Reservation Cancellation Costs Airbnb Guests $800

I made a reservation with Airbnb for a two-bedroom unit in St. Pete Beach, Florida, for February 13th through the 19th. Initially, there was some confusion as the host indicated that the unit had already been rented. Resolution services at Airbnb contacted the host and then indicated to me that everything was good to go. This all happened around December 20th, 2019.

Yesterday, January 29th, I received an email form the host saying that the two-bedroom unit wasn’t available; would I take a room with two queen beds instead? This came out of nowhere. The reason I didn’t accept this offer is because I reserved a two-bedroom unit and because one of those bedrooms would be for a six-year-old who is hyperactive. Obviously anyone can understand why I wanted two bedrooms.

Anyway, I contacted Airbnb about this email from the host and after being on hold for half an hour, was told that a resolution specialist was not available right then and someone would call me back ASAP. Two hours later, no phone call. As you can imagine, my frustration was building; my trip was two weeks out and all of this was going on.

I called Airbnb again, and after speaking with someone in customer service, who obviously needed a lot more training, was finally able to speak with someone in resolution services. She indicated that she would contact the host and find out what was going on. I received a message from her later that the host wasn’t available and that she was leaving the office.

I called Airbnb again and once again spoke with someone in resolution services, who kept assuring me not to worry about it and that she would contact the host and get back to me. Again, I got a message that she was leaving the office for the day and hadn’t been able to reach the host. In the meantime, I got a email from the host saying I had ten minutes to decide if I wanted the room with two beds or she would cancel.

Just as I was calling again, I got an email from Airbnb saying the reservation had been cancelled and that my money would be refunded within 5 to 15 days. I did speak with someone in resolution services who did confirm that the reservation had been cancelled, but couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me why.

So here I am, two weeks before my vacation with granddaughter and great-grandson, who are flying in from Connecticut, while I am flying in from Wisconsin, and now we have no place to stay. The person with resolution services did send me several listing they had in the area, all quite a bit more that I was originally planing on spending.

I got on the phone and started calling resorts directly, Not surprisingly, everything was booked, and I mean every place I called. Finally, I found one place where we could get two rooms, which was not ideal but better than nothing.

The bottom line is that it’s going to cost me $800 more for the six days than I was going to pay through Airbnb. Refunding my money is one thing, but are they willing to pay me the extra $800 as well? I think not. I’m never going to use Airbnb again, and certainly won’t recommend them to anyone else.

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Mid-Stay Eviction: Warning to Others Looking at Airbnb

Warning to anyone looking for temporary accommodation in Melbourne. Please be wary of booking the following property. We booked it for 31 days through Airbnb (January 2nd though February 2nd, 2020), but were evicted by the host after 16 days.

This was not due to anything we had done, rather it was a result of the host being accused of “invasion of privacy” by an earlier guest. This allegation (I assume) was serious enough for Airbnb to suspended his account. Without warning, the host issued an officious email giving us three days to vacate the property; he considered the three days generous and claimed to have received “private legal advice”, which gave us no recourse to negotiate completing our fully paid stay.

My partner and I were travelling with our three-year-old son. We were twelve thousand miles from home and considering an allegation had been made against the host, we decided not to argue and avoid conflict. As a result of the eviction, we found ourselves without immediate access to any refund; we are still awaiting roughly AU$2400 from Airbnb, money that the host would have received 24 hours after our check in and undoubtedly still had in his bank account when the property was rented again a day or two after we were kicked out.

To compound our predicament, it was high season in Melbourne, so finding a suitable and affordable Airbnb property to move into was impossible. We found ourselves holed up in a hotel, paid for with a credit card and my partner in tears. As the Airbnb listing has been removed, we are unable to leave the host a review and hopefully warn others looking to rent his property. Having newly listed on other platforms he has given himself a clean slate to rent to other unwitting guests.

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Incompetent Search Engine for Five Guests

I decided to take a trip back to my hometown and unfortunately my family had an emergency and could not accommodate the five of us. The day before our departure I used different search engine for accommodation and a friend recommended I use Airbnb.

My criteria was four nights for five guests. Airbnb returned with a quote of R1900 and showed pictures of the rooms indicating one for two people and other one for three. We left early in the morning and were basically on the road the whole time. I was driving.

When we finally arrived at the destination, first they were looking for my booking and then the manager had to come assist. I, in the meantime, went through my emails to show them the reservation when I saw that at only 18:00 in the evening the guesthouse had sent me an email at 14:30 to say that we must book additional two rooms to accommodate us.

The purpose of using a site like Airbnb is to find the cheapest accommodation and/or a place with proper and suitable accommodation but it still remained my decision. The pictures of accommodation looked good because I showed it to two of my companions to get their approval before booking and they agreed it looked acceptable.

At the end of the day, we did not take the room and luckily my friend could accommodate us for the night. I had to find accommodations for the following three nights. I paid much more but at the end of the day I had quality for my money.

The guesthouse manager or owner said he would also find out from Airbnb about what went wrong but I think it did not really matter to him; I already paid Airbnb for accommodation, thus he will get his money irrespective if we used the place. Now I am trying to recover my money from Airbnb.

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Last Second Cancellation after Four-Hour Wait for Host

After finding a listing on Airbnb, I wrote to the host before booking as she advised me to do in the listing. Around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, she confirmed with me that I could stay. The booking was for that evening. She told me that she was currently outside the city at the lake, so I would have to wait until 6:00, when she would return.

She offered to deal in cash instead of taking payment through Airbnb, which should have been my first clue. She wanted to talk outside of Airbnb, so they wouldn’t be able to find that she was making such offers, to which I obliged. Her replies were very slow, for the most part, until we were finally able to get a hold of each other outside of Airbnb through email. For some reason, this proved to be very complicated (emails weren’t showing up on either side with multiple emails).

I arrived in the neighborhood around 6:00, so I could meet up with her at the cafe down the street. At that point, we finally made contact through email and then telegram, and she told me she was still at the lake and that it would be at least another hour. Around 7 o’clock, she told me she would not be able to host me, so I was left to look for another place to stay after 7 o’clock on a Sunday evening in Munich. Luckily, I found another Airbnb (although clear on the other end of Munich) in the same price range and was able to book that one and get in a short time later.

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Mental Health: Airbnb Doesn’t Put your Safety First

This is a long post with a very disturbing video and story.

My husband and I arrived to an Airbnb host’s free backyard cottage on Thursday, January 23rd Around 9:20 PM. All went as planned as far as going in the backyard and finding the key in the shed behind the main house just as the owner’s form message instructed. The accommodations were exactly as described, very clean and very cute.

At 8:00 AM the next morning, a woman came to our door and began to rattle it very hard in an attempt to get in. We told her several times that we were in there and she responded with, “ha ha ha ha ha ha” and then screamed, “YOU SCARED ME!” We again said we were in there and she began to yell at us: “Don’t stress, don’t stress.”

She then returned to the main house. A few minutes later I heard a very disturbing and very loud scream from the house. Shortly after the young woman came outside wearing a dress and a towel wrapped around her shoulders/head. She had a hammer and a wicker cylinder shaped basket of some sort.

She then began to hammer the basket very loudly and aggressively on the concrete patio located less than ten feet from where we staying. At one point she took a break and she turned around as if she were looking at the neighbor’s house and gave them the finger. It was at this point I told my husband that we were not staying here another night and that we were leaving ASAP.

We quickly packed our things and took them to the car parked in front of the main house. As we put our luggage in the trunk we saw the curtains move in the front window. Suddenly, the woman in the house threw her face against the glass and started shrieking violently and making pain-filled faces. She was yelling inaudible things through the glass.

She then opened the screen-less window and it was clear that we were not dealing with a mentally healthy person. She told me that I smelled bad because I smelled like lanolin. There were several other odd things said and many disturbing screams.

I then got my phone and made a video and asked if she was okay. She defensively and calmly said she was fine and I asked if she was the host. She replied with, “F$%k no, she doesn’t live here but I bet she didn’t tell you that she had a mentally ill daughter.”

She then let out another super disturbing scream, horror movie style. I turned off my camera and she continued to flip us off and scream viciously as we pulled out of the driveway.

We never provoked her. We never spoke with her other than when she was trying to force herself into our locked room and when I took the video. We were just grateful that she didn’t display this behavior in the night and we didn’t have have time to properly respond.

Our biggest concern was our safety and hers. We contacted her mother via private message. The host responded quickly and wrote, “She has been stable for a week but apparently is not any longer.” According to a standard issue form message to her guests, the host is a traveling musician and is always looking for gigs in other people’s homes.

The host gave us our money back and Airbnb, while initially unresponsive to my urgent email, did handle things very smoothly and efficiently once I called them. The company canceled our reservation and refunded our $280 in record time.

During our phone call I asked if this woman would still be allowed to host. Airbnb, who is privy to all of this information, including the DMs with the host, told us that they would go over the rules and regulations with the host. Her cottage has been pre-booked for months of January, February and March for many weeks.

As of 7:00 PM CST on January 27, 2020, this property is still booked with previous reservations and and is still accepting new ones; because Airbnb canceled our reservation and refunded our money, company policy has revoked our privilege to post a review. This also explains why 168 people have given this property a 95% positive review.

Watch the video to the end.

Posted by Dana Moxie Minetos on Monday, January 27, 2020

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Waking up to a Stranger in my Airbnb Room

I booked a place with Airbnb last night. It was a pretty neat place, nice and cozy. I had planned to go out but it was raining and cold. I was tired, so I decided to stay in. I watched lots of movies. It was pretty cool. Then I went to sleep.

I’ve been dealing with an itch due to dermatitis, so it was better for me to be naked after applying some anti-itch lotion. In the morning, I was woken up by the sound of snoring. I was like: what is that sound? How loud are the neighbours? I remember that there was this creepy video I watched online where a guy who claimed his house was haunted said he heard noises of someone snoring next to his bed, but I was like… nah… most likely the neighbours.

I tried to ignore it, but was trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. It sounded like it was coming from a wall where there was no room, so that was strange. Then I opened my eyes.

There was no ghost next to me, but there was a mass at the foot of my bed; some guy was sleeping there. Some random Korean dude… snoring at the foot of the bed… I was like wtf? So I woke him up and was like… what are you doing in my room? Get the f%$# out!

He’s like “Oh, it’s a double room. I thought it was booked for two people?”

I was like wtf? I didn’t even make sense. It was just a single room with a single bed. So I told him to get out. I couldn’t believe this… I was ready to leave. He called the host and gave me the phone. It turned out the host gave us both the same instructions to go to the same room. I promptly requested a refund.

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Was Someone Killed on the Mattress at this Airbnb?

Welcome to Airbnb Hell. That’s our experience with a recent listing – I can’t actually call them “hosts”. People like that should never be allowed to rent out premises. The warning signs were there.

We entered the premises, and it didn’t quite look like the shiny photos. Anyway, we read the notice about not stepping loudly on the stairs, and the wifi details. The wifi didn’t work. So we contacted them, and found that in fact, those details were incorrect, and we were given other wifi details. The TV didn’t really work. After a few replies, the hosts stopped responding to that issue. Well, it did work, but none of the remotes operated it, it only had one channel, and there were no instructions at all.

We found the kitchen tap broken, the toilet seat loose, and the strip on the floor between the kitchen and living room was loose. We found no shampoo or soap in the shower. Well, all these things indicated a lack of care, but one overlooks them. What else could we do?

However, we discovered, to our horror, one thing that could not be overlooked. The mattress had a wrinkle in it, so we pulled back the sheets to find that not only was there no mattress cover, but the whole mattress was blood stained. Someone died on it? Blood was smeared all over it. It also had a lot of dirt, muck, it looked like it came out of a heroin doss house. Seriously, you wouldn’t put a homeless person on a mattress like that. Only a drug addict, completely out of it, would sleep on that mattress. No way we were going to spend another night on that bed.

We contacted for the hosts at 9:00 AM. No response. 10:00 AM, no response. We waited. No response. We contacted Airbnb. They couldn’t get a hold of them either. Finally, at almost 1:00 PM, four hours later, the hosts offered to get a mattress cover. We replied that the mattress was disgusting, and needed to be replaced. These people were charging good money for this listing, more than local hotels charge for a room.

Then it was the afternoon. No communication. I enquired what was happening at 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. No response. I called Airbnb. They couldn’t get a hold of the hosts. Finally at 10:00 PM the hosts informed us they were not going to replace the mattress. They were not convinced because we were upset and angry. If we had been nicer, they might have done it.

Wow. Who are these people? What are they doing running a business through Airbnb? They did not even believe the mattress was in poor condition. They claimed it happened recently, which is blatantly untrue; the mattress was clearly the result of years of dirt muck and personal grime.

So, this horrible experience left us high and dry. We had to go to a hotel that night, and arrived at midnight after all this trouble. The next morning at 7:00 AM, we were looking for other accommodations, but of course because it was the last minute, there was pretty well nothing left. We spent a further 14 hours dealing with Airbnb, to try to find a suitable alternative. Sitting in the car, with our food spoiling.

I had to argue with three Airbnb case managers who said they would only give us $200 towards another place, which was not going to work, as anything in that price bracket had disappeared months ago. Case managers promised to call back, but never did. Finally, at 6:00 PM, we got a case manager who actually helped, and got a proper voucher for us. Finally, at 9:30 PM that night, we located something (a few places I contacted were in fact not available).

To add insult to injury, that horrible mattress must have had bugs, which bit my wife; I took photos. Like I say, these people are dangerous as “hosts”. They don’t care, they have no sense of responsibility to their guests, and they have no standards.

Fraudulent Listing has Government Questioning me

I have been notified by my county asking why I haven’t paid fees and taxes for renting my home. I have been living in my home for two years and have never rented it. I informed the county and they suggested getting Airbnb to take the listing down. They provided the link to the active listing.

This is not my listing. I have had two parties drive by my house and ask me if they could see my house. Then one party asked me if I’m the host. I have contacted Airbnb at least thirty times to have them take down the listing and they simply will not do it. I have spent at least forty hours on the phone with them. They have never called back. I have contacted filed complaints with the Attorney General of Colorado.

This listing has pictures of the inside and outside of my house. The location, on the ad, is easy to find by potential renters because the area has only a few homes within it. I feel like I’m being harassed. My next step is to get in touch with the County Attorney and law enforcement. I’m very exhausted.

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Relaxing One-Bedroom Apartment Close to Everything… Not

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This property should not have been accepting bookings because there are countless problems that make it unlivable. We were not told of, in advance, about the horrible living conditions of the property that we would have to endure if we stayed there. If we were made aware of those, we would not have chosen to stay there. We would have chosen a different Airbnb location and property, someplace that actually had parking, cable TV, wifi, hot water, and for that matter, water.

We were not told about the poor living conditions prior to our stay. Many inconveniences of staying at a location where the building was being retrofitted for earthquakes. It was noisy, dirty, and dusty all the time. There was no cable TV after 12 days and no cable wifi after 12 days, only a slow portable wifi hotspot that the host brought after the cable went out and had to be reset every day, many times.

There was no dedicated parking, a super small pint-size refrigerator, and the wall heater was not working. The hot water for taking showers was only around about 20% of the time and always extremely low water pressure in the bathroom. The garbage lock code given was incorrect, so we had to find elsewhere to dump our trash. The laundry room was very dirty, dingy, and dark. We had to go to a laundromat which was not close by.

At the time of booking, there was already retro work being done at the apartment building. No disclosure was given to us of the inconvenience nor a discount offered to my wife and I because of the construction work. We were not told about what we would have to go through by staying at this Airbnb location and the poor living conditions.

We were only able to park in the dedicated parking spot a few times during our stay there of 57 nights. We had to drive around for hours looking and waiting for a street parking spot to open up. (That was within one block) Why? There were either piles of dirt there or garbage or equipment in the way where the parking spot was located (not enough room to park a car there). Every time we returned to the apartment (which was daily, as we worked) my wife and I felt worried and pressured about whether we would find a parking spot or not.

On Monday, the cable went out because the construction crew tore the cable off the building. On Tuesday, the cable company came and said the outside wires were pulled off since they were doing retro work on the apartment. We called the hostess to let her know about the cable going out and she said she’d call. Then she emailed us that she would get a portable hotspot to use to go online.

She didn’t check in with us after that to see if everything was okay. Never a call, message, or email saying when the cable would be restored, etc. Some worker-type guy stopped me outside one day and said they needed to make an appointment with us to install the windows. I told him that I was staying temporarily in an Airbnb, but don’t think he understood. I called the hostess and she said yes they were doing that. She never asked us if it was okay that we hung around and ruined our Saturday to do that. Was this part of our job for them at Airbnb? Not even a thank you.

On Saturday, the apartment building had to change the windows in the apartment. We had to get up early and be ready for them to come in at 9:00 AM. They actually arrived at 9:20 AM and were there 2.5 hours. This interrupted our Saturday. It was also very inconvenient as we had to stay there while this was done but also needed to rearrange the furniture so the workers could access the windows.

My wife and I being furniture movers and apartment sitters was not a part of the Airbnb deal. We didn’t get paid. And again, not even a thank you, a discount or a fruit basket for our trouble.

The gas wall heater didn’t work. We would turn the thermostat on and turn the temperature up, but the heater wouldn’t turn on. You could hear that the pilot light was lit, but there was no big woosh when the heater ignites.

We chose this place because it had a kitchen. However, the refrigerator was only pint sized (very small) and not big enough to hold very much food. My wife was not happy. Because of this, the food we brought with us had spoiled – money wasted there. We had a lot of food as we just sold our home and left there the same day we came here. It leaked water on numerous occasions and the kitchen would be flooded.

Some evenings, workers still made pounding noises for the remodeling work. It was super noisy and we could not relax.

Taking a shower most times was a hit or miss for having hot water. If somebody in the building had taken one recently, then we’d have to wait at least an hour for a lukewarm one if we were able to take a shower at all. If the apartment next to or below us would use the water, this apartment would lose its water pressure completely. In the mornings there was never, ever hot water. Also, there was no water on about six or so different occasions. Sometimes there would be notices or not and then no water for a whole afternoon or day.

The bathroom sink was stopped up. They had liquid Drano under the sink, so they’ve had this problem for a while. We had to go buy more. Seven dollars out of our pocket for that.

This is not a relaxing apartment as advertised. It’s a dump, and the area leaves a lot to be desired. It’s an old, hotel style apartment building and not a secure one. There are homeless people hanging out in the stairwells at night. The neighborhood was not so good. My wife was afraid and would never go outside alone. The walls were paper thin and you could hear the neighbors no matter what. There was a baby next door or downstairs that was crying through the night, almost every night.

I’m not sure how this can be relaxing, being as you cannot sleep a whole night through. You’d think for $3000 a month, you’d be living in the lap of luxury. This was no way to live for two months. It’s an embarrassment that we even have to submit this. This apartment should not have been listed on Airbnb until the retro construction work was done.

Unbearable living conditions and bullet points:

• No parking except street parking (dedicated parking space we were able to use only about five or six times because dirt or equipment was in the way)

• No cable TV from the 12th day into our 57-night stay (not even two weeks)

• Extremely slow hotspot supplied after the cable went out and had to be reset many times every day.

• Low water pressure in the bathroom

• No hot water 80% of the time

• No hot water in the mornings

• Bathroom sink clogged and had to purchase a drain cleaner product

• Had to stay around here one whole day for window installation and moving furniture (and it’s not even our place)

• Pint-size refrigerator (not even close to full size)

• No place to empty trash – the code given did not open the trash lid padlock

• Dark and filthy laundry room

• Homeless people in the stairwell that led to the Airbnb. We had to walk around them.

• Paper thin walls / could hear neighbors

• Retro and construction work being done on the building (noisy, dusty, dirty, no parking, etc.)

• Gas wall heater not working, so it was cold in the apartment during our stay

• Not a secure building