WARNING - Do not waste your time with a security deposit with Airbnb! It is totally worthless as they do not pay out. Airbnbs policy is NOT to pay out! I am pretty sure they train their case managers to be as unhelpful and almost obstructive when it comes to making a claim.
My blood is boiling as we speak as yet again when i have had to make a claim for a guest issue i have had to fight a battle and lost for no reason . All they do is throw obstacles in your way and constantly change their policies and reasonings.
I am a property manager and list 34 properties with them with a turnover of $250K with Airbnb. I have over 360 reviews averaging 4.9. I am not a bad landlord or agent, i look after my homes and my guests but get treated like trash from Airbnb. Airbnb needs to realize that without owners and managers like me they would not have a produce to sell. They would have no business.
Their PC philosophy i believe has actually turned 180 degrees and instead of it being there to protect both parties, the host and the guest, it has become very much biased towards the guest. I expect because they don’t want bad reviews from guests saying Airbnb took my money! Well do you know what, in my experience those guests who have had money deducted from them have had money deducted for a reason.
In 3 years i have had to probably make a dozen claims. Every single claim maybe except for 1 or 2 claims is like strapping on my armor and heading in to battle. Almost every single claim takes over an hour of my time writing emails to case managers who are not interested in facts, pictures they are just interested in paying out as little as possible and if anything at all. I would not be surprised at all if they are targeted on paying out a percentage of the actual claim.
I have had numerous claims that have taken up 3+ hours of my time and effort. The previous claim prior to this one which has made me write this report was for a guest who used the home to hold a drunken birthday party. Even though we clearly state in the advert and house rules no parties or gatherings are allowed. The guest put a hole in one of the bedroom walls and we had hand prints with dirt and blood all over the walls and house. They also badly stained a number of towels. So i claimed for extra cleaning time, 2 towels and a repair to the wall. It was all done on headed paper with the correct amounts. Photos and invoices were attached. Airbnb did not want to pay, they then decided they wanted external quotes for the repair and cleaning. My company is a property management and maintenance company, this is what we do. I quoted $7 for each towel and $35 for the repair to the 3" hole in the wall. $35!!! Airbnb insisted that i get a quote for this, i explained that if i get a quote for this it would be around $75 - $100 for a company to come in and repair this. So i am saving them / guest money. This claim nearly took 2 hours of solid arguing and writing and it was not until i threatened to write to the board that this got resolved.
So todays battle against Airbnb is for a guest who trashed a home and it cost an extra $50 in cleaning and they damaged 2 bath towels, they were found in a cupboard covered in human excrement! They also badly stained 2 hand towels and 2 pillow cases. So this time the external cleaning company i use invoiced me for the replacements and the extra cleaning time. This was forwarded on the day of the guest leaving along with photos of the damaged items.
Two days later i receive an email from the case manager telling me i need to send receipts and a correct invoice? When i questioned what was wrong with the one i sent she said it was not valid. So i responded that these invoices are valid with the IRS and both my account and the cleaning companies accountant so why was is not valid for AIRBNB? No answer!
After 2 more sets of emails i was asked for receipt of the towels. I explained to her that i do not have receipts because i personally did not replace the items as the cleaning company did and that Airbnb will not allow me to claim direct because you want it from an external company, therefor how can i give you a receipt. So i tried to explain to her that the receipt is the invoice, it is a valid invoice stating the price i have paid for the replacement towels. They refused to accept the invoice but wouldn’t tell me why. They kept asking for different photos, even though they had them all. In the end they sent me an email telling me they were refunding me $12.99, because that is the price for a hand and a bath towel from Amazon Basics! That is very nice of them to assume i use the cheapest of towels possible.
At this point i receive a response from the guest apologizing and admitting the damage and saying he would pay, he never paid but it is in the message thread that he admits to it.
So when i questioned Airbnb that when they can see the guest has admitted to the claim and that the claim covers more than 2 towels, why have they only paid out $12.99. I got a response saying i have not supplied enough information!!! Are you kidding me!!
I believe that Airbnb purposely make it hard and frustrating to make a claim to stop from hosts doing so.
The problem here is that yes it will stop me from making a claim because they will no longer have my business. They have decided not to upset a guest who i have proven has wiped his bum on my towels and trashed my house, but to upset their client who gives them a product to sell and generates $250K with them per annum.
I have now listed my homes with as many similar sites as i can possibly find just so i have less booking with Airbnb and eventually all of my homes will be removed and at that point i would have expected to have 50+ homes listed with them generating close to $500K.
AIRBNB NEEDS TO RE THINK THEIR POLICY ON CLAIMS