I'm actually a guest on airbnb and because of a snap lockdown in Melbourne, I was unable to stay at my airbnb reservation. So I asked the host through Airbnb messaging if I could cancel and get a full refund (as changing dates wasn't really an option for me) which they agreed to, but after cancelling and requestion money they have stopped communicating with me.
I have asked airbnb for support and provided proof of our agreement but they claim they cannot help me as it's up to the host's discretion.
Honestly this is a con act on the host's part and It is disappointing that airbnb support condone this behavior with people that use their platform
Under the current applicable cancellation policy you were not entitled to a refund, because an inability to travel because of Covid related travel restrictions isn't an 'extenuating circumstance'.
It's clear that regardless of the prospect of a refund, you were not able to travel and therefore the host's offer to refund you is not what induced you to change your travel plans.
What has happened is that you incurred a loss, the host initially offered to absorb the loss on your behalf but then changed their mind. The question is, 'why'?
This type of behaviour by a host is extremely unusual, so I'm wondering if perhaps you said something that might have made the host change their mind.
Is it possible that after the host kindly offered to refund their share of the accommodation fee you berated the host for the loss of the Airbnb service fee, or perhaps you simply didn't thank them for their kind offer? This happens, more often than I care to remember. There have been several occasions when I've taken the hit for the guest only to regret it because of their subsequent behaviour. If I could have taken the money back or stopped the transaction I would have. Have you been 'that guest'?
@Jessie215 I don't like hearing about hosts who agree to refund and then renege on it. I know it happens sometimes, and if course it's wrong to make promises one doesn't keep.
But when you book a place, you are agreeing to the cancellation policy in place for the listing, and if the host won't refund, there's nothing to be done about it.
If there is a govt. order saying that the host can't legally host due to a lockdown in their area, or a lockdown in yours, so that you aren't allowed to leave, you would have to submit that documentation to Airbnb, not try to get a refund based on the host's saying they would refund.
@Louise0 Sorry, that's incorrect. Disruptions to personal travel ,i.e. cancelled flights, are not covered, govt. restrictions are.
Covered under EC:
"Government travel restrictions. Travel restrictions imposed by a governmental agency that prevent or prohibit travelling to, staying at, or returning from the Listing location. This does not include non-binding travel advisories and similar government guidance."
The policy you're quoting from is the generic EC policy that specifically excludes Covid related travel restrictions. Here is the relevant policy for Covid restrictions...
Reservations made after 14 March 2020
Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after 14 March 2020 will not be covered under our extenuating circumstances policy, except where the guest or host is currently sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 related circumstances not covered include: transportation disruptions and cancellations; travel advisories and restrictions; health advisories and quarantines; changes to applicable law; and other government mandates—like evacuation orders, border closures, prohibitions on short-term rentals, and shelter-in-place requirements. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.
I copied and pasted that directly from the Jan. 2021 updated EC policy. So it seems to cover situations where it is illegal (Govt. mandated lockdown) for anyone to travel into the listing's area or the guest to leave their area. It does seem to be at odds with what you just posted, but what else is new in Airbnb land. They seem to leave a lot of things open to interpretation.
I see the same thing @Louise0, in the link I posted previously:
@Sarah977 Can you post the link to where your info comes from then?
"It does seem to be at odds with what you just posted, but what else is new in Airbnb land".
Therein lies everyone's problem.
Scroll down under what is covered to "Govt. travel restrictions".
Airbnb needs to delete the Help articles which no longer apply, it's just ridiculous to leave stuff up that confuses the issue. But what I quoted is the Jan 2021 update.
@Colleen253 , Sarah is posting a para from the generic EC policy which applies now. However, it's taken out of context.
When read in the context of the preceding text, i.e. "This Policy uses the term 'Event' to refer to the following situations that occur after booking, are unforeseen at the time of booking, and prevent or legally prohibit completion of the reservation." it's clear why Covid related travel restrictions aren't covered.
Again, I believe Airbnb needs to amp up their messaging on this point. When experienced hosts like @Sarah977 read the EC policy, have their interpretation questioned, read it again and STILL believe Covid restrictions are covered by EC, then there is clearly a problem with the messaging getting through!
And that policy also states it only covers events that are unforeseen at the time of booking. The likelihood of a Covid-19 travel restrictions is not just foreseen, it's almost expected these days, which is why travel insurance won't cover it either.
@Louise0 Agreed. The EC policy that relates specifically to Covid states,
Our extenuating circumstances policy is intended to protect guests and hosts from unforeseen circumstances that arise after booking. After the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, the extenuating circumstances policy no longer applies because COVID-19 and its consequences are no longer unforeseen or unexpected. Please remember to carefully review the host's cancellation policy when booking and consider choosing an option that provides flexibility.
There is a disclaimer at the top of the general EC policy page,
"This article does not address circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Review our COVID-19 extenuating circumstances article to learn about coverage of COVID-19 related circumstances, and in particular the coverage limitations for reservations made after March 14, 2020."
@Louise0 I have no argument that everyone should realize that any restrictions could be possible at any time during a pandemic, I am just quoting what the policy states.
And if a country or area has previously not been lockdowned, and suddenly is, it can be open to interpretation by Airbnb as to whether it was unforeseen, as the policy is written.
What they need to do is state "Nothing whatsover relating to COVID is covered".
But that isn't even the case. EC says it covers a guest actually having COVID.
I know it was disappointing to have to cancel your stay, and now deal with not getting a refund. You should follow @Sarah977's guidance and submit documentation regarding the government lockdown to request a refund. Since travel plans can be disrupted at almost any moment due to goverment imposed pandemic related restrictions, you should to use a credit card that provided travel insurance (if you have one with that coverage) or purchase a separate policy whenever making travel plans, even if it were in your same state, district or city.