contact with the host and I would not receive a refund. She also told me I was basically in the wrong because “I didn’t read the policy”.
Not once have I ever had an issue with Airbnb until now. I always cancel within 48 hours if need be. I tried to be considerate of the host and cancelled ASAP so they could find someone else to rent the house for the weekend. This case manager was no help with her rude attitude, and I asked to speak with her manager or supervisor. She told me they would call this afternoon. Here we are again with empty promises and I received no call. I called my bank to dispute this transaction because I was at the end of my rope and quickly losing patience.
I woke up with a message from customer support saying:”We have attempted to contact your host multiple times regarding your reservation and we even have attempted to call them, apparently, we did not receive any response and at this point, we would need to abide to the Cancellation Policy applied on the reservation. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for. We do our best to fairly and reasonably mediate these cases. We regret that this decision has negatively affected you, but we believe this to be a fair resolution, all things considered. Per our Terms of Service, Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination regarding these disputes. Please know, we are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case — we’ve issued our final decision and will uphold it accordingly.”
I received a call about two hours after this message and it was my case worker. She told me they finally made contact with the host and he was only willing to give me a 50% refund. This man waited until the day before I would check in, and purposely did not answer anyone so he could steal my money.
Airbnb is protecting their hosts but could care less about their customers. The amount of frustration this has caused is unbelievable. I have taken hours out of my work day for this inconvenience. I personally feel scammed and violated about this whole situation.