Airbnb Took my Money and Gave no Refund

My friends and I needed a last minute apartment that we could spend the night in as we were going out of town. I found a very good apartment that was near the city centre and was available for the night we needed. I booked the apartment and the money got taken from my bank. Then the host messaged me saying that the apartment was now unavailable. This now left us with nowhere to stay and down £125. The host said to contact Airbnb for a refund. However, I am finding that their customer service is awful and the number I am ringing doesn’t recognise my booking. When I message them, they’re very unhelpful. It’s becoming very frustrating as I just want my money back.

We are not Alone in our Airbnb Complaints

As I have read on numerous posts on your site, we are not alone. Airbnb is annoyingly uncooperative in providing a refund based on two reservations. However, in this post, I will only discuss the first one. A reservation was made in error. In order to correct the situation, I reached out to customer service and had the agent told me that we would lose the bulk of the deposit, I would have never agreed to cancel the reservation. The excuse, repeated again and again from the agent, to the case manager, to the supervisor, is that’s the policy and they can’t do anything to help, no exception, not even a goodwill gesture. Now, we’re out of pocket for more than $1000 CAN.

Refund Madness Leaves me with Nothing

I have been struggling to get my refund from Airbnb for a month now. I contacted the host after I booked and explained how I had to cancel my reservation. He told me that I would be entitled to my full refund and that it would take up to 15 days to receive it. I patiently waited and it never came.

I then contracted Airbnb and was told I had to contact the host to get my refund. I contacted the host and he told me he had done his part; it was now up to Airbnb. This has become a joke. All Airbnb keeps telling me is the cancellation policy.

I have canceled within the policy rules and I am entitled to my refund. The host has agreed to give me my refund but I don’t understand what the heck Airbnb is doing. Do they enjoy stealing from people? This is a nightmare. I would never recommend this site to anyone.

Unverified Property Leads to Nearly Ruined Trip

I have been an Airbnb Host and also a guest so my recent experience took me by surprise. I booked a rental in a resort town in Canada, found a perfect location, had four beds (for four adults) and saw it was reasonably priced. I paid my 50% with my Amex Platinum card rather than using Paypal, which I have used in the past. I also sent a note to the owner.

After the Easter holiday weekend, my husband asked if he should cancel the hotel he had booked and I said that I had booked the Airbnb a few days ago. I went to check and there was no reservation, nothing in our upcoming trips or the like. I couldn’t find any messages either on the site or in my email so I was very puzzled.

I finally decided to call Airbnb and while I was looking for contact info on the “contact us” page, I saw a picture of the property with a message that said “did not pass verification”. What the heck? Why wouldn’t I have seen something online or received a message about this? And what verification?

I called customer support and the agent said she couldn’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be verified and sometimes “mistakes happen” in their system. She sent my issue to another group and a case manager reached out to me this morning. After several exchanges of messages (after he said it was a system error on their end) he asked how many times I had submitted payment.

Well, only once and it seemed to have gone through; there were no error messages. I explained that my Amex Platinum card would not have rejected anything and have since checked; they did not reject anything.

The case manager said “I am leaving in 15 minutes” and asked me to call back with the number I started with yesterday. After being on hold, the agent said she would transfer me back to have a live conversation in the same department that I had been messaging with and then she disconnected me. I have not received any call back.

Now, the property is booked, we cannot find another one that fits our needs and I am seething. I would have been able to respond and fix the situation if I had been notified, but even the agent was at a loss why we couldn’t see this message except the one buried in in the contact us section. Fortunately, we have found two guest rooms in another place through but I would like Airbnb to admit to its mistakes (they sometimes make per the agent) and provide some restitution.

When an Airbnb Host is not an Airbnb Host

About two weeks ago we were paid a visit by a gentleman knocking on our door asking for “Richard”. My wife answered and told him there was no “Richard at this address”. The man seemed confused. He was sure he had the correct address and rechecked his Airbnb app. His intentions were to stay at our home for three nights.

“Sorry, we don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He then showed us photos of our house. Surprise, surprise… we had all been scammed. Whoever had set up the fictitious Airbnb account had swiped photos of our home off of VRBO and populated them into the made-up account. Fortunately, the potential lodger had a daughter in town and was going to flop on her couch.

He did call “Richard” on the supplied phone number but the person on the other line hung up abruptly. We obviously encouraged him to call Airbnb to straighten things out. We also notified Airbnb. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears.

We thankfully got some of the information from the poor guy who was left stranded: his confirmation number, etc. We decided to research the information we saw online. The host’s photo had been swiped off a site for cochlear implants, and the cell number belonged to a guy in upstate Wisconsin.

We blocked our caller ID and spoke with him. He said he had been getting calls for the last couple of days and stopped answering the phone. I was sort of surprised that he picked up our call. My wife still thinks he may have been the perpetrator but he sounded somewhat surprised.

Meanwhile, the associates at Airbnb kept telling us someone would call us back… crickets, nada, zip. We called again the next day and the next day after that. No returned calls. All we ever heard was that they would mark our ticket as “URGENT” and call us back… yeah, right.

We also tried contacting Airbnb via their website. There was some back and forth which ended up as a short thread that was eventually moved to email. Once it got moved, the Airbnb contact names would change with every explanation.

A couple of days went by and lo and behold what do you think happened? That’s right, we got another visitor, a couple actually. They too had been bamboozled by this scam but did they get a call from Airbnb with a heads-up? Apparently not.

We continued our calls for the next several days. I also CC’d two Airbnb executives in my emails along with the various associates they assigned to us. Still, no courtesy call or explanation. They’re up for an IPO I hear. I wish them luck. With this type of non-customer service, I will not be indulging in any of their stock. I also canceled my Airbnb account. Has this happened to any other poor souls out there?

How Airbnb Punishes Hosts for Cancellations and Otherwise

Hello hosts, has anyone else noticed how your ranking (listing rank on searches) dumps when you or Airbnb make any kind of cancellation Declining inquiries seem to be second on the list of items affecting ranking.

I was told by Airbnb reps (4-5) that there would be no “punishment for cancellations” if I called Airbnb customer service and they made the cancellation due to a guest that was not a fit for my cabin. These included smokers, pets, oversized groups, guests wanting events, guests wanting to film movies on the property, etc.

Has anyone also noticed a severe decrease in customer support (now called customer experience) on Airbnb since 2019? Do you get the “I am sick or leaving the office for two days and will call you back then” line over and over? Then they send a message a week or two later asking to close the case… with no efforts to help on the issue… or any kind of acknowledgement of the questions or exact issue you asked? Please let me know. I need to know it is not just me feeling more negative about Airbnb.

No Results from Airbnb Online Customer Service?

Most of the complaints from Airbnb guests are about dirty conditions. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way. While the reviews might give five stars for cleanliness, perhaps some of those stars come from people who are not so clean; anything tidier than their own personal environment is indeed clean.

I rented from a “naturalist” in Las Vegas. His clean factor was rated high and the pictures boasted of this modern home in immaculate condition. I, of course, jumped right on it. He also listed the place as a serene and peaceful environment.

When I arrived, there were about 20 people in the house for a photo shoot that I was not made aware of. The music could be heard from the road. Not serene nor peaceful.

To top it off the bathroom was filthy. The sink had mold around the stopper, the shower had a significant amount of mildew, and there was hair all over the bathroom floor. They blamed the people from the shoot. Well, mold and mildew takes longer than half a day to grow; they were just making excuses.

Regardless of any of it, it was the host’s responsibility to provide a clean room. He should have blocked the room or put up a “do not enter” sign. I asked for a partial refund, which I thought was fair. He obliged and said he was sorry and wished me the best. However, he then posted a review full of half-truths, ad hominem attacks, and blatant lies.

I reported this to Airbnb and provided actual photo evidence of where he contradicted himself and of the room conditions. They did absolutely nothing and totally dismissed it. I then filed a complaint with the BBB, the reason being a lack of resolution. I was given a reply a week later from another department at Airbnb and given a full refund. I didn’t even ask for a refund from Airbnb – I requested that the host be flagged.

If you want to get Airbnb’s attention or have someone with some sense of how a business model should be run, go higher. It is worth mentioning that the background check Airbnb does is only a criminal check. Criminal background checks only prove whether or not a crook got caught… basically useless.

This is one of the ways Airbnb slips through loopholes and escapes liability when people get scammed. Ask guests and hosts questions regarding what kind of cleaning products they use or what the turnover is, and if they don’t answer or don’t want to be bothered, it’s a red flag.

As far as hosts, I think they should be made to prove they have proper licensing to do short-term rentals, proof of ownership of property, or an agreement between the owner and the tenant to use the property for Airbnb. It seems like this would keep everyone safe. This would undoubtedly damage their profits… so perhaps that’s why it’s not happening.

Three Bookings in, Airbnb will not Pay its Hosts

We have had three reservations with Airbnb that we just started a couple months ago and it has been a nightmare. We hosted a family on March 27th. In the past they usually posted the deposits to our accounts on a certain date, but as of today, we still have not received payment.

I have called numerous times with no resolutions being made. The first lady from Airbnb customer service (on April 2nd) said they had a “glitch” in their system and said it would be a few days. On April 13th, a gentleman could not figure it out still and agreed it was “ridiculous”. I just called and they won’t even talk to me because they now know that I record all my calls… kind of hypocritical that they can record but I can’t. They know they are in the wrong and don’t want to admit to it over the phone anymore.

Don’t use Airbnb as a host or guest. They should not collect money and refuse to pay the hosts. These are our five-star customer reviews:

A truly relaxing, inviting, and notable experience.

The only other review before this one is:

Quaint Midwest home with a perfect overlook of Broken Bow. Wonderfully remodeled with never ending stories throughout the entire home. The hostess was incredible and super kind to our children. Large spaces for evening get-togethers and great kitchen area for shared meals. For anyone looking for a memorable experience during their Custer County stay, this is the place for you.

We have multiple listing with VRBO and never had problems. We had three with Airbnb that we just started a couple months ago and it has been a nightmare.