Stay Away from Airbnb. Avoid at all Costs.

I had to cancel and Airbnb agreed to return 50% of my money. I paid $496.68, and was refunded $149.31 (missing $100), minus their $56 fee that I paid (should have been $248 – $56 = $192). I’m still missing the difference ($100) and they won’t refund me, saying I received the whole refund.

This is a complete scam and they are protected by their own cancellation rules and policies. There are better ways to do business and it’s not with Airbnb. Case managers don’t have the decency to call you and discuss issues with you, only make conclusions based on their notes.

Three weeks have passed and there’s still no refund. I worked with eight case managers over the course of three weeks. It was nothing but a waste of time. I have their emails that clearly state my refund amount.

Now, they have decided to close my account based on their privacy policy and with no explanation. I never swore, or insulted or threatened anyone. The money is already in the host’s pocket. They knew they messed up and wanted to get rid of me. All hope is now lost for my remaining refund.

Airbnb is not professional at all and to be avoided at all costs, no matter if it’s cheaper. It’s not worth the stress and headaches because you will never win. Even if you report them, their policies protect them and you will just waste your time and hard-earned money. They are not there to make your plans easier but simply to protect their hosts and fees. Stay away from Airbnb.

Airbnb Stole $600 from a Loyal Superhost

I’m a Superhost and have a five-star guest rating as well. Recently I had a last minute reservation cancellation due to another guest refusing to leave so I could check in. When I went to book another place I immediately got the same request denial onscreen message, which seemed weird. I made a third attempt and the reservation was accepted.

However, afterwards the second reservation got accepted as well because the request denial message I’d received from Airbnb was a mistake, thus causing a double booking. When the host of the third place refused to “refund” me (before check-in), Airbnb basically shrugged their shoulders and charged me for booking two places at once.

Common sense clearly suggests that a customer with a long history would not do such a thing and that the burden wouldn’ be given to the Superhost/customer, but no. Airbnb’s policies when it comes to such situations are not only bad for customers. They are bad for the company and brand.

Charged for Repairs and Unable to Reach Anyone

Airbnb charged my credit card an unrealistic amount and called it a repair. There was a gas leak in the kitchen when we got there. It smelled like dog urine. An overflowing sink was clogged up when we got there. I had to unclog the drain in the shower myself before I could shower in the unclean shower. It was a nasty and disgusting visit and then I got charged for repairs?

Awful experience. When I called to dispute the charge they beat around the bush and said they could not help me. I asked for a supervisor and customer service immediately said all the supervisors were busy. Really? How do they know? They didn’t even try. After 15 minutes on hold to “find a supervisor” the waiting music stopped and Airbnb customer service hung up on me. This is no way to run a business.

Hot Water Debacle at Airbnb in Mexico

We booked a few nights stay at an Airbnb in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was a new bachelor condo building with a concierge, swimming pool, and even a restaurant. It was around $115/night.

The day we arrived, we each had a quick rinse in the shower after spending a few hours at the beach. By the time my husband had finished rinsing off, the water had turned ice cold. We figured that the water heater probably hadn’t been turned on long enough, as so many residences in Mexico rely on physically turning on a water heater a while before use.

The next day, after adjusting the shower temperature, I was in the middle of washing my hair when the water turned ice cold. I showered as fast as I could and got out. My husband got in and the same thing happened: ice cold after a very short amount of time.

I decided to message the owner to ask if there was a trick to turning on the hot water. The owner responded that the water was regulated and there was only three minutes of hot water every few hours. I immediately got into the shower and timed how long the hot water lasted… 1 minute and 20 seconds. I couldn’t even get the soap out of my hair in that time.

I let the owner know it didn’t even last three minutes but the owner was unwilling to help. I contacted Airbnb about the issue as the regulated water time was not posted in the listing. When I asked about changing locations, they did agree we could find a new property and get a refund on this one. However, we unfortunately were too scared of the repercussions of the owner possibly coming to the building to confront us (or worse) for the loss of income.

Airbnb Host Payments Via Western Union

As a Airbnb host in a country where Airbnb does not deposit into hosts’ accounts, I receive some of my payments via Western Union. This has proved successful; Airbnb sends you an email when payment is made quoting a Western Union reference number. I go into Western Union, quote the number, and collect my cash or cheque.

It was great until last week. Airbnb did not send an email with a reference number. After seven hours online with the support center, they gave me a reference code. Immediately on seeing the code I told them it was not a valid Western Union one. Basically a Western Union code (known as a MTCN) starts with MTCN and is followed by ten numbers (no letters).

They supplied a reference with less than ten digits and mainly letters. I explained this to them and they told me to reach out to Western Union. This cannot be done quite simply because I do not have a valid reference number.

After seven hours of back and forth yesterday, Airbnb stopped responding. I started the support process this morning and eventually received a message saying this support case was closed. I then sent through a query, asking how can it be closed if it is not resolved? To which I received the reply: this support case is closed.

Here I sit wondering how to get my 500 USD (slightly over) and how to feed my family. We host not to earn a little pocket money but as a family income. Basically it is the only income we have, so here I am with over 330 five-star reviews, Superhost status for three years… and penniless. Thanks for caring Airbnb. I care which is why I share.

Beware When Extending Airbnb Bookings

A while back I went home to Australia for a few months and booked an apartment for my stay. The place I wanted wasn’t available for the last week of my stay but I booked it anyway, thinking I could stay somewhere else for the last week.

During my stay, I went onto the listing and found out the next guests had cancelled and I could book that extra week. Great, except when I went to book, that extra week was going to cost me around $3000. The place was less than $100 a night so I thought it was a glitch and got in touch with Airbnb.

What happened was the host had raised the nightly price on the Airbnb site during my stay and Airbnb wanted to charge me the new price for my entire stay. I had to pay the higher price for the period I’d already stayed, not just the extra week.

Luckily, in my case I got in touch with the host who was horrified and happily put in special pricing on his end so I could book the extra week at the original price. However, that isn’t always going to happen and if it hadn’t been such a huge difference in the price, I probably wouldn’t even have noticed. I wanted to post this because it’s something people aren’t aware of and could really screw guests over.

Airbnb Allows Scammers to Disrupt Bookings

I would first like to say I am a loyal Airbnb customer and generally book big ticket houses for reunions and celebrations. I have been unable to resolve a scamming problem with Airbnb’s customer service department so I am asking for assistance in this matter. Let me briefly explain.

In September of 2018, I booked a mansion in Los Olas, Fort Lauderdale for my spouse’s 60th birthday. The check-in date was February 14th, 2019 and when I booked I paid $7002 for those four nights ($1750 per night). I had family flying in from all over the country to celebrate the big day. Less than 24 hours before check in, I got a cancellation notice from the host.

Now, I detest drama but will admit I had a full blown panic attack – 14 people flying in and no place to house them… not my finest hour. I called Airbnb customer support and talked to someone who was doing everything he could to help me find a different property that was on the water and could house 14 people. Unfortunately anything of size was not available even if the website showed it was available. I was reaching out to a few other hosts and they said the property was booked.

I then found out the host I booked with was a scammer because I was able to track down the real owner of the property. Here is the link to the property I booked that still shows the scammer is active.

It was a miracle that the property was available for the four nights I needed but the price was much higher – a little over $10,000. The owner was amazing and sent me a discounted rate of $8938.90 and customer service got Airbnb’s approval for a $1000 credit to help me get it booked that night. I had to pay $8938 out of my pocket and wait for the refund from Airbnb back on my debit card.

When speaking with the real host, he said he had already notified Airbnb about the scammer that was scamming his property and had filed whatever paperwork was required. He also said that he gets a call once a month
from Airbnb customers because of last minute cancellations.

We had a great four days and then I had to travel extensively for business and just got settled back home. I contacted Airbnb customer support this past Friday to settle this scam business and requested to get the additional $936.90 that I was out of pocket due to the scam.

Here is how the math worked:

$8938.90 to book the same property I originally thought I had booked
$7002 Refunded by Airbnb from the original booking
$1000 Credited by Airbnb
$936 Still out of pocket due to fraud

Unfortunately, Airbnb’s customer support team was not able to resolve my request. In addition, the person I worked with refused to escalate the matter which I had requested twice. I also sent links (shown below) of the exact same scammer still active on the platform. I found these in a simple search using a little of the host’s bio.


https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/27017739
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/31087086
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/30860541
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/32592173
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23679105
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23199550

Copied below is the entire communication regarding this matter. I do not feel I should have to pay almost $1000 more because I was scammed on the Airbnb platform.

 

Airbnb:

“After careful consideration, you will not be refunded the additional $936.90. While we recognize this situation with your host from the reservation did inconvenience your stay, $1,000 above the prior reservation total has already been offered for this reservation.

“Your prior agent who handled the refund in February made every effort to increase your refund as much as possible. I do feel the compensation he provided in February was appropriate given the circumstances. Feel free to reach back out with any future questions or concerns. We are here to assist you.”

Me: 

“That is not acceptable to me. Please escalate this issue to your manager. Of course a last minute reservation costs more than one planned months in advance. Airbnb allowed this fraud to happen and I will not be out of pocket because you allow fraud on your website. Please escalate this issue to your manager. I am also sending you links of the scammers other properties that Airbnb currently has up on your website.”

Airbnb:

“I recognize this news is disappointing. I am a case manager addressing this concern currently and have consulted with my team regarding this decision- including my supervisor. We do take issue of accuracy with listings seriously, as it is one of our hosting guidelines. Here are
the hosting standards below:

https://www.airbnb.ca/hospitality

“In regard to how the host and his listing will be handled for this violation, we cannot disclose further how he will be penalized. Only the account holder or an authorized point of contact can discuss the details of his account with us.

“Additionally, we have begun implementing home visits with our hosts who engage in our Plus so that we can prevent issues like this from arising in the future. Booking with Superhosts in the future allows for a decreased likelihood this type of situation occurs in the future. We do apologize for your experience with this host, and we take issues relating to listing accuracy seriously. A further refund has unfortunately been denied for this case.”

Me:

“Please escalate my case as requested or I will reach out to Greg Greeley directly on LinkedIn. It only took me five minutes to find all these other listings from the same scammer so I don’t know why Airbnb does take care of it. Correction – Does NOT take care of it.”

Airbnb:

“What is your desired outcome here?”

Me:

“I originally booked on your platform in September of 2018 for $7002 for 4 nights. Because of the fraud I had to pay $8938.90. Airbnb paid $1000 to help with the new reservation. I am still out of pocket $936.90, which is unfair. I booked and stayed in the same exact house – it is not like I booked
a more expensive or bigger property. Please refund me the extra money I had to pay because of the fraud on Airbnb.”

Airbnb:

“The additional refund has been denied for reasons outlined above. While we recognize this news is disappointing, the decision is final.”

Me:

“I will reach out to Greg Greeley directly then. I’m sure he will not want the negative publicity of knowing how many scammers are on Airbnb. Your refusal to escalate my situation – requested twice – is not the type of customer service I would expect from a platform that is booking big dollar properties.”

Even though I had contacted both Aisling Hassell and Greg Greeley, they just referred me back to the same person I had been dealing with. See the remaining messages from Airbnb.

Airbnb:

“Apologies for not responding sooner, I was out of the office the past two days. Your concerns are being taken seriously and your outreach to Greg Greeley has been noted thoroughly. While we recognize this news is disappointing, a further refund will not be issued for this case. We
will look into the listing of concern, but cannot release the full details of how the host or associated listing will be handled.

“Typically, in rebooking cases, we do strive to maintain the same price range as the initial booking. In instances where further compensation is considered, the determination to cover costs is made at the
time of rebooking.

“Your prior agent did consider this request to cover the additional funding for this booking fully. A decision was made to refund $1,000 of the rebooking amount. A further refund will not be issued and
this decision is final. Every consideration for further refund has been exhausted in this situation and further refund will not
be offered here.”

Me:

I emailed both Aisling Hassell and Greg Greeley this morning. I am awaiting their response before I take further steps.

Airbnb:

“The response you received from me is a response to your concerns. Apologies for any confusion. I am the case manager assigned to your case who the incoming inquiries or concerns are forwarded to. I hope this clears things up.”

Me:

“Are you saying Aisling and Greg referred this matter back to you?”

Airbnb:

“Your concerns and messages to them were referred to me, as I am assisting you with this case. They have been read and considered thoroughly by me in order to continue considering your perspective. I hope that helps clarify things in case there was any confusion.”

Me:

“Okay, good to know. Now when I go public I can add that both of them don’t care about their customers getting scammed and perpetuate fraud on their site. In hindsight you will see this was a bad decision for Airbnb – letting a customer get scammed and then not making them whole. Getting the domain names now.”

Airbnb:

“As a follow up to our conversation, I wanted to provide an outline of the decision we discussed. We will not refund you further for this booking. As explained prior, consideration for costs covered during rebooking occurs at the time of rebooking. Your prior case manager issued you $1,000 for this reservation already. A further refund is outside of policy and will not be considered. Future agents and case managers will uphold this decision, as it is final. Thank you again for your understanding and for your valued time and contribution.”

Me:

“Understood. That being said there is nothing Airbnb can do to stop me from sharing my story everywhere. You ripped me off and I lost almost $1000 because of fraud on your site. You should have owned this problem and made me whole. Now I will do what I have to do. There is no response
needed.”

Airbnb Automated Cancellation Problem

I made a reservation through Airbnb for my upcoming spring break along with my friends and booked it at the start of January. The policy stated two divided payments, but when I checked back on March 11th, five days before the check-in date, it was stated that my reservation was automatically canceled.

I tried calling Airbnb and they said that the second part of my payment didn’t go through, so they tried to reach out to me through my email address. The problem here was that I’ve never received an email regarding this problem. So the first option they offered me was that they were going to contact the host of my reservation and talk with them to refund the first part of the transaction and make me re-reserve the place for the exact same date with same amount of money.

Since it was hard for me to find another place within five days and I didn’t want to lose out the money, I requested they contact the host. However, they came back to me saying that the host already was filled with another guest staying at his/her place so it was hard for the host to give me the refund.

I decided to talk with Airbnb about why their notification wasn’t delivered. They investigated the issue, but later came back to me saying that they sent out the notification. I double-checked all of my emails, but wasn’t able to find any single mail that was sent from Airbnb. I tried to ask them to compensate me for this issue because clearly, I did nothing wrong and I was the one who was going to lose out on approximately a thousand dollars without any clear reasons behind it.

It wasn’t my fault that Airbnb’s notification didn’t reach me, and so I asked them “wasn’t there another way to reach out to me to help make the second payment go through?” All they replied was that all they can offer me is a 100-dollar coupon for my next stay, and they just decided to close this case by themselves.

I was so outraged at their customer service and ended up losing 1000 dollars without doing anything wrong. Is this something normal that happens? Why isn’t Airbnb being responsible for the mistakes that they clearly made?

Airbnb’s Fake Policies Include Not Paying Hosts

I’m currently dealing with a broken air conditioner that cost over $5000. Case closed, no reimbursement from Airbnb. I sent in over 15 minutes of video taken as soon as I walked into the home finding all the destruction.

After 11 days, they finally responded to me. They gave me time to send in the evidence – pictures – to find replacements, and send in the receipts. Fine, but I needed more time for the AC since the repairman came and got here by the deadline.

This is what I learned: if they had offered me anything, any amount of money for reimbursement – maybe two dollars? – I would take it and run. Airbnb does nothing to protect properties whatsoever. I also had six people cancel at the last minute who were not entitled to any refund under my strict cancellation policy. Every single one of them made up some story and received a 100% refund.

One girl didn’t receive a refund because I refuse to “authorize“ it. She didn’t deserve it and it would be filing my cancellation policy I protested. The next day Airbnb cancelled the guest whom I had been looking forward to meeting and had a $1001 payout. They cancelled her reservation and told her I canceled it. She got a new place to stay and I completely screwed.

I’m only posting this summer, have received rave reviews from every single guest that stayed here, and I’m currently out over $6000. I counted I bought new towels, sheets, a portable air conditioner, fans, counting on $7000 and payouts that were anticipated due to bookings when I started. I received less than $3000 payout and now, I’ll be lucky if I get $3500.

Airbnb restricted my account weeks ago, because a guest falsely claimed I had a security camera in order to get his refund equal to 100% of the original payment. Ridiculous.

I wish I never did business with Airbnb; they are crooks, and they lie. I’m moving to VRBO.

Hosts: Beware of Airbnb’s fake policies. They will not do what is your best interest even if it goes against their policies. Airbnb caters to the guests, which in my case cost me over $6000.