Airbnb Changes Payment from 1300 to 221 Euro

On July 6th, 2018, I accepted an instant booking for travelers in distress in Paris. For two nights in high season fashion week for a group of eight people the price was high: 1300 euro. However, I accepted them under normal pricing guidelines due to the huge occupancy.

I had a group of eight people arriving and stayed one night of the two nights; the next day at 4:00 PM an email from Airbnb stated they had cancelled. I was paid 221 euro in the end. As the group left at 4:00 PM I could not manage a big cleaning of four hours immediately (it needs to be booked) and I had paid extra night service for keys. I also requested 150 euro, and nothing was paid when I needed to pay them a bonus and for a taxi and emergency service.

The only comment was that Airbnb decided to change the price to 221 euro. Whether this is low or high season, for eight people it’s a joke; even one night in a hostel one would pay 550 euro for eight people due to high season. I am beginning to file a claim with a lawyer as nobody was able to comment or give merit to that price adjustment and I even wonder if Airbnb did not get 1300 euro and paid me 221 euro.

I am happier on because sincerely they would not alter my price or cancel a booking or be silent. The insurance of Airbnb in another case is not working so there is no advantage at all dealing with Airbnb. If they banned me, I simply would not care because I am on another platform which is fair. Airbnb is a thief; no one should alter an agreed contract between the buyer and the seller making the price 1/8 of what it was.

Last Minute Cancellation by Host in the High Season

I booked an apartment in Brussels for a seafood expo in April 2018 more than two months in advance knowing that it was high season and all. The host was very responsive at first after we paid through Airbnb, telling us to inform him of the arrival details as soon as possible. Two weeks into the stay, I contacted the host advising him of the arrival details and asked for check in information. I have used Airbnb only in the US – never for Europe – and this time I did not get a prompt reply. I sent again another message and there was still no reply. I tried to call the host and there was no answer. I contacted the host on Whatsapp and after a few days he answered saying that he would give me the information on Sunday, the day I will be flying into Europe from Asia. My stay was for that Tuesday, please bear in mind.

Sunday came and no information from the host. I sent him a message on Whatsapp again; the message was read but there was no reply. On Sunday close to midnight when I was transiting, a message from Airbnb came in saying my host had cancelled. I panicked; it was the busiest season in Brussels and I had no place to stay. I tried calling the host. He did not answer, but just replied: “Sorry, I’m busy!”

I scrambled to find a hotel room at the last minute but the prices were exorbitant or they were full. We ended up paying for a small one-star hotel for five times the price. It was a nightmare for us and for sure we would never recommend Airbnb to anybody. We tried to contact the help center through email and for no replies whatsoever. The conclusion is that we have been lucky with Airbnb all this time and if you ever get into a problem with your booking, well, good luck.

Canceled my booking while I was on my way

I would not book with this host or Airbnb ever again. She canceled on us five hours before our planned check in. I reserved her apartment eight months in advance. She had even confirmed with me three days prior to the cancellation. I got the text message canceling our reservations on my way to the airport. I was baffled; I thought this must be a mistake.

I called her and she said there was “damage” to the apartment. Airbnb did credit my account and gave me a larger credit than the original price but other than that their customer service was a total fail. I called them three times and spoke to three different representatives; I was disconnected twice. The representative who finally did help me told me to open the app or the website and use the credit to find a replacement myself.

This would have been okay even 24 hours in advance but I was basically at the airport now for a 45-minute flight. The customer service representative asked me for the URL of the other apartments I was looking at. I was using the app; there are no URLs in the app. I told her the name of the listing and she put me on hold for 13 minutes. In the meanwhile, another friend of mine coming on the trip called and booked two rooms in a hotel.

The woman I got on the phone was trying to help me but it was clear that the customer service representatives are not trained in troubleshooting a cancellation on the day of. I was very lucky that we were able to get a place to stay on such short notice. It was high travel season for the city. Most of the accommodations on Airbnb that were available were too small or huge and expensive which the $80 bonus credit was not going to cover.

I really wanted to like Airbnb, but the experience made me appreciate commercial hotel chains. I do not plan on using the app again unless I have a backup place to stay. It’s been four days and I am still waiting for my refund. Even though this cancellation was the fault of Airbnb and they couldn’t adequately address the issue, I still have to wait up to 15 days for my refund.