On My Way to Arbitration After Airbnb Assault

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I was an Airbnb host for several years. In December, I was assaulted by Airbnb guests from Canada overstaying at my rental home. I called 911, and police officers photographed my injuries at the station. My Airbnb account was closed, and the reservations were canceled.

The guest contacted me via text message about my account being closed before Airbnb sent me an email deactivating my account. I was coping with my husband’s loss and to be attacked inside of my own home was very difficult for me. Airbnb indicated that they would open a claim for my property damage loss. To this date, no such claim has been opened.

The sheriff’s investigator contacted Airbnb’s Law Enforcement Department, who refused her request for the guests’ identity. She indicated that she attempted to search for the guest’s name using department resources and did not get a return. She noted that the Airbnb guests used false information to make the booking.

Airbnb denied me the right to seek justice with my claim by refusing to provide the guests’ identity to law enforcement, who would have conducted a proper investigation. It seems Airbnb was afraid of an impartial third-party investigation. I am on my way to arbitration, and you will hear about this matter in the press very soon.

Someone is Renting my Home on Airbnb and it Does Nothing

There’s this listing on Airbnb for a property of mine. Wait a minute, I am not renting this property. The host is someone else and they don’t have my consent. I have contacted Airbnb support and they told me to write a letter explaining the case and scan it.

At first I was a bit mad. Am I a scribe? What century is this? But did it anyway. Then the operator told me: “Didn’t I tell you? You need to address it to the host.”

I was a bit madder. I told them to just take down the listing and I’d be happy. I can prove it’s my place; it’s easy. Airbnb said they do not validate any document, and the host declared he has full rights on the property by marking a checkbox. For real: two different operators told me this with the same copy and pasted text, so it’s procedural. If only I knew, I would not have bothered to buy a house.

So there I am standing, a bit mad, and I tell them to at least protect the customers. Whoever reserves this place is basically being scammed and, in the best case, losing time. Then they got mad. Two different operators on two different days were very rude and said that I was not collaborating and the case was closed.

There’s currently a listing on Airbnb for a property of mine, and I’m not renting it out. I’m about to call the police, but at this point I’m not sure who is to blame.

Illegal Properties, Two Weeks of Waiting for Airbnb

I’m currently dealing with a case where the host is breaking Vancouver’s strict Airbnb laws. All four of her units use expired business licenses. I don’t understand how Airbnb can force their guests to stay at illegal rentals, let alone expect them to go forward with their international travel plans with no resolution to their issue.

I have contacted Airbnb customer support countless times over the last week with no one being of the “correct department” or training to actually just take the moment to call the city of Vancouver and verify their laws. The host is also deceptively listing the units as apartments rather than what it actually is: a house split up into four Airbnb properties. She has no exterior photos and you only find out once you book the unit.

This breaks Vancouver’s strict short term and long term rental laws as it’s not her principal residence. You also cannot rent multiple portions of one home at the same time on Airbnb. Also without a private entrance I don’t see how these units can be safe during COVID-19, especially for someone going through quarantine. Two weeks of waiting for someone to call me back and my trip is now three days away.

Airbnb’s Attempts at Customer Service are Laughable

Months ago Airbnb removed security deposits from our listings claiming that we didn’t need them because they had insurance that protected their hosts. Three different claims have resulted in absolutely nothing beyond wasting about 20 hours of my time. They are always waiting for another department to get it done and claim because they are a global company, things take a lot of time.

Hosts no longer have any control over anything. If you are pet friendly, you are inviting Noah’s Ark as they have no provision to limit breeds, age, quantity or anything. People actually think it’s okay to bring their nine cats and six puppies. If the tenant stays beyond their reservation and you ned the sheriff to remove them, good luck getting the extra days’ payment. It’s either their resolution, mediation or some other department that’s handling it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only answer is to add another 10% to my nightly rates on their site and make sure there’s a better deal for them on VRBO. VRBO isn’t perfect either but at least you’ve got a chance. Now that Airbnb is a public company we should all should all show up at shareholder meetings or call ins just to tell them how bad they really are.

Airbnb Guest Review Lies that Damage Hosts’ Reputation

Recently we had a very strong summer of bookings at our coastal house. All of our reviews were very positive — even those who had minor issues provided positive feedback — until the last booking. The guest stated our property was not worth the price and that we charged $100 a night higher than what she paid. She also suggested we didn’t provide wifi which we are very transparent about in our listing, given it is a remote coastal property.

In trying to address this with Airbnb, where we believe a guest has breached their review guidelines, they simply dismissed our concerns of a review that presented misleading and incorrect information that damages our ability to book the house. I can only assume that a guest can make up whatever lies they want with no accountability from their position. I have requested my concern be escalated beyond the community helpers or whoever actually works for Airbnb and sent higher where it will be considered beyond the sugarcoated script quoting inaction that accompanies Airbnb’s generally response. If anyone here has had any success in having a review taken down which was just blatant lies, please let me know how.

Unable to Find Airbnb, Nowhere to go in Scotland

On the seventh day of our vacation around Scotland, we spent the day sightseeing around the northeast. At about 4:00, knowing we had about an hour of daylight left, we headed for our Airbnb which was twenty minutes away. Unable to find the location, we called and messaged the owner. While waiting for a response, we continued to circle around the coastline looking for the property. The number was not there and the directions were crap, of course. Finally, after twenty minutes we pulled over and messaged again. This time we waited for another 20 minutes. No response.

It was getting dark and we were truly in the middle of nowhere. We had to make the command decision to drive and find other accommodations. The only place to go was west towards a snowstorm or south towards Edinborough. We eventually found a spot twenty minutes away. Our new host actually knew the lady that was not responding to our Airbnb messages. He informed us that during the winter she left the country for three months. That’s why she wasn’t messaging.

Long story short, our host took the money even though she knew she would not be there. Airbnb was a pain in the butt. We called them several times that evening. Their solution was to continue to try and contact the lady. After three hours, they recommended another stay which was 75 minutes away. Because we refused that stay (it was 8:00 PM and we had already found another accommodation) Airbnb said they couldn’t refund us.

We continued to message the Airbnb host for several months, hoping she would pitch in and help facilitate a refund. We never heard back from her. Because Airbnb cancelled the accommodation, we were not allowed to review this host.

Strong Arm Robbery, Never Stepped Foot in Airbnb

I made an Airbnb reservation a couple days in advance in Oakland for a work-related stay that the host was aware of. I cancelled within the 48-hour timeframe due to a job termination. The stay was for Sept. 21 to Oct. 19 for $1281.27. I waited the 15-day grace period for my refund and it never arrived.

I wrote to the host inquiring where my refund was and she never responded. I never stepped foot in her home and she pocketed my $1281.27. I am a single mother with four kids that are still dependent on me. The Airbnb help center was of no help — they do not hold their hosts accountable.

I would never recommend Airbnb to friends or family; it’s been a terrible experience. Unfortunately common courtesy and hospitality are not in this host’s nature.

Not Sure Which Was Worse: the Robber or Airbnb

This got a bit complicated when I was robbed at gunpoint where I lost everything, even my pair of heels. They got away with my phone that had my email address and the number I used so I couldn’t access my Airbnb account. I hoped to reach a past host who told me to create another account and get a hold of customer support, which I did and explained my story. I was told to go ahead.

I made a booking. After Airbnb verified my account, they took the sum of $3,786. Then the app told me I needed to verify it myself. This is after they took money from an account which has the same name as my profile. Then about two hours later when I was checking for instructions I found that the booking had been cancelled.

I tried to get hold of support for leaving me stranded. I had to use my week’s food budget just to book a place for the night thinking this would be sorted and I would be accommodated by the next day. This was while Airbnb still had my money.

During the early hours on Saturday I got an email stating that I had been refunded but it would take seven days for the funds to show. The day before I had to pawn my laptop, iPad, and jewelry so I could book alternative accommodations and I still haven’t heard a word from them.

My accommodation in the meantime has cost me $540 in money I borrowed against my valuables. I’m trapped in Capetown due to COVID-19 and get money from family abroad. I can’t Skype with my kids or FaceTime all because I trusted Airbnb. I emailed the CEO, but nothing. Not even an automated message. I swear that I’m holding them responsible for my losses. This is a load of BS, taking people’s money and then ignoring them. I’m very disappointed.

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.