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.

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.

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Never a Full Refund for this Cologne Apartment

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We arrived to this apartment on Monday afternoon, from the airport. We got video instructions from the host where we could find the keys and we could go in without any problems. I am presenting the situation with the uploaded photos.

The place looked like had not been inhabited for a long time. There was possibly puke on the wall, and dirt everywhere, not to mention the air inside. Unfortunately it around the time of IDS and we could not find another place, so we limited our stay to only sleeping.

We could not meet in person with the host until Wednesday morning, when we could finally found him at his workplace. We discussed that we did not intending to stay until Friday, instead we were leaving Thursday morning. Since the apartment was posted with a flexible cancellation policy, and we also we made clear that we were leaving the next morning, I modified the departure time on Airbnb, to avoid the fee for the last day (cancellation option was available, but with a 42 USD difference).

The host didn’t react to the modification request since that day. I have contacted Airbnb regarding the issue after we got home, and after a week the response was: “I noticed in relation to this, that you contacted Airbnb after the check out time for your reservation had passed, the Guest Refund Policy therefore would not apply to the reservation. I will need to negotiate with your host, in order to secure any partial refund. I will make you aware, that as the host already received the payout for this booking, any refund issued would be at the host’s discretion. However, I will do my very best to help!”

My conclusions regarding Airbnb: I had a choice to cancel the reservation on Wednesday with a refund of 200 USD, but I went for the date modification which offered 247 USD (apartment price + Airbnb fee + tax) when the host agreed. I know that this choice was my fault, but since I made it clear that we were leaving the apartment (and the request time is visible on the website), I feel it is very shady that the hosts’s behavior was not to react to the request. Furthermore, if the host already received the payment, there is only the option to ‘negotiate’ for whatever happens during our stay? If that is the case, everyone should avoid this filthy service.

Airbnb Refunds 100% of Hosting Charges but not Service Fee

I have used Airbnb a couple of times but recently discovered a few things while booking accommodation for our North America trip. Normally we would set a price range to search and compare accommodations. You are ready to pay what is shown while comparing but this is not the case with Airbnb. With Airbnb, you have to pay a charge for accommodations + cleaning fees + Airbnb service charges + city tax. It adds up very quickly; make sure you have compared prices properly.

What is a fair service charge for a broker/middleman or platform provider? I booked accommodation in Beverly Hills. The accommodation charges were less than $2000 but Airbnb’s service charges were around $200, which is a shockingly large fee to facilitate a deal. What was the $200 service charge even for? There was no reception, no room service, no linen changes when staying for multiple nights. On top of that, we also had to pay cleaning fees.

What pissed me was after booking I had the option to cancel and get a 100% refund for all the charges from the poor host but Airbnb didn’t want to refund the service charges after just 48 hours. That is a total rip off.

Now comes my worst experience of getting in touch with their customer support. Even though I run an IT company, I had to struggle to reach to a screen where I could write a complaint in my words and the robot didn’t try to take over my session. I literally had to go on their Facebook page to get some attention.

Finally, Airbnb gave me a refund but with the caveat that they could refund me only once or twice in a year; this was not acceptable to me. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager in charge of policy to present a case for everyone, but no joy. There are a lot of such stories which I came across only because of the situation. My intention here is to highlight and inform everyone to be aware of Airbnb’s service charges, refund policies, and customer service. I am better off paying a little more for a hotel and get proper service provided by a human.

Third-Party Booking Violation Causes Payment Problems

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I am here to share my experience I had with Airbnb today. Firstly, my reservation was cancelled and I found out that it was cancelled on the day I landed in Japan. The day before my departure, I had checked the Airbnb app and the status was still confirmed. I didn’t expect that it had been cancelled nor did the host tell me upon my arrival; it showed it was cancelled after checking with the host.

Here is where the problem starts to get worse. I did not know that there is a policy that forbids a third party to book on behalf of someone (my reservation was booked by my brother). Please note that for my Japan trip I had also booked two different places and the other hosts had no issues with my brother booking on my behalf. My brother had called, checked with the Airbnb support team, and was told that the reservation was cancelled by them because of the typhoon.

Their only means of informing to us was just an email that indicated that the amount was refunded. Everyone might be wondering why no one checked the email. The reason is simple: everything was done on the Airbnb app. In the app the reservation was still confirmed and the host had not messaged or informed us in regards to the cancellation.

Because of this predicament, we were desperate to find another place to stay as it was already late at night. My brother and I did not know about the third party booking and proceeded to find another place to stay on the day itself. This is where my brother’s RM 5,200 (approximate 1,200 USD) was flushed down the drain as the booking was made without knowing that the host rejected it and insisted that we had violated the Airbnb rules.

The host asked us to cancel the booking on our own (my brother was very suspicious of the host’s unwilling-to-help behaviour) and read the cancellation policy. Needless to say, once my brother clicked “cancel”, it would be another reason for the host to use it against us, because the guest cancelled the booking. We did asked the host to refund us back the amount since we had not even stayed and explained our predicament to the host. However, the host chose not to refund us at all, knowing our predicament and the fact I have never even set foot at his home. We checked with Airbnb support and all they can do is to try to convince the host to refund the money to us; still, the host does not want to.

The violation here is because my brother is the one who booked on my behalf, and the information given to the host is accurate (passport picture, passport number, name, age, occupation, home address), if they want to they should only suspend or terminate my brother’s account. They refused and the host refused to refund my brother the full amount for a place that we did not stay. The host also confirmed the reservation before my brother was able to communicate about our predicament to allow me to find a place to stay; then he only told us that it was a violation, refused to refund anything, and stopped communicating with us.

Please do not hate me for posting this. My intention is to let you know what I faced using Airbnb and how the policy could be a loophole that could cause you to waste your money. Once you are booked, the payment will be immediately sent to the host, which I really find ridiculous – the host should check everything about the guests who are staying then proceed to confirm the reservation.

The refund policy was not even protected, especially in my case where there should be a policy or a means to get my refund. All in all, there is definitely a way to at least get my brother to stay in the place, maybe by getting me to create an account and book it again, but the host and Airbnb support did not even bothered to assist, but would rather see my brother’s money go down the drain. I will not use Airbnb anymore and I would strongly suggest using another platform.

Host Never Showed up for Check-in and Phone was off

I am a Cypriot who traveled to Hungary with my family and wanted to make a complaint about an Airbnb case as they are failing to accept their responsibility regarding cancellation of a reservation and failure to deliver an apartment. This left me and my family – including my six-month-old daughter – on the streets without notice in the early hours.

We arrived in Hungary on September 4th at 11:55 PM and found out that host’s phone was off. They didn’t appear to give us the keys to the apartment we paid. We contacted Airbnb and they were wasting our time promising that they would resolve the issue and get back to us. They said that they found us room at two different hotels and sent us there to find that they never called the hotels and that there was no available room.

After complaining again at the call center and asking to be assigned a new case manager because our first one was lying and playing with us, we were assigned a new case manager. He only found us a room that we paid for at 10:30, spending all the night with a six-month-old kid on the streets calling the international center’s number and using mobile data over roaming. The reservation was done through their website for one day less now but we had to pay even more this time because the apartment that they suggested and was available was a higher price per night. I paid again with my credit card.

Initially they wanted to refund us just for 71 EUR which was the additional money (to return to my card after a few days) but after I asked for compensation they proposed giving me 200 USD maximum, including the 71 EUR. Airbnb wants to refund us for this (including the extra money we paid for a more expensive room through their website) with the ridiculous amount of 200 USD.

I explained to them that this was disrespectful and not acceptable as compensation. After this I asked to escalate the issue and was told that someone else took over our case; he is not responding. In the chat box it doesn’t show the name of the person to whom you are talking so I can’t know if the issue was really escalated or it’s just the same person who served me as case manager who is pretending to be the supervisor.

In similar cases when there is a flight cancellation the airlines compensate passengers up to 300 EUR while on this occasion we were not waiting in the lobby of a hotel or an airport lounge but on the streets, including my six-month-old daughter. We didn’t know where we could sterilize her bottles, charge our phones, etc. In addition we were played by this case manager and sent from hotel to hotel. He lied, said that he called the hotels, and said there was room available; when we arrived the receptionist told us nobody called and the hotels were full.

Nightmare in Quebec Followed by Inept Airbnb

I reserved a non-smoking room through Airbnb for 30 days at the last minute due to a change of plans. Upon arrival, the entire building smelled like an ashtray and the room was even worse. As a non-smoker, I was literally gagging and knew this wouldn’t work.

Upon further inspection, I discovered stains on the cover that looked liked dried blood. I pulled back the cover and saw dirt, a paw print, and hair (presumably from an animal but at this point, it didn’t matter). I notified the hosts who sent around an air freshener and finally some clean sheets.

The hosts refused to issue a refund and wanted to keep the entire fee (over 1,200 CAD) for a few hours’ stay. I was out of there as soon as another place could be found. I went through two case managers, who decided the best solution was to allow these creepy scamming hosts to keep half of the fees.

I pointed out to the case managers that it’s illegal to obtain funds through misrepresentation of goods or services but they evidently weren’t bright enough to grasp basic legal concepts. They gave me their final final decision tonight and basically told me to get over it. That’s not going to happen; I don’t like scammers. At least I will be going down swinging.

Please Avoid Airbnb’s Customer Service

I really want to tell someone about my horrible experience with Airbnb. I will never use their services anymore. It is so much better to stay in a hotel and avoid all your frustration rather than dealing with Airbnb. I reserved a luxury two bedroom townhouse in Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. After we checked in, we found the house was old with lead paint everywhere in the house, dirty (my kids’s feet immediately turned black), rusty (the kitchen pot, the bath tub were all rusty), and filled with cheap supplies (kitchen utensils, bedroom sheets, etc).

We requested to move out. I was offered for an alternative and I was told that I had to wait for 4-5 days to know whether it would be available. I stayed for four nights and was then showed an apartment by the host which was nice. However, I was told that the apartment would not be available for eight days. That meant I had to stay in that dirty place for eight more days. I reached an agreement with the host to discontinue the rent and moved out. The host refunded me the money I asked for.

However, some genius at Airbnb decided that I should not be refunded for the whole trip. Their calculation was like this: my entire trip cost $3100 (36 nights); I paid $2700 upfront. I requested $2300 refund based on my payment ($2700 minus the cost for the four nights I stayed). The host immediately refunded me the money. However, Airbnb decided that my cost was $3100 and I only paid $2700, so I owed them $400. They refunded me $1900 ($2300-$400). What a math genius. How did I owe them money for things never even happened?

One month later, they sent me a bill to remind me to check out the apartment and to pay them the remaining $400 balance ($3100-$2700). They had no records to show that I checked out one month earlier. I’ve called them three times so far. Every time I get the same answer. The customer service representative (he or she) would explain to me why they held the $400 from me the same way every time and they had no intention to listen and accept my explanation.

They would say that they had to talk to a case manager who would be available to talk to them but not to me directly. They would then tell me that I had to wait for a case manager to contact me. I would then receive an email from Airbnb to say “case closed”. I’ve spent more than five hours of my precious time to call them so far and there has been no resolution yet. This is really a great way for Airbnb to make money. I have no idea when I can get my money back. When you book on Airbnb, you will have no idea what you get yourself into. For me it has been a nightmare and horrible experience. The worst part of Airbnb is the customer service.