Never leave your credit card saved on the Airbnb app or website. My card was fraudulently charged for over $200 but promptly credited back, as shown on my statement. I did not even log in to the website or app for more than eight months. I lost out on more than $10 due to currency exchange differences. Airbnb refused to credit me back, and refused to say why my card was charged without authorization. It took them more than two weeks to even reply to me. My bank can’t do anything because Airbnb returned the amount they scammed from me. My big question is how can Airbnb charge a credit card without approval or authorization? This amounts to a scam and should be considered criminal. I thought my case was isolated, but a quick search on Google turned up similar stories.
My disturbing story begins with hosting on Airbnb. I made my account and made the listing, with everything so precise. Then I added my transaction number (as a new customer I had no idea about these administrative things). After a couple of hours, a guest booked my place and I accepted. Everything was going in the right direction, then the guest told me that he would send the money for the transaction. Four days passed. I was waiting and always checking my account and the transaction history on Airbnb. Nothing came. In the meantime, I contacted my bank and they told me that the money could not be transferred because I didn’t activated my European account for international payments.
So I did that as well; I activated my international payment methods and they also gave me the IBAN and SWIFT codes (which Airbnb never told me I needed, even when they could see from which country I am). Right now I’ve settled everything with my bank but Airbnb didn’t give me the option to enter my IBAN and SWIFT codes. The money my guest sent me is nowhere: neither in my bank or in the Airbnb transaction history (it’s on the future transactions list). They just let me remain in this situation for days.
To be clear, the money my guest transferred could never have been on the transaction that I processed first without the IBAN and SWIFT codes, which now Airbnb doesn’t give me an option to enter, after everything else is filled out on my profile. I am from Macedonia (not a member of the European Union); our currency is denar and not euros.
Currently my money is in some virtual server, or maybe flying through space? No one can see it or find it. I’ve reported the problem to Airbnb and didn’t get any answer.
I have already purchased tickets for flights but have had so much trouble trying just to pay for my two-week accommodation. I’m new to Airbnb, and have felt nearly buried under the formulaic questions and instructions. I am not that computer savvy but wish to make all my payments on my desktop account. When it comes to numerous instructions for identity verification and security, Airbnb keeps referring me to download their app onto my Android phone. I have told them numerous times I don’t trust to have personal details on my phone – only on my desktop, which has better security. Instead I just keep going around in circles with them. I have also told them how intrusive and extensive their requests for personal information are. Airbnb doesn’t even supply a telephone contact number so as to speak with a human being. Now I’m concerned if I cancel my accommodation reservation I’ll lose money. All I wanted was to book and pay with PayPal, which doesn’t seem like an option anymore. They keep sending me emails, but when I go into those it’s the same old story: connect with Google on your mobile device. As I have had serious health issues I haven’t been able to have a vacation for years. Trying to do a business transaction with this company has caused me frustration. My last request to them was for someone to phone me, and not text. I’m still waiting.
I’ve spent nearly four hours yesterday evening and this morning trying to complete a reservation. I’m new to it, so I went through the whole process of setting up an account and things seemed as though they were progressing well. Then I kept running into a notice that said I needed to confirm two small amounts that Airbnb had deposited in my credit card account. The thing is, they had not deposited anything to my account as far as I could see. They offered the option of uploading a credit card statement instead of the deposit, so I cleaned one up and uploaded it. They wanted 24 hours to get back to me. In the meantime, the reservation had not been made, and the room I was trying to get was available to someone who was able to scoop it up ahead of me.
I tried every way I could think of to contact the host, to get help from Airbnb, and to figure some way of getting them to take my money, all without success. Finally I tried to switch from a credit card payment to a PayPal payment – no luck with that either. Eventually I spoke with a customer service representative with a most delightful Irish accent (could have enjoyed just listening to that lovely lilt for hours if I weren’t actually trying to accomplish something). She told me I would need to upload a picture of my passport or ID and couldn’t do business with them without doing that. In astonishment, I asked her if that was indeed so. She confirmed that it was the only option, and I said I would not be using Airbnb. The thing is, they now have a lot of personal information from me, and I have no way of getting it back or seeing that it is deleted.
I can’t seem to find a story similar to mine in which the fraudster booked a house in China with my account, but seems to have uploaded their own method of payment – I hope – instead of using the two credit cards of mine that were stored on file. I woke up around 4:00 AM EST on Sunday morning, February 12th, 2017 and decided to check my email. I don’t usually check my email at this time so I’m not sure what prompted me to. However, I’m glad I did. What I saw when I logged in to my email account was about 95-100 spam emails, which were very unusual in the sense that they were not typical spam with a selling point or a strange message and attachment, but were all from different email addresses, sent to me with my very own email address in the subject header. In the subject was a short statement in a foreign language “发自网易邮箱大师”. I used a translation app and it said “From my Netease Mobile E-Mail Service”; basically it’s that provider’s version of “Sent from iPhone”, right? Strange.
Under all those emails were two emails from Airbnb in that same language (I’m guessing Chinese at this point). I don’t read Chinese, so I logged onto my Airbnb account and saw that a house had been booked in China for the amount of 9518 HKD plus a 40 HKD cleaning fee. This is over 1000 USD. I immediately canceled the reservation but noticed it was the type that allows you to pay immediately with no refund. I received a refund for the cleaning fee only. Then, I went to payment method and (stupidly, you will see why later) canceled all of the cards that were on file, not realizing at the time that the one that was used for the booking was not my card; as far as I know, I do not have a card in the ending in the same four digits. I was in a panic.
I then searched the website for a contact method, eventually reaching the contact form. I wrote a short message detailing what had occurred, explained that I deleted the credit cards by accident, and asked them to please look into it: the 100 spam emails, etc. I used Google and realized there were hundreds of fraud stories about Airbnb and through one blog went to the login page. There, I found that someone in China had logged into my account twice. The two logins had different IP addresses; I’m not sure if that matters. I called Airbnb around 12:00 PM Sunday, finding a customer service number through Google. It took about 18 minutes for someone to answer. The woman who answered was not very helpful, but very apologetic. She said she saw that I had submitted a message that morning, that the fraud team was working on it, and that I had to wait. I asked her if she had ever encountered an instance of a listing being booked with an entirely separate credit card. “No,” she giggled. “That’s new to me.” Fine.
Well, yesterday on February 15, I received a message from “Becky.” I have attached the email. As you can see, she makes no mention of the house being booked, of the fact that it actually went through, that it’s non-refundable, whose credit card it is, the spam emails, etc. Nothing. I wrote back:
Thank you for your email. However, this does nothing to address my question and concern about someone having booked a house in China with a credit card that is not mine. Is Airbnb looking into this?
This morning I received a reply:
I reviewed your account and noticed that you have cancelled the reservation. As you told us that the reservation was not made by you I have forwarded your case to the concern department for a refund. Please note that you will get the refund within a few working days. You also mention that the credit card in your account is not yours. Just to inform you that I have already removed the credit card from your account.
I already removed the credit card on my own. Is this a robot I am corresponding with? And yes, I cancelled the reservation. You noticed it, but I also wrote that in my original message. Is Airbnb’s customer service even alive? Now I’m not sure what my next step is. I’m 99.9% certain the card used in booking was not mine. I have exhaustively searched all my credit cards (I only have seven) and even ran a credit report just to make sure it wasn’t an old one I haven’t used in a while or that one was opened in my name fraudulently. Is there anything I can do? Am I just waiting my time going back and forth with Airbnb?
I have been having quite a time or should I say waste of time trying to get a problem settled with my Airbnb account. Let me say up front I do a lot of business with Airbnb and have for the last six years. It works as long as there are no problems but when there is a problem good luck; it pretty much is a matter of luck trying to get something resolved. The situation at hand is a matter of the payout. I have been talking to customer service at Airbnb every day for about two weeks. I have been hung up on, I have been lied to, I have been told to wait 24 hours and it will be resolved three times, and during the last call I was told I was in a queue and I just had to wait. Customer service can’t seem to talk to accounts. Accounts is responsible for payouts. Hosts and guests can’t get to accounts and it seems that customer service can say or do anything they want without recourse. Now I know Airbnb is a privately held company and they are very reticent in letting people know how Airbnb works. They grew fast and I have heard time and again that these problems are just growing pains, but this is seriously affecting my ability to pay bills. One of these bookings in question was for three months; they are living in one of my apartments now. There has been no money exchanged. It’s not the guest’s fault and there’s no way to get this settled until Airbnb decides to respond. Who knows when that will be. The Secretary of State of Rhode Island has told me I will have to hire a lawyer. I’ve told this to Airbnb and received no response. They don’t seem to care about bad press or a host that is bringing in over six figures a year in bookings for them. I find it a bit unbelievable how this kind of business practice can continue but they have gotten so big that I guess it just doesn’t matter. I would be interested if anyone out there has any suggestions on what to do next.
Airbnb takes the full payment amount from guests when bookings are made. Then they keep the money for however many days, weeks, or months before the guests actually arrive and are supposed to pay the host as follows: “Airbnb releases your payout about 24 hours after your guest’s scheduled check-in.” What actually happens is that Airbnb sends an email to the host at the point when they should pay and suggests that the bank will take time to pay. This is a total lie. In New Zealand, payments are processed very quickly. The banks may sit on interbank payments for up to one day and do not process interbank payments on weekends and public holidays, but they do not just sit on the money for days as Airbnb suggests. What is actually going on is that Airbnb sits on millions of dollars of guests’ and hosts’ money for days. Meanwhile the guest has checked out and often even left the country before the host is paid. This is just another way that Airbnb is screwing the market. Remember, Airbnb does not have any property. In fact, they have nothing except an APP which causes frustration in communications, so they can keep the guests and hosts at arm’s length until they have got their money. I would strongly suggest that guests instead find a property outside of Airbnb, especially if it is a hotel or guest house and they can check the price directly. When there is no commission to Airbnb, hosts can often offer a better price. If you pay money out to a host who owns a hotel or guest house that has been in business for some time, you at least know where they are; they have a physical location. Whereas you struggle to even get Airbnb on the phone in some random foreign country. Best wishes from a host still waiting to get paid.
My family and I planned an overnight visit to NYC on Christmas Day in 2016. We found an Airbnb listing for an “Amazing & Modern” apartment in Times Square for our stay. The first red flag was that the payment was in One Vanilla prepaid cards. The second red flag was the security deposit: how does one get his security deposit back when the payment is a prepaid card? The final red flag was that we could not find the apartment when we did additional searches on Airbnb. We could not find any support on Airbnb so we opted to cancel the reservation as we did not want to be without a place to stay on Christmas Day in NYC. After a day or so, my wife sent a nice email staying that due to some concerns we would not be staying at the “Amazing & Modern” apartment. The response from the person we were in contact with via email wrote back to my wife: “Thanks for wasting my time.” My wife responded with an email that she wrote: “Ditto.” To which the response from the person we were dealing with was, and I quote: “I shit on your mother’s grave you faggot!!!!”
I am new to vacation rentals. I signed up for Airbnb and VRBO in October but then had to suspend bookings as we were completing renovations; I needed time to get my affairs in order with them. When I signed up for VRBO I was instantly helped and hooked up. Ever since then my problems were resolved immediately when I called. When I tried to sign up for Airbnb I first realized that my personal travel account had been hacked. It took three weeks of horrible calls and emails to get it fixed. Once it was resolved, I built my host site and begin taking bookings. The response from travelers was very quick and efficient. After about four weeks of taking bookings I realized that I had over $3000 on my payout screen so I begin setting up a payout method. That’s when it really begin to hit the skids. When I first reported my issue, they said it would take a couple days and they would resolve it. That was three weeks ago. After eight phone calls and emails, two computers, four browsers, 50+ attempts to add a payment method, and three different payout methods attempted, there has been no resolution and they are now up to $5700 in payouts. I am proactively telling my guests that we might have to cancel because I feel like it will be at a liability to me if I proceed with their bookings. It really has been a horrible experience.
I am a host with Airbnb. I set up an account as a host, but I forgot to set up a payment method. I did not have a guest until November 30th, a 60-day stay. They told me that I would be paid a day after the guest arrived. When I did not receive payment I called Airbnb and they said I didn’t have a payment method select. I was instructed to go into my account and set one up. I logged in but forgot my password since I rarely used it. I was talking to an Airbnb agent who walked me through the procedure of resetting my password. I logged in only to find that I was blocked from my account. I could not go into my settings to set up a payment method. I called over seven times; all the agents were apologetic but they said this was out of their control. A case manager had to deal with me. It has now been over two weeks. I am still blocked, they still have my money, and my guest is still at my house. The policy of blocking someone out of his account without just cause is outrageous. All companies – credit cards, etc. – call, text, or email if they suspect fraud. They verify charges with the customer before cancelling their card. Airbnb does not. To wait more than two weeks and counting is unheard of. To hold back a payment is unlawful. Airbnb should change their policies or a new player in the rental business should take over. I posted a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and found out Airbnb has a 92% negative rating.