Author Topic: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?  (Read 4647 times)

Captain FIRE

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Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« on: August 18, 2019, 06:22:47 PM »
A few weeks ago I tried to book an airbnb room for this weekend.  The website said that there was a problem and the reservation didn't go through, then it was no longer available on the website.  I texted my husband to tell him about this issue and ended up booking another room on VRBO a short time later instead.

We just got back and my husband asked me to look at the credit card charges that had arrived.  Unfortunately, it looks like we were actually charged for the first room, and now it's after the time of the stay in question (so that room can't be booked by anyone else).  Tried to call airbnb, but its after hours.

I plan to call AirBnB tomorrow, and I'm expecting they'll tell us to dispute it with the owner - who has no reason to believe there was any issue with the booking or want to give any money back - before they'll talk to me, and then given the poor online customer service, anticipate they'll reject it.  At that point, we can try to dispute with the credit card company, where my husband is a long-term customer.

So the crap part is we didn't realize this until after the dates of stay and our only proof of the issue is text messages and the other hotel booking.  But, on the very meager positive side, at least we do have that time-stamped text message.  We've got another upcoming stay with airbnb, but these were our first stays.

Any tips for getting refunded this money?

Zamboni

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 06:36:30 PM »
Make a good faith effort with AirBnB. It sounds like a glitch with their website, and they should refund you. My other half had good luck getting something straightened out with them once, although it was a completely different scenario.

If they don't help, then CALL the credit card, tell them you made a good faith effort with AirBnB, and insist that they reverse the charges under their Purchase Protection plan. My experience with third party payment entities like credit cards has been mixed . . . Amex and Bank of America have both treated me well with minimal hassle, and Chase and Paypal have been shit. I rarely dispute a charge (like maybe one every couple of years?) I don't use Paypal at all anymore after one time of them not siding with me. . . . and I used to use them all the time. Their loss. YMMV.

Stay calm throughout the process, but it will waste some of your time. Accept that the time will be wasted. Good luck!

PoutineLover

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 06:48:14 PM »
Did you get any of the pre trip emails from Airbnb, or did it show up as a booked trip on your account? If not, it's definitely their responsibility to repay you, as you would have had no idea that the room was booked. I think if you contact them they should be able to help, but I've had mixed results with Airbnb so you might have to resort to disputing it on your credit card.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 07:04:05 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement.  I just hate that there's no way to really prove they screwed up here and their website was the problem.  And, it's on me that I didn't notice the emails they sent me to on it to call before the trip - though even if I had, I still would have had to fight for the money back.  (Didn't see them - don't know if they went to spam or I just assumed they were for the upcoming trip/the other booking so didn't register for me.)

We did call the credit card to talk to them earlier tonight (as they actually had people in), and they told us to talk to the merchant first, which is what I figured they would say.  My husband's been a customer of the cc (Citibank) for 20+ years, and in that time successfully disputed two charges that were clearly fraudulent/errors.

We can afford the charge, but it makes me sick to think about it.  This is the kind of thing that'll keep me up all night because I can't stop obsessing over it.  Did it the last time when I left a $15 item behind on vacation (since recovered).

NorCal

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2019, 07:58:47 PM »
Make a good faith effort with AirBnB. It sounds like a glitch with their website, and they should refund you. My other half had good luck getting something straightened out with them once, although it was a completely different scenario.

If they don't help, then CALL the credit card, tell them you made a good faith effort with AirBnB, and insist that they reverse the charges under their Purchase Protection plan. My experience with third party payment entities like credit cards has been mixed . . . Amex and Bank of America have both treated me well with minimal hassle, and Chase and Paypal have been shit. I rarely dispute a charge (like maybe one every couple of years?) I don't use Paypal at all anymore after one time of them not siding with me. . . . and I used to use them all the time. Their loss. YMMV.

Stay calm throughout the process, but it will waste some of your time. Accept that the time will be wasted. Good luck!

+1 

Make a good faith effort to deal with AirBnB customer service.  You have no obligation to deal with the AirBnB Host.  If it were me, I would give no more than 1 hour of effort to resolving this with AirBnB.

If you can't resolve it in that amount of time, dispute the transaction with your credit card.  As a cardholder, you actually have very good contractual protections here, and there is a dispute resolution process that exists between your bank, the card networks, and the merchant.  While AirBnB may not give you the time of day, they have to pay more attention when Visa calls.  Otherwise no one gets paid.

Zamboni

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2019, 08:09:16 PM »
I have found that it can be helpful to get a vendor to comply if I inform them calmly and fairly early in the process (like as soon as they say they aren't going to do what they should be doing due to policy or other BS) that I am going to dispute the charges with my credit card company and that "I am confident that the card company will side with me." Not 100% success rate on this with vendors, but pretty near it.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 01:07:53 PM »
Update!  I called airbnb and they promptly sent me to their resolutions team.  That guy reached out to the host (presumably to confirm we didn't actually stay, but also to ask if they would waive the fees).  I don't see that the host had much incentive to waive them, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he did and we did not need to fight it with AirBnB or through the credit card.  The host did not know we would not have dinged his rating for something that wasn't his fault but rather AirBnB's, but I'm guessing he waived for fear of that.  (Note: If he hadn't waived it, then AirBnB would have looked at it, taken our evidence at that time, and made a decision.)  I never even used most of the script I had drafted for responses and arguments to potential objections by AirBnB.

On the learning new skills side, I now know how to take a screenshot of things on my phone.  Yeah, I'm a luddite these days.

mm1970

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 03:01:04 PM »
Update!  I called airbnb and they promptly sent me to their resolutions team.  That guy reached out to the host (presumably to confirm we didn't actually stay, but also to ask if they would waive the fees).  I don't see that the host had much incentive to waive them, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he did and we did not need to fight it with AirBnB or through the credit card.  The host did not know we would not have dinged his rating for something that wasn't his fault but rather AirBnB's, but I'm guessing he waived for fear of that.  (Note: If he hadn't waived it, then AirBnB would have looked at it, taken our evidence at that time, and made a decision.)  I never even used most of the script I had drafted for responses and arguments to potential objections by AirBnB.

On the learning new skills side, I now know how to take a screenshot of things on my phone.  Yeah, I'm a luddite these days.
I have had nothing but great experiences with AirBNB hosts.  I think we've used them 3-4 times.  This includes:

literally canceling the day of on a host because of the stomach flu.  AirBNB refunded us half of the cost, and the host allowed us to reschedule and apply the other half to a different stay, all done "off the books" because AirBNB doesn't have a way to do that.  We left him a check at the house for the amount we owed  him.

Zamboni

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Re: Anyone successfully dispute an AirBnB charge?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 01:50:37 AM »
Great job taking care of it. Isn't it nice to be reminded that there are still fair and honest people? Lots of honest people, actually, who you don't hear about in the headlines these days.