The share economy has taken off in Australia, and Airbnb, like Uber, is growing at an exponential rate thanks to being more affordable than more traditional options.
According to independent monitoring website Inside Airbnb, in 2017 Airbnb listings in Australia grew from 43,610 in 2016 to 89,863, and Airbnb guests contributed up to $1.6 billion to Australia’s GDP. In fact, in the past 12 months there has been an 87 per cent increase in total listing across Australia, so clearly, we’re favouring share economy accommodation options over hotels. But, what do you do when an Airbnb booking goes wrong?
If your reservation is cancelled by the host
Depending on when the cancellation occurs, you have two options: request a refund or transfer the value to a new booking. Airbnb should email you with these options upon the cancellation being made, and occasionally Airbnb will provide those whose reservations have been cancelled with a small monetary credit towards a new booking depending on circumstances.
If your Airbnb doesn’t actually have what was offered in the listing
If you discover there is no WIFI connection or laundry facility when the listing clearly advertised there was, the first thing you should do is contact your host and double check you haven’t overlooked the missing facility, or allow them to rectify the situation. Should you still be left in the lurch, put together a folder of supporting documents such as photos, the original listing and emails or text messages from your host and contact Airbnb within 24 hours of check-in to see if you are eligible for a refund, or if Airbnb an arrange alternate accommodation for you. This solution also applies when you can’t get into the property or if it hasn’t been appropriately maintained. Use the Airbnb messaging function so the company has access to your conversation as evidence. If you’re unsure, check the guest refund policy.
If you’re the victim of an Airbnb scam
Although rare, Airbnb scammers do exist. A tell-tale sign is being asked to pay the host off the Airbnb platform. Should you suspect a listing of being a scam, contact Airbnb. As long as you follow the guidelines for payment supplied by Airbnb, you should be covered for a refund should something go wrong.
You lost your key, or locked yourself out of the property
Call or text your host as soon as possible, as most experienced hosts will have a backup key. However, keep in mind that should you lose keys or other access passes, you may be charged for a replacement from the security bond – if you paid one.
If your host writes a bad review about you
You have 14 days to write a response to the review that will be publicly posted under the host’s review.
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