We had planned our trip to Corsica months in advance and decided to rent on Airbnb. Two weeks before our arrival, the host canceled our reservation and it was impossible to find anything. Airbnb’s compensation was ridiculous (only 160 euros for 5 people renting a house at 2000 euros!) which didn’t allow us to get ANYTHING else on the website (either crazy expensive or not available anymore). We tried to contact customer service multiple times in vain, and the only time we had Airbnb on the phone we got asked to do as many requests as possible. They said they would call the next day to see how our situation progressed… which they DIDN’T. Nobody has helped at all (and as stated in their website policy they do specify they will help!). We searched nonstop by ourselves for three days to find a place that we ended up having to pay 1000 euros more because of that (and had to pay with another account because we didn’t have this amount!) and surprise… the 160 euros compensation coupon didn’t EVEN work! We tried to talk to customer support again to discuss the situation and nobody replied. Eventually, they REFUSED to talk. We believe this is EXTREMELY scandalous and a breach of contract from Airbnb. We would like Airbnb to reimburse the difference that we had to pay to get a new place.
This is a slightly different story. My husband and I have managed rentals for a number of years and we were thinking about signing up for Airbnb. I got an invite to an Airbnb meet and greet in our area. The location was at a house, which was hard to find; there were no markers outside, but we did find it. One of the folks attending asked the host if he had ever had his house damaged by guests. The host said yes. He then said that he contacted Airbnb, who told him he had to cancel the next guests, who were coming from out of the country, in order for them to process the claim. The host felt that would be unfair to the next guests and cleaned up the house with his own funds and kept that reservation.
Airbnb refused his claim for damages. Seriously? That’s the customer service you get with this company? Not only did they tell this host to screw the following guests, but they wouldn’t honor the host’s claim for damages? We asked what happened with the people that trashed his house. He gave them a bad review. Big whoop. A lot of hosts are hesitant to give a bad review because they don’t want to get kicked off the site. These folks are still renting and probably still trashing people’s houses. And this story is from a guy that works for Airbnb. We appreciate his honesty and we are looking into some other options for our vacation home.
I cannot believe the situation I am in. I carefully found an Airbnb near Washington DC nine months ago, paid $2400, and now I have no place for my guests. I am traveling for my daughter’s wedding. I found a place that has five bedrooms and near the wedding location in Virginia. I cannot possibly find a replacement with only two weeks to go and apparently this particular host has done it before. Airbnb thinks $200 will made up for this nightmare. There should be a class action lawsuit against this type of practice. This host apparently has defrauded others and now I’m one. I am beside myself. Can someone please help me stop this illegal practice?
We booked a house near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France for 10 nights. When we arrived we discovered it was in a different location than that on the Airbnb map and actually right next to the highway. The host, Virginie, misled us into believing her house would be suitable for two small children using public transport (La maison MAChaBaGa, 194, Avenue du Camp de Menthe). It was the opposite of this. The doors did not lock, there was construction work taking place around the house, the pool she said we could use was very dirty, and there were no shops or restaurants – the host told us there would be. She told us the bus stop was right outside the property to get to town, but the nearest stop was actually a 15 minute walk along a dangerous road into oncoming traffic. Clearly not suitable for small children.
Workmen lit a fire next to the house, there was no privacy with the workmen appearing at the non-locking glass sliding door windows at random times, a plug socket fell off the wall exposing dangerous leads, and the host said she would provide towels and there were none; this seems like a minor inconvenience but is a real pain with two small children. It was a horrendous experience overall. We only stayed two nights and left as soon as somewhere else became available. I passed all of this information onto Airbnb who said that “we needed to let them know within 24 hours, we don’t qualify for the refund policy and the case is now closed”.
I’m in absolute shock at the appalling customer service. The host has taken almost £1000 from us and nothing is being done to stop her. We stayed two nights and she knew we had left after two nights, but has chosen to keep our money even though her house was unsafe and not at all as described. We’re very upset and now realise why Airbnb has been so successful – they avoid ever paying refunds to guests. They have offered us a pitiful refund, a fraction of the amount we are owed. They have even taken away the opportunity to write a review of the property to warn other guests. Hopefully they will find the information they need here. I will never use Airbnb again.
I am a foreign student studying in Canada and used Airbnb for my one-month holiday to the US, switching from one accommodation to another during the process. The hosts and the listings were fine in general, but AIRBNB DOES NOT HAVE A COMPREHENSIVE REFUND SYSTEM. During the trip, I had two bookings that were cancelled by the host, totaling a refund of about $600. The cancellations were made early and did not cause me much inconvenience. However, the issue is that I had just finished my studies and closed my Canadian account before leaving for the US; hence, the refund was made to a closed account. I thought that this would have been a small issue, since all Airbnb has to do is to retrieve the cash and transfer it to an alternative bank account.
How wrong I was.
1. AIRBNB HAS NO WAY OF RETRIEVING CASH THAT IS RETURNED TO THEM. The standard procedure for a cash refund in Airbnb is this: “Your money can only be refunded to the account you used for the booking. Your bank will issue you a cheque if your account is closed.” You cannot refund your money to an alternative account that you didn’t use to make your original payment. The bank does not always issue you a cheque. I have made numerous calls to the bank and found out that my bank’s policy on closed accounts is to return the money to the source, and Airbnb has no way of retrieving this amount.
2. AIRBNB PROVIDES NO WAY OF COMMUNICATING WITH THE PEOPLE WHO DEAL WITH MONETARY TRANSFERS/TRANSACTIONS. The people in Airbnb customer service center know very little about where your money goes. All they know and can do is to give you standard replies to standard questions. When questioned about what happens to the money that gets returned to Airbnb, the customer service center gave me the same response that I posted above (1). Want to talk to higher-ups? Want to discuss compensation? NOPE! All they have to do is to repeat this same standard answer again and again until you give up and put down the phone! So, that’s the tale of how I lost my refund and Airbnb lost a customer.
I spent hours looking for the perfect spot for my romantic getaway weekend in Miami. Today, in trying to coordinate with my host on the arrival time I was told to call Airbnb directly. Airbnb informed me that my host cancelled my reservation today, less than 24 hours prior to my arrival. Their only solution is to either give me a 10% surplus for rebooking another unit or a refund. I am at work and leave on a redeye flight to Miami. I have no time to contact other hosts and line up a place that took me hours to find. Another unit in the same building is $300 more for the two nights and it has a $45 parking fee when I was supposed to have parking included.
Airbnb has ruined my weekend plans and they have no solution other than for me to spend many more hours trying to make a new booking or spend hundreds more for a hotel. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. Not to mention it will take 5-7 days for my refund to clear!!! GRRRR!!! They don’t even allow you to write a review about the host without having completed a stay. I should be allowed to warn other potential patrons of his inexcusable behavior. I am not booking anything with Airbnb again.
Three cancellations in my last few trips and each time Airbnb treats me like i am trying to cheat them. I had to make a total of four reservations (now maybe five) for this three-week trip! The first was a very nice, complete apartment at a great price for the full three weeks. Apparently too good to be true, as they cancelled a few days later. I could not find anything even close, but there was an apartment that had a weekend hole in the middle. It was nice, so I booked both sides.
Airbnb argued that I didn’t deserve the available credit from the cancellation because I had to make two separate reservations instead of one and neither one individually qualified. REALLY? Airbnb treated me like I was stealing! But then, the “instant book” host cancelled the second leg of my stay. Back to the computer AGAIN! At that point, there was nothing even close to the original reservation I made. I found a complete apartment for a decent price and filled the hole and second leg. But Airbnb’s system didn’t allow me to apply the two credits I received trying to make THIS reservation. Airbnb said I must use it on a future reservation. I understand Airbnb wants me tethered to their sorry policies, but I would rather lose the credit than go through that mess again.
I can’t believe that Airbnb thinks that by treating me poorly I will be a loyal and happy customer. I am frustrated and angry and I have lost way more in time and frustration than the $120 credit they wouldn’t let me use. And I have no confidence at this point that those reservations will be there when I travel. For example, in my penultimate (second to last) reservation in Florida via instant book reservation, I called the host on my way over from the airport car rental and she screamed at me that she was not an Airbnb host and I would not be able to stay, blaming Airbnb for not cancelling her account. When I talked to Airbnb, I was again treated like I was the one who caused the problem. They have Horrible policies that force their customer service people to treat customers roughly and unfairly.
On my last trip to Florida, I got stuck in a house of a couple (as in a man and woman) of dominatrixes who were in the process of building a dungeon in their garage and had two “slaves” come over a couple nights before I left. As I was trying to watch TV, I heard many smacking sounds and screams coming from the garage. Funny, but not what I bargained for.
One stop over in Mirimar Beach in a two-bedroom loft condo – an excellent place until bed time! We got into the bed and it sagged beyond belief. We lifted the sheets back to see what problem was and took off the mattress protector to find one of the biggest stains we have ever seen on a bed; even the sides of the bed were heavily stained. The sleeper sofa was broken so each of us had to sleep on a sofa; as a result, we hardly got any sleep. Because we had to check out and get on the road it was not possible to contact Airbnb, but we did message the host about how we left the place… he expected us to have his towels cleaned and dried before the 10:00 AM check out time and would charge us $25 for each towel damaged! He didn’t reply, so we left the towels in the dryer so they would at least be dry.
When we got to our next destination, I wrote my review and was very honest about how great the condo had been presented but there was an issue with the bed and screen door; there were no nasty details on the public review. I then sent the host a message saying maybe he needed to get that mattress replaced ASAP. Nothing happened, so we decided to get in touch with Airbnb about wanting some compensation for a couple of bad nights. The other bed was amazing so this wasn’t being greedy. They said they’d look into it.
We woke up the next day to see this mug of a host slander us in the review – red flag to a bull – and got straight onto Airbnb with a live chat and demanded full payment back AND to get his comment removed he sent photos of the stains to prove they were NOT fresh stains! Because it was past the 24-hour mark, we only got a partial refund as we should have contacted someone – a bit difficult at 1:00 AM – and then gone out of range to talk for a day. But they did their best. Although his comment is still on my profile I have since replied to it. Stay the hell away from this nasty piece of trash he is in it for the money and to get more from us through his comments! This guy lives in Arizona and this place is on the coast down in Florida. Please stay away from this host or you are going to get ripped off!
We booked a stay in Ha Noi, Vietnam, by the beach based on the blurb and pictures posted by the host. Although their ad left us a little confused as to what it was exactly – a homestay or bnb or hotel or ? – in both the written word and in the pictures, it had ticked enough boxes for us to send the host a few questions about connecting rooms and shared amenities, etc. The host was a little vague but sounded genuine enough for us to make the booking. Some six weeks later the host contacted us stating that several recent guests had complained that the hosts had not advertised what they were offering correctly and that we might want to cancel the booking. So, we asked some very specific and clear questions about the accommodation, always being mindful of the difference in languages. The responses were even more vague than our earlier attempts. It made us feel very uneasy and we asked the host to cancel the booking, which the host had suggested in their correspondence, and tried to find a way of contacting Airbnb for a refund.
When we found out that it was not going to be possible to contact Airbnb about this matter we wrote to the host. Disappointingly but predictably, she wrote back telling us that she could not and it would be up to us to do so and chase up a refund. At the end of all this I find myself $80 out of pocket, but even worse very disappointed in the completely unethical manner in which this huge company – Airbnb that is – hides behind the Internet curtain of anonymity. I cannot in good conscience use or recommend a company that has carefully engineered a site that supports a modus operandi that leaves aggrieved users out of pocket and doesn’t even give them a chance to sort out problems that were not the guests’ fault. In my case they will lose much more than the $80 I lost in this unfortunate deal.
Here’s a warning and hopefully some help for others in the Airbnb nightmare club. I recently used Airbnb for the first time. I have several friends that rent their houses through this service so I though I’d try it. This review does not pertain to every person on Airbnb. There are good people there, I know some personally. However, there are bad people there too and I just got a lesson in how far Airbnb goes to protect known scammers. If you read to the end I’ll explain how I unscammed myself.
Ok, I rented a room in Bozeman for 12 days. I paid for it in advance of course. Now, Airbnb claims they don’t charge your account until you check in. What they don’t mention is that for them “check in” occurs 24 hours before your rental starts. The host already has your money and has possibly spent it before you arrive. Possibly on drugs that make them crazy when you get there. Just saying. Apparently this happened to me. When I showed up, the hosts were super sketchy. The house smelled like people just pee in the hall rather than going all the way to the bathroom. There were people sleeping on every couch and piece of free carpet it seemed. The room was in the back. It had probably never been cleaned since the last junkie died there. I mentioned I was disappointed that the house was not as described and not the one in the pictures. They asked me to leave. I couldn’t have been happier to get out. Really, it was a health hazard. I called Airbnb and they said they would help. They’d call back in 5-10 minutes. They’d help me find another place and we’re sorry. I said ok, I’m sitting in my car in a blizzard so somewhere close would be best. They said if it was more than 15 minutes they’d call with an update.
They called almost 4 hours later. They said that since I’d already talked to another employee there they couldn’t help me. I never talked to anyone else. I assume the host called pretending to be me. They said that their hands are tied and they can only do what the host wants anyway. I said that is says clearly on your site that in extenuating circumstances or if the rental isn’t as described, Airbnb will override the host’s policies. He said he doesn’t think it says that. I explained where to read it. He said, well I don’t have the authority to do anything like that. I asked to be transferred to someone who can. He said there is no one who can. ??? He then said the only way is to contact the host and ask for a refund. Really? The scammers make the rules? By this time the hosts had “canceled” my reservation. You’d think this means a refund. You’d be very wrong. What it means is I can’t leave feedback about the host because I no longer have a reservation. If I go to my emails and click the links there it says that reservation does not exist. So, if the host has any clue you will leave a bad review, they can block you from writing one. Also, read through the Airbnb policies on the website. First it says all reviews are honest and from real renters. Keep reading. Wait for the part where they say they erase and or modify the reviews as they see fit. Seriously? Honest reviews re-written by marketing experts. Seems like a real nice version of honesty to me.
Ok, so what to do if this happens to you? Well, hopefully you reserved your room with a credit or debit card. Call your bank. Ask for the fraud department. Maybe even the Airbnb fraud specialist. No joke Wells Fargo said they think they need a few. The guy that helped me said this is the 4th similar Airbnb scam he personally helped with today. At this point, if they hear Airbnb they just shove the money back in your account. He said sorry this happened, and I had my cash in about 12 hours. Don’t try and deal with Airbnb if you have a problem. Well, you can try but do it with the expectation that they won’t help. So, I want to say once more that there are good people on Airbnb. You may rent a place and love it. But please protect yourself in case you do get initiated into the Airbnb nightmare club.