Unverified Property Leads to Nearly Ruined Trip

I have been an Airbnb Host and also a guest so my recent experience took me by surprise. I booked a rental in a resort town in Canada, found a perfect location, had four beds (for four adults) and saw it was reasonably priced. I paid my 50% with my Amex Platinum card rather than using Paypal, which I have used in the past. I also sent a note to the owner.

After the Easter holiday weekend, my husband asked if he should cancel the hotel he had booked and I said that I had booked the Airbnb a few days ago. I went to check and there was no reservation, nothing in our upcoming trips or the like. I couldn’t find any messages either on the site or in my email so I was very puzzled.

I finally decided to call Airbnb and while I was looking for contact info on the “contact us” page, I saw a picture of the property with a message that said “did not pass verification”. What the heck? Why wouldn’t I have seen something online or received a message about this? And what verification?

I called customer support and the agent said she couldn’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be verified and sometimes “mistakes happen” in their system. She sent my issue to another group and a case manager reached out to me this morning. After several exchanges of messages (after he said it was a system error on their end) he asked how many times I had submitted payment.

Well, only once and it seemed to have gone through; there were no error messages. I explained that my Amex Platinum card would not have rejected anything and have since checked; they did not reject anything.

The case manager said “I am leaving in 15 minutes” and asked me to call back with the number I started with yesterday. After being on hold, the agent said she would transfer me back to have a live conversation in the same department that I had been messaging with and then she disconnected me. I have not received any call back.

Now, the property is booked, we cannot find another one that fits our needs and I am seething. I would have been able to respond and fix the situation if I had been notified, but even the agent was at a loss why we couldn’t see this message except the one buried in in the contact us section. Fortunately, we have found two guest rooms in another place through booking.com but I would like Airbnb to admit to its mistakes (they sometimes make per the agent) and provide some restitution.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Did you get your money back? Did you report it to American Express? AmEx is great with handling trip problems.

    I hate you were inconvenienced. It sounds like you already had a back-up plan with the hotel.

    So you booked another rental with Booking.com? Did you never intend to stay at the hotel?

    My listings with Airbnb didn’t appear for booking until after my identity was confirmed.

    I have had guest reservations automatically cancelled when their payment credit card didn’t clear. The host receives payment after the guest is happily in the rental for 24 hours so the host isn’t holding your payment.

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