Airbnb Break-in after Few Hours… No Refund, No Review

I organised a trip last year that I will surely remember. I’m getting married in September and I organised a hen-do in Barcelona with my Italian friends who were flying from Rome and Bologna. Lots and lots of preparation. A nice flat with a terrace to enjoy our precious (and rare) time together. What could possibly go wrong?

We were all so excited. The area was Hospitalet de Llobregat. Not central, but not that far from it; we just wanted to spend time together. From the beginning, we realised how dodgy that place was, and this was confirmed by many people we spoke to after the break-in, police included. Some taxis refused to take us there on Friday night, and the policemen said that in particular the street where we were was very dangerous, so extra care should have been taken when someone has to stay in that building. Were there any mentions from the host? None whatsoever.

After few hours after our arrival, we had a break-in in the flat as soon as we went for dinner. They stole iPad tablets and glasses. The terrace (i.e. the major selling point of the flat) was extremely exposed and not safe. We discovered the following day that it was easily accessible through other communal terraces and the police forensic expert confirmed that this is what happened for our break in. The window of the bedroom facing the terrace where the thieves entered was faulty; it was not possible to secure it properly.

This should have been sorted by the host before we entered the flat, given how dangerous the area was known to be and how accessible the terrace is. It is not possible that the owner did not know both of these things, and yet (again) there was no warning or thought given to our safety or the security of our valuables in the flat. We had to spend our Saturday (the only day we could have been together) dealing with Forensics and Police statements and searching for another place to stay for the night.

Airbnb completely refused to give us any compensation for the accident, not even of the items stolen. This was all host’s fault and it was very preventable. The holiday with my friends that we dreamed so much about it? That opportunity is gone forever and there will not be another time to do this. I kept phoning the complaint department who kept saying that they were re-opening the case, to then discover that the original department, Trust and Safety, kept closing it.

Did someone check into the flat after the break-in? They just “recommended” the host to repair the window. Trust and safety? A lot of trust for the reckless host and zero safety for me. The host begged me to not post any reviews and I was holding until the case was closed. Discovering what? That for a hidden policy you’re not allowed to write any review on the place you’ve visited after 14 days. This is not mentioned in any email they send you or on the website at all. It is buried in one of the forum posts. I felt I completely lost on every angle.

I was a great fan of Airbnb, but this completely changes my perspective. Security is not contemplated at all in any of the flats they list, and this is shocking. Something goes wrong and they don’t take any responsibility, they don’t refund you and you cannot even share the experience with the others. A total disgrace.

Airbnb Blocks Legitimate Negative Reviews

I’ve used Airbnb at least 15 times but never again. A host screwed me over (warning: do not stay here). I had never been to New Orleans and was so excited. Six of my girlfriends and I planned a fun weekend getaway. I booked us a house that was listed as “3 miles from French Quarter” on Airbnb and paid over $1000 upfront (included $130 cleaning fee, $113 service fee, and $45 in taxes). I was boarding the plane to NOLA when I got a phone call from two of the girls saying they aren’t staying at the house.

Their Uber driver said it’s a very dangerous part of town and is considered the projects. I Googled it later and found out it was the second largest housing project in the city. There were boarded up houses on the street (something I could not have known). When they arrived at the house, two men drinking from paper bags across the street started catcalling them and made them feel very uncomfortable.

There was only one other review posted before me and the guy said that the neighborhood was “worn down”. I didn’t want to base my stay on one review, but looking back I should have. I immediately contacted the owner and said we did not feel comfortable staying there and we would be staying somewhere else. I ended up paying a fortune for a hotel last minute.

Usually a hotel would make you pay for that first night and give you the rest of the money back. Nope… not this host. She wouldn’t even give me back the $130 cleaning fee. She blamed the boarded up houses on hurricane Katrina which happened 13 years ago. She also had Airbnb block me from leaving a review because I was never inside the house. My friends did not enter the house, just parked the car in the driveway and then left after being harassed. After two months of arguing with Airbnb’s customer support, they blocked me from messaging them and closed the case. I lost over a grand and was blocked from leaving an honest review. Save your time: don’t stay here or use Airbnb.

Family Vacation Ruined Over Airbnb Cockroaches

I had never stayed in an Airbnb before. My sister and I planned a trip to the Smoky Mountains together. She got a cabin through Airbnb and I stayed in a hotel in Pigeon Forge. We got to enjoy one family day together. The second night they were in their cabin they came in to find roaches everywhere. If they didn’t have young children sleeping they would have just left that night. They got up in the morning, packed everything up, and drove back home, which is an 8+ hour drive.

They only got refunded two of their nights and still got charged for cleaning. They were told that they use pest control but can’t control those this time of year; that is unacceptable. Now they are home and don’t even want to take their bags inside because they are afraid they brought them home. Their vacation was ruined and our family vacation was ruined. I will know to not use Airbnb if this is how problems like this are handled.

Unprocessed Refund from Cancelling Airbnb Host

blankblankblank

Around February, I booked a house for March 14th. On the day, I was informed by the host that the house was not available due to the radiator breaking down, which would need a few days to fix. So, I asked for a full refund because the house was the only one at which I really wanted to stay and other listed houses that the owner recommended as substitutes were not really fancy or worth the price that I paid for. I was not aware that the host has to process the cancellation if a guest wants to get a refund, which he did not process at all. After several weeks, I messaged him to check if he sent me the money back and he said: “Has it not been processed? Can you send me your bank details?”

After roughly one month from receiving this reply, I asked him again and then he said “Can you double check again?”

This was the last reply that I received. Since then, Intentionally or unintentionally, he is not answering my messages or phone calls. Is there any way that I can get a full refund with the proof that I have?

Worst Travel Experience Keeps Money in Airbnb’s Pockets

Worst travel experience so far with Airbnb . My host canceled my booking in Tel Aviv, yesterday, two days before my flight there. I had to call up three different support agents to be able to find someone willing to help me with the issue. They told me they would call other hosts to see what they could offer me instead. Note that flats that are available two days before the actual check-in date are obviously flats that nobody wants. I did not hear anything about them calling any hosts or finding any solution or compensation.

Last night at 1:00 AM I decided to book a place on Airbnb as it was only one day before my flight there. The place was booked and confirmed. This morning I received a message from the host telling me that I could only check in on the 1st of May. I paid for 19 nights. I booked a flat that I would never get in a normal instance, 30 minutes away from the center of Tel Aviv and the host tells me that I can’t check in on the 25th.

I had to call up Airbnb again. They canceled that stay and they “accidentally” refunded me instead of keeping the funds on the account, which will take “5-10 days” to clear out. I now don’t have any place to stay in Tel Aviv, lost two days trying to get in touch with support, lost a 360€ flight, and don’t have access to my 2600€ that I paid for the 19-night stay.

How Can I Get My Money Back from Airbnb?

I booked an Airbnb house in Bournemouth for the nights of May 4th – 7th because I have a course to attend, linked to how I earn my living. I made this booking on December 4th, 2017 and the amount of just over £68 was taken out of my account by Airbnb on December 6th. On April 23rd, I was contacted by my host to make sure that all was still on the go for the dates I had booked only to be told that she had taken herself off Airbnb and informed them accordingly, assuming that Airbnb would contact me with this information.

Well, they didn’t. She hasn’t received the money either… so I want my money back. However, there is no way this can be done on the site itself: each link takes me back to a page I have previously visited. Therefore, in my book, Airbnb has stolen £68 from me. That is neither ethical or acceptable. I have just sent an email to the CEO of Airbnb, requesting that he please refund my money to me since I am not in a monetary position to ‘lose’ £68 and definitely not in one now to pay for another Airbnb on such short notice in a place like Bournemouth.

I cannot believe that this type of practice is allowed. Airbnb, where has that £68 gone to, if not to the host? It’s certainly not been returned to me. I look forward to their reply to my queries. Morever, I am waiting for anyone to tell me how I can get my money back.

Uninhabitable Accommodation Means Airbnb Refuses Refund

We booked a room through Airbnb and when we arrived we found the room to be completely uninhabitable. The most pressing issue was the temperature; the room was freezing, with no heating provided. It was 7 degrees Celsius outside, and the external walls were paper thin. There was condensation on the windows and walls. Furthermore, the toilet was broken; the cistern was permanently discharging, with the constant noise of running water and making it impossible to flush. There were other issues too, including excessive noise from above.

We notified the hosts, who agreed with our assessment that the room was uninhabitable, and we had no option other than to leave and seek alternative accommodation (at 10:00 PM). Airbnb does not have a contact number, leaving us with no one to call and having to fend for ourselves. Given that the host completely agreed with us, we thought that we’d at least be able to get a full refund for the room – how wrong we were.

Airbnb will not refund their service fees, their cleaning fees, or their processing fees, so in total are only prepared to refund about 75% of the price we paid, despite the room being completely uninhabitable, the host agreeing with us, and us not having spent a single night there. Airbnb does not have a contact number, so I have been left communicating via their online message system (taking a day for them to reply between messages) with someone who doesn’t have a good grasp of the English language and is making unreasonable requests (they want photo evidence that it was cold – how exactly do they expect me to do that, unless of course they expect their guests to carry a thermometer with them).

Given this, we immediately looked into cancelling our other Airbnb bookings for this trip. Given the experience we’ve just had we didn’t want to risk it. All the bookings were listed as free cancellation, and we are within the cancellation window. However, Airbnb’s policy is to never refund their service fee, even when a room is cancelled or there is a problem. They don’t care what you do, because they get paid anyway.

I have no worries about getting my money back – it was paid using Amex and their customer service is exceptional. They’ll provide the refund immediately and claim it back from Airbnb. I’m sure that our experience here is a one off, and the vast majority of stays go without issue. However, if something does go wrong, Airbnb will leave you on your own to deal with it, will make any attempt to get a resolution exceedingly difficult and will refuse to provide a full refund. You have been warned.

Charged for an Airbnb Property I Couldn’t Use

Have a laugh at our expense; look at our holiday album. This property is advertised on Airbnb as lovingly maintained with modern amenities. I am a retired front line emergency worker with experience in public health and safety. I believe this property is a fire and health/safety hazard. Airbnb continues to advertise this property, and to add insult to injury, they keep sending me a link to book it.

We arrived to find an unsafe, ill maintained, dirty property, as per the attached photo album; please view it here. Within an hour of our arrival I walked through the rooms with the host and pointed out the issues and my concerns. She couldn’t see what the problems were; nobody else had complained and in fact Airbnb had taken the photos and approved the property. At this point I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere because this was a blatant lie of how this advertising platform works.

Within three hours of arriving I notified Airbnb that were leaving to go to alternative accommodations the following morning, the earliest time we could leave. I took photos – some on my mobile, but the majority on my main camera retained on a SD card. I checked with Airbnb if requesting a refund was a time sensitive submission of material. We were told to get the majority of photos to them as soon as I could.

To cut a very long story short, we cancelled and moved out by 9:00 AM the next morning. Because I didn’t detail my conversation in full with the host on my email thread and couldn’t submit all my photos to Airbnb within 24 hours, I could only get a refund of 30% of the nights we didn’t use, not the full large refund that I believe with all good faith I am entitled to. This means I have been charged £450 to not stay in this pit.

Airbnb customer service is woeful. They do not answer messages, and have now closed the case with no independent arbitration or opportunity for dialogue with a middle manager. More importantly, people will still be paying hard earned cash to stay at this property and may not have the appetite for complaining or tackling a dishonest host.

Airbnb Lied And My Credit Card Company Reimbursed Me

In May 2017, a Swedish Airbnb host failed to provide essential amenities described in the listing, obliging me, the guest, to check into a hotel for the first of a week’s visit in costly Stockholm. The first Airbnb agent contacted by phone promised to rebook me and offer compensation for expenses but the next day another Airbnb agent wrote that no compensation would be offered and, instead of rebooking me, gave me a minimum reimbursement claiming I had cancelled the reservation (not far enough in advance for a full reimbursement as per the host’s strict cancellation policy).

I tried to resolve the matter pointing out that I had never cancelled the booking but it fell on deaf ears. The Airbnb agent never replied to my showing her the agent’s name and case number I was given who had promised to rebook and offer compensation. Instead, when I placed into dispute with my bank the sum paid out in advance to Airbnb, Airbnb countered with a copy of their cancellation policy. I informed Visa I never cancelled it and that it was the second Airbnb agent who did this unilaterally and tried to lie about it. I also wrote a letter to Airbnb’s CEO in San Francisco detailing the case with names, dates and reference numbers. No one from Airbnb replied to my letter.

In the end, Visa reimbursed me because Airbnb was unable to uphold their claim with any evidence; the bank believed me. I have been an Airbnb host and guest for well over ten years. None of this mattered. I will think twice before I use this intermediary agency to book any future stays. Instead I will look for alternate ways to book private homes. It is truly shameful that Airbnb treats its loyal clients in such a shoddy manner.

Moving to France, Booking on Airbnb, Facing this Situation

Let me start by saying that I am a frequent Airbnb user. Until this happened. I moved to France (Rennes to be more specific) 11 days ago and I booked two nights in a private room in order to rest and start looking for an apartment full time (moving to a foreign country, carrying a lot of luggage, and finding a proper place to stay even for a couple of days is necessary). The host answered my messages before arrival, but when I checked in, I encountered a problem which made me feel suspicious of the surroundings.

As a foreign young girl who had to stay for two nights in an apartment with two other men, whom I had not been informed about beforehand, and was preparing to consume alcohol that night, I had to think twice about spending the night. I would like to add that even if it was a private room, I didn’t have the key to it. I was accompanied by a friend of mine who shared the same feeling about the situation, saying that he wouldn’t let me stay in there.

The host told me I should cancel the booking and he would give me my money back. In other words, no fees would be charged for my cancellation, with the exception of the website tax. When people make you feel threatened or unsure of your safety, taking pictures is not highly recommended, which is why I do not have pictures of the place/situation. I have noticed that the money was taken from my account; I had reminded him about the money and our understanding and requested a refund once more. I have contacted him four times so far with no hope for a resolution.

I was forced under these circumstances to pay for a service that was not delivered. I would like to include the link of my meant-to-be-safe host’s profile. I know that it might be in vain, but I tried my luck in sending Airbnb an email concerning my issue. I would like for others to be aware of some people and to pay attention to what they are “buying”. Thanks.