In Some Countries, Airbnb Demands you Break the Law

Airbnb has an artistic interpretation of the law; I guess a lawyer would call it blackmail. Read this exchange for yourself:

“Your company has been warned by the Dutch DPA that it is illegal to demand BSN numbers in your authentication protocol. Your company has agreed to stop doing this, but you are not. The BSN number is in two places on a dutch ID, and you are refusing my payout because I cover up both BSN numbers. Your customer service refuses to help. I now have to send away guests that have payed a lot of money because of your company’s unwillingness to comply with local law an your own terms and conditions and blocking my payout.

It seems like blackmail to block payments from people that do not comply with your illegal demands. I am only emailing you because the customer service is not helpful at all and my bills are running up, and the guests are the victims of this.

You are breaking multiple laws; you can read up on the problem on this government website. Basically you cannot ask to leave the lower line of the passport/driver’s license visible because it contains the BSN number (which you also ask to cover up in the description) . You can also not ask to show the photo (which I did leave visible for you). You are not allowed to ask for a copy of the ID at all.

I expect a big global company to at least read the laws regarding these things. If the dutch people that already have sent this illegal content to Airbnb find out they can demand it back and demand a IT professional to check the Airbnb system if you really erased this illegal content. If you think otherwise, so did Facebook. I would like to comply with your ID process but not by breaking multiple laws in the process (and I will not make a problem of the photo).

By the way with a BSN number you can put someone in huge debt for the rest of their life, this is the reason it is illegal to demand or even ask for it in the Netherlands. Sure your multi billion company ‘didn’t know’ , but now you do. So please comply with the law and stop blocking my payments. Did I already mention it is illegal for you to ask for a copy of an ID at all?”

I’m with Airbnb Support. I’ll be helping you today. Give me a moment while I look into your case. At this time, you payout is temporarily held until you complete the verification processed that is required by our Terms of Service.

“Your terms of service break multiple laws.”

I understand your concerns, however, you have agreed to our Terms of Services and this is a requirement.

“The law says you can not ask for my BSN number, and you even acknowledge this in your process description. The BSN number is in two places on a Dutch ID, one on the lower line which you demand to stay visible. It has nothing to do with your terms if your terms say to break Dutch law. I am still not permitted by law to comply.”

That is up to you if you do not wish to upload your ID. However, Airbnb will not release any payout until you complete this process.

“I will send a copy of this conversation to the authorities (they say if I cannot work it out with you they will contact you. you are demanding things that are prohibited by law. If your terms say that I should break national and European law and you think your rules apply here I have sincere doubts about your willingness and/or competence to solve the issue. Thank you for the conversation.”

Since I am not sure if your issue is resolved, I am forwarding this ticket to a member of our team who can best assist you. You should hear back from us soon.

“Ok, I will postpone contacting the authorities until further contact (if this doesn’t take too long).”

2.4 User verification on the Internet is difficult and we do not assume any responsibility for the confirmation of any Member’s identity. Notwithstanding the above, for transparency and fraud prevention purposes, and as permitted by applicable laws, we may, but have no obligation to (i) ask Members to provide a form of government identification or other information or undertake additional checks designed to help verify the identities or backgrounds of Members, (ii) screen Members against third party databases or other sources and request reports from service providers, and (iii) where we have sufficient information to identify a Member, obtain reports from public records of criminal convictions or sex offender registrations or an equivalent version of background or registered sex offender checks in your local jurisdiction (if available).

7.2.3 You represent and warrant that any Listing you post and the booking of, or a Guest’s stay at, an Accommodation will (i) not breach any agreements you have entered into with any third parties, such as homeowners association, condominium, or other agreements, and (ii) comply with all applicable laws (such as zoning laws), Tax requirements, and other rules and regulations (including having all required permits, licenses and registrations). As a Host, you are responsible for your own acts and omissions and are also responsible for the acts and omissions of any individuals who reside at or are otherwise present at the Accommodation at your request or invitation, excluding the Guest and any individuals the Guest invites to the Accommodation.

8.3.1 You should carefully review the description of any Experience, Event or other Host Service you intend to book to ensure you (and any additional guests you are booking for) meet any minimum age, proficiency, fitness or other requirements which the Host has specified in their Listing. At your sole discretion you may want to inform the Host of any medical or physical conditions, or other circumstances that may impact your and any additional guest’s ability to participate in any Experience, Event or other Host Service. In addition, certain laws, like the minimum legal drinking age in the location of the Experience, Event or other Host Service, may also apply. You are responsible for identifying, understanding, and complying with all laws, rules and regulations that apply to your participation in an Experience, Event or other Host Service.

14.1 You are solely responsible for compliance with any and all laws, rules, regulations, and Tax obligations that may apply to your use of the Airbnb Platform. In connection with your use of the Airbnb Platform, you will not and will not assist or enable others to: • breach or circumvent any applicable laws or regulations, agreements with third-parties, third-party rights, or our Terms, Policies or Standards.

“If you carefully read the above parts of your own terms, you will see you are violating your own terms and conditions. If you read point 14.1, it states that if I comply with your illegal request for my BSN I am breaching your terms so I have to abide by local laws by all means (according to you) and by doing that you will not pay out anything. So please stop violating local laws, European laws, and your own terms and conditions.”

My last message to the help center was closed without a reply, so I am copying it over to this conversation.

“You (Airbnb, Inc.) are breaking term 2.4, and you are demanding I break 7.2.3, 8.3.1 and 14.1 of the Airbnb terms and conditions. If you think this is not the case a two-minute phone call to the Dutch authorities will clear this up for you. Therefore I once again politely ask you to stop blocking my payments and resolve the issue. For further details you can read my previous conversation with the help center. I already know my previous conversation is forwarded to someone who is ‘supposed to know’ what to do with it. I do not feel its my responsibility to teach you the law and that I should wait for an x amount of time before you make a two-minute phone call and then (if the stars and moon are correctly aligned) unblock my payments. I am following the Airbnb terms and conditions and I expect the same from Airbnb.

I have no decent response from your side. I have guests running up costs at the moment and you are blocking payment for their costs. Are you going to arrange other accommodations for these guests? I can not let them stay for free. I will forward our correspondence to the Dutch DPA tomorrow morning (because you are forcing me to send my BSN, which is prohibited by law). I would rather resolve the problem with Airbnb but I am a mere mortal who has bills to pay. I hope to hear from you (soon).”

Again, customer service closed the conversation without a reply.

“You (Airbnb, Inc) are breaking the terms and conditions (and the local laws) and refusing to pay me. My previous conversations about this have been forwarded to someone that apparently can help me. However, if I don’t get a reply, I am going to send away my guests tomorrow because of your total lack of cooperation. I will inform them this evening about this.”

Thanks for your message — Airbnb Support will reply as soon as a specialist becomes available.

“So Airbnb support will reply? Please don’t close this conversation without a reply like you did last time.”

Validation Required by Airbnb – National ID Card not Accepted

All of a sudden, in the middle of the busy tourist season, Airbnb decided to force me to validate myself, again, by asking me several personal questions, again, and submitting a form of ID. I tried to comply, by submitting high quality, high resolution color scans of my national ID card, the only form of ID I have. I do not have a passport, and I do not have a driver’s license.

However, the automated system on Airbnb does not seem to accept my government-issued, national ID card. Their automated system keeps rejecting both my scans or the Airbnb app scans of the ID they asked me to provide. Today I went to my local police station and obtained a newer version of my ID that includes all information printed in both Greek and English, as well as a brand new photo of myself. I tried again submitting my new ID this time, but the automated Airbnb system keeps rejecting that one as well.

Airbnb has suspended my payments because I have not validated myself using their automated system, and all the representatives I’ve talked to keep telling me there is nothing they can do. I have more guests coming in the next few days to stay at my properties and know I won’t receive any funds owned to me by Airbnb for these reservations. I am at my wit’s end, and don’t know what to do.

Airbnb did not transfer money to host, booking was cancelled


Well this is a strange one as I never even made it to my holiday. I had booked an apartment in January 2018 at the same time Airbnb had started up their new “pay less up front” system. I had funds in my bank but decided to take advantage of this feature because the booking was eight months away. Everything was fine and the initial payment for 50% of the full bill went through when booking.

However with time passing I had my payment method bank card lost/stolen in July, just a month before my trip. Now my future holiday was not on my mind at this stage, the only thing on my mind was to cancel my bank card and order an updated one. I still thought all was well and Airbnb next contacted me shortly before my trip to state they had been unable to take payment via the ‘cancelled’ bank card that was still on my account. The email simply told me to “update my payment method” so this would be seamless: I had my new bank card so I logged in, added a new card number to my account, and set the card as the “default” payment method.

Now was the time to get excited by my upcoming holiday… wrong. Airbnb never tried to take payment from this updated card. The email that had told me to update my card details forgot one important thing – “they would not be taking any notice of the new details so unless I got in touch with them my booking would be cancelled.”Well I assume that is what was left off the email as the days elapsed and whilst I thought money had been transferred it had not. The day came a week or so later where by I got an email to notify me that my booking had been cancelled due to non-payment of the final installment.

What an absolute joke of a system. Offering a split method of payment feature but having no system in place to take money from an account via a different payment source than the first installment. It is beyond ridiculous. I immediately contacted the German host who told me I had “cancelled” the booking. I explained the stupidity of the above and she seemed to take notice. She notified me that she would contact Airbnb to find out more after I asked her to keep the dates of my upcoming booking available for me, as the money was in my account ready to be sent.

Unfortunately after this I was met with an eery silence from my host. Her apartment had now been strangely ‘de-listed’ from the website. I presumed this was my host protecting my booking making it impossible for anyone else to book the dates. The de-listing of the apartment lasted more than 48 hours before it resurfaced. I initially asked my host if she had an update for me but was greeted with further silence. Then later on when I looked at the calendar my dates had been ‘re-booked’ by another customer.

My money had been swiped from January and under Airbnb’s rules I had cancelled. The fact remains I had not cancelled and Airbnb had failed in their duty to act as the agent and make sure payments were made. I had finally found an email address for Airbnb during this debacle before I had found out my host was busy recouping money from duplicate bookings on her property. They were quick to respond and notified me via a voicemail on my mobile and via email that they would try and resurrect my booking and send payment to my host.

Unfortunately they soon realised my host had re-booked the apartment and decided to deaf me from there on in despite further emails to them to ask for the situation to be fixed. Ultimately I have currently lost £319.68. My host benefitted mainly from this but Airbnb took their percentage without any thought and have laughed at my requests for a refund of any money.

I opened a resolution centre request for a refund. My host told Airbnb I had cancelled so was owed no money, and Airbnb closed the case straight away. I have used Airbnb with no problems in the past, but if they are going to offer new payment plan options and not have the resources to make sure these are bulletproof then they should not be offered. There was no excuse for my cancellation booking and failure to provide the rightful compensation that I am now owed.

As all this occurred only a few days before my intended trip I had to book hotels at the last minute costing a further £600 on top of the funds Airbnb and my host had received. They do not believe they owe me a penny. Their customer support replied to none of my messages after their initial contact to ‘rectify the booking with my host’. I have full evidence of everything but no way of raising legal action to this company. The only method I can use is to contact various media outlets and show their company up as inefficient, customer ill-friendly and greedy.

Did I even mention that on my morning of arrival at my destination city of Berlin my host contacted me via WhatsApp to ask for a ‘suitable time to meet’? How amusing – she was in such a rush to take my money she had forgotten to rearrange her booking plans and contact numbers. On the first day of my holiday I was left with the option to reply and arrange a meeting to cause her problems, or just ignore her and try and enjoy what was now the most expensive short break I’d been on in my life.

Airbnb owes me the entire amount they received directly from me and they should be compensating me for my host’s greed. Hopefully telling this story will help make others aware of the greed of some hosts and the incapability of Airbnb to provide an efficient, stress-free holiday booking service. I will not be using Airbnb again unless this matter is resolved to my full satisfaction.

Airbnb Not Paying Host After Guests Stayed One Week

My story is very sad and hopefully can help other hosts and guests to make an informed decision if using Airbnb’s services. I hosted a family of four people in my flat, and after they stayed for one week and I did not receive any payment, the day of checkout, I contacted Airbnb who told me my payment was on the way and would be in the bank within 24 hours. Reassured from this, I let my guests leave the flat without paying.

Obviously the money did not arrive and nobody from Airbnb contacted me any further in regards to it. After creating a new case with customer support, I was told that I had some debt on my account for roughly 800 Euros and that’s why I did not receive the payment. The debt of 800 Euros obviously was disputed three years ago, when Airbnb sent me the money and allowed a customer to cancel a strict reservation asking for the refund of the amount that obviously I never paid.

Being particularly upset with Airbnb, my guest who stayed for six days and effectively not being paid, I decided to go to to small claims court with my guest since the Airbnb contract is void due to the lack of payment. What I have learned is Airbnb support was completely useless after three weeks waiting for the money they just pointed to their terms and conditions. Airbnb is an intermediary and fails in their role; this makes the implicit contract between hosts and guests valid.

As a guest I would think twice before using Airbnb in the future, knowing that host could still take me to court since Airbnb’s terms and conditions is not a legal contract, but just a policy that Airbnb uses to do business ignoring local laws. Once I will succeed in this case, I will then take them to small claims court for recovering the resulting damages for failing in the intermediary role and all the fake advertising that they are doing in UK. An agent who took the money and did not pay the host is a scammer, not an estate agent.

Airbnb Charged Full Amount… And Then Kept Charging


When booking an apartment through Airbnb, I chose “payment in installments” but was charged the full amount of about 1500 EUR by Airbnb from my PayPal account, immediately. I only realized this three weeks later when I was charged by Airbnb, again, from my paypal account. That time it was the first installment of 770 EUR which is to be followed by the second one in a few weeks.

I contacted Airbnb several times via telephone and messaging explaining that they had charged the full amount by mistake and asking for them to transfer the amount back to my PayPal account. So far, one week has passed and I have not been helped at all. On the contrary, one Airbnb person wrote to me that the amount of 1500 EUR was shown but not charged, which is a lie. All transfers are documented by PayPal.

Yesterday, I insisted in speaking to a person with more authorization. Finally, I was called by somebody who literally hung up on me in the middle of our conversation. This morning, I received a message telling me that if I have an issue with a suspicious credit card transaction I should first check on family members who might have used my card information. This was totally off topic as the charges for my booking were made from my PayPal account. I have the feeling that there are very limited means to get any further than the “customer support shell” which is doing anything but solving problems for Airbnb customers.

How Can I Get My Money Back from Airbnb?

I booked an Airbnb house in Bournemouth for the nights of May 4th – 7th because I have a course to attend, linked to how I earn my living. I made this booking on December 4th, 2017 and the amount of just over £68 was taken out of my account by Airbnb on December 6th. On April 23rd, I was contacted by my host to make sure that all was still on the go for the dates I had booked only to be told that she had taken herself off Airbnb and informed them accordingly, assuming that Airbnb would contact me with this information.

Well, they didn’t. She hasn’t received the money either… so I want my money back. However, there is no way this can be done on the site itself: each link takes me back to a page I have previously visited. Therefore, in my book, Airbnb has stolen £68 from me. That is neither ethical or acceptable. I have just sent an email to the CEO of Airbnb, requesting that he please refund my money to me since I am not in a monetary position to ‘lose’ £68 and definitely not in one now to pay for another Airbnb on such short notice in a place like Bournemouth.

I cannot believe that this type of practice is allowed. Airbnb, where has that £68 gone to, if not to the host? It’s certainly not been returned to me. I look forward to their reply to my queries. Morever, I am waiting for anyone to tell me how I can get my money back.

Airbnb Hell is an Understatement with Payment Issues

I have just begun hosting on Airbnb. I had my first guest for two days a few weeks back and everything went great: the money that was owed to me was put into my PayPal within a few days. I have now had guests in my home for the past two weeks staying for a month and I have spent the last week ringing Airbnb at least four times a day and sending loads of emails trying to get payment. They keep making excuses and I never get to talk to any manager. It has been the biggest nightmare for me and I have no idea where I go from here. I had bills to pay last week that the money I was to receive was to cover and I’m still waiting. I am even considering asking the guest to leave my home because otherwise they would have a month staying in my home using the heating, electricity, wifi, etc and I have no money to cover these bills. If anyone has any suggestions to help me out I would greatly appreciate it as I am at my wit’s end with this crowd.

First and Last Time: Don’t Host for Airbnb


I’m a first and last time host for Airbnb. Long story short: I never received any funds for the guest staying at my home. Each and every time it came time to pay, there was an “error” and “a support specialist will be in touch in regards to your payment” which never happened. It wasn’t until I notified one of my current guests who is staying inside my apartment what was going on and to ask for a refund for his money – I still allowed him to stay; wasn’t going to put someone out due to the scam Airbnb was running – did I receive a call back.

They ended up deleting my host account before I could confirm the man would get his refund. I recorded the conversation as I usually do when conducting business with strangers. Airbnb has been allowing guests to book at my properties since January. Here we are in February and I haven’t seen one red cent yet. Mind you the account for direct deposit I’ve provided is the same account my employer pays me in but somehow Airbnb can never confirm any checking information given. I’ve reported them to the Better Business Bureau and advise anyone else who has endured this type of ordeal to do the same so we can get them out of the market. They’re scamming people left and right.

Airbnb Guests Who Keep Demanding More Test My Patience

What a disappointment to ever engage with Airbnb. We thought it be a good idea to try them as a hosting platform on advice from friends. Having already had a good response and very pleasant guests from another travel accommodation site, this was our first time experience with guests from Airbnb.

It started with all sorts of demands and requests prior to the confirmed booking of three guests that turned out to be five adults, four children, and a dog. I guess I should have been suspicious when this guy started sending me at least one Whatsapp a day (not using the Airbnb app) asking obvious questions about the house and its facilities. It got to the point where I thought he would ask if we provided toilet paper. One less ridiculous question was whether he could bring his dog – we do not accept pets, so I categorically declined.

After having the whole house booked out three times during the holiday season for between fourteen and fifteen people with hardly a minute of trouble or concern, I was surprised how many questions a single small family could come up with… including changing the booking from two nights to four and finally to six. The last question was a request of an earlier check-in, which was difficult as we had a full house just the night before, but we obliged nevertheless knowing that they only needed the rooms upstairs.

Upstairs is the original house with more than enough beds. There are two queen size bedrooms, one of which is an ensuite with a bath and shower and one room for their kids with four beds plus an additional bathroom with a shower. In addition, the full amenities of the house were available as advertised: full kitchen (stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and eight place settings), an inside dining area and outside barbecue area that is protected with sliding doors for all weather conditions and has another large table.

Downstairs there is a washing machine in a stand-alone laundry area, and a lovely secure garden complete with a splash pool and deck. Double automatic garage, security system, the works. I think it is fair therefore that my house is advertised with a base rate for four people and additional guests need to pay extra for us to open the downstairs rooms and bathrooms.

Imagine my surprise when this guy arrives (with his additional guests) and not only expects us to accommodate the additional people free of charge, but demands that we open the rooms downstairs for them (despite there being more than enough room for them upstairs). I have to say though, his wife deserves an Oscar, maybe an Emmy award, for the performance she put on. The whole nine yards: she first started insulting me as I tried to negotiate with her husband to find a compromise and then when that didn’t work, she cried, yelled, and screamed at her husband to leave, “these people are greedy and selfish…”

By this time I was thinking, “Yes! Please leave!” I don’t know why I rented the place for three people. After having a full house literally the whole season, I thought, “Shame, they are a small family and trying to save money, so it went”. I’m a sucker; they clearly had a hidden agenda from the beginning. No sooner had they moved in after we had agreed (after a rather heated discussion and his insisting that his right was to have all the rooms – 15 beds – available to him for a three person booking), that they needed to pay for the extra adults, the second vehicle already arrived.

I took deep breaths as I walked back down to my house thinking we had an understanding, and maybe now they could just enjoy the house and leave us in peace… what was I thinking?

At 9:30 PM, one of the vehicles drove past our house hooting, one of the men shouting obscenities out the window at us (my family) sitting on our patio also trying to enjoy our holiday. At 10:08, the two women rang our doorbell in a clearly inebriated state and request salt, only to disappear by the time my wife took the salt to the door. Besides leaving me with nappies in the splash pool and window frames and furniture that were used as ashtrays, there was furniture moved from upstairs into the garage, just to name a few broken house rules aside from the dog that they brought anyway.

It all comes with a price. However, there has not been a cent from Airbnb up to now, 14 days after their arrival and after our fruitless attempts to get payment sorted via customer service and the helpline. I only charged them the minimum rate. I could have let the place out many times over for a great number of people and with secure payments, if I had never let Airbnb make this booking three months ago.

Airbnb does not respond to any of my SMS’s on their helpline anymore. The last message I got stated payment had been made, which is a lie. I want to remove my property from this terrible “service” provider but I guess if I do so, I will have absolutely no chance of receiving my payment. If you use Airbnb, be prepared to use the counting method to maintain your temper and sanity… at the very least it’s a good lesson on self control.