Trouble with Airbnb response to false guest claim

Hello! We are Airbnb hosts of three places who until this have had a terrific experience. We are looking for help/advice in finding a solution/someone at Airbnb who will speak with us about this issue: We were surprised two weeks ago when a guest who booked for the summer wanted out of the agreement with a few weeks left to go. We have a strict cancellation policy & said we couldn’t offer a full refund. The next day I had a note from Airbnb saying they were refunding a significant portion of her rent because we had an unresolved bug issue and a gas leak. Without going into overlong detail here, these claims were untrue and the documentation we submitted from the gas company, exterminator & cleaning lady she hired back us up. When we asked Airibnb to review this and speak with us, we got a note saying this matter was closed and they would take no more correspondence on this topic. Not only did we loose the initial amount they told us about, a week’s worth of bookings while they froze our account even after we submitted documents, but money from current guests is not being transferred to us. We were alarmed yesterday to discovered our revenues are being applied to the balance for most of this woman’s summer stay. We have tried writing in the feedback section and have heard nothing. We appreciate Airbnb must make unpopular decisions, but we want someone to listen to our side of the story and give us some feedback on what seems to be an extremely flawed process. We still have not been presented with the bug evidence that she used to convince Airbnb that there was a problem. We don’t even know what kind of bugs she alleged we had! Any help or perspective on getting a better resolution would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. This is my first post. :slight_smile:

Sounds like a horrible experience.

Personally I would get in contact with my local media about this story.

Amazing how quickly Airbnb reviews matters when faced with bad press.


Thanks! I have been a reporter for the local paper for the last 14 years. :slight_smile: It’s been a year since I left to start teaching full time. I’d love it if Airbnb had an ombudsman I could reach out to. The press is an option. I am hoping there’s another internal route that I haven’t discovered yet. Curious if there are any hosts out there who have found an advocate to help sort things out when they go awry …

Typical Airbnb tactics im afraid. I’d follow @Helsi’s advice as Airbnb have now washed their hands of it. In my experience with the resolution centre, Airbnb classically shut conversations down and no attempt to re-open discussion was successful.

I can think of two people (@konacoconutz and @azreala ) who have managed to defy this.


When they say they consider a case closed, you’re really between a rock and a hard place. See their TOS and search for the Arbitration section. That may be your best recourse at this time.


Is it fair to ask you to edit your OP into multiple paragraphs to make it readable? I would not have mentioned this but tempted to as you say you


Then definitely use your contacts, but I was thinking more of regional broadcast, large regional dallies rather than local papers as having more impact.

From my own experience as a reporter, I hesitate to take my single issue to the press. Bigger issues are more relevant. I don’t think I would have success on that front. We’ve had a great experience with Airbnb until now. I’d love to find a way to work this out with Airbnb tools and navigate this internally. Money was refunded before we were contacted for our perspective on the situation! The process here is the most troubling aspect.

We have not tried this yet and will look into it this eve. Thank you!

I am not sure how to edit the first post! If I can figure it out, I will. Thank you for the suggestion.

Ok, I feel like a broken record but Airbnb is NOT a good venue for long term rentals. They will not back you up if the guest fails to pay after 30 days and if they make a claim Air usually (mostly) sides with the guest. If you were renting for a whole summer you’d have been better protected by a standard month to month lease and having a security deposit. It seems too many guests these days know how to game the system. Hope they are not reading about how on the forum. Wink!
That said, limit your stays and you will limit your liability.


I’ve seen many people try to get AirBnb’s attention on their Facebook page - another avenue to try at least.

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Thank you for your perspective. For the future that is very good advice. We are now so disappointed with Airbnb, we want to explore VRBO and Homeaway. Have people had better experiences and host support there? We, of course, would love to find a way to work this out with Airbnb.

Thank you!! We will look into that this evening as well. :slight_smile:

Yes, it was through Twitter. They get right back to you and have a supervisor review, even if you get the classic “disengage from further discussion” email.

That said… yes. They take the refund from future payouts.

Lesson learned, never ever take bookings over 30 days!

Others here who use them (@cabinhost ) can advise you better, but I believe they have just transitioned to a system similar to ABB where they take the payments and decide on conflict resolution. I think only the hosts grandfathered on their old contracts can communicate directly with the guest.

Bottom line, ABB is the big daddy here for STR. Simply learn from this and never ever take a booking longer than 21 days on their platform. It’s way too fraught.

Thank you for your suggestions and perspective. I appreciate it very much!

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I used to use VRBO and HomeAway (HA) exclusively and only added Airbnb in the last couple of years. I wouldn’t say they are better than Airbnb, just different. Pros and cons on either side.

Except for outright owner fraud, I don’t think VRBOHA gets in the middle of disputes like this. However, they are notoriously unhelpful in the event of a credit card charge-back.

Airbnb is known for taking very uncompromising positions against owners.

For a problem like you are having I recommend Twitter. @AirbnbHelp They are very responsive. (It’s the only thing I use twitter for!)


Thank you! We have a lot more options and information because of this forum. I so appreciate the thoughtful replies. Twitter sounds like a good option. Can you, or anyone, share how you approach this sort of thing in a Tweet? What phrasing do you use?

Absolutely up to you. Maybe the media works differently in the U.S. but here in the UK - these individual human interest stories linked to wider issues to do with poor customer service of a global brand do make the news. Particularly in a David v Goliath situation.

That’s my opinion anyway as a former journalist who worked on a regional daily.