No Refund for $2600 Due to COVID Circumstances

We cancelled our rental on March 21 for our stay in Austin scheduled for October 22-27 through Airbnb with a deposit $2,581.62 due to COVID-related complications. We booked in January. Neither the host nor Airbnb will refund our money due to their strict policy of “no cancellations” unless there are extenuating circumstances. COVID falls under that clause.

We have been fighting with them since March to get a refund. Our business was shut down due to COVID on March 13. We are now hiring an attorney to recoup our money. Do not use Airbnb. They have no compassion for the current climate or what people are having to endure. These are huge businesses which are not interested in the welfare of the clients. Losing $2,600 is a big deal to us, especially now.

Charged for Two Airbnb Stays in One Night

The Airbnb unit we were staying in developed a water leak from the upstairs apartment. We called the host and tried to get in touch with Airbnb, but could reach neither. It was getting late and so we panicked and booked something else nearby.

We drove over to the new booking and it was just a rundown residential suite. It didn’t even have an outside window — not what we wanted for our vacation in the mountains. I promptly cancelled but the host would not return my money. He had done nothing at all and lost nothing in the brief interim between my booking and cancellation.

We ended up staying at the original place once the leak was repaired, but there were drying mats down and two dehumidifiers for the remainder of our trip. Airbnb never did respond to our initial plea for help and sided with the host of the apartment we panic booked. Surely there must be some negligence on their part for not responding.

Three Weeks: No Advice, No Refund, No Help

To start, I want to say how helpful I found this page to be. After trying to get advice and assistance from Airbnb for three weeks, I got nothing. I found the email address for the head of housekeeping at Airbnb on Airbnb Hell and within four hours had a phone call from an Airbnb representative.

I am a host of a cottage and unfortunately we discovered the boiler had packed it in within two days of my first guest’s arrival — the first since March. I contacted Airbnb to let them know there was a problem and despite offering the guests alternative dates for their holiday, an alternative shower or to just remain while the plumber replaced the boiler, they chose to go home. I offered them a full refund for the inconvenience and I thought that would be that .

Over the course of the next three weeks I phoned Airbnb six times and must’ve written to them about ten times, all to no avail. All during lockdown, all reservations were cancelled and given a full refund by Airbnb but despite my requesting them to refund these guests, they did not. One employee wrote back saying it was my fault the boiler broke down because I hadn’t maintained it well.

30 days after the guests left, I found this site and the email address for someone at the head office, wrote to them, and within four hours had a phone call from Airbnb. The guests have now been reimbursed their service charge from Airbnb, and though I am significantly out of pocket, the end result is good. All in all really frustrating though.

Cancellations During Pandemic Mean No Refund

In January we booked an Airbnb in Bath for two nights. The venue was booked so family and friends could celebrate an uncle’s 70th birthday. We paid £1,960.85 including an exorbitant service fee of £262.85 (for what we have no idea).

Due to circumstances beyond our control, i.e. COVID-19, we had to cancel the booking and did so in May. The guest of honour who lives in Ireland was not able to fly to England for the party due to flight restrictions caused by the virus. Consequently, we cancelled when we did in order not to lose the full amount. Had the coronavirus not happened, our party would have carried on with the booking as planned.

We received a refund of only £849 from Airbnb (50% minus the service charge). Our party of 10 had hoped under these unusual circumstances, the host would have given us a full refund. The owners did say that if their Airbnb was rented during the weekend we booked, then a refund would be issued. No surprise that this did not happen so we didn’t receive the other 50%.

Losing this amount of money through no fault of our own was devastating for our financial situation which, because of the lockdown, is precarious at best. We appealed twice to the owner’s sense of fairness and compassion by asking them to send the other 50% refund (£849) realising that the hefty service charge Airbnb charges is likely beyond their control. This did not happen nor did we ever hear from them. Consequently, they have £849 of our money for doing absolutely nothing at a time they couldn’t have rented their place anyway.

We also appealed to Airbnb but they were useless in resolving this issue. This Airbnb in Bath did not act in good faith and if you are looking to book this venue in the future, buyer beware — the owners have no scruples and will take your money and run if given the opportunity. Our advice is not to book this place now or ever.

Promised a Full Refund, Only Received Half

Anticipating the craziness of a parents’ weekend lodging nightmare, I made a reservation right away on September 19 after we got home while my hubby was still dragging bags from the van. The reservation was for October 1-4. At matriculation day on August 15, I received an email from my son’s school that the weekend was cancelled due to COVID-19.

I went online on the 16th to cancel my reservation. The instructions stated I should call my host to ask for a full refund. If she agrees, I would get my full refund. She did. I got an email back that I would be refunded the full amount of $200.98 but in reality, I only got half: $100.74.

I called the host back. She said that she gave me a full refund of $170 and sent me the receipt with a note stating it was a “penalty free” refund. I told her I did not get the $170. Instead I have $100.74 and I do not need the $170, just $100.74. She said that I should take it to Airbnb now since it is between me and Airbnb. Her partner explained to me that when I booked, the money went to Airbnb; they get paid after the guests stay. I compared her refund receipt number and the Airbnb refund receipt number; they were the same.

What happened to the $170? Where is my money? Their cancellation policy on COVID-19 is quite confusing because it states that they will give a full refund if the cancellation is due to COVID-19 and the hosts agree, which I qualify on both. But, it has also a window of dates that they consider “emergency dates” which my reservation and cancellation did not fit since I booked before COVID-19 and cancelled past their end of emergency date. Thus only a 50% refund.

Why would I be penalized for something that is out of my control? I made the reservation in good faith, paid in full for an accommodation I wouldn’t be using until a year later, and I did not cancel for whatever silly reason. I cancelled because due to COVID-19 our son will be “secured” in the barracks until his December holiday pick-up.

I called the number for help but of course there is no option about my situation because they do not entertain refunds (only current reservations). Instead, they encouraged me to read the link they sent me which is more or less the explanation again of their outrageous and unfair cancellation policy.

My son has two years left to complete his degree; I guess we will have to stay at Howard Johnson then. At least it gives me a clear option to book securely for an extra $10 and get a full refund in case of cancellation. I will continue to fight this to the end and will inform my son’s school’s alumni office which helps parents with accommodation information. We certainly do not need this degree of aggravation due to unfair policies. Thank you for providing this space where we can express our angst of injustice.

Is COVID-19 Not an Extenuating Circumstance?

How is anything related to COVID not an extenuating circumstance, after the government put in place a stay at home order after having everything open, preventing anyone from traveling into the island?

Our trip to the USVI got cancelled, per the governor shutting down travel, and in contacting the airline about this (they gave us our full refund without question by the way) the airline told me that if the island was shutting down they would not be flying in — so we could be stuck there.

Now the host had told me that I would need to cancel for reasons including COVID and I should get my full refund because it was out of their hands. Airbnb only refunded us half and it would’ve been less had I not done it sooner. The host said she is unable to do anything about refunding us because she hasn’t been given the money.

Airbnb stole thousands from me. Neither myself nor the host has been able to actually get in touch with anyone at the company, all I get is a phone recording that just hangs up on me. Never again. Do not use this company.

Airbnb Made Me Pay for the Grimmest Cottage Ever

I booked an Airbnb holiday cottage for a week in Aberdovey, North Wales, in good faith based on the information given in the Airbnb listing. I turned up after driving for hours to find a drab, damp, dark, dated, depressing and smelly cottage situated on a dangerous road — totally unsuitable for children. We left after ten minutes of walking into the property having paid £603 in total for the booking.

I raised a complaint with Airbnb within 20 minutes of leaving the cottage. The result is that Airbnb gave us a £50 refund of our total £603 we paid. It seems they sided with the owner rather than the guest. It seems they tend to do this as a rule. So as a guest if things go wrong, be warned you will lose your money and Airbnb will not help you, no matter what they say.

Cancelled in July, Still no Refund in August

I made two Airbnb reservations for this summer in December 2019. I cancelled them both on July 6. There was no question at that time of whether I was allowed a refund or not — both hosts agreed to give me a full refund. I got the full refund for one of the cancellations on July 10. I got billed a “cancelation fee” for the other reservation on July 10, but I haven’t gotten any money.

I called July 6 to ensure that this would work out since I had changed my credit card, and the customer service person assured me there was no problem. And indeed, I got the other refund without a problem. They said to wait 7-10 days.

I called again on August 17 and talked to a customer service person who said it looked like there was a problem and “an expert would contact me.” But here it is August 24 and no expert. Today I tried calling, and got a phone tree that explained: if the reservation was made before March 15, no refund is allowed. If the reservation was made after March 15, no refund is allowed.

If this is not about a cancellation 72 hours from now or less, nobody can talk to a person, just leave a message and an expert will contact you. Based what I am seeing from other people, I think my mistake was not insisting that I talk to a manager last week when I had a live person on the phone. This is pretty terrible.

Avoid Airbnb in Bath That Refuses Refunds

In January we booked an Airbnb in Bath for two nights. The venue was booked so our family and friends could celebrate an uncle’s 70th birthday. We paid £1,960.85 including an exorbitant service fee of £262.85 (for what we have no idea).

Due to circumstances beyond our control — i.e. COVID-19 — we had to cancel the booking and did so in May. The guest of honour who lives in Ireland was not able to fly to England for the party due to flight restrictions caused by the virus. Consequently, we cancelled when we did in order not to lose the full amount. Had the coronavirus not happened, our party would have carried on with the booking as planned.

We received a refund of only £849.00 from Airbnb (50% minus the service charge). Our party of ten had hoped under these unusual circumstances, the host would have given us a full refund. The owners did say that if their B&B was rented during the weekend we booked, then a refund would be issued. No surprise that this did not happen so we didn’t receive the other 50%.

Losing this amount of money through no fault of our own was devastating for our financial situation which, because of the lockdown, is precarious at best. We appealed twice to the owner’s sense of fairness and compassion by asking them to send the other 50% refund (£849) realising that the hefty service fee Airbnb charges is likely beyond their control. This did not happen nor did we ever hear from them. Consequently, they have £849 of our money for doing absolutely nothing at a time they couldn’t have rented their place anyway.

We also appealed to Airbnb but they were useless in resolving this issue. This Airbnb in Bath did not act in good faith and if you are looking to book this venue in the future, buyer beware – the owners have no scruples and will take your money and run if given the opportunity. Our advice is not to book this place now or ever.

Not Traveling to Hawaii Just to Quarantine

I rented an Airbnb house in Oahu, Hawaii for 12 days on April 17. Just two weeks ago, the Governor of Hawaii announced that he wants every tourist to keep quarantining for two weeks until at least September and that they might extend this requirement past September.

I contacted the host and explained the situation, and she agreed to cancel my reservation and to authorize a full refund. It has been almost two weeks since she authorized it and Airbnb doesn’t want to refund me or cancel the reservation. The host has explained that they have the money and not her and that she authorized it.

I have called Airbnb multiple times and messaged them multiple times. Their response each time is that they will transfer my case to someone that can help me and no one does. I am at my wits’ end. I do not know what to do with them anymore besides dispute the charge with my bank. I can not travel with my two kids and husband for 12 hours on a plane to stay locked up in an apartment for 12 days.