A Stroud property owner has spent weeks chasing Airbnb for money that visitors paid the web-based accommodation agency to stay in her rural cabin.
Helen Gillard says Airbnb owes her $1994.43 for three separate bookings at Mill Pond Cabin, on the grounds of Mill Creek Vineyard, dating back to the beginning of November.
It appears delayed payments have affected accommodation providers in several states.
Property owners across the globe advertise on Airbnb, with travellers paying the online company before money is finally forwarded to the accommodation provider when visitors arrive for their stay.
Ms Gillard is rated a “super host”, meaning she has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. She said this week she had used Airbnb as a booking system with little trouble until about a month ago.
Since then, she said it had been “torturous” trying to chase her money by contacting Airbnb representatives – first on the phone, then via web-based chats.
“I have found it absolutely opaque. There is no opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with someone,” Ms Gillard told the Herald.
“[It was] just an exercise in saying nothing and there is no recourse. You cannot get any support from them except these inane … messages.”
Ms Gillard said Airbnb told her on several occasions her money was being transferred but she remained out of pocket.
She received a notice as recently as Wednesday saying she should have her cash by December 5.
Read more: Scrutiny for Airbnb and Stayz
It appears Ms Gillard is not alone.
The Herald has seen several messages from an online bulletin board posted by frustrated accommodation owners in Margaret River, Cairns, Sydney, Perth and other parts of Australia, who say they have been left short by Airbnb in recent weeks – some by thousands on dollars.
An Airbnb spokesperson did not answer questions on Thursday afternoon about how many accommodation providers had not been paid across Australia or what caused the delay.
In a written statement, the company said: "We’re aware of a payout hiccup that impacted some of our Airbnb hosts in Australia earlier this month, and immediately made a fix once we discovered it.
“We apologise for any inconvenience to our hosts and they should have received a note from us with instructions to quickly update their information.
“The payments are now going out as usual and they won’t have any further delays once they update their information correctly."
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