Can’t Travel Now: Airbnb Customer Service Hell

The people in Airbnb customer service are rude idiots. I think the company must tell them this is the way they have to behave. I have written emails, called, been hung up on, and I am fed up. I have had injuries and illnesses this last year and haven’t been able to use my credit coupon of 170 dollars which would go a long way in Mexico, a place I love. I have asked Airbnb to extend it for me as I have impending wrist surgery, even sending an email from the doctors office. The call center is telling me that I have to have medical certification. Excuse me? I have to pay a doctor to write something so that I do not lose my credit in two weeks.

I think now Airbnb has gone public they are even bigger jerks. I did them a favor by referring people and because of my medical situation (sounds like discrimination), they are taking my credit away. I told them I had to move this month too, and they got the documentation, but they want more. I called again and they hung up on me. I was told someone would call me and it has not happened. I would rather couchsurf than deal with these idiots. No more referrals from me. Airbnb sucks. I hope they fail and their stock crashes.

Airbnb Strict Cancellation is not as Strict as it Seems

Airbnb gives you the opportunity of choosing a cancellation policy. I have chosen a strict cancellation policy which, per their terms, means a ‘full refund’. A woman booked my house many months ago at a heavily discounted price for this week. I received a message from Airbnb today stating that they cancelled her reservation today as she didn’t complete the payment. When I called (the email had zero explanations and was automatically generated) they stated that they would pay me only $800 (payment due was $2450) as she didn’t pay in full. Essentially, even if you have a strict policy and no privity of contract with the ultimate guests, Airbnb asks the hosts to carry the burden of their credit risk. Of course, customer service is anonymous and miserable and they refused to connect me to their legal team to explain to them why their cancellation policy is currently wrong and misleading.

Airbnb’s Questionable Verification Process

I used to love Airbnb, the website that offers me access to nice accommodations for my summer travel. But now I am disappointed and angry at how Airbnb has been treating me.

I used Airbnb for two years and had success. I received 4-5 star ratings from the host families I stayed with. Now Airbnb is refusing me service. Airbnb wants me to send them a copy of my passport or driver’s license. I understand the rationale behind this step; it was designed to increase confidence in both hosts and guests. However, their process of verification made me instantly uneasy.

First, it made no sense to ask me to provide this information when I am already an established and repeat customer. Airbnb has all the necessary information: name, address, sex, birth date, phone number, email address, credit card, past hosts’ reviews and a profile picture. My history should have established me as a trustworthy customer. It appears that being an established customer means nothing to Airbnb.

Airbnb’s verification process is unreasonable. I travel extensively during my summer breaks (I teach) and I am familiar with hotels, motels, resorts, B&B’s, college dorms and other host families’ accommodations. Travelling usually involves reserving accommodation with a credit card. Upon arrival, the facilities perform a quick check of the passport or driver’s license.

The difference here is that I’m uploading sensitive information to Airbnb. These days anything on the Internet is vulnerable. The difference between entering my credit card information and my passport data online is that my credit card has some pretty serious guarantees and fraud detection in place. If someone gets a hold of my passport information and my identity is stolen, this can take years to fix.

Airbnb also asked that I provide them my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google) connections. A business has no right to ask for social media information. After spending ample time reading reviews and blogs on Airbnb, it appears to me that Airbnb should sticking to established customs and use common sense in business practices. Online there are numerous articles on Airbnb infringement and overcollection of customers’ personal information. Many people are questioning their practices and tuning away from Airbnb.

Stranded in LA after Airbnb Nightmare

When I arrived at my Airbnb I would have had to walk over a group of homeless people living inside of the building just to get into the apartment. The host refused to give me a refund and refused to help me.

I called customer support and they told me they would help me find a new reservation and call me back. They never did. I called back and waited for hours for any call back or help. I was stranded in LA alone, hungry and beyond nervous in the dark for hours without a place to go.

After countless phone calls to get a refund I still haven’t heard back. The people in customer service are not helpful or professional.

On top of all this the reason the host wouldn’t cancel was because he knows he will still get the money; even if I complain, he doesn’t have to give the money back. He gets to keep the money, he told me a lot of people complain about his rental but if he doesn’t agree to give a refund, he keeps the money. I can’t leave a negative review and I can’t do anything about it.

Airbnb in Miami Beach not what I expected

I booked a seven-night stay at an Airbnb in Miami Beach in May. The place looked nothing like the pictures: the hotel was rundown and old; there were garbage bins at the front and back of the building; they had smelly elevators and smelly hallways. My mom found bugs in the kitchen, and people were doing marijuana at the pool. The customer service sucked.

I contacted the host right away and told her my concerns. She decided to stop replying to me and I didn’t hear back from her. I contacted Airbnb for help. They were terrible at handling this case. It took over a month. I had to keep calling them. No case manager called me back and when I got a hold of one he was nasty, rude, and unprofessional; he even lied to me on the phone about a conversation we had before.

This whole experience was really bad, from the terrible host to the terrible Airbnb service. Don’t ever book from here. The host may give you a description of the place and when you show up it may not be it and no one holds them account. Do not book with Airbnb. I expected average. This was a Motel 9 experience: below average and I never got any of my money back.

Airbnb Customer Service is Complete Trash

To start off, this was a last minute booking. My friends and I were on a road trip to Asheville, NC when we suddenly found ourselves off course by four hours. We decided to get a room and figure it out in the morning. I booked this lovely place. I know, it’s cheap, but we were just wanting a place to shower/crash after a night out.

We were still about a little over an hour away from the address after I booked it, and didn’t think much of the host not saying anything, as my booking had already been confirmed. Once we arrived, it was clear he had no intention of returning any of my messages or answering his phone.

I immediately tried contacting Airbnb, but their phone lines were down, and couldn’t be bothered to reply to any of the messages I sent them through the app. Incredibly annoyed, and in desperate need of a drink, I canceled my booking and requested a refund. The next day the host ignored my request, but luckily the phone lines were back up.

The first customer service rep was very friendly, and helpful. She promised to contact the host, and that if he decided to continue being a horrible person, Airbnb would provide me with a refund. The next day, around the time she promised, she contacted me to let me know that the full refund was coming through, and it should take about five business days for me to receive it. I was thrilled to have that burden completely lifted from me. I thanked her for her time and everything else she did for me.

I wish this story ended there. Fast forward five business days, and the refund still wasn’t in. I didn’t worry too much about it, thinking it was probably just a little late, thinking surely Airbnb done their part. I checked the app, and I had a message from the host declaring he had denied my refund. Okay, that’s what horrible people do, so let’s find out more. I clicked “view details” under the canceled reservation bar, and it brought to a page that read this:

“Your refund is on its way. We issued a refund of $0.00. While this refund is immediate on our part, you might not see the money reflected in your VISA account until five business days later. Please contact your payment provider for additional information.”

I immediately called customer support again. The representative  apologized and explained that this was a small clerical error, but she had no authority to do anything about it, and that a case manager would have to review it, and get back to me by the end of the day. This never happened.

After a full 24 hours went by, I decided to try and send a message asking for an update. No reply. I called again and explained to a third person why I deserved a refund, and wouldn’t you know, out of pure coincidence a case manager magically replied to my written message, so the rep hung up. This is what I read:

“I finally received a response from your Host, on the reservation in question. However, your Host said that he’s not aware of your refund. Did your Host agree for you to receive a full refund after you cancelled your reservation with him? Awaiting your response. Regards. “

I know it’s not her fault, but I’ve never hated a faceless stranger more in my life. I quickly typed out, and explained to the fourth person why I deserved a refund that had already been promised to me.

“Thank you for letting me know of that information. Let me review the previous tickets on your account and on your Host end for me to confirm everything and also to help me fully understand why you’re requesting for a full refund. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”

Internally I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I still haven’t heard anything else from them.

Airbnb: Worst Customer Service Ever

We booked a 10-bedroom home and paid our deposit. The leasing agency the host employs then called us to pay our rental insurance and pet fees… okay, no problem. I asked her to put the charges on Airbnb like the site says you should and they refused, stating they would need a credit card or my checking account number to pay the fees. They also requested I sign up on another site so we could communicate via their property management site. I refused as well, due to Airbnb’s strict policies about communication. I cannot trust this company and requested a refund. Each person I have spoken with has been horrible. No resolution or communication, just passing the ball to someone else. The worst customer service.

Account Deleted After Guest Used Dodgy Credit Card

I began my journey with Airbnb in November of 2017. I manage an apartment building for my mom – who is the owner – in Accra, Ghana. Everything was going well; I had hosted over 30 guests, became a six-time Superhost with five-star reviews, and all was good in my world. 
  
In April 2018, I received an instant booking with an email confirmation from a new guest for a same-day arrival. I called the number attached to the booking to see when the guest would be arriving. The guest said within an hour. This hour stretched to a five-hour wait.
 
Call it intuition or something, but I went back into my Airbnb account and found that the reservation had disappeared from my inbox. I still had the email confirmation. I immediately called the guest to say I didn’t have a booking for them and that they shouldn’t come. They didn’t complain and just simply hung up. I then messaged Airbnb support to let them know what happened and was told that they had flagged the guest’s account for fraudulent activity. I thought the matter was closed. 
 
About a month later (mind you, it was a quiet month with no bookings) a former guest who had my number contacted me asking if I was still on the platform because she couldn’t find my listings on Airbnb. I started checking and couldn’t find my listings either even though in my hosting dashboard, all looked well.
 
I contacted Airbnb support and my client did as well. The first few contacts were useless with the agents telling me that there was nothing wrong with my account. One week later, nothing was solved and I began to call the helpline. After three separate calls, I found an agent who actually wanted to help. She investigated for about four more days and finally found out that the Airbnb department that deals with fraud and works pretty autonomously sent me an email back in April asking me to confirm my account or my account would be put on hold.
 
I frantically went looking for the email and found it sitting in my spam folder. A follow-up email was never sent. Long story short, after responding to the email, it took a week plus a few more calls to get an email response saying that my account had been activated again and that I should be mindful of the Airbnb Terms and Conditions. 
 
Two weeks after being reactivated, I received a new booking for a same-day arrival. The person who booked said he would be coming from another city the following morning but his cousin and a friend would be arriving that evening. The booking was paid for and there was government ID submitted.
 
The cousin and friend arrived and proceeded to stay for the entire eight-night reservation. The guest who booked never arrived and never returned my phone calls. At the end of the eight-night stay, the cousin said he wanted to extend the stay but this time using his own Airbnb account. I told him to go ahead and make the reservation when they were ready. By this point they had moved out of the apartment.
 
Two nights later, I received a booking request from him on Airbnb. I confirmed it and the reservation was confirmed. I received an email confirming it from Airbnb. I went about my errands and saw an email that came through stating that the reservation was cancelled. Then I received another from that special Airbnb department stating my account had been deactivated for not following the terms and conditions.
 
I called their agent immediately and was told that they were not obliged to tell me why my account was deleted. I sent an email telling them how I came to know the guest and then received another email saying that my account was permanently deactivated and they didn’t have to explain why. 
 
Thanks for reading that. My takeaways from this were:
 
– I was terribly disappointed that a so-called professional company would treat its hosts so poorly.
– There was a new scam being run by guys in West Africa and instead of Airbnb protecting the hosts, they decided to protect themselves and not explain their position.
– If you are a host and receive a same-day booking from someone, please go back in the system and make sure the reservation exists or you will end up the same way I did. 
– Think twice before reporting any dodgy behavior because you may be held liable for it.
 
Now, I shall look for other portals to list my properties on but the financial damage has been felt.

Airbnb Hosting Fail: Lying on Company Time

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I have been trying to cancel a stay for a guest that added to his original date and somehow decided not to pay for the last day, as in he changed his payment method or something. I am still listening to Airbnb’s Muzak. One person hung up on me. Another had such a deep accent I had no idea what he was saying and when I asked him to speak more clearly he blew up. He interrupted me three times as I tried to give the reservation number and proceeded to say I was first person who couldn’t understand him and was unable to move past this. He talked over me. Then he hung up when I told him: “Stop being tangential. Listen to the code so I can cancel.”

Now I am talking to a case manager, on hold so far for 18 minutes just to cancel. Over one hour to cancel someone who had a cancelled card and no replacement. This is one of four issues I think could have been solved quickly if their website wasn’t missing so many options. It won’t let you make changes without calling them, AKA wasting twenty minutes to two hours per call.

They have also “closed” multiple tickets with no follow up. One guest stole my remote controls. They closed that account because she was a junkie, and I couldn’t see it when she checked in, or smoked with the door open. However, I could tell by her and her guy’s appearance and mannerisms that he was on heroin and she was on meth. I cancelled their reservation and Airbnb keeps me on the phone as they “try to contact guests”, who of course, ignored the calls because they are junkies.

They stole remotes, peed in the basement and ruined bedding. Airbnb didn’t do a thing to reimburse me. The junkies gave me a one-star review and since I was new at hosting, soon after I had no say in it; Airbnb closed my account, so I never got paid back.

I started a listing with a new account and the glowing incidents have happened. One guest entered my next door neighbor’s house. We have clearly marked addresses. I asked for a credit for making my neighbors rightfully scared and angry. They “escalated” the case to a person who apparently can’t even write back to say “Sorry, can’t help.” Nothing other than hours of me explaining how mad I was, many times, with no followup.

Next, a family came and ruined some things like a shoe rack and got stains on the bedding. I asked the guest for reimbursement. They didn’t pay and Airbnb is supposed to take this out of their security deposit since I have clear pictures and even them admitting that they broke the shoe rack.

Still, ten days later, nothing but me repeating myself like a parrot to thickly accented robots who all say “Just one moment, bear with me. May I put you on a brief hold?” and other scripted garbage for “I am doing the least I can for you and have no problem ignoring exactly what you’re clearly stating but will instead regurgitate ‘Airbnb policy’ that has nothing to do with anything other than they assign this to a case manager who, again, either deletes their emails/cases or lacks in even flooring up with me, ever.”

Next, they won’t remove bad feedback. I had a guy give me two stars on location because he literally couldn’t follow his GPS and get out of his car when it said you have arrived at the address. Instead he called me “lost” and after six minutes of telling him where to go, he still went to the wrong house (see above) and stayed there until my neighbors opened their door, saw him in their living room, and told him to get the f*** out.

This dumba*** who can’t follow GPS to get to a very easy to find inner city house goes into someone else’s house, and gets to ding me on location, which hurts my ratings. Will they take these rational explanations into account? Lol – hell no. They just say as long as his review doesn’t have boobies.com or mention the Airbnb investigation that’s open or give my address he can say anything he wants and the feedback stays.

Then they say a guest is only to say a location isn’t a five-star one if I lie about where I am. Yet they won’t remove a terrible review from a guy who clearly has severe intoxication or mental health issues. They let a guest say absolute lies – libel is the legal term for written lies – and kept the feedback. I had one first say my walls weren’t finished, when I have sheetrocked walls. Granted they can use new paint, but saying it was an unfinished room with no real walls? Airbnb just lets it slide because the guests didn’t spam their website with feedback.

I really want to sue this company for wasting my time, money and lying about host guarantees. One of the biggest complaints came from a guest who said he was canceled on in Miami twice in a weekend and had to get a $1000 hotel at the last minute instead of the few hundred for his room his host cancelled “because he decided to stay there himself”. After hours of back and forth, Airbnb comped him $150.

They take no ownership in the hassles. They need to be empathetic and therefore I am confident they will be quickly replaced by a more reasonable company with decent policies and good customer service. I hope another company can bury the bad excuses of Airbnb because I have never had so much frustration with a company that says they will do something and then does nothing. I’m trying to cancel all my reservations without penalty and so far haven’t had anyone respond to my request. If you want to sue this immoral company, I am in line for a class action lawsuit.