My dad died and right afterward, I needed to make accommodation reservations. I called and spoke with the "superhost" 2 minutes after making the booking. I told her I didn't want it and she said she'd speak with Airbnb. Well, she did. She told them not to give me a refund. She was going to make me pay the full cancellation fee. And Airbnb said she had the right to do so.
After a day of pleading my case with her, while mourning the death of my dad, she made me pay $250 and Airbnb charged anther $150 an said there were no refunds! $400...for a 2-min booking! Neither cared. They stood firm on the fact that they had a cancellation policy. No regards that my dad had just passed and I had just spent days in hospice with him!!! I even asked that the case be escalated and they just closed the case on the chat. This case has been closed is all it said and no room to escalate as I had asked!
Both the superhost and Airbnb didn't care that my sister had a breakdown right after I booked it and wouldn't budge, even for a late booking in the afternoon, so she wasn't going to get a later booking. Her words, when we were "negotiating" - no one really books late in the day so she counted the first day that I called back minutes after the reservation and then wanted a 2nd day. Airbnb took their money as well with NO regard that my dad had literally passed earlier that day and that I had just left the funeral home, with nowhere to stay.
The booking also was misleading and it wasn't even close to White Bear Lake, where I needed to be near my family, restaurants and a town. Instead, it was miles away in a secluded neighborhood - no restaurants and far from family who needed me at a moments notice...including my dad's wife in her late 80', who had just lost her husband. I would never have booked it if I had known it was in Mahtomedi - on the other side of a 10 mile lake!
1. I needed to stay with my sister as she had a melt-down.
2. We would never have even been in this situation if the booking hadn't said White Bear Lake.
We would never have been in this position if the listing had been clear and not misleading. It was not close to any services or my family....miles away.
And when I talked to Airbnb about both the supervisor just held firm that they had a cancellation policy...never listening to me and finally decided to just close the case when I had asked to escalate the matter.
So sorry for your loss, @Sandi153 , and condolences to your family. May your dad rest in peace.
You need to call Airbnb again, and speak with a different CX agent. Explain the circumstances as calmly and clearly as you can, and ask for a retrospective cancellation under the Extenuating Circumstances Policy (Whether or not the host agrees to the refund, Airbnb does have a discretionary fund where it can make up the shortfall, if it chooses to do so).
Make sure the agent understands that you were under extreme stress and pressure at the time of booking, due to your dad's earlier passing, and you would never have chosen such an inconvenient location had you had the time to research properly and figure out that the property Airbnb returned to you in the search for White Bear Lake, was actually 10 miles away from where you absolutely needed to be with your family.
Try not to worry - I realise $400 is a large sum of money for you to lose, and the last thing you need at such a traumatic time, but it's still very much sortable, and it will be sorted, just as soon as you reach a knowledgeable and capable support agent on the phone. Keep trying until you do. Good luck.
@Sandi153 As far as I understand it, the death of a close family member is covered under extenuating circumstances in getting a refund, but you may have to provide proof, I'm surprised that any CS agent would tell you no refund is possible, especially if the error was corrected in such a short amount of time.
I don't think you are correct on this @Mark116 - sadly Sandi's father passed away BEFORE she made the booking therefore it wouldn't be covered under Airbnb's extenuating circumstances policy.
She doesn't want to cancel because her father has passed away. She wants to cancel because she feels the listing is too far away from her family and because after booking, she decided that she needed to stay with her sister.
In these sad circumstance the death of a close family member is not relevant in terms of the EC policy.
It doesn't matter a hoot what it says in their policies - since when does Airbnb ever stick to the terms of their own policies anyway? - but as long as @Sandi153 can provide some sort of proof, common decency and compassion would dictate that she absolutely should be refunded for a 2 minute booking, for a place that was 10 miles away from the location she typed in Airbnb's search engine
@Susan17 That's true, but if her father had already passed away, then the issue is one of not paying close enough attention to the location, and nothing really to do with something covered under EC, if it was really a matter of a couple of minutes, then the host can't reasonably claim that she lost the opportunity to rebook it, so I'm surprised airbnb isn't overriding the policy and am surprised the host was so inflexible, unless there is part of the story that is missing.
When it comes to the bottom line, there was no loss of booking as it was later in the afternoon of my dad's passing. I still am blown away that she didn't care. The only thing I could think is that she must be desperate for money to hold me accountable for a 2-minute booking - speaking directly with her - only hours after my dad passed, right after leaving the funeral home and cleaning out his room at the dementia wing of the nursing home, after I had been in hospice with him for days before that, exhausted and in grief and shock.
That's correct @Mark116 - death of a close family member is covered by the EC policy, as follows...
Death of a host, guest, or their co-host, additional guest, immediate family member, or caregiver. You’ll be asked to provide one of these documents:
However, they now also have a clause that I don't ever recall seeing in the EC policy before that states..
Penalty-free cancelations are only available for extenuating circumstances that occur before the official check-in date for your reservation.
So technically,, @Sandi153's cancellation doesn't actually qualify under the terms of the EC policy. But I'm sure if she gets a decent agent on the phone, they can make an exception for her, which under the circumstances, absolutely should happen.
Thank you all!
They were going to give it to me then changed their mind when the "SUPERhost" said she wouldn't honor the refund. Then she flat out said she had to have some money and that the days were starting to add up and it was costing me more if we kept delaying it. I told her I'd pay $250 total with Airbnb and she again didn't listen and told them that would be their part. Then they told me their part wasn't going to be refunded either. I'm a senior as well....and they took advantage of me when I was down.
No problem showing as there was a published obit in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and online with Honsa Family Funeral Home. I will have a death certificate in a few weeks.
Agreed, @Mark116, while technically, it doesn't qualify under the EC policy, there's no reason on earth why Airbnb couldn't - and shouldn't - make an exception... especially when you consider some of the ridiculous, undocumented reasons they do give all sorts of refunds for, every day of the week (and the frequency which which they usually quite happily violate the terms of their own policies)
And unscrupulous hosts absolutely do insist on keeping full payouts - very often, in fact - even when there's clearly been a mistake on the guest's part, and the booking has only been in place very briefly. I've seen hundreds of complaints about this practice on various consumer websites over the years, and it was actually the primary factor behind the introduction of the 48hr Grace Period.
It's pretty clear that @Sandi153 is obviously telling the truth here. We all need to put ourselves in her shoes for a moment and imagine how frantic and distressed she must have been at the time of trying to make the booking, and anyone who has ever made a booking on Airbnb know how convoluted and confusing it can be, even at the best of times. And this deceptive practice they have of returning listings in searches that are literally miles away from the location that the guest has entered in the search field, causes untold problems for both hosts and guests.
At some point, common sense, human decency and compassion, have to take precedence over sheer greed.
You said You wanted to be at White Bear Lake but ended up in Mathomedi. Well, Mathomedi is at White Bear Lake. There are only 2 airbnb listings in Mathomedi and they are pretty much at the beach of White Bear Lake.
Why do You state: the „booking also was misleading and it wasn't even close to White Bear Lake“?
Apart from that, it's a bit hard for me to understand why the host and airbnb are insisting on the cancellation fees given the fact that Your father passed away and You called to cancel 2 Minutes after having booked. May I suggest that You call airbnb again as soon as things have calmed down and You can provide paperwork to support Your statements.