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“Too Bad”: Man Shares His Airbnb Nightmare After Being Left Stranded In The Rain At 3 AM
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“Too Bad”: Man Shares His Airbnb Nightmare After Being Left Stranded In The Rain At 3 AM

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Update 13/06/2024 10:30 CET: An Airbnb spokesperson told Bored Panda via email:  “We were disappointed to hear about this guest’s experience, and we have provided them with a full refund and a voucher, as well as offered support with reimbursement for alternative accommodation.”

The spokesperson said that the host in question was now suspended and that Airbnb was currently investigating the case.

Highlights
  • A man was stranded in the rain at 3 AM after an Airbnb host changed the lockbox code without notice.
  • Airbnb customer service took 18 hours to offer any help at all.
  • Despite notifying the host about the delayed flight, no assistance was provided to access the rental.

“With over 1.5 billion all-time guest arrivals on Airbnb, issues are rare and our global Community Support team is available 24/7 to assist,” they added.

A man exposed how he and his travel companions were left stranded outside in the rain at 3 AM after the lockbox code for their Airbnb rental was changed without notice. Airbnb’s customer service was allegedly completely unhelpful, taking at least 18 hours to offer any help at all.

Taking to his X page (formerly known as Twitter) in the early hours of Sunday morning (June 10), Brandon Li, a co-founder of the medical researcher’s platform for patients, Power, posted a lengthy thread about his Airbnb horror story.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people looking to rent out their homes with those seeking short-term accommodations.

Airbnb rentals typically require prepayment to secure the booking, though the specific payment terms can vary depending on the host’s policies.

In Brandon’s case, the payment system came at a horrendous cost upon arriving at 2:30 AM in London, UK, after a flight that was delayed three hours.

Brandon Li exposed how he and his travel companions were left stranded outside in the rain at 3 AM in London

Image credits: Alexander London/Unsplash

Describing a late and rainy arrival in England, the San Francisco-based man messaged his rental host prior about missing his “check-in window,” prompting an extra fee charged despite the location offering a self-check-in option.

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After finally making it to the accommodation, the travelers noticed the lockbox didn’t work, leaving the party helpless outside in the pouring rain.

“I message the host to escalate,” Brandon wrote, to which the host allegedly replied: “Too bad. You missed your check-in window.”

According to the disappointed guest, the host had changed their lockbox code after the check-in window, regardless of their prior conversation highlighting their late arrival and the additional cost they had to pay for the delay. 

Image credits: brandonhli

“Ok, sus. Malicious or fraudulent?” Brandon noted before describing feeling desperate at 2:30 AM.

He recalled: “We get a last-minute room in a nearby hotel. 

“Meanwhile, I check with the hosts on when we can get in the next day. 

“No response, despite answering my other questions.”

Brandon subsequently got in touch with Airbnb Help, the company’s official support handle, but upon requesting a refund, covering his last-minute hotel costs, and investigating a potential fraudulent activity, he was met with a dead end.

The lock box code for their Airbnb rental was changed without notice despite informing the host that their flight had been delayed by three hours

Image credits: x.com

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“Their response is classic: ‘I can contact the host and ask if they’re willing to refund you,’” the entrepreneur wrote.

After asking about AirCover, Airbnb’s comprehensive protection program, Brandon continued to hit a brick wall before being transferred to one of the company’s managers at 3 AM.

“I ask if we can talk to a manager in the morning since it’s already quite late,” the tired guest recalled, to which an Airbnb worker responded: “Sorry, I need to hang up now because it has been escalated.”

Brandon went on to share a screenshot of Aircover’s policy, which read: “If you can’t get into your Airbnb on arrival and your Host doesn’t respond or can’t resolve the issue, we’ll help you find a similar place, depending on availability at comparable pricing. 

“If a similar place isn’t available or you’d prefer not to rebook, we’ll give you a refund.”

Image credits: brandonhli

At 9 AM, Brandon woke up to a message sent at 4:30 AM by Airbnb, informing him that the host had been reached, but as a result of receiving no response from Brandon, they had “closed this case.”

“Airbnb has given up on us,” the exasperate businessman exclaimed on X.

He continued: “The host has still not written us with a plan to get into the apartment this morning.

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“I guess they’re just going to take our money and leave us stranded?”

Airbnb’s customer service was allegedly completely unhelpful, taking at least 18 hours to offer any help at all

Image credits: Chanyanuch/stock.adobe.com (Not the actual photo)

At 10 AM on Sunday, the host claimed the travelers were “a no show,” and as a consequence, they refused their guest to access the rental altogether.

“I’ve asked for Aircover to refund us,” Brandon said, to which an Airbnb employee replied: “Your situation is still uncertain.”

The infuriated fintech enthusiast later added: “The host is refusing to let us get into the unit. 

“Also, they are refusing to give us a refund.

“Also, Aircover can’t do anything about this? 

“So… they’re just going to take all our money and not let us use the space for the next week?”

Image credits: x.com

In another update, Brandon finally informed fellow X users that after 18 hours of disputes, “they agree, the host technically has to let us stay.”

He wrote: “But we’ve already booked different accommodation, naturally 

“Odds we get this refund?

“I should add that this was not their original position. 

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“It took them 18hrs to decide that yes, I should probably be allowed to check into this stay that I have pre-paid for.”

Taking to his X page in the early hours of Sunday morning (June 10), Brandon posted a lengthy thread about his Airbnb horror story

Image credits: x.com

After using Airbnb for 10 years, Brandon said that it had taken this one experience for his trust in the company to “disappear” and that he would book stays with hotels in the future.

“Finally, someone at Airbnb who can help!” the business owner wrote, adding: “Airbnb is sending a full refund. 

“They’ve even offered to cover my next stay.

“Obv (obviously), this is a happy solution for me, but one thing that’s become obvious today is how many others have had similar challenges with no resolution.”

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Image credits: x.com

Brandon went on to argue that people shouldn’t need to go “viral” on social media just to get a resolution.

“I wonder how many others had to eat their costs?” the corporate leader asked before pondering about whether his Airbnb host was a scammer.

He concluded that the host either “went out of their way to lock us out at 10 pm” or “they never intended to let us stay in the first place.”

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“They had malicious intentions by ignoring your texts,” an X user commented

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Andréa Oldereide

Andréa Oldereide

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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I’m a journalist who works for Bored Panda’s News Team. The team, which has been launched on the website fairly recently, produces stories focused on pop culture. Whenever I get the opportunity and the time, I investigate and produce my own exclusive stories, where I get to explore a wider range of topics. Some examples include: “Doberman Tobias the viral medical service dog” and “The lawyer who brought rare uterine cancer that affects 9/11 victims to light”.

Read less »
Andréa Oldereide

Andréa Oldereide

Writer, BoredPanda staff

I’m a journalist who works for Bored Panda’s News Team. The team, which has been launched on the website fairly recently, produces stories focused on pop culture. Whenever I get the opportunity and the time, I investigate and produce my own exclusive stories, where I get to explore a wider range of topics. Some examples include: “Doberman Tobias the viral medical service dog” and “The lawyer who brought rare uterine cancer that affects 9/11 victims to light”.

Karina Babenok

Karina Babenok

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

As a visual editor in the News team, I look for the most interesting pictures and comments to make each post interesting and informative through images, so that you aren't reading only blocks of text. I joined Bored Panda not that long ago, but in this short amount of time I have covered a wide range of topics: from true crime to Taylor Swift memes (my search history is very questionable because of that). In my freetime, I enjoy spending time at the gym, gaming, binging Great British Bake Off and adding yet another tattoo artist that I would love to get a tattoo from to my pinterest board.

Read less »

Karina Babenok

Karina Babenok

Author, BoredPanda staff

As a visual editor in the News team, I look for the most interesting pictures and comments to make each post interesting and informative through images, so that you aren't reading only blocks of text. I joined Bored Panda not that long ago, but in this short amount of time I have covered a wide range of topics: from true crime to Taylor Swift memes (my search history is very questionable because of that). In my freetime, I enjoy spending time at the gym, gaming, binging Great British Bake Off and adding yet another tattoo artist that I would love to get a tattoo from to my pinterest board.

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hermom504 avatar
WonderWoman
Community Member
3 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What started as a nice idea and way to see areas from a residents pov has given way to corruption and extortion. AirBnB have lost control of their business.

jlkooiker avatar
lenka
Community Member
3 days ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's not just the bad hosts, its people taking entry level/ first buyer homes, or rental homes off the market for the holiday industry. Air BnB is one of the contributing, not the only, but certainly impactful, factors to the housing crisis all over the world. I think they need to be heavily regulated to stop both hosts like this and to force some of the Air BnB stock back into the residential market.

Load More Comments
hermom504 avatar
WonderWoman
Community Member
3 days ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What started as a nice idea and way to see areas from a residents pov has given way to corruption and extortion. AirBnB have lost control of their business.

jlkooiker avatar
lenka
Community Member
3 days ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's not just the bad hosts, its people taking entry level/ first buyer homes, or rental homes off the market for the holiday industry. Air BnB is one of the contributing, not the only, but certainly impactful, factors to the housing crisis all over the world. I think they need to be heavily regulated to stop both hosts like this and to force some of the Air BnB stock back into the residential market.

Load More Comments
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