Airbnb Can’t Stay up to Date on Tax Laws

Recently I was contacted by the County of Marin, stating that I owed $2,400 due to Airbnb paying the wrong amount of Transient Occupancy taxes. I was notified by the county after one year, so the mistake was very expensive.

I contacted Airbnb approximately three weeks ago, and I still have not heard back. I have called numerous times. They promise to call back within 24-48 hours but they never do. I spoke with a supervisor who said he would call back within 24 hours, but no success.

I keep getting reservations, and they still are still charging the wrong amount. I have asked at “a minimum” to please change it to the correct amount, which they have verified to be accurate on their end, and they tell me someone from “the appropriate department” will contact me. This never happens.

This is only one example of the horrible customer service received by hosts. I recommend that everyone boycott Airbnb, and go to VRBO. That is the only way this monopoly will learn how to treat their customers with respect. Absolutely horrible customer service.

Payment for Extra Guest was Never Released to me

Airbnb let a guest stay in my home on December 21st. Come the 22nd after they checked out I didn’t get the payment deposited into my PayPal account. After trying in numerous different ways to talk to someone, I was told that the guest paid the majority of the fee, but when the guest altered the stay for more people they didn’t pay the extra $30.

Airbnb allowed them to stay in my home but refused to pay me my money. It’s been 14 days and I keep getting told someone is working on it and they will get a hold of me but no one has. When I ask to speak to someone above them they say they don’t have that information for me.

Somebody in Airbnb Development should be Fired

I am three days into a four-month trip to Peru. This is with three reservations via Airbnb of one, one, and two months. For whatever reason (I entered a wrong password, am trying to sign-in from Peru, am using my new laptop) the Airbnb site is asking in a pop-up to send me a verification code.

It offers just two options: in a text message to my phone or in a call to my phone. My phone does not work in Peru so I have no way to receive the verification code. I have called the toll-free number a couple times now. The wait time has been short and the person on the other end appears to be trying to be helpful but today I was told it was given to a case worker and there were none available. BS?

I suggested there was a bug in the website in that it was only showing those two unworkable options. She said there was no bug. BS? I suggested that if that was by design that a traveler was required to carry a US-working phone with them when traveling (and there was no way for the help center to intervene) then that was a very bad design and that designer should be fired.

Everybody I’ve talked to in the help center seems to agree this is stupid but nobody can do anything about it. Airbnb needs to get some better developers.

No Hell until you’ve Dealt with Airbnb Customer Service

You have not been to hell until you’ve dealt with Airbnb customer service. My ongoing nightmare began on November 18th, 2019. It was a dark and stormy night. In a brick brownstone in Portsmouth, I started my fight with Airbnb over the new Massachusetts short-term rental law.

Under the new law there are a few exemptions, one being about bed ‘n breakfast and timeshares. Bonus, right? Well, what I thought would be easy became very stressful in nature. I contacted their wonderful support team, mentioning that I am tax exempt under the short-term rental law and asking them to please make all of my timeshare listings a zero exemption.

Thinking the elves in the Airbnb workshop would work some magic on my behalf, I waited patiently for a response. Airbnb sent an email stating every rental owner is required to sign up. The next morning I called the government to verify, that I am indeed, tax exempt. “Yes, you’re tax exempt and just a heads up – we had many meetings with Airbnb and they’re required to have a drop down menu for tax exemptions on the site.”

Great news. I called Airbnb back to see what the customer service elves could do. The next email I got from Airbnb stated this was a voluntary law and you will see below, the actual response from the Regulations Department at Airbnb.

I work on a specialized team here at Airbnb. Thanks for reaching out about our collection and remittance of local transient taxes in Massachusetts. I understand you would like your listing to be exempt from taxes during reservations on our platform, because it is a timeshare.

As you are aware, Airbnb entered into a voluntary collection agreement with the local tax collector. We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction, with the total combined reservation revenue. This means that all hosts located in your area will be represented by one remitted amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return. Regrettably, hosts at this time are unable to opt-out of automatic tax collection (collection & remittance feature).

For more information, please review our Help Center article. Your local tax office can share more information about the Voluntary Collection Agreement with Airbnb and how this process may affect your tax reporting and/or collection. For example, some areas request that hosts fill out worksheets indicating the amount that has been paid on their behalf. If you have additional questions regarding policies in your area, we recommend reaching out to a local tax professional or your local tax authority.

In short, I will say, to this day, I continue to fight for myself and the others out there who are suffering from Airbnb Hell.

Airbnb is a Scam to Guests as well as Hosts

Airbnb supposedly gives you the opportunity of choosing a cancellation policy when you list your property. I have chosen a strict cancellation policy. A woman booked my apartment in Cap Cana three months ago for Christmas and New Years, a 14-day stay. I gave her a discount price for the two-week stay.

Six days before checking in, I received a message from Airbnb stating that they cancelled her reservation and fully refunded the client due to extenuating circumstances. Apparently the client lives in Venezuela and one of the guests needed a visa to visit Dominican Republic.

First of all, I did not know that the guest was coming from Venezuela since in her verified information she said that she lives in Miami. Secondly I never receive any call nor was contacted by Airbnb staff before they decided unilaterally to cancel and full refund her.

They said that she provided evidence to them. Airbnb had her rental money for three months and then cancelled and left me without any rental in the high season. They did not try to help at all. They even lied when confronted, saying that they contacted me, which was not true. If we were the ones cancelling in order to forfeit the penalty under extenuating circumstances we would have to have a lot of paperwork in order for them to consider it.

I asked them to reconsider. They rejected my plead. I asked them to at least give us a partial refund, but they did not. Airbnb does not consider hosts; they do not care about us at all. It seems they do not realize that without our properties they are just a mere application. Their customer service is the worst. They charge a fee for nothing.

Cancellation Due to Failure of Second Payment

I want to make a complaint about my booking. The reservation was cancelled as the second payment failed. This experience and the service quality of Airbnb were disappointing. First, Airbnb didn’t try their best to contact me about the failure of my second payment. I did change the payment method but it seems that Airbnb was willing to see the failure happen and then ask to change the payment method instead.

Anyway, Airbnb didn’t do everything they could to contact us about any emergency. The only way they can is by sending email, no matter how serious the case it is. They should call you or send an SMS. Second, I do hope that Airbnb will show some pleasant customer service as they collect commission from us. However, they won’t admit they have flaws and only reply about their policy.

Airbnb didn’t help me with anything on my trip. As for agents, they won’t help you find an alternative solution. All you can do is to talk to the host or find hotels on other platforms.

I was hoping that Airbnb would have admitted that they had not tried their best to contact me and would refund or compensate me for my loss. This was a very naive thought. They are not real travel agents. They earn profits on your mistakes, carelessness and misfortune. They earn commissions by just providing a platform, not service.

All we need to know is to pay extra attention when using such a platform. They are irresponsible. Although there are many hosts doing great, many travelers have a terrible experience there. Airbnb won’t admit anything or improve upon it.

The Worst Airbnb Customer Service Experience

Hey everyone, here is my story. We’ve been using Airbnb for two years and rented about 15 places around the world. The big issue came on our last reservation in Hawaii that we booked seven months in advance. We made a booking on July 30, 2019 for our stay for January 17-24, 2020.

On August 1st, the state of Hawaii had a bill passed that prevents short-term rentals to rent with no license for less than 30 days. It’s becoming a common practice around the US and the world. However, our host waited until the last minute to cancel on us and advised that their listing on Airbnb was flagged by local authorities, who advised them if they kept renting illegally they would get fined a lot of money.

While I appreciate the host’s honesty, I don’t appreciate that host was well informed about the upcoming laws and technically was running their own business illegally while Airbnb was paid – also illegally. The host cancelled four weeks before our check in. I reached out to Airbnb and they advised us that they don’t have any responsibility at all regarding local regulations; it’s up to the host to decide if they want to do business legally or illegally.

We decided to re-book a similar place but it was more costly since we only have four weeks left before check in. According to the bill, any short-term rental agent must provide their license or advise the customer if the property is listed legally. When I asked this question to my new host, the host ignored me and kept silent. I followed up on the next day asking the same question. The host then reached out, saying that they wouldn’t rent this place to us and wished me good luck. With a strict cancellation policy allowing no refund and refusing to cancel the reservation, this host told us we had to cancel. Well, this sounded like a scam to us.

We reached out to Airbnb with this situation and they also refused to do anything on their part. After multiple hours of calling them and asking for a manger they rudely advised us that they were denying my request to talk to a manager and we on our own. My first thought was, “Wow, we just got scammed by Airbnb in real life.”

Within twenty minutes of this disaster, the manager called me. I explained the situation to him, then he told me that he would reach out the host for clarification. Ten minutes later, the reservation was cancelled with a full refund that we still have not received. We were quite shocked about what actually happened and we probably would never use Airbnb anymore. We actually did some research and ended up booking a better option with a hotel.

It also looks like that price-wise, Airbnb and hotels are not that far apart, but if something goes wrong with Airbnb, you will regret any business with them. It’s actually a disaster dealing with Airbnb customer service.

Charged in Different Currency Leads to Airbnb Nightmare

I have an Airbnb setup in Atlanta that was split into three payments. The first payment was on September 16th for 1570.44 USD that went through correctly and successfully. The second payment was on November 12th and it was supposed to be 1485.58 USD; instead, I was charged $1496.08 and a $44.88 international fee because Airbnb charged it in pounds. On the second payment I updated my Mastercard as the primary card on file was stolen.

When I called Airbnb, I first spoke to someone who was absolutely no help and blamed me for the issue. I called again and spoke to someone who said he would escalate it to the software team because it may have been a glitch and I would hear from someone. Nobody ever called or emailed me back. I then called a third day and spoke to someone who transferred me to his supervisor. I had to explain the entire situation all over again and she advised that she would try to process a refund in pounds back to my card and then re-charge me in USD for the correct amount.

She told me she would call me back in an hour. I told her I did not believe she would call back because nobody had returned my calls. She promised multiple times that she would call back but as I suspected, she never did. I called back a fourth time and spoke to someone who once again provided no help and advised he would “try” to get the original agent to call me back. I then called back and spoke to someone who was incredibly rude and said she couldn’t do anything besides request that a supervisor call me back.

I spoke to my bank and they are willing to dispute the charge as fraudulent after I explained what was going on. I am also in the process of filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau because I have never received horrible customer service like this before in my entire life. I will never be using Airbnb again.