My tale is long, complicated, and listed below. But more to the point of this post, are you a host who has been taken advantage of by Airbnb’s host guarantee? Calling all hosts to class action. The more people who respond, the more likely we are to get results. Read on for my story.
November 14th, 2019. Guests checked in for a three-month stay, but arrived with four more people than they paid for on the booking. I contacted the guest and asked for the reservation to be corrected to the accurate amount of persons.
On November 26th, the guest still had not followed through and I could see the guests were violating my house rules (parking on the yard). I got Airbnb customer service involved. My case person saw my proof (video) and said that he would address the issue. After going back and forth with him for a few days, he started ghosting me on December 5th. This lasted until December 13th when another agent contacted me to say “Thanks for reaching out to us regarding this issue. I’ve forwarded your inquiry to a member of my team who can better assist you. They’ll be getting in touch with you soon.”
On December 14th, an entire month post check-in, I was finally able to get the guest charged for the proper amount of people. Then it all went off the rails. My guest decided to cancel the rest of their stay, claiming the house wasn’t big enough for them. Which means they had to get out, the same day, and still pay for the next month, per Airbnb’s long-term reservation cancellation policy. I was fine with this.
However, Airbnb then had a supervisor ask me to refund the guests $4000. I told them that their request was outrageous. This guest lied about the booking, then ignored requests to make it right for an entire month, all while violating house rules over and over again… there was no way I was refunding them.
The supervisor asked me to allow them to stay for the next 30 days, even though their reservation was cancelled. I explained to him, that assuming guests take good care of the home and follow the rules, I am willing to let them stay but I wanted the reservation reinstated to protect my right within Airbnb’s policies.
He said they could not reverse the cancellation and asked me to simply block my calendar for the dates, then promised my rights would be covered as if the reservation was still active in their system. I asked for him to submit this information to me in writing. He said he would have my new agent send it to me. Despite multiple requests, that never happened.
After agreeing to house these guests without an official reservation on my account, the guest proceeded to violate my house rules by parking on the grass (there is a four-car driveway), leaving tire marks in my yard. All of a sudden Airbnb was asking me “How did your guests do? Please leave them a review.” I contacted Airbnb again to tell them that I can not and should not be asked to review a guest who is still in my house. Airbnb disagreed and said there was nothing they could do about it (which is false).
Fast forward to December 24th. Airbnb closed this extremely messed up case. On December 27th, I got to the house to do the yard and check on the conditions. It was awful. There was rotten food everywhere, damage to all my furniture in the living room and kitchen, a bug infestation as a result of the food, a cabinet was broken into and all my laundry supplies were missing, part of my refrigerator was outside full of dirt, and my smoke/carbon dioxide detector was covered by a plastic bag. I had had enough.
I kicked the guests out, via Airbnb message, because they were not present. Once again, the guest did not respond to my messages. I immediately took a video of the entire house and started to reach out to Airbnb again for help. The agents kept telling me that I had to go through the resolution center, but I couldn’t because the reservation technically ended on December 14th.
Calling Airbnb just left me in the run around, so I demanded a case manger help me with my claim via Twitter. He was awesome and promised to see me through the entire thing. He would be the last person I had to explain everything to, and I could submit my evidence for a claim to him.
January 1st, 2020, I started submitting video and still photos to prove my claim. Then on the 2nd, while still submitting documentation, I got a message stating that they didn’t know what guest I was talking about and I needed to go through the resolution department. I immediately contacted them again to ask for help… they ghosted me. At my wit’s end, I Tweeted at Airbnb Help again.
On January 4th, they then sent me a Senior Claims Specialist. He promised to help me with my case and ensure we’d reach a fast resolution. I replied to his message (which was now all via email instead of Airbnb customer service messages because they closed all my open messages related to this matter). I asked him if they had received my nine videos and 90 still pictures. He did not reply until January 7th, three days later.
In that message, they informed me that the total they were willing to provide for proven damages was $1774, not the $1870 that I submitted. The reason for this is that the “consumables” (laundry supplies stolen out of locked cabinet) are not covered by the guarantee and now I have to fill out a claims form to get paid. Fine, whatever. I went to the link proved to fill out the claim form and discovered that I must first try to contact the guest and file a police report. What?
I can’t contact the guest. They were kicked off of Airbnb already and deleted from my calendar by Airbnb, as if there were never there. As for the police report, I plan on filing one tomorrow, but I already repaired the house. I mean how else would I be able to submit my claim with all of my proof, if I had not actually gotten the work done? Also I feel this is a serious misuse of a governmental agency.
I wrote Airbnb to answer these questions:
1. How do I contact a guest who has been kicked off Airbnb?
2. Am I still supposed to call the cops 11 days after the event and post repairs?
I have no idea if he will respond tomorrow, the next day, or never. My case has been opened and closed multiple times, with seven different agents, yet still on going since November 26th. I have Googled Airbnb’s host guarantee stories.
I’m not a special Superhost. I’m just one of thousand who have been through this nightmare. Many host stories are worse than mine. I keep seeing people say “class-action” but have yet to find one class-action brought by host against Airbnb.
As a result, I called Morgan and Morgan and requested they look into a class action brought by hosts against Airbnb for their fraudulent guarantees and practices. They told me the more people who call, the more likely it is to take off.
Are you a host who has been done wrong and sabotaged by Airbnb? Do you have proven damage claims that have been denied? Call Morgan and Morgan at (786) 453-8466. If we all speak up, there will be no choice but to hear us.