Can’t Use Airbnb Credit Without ID Verification

I’ve booked several holidays both in the U.K. and abroad using Airbnb and, until now, have only ever had good experiences. Last year I booked accommodation through Airbnb for a week in Tobago in April, which I subsequently cancelled due to our flights being cancelled due to Coronavirus. Airbnb offered a credit or a refund. I chose the credit (£255.24), because I felt this would be better to support the industry and I could use it for any further booking.

On Aug. 12 I booked a holiday cottage in the U.K. for Sept. 14-18 using my credit. The booking went through at 8:41 PM. At 10:30 PM I noticed an email (sent at 9:15 PM) requesting proof of ID within 12 hours of booking, or the booking would be cancelled. There was no way I could organize this overnight – they required a copy of my passport or driving license, together with a selfie. In any case, I was not willing to hand over this personal information to Airbnb.

At 2:15 AM they sent another email stating that, should I not provide this by 8:41 AM, the booking would be cancelled. At 8:42 AM I received an email stating that the booking had been cancelled. They also stated that I would not be able to use my credit for a further booking unless I provided government ID. There was nothing on the listing, nor on any other Airbnb listing to state that this was a requirement.

I have also received further messages from Airbnb requesting that I verify my ID before making further bookings. This meant I still had the credit, but was unable to use it. I therefore asked for a cash refund of the credit, which Airbnb have refused to give. Their argument is that since I opted for a credit, conditions have changed making it impossible for me to use, without handing over my passport or driving license for them to keep on file.

Had this been a requirement with the original booking, I would not have gone ahead. If this had been made clear when I was offered a credit or refund, I’d have taken the refund. After escalating the issue, I have now been told by Airbnb that it was the host who demanded this ID. But I messaged her when the booking was cancelled and she said this was not the case. She has never made ID a requirement when booking.

When I put this to Airbnb, this was their reply:

“In this case, the host selected it, and it is clear enough, but perhaps she didn’t pay attention. Situations like this can occur.”

I put this to the host and she was shocked. She kindly sent me a screenshot proving that she had not set this requirement. When I put this to Airbnb, their reply was:

“In this case, she probably edited the settings of the property.”

The owner’s response was: “What? That’s ridiculous. I don’t think I have ever amended those settings. Surely they could show you evidence of when I amended those settings.”

Back to Airbnb to express how shocked I was at their attitude towards one of their hosts – accusing her of incompetence and/or dishonesty. From my dealings with her, I feel that she is being open and honest and I believe her.

Their reply:

“Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. After gathering and carefully reviewing all related documentation, we decided not to issue cash refund instead of travel credit because it would be against our policies. You were informed about the option you have, it was your decision to select the travel credit. We consider this decision final.”

I feel that I am owed a cash refund, because Airbnb’s ID requirement has been made since my original booking and since I opted for credit. I am not prepared to hand over my passport or driver’s license details as they keep them on file. Therefore, I cannot use this credit, which I would otherwise have been happy to do.

I do not consider their decision to be final as the rule of law outweighs their policy – it was they who cancelled the booking I tried to use my credit for. They did seem to change their mind about their policy and suggest the onus was on the host, but previous correspondence seems to suggest that this is a requirement for all bookings.

I have managed to book privately with the host, who does not require me to bring my passport, or show her my driving license (which I would have been willing to do – I just don’t want details kept on file). But it means that I have not been able to use my credit. If I could book through Airbnb without handing over my passport or driving license, I would happily do so and use my credit – but this does not seem possible.

I have copies of correspondence. I think, judging by the time zone, that their correspondence is coming from the U.S., or somewhere outside the U.K.

Booking Cancelled Suddenly Without Any Reason

I booked an apartment in London in mid September. According to Airbnb, the host was new; she joined Airbnb recently, and the platform showed that she replied to messages in an hour. We liked her apartment so we wanted to give it a try.

As instant booking was available, we booked her apartment and told her the time we would come to London. Unfortunately, we waited for a week and she did not reply. We sent her another message asking for her confirmation. Again, there was no reply from her.

Then, we started to contact Airbnb support and finally they were able to contact her. She explained to us that her mobile was not working so she was not able to reply to us. More importantly, she confirmed that her apartment would be available and would give us more information tomorrow.

However, again, we have waited for another week and we received no information from her. When we almost wanted to send her another message and ask Airbnb for help again, I suddenly saw a message in my mailbox from PayPal that I received a refund from Airbnb. However, there was no other formal notifications from her or Airbnb telling me that my booking has been cancelled and explaining why.

I had to log in to my Airbnb account, check my booking and see a message that my booking has been cancelled. I feel like I am serving Airbnb but paying them a service fee at the same time. I took responsibility for confirming with the host that the apartment would be ready and I spent a lot of time checking and sending her messages to ask for her replies.

Eventually, my booking was cancelled without any reason and formal notification and I was forced to look for another apartment myself. Many apartments are not available anymore or became much more expensive.

Guest Leaves, Takes Keys, Receives Refund

Please consider the following chain of events. I have now been waiting for Airbnb to help me retrieve my keys from a guest for almost a week and two weeks since the guest claimed he moved out (without returning my keys). I have lost numerous reservations and will most likely close my Airbnb account after this is resolved.

I accepted a reservation and arranged for the guest’s arrival and key pickup at my neighbor’s at the guest’s convenience. He checked in and the same day requested a new microwave oven, which I arranged and delivered the next morning.

Two days later he informed me he wanted to leave because of noise that he cannot prove to Airbnb and which was not confirmed by the neighbors. After I refused the change — being informed by Airbnb that I did not have to accept — the guest got hostile and accused me of “taking advantage of him.”

I was then informed by Airbnb that the guest can cancel at his own will, which I also informed him, even though I was not happy with this. I did not know cancellation was possible after checking in. The guest did not cancel, so I assume he stayed.

Prior to the original checkout date, I informed the guest he needed to leave the key where he picked it up: at my neighbor’s apartment next door. I also asked him to take out trash as I won’t be able to visit for a long time due to quarantine. When the checkout date passed and the key was not returned, I asked my neighbor to enter the apartment to look for the key.

He didn’t find the key, but a big mess, unflushed toilet, and trash left out, possibly for 10 days. I was now informed by Airbnb that the reservation is considered cancelled as by the original alteration request that I did not accept. And that I will now owe Airbnb the money for the remaining days.

A day after original checkout date, the guest finally answered and informed me I needed to travel to Stockholm (I am in Norway) to pick up my keys on the other side of town where he now apparently resides. He also requires a receipt of key return. I have no evidence of when he checked out, as the keys have not been returned. For all I know he could have used the apartment all this time, even after the original checkout date.

Instead of help from Airbnb when a guest has not returned my keys, I was informed I owe Airbnb money for the time the guest claimed he has not been in my apartment, even though they keys have still not been returned. The guest repeated he will not travel to return the keys and take out the trash “as I have caused him inconvenience,” thereby somehow “punishing” me for not accepting his alternation request which Airbnb told me I had the right to decline.

Frustrating Lack of Response from Airbnb

I have really liked the Airbnb platform and had a great response so far with them. However, I now have a problem, finding it a little the opposite. I am getting quite frustrated with the lack of help from the Airbnb team in relation to a booking during the festive season that I feel needs to be cancelled.

A booking was made before March 4, but travel is for later in the year between Dec. 20 – Jan. 21. I have a family who have booked our home for four weeks over the Christmas period and are travelling from the U.K. to Australia. Our government currently has Australia in lockdown from overseas holiday travellers unless they are returning citizens or permanent residents. No tourists are permitted.

Our government has stated that they can not see any overseas travel allowed until the end of the year or until next year as of Sept. 3. I have been in touch with the guests and they do not want to cancel as they will be charged over half of the booking by Airbnb. If I cancel, the dates are blocked and I also get a cancellation review and get charged a cancellation fee. It defeats the purpose of cancelling as I want to have the dates open for local guests to book or I will ultimately miss out both ways.

I’m feeling very disappointed with Airbnb response to this matter. I have messaged through their portal and had very limited if any response: all generic and have asked for documentation. What documentation? Is there anyone else feeling this frustration and does anyone have any other way of contacting Airbnb? They really are not very helpful at this time. I feel they should be extending their extenuating circumstances cancellation policy. Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Three Weeks: No Advice, No Refund, No Help

To start, I want to say how helpful I found this page to be. After trying to get advice and assistance from Airbnb for three weeks, I got nothing. I found the email address for the head of housekeeping at Airbnb on Airbnb Hell and within four hours had a phone call from an Airbnb representative.

I am a host of a cottage and unfortunately we discovered the boiler had packed it in within two days of my first guest’s arrival — the first since March. I contacted Airbnb to let them know there was a problem and despite offering the guests alternative dates for their holiday, an alternative shower or to just remain while the plumber replaced the boiler, they chose to go home. I offered them a full refund for the inconvenience and I thought that would be that .

Over the course of the next three weeks I phoned Airbnb six times and must’ve written to them about ten times, all to no avail. All during lockdown, all reservations were cancelled and given a full refund by Airbnb but despite my requesting them to refund these guests, they did not. One employee wrote back saying it was my fault the boiler broke down because I hadn’t maintained it well.

30 days after the guests left, I found this site and the email address for someone at the head office, wrote to them, and within four hours had a phone call from Airbnb. The guests have now been reimbursed their service charge from Airbnb, and though I am significantly out of pocket, the end result is good. All in all really frustrating though.

Fraudulent Post on Airbnb… No Resolution Obviously

I reserved this apartment in Switzerland from a posting on the Airbnb site, and had contact with the host a few times. All seemed well until I made a payment through an external link (though the Airbnb posting indicated this was the way to go), which turned out to be fraudulent (as well as the posting). The address I was given once I made the payment (which is customary practice) did not exist but it was too late at that point anyway.

Over 1200 euros later, I reached out to Airbnb and — surprise — they couldn’t help me and were quick to deny any responsibility to do anything even if the ad was on their website with all the Airbnb logos. I proceeded to file a police report and contest the transaction, but they all say it’s Airbnb’s responsibility — which it is. We all know that Airbnb has the absolute worst customer service on god’s green earth, so I guess I’ll be boycotting them from now on. It’s just too bad they just dismiss clients like that without any recourse.

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Host Agrees to a Refund, but Can’t Contact Anyone

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I can’t travel to Spain from Australia due to COVID-19. I tried to contact the host, to no avail. I left a negative Google review, and the host made contact with us by email and said if we removed the negative review they would refund our money. Since then, no contact.

Airbnb originally sent a request for the host to reply with authorization for us to cancel but the host didn’t respond to them. So we are stuck in the middle with no one to talk to. Airbnb won’t deal with us anymore as their system email to the host ‘timed out’ and so they say our case is closed. I have an email from the host confirming they will refund us and can’t put it in front of anyone at Airbnb because they won’t deal with me.

Airbnb’s Facebook chat tells me my case is closed as the ‘system timed out’ with no response from the host. Airbnb’s resolution centre just says my case is closed. When I try to phone Airbnb the message is that they won’t deal with anyone unless it’s just before your booked stay. I’ve tried emailing the host through other accommodation sites. I’ve tried to contact the host on Twitter and Facebook — no response. What can I do? Nobody will talk to me.

Airbnb is holding our money and their business partner, the host, is blackmailing us over our Google reviews and then not responding to anyone. Airbnb should refund our money and sort out the host who is messing their customers around.

Airbnb not Paying out more than Four Months

I own and rent out an apartment, mostly through Airbnb, in Budapest, Hungary. I realized only in January that the last payment I received was on November 11. The business is being managed for me by a company who specializes in this and who have been doing a great job. They have registered/contracted with Airbnb — not me — but Airbnb has been paying my account directly.

The management company has been in contact with Airbnb customer service — as difficult as it is to make meaningful contact with them — but only told that we need to wait for some payment system issue to be resolved. Then of course nothing happens for weeks and weeks.

As I personally am not even a client, I am unable to contact Airbnb directly which is incredibly frustrating. Having managed to get through on Airbnb’s phone line, they managed to set up a call with a CEE regional manager, who promised to investigate and get back to me.

This was three weeks ago and obviously nothing has happened since. Airbnb has been holding my money ($6-7000) for more than four months now and seems to be ignoring its obligation to immediately resolve this situation that is clearly in conflict with their contract and with the law. Their behaviour is just unthinkable and unacceptable in every way. Any help with what the hell I can do would be greatly appreciated.

Airbnb Cancellations: All Corona, Hold the Virus

In the middle of February I booked a trip, before this pandemic was announced. I booked an Airbnb with a strict no-refund policy: “refund applicable except the first 30 days.” My booking was for 34 days total.

Fast forward to the pandemic announcement and the panic that ensued by mostly everyone. Personally, I did not want to deal with self-quarantines, airport security measures, and quite frankly the risk of putting myself in a situation that could be avoided by simply not traveling so I proceeded to cancel my flights with no issues. I have cancellation insurance on my credit cards, so it was easily done.

Now the Airbnb host who happened to be from the same country as me but whose listing was in another one — pretty standard I’d think — said he would not refund my money due to a global pandemic. I read that and understood his rule, but he told me to contact Airbnb because they have some extenuating circumstances policy. I read something about an epidemic and being sick but documentation is needed: a doctor’s note or obituary when a global pandemic is announced.

I contacted Airbnb support via their magical robot, which had me wait 24 hours for a person, and proceeded to cancel my reservation. I thought I would be entitled to a refund due to a global pandemic, which to me fell into the “epidemic” category. Wrong. They said they needed documents such as a doctor’s note saying I was unfit for travel, not because it is in the public’s best interest to avoid crowded airports and in my case a crowded destination, with lesser health care, to avoid spreading COVID-19.

This was on March 9th. I continued to message Airbnb back and forth for the next couple days, eventually losing contact altogether because my messages became colourful.

Fast forward to March 14th. Airbnb announced (probably after most people panicked and cancelled reservations with certain cancellation policies in place) that anyone with a booking made before March 14th is entitled to a full refund via “manage my trips.”

Because I cancelled on March 9th and not March 14th I did not have this option anymore as my booking had already disappeared. I am now currently waiting for the same magic robot to let me know if I am entitled to any sort of refund, or if Airbnb plans on keeping my money altogether — which by reading some of these stories, would not shock me one bit. I have been waiting now 8 hours with only 16 left to see if I will get any money back .