Airbnb Has No Idea Who Has My Money

I was living in the UAE and made a purchase for an Airbnb in Australia, as I was moving there for one year. Before I left the UAE, I closed my bank account.

A few days before we were meant to check into our Airbnb in Australia, the building caught on fire. Since this was out of everyone’s hands, the host agreed to give us a refund. I told Airbnb that my bank account in the UAE was closed, and asked if they could instead refund it to my current bank account in Australia.

They said as per their policy, the refund had to go back to the original card that made the purchase. They told me not to worry, as if my account was closed, the money would bounce back to them. Seeing as I had no choice in the matter, I reluctantly agreed.

I waited for one month to see if the refund would be bounced back to them, and upon following up twice Airbnb told me the refund was successfully processed. This couldn’t be possible.

I made multiple long distance calls to my bank in the UAE who confirmed my account was already closed and this was not possible. When an account is closed, it’s impossible any money would enter the account. I relayed this to Airbnb who then told me that it was actually Visa who had my refund. I was confused, but contacted them anyway.

Visa told me they only deal with lost or stolen cards and had no idea what I was on about. Again I went back to Airbnb, and they gave me a ‘payment code’. They said this code would only be generated if the refund was processed and that any bank in the world would be able to use this code to locate my refund.

After more international calls to my UAE bank, they said that this code was useless to them, particularly because I have no account. After more back and forth, Airbnb then told me the refund was actually with PayPal. Again I was confused because I’ve never even used my PayPal, and why was Airbnb giving me so many different answers as to where my refund has gone?

Just to be sure, I contacted PayPal, and gave them the payment code. They told me there has been no activity on my account and no refund received. I went back to Airbnb, who now said it was actually in my bank account and if my UAE bank doesn’t have it, they will need a letter issued from my bank that declares that they are not in possession of the money.

I called my UAE bank again, and they said they don’t issue such requests but I can get some documents to help but would need to come in person to get them. Airbnb at this point just said basically sorry that they couldn’t help me.

I waited an entire year before coming back to the UAE and it was the first thing I did. It was just my luck the coronavirus has started, the phone lines were down, and banks were temporarily closed. So again, I waited.

My bank then told me I needed to request an MT letter or swift from Airbnb which is basically a letter or any kind of proof that this refund was in fact sent to my bank. Airbnb support said they didn’t have access to such information and don’t provide this. Instead they referred me to their help center page where I could request my data.

How is this relevant? Why can’t I get any kind of proof that this refund was sent to my bank, under my name? It’s ridiculous. An MT or swift is an internationally recognized request. It’s also fishy that they said they don’t have access to this. How do you have no record?

I have been to my bank again and raised hell, where I paid to receive my bank statement from the last year as well as a proof of account closure letter. The bank would have a record of any kind of refund even being attempted to go into my closed account and they showed me there was no record or proof the refund was sent to my account.

This is a good sum of money and these are hard times. I’ve gotten absolutely no help from Airbnb other than three different answers as to where my refund is, and “Sorry, we don’t have access to that information.”

I have been robbed, and I am pissed. With the documentations I have as proof and over a year of conversations with Airbnb support via messages, I will be getting a lawyer if this is not resolved after the final and last phone call I am about to make to them as of tonight. Wish me luck guys.

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Closed my Account, Airbnb Still Owes me Money

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I had rented my condo on Airbnb for about two years with few issues from the company. I finally decided to pull my listing and shut down my account early last January as I no longer wanted to use them as a service to host. Shortly after, I started receiving emails to my account stating “It’s time to get paid” and I needed to update my payment information; they had over six hundred dollars that was still owed to me from a guest staying. I did not realize I had any more money coming my way. I tried to log in to update my payment information as the email suggested but the system would not let me as I no longer had an account. I called customer service many times and waited on hold while paying long distance, but they said they could not help me as I did not have an account they could pull up. I wrote multiple emails in response to the emails they sent me and to customer service team and not once did I receive a reply. Airbnb is basically holding the money they owe me hostage despite them repeatedly admitting they owe me a substantial amount of money through a bombardment of recurring reminder emails to collect the money owed me. I am still getting these emails every few weeks but have exhausted all options to collect it from them as Airbnb will not help me get my money from them. This is totally illegal and straight up theft by Airbnb.

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Airbnb Can Chose to Override STRICT Cancellation Policy!

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I’ve been an airbnb host for four years with a total of 6 rooms for rent, so I’ve had hundreds of guests come and go, but I’ve never had an experience like this! Most of my rooms are rented several months in advance, and this case was no different. I had a nice couple message me a few months ago and ask to reserve my best room for a two month stay, beginning August 24th (a few days from now). I agreed, and the reservation was made without any incident… until yesterday when I received a message from the guest saying that they had a “family situation” and they would have to cancel their reservation. I immediately replied and said I was very sorry to hear that, but that I would try to find replacement guests for their long term stay right away and that I would refund them for each night that I was able to replace them with other guests (even though I have always had a STRICT cancellation policy set with Airbnb which entitles me to technically keep up to 100% of the guests money for up to one month if they cancel last minute like this). Granted I am a great host and have never actually taken a guests money or double-booked a room, but for the record I have that right when a guest cancels last minute. Well I never knew this was even possible, but somehow this guest contacted Airbnb directly and convinced them to OVERRIDE their own policy and my Strict Cancellation setting and give the guest a full 100% refund even though their move in date was only a few days away! How is that possible? What is the point of having a “Strict Cancellation Policy” with Airbnb if they can decide to override it at any time and completely screw one of their best and most loyal hosts?? At this point I should also mention that my wife is pregnant and due to have our first child on August 27th (of course he could come early or late) so now I not only have an empty room with zero money coming in for it, but I have to scramble around to find new guests to fill the same time frame when I should be focusing on my new family expansion!

The attached images show complete documentation of the messages I received, as well as my Strict policy and the crazy loophole that Airbnb has where they can just cancel any reservation at the last minute with a full refund without thinking twice about the impact on the host!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to serious look into switching all of my airbnb hosting business to another service like VRBO or Roomorama etc.

SHAME ON YOU AIRBNB! Stick to your word and don’t screw your hosts.

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