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.

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?

Stay Away from Airbnb. Avoid at all Costs.

I had to cancel and Airbnb agreed to return 50% of my money. I paid $496.68, and was refunded $149.31 (missing $100), minus their $56 fee that I paid (should have been $248 – $56 = $192). I’m still missing the difference ($100) and they won’t refund me, saying I received the whole refund.

This is a complete scam and they are protected by their own cancellation rules and policies. There are better ways to do business and it’s not with Airbnb. Case managers don’t have the decency to call you and discuss issues with you, only make conclusions based on their notes.

Three weeks have passed and there’s still no refund. I worked with eight case managers over the course of three weeks. It was nothing but a waste of time. I have their emails that clearly state my refund amount.

Now, they have decided to close my account based on their privacy policy and with no explanation. I never swore, or insulted or threatened anyone. The money is already in the host’s pocket. They knew they messed up and wanted to get rid of me. All hope is now lost for my remaining refund.

Airbnb is not professional at all and to be avoided at all costs, no matter if it’s cheaper. It’s not worth the stress and headaches because you will never win. Even if you report them, their policies protect them and you will just waste your time and hard-earned money. They are not there to make your plans easier but simply to protect their hosts and fees. Stay away from Airbnb.

Out of Pocket Thousands Doing What Airbnb Told Me

I had my first group of guests cause damage in early June. I contacted Airbnb; they seemed great and told me to send photos with quotes for repairs. They approved my claim, asked for a link to the items that were damaged, and told me they would cover the costs to replace the damaged items – I just had to cover them first.

They haven’t covered the costs of the item I sent them the links for. This had taken some time to get here and so I waited to hear back. I got an email that simply said I had 48 hours to accept the first amount offered or my case would be closed. I called straight away and spoke to someone in guest services who told me not to worry; the case can’t be closed until the items being covered are sorted out.

I told him I had been given 48 hours. I had been patient in getting a response but I could not wait anymore; I needed to speak to someone straightaway. I was told my case was made urgent and someone would contact me in 24 hours. He calmed me down and put my mind at ease, even said maybe the lady in charge of my case might not be the right person to look after me. I waited and after 24 hours called again, as the 48 hours was disappearing and I was worried about it even thought I had been assured.

Again I was told the same thing and I was also told to write back saying I was not accepting that amount as it didn’t cover all the damaged items and that someone would call me in 24 hours. I waited and called again. This time I was told that after my first conversation my case had been transferred to someone else and that I needed to wait for them to call me. He did say someone might not be able to call in 24 hours as this had not been happening, but a new person would call me; I shouldn’t worry.

That night I got an email from the first person telling me I didn’t take the money in the first 48 hours and now my case was closed. I am no longer getting any compensation for not following their guidelines. I wrote back saying I was told my case was with someone else and that my advice was that the items being covered would be sorted and to wait, which is what I did. So because I followed advice from his colleague and they didn’t contact me within the 24 hours and ignored my email about forgetting some items they asked for links to, I am now out of pocket more than $3000.

I called again. I was so upset and was told that they did not have my case and a new person would be in touch. Again I have had emails from the first person saying they had to follow the guidelines and they weren’t there at the booking – they can only go off the evidence.

This doesn’t make sense I showed the same evidence of damage to the BBQ as I did for the lights, just a photo. If it’s good for one it should be for both. If I hadn’t been told to wait the 48 hours wouldn’t have passed and I wouldn’t be out the full cost of the damage. All I did was follow the advice I was given by Airbnb. Because I did what I was told and waited when I should have been pushing, I am no longer getting any reimbursement. At the same time I am being told that someone else is in charge if my case and they will contact me and sort this out.

I’m in tears with no idea what is going on and waiting yet again as I don’t know what else I should be doing. If the staff in different departments aren’t sure of other departments’ procedures and the consequences are thousands of dollars, they shouldn’t tell you to wait. All I can do right now is wait and hope someone does actually have my case and they are sorting it out. Otherwise I have been misinformed and due to that, out of pocket thousands.

All you can do is take advice from the people you can talk to. If they work for Airbnb, how can that advice lead to me being out of pocket? If this is true, it’s a great scam. “Yes, we will cover you, forget a few items, so you contact the only department that you can speak to…”

They tell you not to worry, so you don’t and wait. This puts you outside the claim timeframe and bam – you don’t get any reimbursement. It’s a great scam if this is how they keep their host guarantee costs down. I’m so disappointed and hoping the first person I spoke to that got my claim sent to someone else has been trained correctly. Please let the person who I have been told has my case contact me soon and put my mind at peace. Up until this point Airbnb has been great, but this stress is just not worth it. Even if I turn out to be okay, all the emails from Airbnb have put me at my breaking point.

Pointless Bookings with no Immediate Refunds

This was our first and last booking with Airbnb. Having booked an apartment in Spain for two weeks, the booking was accepted and we paid the total amount. I was then informed by the “host” that she was now talking to another party who was interested in the same dates plus additional days. She cancelled my booking and I was informed by Airbnb that would I be refunded within five working days. This is not good enough and totally lacks any aspect of professionalism. Once a host accepts a booking, it should a commitment, a contract. Otherwise they should be banned from any further dealings with Airbnb. Secondly, the refund into one’s account should be immediate. Not everyone can afford to wait for the refund whilst financing an alternative accommodation.

Airbnb Left us in the Lurch in Southern France

We rented an apartment for five months through Airbnb. We arrived at our destination and contacted our host as previously arranged. He did not meet us as planned but left a key in an empty mailbox on site. We were immediately disappointed in the apartment and its furnishings. We had paid top dollar only to find rummage sale furnishings, broken window blinds, stained carpet, a broken bed, a television with no user information, linens in poor condition, and a building filled with the smell of cigarette smoke. We contacted the host within the 24-hour window and requested remediation. He missed two appointments to address problems and didn’t even contact us until we were in our third day of this distress.

At this point we contacted Airbnb. We were contacted in swift succession by a number of Airbnb representatives. One of them indicated that it was clear we could not stay at the location. He recommended that we leave immediately and that Airbnb would pay up to $150 for a hotel. We were told to go online and cancel the contract. They did not tell us that this would mean that we would still be responsible to pay rent for the next 30 days. At this point Airbnb went entirely silent and basically abandoned us. There was no follow-up after being told to hit the street. We believed that the contract was cancelled because the landlord had not lived up to his contractual obligation and that we would be reimbursed. It turned out that “strict cancellation” means that the guest pays under any circumstances, even when Airbnb knows it was a bum deal.

Airbnb gave us no further instructions about arranging for another Airbnb property or about negotiating with the landlord for another property the the landlord had on hand. At that point we simply didn’t trust him. The host actually threatened physical confrontation. No one takes any responsibility at Airbnb. As it happened, a colleague rented another location from this “five-star” landlord to find that dozens of rats inhabited the attic. It took days to get that addressed. Airbnb does not oversee or caution hosts with serious complaints against them. Another money making racket with no concern for what it delivers. We contacted Airbnb again. After mediating with the host, Airbnb said that the host would return a mere $365 of the $1700 monthly rent.