Coronavirus

Airbnb Customers Want Refunds

Airbnb

Amid disruptions in the travel industry, Airbnb pledged in March to provide cash refunds to qualified guests who have had stays disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But now some guests contend that the homesharing company is making them go through obstacles to get their money returned, CNBC reported.

Multiple guests have reportedly told the outlet that they are being provided travel credits in lieu of money, and they aren’t able to receive full cash refunds unless they provide documentation demonstrating that travel restrictions apply to them or they are a part of other categories. Select clients have had to put their concerns on social media or reach out to executives through email.

The coronavirus has impacted many industries and the travel space in particular. Travelers called off corporate and leisure trips in large numbers as the virus proliferated. The U.S. Travel Association, for its part, foresees that the industry will shed 4.6 million positions in 2020. Guests of Airbnb, as well as other vacation rental firms, have been especially susceptible because they have to pay for a large share of their accommodations prior to their trips.

“Our community support team has been working around the clock against this global crisis to help both hosts and guests throughout a situation that has been challenging for the entire industry,” an Airbnb spokesperson told CNBC. “We activated our Extenuating Circumstances policy to provide guests with full refunds or credit because we believe this is the responsible thing to do given the guidance of governments and health experts.”

In separate news, Airbnb will be receiving financial support from Sixth Street Partners and Silver Lake, which will put $1 billion into the company. The money will include $5 million going to the company's Superhost Relief Fund, which will assist hosts make ends meet for rent and mortgages on their homes.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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