I accepted a three-night rental in our one-bedroom apartment. In doing so, I blocked off those nights so that I could not accept any other inquiries for those dates. Then, the very day of check in, I received a message from the guest that he wanted to cancel, presumably because of a sick relative. They used their “extenuating circumstances” excuse to waive my cancelation policy. No other hotel or vacation rental site would allow a guest to cancel only 5-6 hours before checking in. And this is not an isolated situation. In the past several months, I have had three other cancelations, all at the last minute. So, I have resigned to the fact that Airbnb is not at all reliable. I don’t want to accept a rental for any length of time for fear that it will be canceled at the last moment and I will lose the rental income for that time period. What I am doing is blocking off all the future dates in my calendar and then only unblocking two or three nights ahead for last-minute, last-resort bookings. Since TripAdvisor and VRBO do not have such a policy, I will depend on them for virtually all my future rental bookings.
Don’t trust Airbnb with their cancellation policies. I had a guest arrive late one evening around midnight. They seemed quite happy with the apartment, then the next day called to say that they had found a place closer to the sea, and would like to leave. I said that would be fine, and then they asked for their money back. I responded it was not possible as I have lost other bookings. The next day they left and cancelled with Airbnb and requested a refund, which I declined. They also left the place filthy and full of rubbish. I heard nothing from Airbnb until after my next guest arrived, then they processed the refund from the payment of the other guests. Without telling me. This is daylight robbery. So hosts: beware your Airbnb cancellation policy means nothing. You are not covered. And what’s worse is they said that the apartment was listed incorrectly, which is all they have to do to get out of the cancellation policy. Do not list your property in Airbnb if you are a host.
We organised a trip to Singapore to surprise a dear friend and booked an Airbnb for four people which apparently had 400 positive reviews. When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly Filipino lady. She explained to us that there is another guest staying so we just need to keep our volume down (fair enough). The aircon was also leaking. Not long after, we heard loud noises of someone seemingly playing video games coming from the living room. We ignored that, though we were told to be respectful and keep our volume down.
While waiting for our last remaining friend to arrive, we were getting ready to head out. One of our friends then came over to the apartment to wait for us while we are getting ready. The person who was playing video games earlier started to go berserk after seeing our friend appearing in the apartment (we had booked for four but there were only three of us in the apartment at the time of our friend’s arrival). Although we tried to explain to her over and over that our friend is not staying overnight, but just here to wait for us to get ready and go out, she went ballistic and shouted: “Get out of my house! Get out now!”
We only found out she was the host after this whole incident (we always thought she was just another guest staying in the place). So the person who insisted she didn’t want any noise in her place was shouting at the top of her lungs. The nice Filipino lady was actually not the host (we suspected she was the housekeeper made to do business for her by the way the host talked to her). We didn’t want to leave before she refunded our money, but she went ahead and switched off all the electricity, wifi, and anything else that she could. After that we were left with no place to go, in a foreign country, having to find other accommodations at 7:00 pm.
The next day we continued to receive threatening messages saying that we were disrespectful and she would pursue legal action if we posted anything online. What a wonderful first experience with Airbnb! The problem is, no one is allowed to leave any feedback before completing a stay. Very often the reviews would be skewed towards the positive. So people like us who got chased out for a small matter were unable to leave any feedback on Airbnb. Although the host cancelled our stay on the day we arrived, this was not shown on <a href=”https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/3775738″>her page</a>.
I booked an Airbnb two months before a business trip with my children. The Airbnb host cancelled my reservation less than five days before my trip. I spent a full workday investigating alternative accommodations and communicating with Airbnb. The only available hotel room I could find was three times the price of my Airbnb property but without the amenities of my previously reserved (and paid for!) accommodations. Airbnb refused to compensate me for the full additional cost I incurred because of the host’s unprofessional cancellation. Customer service was slow and borderline rude. This organization clearly is not interested in customer satisfaction or host accountability. I will never use their services in the future.