Can’t Share Phone Numbers When You Need Help

Airbnb has no way to for hosts and guests to share phone numbers via their email system. You select “contact the host”, enter your number, and it gets removed from the email, preventing the sharing of information.

Here’s the scenario. I stayed at a great place two weeks ago and left a jacket there. I contacted the host, who offered to give me the number of the person managing the unit (the host was traveling). The first few times we tried to share the number, in place of the number was a message saying the number had been removed. It took us a good number of attempts to trick the system, but we finally succeeded.

While we were going back and forth, I called Airbnb, waited about 15 minutes for someone to answer and then went round and round trying to explain the simple problem. They had no solutions. Wouldn’t it be really easy to say “we can’t share the host’s number with you, but we can give the host your number”?

That would be so simple. It would protect the host and allows us to contact each other with the host being in control. Did they do that? Nope. The person on the phone spent a few minutes telling me it was the host’s email account and not Airbnb that was stripping the numbers. Once I finally got her to understand we were using their system via ‘contact host’, she then denied that their system stripped out the numbers until I offered to send her the email with the number removed. At which point, she admitted that they did.

Then, believe it or not, she told me she could show me how to send the number. First, she said I should go to the listing. Then click ‘contact host’. I thought she understood that’s what we were doing from the five minutes of explanation we just endured. Clearly they have a serious shortage of skilled resources.

I know this isn’t a big deal for most and my issue was simple, but what if I had a problem while staying there and couldn’t get in touch with the host? What if I left some kind of medical device there? Clearly there needs to be a way to simply share a number. This whole incident shows that Airbnb is still very immature in their systems and processes and that means if you use them, be prepared for to waste time fixing simple things that their systems can’t handle. Also be prepared to get no help from folks who don’t seem to understand the fundamentals of how their own system works.

Why Can’t I Contact Airbnb Directly for Help?

I recently had a booking with a host. That was fine. Then I was forced to cancel. I did and the refund didn’t come right away. I had been told that it takes ten days to process. The ten days went by and I asked the poor host. He said I had to contact them directly. I finally got through to them and that’s when I was told that it was going to take longer. Now I’m trying to plan a different trip. I had to fill out this form on Airbnb; it required an ID of some kind: license, passport, etc. That’s isn’t a problem, because others require it.

However, that was something that should have been in my account when I first started to use it. You should not have to give that information when you decide to request your booking. I also had to use a cell phone. I don’t have one, so I used a land line. That’s something that also should have been part of one’s Airbnb account. I requested the booking from the host and then Airbnb took it from there. Basically, this is all fine. I just wish that they could make the process a lot smoother. They could be a great site, but they make it almost impossible to complete bookings. In trying to get assistance for the booking, there was only a list of possibilities to try.

Websites like Airbnb can be helpful, but if they can’t get it together then get out of the business and let some else who can do it.

The Tables have Turned: Hosts Rating Airbnb

On March 10th 2017, I happened to check my account on Airbnb and found that my response rating had been reduced from 100% to 50%. No prior warning was provided. It appears that I had not responded to Airbnb inquiries, but I had not received any. I set about trying to make contact with Airbnb, but that proved to be impossible. There is no contact point and no way of raising a support ticket. There is a feedback form I found on their website but after trying to write in my complaint, I got a response saying that the feedback form will not receive individual responses and it s not a support ticket. So where is the method or means to raise an individual support ticket request? It appears there is none. Airbnb is happy to take our money and dish out severe ratings but certainly does not want to hear about any problems that they may have created themselves. I tried to post the following to their feedback form, but I think this will not get any response:

Complaints about Airbnb as follows:

1. Unable to make any form of direct contact with Airbnb, almost suggesting the company is not interested in any contact from its customers.

2. Airbnb suspended my listing without any notice or threat due to my lack of response to their inquiries. However, none of these enquiries have come through in any of the methods usually deployed by Airbnb including:

a. No email indicating an inquiry was issued by Airbnb.

b. No notification alert from Airbnb.

c. No mobile phone text message from Airbnb.

However, Airbnb threatened to suspend my hosting as well as immediately reduce my response rating from 100% to 50% with no prior notification. This clearly is an Airbnb system fault and not my lack of response. I know this because customers have actually made contact with me since there was no response via Airbnb. This clearly supports the fact that it is your system that has the problem. A Google search on the matter brought up multiple similar occurrences with other Airbnb hosts. While this may be a glitch in Airbnb’s system. There is no way of contacting Airbnb to inform of the problem or get help to rectify this problem. There is no human contact available. Given this lack of response, there is a loss of customer revenue from the host’s point of view, which also translate to a loss of revenue from Airbnb. I would therefore reduce my rating of Airbnb as a hosting site from 100% down to 50%, similar to what they have given me. Unless I hear from Airbnb within the next two days, that satisfaction rating on Airbnb as my hosting site will be reduced further from 50% to 0%.

Terrible Communication with Airbnb: No Error Message

As a first time Airbnb user, I booked a place for one night. My visa card was debited immediately. After that, I needed to contact my host regarding details for an airport pick-up. Over a 3-4 day period, I found that the Airbnb messaging system is worse than useless. I received both emails and texts from my host, but I couldn’t reply to either. The texts came in truncated; only a few words appeared. However, my replies appeared to have been sent (no error messages after sending). I also replied to emails, which appeared to have been sent (again, no error messages). After a few days with no response from my host, I realized she was not getting anything from me. I also finally received an email error message saying the Airbnb address did not exist. I then spent about an hour on the Airbnb website trying to contact them for a fix, but got into an endless loop on their help pages. As far as I can tell, they have absolutely no customer support. Finally, going back to their website and messaging from there was the only thing that worked. If the emails and texts simply did not work, they would be useless. However, this system is worse than useless because it gives the appearance that it is working. The Airbnb email invites you to reply and returns no error message when you do, so it looks like it sends successfully. In the case of texting, who does not reply to a text? It’s quick and easy. Again, there is no error message saying the text was not sent. As far as I can tell, the only way you can contact your host is by going through the Airbnb website and sending a message from there. I am astounded at the stupidity of the people who designed software that wasted my time and caused a lot of confusion between me and my host. They need to put a disclaimer such as “you cannot reply to this email” or “do not reply to this text” and send the user an error message if they do try to reply.

Cancellation Nightmare: Host Agrees, Airbnb Denies

I booked a stay on Airbnb for a family funeral but had to change my reservation. the host assured me that a cancellation was fine based on the circumstances and that she would provide a full refund even though she posts with a strict cancellation policy. I received (via Airbnb) less than half of my payment but have been trying to get the remaining amount refunded. Airbnb has not responded to any of my inquiries and the host is unable to communicate with me about sending me a refund check because all communications are encrypted; we can not share phone numbers or addresses. This is a nightmare and I feel that Airbnb should take more responsibility in supporting our efforts to communicate.

Airbnb Account Hacked – Terrible Customer Service

I received numerous emails from Airbnb when waking up one morning. The first was a booking for a property in Indonesia. The second was a payment failed email. The third was a booking confirmation, and the fourth an email from Airbnb to say that my email address had been changed. It looked like whoever it was had booked a one-night stay for the coming weekend for £785 a night. Following the fourth email, I had emailed account.changes@airbnb.com immediately asking them to take urgent action. I tried to use the Airbnb website but without logging in it was useless; obviously my email had been changed because it said no email address was found when I used my own.

Five hours later, I was still waiting for a response from the account.changes@airbnb.com email address. I also called the UK helpline number, 0203 318 1111, which was unable to help or locate my account (despite having used Airbnb over a year ago now for two bookings) and asked me to email response@airbnb.com which I promptly did. However, I was just sent an automated Airbnb email saying the email had not reached Airbnb. This is completely outrageous! When you try to use their website to find contacts, it just loops you round in circles. Doesn’t it say something about such a big company when they are trying to avoid being contacted by their customers? I am in a catch-22 situation and boiling over at this moment in time, unsure of how I should proceed. If anyone has any advice out there, I would be grateful. It is an obvious statement but following this incident and once it has been resolved, I will never use Airbnb again.

Guest Breaks Furniture, Leaves Early, Demands Refund

My guest – let’s call him Jake – was supposed to stay from July 10 to July 18. Instead of staying for the entire trip, he had to take a flight back to the United States. He had to resolve an issue with his embassy after his passport got stolen. I was not notified of his change of plans. I repeat: I was not notified. My partner and I came back to find the toilet seat and the armchair broken (after warning Jake that the armchair was fragile). After attempting to reach my guest numerous times, he wrote me on July 18th (the day of his scheduled departure), stating: “Hi, I emailed you multiple times informing you that I left the apartment last Tuesday. I had to leave earlier based on the embassy’s guidelines. I left the keys in the mailbox as instructed.”

This was puzzling, because I had received no email, either through my personal account or through my Airbnb account. No message was sent to me between July 8th and July 18th. Had I been notified of his change of plans and had he asked for a refund in a timely manner, I would have done so. But, since he had to leave early due to unfortunate circumstances and since I didn’t ask for a security deposit initially, I decided to let the matter drop. Suddenly this former guest (over a month after the end of his reservation) messages me on August 25th, noting his “surprise” that I did not refund him for the days he did not stay. Also on August 25th, Jake began to complain about the supposed unacceptability of my Airbnb listing. However, the other guests who have stayed with me after him have been satisfied. Rather, this is a clumsy attempt to steal money using scare tactics and playing the victim.

So, on the whole:

1. The guest only notified me of his wish for a refund over a month after the fact, after not having followed any of the cancellation procedures during his reservation and having failed to contact me to inform me of his early departure.

2. We know that his allegations regarding the problems and presumed “dangerousness” of my listing are false, since other users have been satisfied. Rather, he is dishonestly claiming that the listing is unsuitable to justify a full refund.

3. This guest alleges to have not caused any damage when I have a dated photograph stating otherwise. He even claims to be offended, and has called me a liar numerous times. He is playing, simultaneously, the role of a victim and a bully.

4. He may have been dissatisfied, but considering that he didn’t cancel in time and that the damages he caused have cost 200 euros overall, I think this is a fair trade.

5. This guest is manipulative, vengeful, dishonest, and petty. He is hysterically implying that I broke host rules and that this justifies me refunding him for the entirety of his stay. He, and the obtuse labyrinth that is Airbnb customer service, is making me reconsider staying on as an Airbnb host. Airbnb hosts, beware of an overweight dark-haired guest in a penguin suit. He doesn’t know how to respect property and will use any manipulative tactic imaginable to bully a host into a refund.