Not So Charming Guest House in Hood River

blankblank

My partner and I booked with our host, Lindsay, over a month in advance for the weekend of December 10th-11th as I had a pop-up market in the area. Everything seemed fine; she had 4-star reviews and her strict cancellation policy was no problem since we had no plans to cancel. We live about an hour drive from Hood River, and at the last minute there was a winter storm warning in effect. A few hours before we were supposed to leave, the highway between us and the host was shut down and remained closed due to snow and ice for the entire weekend, preventing us from making the trip. The host had a ‘strict cancellation policy’ which makes sense to insure against last-minute cancellations, but our case falls under Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy as described on their website. We were physically unable to make it despite our best efforts and intentions.

Regardless, Lindsay offered us only a 50% refund and a credit for a night’s stay. We felt this was super shady and did not want a credit for a night’s stay, since this was to be a business trip and we have no plans to visit Hood River again in the near future. We requested a refund for the full amount. She refused, stating she could have gotten other guests (she couldn’t have, the roads were all closed and there were travel restrictions). We have escalated the claim and are now waiting for Airbnb to make a decision. We’re unable to leave her a review since the stay was cancelled, so we urge you never to book with “Lindsay’s Charming Guest House in Hood River.” We might have chosen to stay with her next time we visited, but due to her dishonesty and shady behavior will be urging everyone we know to avoid this listing.

I Lost £200 One Hour After Booking Airbnb

Four days before our flight we booked accommodation through Airbnb and it was only afterwards we realized it was a house share, which was a deal breaker for us; we like our privacy. We cancelled within one hour of booking. The total order was for approximately £346, and we were refunded only £146 a few days later. When I called Airbnb to find out why, they said they have a strict cancellation policy and that I would need to ask the host to refund in full. I emailed the host and said whilst I appreciate the terms and conditions with all due respect she did not lose business in this hour between our booking and cancellation. She said that she hardly gets any money, and the majority goes to Airbnb. So neither the host nor Airbnb are willing to help. I am sure this was the quickest £200 they made. Surely they should apply some common sense here and refund us but they are sneaky and hiding behind the terms and conditions. I am absolutely disgusted at both the host and Airbnb; they should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, I am sure many other people will have this problem, I would recommend people stay away from this nasty organisation that clearly lacks common sense and customer service.

I Wish I Stopped Trying to Contact Airbnb

blankblankblankblankblank

I work about 12 hours a day, 6 days a week dealing with rude people with a lack of common sense. So I thought, “Hey, you deserve a vacation!” I chose Seattle. I had my flight ready, which I found at a cheap price. I was able to find a city pass voucher to see all the tourist hotspots in downtown Seattle. All I needed was a reasonable place to stay. I had heard good things about Airbnb. All the photos posted and advertised “as seen on social media” made me think people stay for a good price. So why not? I found a very cheap home in downtown Seattle. The host sent me an email about a smooth approval. All was charged and everything was good. I even got a few emails about my stay was coming up. I set my entire itinerary solely around this place, even calculating how much Lyft was going to be versus a rental car. Luckily it was so close I didn’t have to spend more than $5 for each Lyft ride. Sounds like a dream right?

Wrong. I showed up at the Airbnb at 3:15. I called and called for over an hour. I even banged on the gate… nothing. I went to a local cafe to continue to call and call. Nothing. I left voicemails, texts, Airbnb messages and received no response. No answer. I contacted and searched all over the Airbnb website for any type of help. Nothing. I finally came across a forum with their 855 number. I called so many times. I was on hold for 30 minutes after the automated button pushing. At this point it was 8:00 PM and I had literally been trying to reach someone for three hours. I got desperate and booked whatever I found. I went there, checked in, and continued to call and call. Nothing. I contacted the hosts on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. No answer. I gave up contacting the host and Airbnb. I accepted defeat.

At 10:23 PM some useless “case manager” named Bill came to the rescue… or did he? He is the textbook definition of a 45-year-old dude that lives in his mother’s basement. He seriously couldn’t care less about helping people. He had the audacity to tell me that he didn’t believe me after I told him I had been trying to reach Airbnb. His customer service skills were equivalent to those of an Emo child at hot topic not accepting your return. He stated he was giving me a full refund and reimbursing me for the hotel I had to book at the last minute. I’m currently here at my hotel, writing this and praying I actually do get a refund. Here are some nice pictures that prove Airbnb is a waste of time. Seriously, book at your own risk.

Airbnb is Fine until you Have a Real Problem

We checked into our rental in San Diego just after 9:00 PM. On our way there, we observed tents lining the sidewalks with homeless people everywhere, so we weren’t off to a good start. Upon our arrival, we discovered that one window in the front of the house (on the ground level facing the street) did not lock at all, and another window had a lock, but would not properly fasten. We tried contacting the host (at approximately 9:30 PM) but got no response. We didn’t feel safe staying there. This would have been the case no matter what neighborhood it was in, but it was especially concerning considering there were literally hundreds of homeless people only a few blocks away. We left and I cancelled the reservation that night.

The next day we finally got a response from the host, asking if we would reconsider. He offered no apologies for the broken windows, and didn’t offer to fix the window either. We did not go back and never stayed one night there. I reported the incident to Airbnb as well. We have since requested a refund, which has been denied by both the host and Airbnb. I was told by Airbnb that it was my responsibility to research the neighborhood prior to booking, and so they refused to give me a full refund, only offering $66 back. I reiterated that our main concern wasn’t the neighborhood, but the fact that the house wasn’t secure. The host mischaracterized many facts related to the incident, telling Airbnb that we called her after 11:00 PM, which was false; she offered to fix the windows, which was also false. Airbnb sided with the host and made a decision contrary to their own guest policy, which states that the host must provide a safe environment. Our issue was about safety, but Airbnb doesn’t care. I will never use Airbnb again. They will not protect you.

Guest Absconded, Airbnb Avoids Payment

Almost two months ago my guest absconded. No problem, I thought. Airbnb took payment for the month he was here and will cover the other two months by deducting payment from his credit card. However, Airbnb did not process the payment for the month the guest left. I have now phoned and mailed Airbnb so many times I cannot remember and still failed to get any answers from them, let alone money. The guest lived in my apartment for free, left it in a horrendous state and, because it was in a student town, the apartment was empty for the period in which I should have had a tenant. Airbnb had no response. No help, no explanation, no payment!

Host and Guest Agree, Still Shorted on Refund

blank

My story starts off in Athens, Greece on September 28th, 2016. I went into my Airbnb account and booked a stay with Konstantinos for $244. For some reason, the app stated the property was not available for my dates, and I would have to search and find another property. I did find another property for the same dates but for $318; this was a bit more but I needed somewhere to stay. Shortly after I received a message from Konstantinos stating that the property was not yet clean and it would take three more hours to be ready. I immediately contacted the host and bought the glitch in the system to their attention and that my credit card had been charged. My credit card should not have been charged because the dates were not available, so I had to rebook with another property for the same dates. Konstantinos asked me to please go and cancel the request and they would refund my full amount back to me. Konstantinos stated this made their ratings look bad and please go into the app and cancel the transaction and all my money would be refunded back to me. Here is a copy of the Airbnb messages between the two of us:

Konstantinos: Good morning! I am very happy that you will stay in my house! Can we set an appointment there at 14:30, because the house has to be cleaned and ready for you. Is it ok with you? Also consider that you need about two hours to get to the center from the metro. Waiting for your response and I will send you all the information about how to come here and check in! All the best, Kostas.

Me: I am sorry but my credit card didn’t go through and we booked with someone else.

Konstantinos: Okay, but I still see that you booked with me. Are you sure you cancelled? Because if not, your credit card is going to be charged. All the best, Kostas.

Me: Can you please release the charge? We tried to book with you and an error stated I could not book because the dates were not available.

Konstantinos: I cannot cancel the charge because I have penalties on my status from Airbnb. You have to cancel the reservation. Please try to do it and message me. Thank you.

Me: I will call Airbnb.

Me: I will text you back with an update.

Konstantinos: Okay, but please try to do it quickly to avoid charges and also it looks like the place is booked now. It is not good for me. Thank you.

Me: Yes, I know it is showing booked; that is why the system said my dates were not available to book, and my credit card was still charged. I did cancel but my money has not been released. My bank said you can release the authorization hold on my credit card.

Konstantinos: As i told you, you have to cancel. If I cancel, I will have penalties on my Airbnb status. After you cancel I will refund you, don’t worry. But if you don’t cancel ASAP I will lose money because the place looks like it is booked. Please cancel ASAP. Thank you.

Konstantinos: Did you contact Airbnb?

Me: No. I did go in and cancel the booking, so I will go back and recheck.

Me: Okay, see if it is canceled now.

Konstantinos: I just refunded the whole amount, 170 euros. Thank you and maybe next time!

You canceled this reservation

You will receive a full refund of $216 based on Konstantinos’s Strict cancellation policy.

You should expect to receive this amount in your VISA 9205 account by Thu, Oct 06.

However, I was only refunded $217.00 (didn’t include the service fee) and the very next day I was charged another $244.00 on my credit card again. I have tried endlessly to have the wrong corrected but haven’t had any success. Can anyone help or give me some suggestions on this matter?

Airbnb Providing Refunds to Gift Cards

First of all, I want to say that I’m really an Airbnb fan and I’ve used it in Southeast Asia, China, and Korea. Every time I got a surprising experience and I’ve been trying my best to recommend the site to my friends (you can see the list of friends I’ve invited in my account). Now here is the problem: I booked a house in London for my next trip there on January 27-28, 2017 and I fully paid for it with my Airbnb gift card. The host just cancelled this booking today without any communication ahead of time. What he did really caused a problem with my trip planning. Because we have four people in our group, we need three beds total and as you know, the houses in London are always very hot (difficult to book) – that’s why I booked it three months prior. Now I need to choose another house in London, which becomes more difficult. I saw Airbnb’s statistics during my booking which showed only 13% of houses were available in London for those dates. What’s more, I checked my booking today but found that the host had already cancelled my booking on November 3rd; Airbnb didn’t send me this information until today, November 29th. I want to ask for the reason, but there’s another problem. As I said before, I paid for this booking with my gift card one month ago and now I found Airbnb said they provided a refund directly to the gift card. After my payment, I just threw away the card, code and all. I need the refund to come back to my account so I can use it to book another house in London. In brief, I have nothing and lost 1087 RMB. Meanwhile, I don’t know how to spend that night in London as houses for four people are difficult to find now. I think Airbnb is always responsible for its customers and I look forward to receiving compensation from them.

Deceitful Host and Disappointment from Airbnb

I would like to share the details surrounding my nightmare situation with the host I dealt with in trying to secure accommodations for my trip to Lebanon and my absolute disappointment in Airbnb’s corporate office with their position on siding with this host, despite his clearly deceitful behaviour. When I was planning my trip to Lebanon, I found accommodation in an area in which I was interested. During my search, there were some factors that were absolutely non-negotiable, which I made abundantly clear throughout my entire correspondence with the host.

For my trip, I was travelling with my elderly father who has limited mobility. I required a unit that was fully accessible without having to climb stairs. Another option I was willing to accept was a unit that was accessible using an elevator. Months before my trip, I found a unit that I was interested in and the host had provided written guarantees that while the unit was not on the ground floor (3rd floor), it was accessible by using a fully serviceable elevator. Given the information provided by the host, I decided to secure the accommodation and, as such, I immediately paid the funds required.

However, weeks after having paid, the host contacted me through Airbnb’s messaging platform and informed me that the unit in question was, in fact, on the 4th floor, instead of the 3rd floor, as confirmed before sending my payment. Given the new information provided, I asked the host to confirm that the elevator would be fully serviceable to the unit. He responded and confirmed that it would, for sure. With everything seemingly assured, my father and I made our way to Lebanon. Once we arrived to the unit, we were greeted by the host’s brother who informed us that while there was an elevator in the unit, it was, in fact, not serviceable for an indeterminate period of time. This was simply an unacceptable situation, given my father’s elderly age and limited mobility. As such, I was forced to find alternative accommodations in the middle of the night in a foreign country. You can imagine how difficult that is!

After having read and understood Airbnb’s policies, I made sure I sent an email to Airbnb to inform them of my situation, in order to receive a full refund, seeing that I never even stayed a minute at the unit. I contacted the host as well (using WhatsApp) and received written confirmation that he would agree to a full refund for the amount I paid in securing the unit. When I returned to Canada, I tried to contact the host in order to move forward with the full refund. However, he refused to reply to any of my emails or messages. After weeks had gone by trying to contact the host, I contacted Airbnb in order to facilitate the full refund that I was absolutely entitled to, given that I had not even stayed at the unit, due to false guarantees provided by the host. When I finally got a hold of someone, I was informed that they refused to authenticate the host’s written confirmation that I would be granted a full refund because the confirmation was not given through Airbnb’s messaging platform. Instead of taking the time to satisfy an unhappy customer, they decided not to consider my situation.

After trying to get a full refund for weeks, my only recourse was to write a stinging review of the host. While I was unable to get a full refund for my nightmare situation, the least I could do is prevent this host from trying to deceive others in the future and prevent him from being able to advertise his unit on Airbnb. Though I was very honest with my criticism, I remained absolutely professional and respectful of Airbnb’s policies. However, Airbnb decided to remove my post for absolutely no reason. This showed me that they would rather side with the host than show any concern for my situation, even though I provided countless evidence demonstrating how awful my situation was. With everything that had happened throughout this entire experience, this upset me the most because Airbnb took away the only thing I could do in my situation. After having gone through this nightmare, I will never use Airbnb again. I think people should be highly concerned about what can happen if things don’t go their way using Airbnb. People should not have confidence that Airbnb will accommodate them when things don’t go as planned.

Airbnb Cancellation Policy is Unfair to Hosts

I accepted a three-night rental in our one-bedroom apartment. In doing so, I blocked off those nights so that I could not accept any other inquiries for those dates. Then, the very day of check in, I received a message from the guest that he wanted to cancel, presumably because of a sick relative. They used their “extenuating circumstances” excuse to waive my cancelation policy. No other hotel or vacation rental site would allow a guest to cancel only 5-6 hours before checking in. And this is not an isolated situation. In the past several months, I have had three other cancelations, all at the last minute. So, I have resigned to the fact that Airbnb is not at all reliable. I don’t want to accept a rental for any length of time for fear that it will be canceled at the last moment and I will lose the rental income for that time period. What I am doing is blocking off all the future dates in my calendar and then only unblocking two or three nights ahead for last-minute, last-resort bookings. Since TripAdvisor and VRBO do not have such a policy, I will depend on them for virtually all my future rental bookings.

Dirty, Dusty Apartment in London: No Refunds Given

So I went with my wife to London the week of November 1st because she had an interview on November 2nd. We rented this “clean” place from Airbnb. We got to the apartment at midnight (there were only late flights out of Milan) and as soon as we started to make ourselves comfortable, I realized that the place was dirty. Now I understand we, Brazilians, have different standards of cleanliness. But the place was full of dust, and a lot of spiderwebs and spiders (3-4 in the bedroom alone) were inside the apartment. Under the mattress there was a lot of dust. Dust makes me feel sick and I knew that if I slept there I would wake up feeling terrible the next morning. I can’t imagine how my wife would feel, having a job interview the next day.

So at 2:00 AM, I decided we would leave this place and I booked a hotel room through Booking.com. We walked outside on a 4-degree night to the new hotel, where we could use a shower not full of rust and dirt and have a proper night’s sleep on a nice and clean bed. Funnily enough, the next morning we canceled our reservation through Airbnb and filed for a refund. It took until today (15 days) to received confirmation from AirBNB. And their decision is that they won’t refund us. We stayed at that place for two hours. We left in the middle of a cold night, to walk to an hotel because I knew we would have woken up sick with all the dust. The host didn’t agree with our request for a refund (what a surprise), even though we stayed only two hours. I can expect that from someone who has a dirty place, but I would expect more from Airbnb. I won’t ever rent anything else from them and I urge you to use other methods for finding a place when needed. When the time comes, Airbnb won’t help you at all. In our case, I ended up spending twice what I had in mind: a full reservation on Airbnb that I canceled within ten hours of my arrival, after having stayed there only two hours, and the hotel reservations. I hate Airbnb.

P.S.: My wife can’t even post a bad review on the apartment because we canceled our reservation within ten hours. Funny how I can’t warn other travelers about how this apartment is a bad option (if you like clean and dust-free places), but Airbnb can charge me the full amount.