Multicultural Hosts Slammed with Xenophobic Claims

This is a long story, one too long for me to live all over again as it still is stressful and leaves me anxious. However, I just discovered Airbnb Hell, so I decided to share my story and hopefully help future hosts. My wife and I have been hosts on Airbnb for a year. During the past year we had more than 250 guests from all parts of the world, from all “races”, backgrounds, sexual preferences, genders… you get my point. We are artists who love to meet different people, with different habits. It’s inspiring to us; that’s one of the reasons we started this whole Airbnb thing. We have a wall full of letter already, with love letters from most of the guests who came here. This wall is in the dinning room for everyone to see we are proud of being good hosts and making people feel comfortable in our home, that we insist guests look at it as their home while they stay with us.

My solution for hosts with problematic guests is: accept a guest, wait a couple of hours, and then phone Airbnb to evict the said guest for breaking house rules. We got a reservation from a non-English speaking guest. For that reason it was imposssible to communicate that this is a home, not some hostel. When you can’t communicate with your guest, or when your other guests (we list two rooms) can’t communicate between themselves, the system doesn’t work.

It says in our “rules” that we really want the guests to have a *basic* knowledge of English, French, Italian or Spanish (none of these languages are even our first language). The guest made a reservation, and send a message with really broken english that made no sense at all. It looked more like a Korean-to-English Google translate job. We had to decline the reservation (this was like two months before the actual arrival, so there was plenty of time to find another place) The guest got very offended and called Airbnb. They gave us a penalty and then slammed us with their “inclusion policy”.

I wrote this enormous email, asking for them to see our previous reservations and feedback (we never had anything lower than four stars). I also said that with our history of good hosting with no prejudice at all to creed, color, race, gender was never a issue, sending us that inclusion policy was a bit pretentious, as we just want to have good communication in our house. We also said that if we can’t communicate with a guest we can’t explain the house rules, and it would be worse to have a guest here that would break a rule; then Airbnb would have to find him another place. For us, as decent open-minded humans, we would have felt really bad to kick another human out just because of that. Because if you don’t understand English, how can I explain anything to you?

Airbnb policy says I cannot discriminate and should use tools to communicate with my guest when they are impaired in any way: deaf, blind. This was not the case. The person was not impared at all.

This is where the fun starts. We got a reply from Airbnb support saying: “We are deeply distrubed that a host of ours find our inclusion policy pretentious.” It’s cleary writen in the email “I find the action of you sending me this policy a bit pretentious.” I never said the policy itself was pretentious. Even with my history of bookings, that makes no sense for me to say. They insisted I found it pretentious, gave me a penalty for it, blocked the dates the guest wanted, and didn’t let me book them to another person.

The next time a guest comes claiming he “can’t communicate” you accept him, and then you try and explain the rules to him. When he can’t understand them, you just call Airbnb. It’s not a very humane thing to do, but it’s basicly how Airbnb works. If the guest was here and I had done that I would have been paid. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have received a penalty or had my dates blocked.

Airbnb Guests Doing Illegal Drugs at our Apartments

I’m not too sure which point I should be focusing on, the bad guest experiences or the Airbnb management system, but I will be explaining both so readers can be the judge. First, I had a guest book one of my apartments and checked in at night around 11:00 PM. He rang me up and asked how to check in. I gladly informed him of the instructions and he checked in successfully. Two days later on his check out day, our cleaners entered the apartment to clean after the check out time (11:00 AM). The guest was still sleeping, so the cleaners had to ask him to leave; he was not really listening so the cleaners had to ask several times.

Eventually he left but when the cleaners went inside the apartment, they found it in a hideous state. Everything had been moved, with splatters on the walls, sheets and blankets and pillows thrown everywhere, everything in the kitchen had been used and left unwashed, candles and decors were completely smashed, cups and other decors were missing, and there was a strong smell of cigarettes in the apartment. Obviously he had been smoking in our apartment, so already he did so many things wrong.

Guests are supposed to leave the keys on the table when they leave but when we couldn’t find them, I tried contacting the guest all day by phone, text, Airbnb, and even on Facebook. Eventually the guest answered the phone late that night saying he forgot to leave the keys and took them with him. He came back to return the keys and I asked him to reimburse for the damages done at our apartment. He said he would if I sent him an email with an invoice. I did and surprisingly enough, he replied with a rejection. He said he would not take responsibility and didn’t agree he left the apartment in a bad state.

I had to request money from Airbnb. Because the guest did not respond, it had to be escalated. Airbnb has not been replying. To be fair it has only been ten days, but I still think that is plenty of time for them to get back to me, as they have gotten in contact with me for other reasons, just not this. I have asked them what has happened to my case, and they only ask me to wait (probably forever).

Several days after this happened, the same guest decided to book another one of our apartments, and messaged me asking how to check in. If I’m thinking clearly, I couldn’t imagine why he would do this because we clearly had by far the worst experience with him. Of course I had to cancel by calling up Airbnb (because it was already after check in time). Thankfully they cancelled that booking for us, but they also cancelled the previous booking that he made and paid for, which resulted in the past reservation fee to be refunded to him. This was pretty much the last thing we needed, but when I emailed them and asked for this to be fixed ASAP, they only said it was a glitch and will be looked into very shortly… as in never?

Unfortunately I’m still waiting on this, and not sure if I will ever hear from those case managers again. Airbnb really does a pathetic job with training staff, technical systems, management, and customer service. This isn’t big news for anyone I suppose. I just wanted to put this post out here, to warn hosts about receiving dodgy guests. Please see if they have a bad history, review, or just a weird vibe in general. I just finished hosting his girlfriend today; I didn’t even know it was her at the time. I basically hosted the same guest, who ruined our apartment once, and she did it again.

This one burned all of our candles and covered the fire alarm with a shower head. She was in bed “sick” all day according to our conversation. Again, there were stains all over the floor, sofa, and blankets, the place fuming with a candle smell so bad because there were five full sized candles all used up in just a few days. We found syringes under the bed and sofa and all the furniture was moved in weird places. They locked themselves out by leaving the key inside so I had to go and let them in. I really should have caught on there was something fishy about them then, and at least checked out the apartment. All these signs, and the fact that it was the same guest that ruined our last apartment… I could only think that they had been doing some kind of drugs at the property. Please beware of guests like these, as they seem to go around Airbnb houses to do drugs.

Could it be? A positive Airbnb customer service experience?

I was renting my property with Airbnb. I had already had several great guests and I had many more booked for the rest of the year. I was then informed by the freeholder of my property that he would no longer permit short-term lets and changed the lease. This left me with a problem, as I had many outstanding bookings and a potential $50 fine on each cancellation. I phoned the UK Airbnb line and spoke to one of their customer service representatives, Olivia. She was very helpful and understood my situation. She wrote a report and sent it to the relevant department which dealt with lease issues. She said they would be in touch soon. The next day I received an email from John asking to confirm if I wanted to cancel my bookings. I confirmed, and they were all cancelled with an explanation email sent to my guests. John also provided me with a $100 voucher for the trouble. Overall my experience was very positive. It was horrible to have to let down so many nice people. However, the customer service team made it very simple and relieved a lot of stress. Overall I’m 100% for the Airbnb customer service team. I will continue to use it while I travel and will hopefully be able to host again soon.

How Airbnb Refused to Protect Basic Human Rights

Note from Airbnb Hell editor: this post contains strong language

I would like to tell you a story about how Airbnb has treated me when I was faced with homophobic abuse at my own house by one of Airbnb guests. Let’s start from the beginning: I am renting my spare room via Airbnb in Amsterdam, and I had a guest from Texas.

Upon arrival, the guest started making comments about me and my friend: that we were wearing faggoty clothing and have faggoty hair. Once he came into his room, he started screaming that he needed a door with a lock because there are faggots with him in the house and we would rape him at night. I choose not to have a confrontation and decided to leave the apartment for the night altogether. I left him alone there, so he wouldn’t be afraid of “rape.”

I would like to mention that when he arrived, I carried his six huge bags upstairs because I was trying to be polite. I also offered him the choice of cold water, tea, and coffee. After I left the apartment, the guest ran away with his bags and my keys. He wrote me a message stating exactly the same. When I returned home, I called the police and reported the verbal abuse. I also had to change the locks, which cost an additional 100 euro. I obviously have submitted a complaint against this guest to Airbnb, but naturally they haven’t done anything (what can I expect?).

Today I received a message that this guest filed a complaint against me, stating that I didn’t give him enough privacy and respect and he had to leave. In my reply to Airbnb, I explained the entire situation one more time and offered the following documents as proof: a police report; photos of the rented room to show that there was enough privacy; invoice for changing the locks; witness statement from my flat mate who was present during this event; witness statement from the neighbors, who heard all the commotion and to whom my guest spoke upon departure, claiming that “dirty AIDS faggots” lived here.

What do you think Airbnb did? They charged me the price the guest paid for the room plus extra charges from Airbnb. Obviously they refunded him all the money, because the poor homophobe was upset. Apparently I didn’t argue with him in the messages. I am shocked about the very fact Airbnb once again completely ignored the gay community and returned money to an abuser. Please feel free to contact me for more details. Let me know what exactly you want to do; I’d be happy to provide more information.

I’m Sorry: Advice from an Long Time Airbnb Host

I just wanted to apologize for the rude behavior from other hosts. My hosting style is super casual and my only desire is to make my guests feel like they are welcome and wanted here at my cottage on the lake. I have come across other Airbnb host sites and I have read some very negative things other hosts say about their guests that are shocking and disturbing to me. They run their Airbnb rentals like jails and they are very rude and controlling. They are rigid about check-in and check-out times, some demanding guests arrive within five minutes of their scheduled time. Some want proof of a flight delay, and so forth. They complain about guests using the kitchen and taking the shampoo provided for their guests. Not every host is like that. Ideally, you are a guest and should be treated like one since you are paying for a room, or a house during your stay. My only advice is to leave a negative review, since this hurts them the most. The host should be reported to Airbnb also, so that you can get a full refund. From my experience, Airbnb usually sides with the guest. Thank you, and safe travels.

Stranger came to my door but I’m not on Airbnb

I am not a host or a guest. A week ago Friday we had a lady show up at our home saying she booked our property and wanted to get into our home. After a lengthy discussion with this lady, we looked at the Airbnb listing and it was indeed my address. However, nothing matched my home’s description. There were lots of misspelled words, and the “host” spoke about Satan. The whole post was a sham. We both contacted Airbnb several times to take down the post. We explained to them how it’s a safety issue and eventually someone will come knocking that paid for the house and wants in and won’t be as nice as this lady was. Airbnb has not given this guest her money back, nor have they taken down the fake listing. I’ve made several phone calls within a week to this place, as well as emailing and calling them out on Facebook. Nothing is being done. This is so ridiculous that I have to check online everyday to see if my home has been booked and if an unwanted person will be arriving. Why can’t they just take it down?

Memorial Day Airbnb Disaster Could Have Been Avoided

We have used Airbnb for almost a year now. We’ve had several issues with prices randomly changing and people booking our home for holidays at an off-season daily rate. That is not what this story is about, though.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2017 we rented our house out to a party of ten. Our house rules are very clear: no smoking, no parties, and no more than ten guests. As many people do, we count heads with a ring doorbell. We noticed a party developing as group after group showed up.

Saturday morning, we called Airbnb to ask if we could evict the renter without issuing a refund. We intended to keep the deposit as well. We also did not want negative feedback. We spoke to an Airbnb representative who was absolutely clueless and seemed to want to make our call about himself. We were told, “they can leave feedback if they stay at your house. They can request to be refunded.”

Not wanting to lose over $2,500 or get a bad review, we left the guests alone. We were told that the Trust and Safety team would contact us as this was urgent. They continued to promise there were no more than ten people. Over the next two days we gathered videos of probably 100 people coming into our house. Still, we waited for Trust and Safety to contact us. They didn’t, so we called back. This time we spoke to a supervisor who told us the same thing as the first representative.

On Monday, I came to my house to find carpets ruined, furniture broken and stained, and the decks trashed; everything appeared as if there had been a wild party. We have videos of the partygoers, the drinking, puking in our bushes, and other deplorable acts.

We want to submit a claim, but how? Trust and Safety won’t tell us what to do. Why? Because after more calls than I can count, they have not reached out to us. We have 14 days to submit a request. We don’t know if that means a request to the house violator (guest) or through resolutions, or through the host guarantee. Airbnb told us to “submit your request for additional guests and cleaning first. That goes to one department. Then we have another case for your damage.”

I don’t have a case number to refer to. We have many thousands of dollars in damage and Airbnb just refuses to lift one finger to help us. They have many unqualified people to answer their phones, but all they can do is BS us about how important our call is. I will upload files after I have some resolution. However I am thinking if Airbnb does not want to involve themselves in this, maybe it’s time for an attorney and perhaps a class action suit.

Broken Door Claim at Airbnb in Las Vegas

I have a condo at the MGM Signature in Las Vegas that i just recently started listing on Airbnb. I had a guest stay on Mother’s Day weekend with her boyfriend. I got a message on Airbnb from the guest saying that she was locked in the room for two hours and that MGM employees had to break down the door to let her out. After following up with the employees I found out that the door was broken on arrival. It appeared that someone had kicked in the door at the lock, causing it to malfunction. The engineer had to take apart the lock to let her out. It cost $580 to repair the door. I have statements from the engineer stating the door was broken when he arrived yet Airbnb has refused to pay. Also, she was not locked in for “two hours”. The engineer had her out of the room 20 minutes after the call was placed. She says she waited two hours to call because she was trying to open the door herself. The manager stated that her boyfriend was clearly intoxicated when the incident happened. I am furious that Airbnb let her get away with it. There is no “host guarantee” – none at all. It’s false advertisement; a class action suit needs to be made against Airbnb.

Please Can I Get Some Help from Airbnb?

I have been a quiet, law abiding Airbnb host for quite a few years now. I have tolerated, after agreeing to an Instant Booking, being warned that I shouldn’t say ‘no’ again (I only did once) and, if it happened again, I would be listed lower in the search results and potentially scrapped altogether. I have also quietly accepted being told with great fanfare that I was suddenly a Superhost complete with virtual badge and then told I was no longer a Superhost essentially because of one iffy review by a very difficult man who arrived very late, left very early, and hadn’t read or realized that we were rurally located. So, now I find that my listing has almost disappeared, that my calendar has gone (blank page now), and I can’t access anything on the Airbnb website. I therefore can’t keep anything up to date so am just waiting for another patronizing blast from the blokes who seem to run the show because I really am pretty hopeless as a host. I have tried, via various computers, to access the Help Center, to contact Airbnb via email, and all to no avail. None of my attempts will register a message so I am now totally unable to contact Airbnb to seek help. What can I do?

Bodily Fluids Stains and No Refund from Airbnb

I am extraordinarily unhappy and feel unprotected and violated by Airbnb during my last few resolution calls. It is a vicious cycle of abuse, combing terrible customer service shielded with bad excuses the representatives call policies. Isn’t it bad enough that Airbnb allows people like this? He got to keep his account after he demonstrated an affinity for threatening hosts and landlords just to get a discount; Airbnb never suspended or deactivated his account. Airbnb allowed him to violate these hosts’ lives. In addition, he left the keys in the apartment when he departed with the door open.

It does feel like Airbnb does everything in its power to not protect the hosts. Now, I am in the middle of another disagreement with another guest over damages to my organic mattress topper. Because it was bought over a year ago, I didn’t have a receipt and the full amount may not be returned to me. That means that a partial refund – if any – that could be collected would still mean that every guest who damages something would be given Airbnb’s “let it slide” approach; this would mean that I could not afford to replace anything. Consequently, that would mean I would have downgrade or throw away all the damaged furniture and downgrade my entire apartment overall.

My case manager did not seem to understand I cannot just be repaid the cleaning fee; something that goes on a bed damaged due to a guest’s bodily fluids cannot be given to another Airbnb guest. Is that what the Airbnb team recommends? Furniture damaged in such a fashion needs to be completely replaced. It is simply too easy for Airbnb to blame hosts who are left with damages, bad experiences and a downgraded personal apartment. If you were in my shoes, would you honestly be very happy with this kind of service?