Cancellations During Pandemic Mean No Refund

In January we booked an Airbnb in Bath for two nights. The venue was booked so family and friends could celebrate an uncle’s 70th birthday. We paid £1,960.85 including an exorbitant service fee of £262.85 (for what we have no idea).

Due to circumstances beyond our control, i.e. COVID-19, we had to cancel the booking and did so in May. The guest of honour who lives in Ireland was not able to fly to England for the party due to flight restrictions caused by the virus. Consequently, we cancelled when we did in order not to lose the full amount. Had the coronavirus not happened, our party would have carried on with the booking as planned.

We received a refund of only £849 from Airbnb (50% minus the service charge). Our party of 10 had hoped under these unusual circumstances, the host would have given us a full refund. The owners did say that if their Airbnb was rented during the weekend we booked, then a refund would be issued. No surprise that this did not happen so we didn’t receive the other 50%.

Losing this amount of money through no fault of our own was devastating for our financial situation which, because of the lockdown, is precarious at best. We appealed twice to the owner’s sense of fairness and compassion by asking them to send the other 50% refund (£849) realising that the hefty service charge Airbnb charges is likely beyond their control. This did not happen nor did we ever hear from them. Consequently, they have £849 of our money for doing absolutely nothing at a time they couldn’t have rented their place anyway.

We also appealed to Airbnb but they were useless in resolving this issue. This Airbnb in Bath did not act in good faith and if you are looking to book this venue in the future, buyer beware — the owners have no scruples and will take your money and run if given the opportunity. Our advice is not to book this place now or ever.

Avoid Airbnb in Bath That Refuses Refunds

In January we booked an Airbnb in Bath for two nights. The venue was booked so our family and friends could celebrate an uncle’s 70th birthday. We paid £1,960.85 including an exorbitant service fee of £262.85 (for what we have no idea).

Due to circumstances beyond our control — i.e. COVID-19 — we had to cancel the booking and did so in May. The guest of honour who lives in Ireland was not able to fly to England for the party due to flight restrictions caused by the virus. Consequently, we cancelled when we did in order not to lose the full amount. Had the coronavirus not happened, our party would have carried on with the booking as planned.

We received a refund of only £849.00 from Airbnb (50% minus the service charge). Our party of ten had hoped under these unusual circumstances, the host would have given us a full refund. The owners did say that if their B&B was rented during the weekend we booked, then a refund would be issued. No surprise that this did not happen so we didn’t receive the other 50%.

Losing this amount of money through no fault of our own was devastating for our financial situation which, because of the lockdown, is precarious at best. We appealed twice to the owner’s sense of fairness and compassion by asking them to send the other 50% refund (£849) realising that the hefty service fee Airbnb charges is likely beyond their control. This did not happen nor did we ever hear from them. Consequently, they have £849 of our money for doing absolutely nothing at a time they couldn’t have rented their place anyway.

We also appealed to Airbnb but they were useless in resolving this issue. This Airbnb in Bath did not act in good faith and if you are looking to book this venue in the future, buyer beware – the owners have no scruples and will take your money and run if given the opportunity. Our advice is not to book this place now or ever.

Airbnb Asks for Proof Pandemic is Real

My two-week trip to the UK with my family had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country is in lockdown so domestic travel is prohibited, restaurants and tourist sites are closed, my return flight was cancelled by the airline, hotels I had booked are closed, and my own country (Canada) would require a 14-day quarantine if I did make it home. So it was pretty obvious that the trip couldn’t happen.

Airbnb is refusing my request for refunds for two bookings that were part of the trip, allegedly because I don’t qualify under their Extenuating Circumstances policy, although I clearly do qualify under any rational reading of the policy.

Initially, they asked for ‘proof’ that the trip had to be cancelled in spite of virtually everything mentioned above being all over the press and in various government announcements. Within about 24 hours after making that demand, while I was considering how to respond to it, I received another email advising me that my claim was closed, presumably because I hadn’t responded in time (although no time limit was specified and 24 hours is ridiculously short). When I complained, I was told that the decision was ‘final’. I’ve rarely seen such heavy-handed, arrogant treatment.

Adding insult to injury, Airbnb directly lied to me the first time they denied my refund request, claiming that it was actually the hosts who denied the request. I contacted one of the hosts directly and was told that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision and they fully expected that I would receive a refund from Airbnb.

I learned at that time that it is Airbnb that holds reservation deposits and not hosts, so hosts actually have nothing to refund. It is completely disingenuous to blame hosts for Airbnb’s decision, undoubtedly motivated by greed. That they are doing this during a major global health and economic crisis is truly reprehensible. They are pretending to have a sensible, fair, customer-friendly policy to deal with current conditions but this is just smoke-and-mirrors. They just want to keep the money.

That will prove to be a very short-sighted decision for them. I have been a regular Airbnb customer and am in my prime travel years. They are not the only private rental platform out there. What a disgraceful company.

Airbnb Travel During a Worldwide Pandemic

The Airbnb website says if your travel is before May 31 you are entitled to a full refund. However, when I tried to do my cancellation it charged me the cleaning fee. I have sent repeated messages to our host and she has not responded to what kind of documentation is required for a refund.

I would think that with a worldwide pandemic and stay at home orders everywhere that further documentation would not be necessary but I cannot get a response and I have not received any confirmation of the cancellation or the refund.

This booking was for 11 days in the UK so it is a lot of money I am out if they do not follow through. If they fail to refund, I am hoping the attorney general will take action to ensure we are not cheated out of this refund.

Airbnb Trip Around UK cut Short due to Virus

My husband and I booked an extensive trip around Devon and Cornwall, before COVID-19 meant that we found ourselves in lockdown. All other hotels we have booked with have refunded us 100% but because Airbnb have stated that they will only offer 100% refunds up to April 14th, we find ourselves in a tricky situation.

Do we wait to see if they update their policy to include the dates we have already paid for? If we cancel now, we are only entitled to a fraction of what we’ve paid… through no fault of our own. Obviously we will not be travelling unnecessarily. Understandably we are really cross right now.

Fake Airbnb Superhost, No Refund Coming

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I’m sure most of the time Airbnb hosts are genuine and the property listings are real. But unfortunately for me – first time user – I booked what looked like a fantastic apartment in London through a host and paid a 50% deposit. The next morning, I received an email from Airbnb stating that my reservation was cancelled and my deposit would be refunded.

Airbnb took my money and there’s no refund as of yet. When I spoke to Airbnb, they admitted that the host was a fake but did not give a crap that I would be out of pocket $1,7436 until they processed my refund. Yes, I appreciate that they picked up that host was a fake within 12 hours but it’s a pity it’s going to take more than a week for the refund.

They’ve scared off this potential customer forever, and I will tell everyone not to trust Airbnb. They should have done their checks before letting a fake host post a listing. To top it off, the fake host is still active and is still marked as a SuperHost.

Take your pick: noisy boiler, worn-out mattress springs

What an Airbnb nightmare we had over Christmas 2019 in London. We go and spend Christmas every year with my sister and her family in London and have been doing this for the last twenty years. We usually stay with my sister, but, unfortunately, this year she had a full house and so we got my nephew to look for Airbnb places to stay at for seven nights.

He (poor guy is now feeling so bad) found this advert for a “pretty studio flat” about five minutes from where my sister lives. The picture looked great and it was within walking distance to my sister’s house. We jumped at it, even though it was a bit expensive and we didn’t have much time left to look for anywhere else.

I did read some reviews and the only thing I found which made me get in contact with the hosts was about a very uncomfortable mattress with springs sticking out. We thought, oh, with our backs (we are both pensioners), this would be a no go. I contacted the hosts via WhatsApp and asked them what they had done about the mattress. They assured us that the problem had been sorted and that the mattress was “very comfortable”. We were reassured and believed them.

We actually had WhatsApp communication about whether there was a coffee machine, etc. Of course, there was no coffee machine. We thought fine, no problem: this is the UK and not Italy. We also knew that the road the “pretty flat” was on was going to be a bit noisy and we didn’t mind this too much. This flat is in busy London and we know the area well.

The hosts were now addressing us with “hi darling”, etc. We thought they were friendly, honest people. How gullible we were….

Fortunately, for us we always pay with a Visa. There was no payment upfront, thank goodness. The hosts, of course, don’t live in this tiny flat. I don’t think they even know what the flat is like, as it turns out they didn’t even know the wifi password. They gave one which didn’t work. However, my husband decided to look at the router and it had a completely different Internet provider. We informed the hosts of this and they gave us some excuse for not knowing this.

In addition, we realized during the night that there was a very noisy boiler on the wall above the kitchen area which just droned on and on all night and of course all day. We were both very tired, but this noise just didn’t stop. We got in touch with the “hi darling” hosts and we were told to send them a recording of the noise to see whether it was working normally or not. We just wanted the noise to stop.

We also wrote about the terrible mattress with springs sticking into our backs all night. They ignored this point. We sent them a recorded noise from the boiler and we were told this was “normal”. We wanted to know if we could switch it off. Of course not, as this is a boiler needed to pump water onto the third floor (where the tiny flat is).

I could only spend two nights in the flat, what with the incessant noise and the mattress digging into me (and my husband). Actually, when my husband turned in the bed, I bounced up and down. I went to stay at my sister’s on the floor.

Unfortunately, my husband had to stay in this hellhole for seven nights. We could close the window (which was very stiff) to block out the noise from the street, but, we had to listen to the droning noise of the boiler all night long. My poor husband had had a heart operation last year and this was a terrible time for both of us. We pointed out that perhaps if the mattress was turned over, it might be better. A cleaner came and did it, but, it made no difference at all.

All seven nights were a nightmare. The noisy boiler was never mentioned. The hosts appear to have other flats in this building. It looks like the building has many tiny studio flats, etc. While going up three floors, we could hear children crying and we could smell stale cooking. I wonder what sort of condition these people are living under.

We went there in good faith determined to have a peaceful time. But, it turned out to be a total nightmare. Since leaving the flat, we have not had any response from the money-making scrooges to our complaints. We are withholding payment. 

They are just making money (loads) from us poor unsuspecting travellers. How on earth does Airbnb let such dishonest people onto their books? Airbnb is nothing but a money-oriented organisation. This host certainly found a gold mine, robbing poor unsuspecting travellers. I hope the couple will soon find a conscience.

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Airbnb Host Abusing Power as Police Officer

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The story begins in December 2018. I booked a four-week stay in an annex attached to a house in an area I had spent part of my childhood, with my four-month pregnant wife. The host lived overseas and was co-hosted by a family who were quite noisy and very closed off.

We arrived at the beginning of the month and for two weeks every night was full of disturbances and parties. Then one evening, on a Saturday, the co-host had a party. I wrote a message on WhatsApp to ask him to keep the noise down. As you will see the situation escalated from there with antisemitic abuse to my wife and me, as well as anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The next day the situation became worse. They used the police to intimidate us, by falsely arresting my wife (the charges later dropped). My wife was assaulted in the police station, as the co-host was (as I later found out) a police officer who even harasses people who live on the street on which the property was located.

The message I sent to Airbnb is below. Nothing has been rectified. Multiple complaints and lawsuits were filed to the police and they covered up the incident. My wife, upon returning home, miscarried, on top of the fractured wrist and leg, multiple lacerations, and the continued antisemitic abuse she she suffered while in custody by the police. I attached multiple photos of her injuries and the abusive messages the co-host sent.

As you will see above, in regards to the actions taken by the co-host and his family and using the police to harass and assault my pregnant Jewish wife, find attached the racist messages received the day before from the co-host after I requested some peace and quiet, and also the photos of the beating by the police on my wife, this has gone far more now than just a simple civil disagreement. As it was explained to you the constant intrusion by the co-host and his family for the period we were resident in the property, my wife miscarried and lost our child, and under the laws of her home country, and that of the EU, this will be deemed a criminal offence committed by Airbnb and the co-host as well as the police officer who was sequestered by the co-host to cause harm to a pregnant woman.

Cleaner Mattresses at the Tip than this Airbnb

My friend and I booked a “Cosy Mid Terrace House” in Bangor, North Wales. We were attending a five-day yoga course which commenced on the evening of Thursday, September 26th a short drive away. We checked in at the house where there was a key box; anytime after 4:00 PM was supposed to be okay.

We arrived at 3:45 PM and entered the house. On first inspection, it looked a little grimy and uncared for, but it was only five nights. However, on further inspection, we found that the kitchen surfaces were very greasy and there was mould in the fridge, the carpet into the sitting room was frayed and coming away under the door strip causing a trip hazard.

On venturing upstairs, again everything was tatty. The shower was full of black mildew. But the worst thing of all was where I was supposed to sleep for those five nights. Firstly, I could feel the mattress springs through the duvet that was on top of the bed but what really finished things off was when the bedding was pulled back, the mattress was covered in various stains. I have seen better mattresses than this at my local tip.

We contacted the owner to advise her we were not happy and would have to seek alternative accommodation. She gave us a spiel about running late as a single mum she had to collect the children from school and was on her way over. We told her not to rush as there was no way we would be able to stay and started to tell her all the things that were wrong, whereupon she hung up.

As the course was starting at 4:00 PM, there was little time to find alternative accommodation and we ended up sharing a very small twin room in a hotel not too far away who could luckily fit us in as most places we tried were fully booked over the weekend. I requested a refund from the host via the Airbnb site – which she, of course, refused – so I waited the 72 hours and asked Airbnb to intervene.

I have since then been corresponding via email with an incompetent “Senior Case Manager” who has become quite threatening in her gobbledygook English stating that I must accept her offer of a “coupon” to be used on a future booking within eight hours – four hours at one point – and now 24 hours. I feel that as they have offered a “coupon” for the full amount that they must believe our story with photos provided, but as we do not know when or if we will be booking through Airbnb again, this is simply not good enough.

I am awaiting her response as to how long the “coupon” is valid for (probably 24 hours). Despite my requests for her to escalate this case on two occasions she continues to email me in English that is barely recognisable as the language I was brought up with, totally ignoring my requests and just threatening me with more deadlines. It is interesting to note that the “Cosy Mid Terrace House” is no longer listed in the site but if ever it should reappear I do not recommend booking it or the host’s cleaning skills.

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Someone’s Trash could be your Airbnb Furniture

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I checked into my Airbnb last night. As my son and I opened the filthy front door, the smell of mold filled the room. We walked up four flights of filthy carpeted stairs to reach the apartment, where the front entrance had a huge filthy moldy stain the size of a Labrador. The sofa looked like it was picked up from the side of the road when someone put it out as garbage; it was sunken in and dirty, with stains throughout the whole thing.

This is where my son was supposed to sleep the night and we would pass our days watching TV and socializing for six nights, for which I paid $620. There was a loft with a filthy futon mattress up above this dirty yellow staircase. The bed sheets were stained and looked unclean.

I contacted Airbnb right away and spoke with someone for 35 minutes on their 1-800 number, after which I realized I was calling from the UK to the US on my cell minutes; I knew that was going to cost me a lot of money. I was told to go to sleep and someone would contact me in the morning. I contacted the host as well, sending photographs to both. Still, with no response this is taking up hours of my few days I have here in Leeds visiting my son.

These hosts seems to have many rentals and are considered to be Superhosts. I’m baffled. I did read the complaint of the last person that stayed in this apartment, which should’ve raised a red flag. I figured if Airbnb gave them a Superhost badge, that would have to mean something. I really don’t understand how people can be so unethical in running a business.