First and Last Time with Airbnb, Never Again

blankblankblank

Our family trip was scheduled for June 15-19, 2020 in Orlando. We live in Michigan, the third highest in deaths and sixth highest in COVID cases with the most aggressive stay-at-home order.

On April 26, I saw an announcement on the Airbnb website stating hosts could cancel all 2020 trips booked before March 15 and cancel by April 30. I confirmed with Airbnb that all 2020 trips canceled before April 30 could be cancelled with a full refund with no penalties to the guest and host. I have two confirmations of the conversation.

Again, I confirmed with Airbnb that no penalty would be charged to hosts and guests for a full refund. They told me to cancel with the host. The host said to submit the cancellation, and he would override the normal refund for a full refund. This was completed by the host, except the refund was missing $237.10.

I contacted Airbnb and it was more hellish than prior interactions. Long story short, despite confirmations to cancel without penalty and provide a full refund, Airbnb has refused to refund the difference for its operations.

Sour from Airbnb Cancellation Gone Wrong

I have been online and on the phone with Airbnb all day. I cancelled a cottage I rent every summer at the same time I annually attend a workshop at a college. The college cancelled all workshops last Friday. I canceled my Airbnb on Saturday.

My agreement stated I could have a full refund by June 28: “After 3:00 PM July 7, full refund minus service fee.” So 80 days out from July 7, Airbnb is keeping a service fee of $97.78 for what the case manager basically said, tough luck. That’s the the agreement I made when I hit the ‘reserve’ last July 2019. Greedy.

Almost 8K Stolen by Host even with Months’ Notice

I attempted to rent a home in Mexico (PDC) but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances and expenses. The payment was nearly eight thousand dollars, so of course you’re going to pay half at that amount. We cancelled the reservation with three months to spare and I was told by two messages we would be getting a refund minus the “service fee” (which at the time was the outrage).

After a couple of weeks of no refund, I contacted the host and he said to contact Airbnb, which I then did. They told me that unfortunately due to the “strict policy” the only way to get a refund was to contact the host. I emailed the host several times on their site with no answer, then back to Airbnb I went.

They are still currently resting on the “policy” as if it were an unbreakable/bendable law with no exceptions. Even thought the host has already re-booked for over half the eight nights, was given three months’ notice and sent the message of “your refund is on it’s way”.

I have also been told by Airbnb that I should have contacted them sooner. After being told I was to wait on my refund and the host telling me it was not up to him. I am still at this very moment attempting to get some sort of refund but they are treating me like a terrorist, i.e. “we do not negotiate our policies” and you get nothing, not even an attempt to ask me if another date would work, take back the unearned service fee, swag, nothing… just go away while we keep almost eight thousand of your dollars for absolutely no services or goods rendered.

I beg anyone who may read this poorly written ramble to please do not allow this company/site/host to steal one dime of your hard earned money.

Airbnb Overcharged Guests and Doubled Prices

I found a holiday apartment and made a reservation. I checked all the prices and the service fee was about 20€. Then it turned out to be 100€. I booked more nights without knowing they would double charge me for very high service fees. This change was not visible before or after booking, only many days after.

I was thinking that the host (who was also not the most honest person – left us a dirty apartment, wrote a bad review etc.) over charged me but it was for Airbnb’s service. I checked the bill multiple times and it seemed to be like the host overcharged, but then after a few days I checked the bill again and turned our Airbnb’s service charge had increased.

On Airbnb they lie and promise all fees are visible but those fees are never visible enough. Guests have to check multiple times before you see the prices and also afterwards; the reservation fees could change suddenly – nothing is final. If a customer service worker (or host) has bad intentions, he can do anything and change the fees to get more money.

When guests accept a booking, guests only accept the payment guests will see. Later it is possible to charge more by changing the prices. I think there are many people who just want to get more money and overcharge guests. The system is not fair for guests. It’s only the way for Airbnb and hosts to make money. I’ve used other holiday booking pages and normally service fees are included. Airbnb deducts skyhigh service fees and can even double them at any time.

What guests see is only the amount, but without knowing what the price was for each service; that’s what happened to me. The online bill is usually very unclear and everything is written on the right side, not in the middle like it should be. I didn’t get any customer service with this double charge. I would not accept if I had known this.

I tried to contact Airbnb but got no answer; their service workers are always so busy – no wonder because they have to handle complaints all the time. I don’t think they hire enough customer service workers and that’s how they leave guests in trouble. This is also one way to save money. Airbnb is all about the money for the site and hosts. It’s more like a hostel without any rules. I wonder how long it can work like that. Guests are not important, only their money is.

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.

Airbnb Service Fees are Disproportionately High

Wearily I add myself to what I realise is a long list of increasingly unhappy Airbnb customers. Several weeks ago we booked a lovely Airbnb in Dorset (UK) so that we could attend a family wedding. Two months ago my 17-year-old son broke his leg and literally this week has been given the all clear to be back on his feet again. However, because he has had so much time off his part time job with the leg break he will now not be able to get time off to attend the wedding. We are now a party of four, not five, and this now means we have an alternative option for where we stay which could be considerably cheaper.

With three weeks’ notice, we cancelled. I recalled when we booked that we would get a full refund, but I realise that the big print did not make it clear that this would not include the £34 admin fee which Airbnb kept. This is more than 25% of the partial payment we sent; it seemed outrageous until I delved a little further to discover that this is nothing in comparison to others. The host was lovely and agreed to a full refund, so I then went round the houses (and round the houses again several times) to try and work out on the website how to communicate with an actual person to express my dismay at this policy. Eventually I went for the ‘give feedback’ option but have had no response. What a surprise. Here I am on Airbnb Hell. At least I have had some satisfaction in having a small rant.

Ridiculous Airbnb Service Fee Never Refunded

I wanted to reserve a room in Bar Harbor so I did a search and some places came up that said Winter Harbor, which I assumed – yes, I know – was a neighborhood around Bar Harbor. After booking, I went to a map to see where the place was. It was close to Bar Harbor, but only if you had a boat. Within a few minutes I called the owner and he immediately agreed to allow me to cancel. He tried to cancel, but emailed me saying that I had to. After figuring out how to do that, Airbnb stated that I wouldn’t get any money back because the owner had a strict cancellation policy. I wrote him back and he did agree to refund my money, thank goodness. However, Airbnb still wanted to charge me their service fee, which is significant. All this trouble for a mistake or error caused by them because they listed a home more than an hour away from where I was requesting and I realized what had happened within two minutes of them taking my booking. I have used Airbnb quite a bit before and this kind of thing has never happened before. I guess I’ll have to be extra careful with them before I book another place or use them again.

Beware Airbnb Service Fees: Refunds are Impossible

blankblank

This isn’t terrible, but I feel like a lot of people are probably getting ripped off right now without realizing it. I booked a place that was covered under the 100% refundable policy. This policy clearly states service fees are refundable up to 24 hours before your trip, and the Airbnb refund policy in general says service fees are refundable for guests up to three times a year. See the attached pictures, screenshots from the Airbnb website. When I cancelled and requested a refund, it was not automatically given. After drilling down through multiple levels of their help center clearly intended to prevent you from talking to anyone, I finally go to chat with someone. He told me it was against Airbnb’s policy to refund service fees, but he would do me a ‘favor’ this once because I had booked another place. I thanked him for the refund, but afterwards I pointed out that it said in two places that the fee was refundable. He said, “That’s right, our service fees are not refundable” along with some other wholesome crap about Airbnb being a community. At that point, I moved from classifying customer service representatives as humans to examples of a failed Turing test, and I just hope their developers look at this and at the very least clarify their policy.

Airbnb Customer Service Can’t Decide What To Do

My family and I tried to book a house through Airbnb for a vacation together. I found the house on my account and my sister-in-law logged in to pay for it. Airbnb would not authorize the payment, and kept sending emails saying our reservation would be cancelled if we did not resolve it. We tried to resolve it with customer service but they could not help us. We spoke with the host and we decided to cancel and book through a different account in order to make sure our reservation was not in jeopardy. After cancelling Airbnb told me that I had an outstanding service fee charge for cancelling. I have yet to talk to an actual person through customer service who can actually help me. We should not have to pay two service fees for the same booking. All of the sudden they charged my sister-in-law’s card for the service fee today. Now Airbnb can charge the card for a service fee but when we tried to use it for our booking we were unable to. It’s ridiculous. I’m still trying to talk to someone with authority but we are beyond mad. Any suggestions or help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

No Solution to Accidentally Using Instant Book

blank

This is only the second time that I have used Airbnb. I understand the process to be: I message the host and the host returns the message and you both decide if there should be a booking. I thought I was messaging Dorothy, based in Washington DC. There is a new feature to automatically book. So that’s what happened; I didn’t want to automatically book. She has been a host since January 17th. I messaged her instantly that this had been a mistake, and requesting that she return my funds. I called Airbnb to return my funds. There are no features on Airbnb to correct this mistake. I cancelled the booking, but both Airbnb and Dorothy are refusing to give me the money back. The charge was $3389. Then I got a message after my multiple calls to Airbnb over a week and a half later that I would get a partial refund of $2477. Then I received another email from an Airbnb representative saying I would only get $2161. I said this was unacceptable. I did not agree to a partial refund, which is what he was trying to state in his email. I said I wanted a full refund. They insinuated that I couldn’t get a refund. They will not return even a partial refund if I don’t agree to their terms. This is how they trick you.

The thieving host and I texted a lot. She was trying to convince me she had nothing to do with the transactions, but as I found out later the hosts have the power to issue a complete and full refund; she is just refusing to do so. She lied and the amount she can steal from me is over $600. All because there is no recourse for correcting the automatic booking process. This is wrong and it’s stealing. I think this new feature is a scam on Airbnb’s part and the hosts (at least my thieving host) don’t care if they harm customers financially. Airbnb’s customer service is not helpful and difficult to reach. The representatives will not speak with you or hear your complaints. Then if you don’t agree with the resolution, they threaten you with getting nothing back. Dorothy from Washington DC is a scam artist because she knew this was a mistake. I tried to send her a message. I told her the second it happened because there is no feature to undo the automatic booking. She made a fast $600 with no regard to the harm she caused. I’m a hard working woman with four children, two in college. For Airbnb to have unhelpful and threatening customer service agents and thieving hosts keep these funds and not correct this mistake immediately is egregious. Beware of the instant booking. Thieves like Dorothy use this as a means of stealing your money and customer service representatives will not help you. If anything, they will actually threaten to withhold partial payments if you don’t agree with the resolution. I don’t agree with their resolution. I want and need all of my money back.