Horrendous Experience with Airbnb Customer Service

Update: Still accurate but this very minute they have come up with the refund they promised.

My experience with Airbnb was atrocious. I tried to book a holiday cottage and the host tried to send me an offer. According to the host, the button on the website did not work and she then asked me to book the cottage from my end. When I tried to do that the listing had disappeared. Later our dates appeared as unavailable. I then panicked and put in a request for another place which was accepted immediately. In between, the original host mailed me saying that the dates are still free for us and would we still want to go ahead. We then tried to cancel the second transaction, because we wanted to stay with the original host. After a day of frantic email exchanges between Airbnb and the two hosts and myself, I rang Airbnb (cost: £17) and they agreed to refund the money they had taken from me for the second host (minus their service charge), so I could proceed with the first host. I agreed to that. They confirmed everything in an email. A day later nothing was cancelled or refunded and the whole email process started again.Eventually they refunded me £98 out of £223 for a double booking that was not supposed to have happened, as their website did not allow us to stick with our original host. Talking to hosts is not possible, as Airbnb deletes all phone numbers and email addresses until they have taken the money. I am unlikely to be able to claim my money back through my credit card company because they retracted their refund confirmation email a day after they had sent it and I was stupid enough not to have printed it. All in all, a truly horrendous experience.

Airbnb Double Booking in Amsterdam

I traveled from the US to Amsterdam for business and over the weekend I convinced my family (my brother and my parents who are over 60) to come and visit the city. We arrived at the apartment quite easily, by following the good directions of the “manager” of the rentals. I specify manager as this Brazilian guy, who handles many apartments for other people and they’re not his property. Well, we arrived at the apartment, and he opened the door. I was right behind him. We switched on the light and….. SURPRISE! A man was sleeping in one of the beds who assured us that the apartment was regularly rented from him. Well, the owner of the apartment nicely forgot to tell the manager that he rented the apartment to a friend of his! The manager got in contact with Airbnb to explain what happened and they called me.

At that moment my nightmare started. A certain Tina H at Airbnb tried to NOT help me by saying that she was sending me an email about how to book another place. I am from the US; how do you imagine I could find an Internet connection in the middle of a park in Amsterdam?

The very nice manager offered his phone and router. I then spent three hours, THREE HOURS, in the cold weather of Amsterdam on the damn phone trying to find another apartment with a reasonable price. This useless Tina H sent me an email with “suggestions”. Very smart suggestions. Since I was in Amsterdam and she was proposing options in towns far away from he city! What an intelligent service, eh? So, I did some research by myself but obviously no one was accepting my last minute booking! My parents started to feel bad, in a serious way, about the cold, the stress…!

In the end, the manager offered his apartment for free as he was feeling so bad for my family so that we didn’t sleep under a bridge. But if not for him, and the useless Airbnb customer service, we would have remained in that park for three days by sleeping under the fantastic sky of Amsterdam. This is unacceptable. They’re a nightmare! How could they leave people on their own in this way?

Last Minute Cancellation for a Year-Old Booking!

I made reservations for an “Artist’s Hideaway” in New Orleans a year in advance of my son’s law school graduation. The host confirmed the reservation and gladly accepted full payment in advance. Today, three weeks before our arrival she cancelled saying “my calendars didn’t sync.” It was already booked. My family has already made expensive travel plans and accommodations will be hard to come by. She had almost a year to see that she double booked. Why are we the ones to suffer for this? It seems that as a potential guest, there is no place on Airbnb to write a negative review for her so I am posting here. Do NOT book the Artist’s Hideaway in New Orleans or be prepared to be screwed.