My credit card was recently billed £1225.00 for two properties in Spain that I didn’t book and did not stay in. The details were sent to the wrong email address so I couldn’t even cancel or sort it out at the time. I have made eight calls now to Airbnb customer service. I have to repeat the story over and over. They say my issue has been escalated – whatever that means – and I never get a call back. Surely with a company doing so well they can employ competent people who can help me. They have lost a customer, both as a potential host and a guest, and I could never recommend them. Next stop action fraud.
I have copied my conversations with Airbnb regarding this story.
“This is your resolutions expert from the Airbnb Trip Team. I hope this message finds you well. This ticket was handed to me to ensure you have a continued support. Please give me time to review your concern. Rest assured that I will work on this case in accordance with our guidelines and policies. I will give you an update as soon as possible. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”
“Thanks for contacting me. Note that only on October 27th that I will be back to that hotel and I will recheck the place. I will take some photos and send them to you. Note that I am living in Cairo, so I have a lot of things: a table for a laptop, luggage, clothes, shoes, printer, etc. I must stay in a large room, clean and comfortable. It must be perfect. Not too expensive like that one. I also need a place to study, because I am studying Arabic here.
I just arrived here at the new place and the receptionist informed me that room will be available only tomorrow and I must stay in another hotel that belongs to them, again with my luggage up and down (40 steps). I do not know what it is better, to cancel this one or try a discount here. It is up to you. Talk to them and explain my situation, please. Thanks. They informed me to come on October 27th after 12:00, but then they changed it to tomorrow after 12:00.”
“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your side of the story. My apologies for the late response as I was out of the office from the time being you responded to my message. In your message, since you and your host had an agreement of you checking in on their listing starting October 27, 2019, I would like to know if you were able to successfully move in. May I ask as well if, you encountered another issue in the listing afterwards. If yes, you may proceed giving us all the documentation that you have to support your claim for me to be able to verify. Looking forward to hearing a response from you soon. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”
“I am so sorry but I am sure that you did not read my message to you before, so I will repeat it below. I agreed, through the site, with my host that I would arrive at the hotel on October 25th at night (he agreed and accepted through the site). I paid by my credit card. Note that I am living here in Cairo, so I have a lot of luggage and things. I came to the place, as agreed, and the receptionist from the hotel informed me that I would stay in the hotel only on that day, October 25th, but on October 26th and 27th I should stay in another hotel and that I must be back again at that hotel on October 27th. Imagine me, with all these items, having to be moved from place to place in a short time, staying here and there and having no firm destination, in a strange city and in a country which is not mine.
Do you understand everything so far? I need to be clear how much it pissed me off, how much it scared and tired me in the middle of the night, and how much trouble it brought me unnecessarily without knowing why. I did not accept all that and returned to the apartment where I had been. The owner, who is a spectacular and kind-hearted person, seeing my trouble, let me stay there without charging me anything, and it didn’t end here.
As the hotel boy had said I should return on October 27th in the afternoon, I returned at 16:00 and the same person informed me that no, that I was only supposed to come on October 28th in the afternoon. I had to return again with everything. This time I went to the other hotel indicated by the person in this hotel, where the guy who helped me carry my bags ended up damaging one of my bags… more inconvenience.
Finally, after this whole epic, I’m in the hotel, but guess what? There is no water to use the bathroom or shower. The cluttered kitchen and badly-cleaned utensils, the unhygienic, much less sterilized bathroom in the room, and the shower stall is grubby with dirt. Have you understood everything so far, or will I need to draw a picture and show how angry and upset I am with this whole situation?
Please make it clear to the Airbnb security team to review my history and note that I had stayed at this apartment several times before and that never, never, never had I had any kind of disturbance there. The host is a good person with great behavior, a super host and has had other guests from Germany, France, China who have stayed there who can prove what I am saying is true, if necessary.
Now I made the following decision, because of all the past trouble and loads of luggage and things I have I don’t want. I don’t want to move anywhere anymore. You need to get in touch with this hotel, make the situation better here, solve their problems, and not let them affect me, because I’m paying a lot to stay in this place. At this house I was paying R$1,700. Here I paid R$4,000 and it is not even close to the quality of the apartment where I was and on top of that there is this problem with the lack of water. Let them arrange a great immediate discount on my bill for all these inconveniences so far, and god knows how many more I have to face until the day I check out. We sincerely look forward to the arrangements and discounts to be taken by Airbnb for this particular case. Thank you very much. I will send some photos later. I will have some meetings today and tomorrow.”
“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your clearer and further side of the story. I already reached out to your host regarding this matter, and I am waiting for their response. As I’ve checked your interaction with the host, there is nothing registered on our Airbnb Messaging platform. I would like to ask you to communicate with your host using our messaging, so that everything will be well documented. Once your host responded to my message, I will also give you an update. In case that you have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”
“Note that the host came to my room to inform me that he will refund me for those two nights (October 25th and 26th) that I was not here or another hotel. This is okay, but what about all the inconvenience, stress, and trouble caused? I need the host to give me a discount on the total paid to him. If he can do this, everything will be perfect. Thanks a lot for your prompt response.”
“Thank you so much for responding to my message, and for giving me an update regarding this matter. I also received a message from your host stating that, when you arrived on the listing, they informed you about everything and you agreed with their statements. The host added that, when you arrived on their listing, you hadn’t completed the payment, and advised them that you would complete the payment later on. Regarding the water, the host said that the water shortage was just a few hours and the city workers were fixing the water pipes, which is clearly out of their hands. Furthermore, I confirmed with your host that they are willing to give a refund for the two nights which you didn’t spent at the listing. I tried checking if there will be any additional refund for the said reservation; however, the host has the discretion to indicate the amount that they want to have on their listing as a nightly rate. Once you confirm the refund for two nights, I will go ahead and process that one for you. Looking forward to hearing a response from you as soon as possible.”
“Want to know something? I am tired of being called a liar. I am 57 years old and I have no need, after going through so much trouble, nervous and angry and bothered, taking my bags from here to here, up and down on your orders, to be lying or making up something about what happened. Whether you believe me of not, I don’t like having to be repeating myself all the time and having to prove this or that. You take so long to answer me that time has passed, the dust has settled, and that’s all.
I repeat that I have been with Airbnb for over a year and with my track record you should know more about me and my concept of honesty. I will remain in Egypt for a long time but I will certainly not be staying with Airbnb, unfortunately for the simple fact that I am being treated as I am at the moment and always discredited. I was honest even when I made it clear to your security department that I would not need Uber to make my transfer.
I will return to Cairo in January and plan to use the services of Booking.com or Expedia.com. Let this case go. Keep believing in the host. Congratulations. The future and god will show you who was right, not me. I’m tired and exhausted with all this. Enough for me. I will finish my stay here and when I return to Cairo I will use another service, simple as that. I hope I don’t have to explain myself so much, prove anything to anyone, and have more peace and quiet to finish the work I came here to do.
I hope my Airbnb friends have had a great night’s sleep, because I didn’t have this privilege. I went to sleep today at 8:30 in the morning, because there was renovation, construction, and a lot of noise – chainsaw on, hammer knocking, dragging things, a real hell on earth – at 5:00 AM near my room. Once again, if you don’t believe me, talk to the hotel receptionist, who was also here at that time. I even called him to my room to hear the noise.
We went out on the balcony to check where it all came from. He said he would ask them to stop but the work and noise continued until 8:00 AM. I woke up now at 3:20 PM with a huge migraine. My head seems to be exploding so much that it hurts. I already took three pills and they didn’t help.
I spoke again with the receptionist. He assured me that tonight the noise would not be repeated. I doubt that very much: here they do what they want, where they want, and when they want. I want to know how I cancel my reservation here and if I will not lose anything already paid, if I will receive my payment in full due to all these inconveniences experienced so far. I no longer want to go through this psychological mess and no longer lose any sleep at night or wake up startled by the sound of sawing and hammering at 4:00 in the morning. I don’t want to use Airbnb anymore. I want to cancel everything and get my full money back. Please inform me quickly.”
It was a bad beginning; I could not enter the property for 1.5 hours. The “Superhost” was not answering his phone and there were no keypad instructions. Oops, sorry, amenities were also not available: soap, shampoo and hangers are amenities one expects, but not available. The big one was no cable TV as advertised. Oops again, we cancelled it, but you can use your own Netflix.
I don’t have Netflix and I was settling in to watch the baseball playoffs. My team, the Astros, were playing. It is fraud to advertise an amenity that you don’t have. Airbnb asked if I told my host I was gong to watch the playoffs…. a really poor defense. Can I advertise a hot tub and not have one?
I have called numerous times, written out my complaint numerous times and have been told numerous times they are sorry, they will get back to me. But they do not, hence all my calls and emails. Frontline personnel have little or no authority and they won’t connect me to a supervisor.
I am sure when all goes well Airbnb is a fine company but they should be measured by how they handle the difficult situations and for those times they fail miserably. Their hope is we go away, get tired of complaining, leave them alone. Mr. Brian Chesky, you need to empower your case mangers to resolve issues not to just give voice to incessant stall tactics. If you are unaware of unhappy clients go to www.airbnbhell.com.
I paid $1471 for a two-week stay but had to leave after having vicious dogs running at myself and my dogs. I called Airbnb and told them I was going to have to find another place because our safety was a factor. I spent four hours with three different people on the phone with Airbnb and was assured my cancellation would be done by then. I paid another $1800 out of pocket to move an hour away to a private rental and gave Airbnb time to do my cancellation and let me know what was going on. I called every day trying to find out what was going on. This morning I got a refund for $289 out of $1471. I’m not going to sit and let this happen. This has been a horrible experience and completely wrecked my vacation. They are about to get sued.
Has anyone had this happen to them? If so, what options did you consider to rectify a fraudulent claim by a guest? To be kicked off of a hosting platform for nondisclosure of non-surveillance equipment may even be a bit comical, if it were not so sad.
We did not violate the Airbnb rules that were sent to us. Airbnb sided with a guest who not only broke Airbnb policies while staying in our house but fraudulently impeded our ability to make money in the future on this platform. To us, this is not only defamation of our character but was a whirlwind of events that left us unhappy and totally confused. We are still scratching our heads and wonder “what just happened?”
We have had our vacation rental for years without any complaints from guests, many of whom have come back to our rental. Now for the highlights. We received a call at night from someone claiming to be from Airbnb. They claimed that one of our past guests reported our house to them for having surveillance equipment, which of course was not true and considered by myself to be quite preposterous.
I immediately thought this was an attempt to defraud me via the phone. Since we had not had any disgruntled guests I asked the person for proof they were, in fact, working with Airbnb by requesting they send me a message in our Airbnb inbox. The person refused and said they could not do that. Since I have talked to customer service via messages in our inbox before, I was convinced this was a fraudulent call, a scammer, with the intent to perpetrate fraud. I gave them a piece of my mind and hung up on them.
Later I called Airbnb to report this call and was told by customer service that no one had called us. I mentioned an email that I found in my email box after the call and was first told it was not sent by Airbnb. I pushed the agent to further investigate, asked to be transferred to a supervisor and finally talked to someone who verified that the email was from an Airbnb agent.
I then answered the email and stated that I had talked with Airbnb customer service and they verified that they were an agent, the email was valid and that it was safe to open the email link they had asked me to click. I told the agent the accusation was false and that I was ready to talk to them.
After a few more calls to Airbnb, I received an email where we were told by this agent that they had all they needed to investigate. Again, not true because they never discussed this claim with me. I was never shown any evidence that we could review and they had none of our rebuttal information at that time.
We called our current guest, who had been with us over a week already, made them aware of the situation and invited them to look for said equipment by us. They did and found none. Eventually, Airbnb decided without talking with us that we did have non-disclosed surveillance equipment in the house, suspended our account forever and forced our current guest out of the house.
They called them and told them they had to get out. Our guest did not want to leave and told Airbnb they were happy with us, we had been excellent hosts, they loved the home, that there was no surveillance equipment in the house, and they didn’t want to leave. Airbnb told them they were forcefully canceling their reservation and they had to leave.
Since there was a current Airbnb guest in our house this proved to be a real eye-opening experience for them as well. They saw firsthand how unfairly we were being treated.
I failed to mention that we have in writing from the guest how wonderful their experience was so we were floored to find out who filed the claim. We have no idea why they would do such a thing but theorize that they were not happy we caught them violating our rules and Airbnb rules while they were in our house. We decided to let the infractions go and mark it up as lessons learned. We did nothing to them via Airbnb or any other way. In hindsight, perhaps we should have. We’d love to hear your similar stories and suggestions.
I have not been paid as a host for the last two months. Despite calling about three times a week to their customer service, there has been no resolution nor are they making any effort to come to one. The amount owed is more than £1000. Airbnb is simply not interested. Customer service opens a case then does nothing to resolve the issues. They even find excuses for why the payment has not been sent then once the issue has been solved they find something else. I think Airbnb policies are truly evil, misleading and thoroughly dishonest. The people that devise this evil will be brought to account for their actions… in this life or the next.
My friend and I booked a “Cosy Mid Terrace House” in Bangor, North Wales. We were attending a five-day yoga course which commenced on the evening of Thursday, September 26th a short drive away. We checked in at the house where there was a key box; anytime after 4:00 PM was supposed to be okay.
We arrived at 3:45 PM and entered the house. On first inspection, it looked a little grimy and uncared for, but it was only five nights. However, on further inspection, we found that the kitchen surfaces were very greasy and there was mould in the fridge, the carpet into the sitting room was frayed and coming away under the door strip causing a trip hazard.
On venturing upstairs, again everything was tatty. The shower was full of black mildew. But the worst thing of all was where I was supposed to sleep for those five nights. Firstly, I could feel the mattress springs through the duvet that was on top of the bed but what really finished things off was when the bedding was pulled back, the mattress was covered in various stains. I have seen better mattresses than this at my local tip.
We contacted the owner to advise her we were not happy and would have to seek alternative accommodation. She gave us a spiel about running late as a single mum she had to collect the children from school and was on her way over. We told her not to rush as there was no way we would be able to stay and started to tell her all the things that were wrong, whereupon she hung up.
As the course was starting at 4:00 PM, there was little time to find alternative accommodation and we ended up sharing a very small twin room in a hotel not too far away who could luckily fit us in as most places we tried were fully booked over the weekend. I requested a refund from the host via the Airbnb site – which she, of course, refused – so I waited the 72 hours and asked Airbnb to intervene.
I have since then been corresponding via email with an incompetent “Senior Case Manager” who has become quite threatening in her gobbledygook English stating that I must accept her offer of a “coupon” to be used on a future booking within eight hours – four hours at one point – and now 24 hours. I feel that as they have offered a “coupon” for the full amount that they must believe our story with photos provided, but as we do not know when or if we will be booking through Airbnb again, this is simply not good enough.
I am awaiting her response as to how long the “coupon” is valid for (probably 24 hours). Despite my requests for her to escalate this case on two occasions she continues to email me in English that is barely recognisable as the language I was brought up with, totally ignoring my requests and just threatening me with more deadlines. It is interesting to note that the “Cosy Mid Terrace House” is no longer listed in the site but if ever it should reappear I do not recommend booking it or the host’s cleaning skills.
I looked for a month’s rental through Airbnb and I found one that I wanted. I read the cancellation policy carefully, stating that it could be cancelled within 48 hours for a full refund. I clicked first because I didn’t want to miss the rare room and figured if in two days I found it was something I didn’t like, e.g. the exact location, I could cancel.
It was a lot of money – 3000+ USD – and I suddenly thought that maybe it was better to find a way to be able to escape the long-term cancellation policy. I just cancelled it within hours. The refund was kind of a process but something they didn’t mention in the cancellation policy was that my payment method would be charged on March 26th for 600 USD. This amount was never mentioned.
I wanted to make sure before rebooking but it seemed like Airbnb just ignored me. That made me scared to proceed to any other booking; I was afraid of the fraudulent listings. Agoda and Expedia have never had this policy and the 30-day fine for advance notice was quite unfair. I then tried to figure it out by separating the booking into two periods. It’s more difficult but it should be more flexible.
Today, I would like to tell you my story to you. If someone can help, please contact me. We have done everything we could… even contacting Airbnb directors:
I am addressing this to all of you because I do not know who I can talk to about a really problematic situation with Airbnb support. We were Superhosts and proud of it. We have built a super relationship with more than 300 Airbnb guests around the world and many of them are still in contact with us.
Last Friday, we managed to address a false allegation that a guest had made against us. Subsequently, the security department has taken a dislike to us, cancelling our upcoming reservation (without informing us) and closed our accounts. We were Superhosts for several years. We have hosted more than 100 families around the world in our family house and private house. We were selected as one of the five families to make a promotional video for Airbnb in October 2019 and now, our account is closed. No reply, no callback… nothing.
A guest invited additional people without paying, unplugged the security cameras for the hidden extra guest, stole product, and made a defamatory review about us. If someone has already managed to reactivate his account. contact me. The guest review was deleted and a few hours after that they closed our account.
I’d like to point out that in July 2019 we had a similar issue with another guest. It escalated to the resolution center again and was resolved in our favor. The agent also pointed out that we should add a substantial penalty for guests who would tamper with the camera to act as a deterrent to hide or unplug the cameras. I’d also like to mention that the listing clearly indicates that we have cameras outside and inside. You can also see them in the profile pictures.
The camera outside focuses on the backyard and films the patio door and side door. The second camera is located in the kitchen and points at the side door as well and observes the activity in the kitchen. The third camera is installed in the living room and focuses on the living room to look at the front door. Basically, they are there to watch the ins and outs in the house and, as an added bonus, we feel a little secure to know that the stove won’t be left on by accident or water running in the sink.
To access the bathroom, you need to go in the corridor and then turn left to the bathroom. The cameras have no way to see into the bathroom and I’d like to add that they are not able to film in the bedrooms. You could strip naked out of the bathroom and walk to the master bedroom (located in the same corridor) without the crossing any cameras.
For sure, if a guest would have waltzed naked in the kitchen or living room, the camera would register it. This does not necessarily mean we would watch the footage, since we don’t have enough time in a day to observe 24 hours multiplied by three (three cameras recording 24 hours a day). The cameras are only accessed if damage happen, there’s a door alert, or whenever my neighbor reports that there are more guests than reported.
Now for this guest’s group we have three claims. The first is the easiest one: the $2 for a chocolate bar. In a discussion with the guest, we’ve mentioned and sent the price list for a little pilot project we have started: a mini convenience store in one of the kitchen cabinets. The goal was to sell snacks, dried pasta or canned goods to prevent a trip back to the supermarket. Some guests do not have a car or simply don’t feel like going out.
The markup on these items is about 25%… enough to cover stolen/damaged/expired merchandise. We see it as a service and not revenue. The guest’s daughter took a chocolate bar, as he admitted in communications. We simply want the $2 for the goods as it was explained when they arrived. It was never complimentary, and they knew it. Also, we couldn’t care less if Air Canada gives them away. Try that lame excuse at the supermarket to see if they’ll give them away since you’ve purchase $100 worth of meat… you’ll see.
The second claim is for the extra guest. We live near the house, but not next to it. My neighbors, ones I’ve known for 34 years and the second for 30+ years, kept an eye on the property for me. One has the key and helps with the garbage, pool and all. One of them reported to me that the guest’s group was six people. Their reservation was for five though.
The guest also proved this himself in writing by agreeing they lied to us, tried to cheat the Airbnb system, and did in fact invite an extra guest. We don’t care that they are trying to get away with only one night of extra guests instead of two (at that point, I would have been surprised he didn’t). So far, the guest proved that he was willing to lie to steal money from us, whether it was for the chocolate bar or the extra guest. My neighbor hasn’t lie to me in 30+ years… the guest did twice in a weekend. So this is why we are claiming an extra $40 (2 x $20).
The third claim is for the camera unplugging. $250 is the fee to tamper and/or unplug a camera as mentioned on the profile and added following an Airbnb agent’s suggestion. Again, something they proved they did in writing. This one is pretty obvious to me. They did it. They are guilty. The will pay the penalty fee. I want to point also that my husband had to realign the cameras after their stay since they had directed the camera “off track” as well.
After what was demonstrated above, it’s now striking why they did so. The camera clearly was an obstacle in getting the extra guest in, combined with the chocolate bar petty theft. Note that the penalty isn’t per day or per minute… it’s per offense. Since they have unhooked two cameras, we could have counted two offenses resulting in a $500 claim, but we found that $250 would be enough of a penalty.
I think this explains the reason we made these claims and clearly demonstrated that they are justified. If anything was left out, feel free to reach out to us. Thank you everybody for your support and help.
Airbnb does a great job helping guests with their suitable short-term accommodation, and hosts with extra income for accommodating guests. I have had great stays all this time, until I met this host who first of all posted confusing house rules, then ignored my messages when I tried to confirm if she was going to charge for any extras. Airbnb did not have any answers.
Why were there such misguiding house rules on the listing? Why was my host ignoring my messages especially where I asked if there was any extra payment she was going to charge me? Airbnb’s support team put my call on hold for 1.15 hrs and my feelings turned negative after observing a “no intentions to help” attitude from the first supervisor I was brought onto the call with.
In addition, they had no clue about the rules in the listing and they could not provide any explanations. They let my money go to the host even when I informed them about my discomfort within 48 hours of my booking. The host has kept the amount in full ($302.61 when the normal cost on other days are much cheaper) even when I did not visit her place, and kept on informing her that Airbnb has suggested I not cancel the trip because of her strict cancellation policy.
I’ve had very good experiences in past with nice hosts, but this was one terrible experience due to a very inconsiderate and selfish business. I want nobody else to suffer like I did. Please be extra careful with this listing, house rules, cancellation policy and double check with the host before booking.
Customer service was not helpful at all especially when it comes to accepting their own flaws and working on them. The only way to file a complaint is through a feedback form which again goes to the same people who give the same response: whether I get a full refund or not is at the host’s discretion.