Broke and Unhappy After Customer Service Experience

I’m highly disappointed in my recent experience with Airbnb’s customer service. My friends and I booked what turned out to be a scam listing. We were already about 8 hours into our 11-hour drive to the beach when we received a notification from Airbnb that our booking had been canceled and we wouldn’t be penalized for the late cancelation.

We expressed that we were already over halfway there and were left with no place to stay. We were told that Airbnb would book us a new place to stay and get back to us within an hour. We never heard back from them. We ended up booking the only other pet-friendly beach house in the area that turned out to be four times the price of where we initially thought we were staying.

We reached out to Airbnb many times and were told that we had to wait until our assigned case manager contacted us and that no one else could help us. My friends and I now owe a difference of $700 per person for the new booking and Airbnb has refused to cover any of this difference. Now I’m broke and upset and my whole vacation was ruined because of this.

Another Airbnb Last Minute Host Cancellation

This was first, and will be my last, Airbnb booking. I planned a three-week trip to El Dorado, to visit family and friends. In November I put the trip together and chose Airbnb to rent an apartment for the extended stay rather than a hotel. The booking was just around the house where I grew up and was well reviewed.

Fifteen days before traveling, three months after I made the reservation, I received a notice of cancellation, with no explanation. The Superhost responded when I contacted her:

I am so sorry for the canceling. I have someone in the apartment till the end of March. You booked in November and I thought I had all of March blocked off. I just saw the reservation on the March calendar.

I asked how this happened.

I do apologize. I have never in three years had to cancel a reservation. In December I had a guest reserve the room from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. When I was blocking those days off on the web site, I just enter on the top page to block all days from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. Airbnb has change up the website. I did not see that you had your reservation in the middle of the other guest stay.

I wrote:

I made a reservation in November and you take a conflicting reservation in December. Then rather than advising the December reservation you made a mistake and have to honor a previous reservation from March 7th to March 28th made prior to their reservation, you chose to cancel mine? I don’t think that is honest or right.

I did not hear from her again. A complaint to Airbnb got a response saying they were sorry. Great. I made an unacceptable and more expensive hotel reservation and paid the flight change fee to shorten my trip.

While she claims this was an honest calendar mistake, I received confirmation and paid the 50% deposit. I would guess this is the kind of cancellation discussed on Airbnb Hell. Though I made the reservation first, for three weeks in March, she had the opportunity to take a much more lucrative three-month reservation.

Even if it was an honest mistake (very doubtful), I would expect her to explain the mistake to the three-month reservation, tell them they have to vacate for my reservation, which predates theirs. I travel several weeks a year within and outside the United States. I have used other rental services without issue.

I will never consider Airbnb again. I have deactivated my account. How can this be permitted? As with the other horror stories, all the investment and planning for the trip and my family is ripped apart.

The other part that angers me is that an automatic review, not from me, was placed for the listing with the notification of the cancellation. As the reservation was canceled, the website does not allow me to review my experience with the host and the property. Nice for Airbnb. Never again.

Thought I was the only one going through Airbnb Hell

I had booked an entire large house on Airbnb for a family reunion and a wedding in Orlando for one week. We have five kids, six grandkids and a few newfound siblings (through Ancestry.com) that were all going to stay under one roof. At my age I do not know how many more times I will get to be together with all of them, so I cherish each one immensely.

The day before the trip, I went to contact the host for the information to get into the house and that is when I saw a big red cancellation notice on my reservation. My heart dropped. My son and his family were in the air on the way. They were going to be the first to check in, and now that he was in the air on his way from Fairbanks, Alaska to Orlando, Airbnb had cancelled our reservation.

This was my first message to Airbnb after I saw they cancelled our reservation:

Help! Our entire family and a group of friends are flying from Alaska to Florida for our daughter’s wedding. I went to our reservation to see the check-in procedure and saw that Airbnb has cancelled our entire reservation, without contacting us via email or phone or other.

We have had this reservation for a month and are leaving today to meet up with the others. We had no idea they cancelled us.

As it turns out, our credit card was compromised last month so they sent us a new one. We had no idea this was happening until we received a new card. Airbnb must have tried to run the old number and when it did not go though they just cancelled us without any contact with me letting me know.

This is terrible. What can we do now? Why would they not contact us? Help!

All of our contacts with Airbnb and the host were cordial, but in no way helpful. At least if you have an issue with a hotel, they help secure new rooms. We ended up having to find hotels so none of us got to stay together.

Here is the full story as I told it to Airbnb and still they will not refund my deposit, even though I never cancelled it.

As we grow older we realize there are only so many times left in our life that we get to be surrounded by our whole family: our kids, their spouses, our grandkids. Every single one of them. People grow up and move away.

For our family, Florida was to be that time. And to have a wedding in the midst of this. I could hardly believe I was fortunate enough, dare I say blessed enough, for this family reunion and wedding to be upon us.

The last time we visited Florida, Hurricane Irma chased us away, but now we were back. Imagine my shock when on the night before we were to leave Alaska to begin our amazing family reunion, to see that our reservation had been cancelled. I was in disbelief. Denial. Shock.

How would I tell my kids who were already in the air and were to be the first to arrive with their new baby, my grandson? In my heart I felt somehow someone would be able to work this out, to make it right. It was not to be. I am writing this from my hotel on the other side of town from where our eldest son’s family is staying.

Our daughter who is getting married is at another hotel, and our daughter’s family from Atlanta is arriving tonight to be in yet another hotel. It turned out this was a holiday (Valentine’s Day, which is also the 37th anniversary of my proposal to my lovely bride) so getting hotels together did not work out.

I am telling you this so you will know that you are renting these amazing properties to real people, with real stories, not just numbers on paper. People who work hard so that when it’s time, they can also play hard and love even harder. Real families who cherish their time together.

As we now learned, unknown to us, our credit card was compromised. Between the time I paid my deposit and the time you were to charge the remainder. As someone who has done many hotel reservations, but never an Airbnb reservation, I always assumed if there was an issue I would be contacted. I was not.

My Airbnb profile has my phone, email, address and even a photo of my driver’s license: many ways to contact me. My hope in writing this is to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Ever. What should have been a glorious trip, has been so difficult for me (I was in charge of securing our place to all stay together).

The kids have been great though and are making the best of our situation. The wedding tomorrow will still be amazing, I am still blessed to see see the kids and grands. Florida is about 100 degrees warmer than Alaska. Life is good. But please remember that your guests are real families counting on you to help make their dream vacation destination a reality.

Your job is so important, as most families do not get enough time to play together. To just hang out together. In our situation, a phone called would have resolved this immediately. Immediately.

Because I was not contacted to remedy this situation, which I knew nothing about, I am expecting a full refund of my first deposit. I only hope if this ever happens again, you will contact the guest for a quick solution.

Tomorrow I am contacting the credit card company to demand they cancel this charge as we never received a notice of cancellation. They also hold some responsibility for cancelling my card.

It was really the perfect storm; they cancelled it right at the same time Airbnb tried charging the remainder. My problem is Airbnb never contacted me, even though they said they emailed. They also had my phone number and could have easily called or texted.

This was a really important week for us, and it has caused so much stress. What should have been an amazing week turned into another episode of Airbnb Hell.

Last-Minute Cancellations are Schemes by Hosts

I made my first Airbnb request for my bosses staying in Orlando for a conference. The host confirmed the reservation and sent me a written confirmation. I paid the full amount for the reservation.

At the last minute, he called me to say the unit was suddenly not available, even though I have a written confirmation in hand and I paid the full amount. There’s a conference in town and he obviously got more money from someone else and cancelled on me. To get my money back, I had to “cancel” the reservation, but didn’t get all my money refunded.

When I contacted the host, he said I cancelled, not him. So now it’s a matter of he said/she said. Since Airbnb holds the money and doesn’t send it to the host until you check in, this is a great scheme for the host. Who has the money that wasn’t refunded to me?

Screwed by Poor Airbnb Host Cancellation Policies

I have been a loyal Airbnb customer now for almost ten years, staying at places both in the U.S. and internationally. I have received nothing but positive reviews from hosts I’ve stayed with, and I have never canceled a stay.

Over these last 9+ years, hosts have either cancelled or ghosted me after confirming my reservation at least three times. I don’t mean cancelling my reservation within a reasonable amount of time before my trip starts. I’m talking about less than 30 days, and in some cases, less than two weeks for trips that I had booked months in advance.

I know folks have had it worse, but the fact that Airbnb continues to let this happen is garbage. All they can offer is a voucher worth 10% of the booking costs. What is the host penalty? Anywhere from $50-$100. That’s it – it’s often a fraction of what guests have paid, many times upfront.

Well, I’ve reached the final straw with Airbnb. I’m turning 40 this year, and as you might imagine with such a major occasion, I began planning festivities well in advance. I typically go to Palm Springs with family around my birthday every year (in mid-March) anyway, but for this milestone birthday, I thought I’d open up the trip to friends.

I polled people I wanted to come to gauge budget and availability, and in November 2019, I booked an affordable place for eight people. While many 5+ bedroom options in Palm Springs exist on Airbnb, the ones that cost less than $800/night are few and far between. Especially in March, which is the beginning of peak season in Palm Springs because of major tennis tournaments, auto shows, music festivals, etc.

Again, being a regular visitor to the area and knowing about these regular events, I always book as early as possible to have the best choice of affordable options. My trip was booked for March 13-18, 2020.

On February 17 – less than 30 days before the start of my trip – I received an email that the host had canceled my reservation. No reason was provided in the auto-generated email, but when I called customer service and asked, I was told that the owner was planning to sell the property.

I obviously don’t know this person’s circumstances, but I don’t think selling one’s home (unless connected with a death) is necessarily an extenuating enough circumstance for such a short-notice cancellation. I spent nearly $3500 on this rental and booked it months ago. It was in a location chosen specifically because it was near where other family were going to be staying.

Of course, when I quickly searched Airbnb after getting the cancellation notice, the cheapest comparable option available was $4691, a difference of over $1300. I was told Airbnb’s policy was to offer a credit of 10% of the original booking cost.

If you’re not a math person, let me explain the problem here: 300-some dollars will not cover a $1300 cost difference. Not only did I express my extreme frustration, but I emphasized that since I booked this place back in November, nonrefundable flights had been purchased, time off from jobs requested, etc.

A host cancellation didn’t just mean my group was out of a place to stay; there was a domino effect of other potential cost implications. After berating customer service about this BS policy, I was approved for a $670 credit. This would have been a fine solution, because since the new property was a bit larger, the cost per person would effectively be the same as the original booking.

There seemed to be some confusing information about the place I was hoping to book, so I immediately contacted that host to get some questions answered. One of which was why I wasn’t able to split the payment as I did with the previous booking and on other listings I had seen. I was not prepared to make a single $4500+ payment, especially given the fact that I was automatically issued a refund, and with Monday being a holiday, it would be several days until those funds would be available.

I was told by the host to contact Airbnb, and when I did, not only did they take forever to respond, they told me I would see the option to do two payments on the final “Request to Book” screen. I think you can guess what happens next. There’s no option to split the payment. I’m still being told I’ll be paying $4691 right now.

I messaged Airbnb again to tell them that – quelle surprise – I have no option to split the payment. You guessed it again – during the time this all transpired, the place I was trying to book was snatched away and showed up as no longer available.

Not only has Airbnb wasted hours of my time, they’ve now cost me more money. Given the ticking clock and the big group I needed to accommodate, I was forced to book the next least expensive property I could find at $4849. Again, if you’re not a math person, we’re now at almost $1500 over the cost of the original booking with only a $670 credit.

To say that I am livid, pissed, irate, beside myself with anger is an understatement. I’m officially done being screwed by Airbnb. I had not intended to spend the few weeks before my big celebration being stressed out dealing with this nonsense, nor had I intended to shell out more money for an already expensive trip which had already been budgeted for.

The absurdly minimal recourse guests have against hosts is unconscionable. Hosts – particularly in big or popular tourist markets – are making hand over fist dollars for these rentals and when they screw up, the guests pay. What started out as being a genius idea has, like most, gone to s%*t because no one seems to care about quality or the consumer. That’s not accountability – that’s greed.

Airbnb Cancelled my LA Accommodation with no Warning

I have been planning a road trip around the US from Australia for several months now. There are five of us going: myself, my sister, my brother, and two friends who are a couple. Between us we are aged 27 to 43, one of us is pregnant, and we’re all nerdy. Hardly party people, right?

Due to the fact there are five adults needing four beds and we’re driving so we have a car, Airbnb is the cheapest and most convenient way for us to book accommodation. We booked all of our accommodation months in advance.

Last week, with no warning, I got an email from Airbnb stating our accommodation in LA had been cancelled. There was no explanation, no apology, just that it had been cancelled and I would get a refund. I messaged the host asking why he cancelled, and in the meantime searched for a new house.

What did I find? The house I’d booked, back online and available for the dates I had booked, but at an increase in price. Furious, I emailed Airbnb Support. According to their guidelines, if a host cancels the reservation “you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of a cancelled reservation”.

The host responds and assures me he has not cancelled the booking, but Airbnb has instead. Nowhere in my short email and text from Airbnb alerting me to this cancellation is it clear that Airbnb has made this cancellation. The host says it’s due to new laws in LA.

I Googled these “new laws” and found one news article saying Airbnb has cancelled a number of reservations in LA due to complaints of these houses being “party houses”, after a mass shooting at one in October last year. I sent Airbnb a follow up. The host has said that Airbnb is usually pretty good at assisting guests with rebooking after cancellations. This was not something they had offered to help with for me.

I finally get a response from Airbnb Support. They stated: “When we checked the host account, the reason why they cancelled the reservation is due to the new law in California regarding renting the place. Almost all the reservations were cancelled. Their local government is requiring them to do some stuff before hosting. Until the host settle this with their local government, that’s when they will start hosting again.”

I responded, asking why the house in question was still listed as available on Airbnb if the host has to “do some stuff” before being allowed to host again. I also requested advice on how to rebook in LA if this is a blanket law. Airbnb responded saying they do not have control if the reservation is cancelled by the host, which is why there are cancellation penalties in place.

Obviously the people at Airbnb were struggling to read English. This is not the case. Airbnb cancelled my reservation, not the host. I requested clarification, Airbnb responded with yet another weak excuse, blaming the host. I responded expressing my disappointment, asking why they hadn’t addressed my concerns or been able to give me an apology. They didn’t respond.

I’ve been sending them a message everyday, reminding them that I don’t believe my matter is resolved, and requesting to speak to a manager. I’m hesitant to rebook in LA, if the same thing is likely to happen (they won’t address this concern at all) and don’t want to risk my booking being cancelled too close to the trip, as LA is our first stop. Honestly, this has put me off using Airbnb because clearly customer service is not a priority for them. Does anyone know how you make a formal complaint against them?

Cancelled our booking within 24 hours of check in

We booked an Airbnb months ago in NYC, very close to where my husband was to be a groomsman in a wedding. With less than 24 hours to check-in, we received a cancellation notice without any explanation from the host. After a frantic, stressful search, we found another property on HomeAway (a competitor). When we called Airbnb, they basically shrugged their shoulders, gave us a refund, offered us a $60 credit if we booked within the next month… and deleted all of our communication with the host.

What is that about? We wanted to write a negative review of the host to keep people away from them, but Airbnb would not allow us to. It makes me wonder if this is common practice by Airbnb in order to limit the number of negative reviews to keep people using the site. We won’t use them again.

Airbnb Host Relists His Property for More

I made a reservation to stay one week. The host took payment, then would not answer a few days before regarding check in. I had to get customer service involved and he finally answered them. I was in a car on my way to the Airbnb and I got a message that he wanted to cancel most of my days, giving the excuse that he has family issues. Well, now I’m out with nowhere to stay in NYC. I searched and the only available places are around $300 a night. Plus while searching I came across the place that changed my dates due to “family issues”; it’s available for those dates for more money. Airbnb is a scam. They don’t screen who is offering places.

Airbnb Cancels 3 Hours Before Check in for a 17-day Stay

Now that I am home from my trip, the time to post a bad review has expired. Zero stars for the performance of both the Airbnb host and Airbnb. I made reservations for my stay and flights to Paris five months in advance. The apartment was in a good neighborhood and was a good price.

After 15 hours of traveling, I arrived in Paris. Two and a half hours before I was supposed to check in, I got a call from Airbnb. My accommodations had been cancelled. I was staying for 17 days. It is almost impossible to get a hotel in Paris at twice the cost with zero advanced notice. Airbnb had five-some options at twice the price a mile or more away. Location is everything in Paris.

Beware, a last minute cancellation of a long stay is disastrous. If you dare, make multiple reservations and cancel on them within their cancellation rules. They did refund my money and offered a $200 discount with a three-day expiration for rebooking a more expensive place. My alternate accommodations cost $1800 more than expected.

Cancelling on a Guest at the Last Minute? Mean.

On June 30th, I paid Airbnb for three nights for August 3-5 in Budapest for my husband and myself. That way I could organize a Hungarian SIM card and finalize a car rental with one of the three companies I had approached by email. I communicated with our Airbnb host through WhatsApp several times and all seemed perfect.

While we were flying to Budapest the host sent an email, not a WhatsApp message, saying that due to a water leakage in the bathroom he was cancelling. I knew nothing about that while flying. We arrived and through the kindness of a Hungarian lady who worked at the airport I got wifi and power to my almost dead iPhone and sent a WhatsApp message for instructions to get the key. Silence.

I look into my emails and there was the shock of my life. That day there was the final day of Formula 1 and many hotels were booked. A taxi driver took us to one hotel he knew… nothing. He took us to a store where I could buy a SIM card with data and minutes to call but it would not install properly. We went to another hotel in the same taxi. The angel-driver was making calls for us. He drove us to a place downtown where they had a room. With a SIM card I made calls and I found another hotel for the next twi nights as planned… less than luxurious.

What is very upsetting is the cowardliness. The host read my WhatsApp messages and chose to be silent while I was at the airport. He did not offer any help whatsoever. If the roles were reversed I would have assisted in any way, helping to find another place with Airbnb for instance. Thinking back, this man might have had a guest for more money on that busy weekend of the Formula 1 and just dumped us.

The supervisor who contacted me while I was already in the first hotel did nothing for me: no offers, suggestions or anything. When I looked for a number to call it was in the U. I could not even unload my frustration by phone to anyone.

I just tried to review my experience on Airbnb and I am unable. I took our photo off my profile. I will try to express my experience on their website somehow for all to read. I will never attempt to use Airbnb.

This is a two-month trip, so what are we doing for lodging? We use pensions, they are called “vendégház ” in Hungarian or pension and many have signs on poles with arrows. There will be definitely a sign at their door. We pay directly to the owners and avoid the middlemen and we are happy to know they get all the money. Some of them have had a small fridge, and a kitchenette with microwave oven.

I paid less money this way than going through Airbnb. I have been checking through our travels. Some of this pensions are with several companies that are convenient for us for booking online but when we go directly knocking at their doors it is cheaper.

Airbnb can go fly a kit. The stress I went through is unforgivable. Luckily I chose a flight that arrived at 1:00 PM Budapest time. Being left alone to our own limited resources in a strange country was mean. I will return to Hungary, call the same hotel that we took for two nights, rent a car, and visit fantastic places and stay at vendégház anytime.