In the final part of our Airbnb User’s Guide, we’ll guide you through the process of filing for an Airbnb resolution. Understanding that process is the best way to ensure your Airbnb complaint will be successful.
We’ve used Airbnb in Italy, Spain, France, Morroco, London, the US, Portugal and possibly a couple of more countries that I’ve forgotten. Only three of our 23 reservations have been completely unlivable. One we easily resolved with the host; the other two required filing formal complaints with Airbnb.
Continue reading and we’ll help you find your way through the process.
When Can You File for an Airbnb Resolution?
The main reason you should file for an Airbnb resolution is so you can get all your money back on the listing, including Airbnb’s fees. You shouldn’t be out money when you couldn’t use the listing at no fault of your own.
Airbnb does not refund fees or penalties if you change your mind. So make sure you read all the descriptions, the owner’s refund policies and look at the photos when you’re booking. If anything is unclear, ask the owner before booking. Understand what you’re getting into before booking so that you don’t lose some or all of your money.
It’s time to involve Airbnb when a host has stopped responding and/or refuses to help solve a major, unliveable issue or is not the listing you reserved.
Ways to File a Complaint
You have two options for filing your complaint: calling or emailing.
We’ve used both options and were pleased with the results of both. The biggest drawback to calling was the wait time. We were on hold for about 30 minutes. So calling might not be an option depending on what country you’re in and phone service you’re using.
Airbnb asks that you give them 48 hours to reply, but all our responses have come in about 30 minutes whether by phone or email. Even when calling, you’ll still need to email Airbnb your proof: photos, documentation, etc.
Everything dealing with complaints and resolutions begins in the Help Center. Click the Reporting a Problem tab and follow the easy directions for starting your resolution process.
Steps for Filing an Airbnb Resolution Request
1. Contact the host with your concerns ASAP.
Even if you are leaving immediately, Airbnb requires you to connect your host before contacting Airbnb. The only exception is if the host is threatening you in some way or your life is in danger. In that case, you should connect Airbnb and the police (if necessary) immediately to act as mediators.
2. Be Polite
While the situation can be frustrating, staying polite is one of the fastest ways to get things resolved whether it’s with the host or Airbnb. Keep your calm and work towards the goal of solving the problem.
3. Keep track of all communication between you and the host.
Using the Airbnb message system for communications is the easiest way to keep track of your communications. We recommend you use the Airbnb messaging options, but if that’s not possible try using another option that make transcripts or recordings of the conversations or messages.
Take photos of the issue and document everything that supports your claim.
Understandably, Airbnb requires proof. Collect photos, conversations, emails, notes or any other forms of proof of your claim.
4. Allow the host time to respond and possibly fix the issue.
Unless the place is unlivable, life-threatening or going to cause harm to your health, give the host time to respond. Hosts are people with lives outside of Airbnb, just like us. They aren’t always glued to their phones, computers or whatever. So give them time to respond and address the issue. Generally, up to 48 hours is a good rule of thumb.
5. If the host hasn’t responded in a reasonable manner, it’s time to get Airbnb involved.
Go to the Airbnb resolution center and fill out the requested information. In the first step, through this formal setting, you’ll ask the host for help again. Hopefully, everything gets resolved here and you can move on and enjoy your stay. Of course, in the event of an emergency, skip this process and contact Airbnb directly by email or phone.
6. Assuming the formal request doesn’t work, it’s time to contact Airbnb.
Since you’ve already opened a resolution request, you can just click the button to involve Airbnb. If not, call or email Airbnb. It’s that simple. Someone will contact you and get the details. They will also ask you to send in your proof, along with a description of the problem and ways you’ve attempted to resolve the problem. Upon receiving your details, Airbnb will contact the host and work to find a resolution.
7. Airbnb will now step in to mediate the situation until a resolution is reached.
Continue to keep Airbnb updated on any new interaction between you and the host as they work to mediate between you and the host to find a resolution.
Airbnb resolution decisions are final. If they find you can’t support your claim, you lose whatever monies. If they find for you, you generally receive two choices. The first to receive full payment, including Airbnb’s fees, back on your credit card. The second, Airbnb will offer you a credit including some extra for your troubles if you rebook. We always rebook, so it’s worth it to us to take the second option but it is nice knowing we could get a full refund if we wanted it.
And there you have it. That is the Airbnb resolution process. Hopefully, you don’t have to use it, but knowing how to properly file one is half the battle. Check out the rest of our Airbnb User’s Guide series The Booking Checklist and What to Do When Your Reservation Isn’t Right for more information on using Airbnb.
Just to let you know, we don’t get paid by Airbnb in any way for our post. We just love using them. If you want to help us out, please click-through this Airbnb link to sign up and we do receive a credit for a future reservation.