Denver Airbnb Horror Story – Just go to a Hotel

My fiancé booked three nights at an Airbnb in Denver. The listing said that it was multiple acres of beautiful mountain country. It was less than an acre and it backed up to a trailer park. She barely missed crossing direct paths with a bear because of poor composting practices.

The listing advertised no pets. She found evidence of animals and the person tending to the property admitted to a dog being in the room. The door didn’t lock. There were holes in the door looking directly at the bed. It was repulsively disgusting. She found white dried up bodily fluids in the bed. When the person changed the sheets she watched in horror as the girl crawled around in the bed with filthy dirty bare feet to put the sheets on.

The host was rude and never even present. Airbnb has been rude, uncaring and dismissive. This host is terrible and a scammer, and Airbnb is a terrible company.

Airbnb has gotten so bad that they received a D- on Better Business Bureau. Magically recently they appear as an A+ now. When the BBB was asked why, they said it was a glitch. There’s no accountability. Just the fact that there’s a website called Airbnbhell.com is probably a red flag, but hopefully after reading this you will come to the conclusion to just stay at a nice motel. At least they will answer and be courteous and there is a management system in place to deal customer concerns.

If you were wondering: even after all of this we only received half of what we paid.

Noise Issue with Greece Airbnb Vacation Home

I am a host and just started a vacation in Greece as a guest a few days ago. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived we discovered that the place was very, very noisy because it is on a very traffic heavy road, and does not have proper modern windows. We could not sleep and after the first night, decided to change our accommodation, as we could not spend our vacation there.

We immediately contacted the host and Airbnb support to get refunded for the unused nights (we ended up staying for three nights, the time to find another place). The host denied the issue, saying we knew all about the place (which is not true, we knew it was near a street, but nothing was mentioned about the level of noise to expect).

Airbnb support has not been helpful at all so far; for three days they have been asking me to send sound recordings, which I have done, but their email address response@airbnb.com does not work, and they don’t understand it. The support staff seem to be very weak and unable to help me. I had to cancel my 21 days stay after three nights, and for now I still have to pay for 50% of the remaining 18 days, so we are paying 1700 Euros for three horrible nights.

Please can anyone help – what would you do in this situation to get a refund? Who can I contact at Airbnb to get a serious resolution and refund? Thanks very much.

Airbnb: The Worst Company I have ever Dealt with

I had a long, long drawn out fight with Airbnb that I thought would never get solved. My fiancé and I booked a house rental on March 16th, with out check-in date set to May 25th. On May 24th, one day before out trip, my fiancé (the account owner) got an email saying our trip had been cancelled because “We (Airbnb) don’t believe this transaction is legitimate”.

This trip has been booked, paid for, and cleared over a month before this email. The money had been long gone. We called and were told by a woman that it was a computer glitch that Airbnb was aware of, and technical support would call us ‘soon’. She could not offer any time frame at all, and did not seem to care that we were packed, had taken off of work, and paid long ago.

The call from technical support never came. The money was ‘refunded’ to us in the form of account credits. Not money. Our trip was for five days total, and cost about $800. We missed our trip. About five days later, we got another email saying his account was now completely banned and deactivated, and “We sent you an email about this issue back on the 1st”. We searched through all of our emails, and had definitely not gotten that one. In fact, on the 20th we got an automatic email telling us to “get ready!” for our trip.

Now, there was $700 in a deactivated account. Airbnb had no problem keeping their $100ish booking fee, and we never saw it again. Because the account was totally deactivated, and our phone numbers and accounts were blacklisted. This meant if we called or chatted with someone, we were automatically disconnected and never got help. We both even created second accounts. Several customer service people had no idea what to do, and sent us just one or two messages before closing the chat. We got one single message through to someone claiming that they would “forward our message to the appropriate person”. That chat is still open. I sent a message on it every few days asking if anyone was every going to answer.

Finally, my mother-in-law made a great suggestion: go to the BBB. I am 100% positive we would have never seen that money again if we hadn’t taken that advice. I filed a formal complaint, and they kept me updated the whole way. I got an email shortly after filing that said they were escalating my claim and reaching out to Airbnb. Only four days later we finally got an email from Airbnb, offering us a gift card that we could regift. I pushed for a check, and the next week we had $700 deposited into our Paypal account.

Please, other readers, file complaints. You don’t have to be seeking just money back, you can report them for being as terrible business. If enough people do, we can get them shut down eventually. They fully knew what they were doing, and knew that we obviously count not use credits put into a deleted account, and they kept ‘their share; of the money. I fought for that, too, but was told they would not give it back.

No Compassion or Trust After Death in the Family

Sadly, due to the father’s death of my niece with whom I was travelling to Paris and staying in an Airbnb apartment, we had to cancel the booking paid for in full in March 2018. The booking was from December 28th, 2018 to December 28th, 2019; therefore five months’ notice was given. Under the resolution information on Airbnb, my niece sent a death certificate and the host was contacted. A refund offer of $24 was given. This was changed to $200 after a few phone calls, but we originally paid $2150.

Now Airbnb is using the excuse the host has refused to give a full refund and then said – to my shock, as her father died in April – that the booking was for December… that’s far away. My interpretation was they were saying that was enough time to get over it. Regardless, the money is needed to cover costs since her father’s death. To be cross examined and passed from staff member to staff member with nobody showing compassion, duty of care, or any sort of kindness and honest business like manners… All I can see is pure greed and Airbnb allowing untrustworthy, unscrupulous, callous, money hungry hosts. I’m dismayed and never will I say a good word about Airbnb.

Issue with Getting Refunds from Airbnb Japan

I am looking for advice. In January I booked three Airbnbs in Japan. Recently a new bill was issued by the government and a lot of Airbnbs got cancelled, including the three I booked. In this particular case I got a full refund from Airbnb and on top of that 100% of the refund in coupons. This was like a 200% refund which was awesome.

Here comes the problem. In March I changed my bank; I moved from TSB to RBS. Everything went smoothly and without any issues until the refunds were processed. Airbnb stated over the phone that their policy is to only refund the card that was used for the purchase and they can’t change that.

A month later (now) I still do not have any refund. I asked RBS; they say no transactions have happened according to the switch contract so they don’t know anything. I asked Airbnb who said the refund has been processed and there is no bounce back from the bank. They gave me a trace number to track the payment. I asked TSB, who said that they can’t see that transaction and they have no idea what a tracing number is. I asked Visa (the issuer of my card) and they said they cannot help me with this and I should contact TSB.

I have a bunch of tickets raised at Airbnb. I have a bunch of tickets raised at TSB. I have an investigation ongoing by the account SwitchService. I have an investigation ongoing by RBS. I am at a loss and have no idea how to proceed. If you have any ideas or suggestions please help.

Airbnb Refund Ripoff from Wrong Calendar Dates

I booked a duplex through Airbnb and the money was paid up front. As it turned out, there was a mix up with the dates reserved and I had to cancel said reservation. We showed up to the duplex for the dates of our vacation but the duplex was full. It turns out my reservation was made for the following week. This was not right. We were six hours away from home and had been there waiting to check in for nearly 12 hours. Begin panic mode.

The host agreed to put us into another condo for the night but that’s all he had. Not the greatest but… okay. We were charged another small fee for that. Then we were left to find somewhere completely different, costing us double the initial amount of the trip altogether.

Back to Airbnb… I cancelled the wrong reservation immediately which was exactly seven days ahead of the reservation date (standard timing for refunds). Here’s the kicker: I then tried to get back on Airbnb to find another place to stay, thinking I was to blame for the mishap. However, when I was trying to select the dates needed on the calendar, it was plugging in the same days selected, only it was for the following week. That’s what happened – a website error.

I notified my host and Airbnb immediately. Still, I got the runaround. If I hadn’t been so stressed out and upset from the whole ordeal, I’d have thought to record what I was seeing in order to send it and prove to them. When asked to do an audit, ‘they don’t see anything.’ If I had any more money, I’d sue their ass for illegal practices and emotional distress. All they did was reserve a spot on a calendar and take my money. That’s it. Besides making my life hell the last two weeks. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

Non-payment of Cancellation Fee to Guests

A guest made a booking with our establishment on June 2nd, 2018. On June 27th, due to unforeseeable circumstances, I had to cancel the booking. I received the following message from Airbnb:

“You canceled ………… reservation ……… has been fully refunded. Learn more about host cancellation.”

On June 28th, I received an email from Airbnb pausing my listings as well as a message informing me that a penalty fee of $50 would be deducted from my next booking. So they acknowledged my cancellation.

On July 5th at around 15:00, the guest and her husband arrived at our premises. Apparently they had received no notification of the cancellation and furthermore had most certainly not been refunded as had been advised by Airbnb on June 27th. The guests double checked their banking records and reconfirmed that no refund had been made by Airbnb.

We tried to find them alternate accommodation in the area, but unfortunately could not find anything available that was decent and affordable at short notice. Since my tenant had to delay her occupation date from July 1st to July 8th due to handover issues at her work, I was thankfully in a position to accommodate the stranded couple.

What we are trying to establish from Airbnb is the following: will the guest be refunded as should have happened through Airbnb, and if so when, so that guest can pay me directly? I was still liable for a cancellation penalty of $50. Will Airbnb reinstate this booking so that I may expect payment from Airbnb today, since the guests checked in yesterday (penalty fees will obviously be waved)?

I find this entire debacle extremely frustrating as the guests were totally unaware of the cancellation and therefore stranded on arrival; from my side I did everything correctly in terms of cancelling the booking and I accepted that I would be liable for penalty costs, but my heart goes out to this couple who were totally left in the dark. Where is Airbnb’s commitment to guests and where is the follow through in terms of cancellations?

Surely refunds should be made immediately so that guests have the funds available to make an alternate booking? One would assume that the $50 penalty fee borne by the host would cover the extra admin involved in refunding the guest as well as covering commissions lost to Airbnb. I have tried to email Airbnb’s CEO, COO, Operations Manager as well as First Line Contact and all emails have bounced back as their server considers my email address to be spam. I most certainly do not have the time or financial resources to sit on a telephone for hours at international rates to sort this matter. The entire system is email based, so we can’t speak to a live body through emails where we will also obviously have a paper trail.

No Water in Bathroom Not Grounds for a Refund?

We arrived in Paris for a three-night stay at a “cozy, cute apartment with panoramic views” to find a cozy, cute apartment with a balcony. 15 degrees of the view did show Montmartre but the other 165 degrees was a perfect panorama of the adjacent apartment building, maybe 20 years away. Fine – we weren’t going to be spending much time in the apartment.

Exhausted and somewhat stinky from the overnight flight from the US east coast and battling the Parisian strikes affecting transportation in from De Gaulle airport, I was ready for a shower, to brush my teeth and take a quick nap. Mon Dieux! There was no water in the bathroom at all. The kitchen sink had water, but la toillette, shower, and sink, as well as the washing machine, lacked any water.

We turned a few knobs, my husband checked my work to make sure I had somehow failed to remember how to turn on water at the age of 63, and I contacted the delegated Airbnb host, since the official host was not available. I contacted him through the Airbnb website and then he reminded me that he preferred to use WhatsApp.

Problem #1: the Airbnb customer service person later informed me that because I used WhatsApp it was impossible to be absolutely sure I was communicating with the right person, despite the back and forth conversation over several hours, the ability to look up the phone number, the screenshots, and the Airbnb website communications.

The host asked for a photograph of the plumbing in the bedroom which we took on our iPhone and sent to him. He responded, “Voila – just turn the nozzle to the washing machine and all will be wonderful… not.”

I reminded him that that nozzle went to the washing machine, not the shower, toilet or sink and that we had tried several times. He assured me it would get fixed. Stinky and exhausted, we napped for a couple of hours, blissfully uninterrupted by any further attempts by the host to settle our problem. After our nap, I called, messenged, and sent him and the owner notes asking for a resolution.

About six hours after arriving, unable to go out because we were (stupidly) expecting someone to come to fix the problems, we decided to cancel and go elsewhere. I let the host know, secured alternative housing, and returned the key five blocks or so to the secure key drop (he was very good about sending me the key code so he wouldn’t have to come to pick it up elsewhere). The host even had the nerve to say that no other guests had ever had this problem, insinuating that perhaps this was our fault.

Since returning home, I’ve contacted the Airbnb customer service folks and as I saw written in the intro on the Airbnb Hell website, found them wanting. Several apparent problems: I should have communicated only on the website; I should have contacted Airbnb central; I need to prove that I didn’t have water.

Proving the absence of water is quite difficult, actually. I couldn’t get a response as to how I was supposed to do so. Apparently having no water in the bathroom is not a reason for looking for a different situation, nor is a complete lack of results by the host in improving the immediate situation and my assumption that the host would know the rules and use the website only (not WhatsApp) is incorrect and absolutely no protection even though it works well for the host.

The customer service agent has refunded me about half of the cost. I have asked him or her to provide me the contact information to make an appeal and he/she simply ignores that request in our communication. This has been incredibly frustrating and I am asking for a full refund. Until this time, I have had only good experiences with Airbnb and my thought is that this host may just have a bunch of hotels he rents out without any real attachment. He’s not a host; he’s a short term lender. Just a hunch.

Barcelona High Rise Not Accessible to Handicapped

I booked a room in Barcelona through Airbnb in February, but by the time I traveled in late May, I had developed back and leg problems (sciatica). A couple days before arriving, it occurred to me that I didn’t know whether I would need to climb steps or if there was an elevator.

I contacted the host, who was willing to be helpful, but he was on the third floor without an elevator. I was able to see the building from the outside and could determine I would not be able to climb the stairs, or if I got up there, I would not get back down. The host declined to refund me because I cancelled too late (which I get), and he was generous in offering the same reservation for a future time (I will not get to go back to Barcelona to claim the offer).

At the time of booking, my fee went from the posted $47.00 per night to $125.00 because there was a big music festival in town that weekend. I hoped he would be able to book guests in, but he chose not to open up to a new Airbnb booking. My total fee was $420.00. So far I have received a refund of $18.96.

I contacted Airbnb to request a full refund. I had a case worker who asked for a doctor’s letter by June 14th. On June 10th (I had not yet received the doctor’s letter) I got this email message:

“Thank you for providing me the details. Please feel free to contact us when you have the letter from the doctor and we’ll be happy to analyse it in order to help you. You don’t have a time frame to provide this documentation. However, I’m forced to close this consult for the time being. It will re-open once you provide the doctor’s letter. Keep in mind that the letter is the only way we can help you. Please contact us when you need to. We’ll be glad to help you.”

The next day I sent the doctor’s letter. My case worker had disappeared. All I got were automatic responses saying they received my request. I have complied. Since I have a medical reason for the cancellation, I expect Airbnb to honor my refund request or least to acknowledge and act on it now that the documentation is in place. I have used Airbnb other places and had good experiences. Of course, it just takes one bad meal to keep me out of a restaurant.

Refund of $7.55 for $450+ Airbnb Booking

Planning trips are my absolute favourite and I have loved using Airbnb to do it. At the beginning of May, I started planning a trip to Seattle for a weekend. I decided that I wanted to stay downtown even though it was pricey. I found a cute apartment and booked it.

A few days later reality kicked in and I realized that spending $450 a night wasn’t worth it, so I started looking for a cheaper alternative. Five days after my original booking I cancelled the reservation. However, this booking has a “strict (grace period)” cancellation policy, which apparently means you can only get a full refund if cancelled in 48 hours. On Airbnb’s website it says if the booking is cancelled within 48 hours or 14 days prior to check in you are eligible for a full refund.

A month went by. I checked my visa statement and realized that Airbnb hadn’t refunded me. I contacted them asking why I have only received $7.55 back instead of the full $459 paid. They said, “you only paid half of the full fee so you don’t get any money back because you are only eligible for 50% of the full amount”. This policy would make sense if the host couldn’t rebook the space in time, but she’s already got it rebooked.

Why am I spending $450 when she’s got new guests in the space? She has rejected my request for a partial refund of $309 and a full refund of $459 because “that’s her cancellation policy”. Airbnb has been a nightmare trying to get a hold of to request a refund and I am lost as to what to do. This was a splurge in my budget already and now I’ve wasted $459.