A formal complaint process for Airbnb's staggeringly awful treatment of GUESTS, NOT HOSTS.

Level 1
England, United Kingdom

A formal complaint process for Airbnb's staggeringly awful treatment of GUESTS, NOT HOSTS.

I want to complain about Airbnb's conduct, but I can only assume given the howling incompetence demonstrated by Airbnb, that you don't have one.

I say this, as I have asked multiple times and have been rewarded with pat responses that bear no resemblance to the question, and for avoidance of any doubt, here it is again for you all to ignore:

On a need to know basis, please tell me how can I complain about Airbnb's conduct?

I see that the list of options below fails to cover my topic and as to be expected,  they only support hosts - NOT GUESTS.

5 Replies 5
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Korrina2 As most posts on here are from hosts its really good to see input from a guest. One thing that is very apparent is guests believe hosts get better support and hosts believe guests get better support. My personal belief is that, whilst we only hear about bad support, if you account for the numbers of guests/hosts posting the honours (or should it be dishonours) are pretty even.


Now to your point - Airbnb very cleverly does not have a formal complaints process. Why would they as these type of processes tend to generate complaints which are best avoided if you can just ignore them instead. 


And finally - Do tell us what they did to you - We probably won't be able to help but you never know!

Thanks Mike and Jane for your response - you make very good points.  

Mine is a complex story but in short, the Accom was unsuitable but I only realised it when the location was revealed after I paid up.  I immediately contacted the host to cancel, but I couldn't book alternative Accom until I knew I would get a full refund.  The host was aware that only she could refund me, but she told me that it was up to Airbnb.  It took them 3 days to confirm this, during which time I dealt with an army of "associates" whose intellect was less advanced than plant matter.

I'm cutting to the end of the long story, but this bit is staggering:  I ended up having to stay at the Accom, because of the uncertainty of a refund.  I wanted to leave before the 2nd payment instalment was due, so amended the booking and duly gave the host 6 day's notice.  She had previously said people were lined up to book. Airbnb then realised they would not make any more money out of me, so they subsequently cooked up a plan and cancelled my booking and make a new one. It would cover the nights already spent + the 6 days left. I would pay additional fees of £466.60 – on top of what I had already paid to that point - £852.48.  To demonstrate the impact of this inflated new price, the original booking cost £1,595.06 for 51 nights; the new booking would cost £1,319.08 for just 20 nights. It went from £31.27 to £65.95 per night.  

I wanted to complain formally to Airbnb in the first instance, but as they don't have a process, I am in the midst of taking my complaint to a higher authority, plus the press.

Best wishes.




@Korrina2 Sadly the location not being suitable is not a valid reason for cancelling a reservation as long as the general location shown at the time of booking was accurate. Couple this with your having agreed to a specific cancellation policy at the time you booked (there are many a host can choose from but they are all clearly explained) means you have entered into a contract that is legally binding.

Now from all the dealings we have with Airbnb I am sure they will not cook up a plan to make money from you. They can occasionally make matters worse with misinformation but never to my knowledge in bad faith.

Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Hello @Korrina2 


Okay I can see what has happened .


Firstly particularly with a long stay it's really important that you are comfortable with the location you are staying at before you book. The location is clearly shown on the map for the listing so there should be no surprises . 

in what way did the location make the accommodation unsuitable ? 

you did have the option to cancel penalty free within the first 48 hours (if booking two weeks or more in advance)  so I am wondering why you didn't choose to do so if on seeing the hosts exact location you felt it had been misdescribed 


Secondly, when you made your initial long term booking you would have got what sounds like a heavily discounted rate which you pay on a monthly basis .  Under the long term policy you need to give 30days notice if you wanted to cancel. 

what you would end up paying would depend when you chose to cancel but any extra nights over the 30 days which be charged at the hosts standard or discounted weekly rate . 

there is no 'higher authority' you can take your complaint to and unfortunately for you there is no reason for Airbnb to look into this as the host hasn't done anything wrong .... you made a long term booking under Airbnb's long term booking policy and then decided you didn't want to stay. The host was under no obligation to refund you under these circumstances UNLESS their description of the location on the listing was misleading. 

Airbnb cannot overide the hosts decision. 

The host shouldn't have told you that Airbnb could make a decision on refunding you.


it's certainly not helpful to use insulting terminology about Airbnb's CS who are not always trained well and do their best in difficult circumstances. 

@Korrina2  It wasn't an "inflated new price." The old price was a discounted price for a long-term stay. When YOU amended the reservation, the discount went away. 

All of this is covered when you book. Cancellation policies are right there, and you agree to them when you book. The system is automated, in that if you amend and stay less than the long-term booking, the rate will change from discounted to regular. Nobody "cooked up a plan."

The best thing to have done in this situation is to have contacted the host before booking, if you had questions about location. While most hosts won't give out an exact address (with good reason), they can define the property location better than the dot on a map. 

I understand that you're unhappy about this situation, but you have to take responsibility for your part, and stop blaming the host and AirBnB.