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Started by MorrisMitchener on Dec 23, 2021 1:23:41 PM
Airbnb problems

Thought I'd just post on here, see what folk think about this problem...

MorrisMitchener - 23 Dec 2021 13:24:29 (#1 of 18)

A few months ago I booked a trip, a 4 day trip to Manchester, or to be more specific, Salford. I booked 4 days with an Airbnb vendor.

But I live in Ireland and I had to cancel the trip at the very last minute, a bunch of Covid restrictions made it impractical for me to travel. I’d need a negative test to get back into Ireland and this was too risky a chance to take not least for work reasons – so, admittedly at the very last minute, on the day I was supposed to arrive, 1st of December, I hit the cancel button on the website. I then messaged the vendor apologising for this, saying it was beyond my control and that I was very sorry – but at least, I said, you get a bit of the fee (meaning 1 day’s rent plus the service/cleaning fee). She said it was okay, I’d be welcome to stay another time.

So all fine.

Except – my refund didn’t arrive. I was due the money, the remaining 3 days payment back, but no funds arrived. I contacted Airbnb and they said I never cancelled! But I did! They are absolutely refusing to accept that I cancelled the booking! The vendor doesn’t want to know – she’s happily taken 100% of my payment and refuses to partially refund. The messages exchanged between me and her indicate perfectly clearly that she knew I’d cancelled but she’s flatly refusing to refund me.

I’ve had no bad experiences with airbnb before but this obviously hugely disappointing and frustrating. The full cost was a bit over 200 euro – I’m fine with writing off whatever, 50 or even 70 quid. But I feel I’m being seriously short changed here.

Any advice or similar bad experiences with airbnb?

QuattroComeAllYeFaithful - 23 Dec 2021 14:57:46 (#2 of 18)

Sorry to hear your tale. I cannot offer any specific advice but I can suggest an alternative.

We have ceased booking with AirBnB because its refund policy appeared to be rather opaque. Also, it's often used as just another channel to market by many people with short term accommodation to let.

We now choose to use where the cancellation policy is absolutely clear at the time of booking. Bookings are often cancellable up to a day or two in advance of the start of the stay. Where we have cancelled there has been no problem, even when payment had already been taken to secure the accommodation.

I'd also recommend using a credit card which charges no additional fees for foreign payments, since one invariably pays in the currency that is local to the owner of the property.

MorrisMitchener - 25 Dec 2021 11:46:04 (#3 of 18)

Thanks quattro, noted. I got in touch again with the vendor, tried to appeal to her better nature. She didn't have one.

dreams99 - 25 Dec 2021 12:04:50 (#4 of 18)

it's often used as just another channel to market by many people with short term accommodation to let.

Erm, that's the whole business model. Who else is letting?

Dayraven - 25 Dec 2021 12:23:25 (#5 of 18)

Erm, that's the whole business model.

Think AirBnB has shifted a bit from primarily being a rent-a-room to a rent-a-house service, that might be the point?

dreams99 - 25 Dec 2021 12:30:25 (#6 of 18)

I don't see the fundamental difference.

Dubris - 25 Dec 2021 18:10:57 (#7 of 18)

Perhaps the person letting out a whole house sees that as a more significant part of their income than the person making a bit of cash by letting out a spare room. So it's become rather more like conventional letting than it initially seemed to be.

But for the person renting the whole house, the difference isn't apparent.

goldfinch - 25 Dec 2021 18:16:09 (#8 of 18)

I presume you still have the messages exchanged. Can you claim though your credit card?

Catmaspyjamas - 25 Dec 2021 18:17:42 (#9 of 18)

If you have cancelled, the messages should be there in your account, also you'd receive emails to confirm.

hailesaladdie - 25 Dec 2021 18:51:49 (#10 of 18)

Key questions for me would be: did you book with a credit card, and do you have proof of cancellation (email trail, etc)?

goldfinch - 25 Dec 2021 18:53:54 (#11 of 18)

Same questions as me!

hailesaladdie - 25 Dec 2021 19:38:26 (#12 of 18)


Tenesmus - 25 Dec 2021 20:45:52 (#13 of 18)

Does she have a handbag?

christmasturkey - 26 Dec 2021 00:17:18 (#14 of 18)

I'm not convinced she is being unreasonable here. If it was an actual technical glitch or you accidentally didn't cancel properly - then the property would not be listed as available on the website. So in that sense she has potentially forgone some income. If you're certain it was a technical glitch then AirBnB are accountable in my view. It's usually pretty obvious when you have cancelled with a trail in your account as well as emails to your registered email as I recall.

jayemdee - 11 Jan 2022 02:03:31 (#15 of 18)

I had to cancel an AirBnB back in March 2020 when covid made it impractical to travel to the UK. Absolutely no joy in getting a refund. I think I got a small refund of a 'cleaning fee' the next time I booked one.

Catspyjamas17 - 11 Jan 2022 07:04:54 (#16 of 18)

When I had to cancel a holiday in March 2020 for May 2020 I had only paid for half the accommodation cost, and got that back straight away as an account credit. Then I used that towards a holiday in the UK in August 2020.

CaptainBlack - 11 Jan 2022 08:38:32 (#17 of 18)

Small claims court. Or at least threaten one.

InternationalVicar - 14 Jan 2022 09:43:11 (#18 of 18)

Agree that Airbnb is now just another channel for letting in a addition to the spare rooms etc.

The original unpredictable quirkiness is still there though, each one unpredictable.

I've also swapped to for its robust cancellation and refund process.

Even when it went very wrong, they did intervene and sort it out.

For small UK places it's only fair to book direct, though.

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