How To Recover Your Money from Airbnb

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.


About a year ago, an Airbnb guest stayed for 2 weeks and left us with bedbugs that bit my daughter multiple times.  We exterminated them and everything was fine for a while.

When another guest got bitten this summer, Airbnb refunded the guest more than 50% of her rent, even though I had a strict refund policy and denied their request for a refund since I know they started the new infestation!

If you can avoid it, do not host with Airbnb.  Work with Craigslist, Zillow or other agencies or sites who let you make your own rules for when bad things happen.

Terrible airbnb experience, and a $12 refund

I had a 2 night stay at a home in Marin county this past weekend. The host said she’d be out of town and my mom and I would have the home to ourselves. We arrived to find the key sitting in a basket clear as day at the foot of the door and was told to leave it there when leaving. The risk of this to my property is quite obvious. The house was not very clean at all, but at that point I wasn’t ready to quibble. The first morning we leave to have breakfast and come back to find 2 keys in the basket, go inside and find lots of new items in the one bathroom. I peek in the spare bedroom to find loads of unpacked luggage. I had slept on the sofa since I had asked the host if there was a sofa or something I could put on the floor to sleep since I don’t sleep with my mom. The response was ‘people make it work’. Ok. So I collect my belongings by the sofa and put the sofa back together, since I assumed maybe the host had another airbnb guest, but I was angry about no advance notice of this since we were told, ‘you’ll have the house to yourself’. I tried to reach the host to ask what was happening to no avail. Finally I get a reply that says only, ‘that is Stacy, she texted me this morning, and I don’t like for people to sleep on the sofa’ Ok, that isn’t going to cut it. Is my stuff safe? Are we safe? I slept on the sofa because no one was home and I was ‘making it work’. It was too late to leave and get a hotel room, because we had to drive far to a wedding. We arrive back at 10pm and it seems ‘Stacy’ is still out. At 1am they (2 people) arrive and noisily use the bathroom, which of course is directly across from our room. At 1:30am begins a 15 min vomiting session in the bathroom. I get up around 4am to use the bathroom and the genius had used the SINK to throw up in and there is vomit everywhere. At 6:30am we leave, brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. I contact the host and tell her that it was not appropriate not to tell us she was allowing her friend and boyfriend to stay without notifying us. How is that not self evident? I also spoke of the vomiting to be assured it wouldn’t be blamed on us. What kind of person doesn’t clean up their vomit when 4 adults are sharing a bathroom? As compensation maybe in her tiny mind to prevent a bad review, she offers to refund $12 of a $225 rental or offer 50% off the next stay. Right. I assume that I have no recourse since this type of situation is not addressed in the refund policy, but this was the second time using airbnb with my mom, the first featuring a 4 year old running around touching everything and hours later being told he was diagnosed with pneumonia the day before. My mom is 76. I guess the lesson here is that many hosts don’t give a sh*t.


A guest claimed that my villa with a swimming pool for 10 people was not good enough for them, even though it is always rented in summer times.  The guests claimed that the wifi was not working , that TV was satellite instead of cable , and that glasses were not good, and as guests did not know how to use AC, they blamed me. AIRBNB canceled the stay and gave me 100 Euro per day for 10 people (half price of what was agreed) , which is very small. I finally was able to get an extra cleaning cost . I did not find it fair to receive half of the price . It seems that AIRBNB relocated the guests much more expensively. It was simply a trick from the guest who was claiming from me a half price refund to stay the two weeks. I like AIRBNB, but this time I was very frustrated.

Guests tricked Airbnb into giving full refund – used false images

Hello all, My story : we rent a place perfectly advertised on airbnb. 4 weeks ago a guy contact us to rent the full place for 6 days (1600€ all in), asking also for a taxi and booking some stuff around our place. after some chat on airbnb and facebook (lot of pictures sent to him), he place a reservation (strict reservation). 2 days before he come, we proceed to buy all the food for his stay (full board here, for 8 person, for 6 day). we send him a taxi. even before seeing the place, he complain because of everything (too hot, too much people, not enough remote, fish in the sea …) and after one night decided to leave for a 5* hotel 200 km away … (without paying any taxi or the deposit he asked us to put on local sports operator). 3 days after, an email from airbnb : based on the pictures of your guest and the pictures on your advertisement, we can say they are not alike, and that the place is not ok with our policy … so we give a full reimbursment to your guest … nobody contacted us before taking the decision (as i’m sure the place is as described because i took the pictures myself, and I was there the week before). and the “case manager” don’t want to make any change to his decision the fact is that guest changed his mind from a bungalow on a remote beach to a 5* hotel in a touristic place and send to airbnb pictures from crapy place, but not from our place … and airbnb consider it’s actual pictures of our place ! the only thing the guest want is his money back … and he got it ! all together, this story will cost me about 2000€ (the renting, the food, the deposit and the taxi !) avoid airbnb, you are not sure at all to get your money!

Airbnb refused to refund money after false listing

Airbnb has consistently refused to refund any of the full paymen made (several hundred dollars) despite the host being aggressive and unwelcoming; the room not being private as per the misleading advertisement; and the apartment being dilapidated and unsafe. Airbnb has not allowed even a partial refund despite guests feeling they are put in danger or risk of abuse. Airbnb may be found in breach of its duty of care.

Where’s the refund? No help from Airbnb!

I have been trying to get a refund for a canceled stay overseas. The host agreed to refund but my bank account was closed when I moved cross country and airbnb said it had to go to closed account. An airbnb employee gave me incorrect info and the host reduced the amount of refund because she thought I accused her of lying about the location of the funds. Airbnb has has been EXTREMELY difficult to contact and now lists a password to a pdf file for my refund info but there is NO PLACE to plug this password into, no location for the file, no way to respond to this latest email that doesn’t just go to an automated choice of subjects- like being stuck on an automated phone answering system that doesn’t include the title of person or number you seek. NEVER AGAIN.