New Year’s Eve Trip Almost Ruined by Greedy Host

I rented a house in Las Vegas for New Years and my husband’s 30th birthday as a party of seven people from Boston. I rented this house for $1,200 in May.

Right before Christmas, at 3:00 AM, I got a notification from Airbnb that my host cancelled. I asked the host why he cancelled and his reason was he was selling his house. I looked up his house and couldn’t find it; my friend looked it up and it was still there. I assumed he cancelled because he knew he could get more money for the house since houses around his are now going for more than $3,000 a month before NYE.

I messaged Airbnb Help who offered to give us $200. I could not find any houses able to accommodate our party for that amount of money. I try to explain to Airbnb that we are now out of our flight, event tickets, reservation deposits, etc. They pretty much told me to screw off. Thankfully we have family out that way we could stay with. I fought this issue right up until the trip and they didn’t care at all. If we didn’t have family out there we wouldn’t have been out thousands.

Excessive Cancellations and BDSM at Airbnb

Three cancellations in my last few trips and each time Airbnb treats me like i am trying to cheat them. I had to make a total of four reservations (now maybe five) for this three-week trip! The first was a very nice, complete apartment at a great price for the full three weeks. Apparently too good to be true, as they cancelled a few days later. I could not find anything even close, but there was an apartment that had a weekend hole in the middle. It was nice, so I booked both sides.

Airbnb argued that I didn’t deserve the available credit from the cancellation because I had to make two separate reservations instead of one and neither one individually qualified. REALLY? Airbnb treated me like I was stealing! But then, the “instant book” host cancelled the second leg of my stay. Back to the computer AGAIN! At that point, there was nothing even close to the original reservation I made. I found a complete apartment for a decent price and filled the hole and second leg. But Airbnb’s system didn’t allow me to apply the two credits I received trying to make THIS reservation. Airbnb said I must use it on a future reservation. I understand Airbnb wants me tethered to their sorry policies, but I would rather lose the credit than go through that mess again.

I can’t believe that Airbnb thinks that by treating me poorly I will be a loyal and happy customer. I am frustrated and angry and I have lost way more in time and frustration than the $120 credit they wouldn’t let me use. And I have no confidence at this point that those reservations will be there when I travel. For example, in my penultimate (second to last) reservation in Florida via instant book reservation, I called the host on my way over from the airport car rental and she screamed at me that she was not an Airbnb host and I would not be able to stay, blaming Airbnb for not cancelling her account. When I talked to Airbnb, I was again treated like I was the one who caused the problem. They have Horrible policies that force their customer service people to treat customers roughly and unfairly.

On my last trip to Florida, I got stuck in a house of a couple (as in a man and woman) of dominatrixes who were in the process of building a dungeon in their garage and had two “slaves” come over a couple nights before I left. As I was trying to watch TV, I heard many smacking sounds and screams coming from the garage. Funny, but not what I bargained for.

Airbnb Property Sold 10 days before Arrival

Our family of five booked our holiday to Montreal, four months before our planned date with Airbnb. Ten days before our arrival date, I received an email from the host and Airbnb stating the host had sold her condo. Of course, ten days before our arrival, there was not another suitable spot to rent in the Montreal area- we wanted to stay in. We are out the costs of train tickets, and very disappointed. If we had cancelled our reservation ourselves, we lost would have lost 50% of our booking costs, but obviously Airbnb not does feel that cancelling ten days before the arrival date demands any type of compensation. If I had known the condo was up for sale, I never would have rented the property. I sent an email to Airbnb, with no reply. All in all, very, very disappointing. I would never recommend Airbnb.

Lying Lisa and her cross-listed Hilton Head Property

AirBnB should be more explicit about the illusion of booking a place to stay, having that booking accepted and approved by a host, and actually having a guaranteed place to stay. This service is all a gamble. Sure, you can a book a place to stay and even have the host approve and accept your reservation, AirBnB will even hold the money for you so you know the host is just running off with it, but all this does not always equate to having a place to stay. It is within the hosts’ right to cancel on a guest, whenever, with no penalty towards them that would remotely benefit the guest who now has nowhere to stay. AirBnB does not take responsibility for the hosts, therefore allowing the hosts to do as they please when it comes to cross listing their properties elsewhere, double booking, misrepresentation of who there are, and providing false or inaccurate information about the listing. AirBnB should be more explicit that they are not responsible for the validity of anything the hosts posts on their respective sites. AirBnB and their hosts will give you the impression you can secure a place to stay but if it falls through at the last second, you are pretty much up a creek in most cases. Numerous reassurances would be made on their part that they would find you a place to stay if it falls through, but when there is nothing out there, too bad. Or if there is anything left out there, it’s twice as much as you paid originally and/or an hour away. AirBnB will expect you to pay the difference because it’s “not their fault, its the “host” you chose that cancelled on you. We just put you in touch with the host.” AirBnB is not accountable for any of the hosts, just as they are not accountable for the guests. As a frustrated and duped first time user of AirBnB I feel that they have little to offer in order to protect guests from being stranded without lodging. But just as the feeling of being bamboozled and stepped on sets in, you’re offered a form of coupon to put towards the “next time.” As much as one would like to put it towards an immediate re-booking, what if there is nothing to re-book? And how can there be a next time if you couldn’t come through the first time? Ultimately, this coupon is like luring in a sucker for another gamble at the game of “will you actually have a place to stay?” while AirBnB holds your money until you find out days, hours, minutes before your check-in for an actual confirmation of having a place to stay,(which I believe involves physically arriving, being able to check-in and stay. Any other implication that you have guaranteed yourself a place to stay via AirBnB is just an intangible sense of security). What does AirBnB have in place for guests who have the rug pulled from beneath them by a host who cancels last minute? Another gamble at whether or not there is any other options to choose from that again, may or may not fall apart yet again. So far, in my experience as a first time user, AirBnB does not seem to be interested in going ‘above and beyond’ for their guests. I feel as though they go through the motions of helping out and when there are no solutions within their network of properties, they dole out a coupon towards the next reservation within (what a new user such as myself would now deem) their unreliable network of hosts.