How to File a Claim Against Airbnb

Make your voice heard and make Airbnb pay: These are your options!

One of the most recognized names in the tourist industry started as a humble bed and breakfast business in the notoriously high rent city of San Francisco, California. The founders of AirBedandBreakfast added a couple of air mattresses to a living room of an apartment located in downtown San Francisco and thus, started a business that has morphed into the company called AirBnB. As an online marketplace that matches tourists with temporary lodging, AirBnB does not own any of the real estate it uses to generate revenue. The company receives a commission for every successful booking that connects visitors to a city with a host offering a place to stay for a short time.AirBnB has witnessed a rapid increase in sales since 2010 and with more exposure as a viable travel intermediary for lodging, the company has also experienced a rise in customer complaints.

Here are some of the issues that have led customers to file a claim against AirBnB:

  • Lack of promised amenities
  • Breach of contract
  • Lodging not as clean as anticipated
  • Host has too much of a presence
  • Unacceptable amenity or amenities
  • Unsafe living environment

How do you handle a bad experience in an AirBnB connected place to stay? Does the company have a formal procedure for processing complaints and if not, do you qualify to file a claim against the company in a small claims court?

Your Options for Filing a Claim against AirBnB

Most customer complaints against any hospitality industry company start with a customer contacting the company by phone and/or via a contact form found on a website. Unfortunately, some customer complaints do not get resolved in a timely manner, which leads customers to consider four options for filing a claim against a company such as AirBnB.

  • Small claims court
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Consumer arbitration

File a Claim Against AirBnB in Small Claims Court

The binding arbitration provision written into the AirBnB terms of service prevent customers from joining together to file a costly and time-consuming class action lawsuit. However, you do have the right to file a small claims case against the lodging intermediary company. Small claims court cases have a narrow range of possible just compensation, which runs from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum amount awarded of $10,000. This means an incident that cost you more than $10,000 must follow the legal protocols established by the American Arbitration Association.

You might have to pay small claim court fees that include administrative costs, as well as the cost of working with a representative from a binding arbitration company like FairShake. A judge presiding over a small claims court case has the power to award monetary and/or non-monetary damages. A non-monetary award often involves a judge requiring a company to change the way it conducts certain elements of its business.

Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with Your Airbnb Complaint

Consumers that perform diligent research on a business typically refer to the BBB web page dedicated to the business in question. The BBB operates on a budget that is mostly funded by the fees collected from participating companies. BBB web pages include a section for consumer feedback, as well as a section that gives each business a grade for operational performance. AirBnB has received the high grade of A from the BBB, but the company has received nearly 3,000 complaints from consumers since the start of 2017.

Use Consumer Arbitration to Settle Your Dispute with Airbnb

Consumer arbitration represents a legal process that reaches a definitive conclusion. Unlike small claims court where a decision is not final, arbitration provides both parties with closure. According to the guidelines set by the American Arbitration Association, the cost of an arbitration hearing is covered by one party or both parties.

The arbitration section of the terms of service contract you signed with AirBnB should define which of the parties must pay for the costs of the binding arbitration process. Under the AirBnB terms of service contract, customers do not have to pay more than $200 for participating in a binding arbitration hearing. For claims below $25,000, the binding arbitration process can unfold via phone and/or video conferencing.

Any arbitrator overseeing an arbitration proceeding must be accepted by both parties. All arbitration hearings that involve AirBnB must utilize the services provided by the American Arbitration Association.

FairShake handles your arbitration filing for you, and you only pay us if Airbnb pays you. Start your claim for free:

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