Unhappy About Airbnb’s Refund Policy

We reserved a place seven months ahead of time and our credit card were charged for half of the total cost. Five months before the original arrival date, we found that we no longer needed the accommodations due to an unexpected medical event, and proceeded to cancel.

To our dismay, we were charged with a service fee of $130. This seems to be exorbitant as there did not seem to be any significant service provided. It was indicated there would be a full refund if you cancelled and we assumed there would be a full refund for such an early cancellation (they will have no trouble whatsoever in getting a new renter).

Needless to say, we are unhappy with Airbnb and will think twice before using them again. The service fees are outrageous.

Airbnb Guest Brings 34 People to a House Meant for 6

I would like to share my story with everyone. I recently published a listing on Airbnb that can accommodate six people. I had many guests who sent me inquiries asking if my place was available and many more questions.

After evaluating all the guests, I finally accepted one reservation as she had good reviews from other hosts. I immediately told her that my place can only accommodate six people and that she needed to pay an extra $30 for each guest she brings after the six confirmed guests. She agreed and promised me that only six people would be in my place.

Since I go to work every day, I was not there when she checked in but my caretaker welcomed them. Four hours after they checked in, my caretaker called me saying that there were 34 people in my place and that the guest told him not to tell me as she would be charged for such a big amount.

I called her right away when this was told to me and she admitted that there were 34 people in my place. I requested money from her via Airbnb but she refused to pay me and deleted her account. I called Airbnb and asked them to collect the money but they never helped me. They even gave me a deadline of 24 hours to send documents confirming that there were extra 28 people in my place when the guest already admitted it and even contacted Airbnb saying that she did not know what to do and how to pay me since she didn’t have enough money.

The case manager from Airbnb told me that they will not help me unless documents are sent when I told them a million times that I won’t be able to send documents as I live in a different place and that I had a business flight that day. Indeed the worse experience and customer service on earth.

Airbnb Overcharged Guests and Doubled Prices

I found a holiday apartment and made a reservation. I checked all the prices and the service fee was about 20€. Then it turned out to be 100€. I booked more nights without knowing they would double charge me for very high service fees. This change was not visible before or after booking, only many days after.

I was thinking that the host (who was also not the most honest person – left us a dirty apartment, wrote a bad review etc.) over charged me but it was for Airbnb’s service. I checked the bill multiple times and it seemed to be like the host overcharged, but then after a few days I checked the bill again and turned our Airbnb’s service charge had increased.

On Airbnb they lie and promise all fees are visible but those fees are never visible enough. Guests have to check multiple times before you see the prices and also afterwards; the reservation fees could change suddenly – nothing is final. If a customer service worker (or host) has bad intentions, he can do anything and change the fees to get more money.

When guests accept a booking, guests only accept the payment guests will see. Later it is possible to charge more by changing the prices. I think there are many people who just want to get more money and overcharge guests. The system is not fair for guests. It’s only the way for Airbnb and hosts to make money. I’ve used other holiday booking pages and normally service fees are included. Airbnb deducts skyhigh service fees and can even double them at any time.

What guests see is only the amount, but without knowing what the price was for each service; that’s what happened to me. The online bill is usually very unclear and everything is written on the right side, not in the middle like it should be. I didn’t get any customer service with this double charge. I would not accept if I had known this.

I tried to contact Airbnb but got no answer; their service workers are always so busy – no wonder because they have to handle complaints all the time. I don’t think they hire enough customer service workers and that’s how they leave guests in trouble. This is also one way to save money. Airbnb is all about the money for the site and hosts. It’s more like a hostel without any rules. I wonder how long it can work like that. Guests are not important, only their money is.

Cleaning Fee? Ripoff. Airbnb no Help. Broken Junky Place. Amateur Hour.

We rented an apartment in Costa De Caparica, Portugal, for 17 days. The place was adequate, although it was clear the tenant/owner was just doing this on the side, and has not figured out whether she is subletting or just renting rooms. Overall, everything was average, but not rental quality for the money.

There were broken curtain rods that fell on you, hot water running out unless you switched on additional, a nasty kitchen, and cleaning brushes filled with mildew and grunge. The worst was broken rolling shutters that you had to have two people open and shut – just basic maintenance things.

Then, deliveries for the owner started showing up several times, and at least three different crews of workmen wanted access to the apartment for the gas and electricity maintenance. Amateur hour. It advertised a hot tub, but really it was a broken tub jet thing. As we were at the beach, we just went with it, but then, came the cleaning fee.

It was a checkout nightmare. We were told, in writing, that a cleaner would arrive to collect the keys from us when we left and clean the apartment. No one arrived. We were told to lock the keys inside, that the cleaner would come, so we did. No cleaner ever came, and the apartment stood empty for a week in the summer heat.

We left a small bag of rubbish, and the bathroom needed regular maintenance cleaning – nothing bad, just normal for a seventeen-day rental. It was never requested that we self-clean. We paid the fee. No cleaning occurred. Airbnb, in classic style, took her side. So, like so many others, we got ripped off, left a bad review, for cleaning we were told would happen.

I really hope the governments crack down on this nonsense. In no other industry can you make a contract, break it willfully, and have zero recourse. Had we known or been responsible for cleaning – topical cleaning I might add – we would have hired our own person to come do it, or done it ourselves. The place was not left poorly – just normal daily cleaning was needed.

Most Airbnbs request we don’t do our own cleaning, as they have a particular way they want things done – fair enough; I’m happy to pay. Not this woman, and I will be surprised if she doesn’t run into many more problems like this. Long-winded emails, smiling in our faces, then a knife in the back. We could have worked out many solutions, but were not allowed the option. Word to the wise: do not leave a nice review until the owner has left theirs, or leave none at all. Knife in the back, lesson learned. Airbnb is awful. Avoid this amateur.

Airbnb Service Fees are Disproportionately High

Wearily I add myself to what I realise is a long list of increasingly unhappy Airbnb customers. Several weeks ago we booked a lovely Airbnb in Dorset (UK) so that we could attend a family wedding. Two months ago my 17-year-old son broke his leg and literally this week has been given the all clear to be back on his feet again. However, because he has had so much time off his part time job with the leg break he will now not be able to get time off to attend the wedding. We are now a party of four, not five, and this now means we have an alternative option for where we stay which could be considerably cheaper.

With three weeks’ notice, we cancelled. I recalled when we booked that we would get a full refund, but I realise that the big print did not make it clear that this would not include the £34 admin fee which Airbnb kept. This is more than 25% of the partial payment we sent; it seemed outrageous until I delved a little further to discover that this is nothing in comparison to others. The host was lovely and agreed to a full refund, so I then went round the houses (and round the houses again several times) to try and work out on the website how to communicate with an actual person to express my dismay at this policy. Eventually I went for the ‘give feedback’ option but have had no response. What a surprise. Here I am on Airbnb Hell. At least I have had some satisfaction in having a small rant.

Case Closed, Reopened, and Cleaning Fees Deducted

My Airbnb guest arrived and found the house to be “beautiful.” Three days later she decided to leave. She complained about crumbs in the toaster. I offered eight separate times to send up the housekeeper but she refused. She stayed another four days. She wanted a refund for the last three days. A claim was made and the cleanliness issue was not found in favour of the guest as under the guest refund policy it states very clearly that the guest must try to resolve the problem. She refused to have the kitchen re-cleaned so under no circumstances did she try to do this. The case was closed. Two weeks later it was reopened and £500 was deducted from my account for a “cleanliness issue”. Airbnb meanwhile paid $900 to the guest. I sent in all of the texts with the guest as additional proof that she failed to comply. There has been no response from the case manager. The case has been closed. Four other Airbnb case managers have failed to provide an independent review. I suspect fraud.

What do you have to do to get a refund?

We booked an apartment on a street in Boston where we had lived when we first got married. There were photos of the basement, one bedroom, apartment, and it looked livable. It was close to the college where our grandson was graduating. We kept asking our hostess if there was a place to park. She said yes, but we had no idea where it was. Our hostess told us how to get in and that was the last we heard from her.

The entryway was dirty. We went down the stairs, unlocked the doors, and our adventure began. There was no wifi, we couldn’t contact our hostess to ask for the password, and no electronics worked. There were steep steps leading down into the bathroom and no banister, except for a towel rack that had been pulled out of the wall. The shower had a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling surrounded by wires. The water did not drain.

My husband, who was alarmed, warned me not to touch the light bulb while I was standing in water… sure thing for electrocution. That night the fuses blew and the lights were out for a long time. I tried to use the bathroom in the dark and tripped down the stairs. The exposed pipes dripped something and made puddles on the living room floor. Our room was next to the laundry and garbage room.

We asked the janitor, who was taking out the garbage, where we should park. He pointed to a small area surrounded by garbage cans and behind a giant SUV. We had one hell of a time parking our car. The parking “space” cost us $40 a day. Our hostess had given us a phone number. We tried over and over to call her. Her message service said her messages were full and could not accept messages. I gave up trying to reach her or anyone at the home office.

We went to the graduation and tried to spend as little time as possible in the apartment. When I got home I phoned the home offices, spoke twice to reps, and told them I wanted my money back. I wrote to them and to the hostess explaining why I wanted my money back. They wanted photographs. How do you photograph fuses blowing, water that doesn’t drain, puddles dripping from the exposed pipes, and a parking space that was surrounded by all the garbage cans from the building?

I read the reviews by other renters and they also said, “there is NO WIFI”, “the shower does not drain”, and “fuses blew and the apartment was pitch black.” Three different “committees” turned down our request for a refund. The host won’t reply to our mail. We are seniors. We get the feeling that the people at Airbnb think we are senile. I can assure you we’ve got it together. They keep informing us that we have lost our request for refund. They email us this and we cannot reply because their return email address is not deliverable. What do we do next? Our bill was over $600. The place ruined our vacation.

Airbnb Needs to Work on its Occupancy Taxes

Well, After talking to five customer service people, going downtown to Airbnb’s Portland office, and getting turned away, I have just about had it. I had a reservation to start a guest rental from July 1st to July 31st. Airbnb charged her an occupancy tax of $223. The city law here is anything “fewer than 30 days” is classified as a temporary rentals, not 30 days or less. That’s one error.

To figure a new solution, we tried to add a day so we were in the 31-night category. That added over a thousand dollars for the extra night. We could not get any help from customer service. In fact, we got five or five different suggestions, which began with canceling and starting over; this would have penalties.

It seems to me Airbnb is great at wanting the business but poor at actually wanting to fix the problems. Finally a lady got back to me from the Portland office and we figured out why we could not add a day. I had listed two days before and after reservations for cleaning. If a guest needs to stay longer Airbnb’s software should have pushed the cleaning days out. I am going to look for new alternatives to Airbnb. They can afford luxury offices but can’t help fix something with what should have been done with a single phone call.

Airbnb Treats you like a Slave with its Cancellation Fees

There are many reasons to be angry about Airbnb. This one has me extremely livid. When Airbnb selectively demands payment in the form of cancellation fees if you as a host cancel, this is simply another way to make money out of you. Why demand money as punishment if you have a legitimate reason to cancel, and the guest has had their money refunded anyway? After all, you are working for them, hosting for their profit. What’s worse, if you have a cancellation fee unpaid and have no hosting funds coming in, Airbnb will simply wait until you next host, so they can harvest that cancellation fee right out of your account in their payout summary. This just happened to me. It wasn’t obvious what the fee was from; I had to call and ask. Another little trick to treat hosts like unwitting slaves. Just think about this – as if they aren’t making enough profit from hosts’ labour already. This little tactic should have you angry, and I want to bring it to everyone’s attention.