Cancelled after Four Minutes with Moderate Refund Policy

VRBO

I booked an apartment in New York. I made sure there was a moderate refund policy. I immediately realized I had mixed up the dates and within the space of about four minutes, I cancelled the reservation (sending an apology and explanation to the host).

Now, this was a bit of a last-minute thing and the booking was for two days in the future (I actually had meant to book the day after, hence the mix up). I only received the cleaning fee back. No other refund was given. My request for a refund via the site was ignored. I called their customer service, who extremely patronizingly ‘explained’ to me that I hadn’t read the rules properly and I should be more careful in future to read the rules.

The rule listed is: “Free cancellation for 48 hours. After that, cancel up to 5 days before check-in and get a full refund minus the service fee.” I’m aware that I booked leaving only two days before checking in, but I’m pretty sure that the words “after that” signify that there are no strings attached so long as it is within 48 hours. Surely the “5 days” part of the rules only apply after 48 hours?

VRBO

Worst Experience with Airbnb in Arlington

VRBO

We booked an Airbnb to share with friends in Arlington, VA. It looked great and the host was responsive when we asked questions before booking. When we arrived at the complex and called the host, his number was disconnected. He did not respond on the Airbnb App and no one at the complex knew anything about an Airbnb listing. In fact, the management told me that owners were not allowed to list on Airbnb.

I called Airbnb (thank you Airbnbhell for the number) and got someone. He tried to contact the host with no luck either. After an hour of this, he said he would refund my money and help me find a place for us to stay. It took nearly three hours to find a place and I had to pay an additional $995 on top of what we had budget to get this place. When I pushed Airbnb to pay the extra they said all they could do was give me 10% of my original payment of $104.50. This was a terrible experience for me and my guests.

VRBO

Hospital Stay Prior to Hosting Questions Policy

VRBO

I recently applied for a refund within 24 hours of booking. I spoke to the host to explain the situation but Airbnb refused to give me more than a 50% refund because I had visitors coming to my home for a week. The week before their arrival, I broke my ankle and was in a cast and wheelchair.

When I got home from the hospital I realised that in two days I was not going to be ready to host guests in my home so I took a lovely little apartment for them to stay in which I booked in the middle of the night. The next day, my guests decided that because I wasn’t well, they would not visit.

I applied for a refund to Airbnb with this story which of course I am prepared to present proof of hospitalization, documentation, etc. From a 700+ Euro booking cancelled the next day, they refused to refund me more than 300 Euros because it was not my guests who were staying in the apartment who had the accident. They were healthy enough so this did not apply.

I find this quite far removed from the community-based hospitality concept that started out with Airbnb. I wonder who gets that 400 Euro difference, Airbnb or the host? Someone needs to come up with a new Airbnb-like concept.

VRBO

Airbnb Refund Confirmed then Rejected

I booked a stay in Vegas over Christmas and New Year’s back in April and paid a deposit of £710.60. The host’s cancellation policy stipulated “cancellations must be made within 48 hours of booking to get a full refund. Otherwise a 50% refund will be given if cancelled one week before check in date”.

Unexpected events last week meant I needed to cancel, and I thought I would be courteous and give the host plenty of advance notice so that they could get another guest in over the holiday period. I submitted a refund request through the resolution centre for 50% of £710.60 (minus service fees, etc.) which was then rejected by the host, stating that the refund should in fact be for $774. I then received an email from Airbnb advising that I was to be refunded £593.29 and that it would clear on my card within five working days.

Five working days later and there is no refund showing on my card. Apparently, Airbnb has been communicating with the host and he has now refused any refund whatsoever. The last communications I have just received from Airbnb state that if I had paid the full amount (£1,303.89) I would then be entitled to a refund of 50%. Nowhere in the host Ts and Cs does it stipulate this.

Airbnb had apparently “reached out to” the host and he has “refused to give any partial refund and wants to stick to their cancellation policy.” I have screenshots of said cancellation policy and all the notifications back and forth confirming refunds.

Basically, I am now out of pocket by £710.60 and the host has ample time to get another guest in. If I’d paid the full balance and cancelled a week before arriving, I would be entitled to a refund of 50% of £1,303. It actually wasn’t worth me being courteous to a host and cancelling so far in advance. No idea where to take this further. Any suggestions, anyone?

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?

Airbnb in Two Words? Frustrating and Inconvenient

First of all, Airbnb’s payment policy works against the customer since you have to pay in advance without having the opportunity to look at the property. My son reserved a property in Tokyo months in advance, just to find at arrival that the place was filthy, and did not offer the number of accommodations advertised on the website.

When finally reaching Airbnb for a refund, they said that by company policy the host had to have a chance to try to solve the problem, all the while not offering another place to stay. Service carriers make communication very complicated, our family is in complete distress, and travelers face the utmost uncertainty on where to stay next. All in all, an unacceptable inconvenience for all.

Stranded in LA after Airbnb Nightmare

When I arrived at my Airbnb I would have had to walk over a group of homeless people living inside of the building just to get into the apartment. The host refused to give me a refund and refused to help me.

I called customer support and they told me they would help me find a new reservation and call me back. They never did. I called back and waited for hours for any call back or help. I was stranded in LA alone, hungry and beyond nervous in the dark for hours without a place to go.

After countless phone calls to get a refund I still haven’t heard back. The people in customer service are not helpful or professional.

On top of all this the reason the host wouldn’t cancel was because he knows he will still get the money; even if I complain, he doesn’t have to give the money back. He gets to keep the money, he told me a lot of people complain about his rental but if he doesn’t agree to give a refund, he keeps the money. I can’t leave a negative review and I can’t do anything about it.

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Disgusting Suite, Silence on Refund from Airbnb

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We arrived at the Airbnb in Tel Aviv at 5:45 PM, tired after a long day of traveling. The earliest check-in was at 3:00 PM, but the suite had not been turned over. It was very unclean and there wasn’t even toilet paper or unused linens. We had to book a last minute hotel so we could rest.

The next thing I did was contact the host and request a refund. He said “okay” but it’s been more than 48 hours and my credit card had been charged nearly $900 (before the money I had to spend on alternate accommodations) and I haven’t heard anything back.

I also contacted Airbnb via chat about the issue right away. They responded at first but then said they’d have to get back to me. No help. I waited more than 48 hours. No response, so I messaged for an update.

It’s now been about 60 hours and there’s been no refund and no response from either Airbnb or the host. They charged me before I checked in so they should refund me immediately. Now I’ve been on hold trying to talk to someone for almost 25 minutes. No response. I have been a long time client of Airbnb since 2011 but I’ve changed my mind about them. It isn’t what it used to be.

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Airbnb Condones Danger if it Means no Refund

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Airbnb will keep over half of your money no matter what happens to you or how bad the host’s situation was, even if you are raped by a stranger that the host allowed in without your knowledge. All that Airbnb will refund you is $30, even if their host provided none of the accommodation you were expecting (e.g. completely false pictures), you had to sleep on a bare cold floor at 1:00 AM, and worse yet, your security was endangered by a strange man coming into the accommodation that you had rented and paid for in advance.

Below is the (unbelievably bad) communication with, and response from, Airbnb:

I wanted to let you know that I have tried to call the host but I didn’t get an answer, so I sent her a message and an email to reply within one hour. We are waiting on a reply from her and when we get an update I will call you. Thank you. 

I’m from the Airbnb customer experience team and I’ll be assisting you. Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you’ve experienced. I am reaching out to you today, regarding your current reservation with [host]. I am really sorry to hear someone was already in the bed that you have booked. Do you mind telling me how your night went? 

I had to sleep on a floor. In a cold empty house, with only a blanket of unknown cleanliness. No furniture at all. Plus I’m dealing with too many people here like you at Airbnb; you’re the third one now. What happened to your promise to call me back last night to get me a local hotel? You’re sending me my entire money back, right? $75+, right? What else then, for his failure to call me back? Compare the picture below, with the one posted by the host on Airbnb.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry that you did not receive a call back from the agent you were speaking with. I have tried taking a look into the concerns, but I am unable to pull up any conversations that you had with another agent. Since you did stay in the home, I am unable to issue you the full refund of $75.24. By policy, you are eligible for a refund of $30.00 for the night that was spent in the home. If you would like to send me a copy of your hotel receipt, I would be more than happy to take a look into it and see what I can do to assist you with reimbursement. 

Absolutely not. Not only will I of course never use Airbnb again, because of this horrible and absurd experience last night, but I will of course be formally disputing the entire amount on my credit card. Not only are you now the third person who I have had to deal with, you completely failed to answer my earlier issues about your complete failures, promised me at least a room last night at midnight (which I correctly predicted they would fail to reach the owner before then).

Mostly though, would you do the following for me? You agree to come to “my Airbnb” home and pay me $75 in advance, where I’ve promised you a room (bed with clean sheets), and a bathroom (clean again, including a towel and shower). Then when you arrive at midnight I tell you to “sleep on the floor” with no bed, and no sheets or blanket even, no shower, no heat, and no curtains even covering the window, and then also find a different strange young man in the room you were supposed to have and paid for in advice.

To also have you – incredibly – then listen to me tell you: that well, because you slept on my cold floor, since nothing else was possible at 1:00 AM then, that now all you have to do is only pay me $45 for that atrocious debacle? That is, I’ll now give you back a lousy $30. Are you kidding me? You should now sue me for such a clear and ridiculous fraud and you, Airbnb, should now be sued for the unbelievable arrogance of attempting to keep $45 of $75 in such a clear ‘bait and switch’ fraud.

Instead, you should be begging my forgiveness, and hoping that I will not post this unbelievable bad experience on every Airbnb reference in the world. $30? You have got to be kidding me! Mimicking your ridiculous bad service “by policy…”, I have “my policy” too: that is to help drive such bad businesses out of business. Please now forward this to your corporate attorney, and also have them contact me with their name and address of legal service.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry for any inconvenience and frustration this has caused you. As explained to you before, because you stayed in the home you are not eligible for the $75.24 refund. Please refer to out Guest Refund Policy, in our terms of service, to go over our Refund Policy. I also offered to assist you with your hotel stay, by requesting a copy of your receipt. If you do not want to send a copy of your hotel receipt over to me, there is not much that I can do to help you with your alternative accommodation charges.

We do understand your concerns, and apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you, but again I repeat Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination in these matters as outlined in our Terms of Service. If you wish to continue or pursue legal actions please comply with an official document and I will forward your claim to the appropriate team. Alternatively, I will be happy to answer any questions you should have about this reservation and the refund issued, so that you are informed of the terms and conditions that govern our platform and what you have agreed to by using our service. Is there anything else I can help you with? 

Yes, there is something else you can do – listen for a change: why are you now asking me for a “hotel receipt” when I already told you (i) that Airbnb told me at near-midnight that he was both reaching the owner and getting me a nearby hotel for the night and then (ii) that he never got back to me? Now, at after 1:00 AM, what am I to do (having to get up in a few hours for an important meeting) with no car? The only option then is to sleep on a cold floor.

Remember, there was a strange young guy in the room that I was supposed to have. Now let’s imagine that I had been a female – the horrible situation (and multi-million dollar lawsuit against Airbnb) had I been raped, in the middle of the night, on this cold floor. And you are arguing about $40 now? You and Airbnb deserve to be sued, for supporting this fraudulent Airbnb member (and others, apparently, by extension).

I took pictures of this completely empty place and it looks nothing like the owner’s pictures on the Airbnb website: bare floors with no furniture at all. And you’re still supporting her, the owner?

Lastly, I have a nice bedroom in my 4,000 square foot home. I now plan to sign up as a host on Airbnb, with nice pictures of my home. Then, I’ll remove all the furniture, list my place on Airbnb for $100/night, let a homeless young guy live there in return for some drugs from him, and then I’ll still collect $50 bucks each time I get a sucker to come to my (nice-appearing) place for $100/night.

We won’t care if a female guest gets raped by the homeless guy in her room at midnight, because I still get $50 a night for her to sleep a few hours on my bare cold floor (because, hey, she did stay there, after all, right? Neither I nor you will of course charge her extra for the rape, so she ‘wins’ too, right?

I’m now loving this (incredibly stupid) “policy” of Airbnb’s. I just sure hope I get you, personally, when both she and the local police complain and investigate “your policy”. You’ll still similarly support me, right? I list nice pics on Airbnb of my home then get to keep $50 bucks of that each night that I fraudulently rip some sucker off, right? Plus you get your fee, right?

Lastly, new business opportunity suggestion for you and the whole Airbnb “Experience Team”: why not now consider charging Airbnb customers extra for the rape at 3:00 AM, by derelict homeless guy in their Airbnb room? You may be leaving “money on the table”. I don’t personally want any cut of that though, I’m just perfectly happy with getting 50 bucks a night by listing my spare bedroom for $100/night — and then having you similarly support me that I deserve half of that when she has no other choice at 1:00 AM, and then gets raped by the derelict at 3:00 AM that I let have her room without her prior knowledge. What a great deal for me! How do I sign up with Airbnb for that deal?

Whether or not you understand the intentionally sarcastic tone above, you and Airbnb are now formally being sued, in a class-action lawsuit. Since your company does its utmost (illegally) to hide its notice of legal address, this email to both CEO Brian Chesky and you dutifully fulfills such formal legal notice. Please acknowledge such with a formal response to me.

Refund Madness Leaves me with Nothing

I have been struggling to get my refund from Airbnb for a month now. I contacted the host after I booked and explained how I had to cancel my reservation. He told me that I would be entitled to my full refund and that it would take up to 15 days to receive it. I patiently waited and it never came.

I then contracted Airbnb and was told I had to contact the host to get my refund. I contacted the host and he told me he had done his part; it was now up to Airbnb. This has become a joke. All Airbnb keeps telling me is the cancellation policy.

I have canceled within the policy rules and I am entitled to my refund. The host has agreed to give me my refund but I don’t understand what the heck Airbnb is doing. Do they enjoy stealing from people? This is a nightmare. I would never recommend this site to anyone.