Pensacola Letdown Leads to Three-Year Battle for Refund

I have been a long-time customer of Airbnb. In December 2017 we booked a place in Pensacola. When we arrived the place was a mess, and obviously not clean from the previous occupant. I phoned the host and she offered to rush over and clean it.

At this point my husband refused to stay. We left and stayed at a nearby hotel with free breakfast.

The host offered a full refund. Over the next two years and after countless emails, she refunded what she was given from Airbnb in March 2020. I had a stroke in January 2018 and again in November 2018. Needless to say, this slowed down my efforts to obtain my refund.

When I explained my situation to Airbnb support, they said I waited too long. Well, the host dragged it out to her advantage; I couldn’t even leave a review at that point. I’m not talking about a lot of money here; it’s the principle. Guess I’ll stick to hotels — at least they feed you and give points for free stays, and are usually ready for your stay.

No Refund for State of Emergency in LA

On Tuesday evening I decided to spend two days in LA and booked with Airbnb. Wednesday morning, LA County declared a state of emergency. I’m not afraid of the virus, but deliberately going to an area where the state of emergency was declared because of the virus doesn’t make any sense either. I decided to cancel.

Unfortunately, the state of emergency because of the deadly coronavirus is no reason for cancellation and therefore the host doesn’t want to refund my money. I called the customer service on Wednesday early afternoon and they promised a call back from a supervisor.

Now it is Thursday at 11:00 PM (PST) and I called again. This time it was someone who promised a call back from a supervisor. No callback so far. I also filed a claim after I cancelled but I haven’t received any response here either.

Just Another Airbnb Nightmare Experience

Below is the letter I sent to all the Airbnb contact emails I found online. There has been no response.

To whom it may concern, I have been an Airbnb client and host for years. This is the first time that I have encountered the problem that is far beyond your regular support team can solve it fairly. I hope that this email would be received by someone who cares, really listens, and reads every detail professionally.

We rented a room in Bangkok and the client wanted to leave earlier. Your team shortened the booking dates and refunded him without our permission. Our payment is now -‪19946.95‬ Baht plus the unit being empty for weeks during high season.

All of a sudden, the guest reported on the second week of stay that he felt insecure as there was an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift. We explained and provided legal evidence to the guest to confirm that his one-month rental period was legal as it was long-term.

The support team did not care about our opinion on this, refunded the guest, and never answered us again. We have been ignored several times by your support team staff and we are reaching for help now with great hope for justice. We hope you will listen to us. If not, we have no choice but to reach for help outside Airbnb; somewhere justice is still in practice. Thanks in advance.

Here is the review I left to the client:

I am sacrificing my time to write this long review to remind all hosts to be very careful in accepting [this guest’s] booking. It’s difficult to explain everything in print as it tortured us mentally, physically and financially.

Case (1): [The guest] booked the room for one guest and refused to adjust the booking for two guests. Finally, we gave him an approximately 60% discount to end the lengthy discussion and hoped to let him keep his travel plans smooth and trouble-free. Anyhow, we only received less than half of what had previously been agreed upon.

He rejected the idea of paying more. Two guests stayed at our place since day one. He said it wasn’t his business and we should talk to Airbnb ourselves. I spent days attempting to reach Airbnb and no one was there to answer. I was abroad and I had to use international calling. I couldn’t enjoy my New Year’s trip but spent the whole time talking to him and constantly messaging the service team.

Airbnb finally paid for him as the missing amount was the service fee which I also previously told him to make sure the amount we should receive is after the service fee. He didn’t care. Anyhow, the first issue was resolved. Now, the second one went far beyond what we could stand.

Case (2): Things went well for a week or so. Then, [the guest] mentioned about getting checked by local police late at night on the street on his tuk-tuk Bangkok tour. He wanted to travel somewhere else besides Bangkok but his tailor-made suit could only be finished on January 7th. Please remember this date well.

After almost a two-week stay, he got me by surprise by telling Airbnb that he just saw an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift and felt insecure. He wanted a full refund for his “uncomfortable nights”. Yes, this happened a day after January 7th.

Even though the sign against Airbnb has been there since his arrival. Even though we sent him the government confirmation documents stating that 30-day rentals are legal in Thailand (he wanted the official one so it’s in Thai) and told him where he could get a quick translation service around the corner. He succeeded in persuading Airbnb to refund all of his uncomfortable nights and left our place (with the AC on) with no notice.

We tried to reach Airbnb and they only said that it was their final decision on the case. There was no further reply and no attention to our messages. This made our room empty for weeks during high season and if you are a host you may know what that means. Airbnb agreed to refund [the guest] and repeatedly ignored our messages, simply because the support team agreed that this application was illegal in Thailand.

We still feel very much disappointed in being treated unfairly when we have tried our best to provide all guests with maximum comfort and joy in our home country. Along the way, Airbnb did contact us once. That was when [the guest] asked the service team to talk with us about the missing money from case (1) but never again.

This made us realize that we are not welcome here. After this post I will terminate my account with Airbnb. It was more than disappointing to receive his booking. If I could go back in time, I would rather keep my room vacant.

Cancelled after Four Minutes with Moderate Refund Policy

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?

Worst Experience with Airbnb in Arlington

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.

Hospital Stay Prior to Hosting Questions Policy

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.

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.