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Beware of Airbnb website!

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Hong Kong
posts: 67
reviews: 64
Beware of Airbnb website!

My friend told me about this airbnb website and as I was trying to find an apartment for a week in Dubrovnik , I decided to give it a try, HUGE MISTAKE! I lost €100 within 48 hrs for reservations I have never made.

First I found this rental called "rooms old town" from an owner named Piero, as I have used other websites like hotels.com, booking.com, I asked for availability of the last week in August ( I asked last week, end of July ), the next thing I know that my reservation was confirmed, I looked at it and found that it was a room with a share bathroom , I quickly replied to the owner and told him, I did not want a share bathroom but want a room with private bathroom as he listed in the site, and of course I cancelled the reservation . Little did I know that they already deducted €30 euro from my credit card.

Then the owner replied back saying that the private room was only available for the 1st, 5th,6th and 7th night and asked me to move to another room in between , I immediately replied that I did not want the room as I had no desire to move 3 times during 7 nights stay.

The next day there was an email telling me that the reservation was confirmed and my credit card was charged. Then again, I cancelled the reservation and found that my credit card was charged for another €70 ! Of course , I emailed the owner and the website and told them this was totally ridiculous as I have never made any reservation and merely asking questions. I have made it very clear to the owner that I did not want to move from room to room!

Someone from the website emailed me back stating that it was "company policy" and never explain to me why I was charged even if I did not make the reservation. Their attitude was " tough luck, you sucker!"

I felt totally being cheated and am furious of these kind of scam! How unethical these people can be!

The website never again send me any reply and the owner of this property said that "don't worry, they will refund you since you cancel almost a month before , they only deduct when cancellation is within 5 days." I do not know if the owner really did not realize of this total scam or he is actually working with this website to rib people off.

I have now lost €100 by asking availability of a room one month before my travel date.

Can anyone give me any suggestion of what I should do?

20 replies to this topic
Milan, Italy
posts: 4
1. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

That is strange. I have used airbnb before, here in Milan and when I complained about my stay, they were more than happy to work with me and give me a reduction in my stay, etc. I am sorry this happened to you and I hope it is an isolated incident. Airbnb is generally a great way to be accomodated.

posts: 2
2. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Call your credit card company and ask them to reverse the charges. Explain to them that you didn't authorize the charges. If you have email correspondence with the property owner, send them to the credit card company to support your case.

Good luck.

Edited: 7:32 pm, August 06, 2012
posts: 2
3. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Call your credit card company and ask them to reverse the charges. Explain to them that you didn't authorize the charges. If you have email correspondence with the property owner, send them to the credit card company to support your case.

Good luck.

Hong Kong
posts: 67
reviews: 64
4. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Thanks. I have already called the credit card company and they said it will take 6-8 weeks to investigate. The website people don't even reply to me anymore.

I just want everyone to know and take proper precaution before they consider this website. There are many other websites that could provide same services but not unscrupulous like this.

London, United...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
5. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Airbnb offer hosts three types of cancellation policies: flexible, moderate and strict. This determines how much refund is given if a guest cancels before the booking. The criteria is based on time.

Flexible - cancel one day before with full refund, minus booking fee

Moderate - cancel five days before with full refund, minus booking fee

Strict - 50% refund in cancel, minus booking fee.

You should not be charged for cancellation, you just lose the booking fee. So something has gone awry.

I am listed on Airbnb in London - one of the first to join the website which started in San Francisco. It is a wonderful way for visitors to London to enjoy the hospitality of a Londoner, and to receive help and advice for travel and places to visit. Far more embracing than a sterile hotel room. My home provides a garden, and all the benefits of home comforts.

The reviews are air tight - you can only write a review if you have paid and stayed. I have over 50 positive reviews with never a complaint from my guests. It's a new phenomenon that brings huge benefits to visitors who wish to experience the lifestyle, laughter and natural charm of the country they are visiting and a competitive price.

Hong Kong
posts: 67
reviews: 64
6. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Thanks. I have already called the credit card company and they said it will take 6-8 weeks to investigate. The website people don't even reply to me anymore.

I just want everyone to know and take proper precaution before they consider this website. There are many other websites that could provide same services but not unscrupulous like this.

Hong Kong
posts: 67
reviews: 64
7. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Apparently this is not the case. I was merely asking for availability of the room and the host immediately confirmed it even though he could not give me the same room for 1 week. He need me to move 3 times to different rooms in a week and yet he confirmed without my permission! When I cancelled the reservation, I was charged 15% for booking fee and that was a month before the travel date.

I do not consider this is an ethical and scrupulous site. Other sites like owners direct or house trip are so much better.

Jelsa, Croatia
Destination Expert
for Hvar
posts: 3,080
reviews: 5
8. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

There must be something else what you have not mentioned. How come that you have given your cc details if only asking for availability?

London, United...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
9. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

If you had gone through the process of entering your credit card details then you were intending to book a room.

Airbnb do not request any financial details in order to make an enquiry.

Hong Kong
posts: 67
reviews: 64
10. Re: Beware of Airbnb website!

Their website ask for credit card details when ask for availability . They said that you wont be charged until the host confirm the reservation, but I never ask the host to confirm. Furthermore, how can host confirm the room when the same room is not available throughout the period.

I have booked through booking.com and hotels.com and tablet.com many times and never encounter any trouble.

I travel every month so I don't think I have any problem using websites for booking hotels or apartment.

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