Airbnb Cancelled without Time to Respond

My Airbnb was cancelled within six hours. In December 2018 I booked an apartment in Corfu City for August 2019. Half of the fee had already been paid in advance (so far, standard procedure).

On July 27th at 7:00 PM an email arrived in my account. Airbnb sent a message telling me I had 72 hours to update my payment modalities since the transaction of the remaining fee hadn’t gone through. Further down in the email Airbnb let me know I had until the next day – the 28th – otherwise my booking would be cancelled. What was it? 24 hours or 72 hours to update the account? A discrepancy in itself.

The second email I found arrived only six hours later at 2:00 in the morning telling me my booking had been cancelled and a refund had been made to my account. Airbnb kept a cancellation fee of 48.77 Euro. I found those emails the evening of 28th (I am on vacation after all, and not checking my email every five hours).

We were already on Corfu island, a very uncomfortable situation to suddenly find ourselves without accommodation the upcoming weekend. I had to get in touch with the host immediately. Our host was extremely nice and helped us activate the booking again. Now I wonder – whatever happened to my 48 Euro? I have already written to Airbnb, but no one has gotten in touch with me so far.

I wonder if this happens often? A long standing booking cancelled by Airbnb within six hours? Not even being given a chance to update the payment modalities before cancellation? The cancellation fee mysteriously vanishing? No further information by Airbnb provided? Everything left for the guest and the host to be figured out (which was a tedious procedure and I am still ending up paying more)? I am very disappointed in Airbnb. Next time I will find accommodation through other platforms.

Stranded at Taipei Airbnb after no Contact

I recently booked an Airbnb in Taipei. I advised the host in advance when I would be arriving. I asked how I would get the keys and was advised I would be greeted. I have learned the hard way that the address on a listing does not have to be the address of the Airbnb. I have also learned that a host is allowed to give instructions on how to locate the keys and if for any reason I can not understand the instructions or they do not work, the host does not have to assist me. Here is my story.

I proceeded to go to the address on the Airbnb listing and it was not a residential address. There was no one to greet me even though I was advised in advance there would be, so I called the contact number. The person who answered did not speak english so I found a stranger to call for me. The stranger advised me that the person who answered said they could not assist me.

I then messaged the phone number and received the following reply in English: “So are you coming tonight or tomorrow?” I told him I was here now. The host then sent me a list of outrageous instructions. I first had to view a video to find the mailbox, then go a few blocks to a mailbox, open the box, get another box, enter a code to open that box and take out a magnetic strip, walk a few more blocks to another location, use the magnetic strip to make the elevator work, then watch another video to get the code to open the unit. Well, I could not play the first video so I messaged the host that I could not play the video and he didn’t reply. There I was, stranded.

I was convinced this was a scam host because the address did not exist, there was no host to greet me, I could not communicate by phone, my final communication from the host asked what day I was arriving which I found frustrating as I had already communicated this, the instructions had a video that I could not play, and when I advised the host I could not view the video, he did not reply. Airbnb advised me I was at fault because I proceeded to cancel the reservation when in fact I should have called them first for their assistance.

Airbnb Can’t Decide how to Verify Accounts

I tried to log in to my Airbnb account of one year. Error: “There was a problem. Please try again.” I set up a new account with another email address: same error and no login possible.

I called customer service – the guy had no idea what to do. I told him my assumption was that I had too many similar accounts. I suggested a solution because he had none: deleting all older accounts and focusing on one. He did that whilst he was yawning loudly on the phone. I told him to please not fall asleep (I had still a sense of humour in the first hour of this Airbnb “session”). Later I tried the existing account and still got the same error: “Something went wrong. Please try again…”

I told the guy to also delete my last existing account and not to hang up because I set up a new account with a third email address while he was still on the phone, not to lose the person who knew the case when I would have to call again. After one hour, I could sign in.

The next and until now unsolved problem: verification. I took a photo of my passport, within that square thing on the screen. Next step: I saw half of my my face and the question: “Does this picture look good?”

No – it was only half my face. I tried three more times to take a picture of my passport where in the end I could answer with “Yes, I can see my full face.” Although it was really small, but maybe that’s a problem for later.

Next step: selfie for verifying my passport. I took a pictured and waited 15 minutes. I took another selfie, then another before calling customer service. The guy on the phone said I should use another ID, only he didn’t know how. Then he found out after reading an article about this problem: I should click on “submitting ID”, in the changing profile category.

I clicked on “submitting ID” and the system wanted me to upload a selfie to verify my ID. That was the problem from before. The guy said he would find out how to change the ID. He didn’t. I gave up, after three hours spending my holiday time in front of a screen.

Some hours later the same guy gave me a call and asked me if the problem had been resolved. He didn’t give me a solution – I don’t have one either. No verification, no reservation, no booking… there we are. I found a place to stay at the Airbnb I wanted to reserve via the old-fashioned way: talking to people in real life. I found the address via Google because the host had a public project. I told him about my Airbnb problems and we agreed on a cheaper price and to do it without Airbnb. Great!

Will I ever use Airbnb again? I don’t know, but the first thing I have to do is delete my existing account and set up a new one. Thanks to my own problem-solving competence which is obviously better than any of the people in customer service…

Stood up out in Arctic Sweden by Airbnb Host

Airbnb advertised availability for two nights lodging on its website for Kiruna, Sweden for June 8-10. I booked the lodging. Airbnb collected the money. It did not deliver the product, the lodging.

Airbnb’s advertised host did not give me good directions to the site. It took me 60 minutes walking to find it. When I found it, Airbnb’s advertised host did not answer the door. He told Airbnb customer service later that he did not hear me. Yet he knew I had a reservation, and that I was coming, and had received my money.

I purchased the accommodations and paid for them through Airbnb’s website on May 22nd and relied on the Airbnb advertisement on its site that its Airbnb host would provide lodging. He did not. I communicated with the Airbnb host ahead of time, telling him my flight would arrive in Kiruna at 8:20 PM.

I arrived at his front door at 10:30 PM, after asking three different people how to get to his address, as his directions were vague. I knocked on his door twice, loudly. No one answered. As I did not have a phone usable in Sweden, I knocked on his next door neighbor’s door after Airbnb’s host did not answer.

His next door neighbors confirmed that he lived where I knocked. They would not, though, call him to let him know I had arrived. I returned to his house and knocked loudly a third time. No answer. Then I walked to a convenience store a half mile away. The clerk there called him at his advertised number and handed me the phone. There was no answer.

I was stranded in a foreign city I had never visited, knowing no one, without lodging, at 10:45 PM. This was traumatic. Kiruna is in the Arctic; it was cold there. I had only arrived in Sweden that day. This was to be my first night ever in Sweden.

I had to hire a taxi to take me to two different hotels before finding one with availability, and then also find a hotel for June 10th. I had almost no wifi on June 9th as I was traveling on Arctic trains which had very spotty wifi en route to my June 9th stay in a small northern Arctic mountain community with no wifi.

I contacted Airbnb on June 10th and canceled the second night I was to stay with its host, requesting a refund of my fees paid to Airbnb as I could not rely on its host to answer the door for my planned stay there, reimbursement for the replacement lodging I had to find, money for the taxi, and compensation for my inconvenience, worry, stress, and time dealing with the problem.

After writing Airbnb customer service, on June 21st Airbnb refunded me $21 cash. They have refused to refund me or pay for my expenses beyond that, other than to offer Airbnb coupons, which I do not want. On July 1st, I wrote Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO, an overnight letter again requesting a refund. His office received my letter on July 2nd. On July 8th I called and left a message for Mr. Chesky with his staff; I also emailed him directly on July 10th. Neither he nor any of his Airbnb staff has responded to my July 1st letter in the past 18 days.

The problem caused me worry, stress, lack of sleep, sleep disruption, and inconvenience during the trip, with a loss of 5.5 hours of time in Sweden on my trip, and 7 hours spent trying to resolve this Airbnb problem after the trip, including emails, phone calls, the CEO letter, and complaints to the California A/G’s office and the Better Business Bureau. It should not take seven hours after a trip is done to resolve a lodging problem during the trip.

Airbnb’s competition is hotels. A hotel would have resolved this situation immediately. I have averaged five Airbnb lodgings per year for the past six years. This is how Airbnb treats its long-time customers. When you need help, they show their real interest (zero) in you and your problem. It is all about the money for them, and all about ignoring problems for them.

My research shows other Airbnb scams/fraudulent activity due to no-show Airbnb hosts. These other Airbnb hosts also stood up other people using Airbnb’s web site like me. These other victims of Airbnb no-show hosts, also making advance payment for lodging as required by Airbnb, were for lodgings in Barbados (2019), Portimao, Portugal (2018), Majorca (2018), and Florence, Italy (2017). In each of these other cases the scam/fraud victims similarly had trouble getting compensation from Airbnb.

This type of continued Airbnb scam/fraud is wrong. Their lack of resolution of this problem, especially for a long-time customer, is despicable and outrageous. It seems like a pattern of fraud/scams on Airbnb’s part, to improve their bottom line. I am willing to and prepared to take them to court if need be.

Moral of this saga: You often save some money with Airbnb vs. a hotel. But if there is a problem, and you booked with Airbnb, tough luck. You are often just plain out of luck. They do not care, unlike hotels. It apparently is Airbnb’s direction from the top, from the CEO on down. Once they have the money, they do not care about helping.

Stranded in Singapore After Customer Service Fiasco

We made a reservation over three months ago after doing careful research and reading reviews about a listing for a property in Singapore for a family vacation. We only travel together once a year; it’s important that we get this right so we took our time to do our research and booked the $1600 stay.

A day before our departure we were contacted by the host that because of an air conditioning problem he would substitute a similar property. Yesterday we arrived and this property was completely unusable. It didn’t even have a sofa; it could not accommodate one person and the host was a bait and switch master. Apparently, in Singapore this is a standard game.

We called Airbnb immediately and asked that we be moved to another property and pleaded with them not to do their stunt where a refund takes ten days to get, isn’t usable, and leaves us stranded. This would not have been the first time this has happened.

I spoke to a case manager who assured me this would be easily and quickly expedited. While I was on the phone with someone the host came to the door of our unit, started pounding, and screaming and physically threatening us. We were on the phone with Airbnb when this happened. We were assured the new case manager that Airbnb would pay for this and that we would be safe and our family would not be at risk. This of course is on the recording of the call.

We started looking for an alternate setting when the host without our permission cancelled the booking and continued to be abusive. Getting a refund in Singapore on the day that you need a reservation is insane.

For the next 24 hours we did nothing but speak to various buffoons, imbeciles, morons, and idiots. We’ve been abused, we’ve been disrespected, and most recently they blocked us. I don’t know what their training model is; it appears to be subterfuge and confidence. They were supposed to issue coupons; they didn’t. They were supposed have some college education; they didn’t. They were supposed to deescalate the situation; they didn’t.

We are stranded in Singapore with nowhere to go and now no money and no coupon. I’m in executive director of a nonprofit and a CEO. I was a psychotherapist and I can tell you Airbnb is doing nothing but harm with their greed. No one should do business with this company and of course I never will again.

They have ruined our vacation that’s been planned for over a year with countless amounts of money spent and time with activities reserved in advance that will now fly out the door. They are so incredibly disrespectful. It really sickens me to talk to Airbnb especially the most recent times where they literally kept us on hold for two hours with nothing to add to the conversation. I feel they are purposely doing so. They didn’t seem to understand that there was a time difference between Singapore in San Francisco. How is it possible that people like this exist?

Hotel Rooms will always be Preferable to Airbnb

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I reserved an Airbnb a week in advance for a six-guest stay in an apartment. The host and I talked back and forth and she was very polite. We rolled up around 1:00 AM, drained after our 4.5-hour drive and just ready to get settled in and maybe hit a few bars to get our trip started.

We unlocked the door and walked in to see this very large man on the living room floor about ten feet away from the front door we opened. We all jump back, thinking: “Is this the wrong room? No, it can’t be because the code to unlock it is working.”

The guys went inside to find sections of the living room separated by sheets/curtains and three beds on the floor for us to sleep on. These beds were a curtain away from this random man on the floor. The guys went back in to take pics and videos of this place as proof to send to customer service for a refund. There were even two rooms in the back that had people in them.

I promptly cancelled our Airbnb and immediately called customer service. The customer service rep told me he had to contact the host to get her side of the story. They contacted the host who finally woke up and started freaking out, sending me crazy rude messages. At the point we were all just so done; we just needed somewhere to sleep.

After calling around and driving around until after 5:00 AM we finally found something to accommodate all six of us (thanks to the nice front desk lady at the Comfort Inn). The crazy host kept messaging me until 4:30 AM.

Now, looking at the reservation, it does say a shared room up to eight people. This was my first Airbnb experience to I thought shared meant shared with our guests (since there were six of us). However, we were never informed people would be there at the same time as us a sheet away – scary.

In the end, the host was just as rude to my customer service guy as she was to me which, isn’t going to help her. Hopefully, she is removed from Airbnb. She refused us a full refund but we called and filed a claim with Chase.

P.S: it looked nothing like the pictures. I’m attaching the photos from the website, the guy on the floor, our “room”, and screen shots of this crazy lady going off on me. The door auto locks so we didn’t leave anyone in any type of danger/harm. You can’t break and enter if you were given the gate and door code to get in.

Horrible Airbnb Hostel, Horrible Service

I suffer from middle ear issues which causes imbalance/vertigo, especially after long flights. I contacted a host prior to booking and asked if I could check-in early so I could lie down. She said that was fine. I booked at her place, but on arrival, she told me that someone was in my room and I couldn’t check-in. She wouldn’t even let me lie down in her house. Link to her room.

I was so dizzy I could barely walk. I had to leave my suitcase at her place and walk down and lie in an oval for six hours. While there, I had no water, food, and I was nearly mugged (I had my laptop out and a guy on a bicycle kept circling; I had to finally lie in the full sun because it was near a couple of other guys; I ended up sunburnt).

Airbnb contacted me and promised they would help me find other accommodation. I needed somewhere close by because I would be catching up with friends in that area in a couple of days. I couldn’t find any nice cheap accommodation in that area, so I sent a link for something just a little more expensive (not much considering what I’d gone through).

Airbnb stopped getting back to me and wouldn’t confirm if I could book. My phone was nearly flat and I didn’t know what to do, so I found another, cheaper, place in London and quickly booked (I didn’t have time to Google the address because I had 2% battery).

When I went back to get my suitcase, the host had locked me out of her house (I had a key, but she’d locked both locks). I then had to sit on her doorstep for long time. When she arrived she laughed in my face and said, “Because you asked me to cancel the booking, you can’t write a bad review.”

I began to cry. It got worse.

My phone went flat and then I had to walk my suitcase up a steep road to a cafe, charge it, and then call a taxi from there. It was then that I found out that my new accommodation was three hours on public transport from where my friends live (also a one-hour taxi ride which cost me 100 AUD; I sent Airbnb the receipt asking for refund and they have manually removed the receipt from the conversation).

I rang Airbnb and they told me that they would help. The gentleman said he would personally fix this terrible thing that happened to me and move me closer to my friends. He promised me that Airbnb would make up any financial losses. He promised me he would take on my case personally until it was resolved. Then I received a message through Airbnb, where he stated that he wouldn’t take on my case, and that it was being passed back to the person who didn’t fix things last time and who left me stranded in an oval, spinning like a top.

It has been hours and I still haven’t received any contact from Airbnb. Now I’m stuck on the other side of London, three hours on public transport from where my friends are. The first week of my holiday is ruined; and worse still, Airbnb is no longer answering my calls. I just want to cry. I wish I had booked a hotel room.

Airbnb Helps Scammers Rob Unaware Guests

After hearing about Airbnb for years, we decided to try it. We were visiting family and were too many to fit comfortably, so we decided to get an Airbnb nearby since hotels were 30-40 minutes away. The idea was to minimize the travel time. The price of the Airbnb was more than the hotel, but again, we wanted to be nearby.

We arrived to find the Airbnb was in a crime-ridden area of the city, with lots of people talking loudly on the stoops at 10:00 PM, drinking and smoking. Absolutely no parking around, even double parked cars. Police and emergency activity in the surroundings. We did not feel safe staying in this place, that by the way, was a tenement.

The listing made it sound like you would have a private apartment for your family, but what they have done is divide a house into rooms, each with a lock. Even the former living room was converted into a bedroom. There were four individually rented rooms in what used to be a three-bedroom house. That was not what we signed up for and paid $99/night. For comparison you could get a 2-3 star hotel room for $80.

We decided to squeeze with family and cancel this awful place. Then we discovered that even though we canceled the host was entitled to keep our money since most of what we paid was non-refundable. We only got 10% back.

I thought Airbnb protected the guest, but unfortunately they only protect the hosts. There is absolutely no reason that the host can rent this dump and when just arrive and decide not to stay, they get to keep all your money even though they can re-rent the place. Maybe they should keep the money for the first night, but all of it? Needless to say we would never, ever try Airbnb again.

PS: We Googled the address after seeing it and found that there was a murder next door in 2016, drug arrests, shootings and more in the recent past. How Airbnb thinks this is a place to offer to unaware guests is beyond me.

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Left Stranded in NYC with Only $500 Because of Airbnb

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I am writing Airbnb an official complaint regarding their handling of my three-week reservation that was cancelled on the day prior to checking in. I understand that this cancellation may have been out of their control but the following steps towards fixing this was just a blatant failure on their part.

I’d also just like to point out that their lack of severe penalties to disincentivise this behaviour is also a contributor so let’s just make sure they’re aware that this is what can happen when policies are designed extremely poorly. I’d like to chronologically recount to you my 8-hour ordeal (to which at the time of writing, being 2:00 AM, the issue has still not been resolved and I have no accommodation for the next 22 days in NYC).

On the first call to Airbnb’s helpline, a complaints representative told me the host who cancelled on me was obligated to help me find other suitable accommodation and I should sit tight and wait for a call within 10-15 minutes. When I pushed back she said “Sir, you need to trust the process…she will call you”. She did not.

For the second, third, and fourth calls I was constantly told to call back until I was finally redirected to a case manager. He could only provide me a 500 AUD coupon to supplement my next booking. All subsequent bookings in a similar area range cost at a minimum 1000 AUD more. This was not good enough and I asked him politely if he could escalate this to someone who could do better. He escalated this urgent request over email and then his shift ended – with no further correspondence or reasonable handover to another manager. This is not okay.

On my fifth call I had been informed by my new case manager that the other case manager cannot be reached and that he will endeavour to look for another suitable accommodation that would work with my budget and transit requirements. He proceeded to then send me a haphazard “Brooklyn” search and asked me if I had “looked” at the listings.

It took me ten minutes to convince him that what he had sent me was all in USD and that if you convert to AUD it would be much more expensive. He then proceeded to tell me he needed to restart his computer (due to computer issues) and that he promised he would call me back. I waited another 30 minutes before I decided to call back and repeat the process.

Call number six was with a “resolution specialist” who looked for other accommodation for me after reassuring me that she will be able to help. The listings she provided were also in USD and when converted, finances were unfavourable. On top of that, the listings she provided were so inadequate for my transit needs (to school in midtown) that I just gave up calling for help. I have since messaged Airbnb on Facebook messenger and they have also asked me to await another “case manager” to address my issue.

As you can see, a lot has happened and there is no resolution to show for it. On top of that I’d like to highlight some key failures on Airbnb’s part: poor escalation of issues as each “manager” or “specialist” I spoke to wasn’t really a manager or special enough or had enough authority to increase the limit or convert the coupon to a currency/amount that actually made a difference.

I’m surprised that the response approach was so varied. There are smaller banks in less developed countries that have better authority limits and remediation procedures than Airbnb does. The suggestions made by Airbnb’s specialists very clearly point out to me that they have no understanding around the context of my situation and the context of the area in which I’m trying to stay. If I knew that was the case I would not have called so many times as they were not helpful in the slightest and just wasted my time.

The amount Airbnb refunds and additional coupon offered does not match or reflect the additional accommodation costs I will incur due to my last minute booking circumstance.

Finally, I’d like to point out that this is my first time in New York and due to Airbnb’s inability to resolve issues promptly and adequately, they have made me miss my first Broadway show that I had booked, ruined my first New York experience and have broken my trust. They are a company that provides a service that I’ve constantly recommended to others and I was always a huge supporter and fan until this atrocious experience.

All I ask for at this point in time is some accountability and fair compensation for an extremely poorly handled interaction. I will take further action if necessary as the way this case has been handled is completely unacceptable.

An update from later the following day, four hours after I had to check out from my previous Airbnb accommodation. Please see attached photos of my conversation with yet another case manager. I would honestly just like to speak to someone that isn’t offshore and has some semblance of logic and reasoning.

Using Airbnb Gift Cards Highlights Company Policy

I turned 70 years old and received $400 in Airbnb gift cards from our sons. Now you would think – how cool! I did too. However, if you spend day after day trying to use them for accommodations in England on a much needed break and they never are applied, you may be about pull your hair out. At 70 years of age I am losing my hair so that is the last thing I need to happen.

Each day the bill is either charged or put in PayPal. As a minister, I teach and preach kindness and patience and to not let things cause a person to behave in a wrong manner. I am close to losing my cool.

Dealing with Airbnb on a daily basis has stressed us and now we have the added expense of paying out of pocket for our rooms. Then when I couldn’t access them for support and tried another option, my account was deleted and all my trips and records have now gone into Airbnb purgatory. Who knows?

Now I have no records nor a way to leave feedback or comments on my hosts. Some were really nice and would love a review.

So, am I happy with Airbnb? No way. Not at all. This has been the most frustrating experience while traveling. I was planning on being an Airbnb host, but this trip has made me wonder if that is a wise idea. I would want to use a company that had a good support system. Airbnb does not. So I still have Airbnb gift cards and cannot use them. I’m not impressed with Airbnb support. It doesn’t exist.