A TikTok user’s confusing travel planning experience has her wondering if she was a part of an Airbnb scam. Viewers have added their theories as the post climbs over 90,000 views.
In the original video, user Emma (@emmachiaro4) details how she booked an Airbnb for a birthday trip five months in advance. She shows the screenshot of the alleged house, a woodsy tiny home located outside of Portland, Oregon.
@emmachiaro4 i swear this stuff only happens to me #airbnb #airbnbexperience #scam ♬ Wii – Mii Channel – Super Guitar Bros
Just this week, she allegedly got a message from the owner claiming a guest recovering from black mold needed to extend their stay in the Airbnb. In a screenshot of the conversation, the owner says the guest would refund Emma and pay her an extra $100 through Venmo.
The offer has led to confusion. As they had just passed the deadline for the 30 day cancellation window, Emma isn’t sure if she’d get a full refund and she says the owner is refusing to cancel on his end. She says that Airbnb told her the owner’s excuse was “not a valid reason for cancelation” and the company would remind him of the penalties for doing something like this.
The owner continued to send her messages about canceling her stay, and Emma said he tried to “guilt us into giving up our reservation.” The bottom of the message thread indicates that the guest canceled the reservation herself.
Emma said the last minute change resulted in far more expensive options on Airbnb, and she questioned whether she had been duped. Users have weighed in on whether they think this is an Airbnb scam or a mistake.
@mountain_mamas commented, “he’s double booked and created a story so his reviews wouldn’t be impacted. I bet that same listing is on vrbo or something.”
@shaquille.oatmeal..1 said, “The message said the woman wanted to refund your money plus $100. Did I read that right? I think he just wanted to avoid the bad review.”
@astra8989 added, “Girl absolutely not. At best you spend a lot more $ to book elsewhere. At worst he scams you out of your refund. HE can cancel it and SHE can pay him.”
@lyndseydrews commented, “go through with the trip there and don’t let him cancel.. if she needs 4-6 weeks to recover and it’s in a month still that’s 4 weeks so no excuse.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Airbnb for comment and contacted @emmachiaro4 via Instagram direct message.
Update 4:00 pm CT, Feb. 27: In a statement to the Daily Dot, Emma said she made the video to help others.
“I felt like this was a suspicious interaction to have with an Airbnb host so I wanted to warn others,” she said. She was able to get a refund but was frustrated “that the host broke rules and Airbnb had no solution for that.”
“We are glad that this guest was able to rebook a new reservation. Our team has been in contact with this guest to offer support and reached out to the Host to educate them on how to properly cancel future reservations,” said a spokesperson from Airbnb.
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