Worthless Response from Airbnb Customer Service

My experience with Airbnb has been less than pleasant. Let me first state that I do not have an account with Airbnb, not as a host or guest. However, charges were recently made on my card from the company. Calling the number or contacting them via email was essentially fruitless since they were requiring your Airbnb account info to log in.

My wife has an account (which my card and bank info is not associated with – we double checked) so she contacted them for me. She gave the info that was requested and was told not much could be done since the charge was still pending. An email was sent by Airbnb stating that our concern was being “escalated”.

After three days of waiting, the charge (roughly $950) cleared my bank and an additional transaction, a deposit (roughly $266) by Airbnb, had appeared on my statement. After searching for a phone number on the site, which I couldn’t easily find, I Googled ‘Airbnb number’. Calling the number gave the same automated login request for Airbnb clients – again, I am not.

No option was explicitly given to actually talk to someone. However, I did figure out that pressing 0 would direct you to someone. Once again, I was given the same scripted response of providing the same info, being told that my concern was “escalated”, and that I’d receive an email.

After the call ended I went to my bank to see if they could give me any info about what was going on. The bank associate didn’t have any additional info but offered to see if they could make any headway with Airbnb. After the bank associate made initial contact, the Airbnb representative requested to speak with me and once again started going through the same script. I explained I had already been through this.

At this point I became perceptibly irritated after three days of requesting info of fraudulent charges made on my bank account through Airbnb. I explicitly requested to speak with someone in the security department but was denied. In the end I had to dispute the charges with my bank and terminate my card so a new one could be issued.

Later I received an email stating the $950 had been refunded and that they suggest I “work with my bank to secure my card. If I’ve already filed a dispute with my bank they kindly ask that I cancel it.”

What? Airbnb was given three days to look into this and didn’t take any action, especially any “escalated” action, until I became irritated. For three days my account was possibly compromised and vulnerable. After Airbnb’s inaction I was forced to dispute the charges with my bank and they sent me an email stating they were refunding the money. However, if I disputed the charge with my bank, please cancel it?

How does a company operate like this? Lack of any clear contact info on the webpage. Little help from customer service when contact is made, only a scripted response. Why not just put that in a recording? That’s as helpful as my experience was. Why was it impossible for Airbnb to put me in contact with someone from their security department? It would seem that would be a priority when fraudulent charges are being made through any company. A huge failure on Airbnb’s part. Don’t expect much help if there is an issue, especially if you don’t have an account with them.

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

4 Comments

  1. i think you should contact the fbi and department of homeland security in addition to filing a police report to get to the bottom of what how why this actually happens and who the blank is behind it.
    this bugs me and quite frankly scares me a little because fraud also happened to my bank account 2 weeks prior to the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001. i was working at a doubletree hotel in del mar/san diego county, went out to dinner with a friend of mine , when we went to pay our bills at claim jumper my card had been declined. both cards (i had ordered a new one and so had them both in my wallet)
    long story less long called my financial institution cs number and their claim was that there were charges spanding over a 2 day period taken wiping out my whole checking from some online casino website based out of France they said. i tried entering the website address they gave me when i got home but the address / site didnt work and did not exist.
    they did however reverse the charges and i got the money back rightfully so being i had not ever gambled a day or night in my life and it was done in such a scandalous way they knew i was telling the truth. so far havent got to the bottom of that thinking that because i was reimbursed the money back that was what mattered.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Airbnb support centre is a big joke! The give you a complete run around making all kind of excuses. They don’t read your messages, they don’t answer your questions, anything not to give any refund. We had to cancel a reservation, follow all procedures and we have still seen not refund whatsoever.

  3. I have had a few fraudulent charges towards my cards over the years. Never have it occured to me that I should contact the merchant listed with the charge. I have contacted the card issuer; they have fixed it in a day or two.

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