I just heard about this site and wish I had earlier so I could have posted this then. About three years ago, a friend and I booked a beachside condo in San Diego (approximately $400/night). We were driving in from about six hours away. One hour before we got to the condo (late at night), I received a phone call from the “agent” of the owner telling me that the unit was no longer available because the owner had let some friends use it instead. I asked the agent what we were supposed to do and was told to find something else.
We booked our Los Angeles Airbnb property several months ahead of time for a February 2019 stay. We had booked the entire place (three bedrooms) for a full week with a Superhost who had many five star ratings.
24 hours before we were scheduled to arrive, we received a notification that there was a minor roof leak and that we’d be offered a free night if we agreed to go ahead with our stay. The leak story was believable as Los Angeles had received over nine inches of rain the day before (that is a lot of rain). We agreed to go forward and went about our day.
Two hours later, we received a full cancellation. I actually believe the story and have empathy for the host. Fortunately, everything worked out for us as we found another property in a better location for less money.
Now, having said that, I am hugely frustrated by the process; Airbnb takes zero ownership. Sure they offer help and minuscule financial assistance, but in the grand scheme of things we were completely on our own trying to find a place to stay on 24 hours’ notice – talk about vacation stress.
My second issue is that the system is completely one sided. If a guest cancels at the last minute, for any reason, we have to pay a huge penalty. If the hosts cancels, they are held blameless. This is not an equitable situation and the absence of balance can and does lead to abuses of the system. Even though we had a good Airbnb experience in the end, I am not sure we will ever use them again… who needs the stress?
Around February, I booked a house for March 14th. On the day, I was informed by the host that the house was not available due to the radiator breaking down, which would need a few days to fix. So, I asked for a full refund because the house was the only one at which I really wanted to stay and other listed houses that the owner recommended as substitutes were not really fancy or worth the price that I paid for. I was not aware that the host has to process the cancellation if a guest wants to get a refund, which he did not process at all. After several weeks, I messaged him to check if he sent me the money back and he said: “Has it not been processed? Can you send me your bank details?”
After roughly one month from receiving this reply, I asked him again and then he said “Can you double check again?”
This was the last reply that I received. Since then, Intentionally or unintentionally, he is not answering my messages or phone calls. Is there any way that I can get a full refund with the proof that I have?
I have never completed a stay with Airbnb before and will definitely never try to use it again. However, I will certainly make sure that no one I know ever uses it. I was in the UK and planned a four-night break in NYC as a treat for my wife. I booked my flights months ago as well as an Airbnb apartment on the upper east side. I did read the host reviews and was slightly concerned as there was a complaint that the host tended to cancel at the last minute. I contacted the host, who assured me it was due to his unfamiliarity of how it worked and all was well… so I booked. I have just received a message saying my booked is cancelled and I have been refunded.
What good is that to me? Just try contacting Airbnb; there’s no email and a good wait to call the states from the UK. After looking into it, last minute cancellations seem to be common practice and Airbnb has the worst policy to prevent them: they only charge the host $100 if they cancel less than seven days before the booking. Soes the customer get the $100 for their inconvenience? No – it goes into Airbnb’s pocket. At the very least, the host should be charged a minimum of $100 for cancelling at any time and up to the total cost of the booking less than seven days and give it to the customer who has been stiffed over. I’m never using Airbnb again.
We made reservations with a host in Amsterdam in September 2016, but our host cancelled our reservations in April 2017 without any reason other than Airbnb’s Amsterdam agreement to limit the number of nights hosts can rent out their apartments to 60 days per calendar year. Why would you make reservations ten months in advance, purchase airline tickets and foreign currency with no confirmed lodging in place? That is the question we’re asking Airbnb to answer for us. If any host can cancel your reservations, why even reserve with Airbnb?
Now we are out $2600 for airline tickets because we refuse to settle for lesser accommodations. The ones we booked were listed by a “super host”. A super host listing doesn’t mean anything to us because we no longer trust the Airbnb business model or platform to uphold a confirmed reservation. This was our first time booking through Airbnb and we can honestly say that we will never trust Airbnb or any similar entity that rent out vacation properties in this manner. I’m looking to join a class-action lawsuit with other Airbnb guests that have been inconvenienced for the convenience of an Airbnb host. This practice is not fair or ethical by any means.