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Airbnb Refused Refund Despite Published Policy

VRBO

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My husband and I booked with Airbnb to go to our annual beach vacation in Lewes, Delaware. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to severe weather conditions that made it unsafe to travel. According to Airbnb policy, that is an “extenuating circumstance” which allowed us to receive a full refund. The Airbnb manager agreed that it was unsafe for us to travel and we were entitled to a full refund.

However, our host was completely insane. She was rude to me despite the fact that I was always polite to her. She refused to “agree” to the refund. Why she needed to agree when there is published policy is beyond me. Airbnb published the policy and its up to them to enforce that policy with their hosts whether their hosts like it or not.

We are still owed over $500. I have provided Airbnb with the detailed weather warning and report from NOAA. Their own manager agreed it was unsafe for us to travel based on the weather warning from NOAA which the manager verified. Airbnb policy states that I’m entitled to a full refund based on “extenuating circumstances” in this event. I’m still waiting.

VRBO

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Strict Cancellation Policy Costs me Hundreds

VRBO

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I reserved a duplex in Las Vegas for a business trip. I used a corporate credit card to make the reservation and paid the full amount for one receipt (almost two months out from reservation). The host has a strict cancellation policy, but I was okay with that because I had no intentions of cancelling the trip (already paid for the conference I was attending). I read through the policy as best I could.

The next week I found out I violated the company travel policy and was told to cancel the reservation ASAP. I did. I got back half the total amount, minus service fee, since it was past 48 hours, but well within 14 days.

I contacted the host for mercy on the refund policy, since it was extenuating circumstances. Initially the host said I could either re-book another date, or she would refund two thirds of the price if the place was re-booked. I asked again for mercy that I could not afford to just leave $450 out there. My complaint was that if I had only paid the down payment, I would have only been out half of that amount (a quarter of the total). I was stupid enough to pay the full amount, not expecting any problems. I stated that I would pay the service fee plus another $100.

The host cut off all contact with me. I got a case worker involved and another case worker when the first was awful, then a manager of the case workers involved. Now I can’t even get the two-thirds refund that was stated in the host’s message, and Airbnb has told me they can mediate no longer with the host since she wishes to stop all communication. So I get screwed, while Airbnb and the host profit off of half of a six-day rental that I never took… and the place did re-book. What is Airbnb’s responsibility to the guest?

The last message said this: “We can no longer continue to assist you, as a final decision has been made on this case. I’m truly sorry for all that has happened, and I believe the host should be accountable, but we can no longer mediate anything from them as they are not willing to mediate with us any longer. We have a final decision already made by the last agent, so there would not be any further discussion about the refund.”

Apparently the host can decide when the case is shut, even more than a month before the reservation date. How is this even legal? Thankfully it wasn’t a super expensive place that would’ve cost me thousands instead of hundreds. Lesson learned: never pay the full amount up front and never rent from hosts with a strict cancellation policy.

I have a lakefront property that I was considering renting through Airbnb and wouldn’t ever do this to a renter. How do people sleep at night, knowing they essentially stole money from someone? I basically donated $450 to the host and Airbnb for a few email exchanges and phone calls. I should get a donation receipt.

VRBO

How do I get a refund on a last minute booking?

I’ve never really paid attention to Airbnb cancellation policies as I’ve always been able to cancel bookings (have actually only canceled one so far) but usually far in advance. This one though was made today and I requested a cancellation 15 minutes later, after getting the address and realizing how far it was from downtown. I rented a car that I was planning to return the following day and get a Uber back to this place but then I realized the place was about 40 minutes away. That was going to eat up all my transportation money.

Right away I requested a refund but the host was not budging. I contacted Airbnb and they’ve asked me to wait until tomorrow since the host hasn’t responded to them yet. The host has a strict cancellation policy and she already told me she won’t refund me. I want to get a full refund, not even half, otherwise I’m fighting this with my bank. I mean this is not a situation where the host was waiting and expecting me for weeks or days. I asked her if she was unwilling to refund me because she needs the money.

Has anyone been through this? What are my options?

My Airbnb Refund is in the Clouds Somewhere

I initially made a reservation for a luxury condo on Wednesday, September 19th online through the Airbnb app. All I received as confirmation at that point was an email. It did not give any policy information about cancelling.

The host then responded and had questions that I needed to answer about those that would be staying under the reservation, to which I had to respond through the message link on the Airbnb application. After responding I received a booking receipt in an email on September 20th. On none of the emails was there any information about the host cancellation policy.

There were six of us planning to go. I paid the initial payment of $2,266.75 on my credit card. I tried to contact the host through the app ten months ago to pay the final amount as some of our party wanted to make sure it was paid for before traveling. I had planned to ask if we could change out one guest for another due to one not being able to travel. The host did not respond to my message.

I contacted Airbnb directly on March 15 about how to cancel due to another one of the guests being in a car accident and not being able to travel due to serious medical issues that were detected during examination after the car accident. I reached out to Airbnb due to not hearing back from the host previously. I was told by the Airbnb representative over the phone that if the host had not made contact that I should report it to my credit card company, which I did on March 15th.

I was told by the credit card rep that it wouldn’t be a problem and that CitiBank would open an investigation. I was also told by the Airbnb rep that if the guest that had been in the accident would provide his medical records, Airbnb would do a refund due to special circumstances. The guest did not want to provide his personal medical information as he felt that was a violation of his privacy, which he has a right as to what medical information he wants others to see.

The Airbnb rep said to report it to my credit card company, which I did when I made the initial call. I had to respond to an Action Required report that the credit card company sent out and I returned on April 1st. During this timeframe I also found out that my mother was gravely ill and unexpectedly passed away in early June. We were planning on her traveling with us to Grand Cayman as a replacement for the guest that was in the accident.

As you can imagine this is devastating to me and to my sister who was also part of the party traveling. The Airbnb rep also told me I should get a full refund due to special circumstances and cancelled the reservation. Not true; I got no refund. In the meantime the credit card company did their investigation and the host or Airbnb send the cancellation policy information to them. They in turn sent it to me but is was not legible, neither the paper copy nor the emailed copies.

The credit card company sided with Airbnb and the charged me back the $2,266.75, stating that all information was conflicting on my part. The host rebooked the accommodation because it was not available after the cancellation At that point not only did he make money off of me but off of others as well. I did not receive any of the policies that he sent to the credit card company in the chargeback investigation.

I resent my justifications to my credit card company and let them know that Airbnb stated to me that this was a special circumstance. This is a special circumstance with one party being ill and unable to travel and another party now deceased. I feel that the host did not provide the correct information when I booked the reservation. It should have been clearly stated on the email confirmation which it was not. Also, his failure to respond to my correspondence should also be taken into consideration.

I should not be responsible for services not received, especially when not receiving proper documentation. Never, when cancelling other overnight accommodations have I been asked to provide personal, private, or medical information.

I decided to reach out to the host directly through the Airbnb app message portal hoping by chance he would get it, which he did. He responded on July 16th that he thought it was all taken care of by my credit card company but since it was not, he would refund me $1,980 (less a service fee, which I was okay with). It was supposed to get a credit back within 5 to 7 business days.

I waited ten days and contacted my credit card company. They stated that they did not see a credit. They also reopened the investigation with the new information from the host I provided. I then contacted Airbnb who stated it was not something on their end that I needed to contact my credit card company. I told them I had but they again stated that there was nothing they could do. I again reached out to the host who contacted Airbnb and was told it would be processed shortly.

Three days later it was still not processed. Airbnb was contacted again, and this time I was told it was going to their investigative team and they would reach out to me in a day or two. As of August 16, I still have not heard back from them. If the host is wants to refund me, what is the hold up?

This was my first experience with booking an Airbnb and will most definitely be my last if I ever get this resolved. That amount of money may not be an issue with Airbnb but it is to me. Expenses relating to my mom’s funeral are immense and I am not a wealthy person. I work for state government for a very meager salary.

Any advice or direction on how or who to contact would be greatly appreciated. I have not faults now with the host. He seems to be genuine. My issues are with Airbnb directly. And of course my credit card company. It’s been a battle to say the least between the Airbnb and my credit card company. Very stressful at an already difficult time. Still awaiting refund or at least communication with Airbnb and my credit card company. Maybe I need to go to social media or national news.

Airbnb has my Money and won’t Refund me

This Airbnb was in Annapolis and in a nice neighborhood, but it was the only house with overgrown grass and a steep walk up the driveway. At the front porch, there was suspect rustling in the grass and a large fly-infested trash bag next to the front door.

I went in, trying to get in as fast as possible to keep out the flies – an obvious health hazard that would not pass a health inspection. The hostess showed me the kitchen, which was supposed to be available to use – another health hazard. It was crammed full of food, not even enough room to make a sandwich. No room in the fridge. No lock on the door to keep valuables secure when not there.

It was advertised as having a private bathroom and it was shared. The mattress had a large yellow stain and two old, divided cheap foam mattresses on top and just a fitted sheet, no mattress pad. I woke up with bug bites on my neck. Actually, the owner woke me up because she had locked herself out of the house and wanted me to open the door. Nice touch there.

I immediately called Airbnb and the first agent was helpful and told me to leave and wash my clothes, and said they would reimburse up to $200 to stay at a hotel until they could re-book me in another Airbnb in three days. It has been one month and I still do not have a refund.

I finally filed a Better Business Bureau report and after telling the Airbnb agent, they decided to refund me about two thirds of what I paid, still short almost $200, which I guess was the price of staying in a crappy room.

Never and I mean never, stay at an Airbnb. If you stay there and are ripped off, file a Better Business Bureau complaint. Airbnb lies, backtracks and is populated with a bunch of incoherent dummies.

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Airbnb Nightmare in Cottage Country, Ontario

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I sent photos below to Airbnb to show the unhygienic and gross hellhole that was misrepresented as Muskoka Rocks in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. It was filthy, unsafe and disgusting. It was impossible to stay and the host could not have improved our stay within hours. The house we stayed in was not the house in the picture on the website. It was a firetrap and was unlivable.

We have asked for a refund but got no response except for an offer of $200. This rental was $1600 for six nights. We went for a small getaway to celebrate one year of my companion being clear of Stage 4 cancer. I’m disappointed and disgusted by Airbnb’s lack of humanity and moral accountability. The host deliberately misrepresented the place and even put another gorgeous house on the site. Our one-star review has never appeared on the site. Any advice or help is welcome.

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Last Resort Airbnb with no Air Conditioning

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I am a active duty service member. My deployment was recently canceled which left me without a place to stay. I left my place due to last-minute orders and could not go back because it was no longer available. I booked a Airbnb closest to base with the intention to stay until I got paid and could sign a lease.

When I checked in, the temperature on the thermostat said 93 degrees. Since I had nowhere else to go I figured I could stick it out. That night I couldn’t sleep and had to go to work the next day. At 2:00 AM I couldn’t take it, got dressed, drove to work and slept in the parking lot. That morning I messaged the host who seemed surprised that I complained about the heat. I couldn’t risk another night like that so I left with no other means.

You would think that the military could have provided me assistance but they couldn’t so I was homeless until a coworker took me in. Airbnb has sided with the host who refuses to refund me. This was clearly false advertising since she knew that she didn’t have air conditioning available at the time of my check in and could have had the decency to tell me so I could cancel and find somewhere else to go.

Airbnb Defends Hosts who are out of Town

It was a disgusting, dirty and stinky apartment. Someone’s sheet was in the toilet. Airbnb took the host’s side, who insisted that the apartment was clean, although he was out of town.

First of all, I read all the reviews carefully before booking. The reason was that I decided to show Prague to my mom who is 70 years old and who has never been there. It was her biggest dream. I shared this with the host because it was really important for me.

We arrived at the apartment at 6:00 PM as agreed upon by the host. The host at the very last moment informed me that he was out of town, and his mom would meet us.

When we arrived, the place was a total mess, as if some company partied there and it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time: dirty bed linens on the beds, trash everywhere, sheets in the toilet, and the smell of urine as if someone left a cat locked alone in the apartment for a week. The smell was so bad that we left the place immediately.

The host’s mom started to clean it and in two and something hours informed us that everything was set up and we could come back. It was already after 8:00 PM. We were exhausted after our long trip to Prague, so we already booked a hotel nearby to get some rest and take a shower, and informed Airbnb support about the case.

When we came back just to get our bags, we found out that one bed was made with fresh bed linens (the dirty ones were although left in the bathroom), but another bed was made with the dirty bed linens left after previous guests. It was just made to look a little nicer. Someone still slept on this bed linens I was supposed to sleep on that night.

The trash bins were still full of trash left after previous guests. In the bathroom there was used toilet paper left in the trash bins; it smelled terribly as it was probably there for a long time. The showers were left unclean. Trash was still everywhere on the floor. The smell of urine was still so strong that it was impossible to stay more than a minute.

We left the apartment and contacted the host immediately. He told us that he was out of town and that he would deal with that once he was back. I asked him when he was back. The next day I asked him again. He never told me when he was coming back to town.

We contacted Airbnb support. It took me 50 minutes of waiting on the line. After I explained the situation, I was told that Airbnb would contact the host and call me back. No one called this day. They only contacted me the next evening, almost 24 hours later, to tell me that they cancelled my reservation according to the host’s cancellation policy (the first night I didn’t spent in the apartment was non-refundable, for the next three days I got only a 50% refund). I paid 250 EUR for five minutes of urine smell and shitty toilets.

After I shared the photos with Airbnb support, they told me that they couldn’t offer me a full refund because the host’s mom tried to clean the apartment. Yes, she tried. However, it was not cleaned properly, and the host violated check-in policy and ruined my mom’s first expression of Prague, her biggest dream.

I tried to talk to the host. I explained to him what happened. I showed him pictures, but he accused me of making a mess and breaking stuff in the apartment and refused to discuss anything at all. I’m not that surprised by the host’s actions, but I’m really surprised by Airbnb support’s apathy. Some guy from support is telling me that he decided not to refund me because the host’s mother tried to clean the place. Tried, but failed. I have photos of the apartment after that so-called cleaning.