Host Cancelled Booking then Offered it for Double the Price

I would just like to share my recent experience with Airbnb. I booked and paid for a property in New Orleans in August 2018 in preparation for Mardi Gras February 2020, three weeks ago. After just shy of 12 months of it being booked, the host canceled and the host’s booking page was suspended. I did received a full refund which was little help as the prices in New Orleans have gone up considerably; Mardi Gras is approximately five months away now. The thing that has really annoyed me is that last night the host messaged me through Airbnb to inform me the house is available again albeit just over double what I’d initially paid. My first booking totaled £1019 now the host’s price for the exact same dates are £2189. Could someone please explain to me in what world can this sort of practice be legal or acceptable?

Airbnb Shut Their Doors on me at Night

When I went to La Antigua de Guatemala in Guatemala, I booked an Airbnb (which is a cheap hotel) here. I never heard from the host (it was an automatic acceptance) but I was new and didn’t realize that was a bad sign.

Initially, I was going to arrive the city in the afternoon, but due to my Aeromexico flight experiencing severe delays, I was there after 7:00 PM (quite late.). I took a taxi to the location of the Airbnb, and I knocked on the door. A man opened and I told him I booked the place for a few days, showing him my receipt. He simply said, “We’re closed for the holidays,” and shut the door.

It was in the evening, I was a foreigner in a country I’d never been, where I didn’t speak the language, with my luggage. I also couldn’t contact Airbnb at the time (not that it’d make a difference), since I didn’t have a SIM or anything, being my first few hours there and being so late already.

Luckily I kept walking around and found a place for the night. I used the wifi where I was finally able to go on the Airbnb app, only to find that even to get a refund for the costs paid, I had to wait for Airbnb to contact the host. They did refund me of course, but nothing additional.

How Can I Get My Money Back from Airbnb?

I booked an Airbnb house in Bournemouth for the nights of May 4th – 7th because I have a course to attend, linked to how I earn my living. I made this booking on December 4th, 2017 and the amount of just over £68 was taken out of my account by Airbnb on December 6th. On April 23rd, I was contacted by my host to make sure that all was still on the go for the dates I had booked only to be told that she had taken herself off Airbnb and informed them accordingly, assuming that Airbnb would contact me with this information.

Well, they didn’t. She hasn’t received the money either… so I want my money back. However, there is no way this can be done on the site itself: each link takes me back to a page I have previously visited. Therefore, in my book, Airbnb has stolen £68 from me. That is neither ethical or acceptable. I have just sent an email to the CEO of Airbnb, requesting that he please refund my money to me since I am not in a monetary position to ‘lose’ £68 and definitely not in one now to pay for another Airbnb on such short notice in a place like Bournemouth.

I cannot believe that this type of practice is allowed. Airbnb, where has that £68 gone to, if not to the host? It’s certainly not been returned to me. I look forward to their reply to my queries. Morever, I am waiting for anyone to tell me how I can get my money back.

Host Declined Reservation, But Room Still Listed

I wanted to book a room for two nights and found this listing that I liked. I was under the impression that if a room is advertised it should be available, so I went ahead and sent in my booking request to the hosts through Airbnb. I have verified myself on Airbnb through my driver’s license. This reservation is during Christmas when prices go up within a few hours. After almost 12 hours, the host responded and requested I cancel the request as she has family coming over. I went ahead and cancelled, but I still saw the listing available on Airbnb. Why is it still up if they know family will be taking up those rooms. Is this not discrimination?

Death Threats from Airbnb Host in Caribbean

A year ago, my girlfriend got me a birthday gift: a trip to a Caribbean island! However, we had to cancel at the last minute due to our Airbnb host sending us crazy private messages before we got a chance to get to the place where we wanted to go. We filed an appeal with Airbnb to get the refund then the host went completely insane on us: death threats, stalking, criminal harassment. We filed a police report and they could not do anything of course… Airbnb sided with their host, would not let us post a review, suspended the account, and covered up their mess as best they could after we provided a copy of the police report as well as all the creepy and harassing messages and death threats. We have shared our story with over a hundred people and they were completely freaked out and said they would never support Airbnb for covering up criminal activity. They are a joke and it is only a matter of time before people start dying then they might consider a screening and application process for hosts…. but I doubt it…

Tokyo Host Never Responded, Then Cancelled

On May 1st I made a reservation and paid $1,920. I left numerous emails using the Airbnb website email but didn’t get an answer. Then I emailed the host from my regular email and still didn’t get an answer. Less than two days before my departure, the host cancelled with no explanation. My biggest beef is that I can’t even give a poor review because the website doesn’t allow me to post unless I have actually gone through with the stay. That doesn’t seem fair or democratic. If the business revolves around trust, then we should be able to leave both good and bad feedback. At the very least, that host should have been barred and immediately suspended from renting to anyone. But Airbnb said they won’t do that.

Airbnb Policy on Refunds Leaves Much to be Desired

I am a foreign student studying in Canada and used Airbnb for my one-month holiday to the US, switching from one accommodation to another during the process. The hosts and the listings were fine in general, but AIRBNB DOES NOT HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE REFUND SYSTEM. During the trip, I had two bookings that were cancelled by the host, totaling a refund of about $600. The cancellations were made early and did not cause me much inconvenience. However, the issue is that I had just finished my studies and closed my Canadian account before leaving for the US; hence, the refund was made to a closed account. I thought that this would have been a small issue, since all Airbnb has to do is to retrieve the cash and transfer it to an alternative bank account.

How wrong I was.

1. AIRBNB HAS NO WAY OF RETRIEVING CASH THAT IS RETURNED TO THEM. The standard procedure for a cash refund in Airbnb is this: “Your money can only be refunded to the account you used for the booking. Your bank will issue you a cheque if your account is closed.” You cannot refund your money to an alternative account that you didn’t use to make your original payment. The bank does not always issue you a cheque. I have made numerous calls to the bank and found out that my bank’s policy on closed accounts is to return the money to the source, and Airbnb has no way of retrieving this amount.

2. AIRBNB PROVIDES NO WAY OF COMMUNICATING WITH THE PEOPLE WHO DEAL WITH MONETARY TRANSFERS/TRANSACTIONS. The people in Airbnb customer service center know very little about where your money goes. All they know and can do is to give you standard replies to standard questions. When questioned about what happens to the money that gets returned to Airbnb, the customer service center gave me the same response that I posted above (1). Want to talk to higher-ups? Want to discuss compensation? NOPE! All they have to do is to repeat this same standard answer again and again until you give up and put down the phone! So, that’s the tale of how I lost my refund and Airbnb lost a customer.

Last Minute Cancellation for a Year-Old Booking!

I made reservations for an “Artist’s Hideaway” in New Orleans a year in advance of my son’s law school graduation. The host confirmed the reservation and gladly accepted full payment in advance. Today, three weeks before our arrival she cancelled saying “my calendars didn’t sync.” It was already booked. My family has already made expensive travel plans and accommodations will be hard to come by. She had almost a year to see that she double booked. Why are we the ones to suffer for this? It seems that as a potential guest, there is no place on Airbnb to write a negative review for her so I am posting here. Do NOT book the Artist’s Hideaway in New Orleans or be prepared to be screwed.

Coachella Disaster: Airbnb Cancelled after Check-In

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I had a terrible experience with this host.  I’m the type of guy that prepares for everything. After this experience I realize I cannot place any amount of responsibility for the success of my vacation in the hands of strangers with no track record. I will be using reputable hotel chains for the rest of my life. At least they have process and procedure in place and aren’t flaky Airbnb NOOB hosts that can’t get their stuff together! I actually had a hotel booked ready to go… but no…

“Why don’t we try an Airbnb?” they said. “It would be roomier,” they said.

“YES! Great idea!” NOT! We planned to check in to our accommodations that Thursday and got the Airbnb booked and confirmed with the host on Tuesday. Somewhat short notice but as a guest I had expected that this room would have been ready to be used if those dates were listed as available. Everything started off smoothly: after the confirmation and payment I reached out to the host via text and they replied stating they would call me that evening. No call came that evening. The next day was Wednesday, one day prior to check in. I again reached out to the host via text and Airbnb but never got a response. A host going dark within 24 hours of check in is not good. The check in day arrives and I’m getting nervous. I already cancelled my hotel plans so that I wouldn’t get charged so now I have NOTHING to fall back on.

The first thing I do that morning at 8:00 AM is contact Airbnb stating I haven’t heard from this host. They say they will contact them and get back to me asap. They call me back around 9:00 AM saying they spoke with the host and the host was having issues getting a cleaning crew to prepare the condo. I said I didn’t plan to check in until 10:00 PM anyways so that should give them time. The Airbnb rep told me to contact the host directly to complete the booking. I said, “OK, I’ll call them after I get off work.”

So I texted and messaged the host throughout the day stating I would call around 5:00 PM. At 5:00 PM I called (straight to voicemail) and texted the host asking to make arrangements. I finally get a text back at 6:00 PM saying they couldn’t have the condo cleaned in time for my arrival which would have been 7 HOURS AFTER CHECK IN, at 10:00 PM! Are you kidding me? Please get your life together! You have a responsibility when you placed that listing! So two hours after I was supposed to check in I’m screwed and back to square one, trying to find accommodation for the vacation! I was supposed to have left already! Unreal! I couldn’t imagine myself in this situation in a million years.

To top it all off, Airbnb didn’t have this flagged as urgent in their system so I never got a call back from them even though the host notified Airbnb at 12:00 PM that they would have to cancel. Thanks for letting me know Airbnb! And thank you, host, for not letting me know that very important and pertinent information. FLAKE! I didn’t even get a cancellation notice in my inbox until 6:00 PM, three hours after check in! One Airbnb agent was able to restore quite a bit of faith by getting me a FULL refund and getting one night at a nearby hotel. Although I appreciate the gesture, it still required us to check out the next day and check in to another hotel for the remainder of our vacation causing us to lose half a day at the Coachella Music Festival due to the hotel’s 3:00 PM check-in rule. And with the prices having skyrocketed I actually ended up paying MORE for my trip. Not to mention that when I checked into the “Free Night Hotel” booked by Airbnb I had to put down a credit card for incidentals…. Guess whose credit card got charged at checkout for the “free night”? You guessed it! MY AMEX. Not the credit card put down by Airbnb when THEY booked the complimentary night for me. So now I have to fight Hilton’s accounting department on that one. What a joyous experience this has been! As I mentioned at the beginning: experience, process, and procedure will now win out in favor of any cost savings or added benefits that can be brought by using Airbnb.