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A very sad story how trusting Airbnb can fuck up your life


They were ignoring me for days, I kept at it polite but firm read through you will see the final result.



I appreciate you are trying to help @RiverRockRetreat , but rather confused as to why you are linking what happened to you and Joa’s situation? As they are completely different.

In your case - a customer service rep messed up and made the wrong decision - so all Airbnb did after you queried it with them was to ensure their policy was followed through correctly and you were reimbursed as you should be been.

In Joa’s situation, the guest cancelled. Airbnb accepted it was extenuating circumstances (although many of us would argue it wasn’t). And therefore the guest is refunded in full.


@Helsi In my case the CS person told me I would not be paid because of EC, I kept at it and I was compensated in the end. I would have had no results had I accepted the CS persons decision. I think Joa has a valid argument that the train was not the only option and may get a different result if he/she keeps at it. Although I have no sympathy for poor planning, knowing before the trip that the guest was cancelling and going on vacation depending on money that any reasonable person would see was at best a 50% shot at coming through.



For the first few years, I relied solely on VRBO despite yearly fee was USD$1500.

This is because on VRBO, only I had the authority to make refunds. Also I received half of rental income immediately and then the rest 30 days before arrival day.

I’m now 100% Airbnb. I haven’t been hit by Airbnb’s unreasonable EC policy yet. But I’m always prepared to get screwed. As long as hit is less than VRBO fee I won’t be too stressed.

It’s all cost of business. We hosts are dime a dozen for Airbnb.


when you get hit, it hurts.
It is the dumbest thing they do to hosts and owners, but they dont give a hoot
The customer is the traveler and not the owner; we are now a dime a dozen and replaceable.


I have had guests claim extenuating circumstances and in all but one have received my payments. (Cancellation due to a blizzard which I didn’t contest because it was reasonable.) I stay polite, asked for documentation, respectfully disagree with customer service and then escalate. I never get off the phone until I get an email documenting what I talked about on phone. The level 1 customer service reps often are too quick to accommodate and believe a guest.


My apologies. I didn’t think your guest was trying to cancel through extenuating circumstances, I thought it was just a straight forward cancellation.


I thought of limiting my max stay to 14 days in case I get hit by the EC policy. The most I’ll lose is 14 days, which is substantial, but not as substantial as a 1 month cancellation.

Seriously Air’s EC policy is deeply questionable, some hosts have mortgages to meet , and even hotels don’t always give 100% refunds after the cancellation period. There should be clear defined EC scenarios, as to what constitutes EC, the acceptable forms of documentation, and finally, some administrative compensation (e.g. 20%) even if it is a real EC case. These scenarios should be explicitly made known to hosts. From my point of view, nearly all ECs should be covered by their own travel insurance, and only death of a family member should be an EC, on compassionate grounds, or there are travel warnings such as local political unrest and riots etc.


I agree with you 100%. It is awful to make us be an insurance company.


I agree that making the host responsible for a guest’s circumstances is horrible. If Airbnb wants to refund the guest they should, and they should take the cost out of their profits.

Perhaps this poster should reduce their exposure to Air’s policies by cross-listing with Homeaway and MisterBNB


You can still use AirBNB to fund your vacations but you just can’t do this simultaneously! Do one inexpensive trip (where you stay with friends, drive, etc) and bank that money from AirBnb for your next vaca. This is kind of basic? Although I do agree that extenuating circumstances are often b.s., you always have to factor it in as a variable and possibility.


In truth I have used the extenuating circumstances clause as a host. Last spring an old friend died and I picked up a bug in the hospital where she was. Then the toilet blocked…and I was very grateful that extenuating circumstances was there.

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