In order to allow our son to stay with us in New York, we foolishly responded to an Airbnb posting describing a quiet, modern, spacious and well-appointed apartment. We were due to move in early in the evening after returning from New Year’s in Boston. Perhaps the first clue was a request not to tell other apartment owners that we were paying guests. When we arrived we found a dark, old, ground floor apartment, on the street. We could hear people talking outside and traffic noise. There was a stupefying smell of bleach, mould in the bathroom, and a living area dominated by a fridge with no extra room. The flooring was old and dirty, the blinds were broken, and there was a general sense of disrepair. We stayed long enough to survey the disaster and then checked back into a hotel in which we had previously stayed. We immediately reported our concerns to the host who simply denied everything. We reported the issues along with photographs to Airbnb. Despite numerous phone calls we had little response until today when our case manager informed us that our request for a refund had been denied. So we are $4,500 out of pocket with nowhere to go. This appalling organisation needs to be stopped immediately.
Airbnb is great as long as nothing goes wrong. But the whole process is too complex for nothing to go wrong. In our case we were not able to travel to our booking in Yosemite National Park because of a national weather service advisory about a winter storm which clearly mentioned “not to travel unless in a emergency”. When we contacted Airbnb they suggested that we need to first cancel the booking and then claim a refund under their extenuating circumstances policy. After we cancelled the booking we filed a claim. The entire customer service experience was horrible. First of all, Airbnb could only be reached by email, which was slow. It took almost three days for Airbnb to reach a conclusion: they will not refund a single penny. When I asked for an escalation, a blunt email arrived stating that this was their final decision and they would not entertain any further communication.
My story doesn’t have any funny part at all. Actually it’s a disappointing and shocking one. This December my family and I decided to go on vacation to Orlando for Christmas because we thought it will be nice to go to Disney World for the holidays; we were looking for places to stay and I had heard about Airbnb before. This was not the first time we traveled; we have had the chance to do it often. In any case, we decided to make a reservation through Airbnb with Glasstone Vacations, from December 17th to the 28th, but the reservation was made from November 17th to the 28th. We made a mistake and we accept that, due to the excitement and everything I didn’t realize the month said November and not December. We didn’t realize that the dates were wrong until I got an automatic message the 28th asking me about my experience. You can imagine my surprise when I got that message because my reservation was meant to be from December 17th to the 28th.
As soon as I got that message I messaged the host and told her that my reservation was meant to be in December, not November. I got no reply, then I tried to call her. I called around five times and no one answered the phone, so I decided to call Airbnb. I kept calling Airbnb for at least an hour until someone finally picked up, but I didn’t get any solution. What I was told by my case manager was that he was gonna talk to the host to help me. This is the second week already and I still don’t have any solution, but it actually gets worst. The reservation was for 11 days at a house, the price of the house is more than 2500 dollars, and among my family there is a kid (my brother) and a pregnant woman (my sister). I needed to get this fixed because we had no place to stay. I was waiting for an answer about the money but no one was giving me a solution.
I kept calling Airbnb. Their answers so far have just been “we are sorry, we will contact you soon”, “wait for an answer”, “you have to wait for your case manager”, and a bunch of other excuses. I talked to my case manager on Monday (last week) and he told me he was going to be out of the office for two days. Of course I was supposed to get an answer by Wednesday, but I called Airbnb again and he was nowhere to be found. I don’t know if anyone has had the same issues with case managers but honestly he was no help. On Thursday I got an email from him saying that he will contact my host again. It had been four days, but I was trying to be patient and fix this so I agreed. I also talked to my host from Glasstone Vacations and she said that she needed to talk to the people from Airbnb.
The thing is that I still haven’t had an answer from Airbnb and it turns out that the host sent me a message saying: “We are just going to give you the cleaning service money back because you didn’t use the house, but the rest of the money you are not getting it back.” So you are telling me that you are just gonna take more than 2500 dollars from someone just like that! Without me using the house or anything? I was trying to find a solution that will work for both parties so I proposed that my host reschedule the visit; I didn’t want my money back, I just simply didn’t wanna lose all my money. I even told Airbnb and the host that if I have to pay a fee and don’t get 100% of my money back it’s ok, but I can’t just lose more than 2500 dollars. However, my host didn’t agree to any of this. She clearly wasn’t interested in trying to help me. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been robbed face to face.
I called Airbnb again and talked to a different person. I just keep explaining my case to every single person I talk to and I am not getting any real answer or help. Glasstone Vacations is definitely a horrible company to rent from and Airbnb is not helping at all either. I already asked for a different case manager but they look like they don’t care and just want the case to go cold. Well, I am not going to give up. I need my money back and I am telling my story so people don’t fall into this situation. I will never in my entire life recommend Glasstone Vacations and Airbnb. The first one just robbed me and the second one is no help at all. Glasstone Vacations said that “they already paid the owner.” Clearly they just don’t wanna give me my money back or provide any other option. They just care about their own benefits and that means to get money from someone who didn’t even stay at the house.
I was hit with a fraudulent reservation. In other words someone clearly hacked my account, and made a reservation with my name and credit card information. All the emails were in Chinese. I live in Virginia. The reservation was for Colorado. I immediately canceled the reservation which had a no refund policy… there’s a shocker. I was able to contact Airbnb on chat. They indicated they had the money in their account and that it would not be released until they investigated. It has been over a week. I’ve had one other chat and one email requesting information. I’ve provided all the information required. There has been no response in five days, none. My bank is involved as well, bending over backwards to help. Airbnb is not responding in any way. My email contact has dried up, and phone contact is sparse. Someone has answered, and then I’m put on hold for over an hour. Never again. I’m done with Airbnb.