When Airbnb customer service fails

Here's How to Make the Airbnb Corporate Office Listen

A legal option that can get Airbnb to listen — and get you compensated.

It is so easy to feel like you are in David’s shoes, fighting against Goliath when a company as big as Airbnb doesn’t follow through on their promises.

This is especially true if Airbnb was the one that made the mistake, and that mistake is costing you money. When you use a service like this, your customer agreement says that they can charge you upfront even if a mistake was made, and it’s your job to go back and prove that there was a mistake and get compensation.

So what can you do? Phone calls with employees at the customer service level usually end up just as frustrating for you because they don’t have the power to fix anything. Email complaints that you send to an automated inbox very rarely get answered and even if they do, they might tell you that the problem will be fixed, but it never does. A single request to speak with someone higher up with more Authority usually takes too long.

So what options do you have other than feeling like you were taken advantage of?

Use Arbitration to Settle Your Complaint with Airbnb

Doing business with a company that is as large as Airbnb can make you feel very powerless. Many companies like Airbnb will include in their contract something which is called a forced arbitration Clause. That means you’re not allowed to take Airbnb to court when a mistake is made or something goes wrong. And for a lot of people, we are forced to do business with companies like Airbnb even if we know they have an unresponsive staff for customer service issues because they are the only affordable accommodation service out there.

Thankfully you can use arbitration as a great way to get a satisfactory solution for your problem without having to sue the company. Arbitration is great because it means a third-party is appointed to your case, someone who’s impartial and familiar with the situation. They look at both sides presented by both parties and then they make a binding decision which means whatever they conclude is the final word.

Arbitration is Fair, Just, Reasonable, and Transparent

Arbitrations handled by the American Arbitration Association® is an option which complies with the Statement of Principles of the Consumer Due Process Protocol, which means:

  • The process needs to be fair for everyone involved, and that means everyone should have a fair appointment of an impartial, competent, and qualified arbitrator who conducts fair hearings.
  • A reasonable standard is applied, and this means you all get access to relevant information, a good time for the hearing, a good location, and affordable cost.
  • The transparency standard means the arbitration agreements have to be clear, easy to understand, and include all the necessary information and provide you and the other party with the ability to hire representation.
  • An alternative to arbitration, which takes the form of small claims court and, in some cases, mediation, has to be available to you, if you choose it.
  • The process should be just, fair, and allow the arbitrator to award you the same outcome you could get in the courtroom, an award which is a legally binding decision.

Arbitration Gives You Leverage with Aribnb

When you notify Airbnb at the corporate level that you are pursuing arbitration, they suddenly become aware of the fact that their costs could go up. Not only are they having to deal with the potential of compensating you for the problem but they might have to pay for the cost of an arbitration process. To try and circumvent that they are much more willing at this stage to meet reasonable demands.

But if they aren’t, and they need a bit more persuasion, you still have reasonable, transparent, and fair hearing options without having to spend any money. Our FairShake process will help you file for arbitration. It won’t cost you anything unless you win.

Leverage Leads to Faster Settlements with Airbnb

When you do this you take away the advantage the company had by placing the power and control over the situation into the hands of a neutral arbitrator. No longer is the company in complete control, ignoring you or sending you boilerplate email responses.

This leverage has to be used to your advantage by first formally raising your complaint with the corporate office. At FairShake we help you do this. We send a demand letter to the corporate office to start the process of resolving your case before you file arbitration.

We initiate the clock on the company offering you a reasonable settlement before you pursue arbitration. Usually they have 30 days to do so but the length of time will vary based on the fine print in your contract and arbitration Clause with the company. About half of companies will make a reasonable settlement offer during this time and then the issue is solved. As simple as that.

In the other half of cases, if they don’t give you a reasonable settlement the next step is to file your case with the American Arbitration Association. FairShake will put together all the official arbitration paperwork for you and guide you through the next steps.

Do I need an attorney?

If your case does go to arbitration, you have the right to hire an attorney or handle things on your own. If you go without an attorney, in legal terms, you are bringing your claim “pro se”. If you decide that you want to go forward without an attorney, check out some information from The American Arbitration Association’s Pro Se Case Administration Team.

There are plenty of common complaints against AirBnB which violate specific laws, and these complaints are things you can get high compensation for on your own.

However, for more complicated issues like those which violate federal law or have a bit more ambiguity to them, it might be in your best interest to have an attorney there to help you maximize the potential value of your claim.

What can I do next?

Take the first step by telling us about your issue with AirBnB. With FairShake, we take away the hassle of working with an international company like AirBnB. Instead, we help you get a solution. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you won’t owe a thing unless you are 100% satisfied with our service.





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