I found on the weekend that I couldn’t actually get into my Airbnb account as it had been hacked. After the most bizarre few days, there was nobody from Airbnb dealing with it as of this morning. They do not have a customer service outfit that can cope with demand. The only way a guest can complain is via a phone number that I eventually found (for UK users): 0203 318 1111. This number is not available on their website. I found it by Googling and finding angry people who posted it on their own Community Forum.
Any guests with account issues must stay on the phone line until the problem is resolved, as they promise to phone you back and then don’t. I have phoned them again and again. The telephone line wouldn’t so expensive for a decently timed response but depending on how long you spend getting a human being… my average suggests at the very least five minutes to talk.
That’s not so bad as some of the people on here but I’ve now been around at least a couple of hours on the phone and that is not a free number. British Telecom charges around 3p per minute to connect to an 0203 number from my landline and Airbnb charges 7p, so 10p per minute. That is an obscene thing in itself. In the UK they make money out of folks’ misery. Why?
The issue is that for a guest, once your email and password no longer work due to hacking, you have no access to customer service. You are behind a wall… it feels rather 1984ish. You are locked out of any access. The only thing I felt able to do was open a new account with a different email address and using their online customer services “contact box”, I sent a note on the day I found I’d been hacked: “URGENT – MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED” at the top of the contact form.
Three days later and I have not even had a reply to that yet. After the relief of actually talking to someone, all I now get are emails from that link to my online Airbnb account, which won’t open as I can’t get into my account. The Customer Service manager finally dealing with my problem must be a moron as I have told them five times on the phone “my account has been hacked and I can’t gain access to your emails using my email and password.”
When I realised that nobody was responding to their consumer web page “contact”, during one of my first telephone conversations yesterday, the consumer department suggested that if she gave me the email that the hacker used (and she could see that email address), I could then gain access to my account. I very nearly did just that, then thought for a second about the risk of using it in order to get back into the account without their new password.
I’ve now found all sorts of scams written on various websites frequently happening as a result of this. People’s accounts are hacked in order to pay for bogus rooms in China / Russia / South America where their recipients receive the money. Many grim stories were also found on this site. It’s been three days and and there has still been no responsible conversation with Airbnb customer service. I still have no access to my account and no idea what is going on.