I’m ready to pull my hair out after this Airbnb

I made a reservation for a long-term stay near Portland, Oregon. We then decided to extend the stay, and I talked with Airbnb representatives, to be sure that nothing bad would happen or they would try to charge me more money at once. We already paid the first month with fees and cleaning charges.

I was sent a “request for alteration” by Airbnb, with the new amount and a payment schedule. Then later on the next day, I received a receipt for the extended reservation, and it was a completely different payment schedule with large amounts on each month, rather than the evenly spaced amounts for the installments.

It’s been two weeks now trying to straighten this out, and they are driving me crazy. The people I talk to either don’t care or read from a script: the same things over and over. Then I was told it would go to a “supervisor,” which is a “case manager,” and still I heard nothing.

Finally, two days ago, they said it should go to the “payment” team, and I would hear from them shortly. Nothing. I’m going out of my mind with these idiots.

Worthless Response from Airbnb Customer Service

My experience with Airbnb has been less than pleasant. Let me first state that I do not have an account with Airbnb, not as a host or guest. However, charges were recently made on my card from the company. Calling the number or contacting them via email was essentially fruitless since they were requiring your Airbnb account info to log in.

My wife has an account (which my card and bank info is not associated with – we double checked) so she contacted them for me. She gave the info that was requested and was told not much could be done since the charge was still pending. An email was sent by Airbnb stating that our concern was being “escalated”.

After three days of waiting, the charge (roughly $950) cleared my bank and an additional transaction, a deposit (roughly $266) by Airbnb, had appeared on my statement. After searching for a phone number on the site, which I couldn’t easily find, I Googled ‘Airbnb number’. Calling the number gave the same automated login request for Airbnb clients – again, I am not.

No option was explicitly given to actually talk to someone. However, I did figure out that pressing 0 would direct you to someone. Once again, I was given the same scripted response of providing the same info, being told that my concern was “escalated”, and that I’d receive an email.

After the call ended I went to my bank to see if they could give me any info about what was going on. The bank associate didn’t have any additional info but offered to see if they could make any headway with Airbnb. After the bank associate made initial contact, the Airbnb representative requested to speak with me and once again started going through the same script. I explained I had already been through this.

At this point I became perceptibly irritated after three days of requesting info of fraudulent charges made on my bank account through Airbnb. I explicitly requested to speak with someone in the security department but was denied. In the end I had to dispute the charges with my bank and terminate my card so a new one could be issued.

Later I received an email stating the $950 had been refunded and that they suggest I “work with my bank to secure my card. If I’ve already filed a dispute with my bank they kindly ask that I cancel it.”

What? Airbnb was given three days to look into this and didn’t take any action, especially any “escalated” action, until I became irritated. For three days my account was possibly compromised and vulnerable. After Airbnb’s inaction I was forced to dispute the charges with my bank and they sent me an email stating they were refunding the money. However, if I disputed the charge with my bank, please cancel it?

How does a company operate like this? Lack of any clear contact info on the webpage. Little help from customer service when contact is made, only a scripted response. Why not just put that in a recording? That’s as helpful as my experience was. Why was it impossible for Airbnb to put me in contact with someone from their security department? It would seem that would be a priority when fraudulent charges are being made through any company. A huge failure on Airbnb’s part. Don’t expect much help if there is an issue, especially if you don’t have an account with them.

Airbnb Giving False Tax Advice to Hosts

The matter first began when Airbnb froze payment on my account. I opened a simple ticket to inquire why. First Airbnb said I had to fill out a US tax account form. This was false, as I am in Canada. I spent time and money trying to resolve the matter based on this false tax advice.

Next Airbnb said I needed to become a business and provide my business details. Again, I investigated; this was also false.

Lastly it was a simple matter unrelated to what Airbnb support told me. I then asked to escalate this horrible matter when I was given blatantly false information and to be given a chance to provide feedback on the specific conversation. After wasting my time telling me they’re working on it behind the scenes but can’t talk to me about my own ticket, they had the audacity to tell me I was making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

Because of how poorly this has been handled I feel very unsafe hosting on Airbnb. Moreover, I have not received any confirmation from Airbnb on what they did wrong. They are sending me cookie cutter generic responses that don’t relate to my issue.

I have an outstanding case with Airbnb. They refuse to give me a ticket number so I can reference our conversation. They have been most unprofessional and unhelpful and keep trying to close the ticket without resolving anything.

Egregious Charges After Airbnb Stay in LA

We booked a lovely looking house in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Upon arrival, it was very clear the house was not as advertised. Photos were very misleading but worse than this, the house was filthy.

I contacted the owner and we actually resolved the issue quickly. He agreed to refund us the days we did not stay and he did not charge us a cleaning fee (we ended up spending two nights there as we tried to resolve the issue). Airbnb was really responsive and my initial reaction was that their service was great.

That’s when it started to go wrong. I was charged over $600 for two nights in a house that I agreed to pay $152/night. I spent the next four days calling and emailing Airbnb, consistently told by customers service reps that they were going to call me back or get someone to call me back. I emailed them repeatedly asking for an itemized list of charges and asking why I was charged. I was ignored.

I finally got them back on the phone and was on hold for an hour and a half until the case manager and I spoke and she agreed to review the case. They refunded me $101, which still had me paying over $500 for a filthy house that was $152/night. The itemized list included a $191 VAT charge because I live in New Zealand. She also said I must have paid with an NZ card and that’s why I accured a VAT charge when I had not in the past.

I’m American and a California resident; I paid with my American bank card. Additionally, and more damning, Airbnb does not mention New Zealand in the list of countries that are charged VAT – the countries that do get charged VAT are on their website.

When I posted the words from the site directly and asked for the justification of the charges the case was closed on me without response. I’m now on hold as I write this review – it will probably be over an hour – insisting that I speak to someone who can help me and have them explain why I was charged VAT for NZ when its not listed on their site or get my $200 back. As it is, I’ll be using VRBO from now on.

Creepy London Accommodation Above Indian Restaurant

I am basically a new user of Airbnb and beginning to have trust in their booking system. This is my fourth booking. I would like to bring to your attention what I experienced. I have no issue for Kuala Lumpur, Paris and Manchester. However, Airbnb in London was the nightmare which almost cost me my holiday.

It was a Europe and UK adventure which started in Paris. I stayed using Airbnb for five days (December 16-20). Continuing the journey to Manchester, I trusted Airbnb (December 20-22) then went down to London (December 22-29) via Airbnb too.

My nightmare started when I booked a place in Hammersmith (London). The whole family was moody when we checked into the Airbnb The place was old and gloomy: creaky floor panels, faulty locks, and lighting. The pots and utensils were dirty. Just imagine bringing a family to London and checking into this old creepy house. Even the backyard balcony made me shiver.

You may not understand the feeling until you have to experience it yourself. Even reaching Tesco was a big problem. We were hardly in the mood to eat at night after having to walk for 25 minutes to the nearest Tesco at Hammersmith Station on a cold winter night with young children. The description in the listing was deceiving.

As it was getting dark and everyone was moody and tired, we reluctantly stayed for the night. The following morning, we called Airbnb and relayed our concerns. We were answered by one of their case managers. We told her about our uncomfortable stay here in the apartment and that we were planning to move out and book another apartment.

She was helpful and I also told her about the next Airbnb host who didn’t respond. She tried calling but up until noon there was no reply. She managed to cancel the booking while we looked for another apartment.

We manage to secure a place in Shoreditch. She advised us to forward all the photos of the apartment in Hammersmith, which I left in the message section before she went on leave. We stayed at the place in Shoreditch from Decemeber 23-28. It was a nice duplex apartment near town.

When we came back home to Singapore, there was still no reply from Airbnb. She wrote that she would be on leave during the holidays. When we checked the Airbnb messages, the case was closed and resolved. To our dismay, there was no follow up from her.

We had to call the Airbnb team and explain the whole story again. We were guided on how we could click on the “Request Refund” option. We had to wait for the host to respond within 72 hours. The weekend passed, and the host did not respond.

We called into Airbnb and were guided to click on the “Involve Airbnb” option. It was too much hassle. After a frantic nightmare in London, we had to go through the process again. A case manager contacted us via email asking for details. It’s really frustrating having to attach photos again and again. After reviewing them, he claimed we were not entitled for a refund following the terms and conditions.

I guess he wasn’t tactful in addressing the case. If you put yourself in our shoes – staying in a foreign land where the house is not in a liveable condition; no lifts, faulty locks, dirty and old premises, and heating elements and lights not working – what would you do? Bearing in mind the mood of the holidays were all down because of this apartment?

We were not cancelling for fun. We paid for it; however, the apartment turned out otherwise. Airbnb should somehow provide exceptions for this kind of case. We are traveling with a family of five with young children. Safety, comfortability and convenience are definitely our top priority. Airbnb management should take this into consideration and carefully weigh the resolutions, not bluntly say ”no”.

Bear in mind we stayed straight from December 15-28 using Airbnb. We had no problems with our previous bookings before the exception with this property in Hammersmith. Airbnb should pay a site visit to understand more of what I meant. I recommend the listing be taken down until they fix up their filthy apartment. This doesn’t only tarnish the image of London on the whole but Airbnb as the agent to promote such homes.

On a personal note, I am beginning to trust Airbnb more since my last holiday went quite smoothly with the exception of London’s accommodation. This is just my sincere feedback as I do not wish to see other travelers share the same fate as me.

Airbnb Quick to Charge, Slow to Refund

I currently live in Australia and made a booking for a property in Somerset West, South Africa From September 28 to October 12, 2018. I paid 50% of the total booking fee, but a month before the check-in date I was informed by the host (who appears to be living in Sydney) that he had to cancel the booking as he was in a dispute with his Body Corporate about using this property for Airbnb accommodation.

I immediately took this up with Airbnb and in the meantime I hastily looked for alternative accommodations for our family reunion, rebooked, and paid the fees as required (again through Airbnb). A few days later Airbnb advised me that they had difficulties in cancelling the reservation – something which I truly do not understand. I was assured, however, that they are looking into my case and that the matter will soon be resolved.

Since then I have had four different caseworkers, made numerous phone calls during which I was promised quick action, received generic emails expressing their sympathies and apologies for the inconvenience caused to me, was given a false promise that my refund was processed, received notification that my case was closed, was ignored for weeks on end, and have yet to see my refund…

I am at my wits’ end in dealing with Airbnb. This huge company is so unapproachable and seems to not care one bit about small fish like me. It has cost me way too much time and energy trying to receive fair and just treatment and on top of that it has caused me a great deal of stress. It feels to me that the whole issue is drawn out deliberately to try and force me to just abandon my hopes of receiving my refund. Any ideas how to proceed further will be most welcome.

Fatal Fall from Airbnb Illegal Hotel

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On October 28th, 2018, my son was a guest in a New Orleans Airbnb. He was only there for a few hours after work and before another early morning shift as a chef at Commander’s Palace. It’s been two months and the NOPD are still “investigating” his unexplainable fall through a solid 3’x 4’ window positioned over a sofa.

In my attempts to contact Airbnb, they offered their sorrow that since our son was not the one who rented the room there was nothing they could do. They did offer to cancel any future bookings so he did not get charged for future trips.

I explained that, along with endless questions and frustrations, I expected to get my son’s possessions that were left in the room. Airbnb stated that they could not require the host to get in touch with me. Apparently I put some pressure on him and suddenly the other guest later returned my son’s phone, shoes and shirt. I’m still asking for my son’s backpack and chef’s knife kit, which he took to and from work every day.

Airbnb “closed their case with me” after asking me four times if the host had contacted me, which he hadn’t. I messaged the host on Facebook messenger and then called the host on his Facebook messenger app. Nada. The host had five listings on Airbnb that I found and now I see that four of them have been removed. I reached out again to Airbnb yesterday via Twitter and they said they were “escalating the case” (which I heard before they closed it last time), which have not heard from Airbnb.

These photos show the mysteriously single pane window in a building renovated in 2011 after the for windows requires hurricane-proof glass.

Poorly Managed Safety from Airbnb Corporate

My story is how poorly Airbnb as an organization is run and how dangerous it is for hosts and guests. I have been an Airbnb host for the past two plus years. I have about 15 listings of homes in Los Angeles.

I was very excited to join Airbnb up until last night. Yesterday I had a booking from a guest who threw a huge party with over 80 guests. The house is ransacked but the most troubling part was I almost got hurt by these individuals. The police were called several times last night.

There was a young girl carried out unconscious from my home in a hurry by these partygoers. I called Airbnb several times but only got a call back from a safety person who barely spoke English and made it a more frustrating experience.

I sent several emails. I called and asked for a supervisor but no one called back. I messaged an individual who said he was a supervisor from Airbnb at least 20 times if not more to get the person to call me. Another customer service person advised me that per Airbnb policy a senior management person never gets on a call or deals with an issue. This truly surprised me: that a company of this magnitude is not involved in such a serious incident.

From my experience I find that reply to be negligent and unacceptable. I just emailed their top management to see if they would care, waiting for a reply. While this happened at my property I had other guests, an older family that was staying in the same building who happened to be hosts in Vegas. They shared similar stories.

I feel our story, including possibly the footage my camera captured, might be an opportunity for other people looking to get into this business or thinking about renting an Airbnb. Or possibly getting more serious rules and responsibilities placed on these booking sites to make sure this does not happen to others.

Airbnb Customer Service Doesn’t Care

I am sending this to share the unhelpful service that I received from Airbnb customer service in resolving my issue of getting credited to use the funds for another booking. I had to speak to multiple people over the course of the day attempting to solve my issue. Even though each person that I spoke to took notes on my case, I had to explain my case each time I called or got transferred.

After explaining my case to each new person, they asked me to give them an hour or another amount of time and my issue would be resolved. I would wait the requested time amount and not have my issue resolved. Therefore, I would have to call back and begin the process of explaining myself to someone new and start the process of being asked to wait again.

The issue was not waiting within itself, but after waiting each time being told that the person I would need to speak to is no longer available became very frustrating. Today alone, I have spent almost three hours attempting to get my issue resolved- which has yet to happen. Customer service tells me “I understand.” However, the response is always “I will put in the notes and someone will message you soon.”

Unfortunately, “soon” appears to never come because I know if I did not call back and ask to speak to someone I would have waited for days and not had a place to stay in the coming days. In all situations, I attempt to be understanding of both ends; however, the chain of command that Airbnb has established is not beneficial to their customers. My issue has yet to be resolved and my trip is three days away.

After Cancellation, Never Again Airbnb

I have had misleading and conflicting responses from Airbnb support since I cancelled a booking I made for an Airbnb listed property in South Hobart, Tasmania in late August this year.

The cancellation was made in early December, due to non availability of a stove for cooking; I only became aware of this just before I cancelled. This included amenities, pots and pans. Why would these be needed if there was no stove?

I should have checked more carefully before making the booking, but the inference I got from the pots and pans, led me to believe there was a stove, I believe this to be false or misleading advertising. We were supposed to be staying for ten nights and cannot afford to be eating out for every meal; we also prefer the option of home cooked meals occasionally.

This host has a strict (with grace) cancellation policy which means you only get 50% of the accommodation costs refunded if you cancel before 48 hours of booking and seven days before arrival. I paid $768 (AUD) as part payment, Airbnb has now concluded, after I escalated this matter through one of their “case managers”, that I will receive $177.81 refund, which is three nights’ accommodation (which they state was graciously agreed to by the host since he has now received a booking for three nights of the period I originally had booked).

My understanding of the strict cancellation policy is that I should be entitled to a 50% refund of the accommodation payment I made, of $592.65 + $175.40 Airbnb service fee. (Airbnb has refunded 30% of the accommodation fee ($177.81 (not $296.32 which is 50%) and they kindly retain the service fee.

I responded to the Airbnb “case manager’s” communication regarding the refund that they were arranging, as I did not agree with their conclusions. I asked for an explanation regarding the pots and pans inferences in the kitchen facilities as I thought this to be misleading, and asked for proper refund according to the cancellation policy.

Airbnb has now marked the case as closed and have not responded to my message. If anyone can offer some advice on pursuing this matter further with any regulatory authority or otherwise I would be most grateful as I have not been able to find anything suitable to date in Australia.