• Report: #885539

Complaint Review: Airbnb

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  • Submitted: Sun, May 20, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, October 13, 2012

  • Reported By: Julie — Ocoee Florida United States of America
99 Rhode Island Street., FL 2, 10 Internet United States of America

Airbnb airbnb.com Airbnb--Do not use or trust them San Francisco, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Good Experience with AirBnB

*Author of original report: Good luck & buyer beware.

*Consumer Comment: Airbnb is not to blame for that situation

*Consumer Comment: Airbnb host ripped me off !!

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In March 2012, my spouse and I booked a beachhouse in South Carolina via Airbnb, paid for it in full, and had a few emails back in forth with the owner, Rachel, confirming plans and inquiring about deposits, location, etc. All was well, until May 17, when we emailed her again asking if she wanted the pet deposit sent in advance or given to her when we arrived. This latest email generated an instant reply: Please call me. When we called Rachel, the owner told us she had no recollection or record of our upcoming reservation, and that she was very sorry as shed recently lost her mother and was, not all there. She also let us know that via another site, she had rented the beachhouse to another party for the same dates wed rented it, and that she was very sorry but it was no longer available. Oh, and she wished us "good luck" in finding another place. Sweet. 

Obviously, we were livid. [continued below]....
..... We had plenty of proof showing wed rented the place six weeks prior: confirmation emails from the owner, emails from Airbnb showing confirmation details, and a debit transaction from our checking account register showing Airbnb had indeed debited the full amount from my debit card in March. We immediately called Airbnbs customer service department, who told us that per their records, we did still have a reservation and that we should contact the owner to clarify. So we emailed Rachel again, who said no, sorry, I am going to have to cancel your reservation as the place is no longer available.  WTF???

We called Airbnb AGAIN and by then, Rachel had in fact emailed them stating she had to cancel our reservation due to a death in the family. As they told us this, we replied, Yes, we know. She told us that too but also told us shed rented it to someone else and was giving the place to them not us. So, as unfortunate as the death was, it was not the true reason. Shed already admitted the real reasonthat she was "not all there and had forgotten shed rented it to us first. So in spite of the fact that we had confirmation emails from both the owner AND Airbnb, customer service told us there was nothing they could do for us except A.) Refund our money or B.) Credit our money (plus $100) to rental of a similar property. Option B would have been fine except that because were traveling in six days AND our travel falls on Memorial Day weekend, there are absolutely no rentals available anywhere near our desired destination in our price rangenot even close to our price range.

We informed Airbnb that we are extremely disappointed in their business practices and that well be sharing this information with everyone we know, across every social media platform we can. We feel they should have honored our 6-month paid-in-full reservation by forcing Rachel to cancel the reservation she'd made with the other party and given the place to us. But Airbnb did not see this as a viable option. For all we know, they'll continue to do business with Rachel, and other people attempting to rent her property will encounter similar issues. Bad business, bad customer service. Do not use or trust Airbnb!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2012 11:28 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Airbnb/internet/Airbnb-airbnbcom-Airbnb-Do-not-use-or-trust-them-San-Francisco-Internet-885539. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Good Experience with AirBnB

AUTHOR: Alexandra - ()

I very much understand the consumer's upset with AirBnB. However, I've had a good experience renting with AirBnB. My husband and rented an apartment in San Francisco for a few days, and it went very well. 

AirBnB is not in the position to force a host to keep their commitment to rent to someone nor to know why the host isn't keeping their commitment when AirBnB is getting two different stories about it. However, renters can give a flaky host a poor rating on the AirBnB site as a warning to others. I would hope that hosts with consistently low ratings would be dropped by AirBnB.

I think that AirBnB offers a terrific service--allowing people to make income from their unused homes and visitors to get lower rates than hotels offer. This makes for more efficient use of resources. In my experience, AirBnB is quite professional in its approach. I will, for sure, however, take low ratings of hosts very seriously.  
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#2 Author of original report

Good luck & buyer beware.

AUTHOR: Julie - ()

Keep on using AirBnB. I hope you continue to have better experiences than we did. I see that AirBnB is still allowing this host, Rachel, to rent her three properties in Charleston via their site. Good luck to those who happen upon them!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Airbnb is not to blame for that situation

AUTHOR: Full Time Traveler - ()

Airbnb offered you a refund and an alternative.  It was just not the answer you wanted.  They cannot control the property owner that cancelled your reservation. (they always post when a property owner cancels without notice and you are able to review the party that wronged you.)  

I have listed my own apartment on Airbnb with success and I use them regularly as a guest.  The site is there to safely broker the deal made between Host and Guest for a fee.   That is all, they are not the property owners, hosts are not their employees.  Do you also blame Hotels.com when you don't like a hotel that you stay at?

That host sounds terrible and the blame should be on her.

For those of you deciding if you would like to use Airbnb, I am a business traveler flying several times a month, I would recommend this site to my own family members. The only time I have heard of any rip off is when people make side deals bypassing the site.  When you do that you cannot get a refund if things go wrong.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Airbnb host ripped me off !!

AUTHOR: Katalin Malo - (United States of America)

Just found this site - joined - and once I'm back in the U.S. I will fight Airbnb for allowing the host to rip me off: I feel for you guys.......I will never use this company again !!,
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