Last year I had a guest in my Airbnb and we had an issue. I then Googled his name and found he got his jollies from committing credit card fraud. Six months pass and it was totally out of my mind. Today I just came from the police precinct and am sitting here with mail that is arriving at my house with his name on it. Not only am I pissed because I never gave this person permission to use my address for anything of the sort, I’m pissed because Airbnb said there is nothing they could do, except look for when he pops up again using a different account and hope they can continue blocking him. I’d rather work three jobs to pay my rent after this. I have had serious issues with Airbnb and see that when things go wrong, they go to a dimension of space that is unfit for the Klingons.
My experience with Airbnb has been less than pleasant. Let me first state that I do not have an account with Airbnb, not as a host or guest. However, charges were recently made on my card from the company. Calling the number or contacting them via email was essentially fruitless since they were requiring your Airbnb account info to log in.
My wife has an account (which my card and bank info is not associated with – we double checked) so she contacted them for me. She gave the info that was requested and was told not much could be done since the charge was still pending. An email was sent by Airbnb stating that our concern was being “escalated”.
After three days of waiting, the charge (roughly $950) cleared my bank and an additional transaction, a deposit (roughly $266) by Airbnb, had appeared on my statement. After searching for a phone number on the site, which I couldn’t easily find, I Googled ‘Airbnb number’. Calling the number gave the same automated login request for Airbnb clients – again, I am not.
No option was explicitly given to actually talk to someone. However, I did figure out that pressing 0 would direct you to someone. Once again, I was given the same scripted response of providing the same info, being told that my concern was “escalated”, and that I’d receive an email.
After the call ended I went to my bank to see if they could give me any info about what was going on. The bank associate didn’t have any additional info but offered to see if they could make any headway with Airbnb. After the bank associate made initial contact, the Airbnb representative requested to speak with me and once again started going through the same script. I explained I had already been through this.
At this point I became perceptibly irritated after three days of requesting info of fraudulent charges made on my bank account through Airbnb. I explicitly requested to speak with someone in the security department but was denied. In the end I had to dispute the charges with my bank and terminate my card so a new one could be issued.
Later I received an email stating the $950 had been refunded and that they suggest I “work with my bank to secure my card. If I’ve already filed a dispute with my bank they kindly ask that I cancel it.”
What? Airbnb was given three days to look into this and didn’t take any action, especially any “escalated” action, until I became irritated. For three days my account was possibly compromised and vulnerable. After Airbnb’s inaction I was forced to dispute the charges with my bank and they sent me an email stating they were refunding the money. However, if I disputed the charge with my bank, please cancel it?
How does a company operate like this? Lack of any clear contact info on the webpage. Little help from customer service when contact is made, only a scripted response. Why not just put that in a recording? That’s as helpful as my experience was. Why was it impossible for Airbnb to put me in contact with someone from their security department? It would seem that would be a priority when fraudulent charges are being made through any company. A huge failure on Airbnb’s part. Don’t expect much help if there is an issue, especially if you don’t have an account with them.
I was looking to rent a flat on Airbnb. My girlfriend was dealing with the queries which she believed were from Airbnb agents, as the site they were using looked exactly like Airbnb’s. I believed they were genuine users. However, someone had taken details from Airbnb and used them to scam me.
I am so disappointed that this happened to me as that was all the money I had saved to put a deposit on a house to rent. I was living in a room in London and wanted my own place to live. Now I have lost £2,200 and have no choice but to stay in the room until I am able to save for the deposit again.
I am not happy of how this was handled by Airbnb. I have attached everything and you can see that all the invoices and ads had all their information and criteria on them. I have sought advice and understand that this has happened on other occasions on the Airbnb website.
As this is still happening today Airbnb should be doing more to protect genuine users’ names and profiles and also protecting customers like me. I spoke to Airbnb and they told me that the host was a genuine user so I had every confidence that he was one. I never received any warning emails stating any suspicious behaviour. You can also see on the invoices his name as the host and contact details.
I would request that Airbnb refund my £2,200. Otherwise I will have no choice but to post all of my information on social media to warn others not to use Airbnb, i.e. Twitter, Facebook. I will also go to the major newspapers. All I want is my money back.
Be very careful if staying in an apartment in Copenhagen with some Airbnb hosts. One is asking people to pay her a significant deposit outside of the Airbnb website. I made the mistake of trusting her and doing this. I am aware Airbnb’s website says not to do it… my mistake and stupidity.
Since she is a Superhost, I trusted her and she told me she had done it before. I paid her $2500 since she said she has very expensive furniture. I stayed in the apartment for a month for work after staying at another Airbnb for three months in Copenhagen.
The week after I moved out, I got a series of texts from her claiming I had broken her glassware, broken the plug in the bathroom sink, and stained the walls and doors. She also accused me of having other people stay. I do not recall breaking glasses but since it was a chip maybe it happened unintentionally. I definitely did not break the plug in the sink and the marks on the walls and door could have been from blue dye from my jeans.
It’s been two months since I moved out. In that time, she has apologized for the accusations of having others there, saying she found out it was a different apartment. She did not check her facts prior and should have before laying blame on anyone. She delayed getting me quotes for the other claimed damages and now says I will not get anything back since its costing over $2500 for all these repairs.
I ended up taking the matter to Airbnb, who finally came back and said they can’t do anything since I paid her outside of the website. What shocks me is Airbnb is still allowing her to list her apartment and potentially do this to other people. She even went as far as lying to Airbnb customer support, claiming I wanted to pay her a deposit outside of the website. She then apparently retracted this once I submitted email proof of her asking me.
I have full proof of all our communications over the past two months of my attempts to get my deposit back and happy to submit that to anyone who needs it. I will not be using Airbnb again and certainly will not stay at any apartment from this host. I am very professional and was staying in Copenhagen on a four-month work assignment, so I would not be so stupid to lie about everything that happened, risking my reputation and potentially my job.
We recently booked a long haul xmas holiday with a stopover in Hong Kong. We booked two-night stay in a place advertised as an “arty, bright and quiet oasis in trendy Sheung Wan” by the host. The photos looked perfect.
When we arrived, the flat did not match the photos. It was filthy and disgusting. The bed sheets and pillow cases had not been changed from when previous guests stayed; there was hair and oil.
There were food scraps and hair everywhere. The shower door was broken and the toilet seat was loose. The listing said it accommodated three people, but there was only a double bed and a small two-seat sofa. We could not sleep a third person in the flat.
The location is twenty minutes from the MRT station, up several slopes from the street to the building, The flat is on the fourth floor with no lift; there were many stairs to climb. None of this was mentioned in the listing.
We contacted Airbnb immediately and told them we could not trust the hygiene standard the host kept and would like to change to a hotel. We asked Airbnb to recommend another place for us to stay. The agent said she could not and insisted we send her photos. We sent the photos as she instructed.
It was very stressful as we had a long haul flight – over ten hours – and arrived in Hong Kong in the early morning. This was already in the evening. We were very exhausted. The Airbnb agent did not seem to understand this.
We told Airbnb we preferred to stay in another place. This place was dirty and the listing was dishonest. They admitted there were cleaning issues but insisted we work it out with the host. We could not sleep in such a flat and had no clue when the issue would be solved. We left the flat and found a hotel.
When contacting Airbnb for a full refund, the agent said we should contact the host ourselves. We did contact the host. He tried to bully us to shut us up. The host insisted his flat was clean and refused to provide a full refund. He told us a negative review on Airbnb would harm his business. The host did not care about his guests and was dishonest about the listing. It is only money. Airbnb encourages that.
Hours and days spent communicating with the host and Airbnb agent. To say the least, we feel humiliated by both. It’s end of our Airbnb experience. We had to cancel our two other Airbnb reservations for our holidays. It is loss for us. We feel sorry for those honest hosts who do care about their guests, but the experience we had was so bad. We cannot risk having any more.
We have recently been victim of an Airbnb fraud. While searching through the app for an accommodation for a weekend, we came across an Airbnb verified listing that led us to contact the host outside the platform. The listing was inviting us to contact the host via email due to issues in synching their Airbnb calendar and was openly providing an email address.
As described in the listing, we contacted the host and after some back and forth on details, the host generated an Airbnb-like booking confirmation email. Very professionally, the email was sent from an Airbnb-like email address and contained a link to customer service. Before carrying out the wire transfer, we unfortunately checked with what we believed was Airbnb’s customer service and got assurance about the legitimacy of the listing/booking.
I discovered this was a fraud a couple of weeks after carrying out the payment, as the booking did not appear in my Airbnb app. I then reported this to Airbnb complaining about the fact that they had hosts verified through their on-boarding process that led me to a scam and requesting some form of help or compensation.
Airbnb has been handling the issue in an extremely unfair way through their (outsourced) fraud department, fundamentally saying that they are not in any way responsible for anything that happened to me and that they can’t control what’s going on their platform. They closed my case a couple of times and no one, whether they’re in the fraud department or customer service, has been helpful in any way.
Not only that, but a few days after I reported my fraud case to Airbnb, I could find very similar fraudulent listings on the platform and I reported them – clearly they didn’t act upon them. My question is the following: is there any consumer protection for this issue? What do you suggest doing? The amount here is considerable (a few thousands euros). Any help would be very much appreciated.
Hosts, If you haven’t noticed Airbnb will change your set prices so they can sell the room. It seems there is an algorithm that lets them override your set price so the room will be booked. I offered a holiday weekend at a high price. Frankly, I didn’t care if it rented or not, so I set it high. The rates were fixed, not variable, and about $20 more than my usual rate. The room was rented for $10 per night less than my “set” price. This times four nights =$40. I doubt the company kept this money but rather they made an override so the room would be rented. I have initiated a service ticket for this. I was looking back at my bookings and noticed actually a number of nights that were let for odd numbers that ended in cents and were not the set prices of the calendar. If they are going to do this we should be notified. Otherwise it is at worst fraudulent.
I rented an apartment in Dusseldorf, Germany for ten days to visit my seven-year-old daughter. The place seemed to be as advertised. Then it got dark and the thumping bass started. It turns out the apartment is directly across the street from a nightclub. The nightclub played thumping bass that emanated through the entire apartment until 3:30 AM. This was unexpected because it was not disclosed in the listing and in the US you usually don’t see nightclubs in residential areas (zoning).
The next day I canceled the rest of my stay and booked a hotel. I had to pay a premium for the hotel because I was booking last minute. The landlord sent me a message asking me why I canceled. I explained the thumping bass until 3:30 AM situation and suggested they modify the listing to clearly state there is a nightclub across the street and it can be quite loud.
I asked for a refund, agreeing to pay for the night I stayed in the apartment plus cleaning fees. The landlord refused to give any refund. He did, however, modify the listing to note it can get loud due to the “pulsating life in the old town.”
When Airbnb looked into the issue they said the listing states that it can get loud. I explained this was not noted in the original listing and that I had communicated to the landlord that I would be staying there with my seven-year-old daughter. I sent Airbnb the email correspondence with the landlord where I specifically mentioned he should disclose the loud noise in the listing. He thanked me for the feedback. I explained to Airbnb that the listing was modified after I booked my trip.
Airbnb replied they acted fairly and are not going to refund any money. This is outright fraud. Airbnb’s business model is flawed and it is time for congress to setup up and defend consumer rights. If this were a hotel I would have been treated completely differently, but because of the decentralized nature of Airbnb they seem to be able to get away with acting unethically and stealing people’s money.
My daughter, who is heavily pregnant, and myself, aged 68, booked a break away with Airbnb, as escapism for a couple of days, having had car crash, family sickness, and my mother’s terminal illness to deal with, not to mention redundancy. We travelled six hours from Kent to North Wales, and upon reaching our destination and phoning the host discovered there was no booking for us, even though money been taken from us, and a confirmation code and receipt number received.
After some while awaiting a call back from the host to no avail, we contacted Airbnb, and were shown no consideration, only insultingly being advised of the terms and conditions, shedding any responsibility. Only upon insisting on speaking to a superior staff member were we offered any semblance of an apology, and a list of properties apparently vacant, but they were all booked.
To cut a long arduous story short, we returned home on our six-hour journey to Kent. This all took place on August 9th and there has still been no apology, and no compensation has been received. I posted a complaint letter to a London Airbnb address, and that got returned, stating “addressee gone away”. It’s so frustrating, so customer unfriendly and inconsiderate. Maddening.
Recently I tried to use Airbnb to book a room in Miami. With a couple of days before I travelled, I could not complete a booking as it seemed there was some technical issue with my card on the platform (I had used Airbnb before to book a place in Rio and had good reviews for my bookings and no problems). I contacted customer support and got an email saying my problem was being escalated and then nothing. There was no further contact so in the end I had to reluctantly book a hotel.
Upon my return I noticed that there was a debit and a credit for a booking from what seemed to be someone in Glasgow on my account. It had nothing to do with me and seemed to be a failed attempt at fraud. The next communication I received said my account was being terminated with no explanation or dialogue about the fraud attempt. In fact, there was nothing apart from “goodbye, you are blocked forever.”
To say Airbnb customer service is a joke is an understatement. How the founders of this company can walk around in public without hanging their heads in shame I do not know. They have by proxy impugned my reputation, left me with a very nasty taste in my mouth, and now I have a burning desire to tell everyone who will listen not to use Airbnb. Don’t trust them and forget about customer service when dealing with them.