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Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Dublin, Ireland
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686 posts
26 reviews
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Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Just a warning for anyone booking apartments on airbnb. The owners can cancel without penalty. I had a confirmed booking with my credit card charged and money gone from my bank. I had messaged the owner a few times and all was in order.

Then she heard she could charge even more so she has just cancelled my confirmed booking.

There was a 50% cancellation charge on my booking if I cancelled for any reason but the owners can cancel without any penalty or fee. Seems like a disgrace to me. I am totally livid.

116 replies to this topic
london
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126 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Where was it that you tried to book? I wonder the same would apply if you book through their website.

Dublin, Ireland
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686 posts
26 reviews
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2. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

I booked through the airbnb website. I had tried to book a few apartments already with it and the owners refused which is annoying as they charge your card when you book and then cancel the transaction if the owner refuses the booking. This is annoying but I could live with that.

They suggested I message the person first and ensure they will accept the booking.

I messaged her. she accepted my booking. I was paying 50% more than similar apartments but it was for the World Cup so not too bad. We swopped emails etc and even suggested airport pickups. I booked for 15 nights so it was almost $3,000 and my creidt card was charged.

She then obviously spoke to some others and they reckon they will make thousands out of renting out their apartments for the world cup. So she has cancelled my booking and will wait until January like the others where she will make millions. she will get some shock.

The real warning is that airbnb allow this. I have googled and seen this in a New York times article from a couple of years back too. If you book through reputable sites like hotels.com booking.com etc the owners cannot just cancel your booking whereas all the power is with the owners in airbnb. You could have flights etc booked and be left high and dry the day before you arrive with no penalty on the owner. You pay 100% on booking and If the client cancels at any stage they lose 50% of their money.

I was going to be travelling with young children. Needless to say they won't be going now. She could have cancelled the day before we arrived if she got a better offer without any penalty from airbnb and left us high and dry.

Minnesota
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57 posts
106 reviews
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3. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Good call; Thank you. Never thought about that before but I can see how this can happen. There is no way to guard against it (What, are you going to take them to court!? Not likely. You going to have Airbnb ban them? Who cares). Only way to resolve would be for AirBNB to change their terms and be liable for it...

I'll keep this in mind in the future if ever booking at peak times.

london
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984 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

that is disgraceful, I have a booking via Airbnb and am keeping all my fingers crossed that they dont change their mind and cancel the booking. Airbnb really should amend their T&C...

Aptos, California
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1 post
19 reviews
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5. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Airbnb has strict rules about canceling and charges the owners if the don't cancel in an appropriate time...also if you cancel more than a few times you can be banned from being an Airbnb host...

Dublin, Ireland
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686 posts
26 reviews
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6. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

there is no charge I've had a call with their customer service people.

They are for the benefit of the owners. just google new york times and airbnb too. there are strict charges if the renter cancels and I would have lost 50%. Same deal would be a lot fairer.

Alexandria
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45 posts
31 reviews
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7. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

do you think that prices will be really high like the hosts said now ,

or just before the world cup wiz a few months the prices will not be higher than they r expecting now ?

i contact some persons on airbnb to query about the prices for a private room and their prices are really extraordinary , coz if this is the price for a room in someone host , what will be the price in a hotel !!

i believe that may be we could get something reasonable after a few months

Wiltshire
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1,397 posts
22 reviews
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8. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

I still feel the only place that can substantiate this greed is Rio and the other Cities will struggle to sell. It is a good start. The Brazilians hate FIFA and the governement for being greedy and corrupt and the foreign fans I think are struggling to love Brazilians due to this sort of thing and basically suggesting where they might stick teh World Cup. Happy Days.

Dublin, Ireland
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686 posts
26 reviews
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9. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

Youssef, I'd really advise booking a place in Rio on booking.com with free cancellation. They are available in different parts of Rio. Try and pick a reasonably safe area. I've an awful hotel overpriced but not stupid on the metro. The reviews are truly awful on tripadvisor but I will bring a sleeping bag if needs be. The key is free cancellation. You have the power. You pay nothing now.

If you book with airbnb the owner will most likely still be advertising your apartment at a higher price. If he gets it then your booking can be cancelled at no cost to him. You pay in full now. However you lose 50% of your money if you cancel.

Prices didn't drop in South Africa until June 2010.

I'd ignore airbnb until very close to the tournament maybe check every few months. You could then book a nice apartment in Copacabana or Ipanema then with the likelihood of it being cancelled on you much smaller.

Make sure whatever you book has reviews. Bad reviews are better than new places with no reviews. Standards seem to be low anyway but many new places will be a con just to get your credit card details. I speak from bitter experience.

london
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126 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Airbnb warning - owners cancelling

I would personally contact the owners direct. Iv saved myself £15 p/n by doing so. Also look at their cancellation policy

Edited: 09 July 2013, 13:32
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