Airbnb ‘Staff’ Tried to Commit Fraud Around Situation in Ukraine

I wanted to send a host in the Ukraine money by booking a room (obviously I wasn’t going to stay). For some reason it wouldn’t go through due to an issue, so I contacted Airbnb Live Chat.

I was speaking to a representative when I received a call from them. Now I’m generally suspicious but they were able to tell me the other host’s name and the exact amount I wanted to transfer: basically they had access to the system. They explained that there was a problem with the other host’s account which was why I couldn’t send the money easily. However, I could do it with the assistance of Airbnb. It sounded a little strange and I insisted I wouldn’t do it over the phone, that there must be a financial transaction trail and then he said he would send the request through PayPal from Airbnb.

I logged into PayPal and saw that it was a personal account request and nothing to do with Airbnb, so I said “This isn’t right; I don’t think so” and hung up. I tried to log back in at that point to discover my account no longer existed, completely wiped from Airbnb’s system.

It’s been almost two weeks now. The problem is still not resolved. Airbnb customer help is basically nonexistent. I have been hosting since 2016 (a Superhost with all 5-star reviews) and as recently as the middle of February had someone staying. I have provided reference codes of those stays in order to help them “find” my account which I was able to access from my email but still have had no success.

Either their system has been hacked or they have some very unscrupulous people working for them and they do not do any kind of background checks. I no longer want to even host with this company after this experience as the trust factor has vanished. The client care is completely nonexistent. Most chats through Facebook and the live chat have been with bots. The general public needs to be warned, especially as people are handing over their financial information for bookings.

Someone from the same number called again today pretending to be Airbnb with a baby crying in the background — definitely not a call center. Airbnb has lost my business for good.

Weekend in Kiev and Champions League Turns into Hell

I arrived for a pleasant, prolonged weekend in Kiev, Ukraine to watch the Champions League football final, having a couple of days off. I’d booked (and paid for) a nice apartment like 2-3 months in advance. After booking, I had had contact with the “verified” host a couple of times and everything seemed okay.

Only after landing in Kiev, I started to understand something was wrong. The host suddenly stopped replying to texts. After a while, I finally got the phone number from an “administrator”: “Oh, there must be some mistake…”

To make a long story short, they cancelled my booking and Airbnb offered a replacement apartment for five times what I’d paid already. Seriously?

At that very moment, I realized that Airbnb is just a middleman that takes a hefty fee but when things go wrong, they head for the forest. I had to spend four hours working the phone and email (like an ordinary day at work) to resolve the issue myself and at the end I had to stay at a place 14 kilometers away from the center and where I’d planned to stay.

The fact is that when you use Airbnb, you have zero protection against something like this happening. Airbnb does not add any value and if accommodation is crucial to your holiday, book a nice hotel instead.