Customer Service Nightmare Could Have Ruined My Trip

I am currently in the middle of a sabbatical trip that I have been planning for over a year. I am a musician and small business owner from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I have been severely burnt out in recent years from the rigors of running a small business. Six months ago I started planning a four-month trip to the Dominican Republic. This past May I booked an apartment with Airbnb in Punta Cana and made an initial payment of $1,711 using my debit card. Shortly before leaving for my trip I had to replace my debit card. I called Airbnb the day before I left to give them the new card number for the future months’ rent. Unfortunately they made a mistake and cancelled the original payment (which had been made six months earlier) and charged my new card for the same amount. I did not authorize them to do this.

As soon as I saw that money had been taken out of my account I called them back and asked what was going on. They said there was nothing they could do to cancel the new charge but said the original payment would be refunded and the two amounts would even out. However it has now been over two weeks and the refund has not been credited to my account. I have communicated with Airbnb customer support at least five times over the past two weeks to resolve the situation, and they have been unresponsive and unhelpful.

Airbnb has left me alone in a foreign country with nearly $2,000 less in my bank account than I am supposed to have for over two weeks. I am fortunate that I still have enough money in my account to get by for the time being, but the consequences of this situation could have been disastrous if I had been on a tighter budget. Since Airbnb has been totally unresponsive, I have found other accommodations and am initiating the dispute process with my bank for the fraudulent charge. I am completely shocked that a reputable company would do this to a (repeat) customer and leave me in potentially perilous circumstances. I will never do business with Airbnb again, and I suggest than anyone reading this think long and hard before booking lodging through this awful company.

Gold Coast Booking Leads to Being Double Charged

Please read this letter I sent to Airbnb less that three hours after I had made a booking:

Hi Airbnb,

I hope you are having a fabulous day. I am not and I am writing here to let you and others know why. In a few weeks one of my best friends is getting married on the Gold Coast (we never thought it would happen – he is not that pretty). I am the only member of his friends and family who is in the southern hemisphere so I am absolutely delighted to be going.

Today I decided to book my accommodation through Airbnb. You have such a good following and cheaper rates so I thought, why not? That is definitely the kind of service I need as I am on a budget and the rates seemed fabulous. I made my booking with a lovely woman who immediately contacted me. We could not wait for our trip.

Where is the issue, you may wonder? After booking this, my partner and I thought that doing a small run to the food shop would be a good idea. I checked my bank account just to see how much we could splurge after booking our trip. I was expecting to see between $400-600. It wasn’t a great surprise to me when there was a measly $28 in the account. Obviously this was a great shock. When I investigated this further it was clear that Airbnb had double charged me and also refunded me on their system.

This would be all well and good and if I were a millionaire I would find it slightly irritating; however, I am not a millionaire. I was a bit upset but because I am a reasonable person I figured I would contact you and just ask what was going on.

Firstly, I struggled to find contact details on your website – I just kept getting redirected in a loop to your FAQ pages (on a side note: this is extremely irritating). The next step was Facebook, where I found a telephone number. This was an 02 number so I assumed I was calling someone in NSW. The first two agents that I spoke to (in Southeast Asia Pacific – this is where they told me they were) hung up on me when I said I needed to find a solution to procuring the money that had been refunded. The third agent told me I did not know what I was talking about.

At this point I am willing to admit that I lost my temper a little and demanded to speak to someone more helpful. Again, somebody hung up on me. During this time my partner contacted the bank and told them about our little conundrum and they said there was a really very simple solution to resolve this: Airbnb had to email or fax the bank on an email address and/or fax number that they provided with some details.

After receiving this information, the good people at the bank said the money would be released within two hours. At this point, all of the details required on this fax or email were about myself. The only thing Airbnb had to provide was a headed fax or signed email. After some cereal, a bit of a cry, and being a little bit stressed, I called back.

This time I spoke to someone who was a little more helpful. She went and found a supervisor. This person got on the phone and relayed back the same ridiculous diatribe that the first couple of people did and only when I mentioned the word fraudulent and legal advice was anyone on the phone remotely helpful. When I pointed out that I was expecting to call NSW and actually ended up on the phone to Southeast Asia, saying “would I be getting charged a fortune for that on top of having no money in my bank account?” the supervisor hung up and called me back.

After 45 minutes of being on this call I was told the call was very irritating. I was also told that the managers and payment teams that had the capacity to deal with my unfortunate situation were in another country and there was nothing you could do. I am a human being and understand mistakes happen. However, in our modern age of technology and communication I am struggling to comprehend the fact that nobody in a global company can send an email or fax to resolve this situation. It would take less than five minutes.

I won’t keep going on but what I will say is this. You took a charge out of my bank account twice and actually tried to take it a third time. Because of this (and you not being able to send an email or fax) I have $28 in my bank account. Because I only have this much money in my account, either my partner or I are going to have to sacrifice going to work as we will not be able to both afford fuel and/or public transport to our employment. I apologize that we are not more well off and able to cope but even though both of us work 60+ hours a week we are still struggling to make ends meet. If either of us lose our employment I will be seeking legal advice.

I still have no email, fax or refund.

Host tried to rip us off. Two months later, no refund.

A friend and I booked a property for two nights in Salamanca, Spain. The price was 30 Euros a night. After we had stayed one night, the host told us that she had made a mistake on the listing and the price was per person per night. There was nothing wrong with the property; it was in a good location and clean. However, having spent two months traveling in Europe this summer, it was most certainly not a 60-euro room. We told the host that this was outside our budget and she told us we had to pay her 60 euros or leave. We checked out and found another property straight away. When I applied for a refund, the host rejected it, saying we had not left the property until 3:00 PM. I have messages through Airbnb to our new host at noon asking if we could come early, as we were on the street with our bags. Airbnb has never followed up. Two months late, and we still have no refund.

Airbnb Hell Cottage in Durham Gives me Allergic Reaction

So I booked a three-night Airbnb stay in a “cabin” in someone’s backyard in Durham, North Carolina. When I arrived I found that the place had seen better days (probably when the pictures were taken). It was a tiny cabin with some sort of heavy scratchy material attached to something that had a sofa-like appearance and something that was supposed to be a bed. I couldn’t even imagine sleeping on it, even if it had had sheets. For pillows, there were some filthy throw pillows that looked like they were from a sofa. I was planning on using my sleeping bag at that point.

The outdoor shower was exposed to the outdoors and any neighbors. I started getting stung by mosquitoes immediately (this was mid-October). I went to my car to see if I had bug spray and a yellow jacket sprung out of it and stung me. I’m allergic to all stinging venemous insects, so this was scary. I took Benadryl right away and watched to see if I needed an Epi Pen. I sent a note to the host but got no response.

I decided to find a drugstore and grocery store so I went back to the car only to find it was surrounded by a swarm of yellow jackets. It seems there was a yellow jacket nest right next to where I had to park, which was also the path to the back yard to reach the cabin. I ran off and called the host; there was no response so I left a message asking for help. Again, there was no response. I waited for a while and when it looked like the car wasn’t surrounded any longer I hopped in and backed it out towards the street. I very carefully got back to the “cottage” and grabbed my stuff and left.

I called Airbnb from a parking lot down the road and asked them for help. Airbnb and the host were totally useless. The host never responded to any of my calls. He sent me a note telling me I should go to a pharmacy at a WalMart. Airbnb said they wouldn’t return my money unless I could send them “proof” of the insects. How am I supposed to document a yellow jacket nest when I can’t go near them? I tried to send a pic of the sting but my camera doesn’t do close-ups well. I sent a picture of my Epi Pen too.

Airbnb has refused to refund the stay I couldn’t use; I had only recently arrived when this all happened. The host has not responded or been there. This place is a horror show and shouldn’t be rented on Airbnb. I had to go to a motel and stay there and am paying for three nights at the cabin I can’t stay at as well. I tried to call Airbnb again but they never connected me, no matter how long I sat on hold. I guess they know I’m calling about that listing as i clicked through it to call them.

Airbnb Quick to Collect Payment, Slow to Respond

I am a Filipino citizen and would like to share this story hoping that would reach the head of Airbnb or the right person to act swiftly and accordingly. During my search for places to stay, for which I needed to attach my visa application for Norway, a friend of mine suggested Airbnb. It was my first time using Airbnb. Their apps and website seemed amazing because they were so quick to find what I needed in Oslo, Norway: a property for a month’s stay from October 13 to November 12, 2017.

The first property that I successfully booked from a host charged my credit card after a week. It was then cancelled by the host and I received an email from the Airbnb Team:

“A refund of ₱62627.91 has been issued to your credit card for your reservation at the ‘modern studio apartment with view’ (you originally paid ₱62627.91). While this refund is immediate on our part, it can take up to 15 business days for the funds to reach your account. Thanks, The Airbnb Team.”

Below my email message to them:

“Good day Airbnb Team! This is my third time to message you to follow up but it seems you are ignoring my messages. I know perfectly well that you are receiving this because in the message itself from Airbnb between the host and guest you immediately deleted you can see an attempt to exchange contact numbers and email addresses. It has already been a month and five days and yet the refunds have not yet reached my account. Give me some updates and actions regarding my refund. I am impatiently awaiting your prompt reply or otherwise you will have a bad image on social media and the international news.”

I don’t know if someone had the same nightmare that I am experiencing, but the Airbnb’s greed in collecting payment quickly but slow to respond or act swiftly to refund payment to the guest is obvious. Though I booked another property with Airbnb which successfully charged my credit card again, I hope this time the host will not cancel it and I hope not to receive or find future surprises from Airbnb. I am still awaiting Airbnb’s refund. I wish that you guys all out there shout out your negative experiences with Airbnb to the international press to expose their greedy scheme. They ignore their responsibility to act immediately in terms of refunding payment to guests like me. I will keep sharing and shout out my story until they listen and act accordingly.

Charged over £1,000 for a 16-Minute Booking

We were the victims of a double booking at our first property. It actually wasn’t Airbnb’s fault, but the subsequent events had everything to do with an Airbnb host. This was not an individual, in fact, but a faceless and greedy property management company. After the double booking fiasco, seven of our group were stranded in the remote Tuscan countryside in rural Italy with, realistically, a couple of hours to sort it out and find somewhere to sleep. I was the eighth member of the group, travelling by train to meet the group. It was up to me to find an alternative at very short notice through Airbnb as I’d made the original booking and the money immediately reimbursed by Airbnb for the double booking mess up was allocated to my account. Network coverage on the train was very patchy.

Looking at alternative accommodation for suitability and availability on a mobile device was extremely difficult. It was hot. The train was packed. Going from Milan to Florence, you pass through an enormously long tunnel. Meanwhile, I was trying to converse with the group who were also wrestling with poor phone signals and trying to assess alternatives and report back to me.

Long story short: the circumstances were extremely difficult. Partway through this process I made another booking. It was a mistake caused by confusion and fat fingers. I take full responsibility for making an error but in the circumstances you can perhaps understand how it happened. I realised what I’d done and cancelled the booking within 16 minutes. Once we’d finally sorted out alternative accommodation, I contacted the host and asked for a refund. I figured he’d been put to no trouble; he could not have lost a booking in 16 minutes and could not have incurred any cleaning fees. He refused.

Of the £1953 we paid for the 16 minute booking, the host chose to refund only £842, citing his Strict Cancellation Policy. The 16 minutes cost us £1,111. This is the villa – beware if you’re booking it. The host was within his rights according to his and Airbnb’s policy. Is this fair? Reasonable? In the spirit of the Airbnb community? Someone you would like to trust with your holiday? Those are questions you might like to consider before making a booking with Airbnb.

Fraudulent Listing in Moscow Leaves Guest at Hotel

At the end of July 2017, I rented a room for two nights with Airbnb in Moscow, Russia. I sent text messages to the host of the apartment a couple of times asking him about his apartment number. Not getting any answers led me to believe there was an international communications problem.

When I got there, I called him many times but still got no answer. I went to the address which was centrally located and like many other apartment buildings in Moscow, it had security personal at the entrance. I asked the security guy about this listing and he answered me that the building had eight apartments. He had never seen the host in the picture I provided nor did he know any resident who rented an apartment in that building. He also contacted his partner who worked the same shift but he got a negative answer as well. That was about 3:30 in the afternoon.

I tried to contact Airbnb but I was unsuccessful. They had no help nor support from the website. I tried until around midnight by browsing with my luggage from one restaurant to another with no luck. I spent that night in a nearby hotel, paying around $100. The next day, after many hours of trying to rent a different apartment, I gave up and changed my return ticket to the earliest date, which happened to be on August 21st. That date was almost ten days earlier than my originally planned return date of September 2nd.

After changing my ticket, I rented a different place with Airbnb after many hours where I could spend the time enjoying my vacation. The place that I rented was not centrally located. Finally I contacted Airbnb, and told them that the listing was fraudulent. Because of that fraudulent listing, my entire trip was derailed and I was very much depressed.

When I returned to the states, I contacted Airbnb and spoke with a person at customer service who sent me an email earlier, presenting herself as a help/support department manager and promising to compensate me $300. According to her, this was the maximum amount that Airbnb could pay. I asked her whether this conversation was being recorded and she responded that it was. After speaking with her back and forth, she promised to compensate me with $400 plus my refund of $81 for a rental. I received an email today from a representative at Airbnb, stating that their company will not compensate me the amount that had been promised. I don’t like companies that don’t understand how to calculate their costs and benefits. In my case, if I don’t rent with Airbnb for three or four times, they lose me as a costumer and the amount that they had to compensate me.

Host in Tallahassee Needs to Grow Up and Accept Hurricane

We booked a townhouse in Tallahassee, Florida necessary for evacuation from Hurricane Irma. The host was to contact us one day prior to provide the lock box code for the key. He never fulfilled that promise. Rather than drive five hours hoping he would come through, we canceled the reservation at 6:30 AM and emailed the host. Note that the hurricane had shifted west and Tallahassee was now in the path of the storm. Being in an evacuation zone, we scrambled to find a safe place and inquired about a refund. The host responded a day later at 5:45 PM stating his no refund policy. After some back and forth after the fact, he had the audacity to blame the hurricane for the reason he hadn’t responded. The reason we canceled (besides never getting the lock box code) was the same reason he said he couldn’t communicate and he still denies us a refund? I’m not sure how many properties this host has on various sites but stay far far away from him. Perhaps he can grow into a real man but for now he is an immature child who can’t take responsibility for his own failings.

Airbnb Left me Pregnant and Homeless After False Charges

I have yet to read about a case as unique and long as mine. Instead of explaining my story, since it would take me hours, I’ll copy and paste the email I sent to Airbnb about my experience. Long story short: I’m pregnant, homeless, no food, no gas, no shelter. Airbnb evicted me from an illegal sublet due to the host renting out his home illegally. I had to borrow $1200 from my family while I waited for the refund. Ten whole days went by when I was contacted via email saying the money had been put into my account. Not 15 minutes later, Airbnb double charged me and took every penny out of my bank account: $1500, $1100 for rent and $400 for living expenses.

This left me homeless because I couldn’t pay the rent. I’m two months pregnant and living out of my car. No gas. No food. No job since I haven’t had gas to get there. I couldn’t pay my family back from the refund I got that was taken back 15 minutes later. Now let me say what Airbnb has done seven days later: nothing. There has been promise after promise to help and call back. I have two days until my phone bill needs to be paid, which means no more contact with Airbnb unless I find wifi to email them. The only thing I have been asked to do is write an email for the investigation; this is what I wrote seven days ago and there has still been no call back (I call every day for hours just to be told “it’s not my department and I cannot help you but someone will call you”).

To whom this may concern: about eight months ago my fiancé and myself decided we would use Airbnb to save up to buy an apartment. We decided we would use Airbnb for one year to avoid moving costs. We knew this would be a hard year due to the fact we would need to divide our trip up; no host would allow us to stay more than a month or a couple months. Every single Airbnb has been a nightmare. I feel as though I’m getting into the wrong field (psychology) because I thought every host would be different so that it would work out better than the last. Instead, it got worse.

It was my first host who convinced me, brand new to Airbnb, that it was okay to pay cash the day we came to view the home. I now know why. The second day I called Airbnb due to health hazards. He began doing major illegal construction in the home. I called and showed all types of pictures. He did construction on the only shower in the home, knocking walls down while I was doing homework and hammering at 3:00 AM. He had no permits, and got saw dust all over my belongings; by this I mean ruined clothes, shoes, bedding, etc. and that was the day we left.

We took all our belongings and went to another Airbnb. We were promised a parking space and he didn’t even have street parking. We dealt with walking a half mile every day after work. My fiancé is a longshoreman that works 40-hour shifts and gets home all hours of the night. Every day he had to walk that when he parked after work. If you look at my messages with the host they say it all.

Then we stayed at an Airbnb which was absolutely disgusting. It started to get really bad when we went with another host. He began smoking crack cocaine in the house. I called Airbnb and opened another case. He was committing domestic violence. There were roaches, mice, and a lot of screaming between him and his wife. You can look at messages with the host as well; they will say it all and I opened a new case. We were supposed to stay with him for two months but I couldn’t do schoolwork once again due to an Airbnb host.

We left and went to a host who was the worst of them all. I was put in a completely occupied room. I was convinced he got confused and put us in the wrong room because it wasn’t the room in the pictures. We were promised a TV, AC, and fridge and we were put in a tiny 90-degree room with no fan. There were also bedbugs so Airbnb’s emergency department placed me with someone else. The money was transferred from one host to another. I got an email with a receipt stating I paid as well. The host, at the beginning of our month-long stay, said he received a $1200 payout. I sent Airbnb both the receipt stating I paid and messages from the host saying that I paid.

The new host’s house was disgusting too but we said we would stick it out. It was gross but at least the people were nice and had a newborn. I cleaned their home and was a very nice guest. Everything was fine until the host began going into our room when we weren’t home, and he would walk around half naked; he was rude. That’s all in our messages. I didn’t call the host on it since I decided I was going to leave him a review instead – stating the facts – so Airbnb and others could look at his reviews.

Why in the world would the host not reach out to Airbnb about $1200 if he didn’t receive that? That’s crazy. I even have him saying he received the payment. I got an email one day saying there was trouble receiving my payment so I called right away and the Airbnb agent said it took a little while for the money to be transferred and that I should completely ignore the mail. He proceeded to give me $20 for the inconveniences of the emails and I should not worry at all about the money. That phone call was obviously recorded so please listen to the man tell me to ignore the emails, state the host got the money, and offer twenty dollars for the inconveniences from the email scare. We stayed there for a month and it was the worst experience ever.

An hour after we arrived at our next host my fiancé dropped the keys down the elevator shaft so we called the host. He said it was no problem and he would get one from the landlord. Not 15 minutes later, I had his landlord and a police officer telling me I was living in an illegal house, that our host was not allowed to sublet, and we had to leave. Then I got an email from Airbnb saying to leave by 8:00 PM and that Airbnb was evicting me. At that point we took all our belongings and sat in the car for hours talking to Airbnb about a second emergency placement.

After hours and hours and hours on the phone of me saying I don’t trust Airbnb anymore I was convinced by an agent she would find me a “super host” with great reviews. Still sitting in the car with all our belongings, I listened to Airbnb telling me about our next host. She accepted all my money and then said that she couldn’t host us until the next day. I told her we couldn’t sleep in our car and she said it wasn’t her fault, that she doesn’t live there. My fiancé then told me to call Airbnb to get our money. He didn’t have it in him to work 70 hours a week to pay for us to continue to get screwed.

We made the scariest decision of our lives which was to take our money and move into a hotel. Like I said, we were using Airbnb to find an apartment so we decided that we would stay at a hotel for a couple weeks while we looked for an apartment and wait for our money to be put back into our bank account from the last host. Airbnb wouldn’t even pay for two full nights at the hotel for us. They gave us $200 and that was it. We were supposed to wait 7 to 10 days for a refund with literally no money. I had to borrow the money from my best friend to pay for the hotel and promised her Airbnb was going to give me a refund; we just needed a loan.

While living in the hotel I found an apartment for us. We just needed the refund and we could afford it. I waited those days and finally got the refund. I called the landlord and said I would meet him the next day to get the keys and pay. I told him I would meet him at 10:00 AM. Not 15 minutes after the money was put into the account Airbnb took it out and sent me a second receipt for a payment. I felt like I was in a dream; there is no way Airbnb could still be ruining our lives.

I immediately called Airbnb and had an agent tell me immediately that it was a double charge and that this would be fixed. I then called back after no word from getting the double charge back after 13 hours. At this point I had six hours to meet the landlord for the apartment so I called again and had someone tell me to call the landlord. My money would be put into my account.

Needless to say I lost the apartment we were supposed to move into today. Now I’m over a month pregnant and had to give the rest of my bank account to the hotel so we wouldn’t be homeless. We have a few days here then we are officially homeless because of Airbnb. I had three agents promise me the money within 24 hours. I was promised phone calls. I was promised this would all be fixed and nothing has happened. I have received not a dime, not a phone call, not even empathy. At 26 years old, my future, first apartment, and shelter was taken.

I start school on the 6th of September and I’m going to be homeless sleeping in our car most likely. I never thought something like this could even happen. I don’t even feel like I was compensated properly from all my troubles. This is the most stressed out I’ve ever been in my life. We are such hard working good people. Anyways hopefully I gave Airbnb enough evidence to prove my future was just pulled out from underneath me. I’m begging for our money back ASAP. I haven’t slept for two full nights waiting and waiting for our money. Please listen to the agents promising me this money and telling me I was double charged.

Construction Airbnb Nightmare in Napa, No Refund Given

I initially booked a home in Napa for the weekend of April 6 through April 9, 2017, through Airbnb. The home was advertised as recently renovated. The pictures provided on the website displayed what appeared to be a clean home in reasonably good condition. Upon arriving at the home late on the evening of Thursday, April 6th we found that the driveway was inaccessible due to heavy construction equipment (a skip loader to be precise). A portable lavatory and run-off barriers blocked the driveway entrance which was still in the process of having a roadbed installed for what must be assumed as subsequent paving and surfacing. It was evident that the property was still undergoing construction as another home was under construction in the back of the property.

The entryway leading to the front steps of the home was laden in mud and debris from the construction and lack of any ground cover to absorb the recent rains. Little if any illumination made it treacherous to maneuver to the front steps of the home late at night and several of the guests stepped in deep puddles of mud, ruining their shoes.

The beds had no sheets and linens and towels were piled near the washing machine in the laundry area. It was very evident that the home had not been prepared for the arrival of new guests that evening. I immediately sent the owner an email expressing my displeasure with the condition of the home and received no response. The following morning, Friday, April 7, I attempted to take a shower only to find out that there was no hot water. I called the owner but was unsuccessful in reaching him. Shortly thereafter he returned my call and explained that his cleaning woman had gotten into an accident that same Thursday and did not show up to clean and prep the home for arrival of new guest. I also mentioned the lack of hot water and he indicated that he would have his plumber come by immediately to inspect the situation.

When I asked how long that would be the owner indicated that his plumber would be arriving within 30 minutes. I did impress upon the owner that this was unacceptable and that we had a very tight schedule that morning and may not be able to wait around. The plumber did arrive and I personally accompanied him to the basement to review the hot water heater, which was dated 1990, yet the listing for the home clearly stated that the home was recently remodeled with new plumbing. I stood by and watched the plumber attempt to get the pilot to the hot water heater ignited, which after several attempts he was successful in doing so.

I along with my guest waited for over twenty minutes for the hot water to begin flowing so that we could take our showers but the hot water never did come on. In addition, we noted several GFI receptacles in the kitchen had been tripped, suggesting that there may have been a short somewhere along that electrical line, which I was quick to point out to the plumber. He offered no suggestions, which meant that several of the electrical receptacles in the kitchen were inoperable.

We left for our morning appointments and later that day I contacted the owner to inquire as to the status of the cleaning of the home, changing of the linens and towels, and most importantly the status of hot water. The owner assured me that all issues had been rectified to our satisfaction. Upon returning to the home later that evening, the ladies wanted to shower prior to dinner only to find out that of the four guests only two were successful in taking a warm shower as once again the hot water heater shut off.

The following morning, Saturday, April 8th, I again contacted the owner but this time he did not respond to my calls or text messages. I was successful on my own in getting the pilot lit for the hot water tank but the hot water stayed on only long enough for two of the four guests to get a shower. That evening and the following morning we had no success in getting hot water in spite of my numerous attempts to contact the owner.

From all accounts, the property was not ready for placement on Airbnb and was grossly misrepresented. Although there was clear evidence of some significant remodeling to the kitchen, the simple amenities that travelers expect (e.g. hot water on demand, a mud-free entry to the premises, clean linens, towels, soap and toilet tissue) were all lacking. Upon my personal inspection of the crawlspace below the home there was no evidence of new plumbing but instead, a patchwork of some replacement pipes. Advertisement for the home clearly indicated the home had recently received new plumbing yet the owner had failed to upgrade a hot water heater that dated back to 1990; this was an egregious misrepresentation of the condition of the home.

Having stayed at Airbnb homes all over the world this was unquestionably the worst facility I had ever had the misfortune of renting, not to mention the embarrassment of having another couple endure this hardship with us. The Tuesday following my return home, I made one last attempt to contact the owner to give him a chance to make some reasonable accommodation for the terrible hardship we endured at his home. Again my outreach fell on deaf ears as he never returned my calls.

One most interesting lesson learned from this ordeal was you need to choose your credit card company carefully. I have been an American Express Card holder for over 37 years and my attempt to obtain a refund through American Express would not have posed any difficulty for me. However, this is not the case with Chase and the Mileage Plus Visa Card, which unfortunately I chose to use to secure the property with. I initially disputed the charge with Chase but with each volume of documentation provided to them as requested, was met with another ridiculous request for further documentation.

From the outset, Chase contended that the charges were valid and sided with the merchant (in this case, the host). Never once did Chase speak or receive any documentation from the host to refute my claims but nevertheless, they were reluctant to resolve the matter yet provided a phone number to contact them to discuss. Needless to say, each attempt to contact a human at Chase was met with “the person you are trying to reach is away from their office right now”.

I did finally seek assistance from Airbnb who attempted to reach out to the host but was also unsuccessful in receiving any return call from him. Airbnb did post a small credit (just under $300) to my account but I felt considering the gross misrepresentation of the property by the owner that a more meaningful adjustment was required. I am currently still pursuing the matter and seeking a further adjustment through Airbnb. I have since cut up my Chase Mileage Plus Visa Card and the other Chase Card and returned them to Chase with a stern directive as to where they now can place their cards.

Moral of the story: there is a reason why I have held the Amex card all these years and have no problem paying the annual fee. Had I used the Amex card for the this trip I would have had this resolved back in April. Further, Airbnb needs to do a far better job at screening their hosts and protecting their customers.