In November 2014, we started a bed and breakfast in the Dominican Republic. We rented a unit with three bedrooms so that we could rent out two bedrooms. We set up our own website and started getting business in January 2015. By the end of 2017 we noticed a considerable decline in customers. We queried our clients and those who learned of our service only after booking elsewhere and discovered that many were using Airbnb for bookings. We set up a listing on Airbnb to test out these waters.
The listing was just starting to bear fruit when, on April 10th, 2018, Airbnb inexplicably took it down. On April 16th, I sent Airbnb support the following message: “My listing was taken down on April 10th. I don’t know why. When I try to re-list, I get this error message: ‘Sorry, we cannot activate your listing.'”
On April 17th, I received the following unsigned message: “I’ve forwarded your inquiry to a member of my team who can better assist you. Please feel free to add any additional information to this email, and we’ll be in touch with you soon.”
On April 23rd, I followed up with the following message: “Excuse me, but when is the other member of your team going to get back to me? We are losing money here.”
Finally, on June 21st, I received the following reply:
“I hope this message finds you well. I work here on a specialized team that handles these types of reports. Due to the sensitivity of this matter, and for privacy reasons, I would like to follow up with you via email so please keep a look out for my message. Thank you kindly for your understanding!”
I’m still waiting for this email. The thread now says: “This support case is now closed. You can no longer reply to this thread. If you need additional help, you can always visit our Help Center.” There was no solution and no action on their part. We lost a lot of money.
In the end we had to give up the three-bedroom apartment due to no revenue. On July 22nd, we started looking for a place to stay for a vacation in Canada from September 28 to October 15. After days of searching and corresponding we settled on a place near Burleigh Falls, Ontario.
Negotiations went well and the host sent us an offer that I tried to accept. However, I received this message: “Oops, we’re unable to complete this booking. Unable to perform action. Please try again through the website or contact support if you need immediate assistance.” I tried to find a phone number, but there is none listed on their site.
I wrote to Customer Support on July 26th. I received this reply later that day: “I’m with Airbnb Support. I’ll be helping you today. Give me a moment while I look into your case.” Then later on: “Unfortunately I’m unable to resolve your case over live chat. I’m going to transfer your case to a team that can better assist you. The next available specialist will review our conversation and reply here. Thank you for your patience; please note that response times may vary.”
I found a phone number for Airbnb on Airbnb Hell and called it. During the first phone call I was told that she could not resolve this issue, that it had to be handled by the next level. However, she would put it as a priority. Then, on July 28th I received a message in which the host called me a liar and scammer. She further said: “I called Airbnb and they said not to have any further contact with you because your payment information is red flagged for fraud. You can deal with them. I do not want your business. Please do not contact me again.”
I forwarded her message onto support using the same support ticket conversation. There was no answer. I called and brought this to their attention. Not only has Airbnb unjustifiably deprived me of needed revenue, they have defamed me and my reputation. This has caused me much stress. Adding to the stress is that we have booked our ticket to Canada and needed to find other accommodation during our stay.
I could neither find anything that matched our dates nor that was of similar quality for the price of this property. We settled for a lesser quality unit at a higher price across the lake from where we wanted to be and will have to book a hotel for dates that this place cannot handle. Researching this cost me a lot in stress and in time. Now there are added expenses of a hotel room that we would not have had to pay, if Airbnb had not slandered me. I have searched around and found that others have suffered similar fates with Airbnb. I think that this merits investigation as a possible class action suit. What is your opinion?