AirBNB horror story: How we got a refund from AirBNB due to a noisy neighbor…
|Letchworth State Park, NY|
My wife and I (and our Pomeranian Toby) have been slow traveling since our early retirement last August. We rely on AirBnB or Vrbo when we travel, and this past April was no exception.
We chose a monthly rental via AirBNB in the month of April, in a town called Claysburg, Pennsylvania. The rental was a studio unit that has a bed, a futon, full kitchen and a private bath.
On the day of our arrival (April 1st), we were greeted by snow falling at the condo. It was a beautiful sight to behold!
We checked in with no problems and slowly settled in. The next three days were uneventful. We did our usual unpacking, then we went shopping for food from a nearby supermarket the following day. We enjoyed the sights nearby and were having a good time at a new location.
By Monday of the following week, our luck had changed for the worse. The neighbor upstairs did what sounded like to us, either deep cleaning and renovating!
We heard loud music blasting, while heavy machinery (deep clean carpet cleaner?) made constant grinding noise. This started out around 9 p.m. and kept going until around 4:30 a.m.
In between the grinding noise and the loud music, we heard loud banging noises. It sounded like to us like they were putting down floors upstairs.
We had stayed in probably hundreds of hotels/motels/bed & breakfasts in our lifetime. We had also stayed in other monthly AirBNB rentals prior to our trip to Claysburg.
We heard noises in some of these places, but NOTHING compared to the noise we heard upstairs in Claysburg.
We let the overnight shenanigans go. We figured they were doing some cleaning/renovating after hours after work, as this was the only time they can do this. We gave them the benefit of the doubt…
The next night the noise started up again…We again let it go. We decided to get up and do some productive work instead. I worked on my blog/YouTube channel/exercised, while my wife worked on her painting.
For whatever reason, the noise went away next several days. We were happy again. We went about our usual modus operandi and did our sightseeing with Toby.
The noise started up again on the weekend. This time the loud music was not the problem, but the constant loud banging noise and something getting dropped on the floor kept us up all night.
We notified our Airbnb host that day. He promised he would notify the security office. The noise died down for few days again. We figured the security office did something about the noise.
The noise returned with a vengeance after few days, yet again. On the Friday of our second week, a security person from condo association came up to ask us about this situation. I told her what had been happening.
I found out from the security person that she had not done anything yet. She politely asked if she wanted us to go speak with the neighbor upstairs, but we decided against it.
We honestly didn’t feel safe making a potential enemy with someone we didn’t know. Who’s to say nothing will happen if the neighbor somehow found out we had called in to the security office? A slashed tire, or worse could happen.
The area we were in wasn’t the safest we’ve stayed at. We saw police arresting someone right next to our condo building one morning, and we saw police cruisers in our condo complex on two other occasions.
I don’t know about you, but frankly my wife and I didn’t feel safe in that situation…
The noise started up again after we met up with the security person. We notified our host again. He promised to contact the office again.
The noise issue kept us up, on and off, for the next 10 days or so…
On the morning of April 22nd (after we couldn’t sleep for the entire night), we notified our host and AirBNB of our situation to wanting to leave that day.
We asked for a partial refund of the remaining 8 days or so remaining until the end of the month, and we proceeded to tell AirBNB customer support, the same thing.
AirBNB support asked us to submit any proof the incident occurred. Luckily, during those nights we couldn’t sleep, I had made a recording of the excessive noise emanating from upstairs. In fact, I had made about 5 of these recordings.
I emailed AirBNB customer support all these files and created an official request for (partial) cancellation.
Normally, AirBNB will only refund if the rental’s amenities, location, or safety is an issue. For example, if the rental listed an air conditioner but it didn’t have one, then you will most likely get a refund. If the rental you’re in has unacceptable safety related issues that are blatant, then you’ll most likely get a refund.
I had read on other reviews that refund is not the easiest thing to come by. At that point, we didn’t care so much about the refund. We just wanted to leave the place…
We hadn’t slept for about 10 days out of 22 days we had stayed there, and we were ready to crash…
We packed our stuff that same morning, then left for New York City, where my parents live. We slept like logs the following two nights. Wow, what a relief…
After going back and forth with AirBNB customer support, we were finally notified that the host has agreed to a partial refund. We hadn’t expected it, but it was nonetheless a bonus!
We thanked everyone involved, including our host and AirBNB customer support, for their help in resolving this situation.
We empathized with our host as it really wasn’t his fault that the upstairs neighbor was making so much noise throughout the night.
On the other hand, the noise did ruin our trip and our sleep. This was a good lesson to learn though. We will continue to use services like AirBNB and Vrbo. It was important for us to understand how to deal with a similar situation if we ever run across it again…
Here are our tips on how to handle a tough situation like this and to apply for a refund:
- Make a recording of the incident
- Contact the host as soon as an incident occurs and keep the host in the loop
- Refund amount may not be the full amount, depending on the situation
Services that AirBNB and Vrbo provide are top notch. AirBNB’s customer support was really helpful and prompt in following up with our inquiry.
We will continue to use their services in our future travels, as they provide the best customer service as well as the most cost effective way to travel long term…
Key takeaway: If you ever run into situation similar to ours, be sure to keep records of all incidents and be sure to keep your host in the loop.
Remember, most hosts are just regular homeowners who are trying their best to make some extra money. I can respect that.
Sometimes it’s not up to the host to find a resolution, despite their maximum effort. In that case, canceling your reservation may be the only other option.
Happy travels, and thank you all for reading!
Wandering Money Pig