Airbnb failing hard

Level 2
Cologne, Germany

Airbnb failing hard

Hello 🙂 

I just wanted to ask about your opinion on this on how I can prevent something like this from happening. 

On September 20th two women, who had booked my apartment, came to my place and right away complained about smell and dirt. 
Ima leave the discussion on how this was a valid claim or not out for now. 

I immediately offered to send in my cleaning lady in again to solve the problem but the offer was declined by the guests. 

They wanted a refund but didn't want to cancel the booking because they said it would result in fees for them.
I called airbnb and they told me that I can cancel but it would also cost me a big fee, so I didn't. 


I asked them about the refund claim and the operator told me specifically that the photos provided (a lil dust on the piano) are not enough for the refund claim to be accepted and anyways did the guests not contact airbnb yet and I do not have to worry and he will get back to me in two days when the guests moved out. 

So I didnt do anything and just waited. 


Two days after a DIFFERENT operator send me a message saying that the guests never stayed at my place, that the refund claim was accepted by airbnb and that the reservation was canceled. I tried to call and send messages to airbnb but they wouldn't change their decision. 


Their decision was based on my "approval" of the refund claim.

They recorded the conversation I had with one of the operators ( I had like 6 operators, every time somebody else) and I supposedly accepted the claim. 

I had so many conversations with them that I don't remember but I would never accept the refund claim without being able to rent it out again. 
It does not make sense. 

In the very first conversation on September 20th at 16.35h I told Airbnb that I would like to cancel and give them a refund IF THE BOOKING WAS CANCELED so I can rent it out to somebody else. 

Yet, the conversation with the operator telling me everything is fine (September 20th 18.14h) and I get back to you in two days was after that and the refund claim (20.09. 17.30h) by the guests that I DECLINED was also after the first conversation. 
They just picked out what they needed for this to work out in their favour. 


Well, now I lost more than 600€. It was a very special business event in town and every single airbnb was booked out. 

I think this is super unfair as I was told differently by an operator, I was never informed that the guests moved out and therefore was never given a chance to rent it out for other guests. 

Is there anything I can do now? They already closed the case.  I mean I was already so mad that it was too much for me to handle and I just don't care anymore.

OH and in the message they told me that since I accepted the refund claim they make an exception and I don't get any penalties. very nice of them haha

What can I do so something like this won't happen again?

Thank you everyone  

6 Replies 6
Level 2
Cologne, Germany

Hey guys, 
I had already made a post but it didn't go through. 

I just wanted to let you know that after I wrote a feedback Sue from airbnb asked me about my experience and we solved it. 
I got the money for the booking. 
Im happy to be on Airbnb and thank Sue for handling the problem so well. 

Thank you everyone for your comments

Malibu, CA


Thank you for tagging me here. I really appreciate you taking the time bringing this to up. I am really sorry to hear about the difficulties you faced with our CS team, but I have learned that they were able to resolve everything in the best way possible.

Many thanks,



Level 10
London, United Kingdom



Yet another case of Airbnb CS giving the host the run around. When is this going to be addressed?

Level 2
Cologne, Germany

Im trying not to think about it because it makes me really mad, but actually it was very bad service and unfair treatment that resulted in me losing a lot of money and stressing me out and the guests on the other hand walking away with a full refund, a new nice place to stay and the chance to give me a horrendous review. 

I mean without hosts there wouldn't be an airbnb business. This process hurt me right now but it hurts airbnb so much more in the long run. 





Level 2
Cologne, Germany

Thank you @Andrew0 
I had heard the crazy stories of other hosts but I just couldn't really believe it because it is so random. I had other cases where guests broke stuff and airbnb just send me money without further ado and this time they were so weird and unfair. 
I literally talked to 6 different agents and in the end some agent I did NOT talk to decided telling me that his supervisor looked into it and decided bc of a recorded conversation. 
I didnt even know they could use the calls against you. From now on Ima say no if they ask me if they can record it. 

For next time I will just try to do everything on my own. 
But U know they wanted to leave the place right away and didn't want to stay a night. 
I couldn't even cancel myself. 

Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Kai101   I think at the root of this problem is the extreme inefficiency of the outsourced customer service operation. Instead of having in-house support reps with the training and authority to see a ticket through from beginning to end, they now have contractors tossing tickets from desk to desk like hot potatoes, each racing to meet their quotas and none having the time to comprehend the issue.


It shouldn't be this way, but your experience was the norm. Whatever the issue is, getting customer service involved is only going to make everything worse. So to prevent this mess from happening again, the best thing you can do is be your own customer service operation and use every tool at your disposal to resolve the issue directly with the guests. 


What might have prevented your losses in this case was offering the unhappy guests a booking modification to advance their checkout date and refund the rest of the stay so that you could get your calendar opened up before they walked out the door. Their complaints may not have truly merited a refund in principle, but the faster you can persuade unhappy guests to terminate the booking and vacate, the less you stand to lose in vacancies, cleaning, and negative reviews.

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