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.

Airbnb Resolution Center and Customer Service Hell

It’s been over a month of going around in circles. I contacted Airbnb regarding some pricing issues; they turned on smart pricing without our permission and we caught them. We asked for the difference or we would need to cancel the reservation. There was no reply. We called and were told they would get back to us in 24 hours. Nothing.

Fast forward to 10 reps, all claiming a 24-hour response time, and a month later, still nothing. We’re still waiting for the resolution and money. but nothing. We are chasing after them and it has caused so much stress and affected our health.

Incompetency and unprofessionalism is what the resolution center is known for, but I had no idea it was this bad. They are just trying to tire you out and make you give up. It’s amazing how there is no one there to keep them accountable. It is an exploitative company taking advantage of both the guests and hosts.

We are no longer using Airbnb and have told our friends and family about our experience. They have stopped using them until we have a resolution. When you call in, customer support will apologize, create a ticket, then pass you to the resolution center. They “will” reply in 24 hours, but you’d be lucky if you hear anything from them. For such a large company, their system is set up so they win. They need to be held accountable. If you feel frustrated and angry, you’re not alone…

Ripped Off After Host Lied About Location

I am disappointed with Airbnb. I made a reservation for September 9-12 on the basis the apartment was in lively location above a trendy bar. I found out this was not the case, and cancelled having discussed with my host who agreed to a 50% refund immediately and 50% when she re-let the property.

I searched in past few weeks and again today for the property and it does not appear coming up as being available for rent on those dates, which leads me to assume it is no longer available. Having read the latest review of the property, it was shut down recently by the fire officer due to dangerous gas smells. If this is the case, I presume it’s not available (quite rightly) but why should the host get to retain my deposit?

Airbnb had no reply for me. This is grossly unfair and borders on fraudulent. I’ve tried to call and speak to the help line but am getting nowhere.

Airbnb Cancelled all Upcoming Reservations and Didn’t Tell Me

All my reservations were cancelled by Airbnb this morning. A guest who is a bride who booked for her groomsmen contacted me first. She was not happy or calm, but kind. My account is locked and under review, and a phone call revealed “it has already been escalated as Urgent to the Trust Team.” Does urgent mean I should expect a call or email in 24 to 48 hours?

What happened? They won’t tell me what they are investigating but before I was locked out completely here were the error messages I received: we notice you are logging in from a new device (not true, but I updated my cell carrier data settings in preparation for travel to prevent roaming charges).

They also asked me to verify my personal information; my birthdate was listed as 2007. Likely their software prevents 12-year-olds from hosting. I changed and corrected it, but am certain it was never listed that way. With Airbnb’s secret number in hand I called, but am in the urgent purgatory for 24-48 hours. I did get a case number, but that’s it.

Airbnb Wouldn’t Send Messages from Guests to Hosts

We are new hosts and had a really bad experience with Airbnb. Airbnb didn’t send us SMS messages from guests, not even for one. As we are not on the Internet all the time (and we didn’t get those SMS messages from Airbnb), of course we didn’t respond to guests. The guests didn’t book, we lost at least 250€, but also lost other guests, who had to book another place, which was more expensive (we had the lowest price in the city: 13€/person/night) and of course with a bigger service fee for Airbnb only.

Maybe the reason was just that: for guests to pay a bigger service fee. That takes us to this conclusion: for just a few euros or dollars more, everyone loses, guests and hosts. You can just imagine what could happen if some guest (maybe you) booked instantly: Airbnb wouldn’t send you an SMS, the guest would face closed doors as the host might not be home that night, and the guest would be in the middle of the street in one of most dangerous cities in the world. Who would care?

Airbnb didn’t gave me any answer as to why they didn’t send an SMS from guests to me for one whole week. Because we didn’t respond to guests (as we didn’t know about their questions before booking) we also had a really bad response rate, which Airbnb didn’t correct as promises. Guests base their decisions on the response rate too. We lost a whole day due to talking with Airbnb staff, but nothing happened: he just talked and talked.

Be aware when you search for a place on Airbnb: the cheapest ones are never on first listing page. It is a shame for such a big and rich company to make so many ugly mistakes in year 2019.

Home Trashed by Airbnb Guest and no Customer Support

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An Airbnb guest trashed my home and Airbnb has been of no help whatsoever. A guest and his friends smoked in my home after specifically being asked not to. They emptied my locked storage areas and left indoor furniture and electrical items outside in the garden. They left cigarette butts all over the house and used the kitchenware as ashtrays. They ruined my coffee table and brand new kitchen worktops. My extendable dining table no longer closes fully or properly.

All this damage along with photographic evidence was provided by myself to Airbnb on the same day they checked out. I requested from the guest a sum of money to cover the damage but had no response. Airbnb did not intervene even though they supposedly do this after the 72 hours. They did not respond to my emails with any relevant information.

I was redirected to another member from the customer support team twice and on both occasions just told that they were sorry and will be in touch soon. I have been chasing Airbnb all week for updates or at least a timeline of procedure and what to expect. I have had no information or help at all.

Finally I called Airbnb to speak to a person who “couldn’t help” because it was not his department. I asked him to transfer me but he couldn’t do this either. When I asked him to give me the number of the department I was told that he couldn’t help with this either.

It has been a full week and I have had my home trashed and my own holiday ruined and Airbnb have done absolutely nothing to provide peace of mind or any help during the week. Their website suggests that these issues are dealt with swiftly and within a week. I find this very difficult to believe. I am stunned that such a well-established business like Airbnb can tolerate such incompetence within their customer support team.

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Airbnb Host Tried to Evict Me, Company Didn’t Help

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I’ve been at a reservation for over two months now in Washington. Recently the landlady tried to buy the entire house out of her contracts and everyone refused. She then proceeded to start construction which has resulted in utilities being cut off on a regular basis. I took pictures and videos of the construction and complained to Airbnb. Wanna know what they did?

They called me about a week later telling me I had to get out and I would be refunded for the time I haven’t stayed yet. I said “no”, that I wouldn’t be leaving, and any attempt to kick me out could be argued in a court of law as an illegal eviction. I told them because I was already there for over two months I qualified as a tenant I didn’t actually have to leave if they forced me out.

The Airbnb support person told me if I didn’t get out by the end of the day I would be trespassing and the police would get involved. I mentioned how I would be contacting the police and an attorney to sue them if they moved forward.

She responded: “This is our policy so it’s fine.”

Me: “If a policy is in violation of state law the state will just ignore it.”

Her: “You can contact your lawyers and do what you want. We are a 25 billion dollar company and this is our policy.”

Me: “What about the Airbnb policy that states that if a home is unlivable or there’s unnecessary construction the guest gets a refund? What about the Airbnb policy?”

Her: Makes a comment about my tone and says she will be looking at the pictures I sent.

She put me on hold and it became very clear she had no idea what she was doing. She offered me $100 and to pay me back for the nights I haven’t stayed yet. I told her, “No. I’m not going to accept that. You can’t force me to take compensation I don’t believe is adequate and if you’re going to move forward with these actions I would like an explicit email acknowledging the fact that I did not agree to your terms. I will be contacting the police and an attorney.”

She said, “Sure, whatever,” mentioned my tone again, and hung up.

In the meantime, I contacted the police non-emergency number and they said they would call me back. It had been about two minutes since I spoke with Airbnb and they called me back.

Same support woman: “Your host is thinking about changing her mind but she says construction will continue. You can stay if you’re okay with the construction.”

Me: “I’m not okay with construction but if you allow me to stay I will.”

Her: “Well, why do you want to stay if there’s construction? She said you can stay if you’re okay with it and she will continue to shut off the water.”

Me: “Because I believe what she is doing is illegal and if I stay I’ll be able to collect damages in a court of law. Additionally if you kick me out right now I’ll be thrown on the street so even if you allow me to stay I will be suing her at this point. You don’t have to mention how I’ll be suing her.”

She hung up again, and said she would tell the host I wanted to “continue my reservation.” What a nice way of saying I didn’t want to spend the night on the streets. How kind of her.

In the meantime I finally got in touch with the police and explained the situation: how she decided to kick me out once I complained about the construction, and how I’m a tenant due to the way I’ve rented. He asked if I’d received mail at the property. I explained I had received some mail there. He then got upset and said, “Okay, so who am I talking to? I need a phone number.”

I gave him the landlady’s phone number. He called me five minutes later and told me she was no longer evicting me and she “changed her mind.”

I’m going to be suing. At this point in considering suing Airbnb too. The dumbest part is I have pictures of all of the construction and even messages from the landlady confirming when I complained and that the construction is renovations and not repairs necessary to the property.