Ripped off by Guest and Airbnb’s Horrible Customer Service

The guests checked in at 3:00 PM. At 8:40 PM they sent me a text complaining about seeing a cockroach in a 70-year-old beach house in Hawaii. I did not see it until 10:00 PM, so I planned to respond in the morning. I woke up at 5:20 AM to find an email from Airbnb stating I had until 5:40 AM to respond. I wrote them back immediately and at 5:50 AM I received another email saying the guest had been refunded completely for their booking: $3,600.

I disputed it and contacted Airbnb immediately. After a day of them ‘investigating’ it and getting staged photos from the guests showing the house was not clean I was sent an email with a link to their refund policy. Nothing. These guests and Airbnb just ripped me off. I will never use them again. They do not look after the host of a property. Stay away from Airbnb.

Expected to Clean a Guest’s Blood After Stay

I hosted a mother and daughter at my apartment in Sydney February 17th-20th, 2017 for the entire home. I returned to the apartment upon check out and went to change the bed as is my usual practice after guests. I noticed my sheets were missing. After twenty minutes of searching I found them scrunched up at the bottom of my laundry basket under my washing. I pulled them out to find them splattered with blood. I also found my quilt underlay had been turned over by the guests and it also had blood on it. I opened a Host Guarantee claim for the damage. The guest admitted via Airbnb messages that the damage was done by the mother and they didn’t think they had to clean it, something I still find remarkable. I told Airbnb I refused to clean it because I am not touching someone’s blood as it’s unhygienic and unsafe. They refused to compensate me for the damage as they told me I had to attempt to clean it to show that it had been permanently damaged. Unbelievable!

Host and Guest Come to Agreement, Customer Service Disagrees

I am a longtime Airbnb host. A guest failed to notify us of a leaking radiator for over a month. By the time we were aware of the problem, it had ruined the kitchen floor and required a $3100 repair. We were eventually able to work out a fair and amicable resolution with the guest, who agreed to pay us $500 towards the $1000 insurance deductible that we had to pay. After we reached this agreement, an Airbnb case manager blocked the payment and closed the case on the grounds that we had involved our insurance company. This is completely absurd; should we have taken the full loss or tried to get the guest to pay the full amount? Since this happened a few days ago, I have reached out to Airbnb repeatedly without being able to speak with anyone with the authority to remedy the situation. This is a horrible experience that is showing an inept and unfeeling Airbnb.

Host Didn’t Respond Correctly and Won’t Give Refund

We booked an apartment on the morning of April 12th after having confirmed with the host for an early check-in time as was allowed in the Airbnb rules. The host confirmed and said it was fine. We left the previous apartment where we had been staying and reached the given address. Then we contacted the host for the keys and he didn’t reply. He started saying he could not let us into the apartment before 6:00 PM; we reached the apartment at 10:45 AM. We started beseeching him, saying that we had only left the previous apartment because he confirmed with us… now he starts saying he couldn’t check us in before 6:00 PM?

It was really unfair when we booked the apartment and then someone says it is not possible. After an hour-long discussion with the host I said I would be cancelling the booking as it was not possible for us to wait till 6:00 PM with family and luggage. He messaged me by asking where we were. I told him we were waiting at his door step, which was unfair. Then he refused to give a refund and started saying that he would offer a 50% discount. I said I didn’t even have the keys yet… how could he deduct the amount? It was because of his own rules.

I would welcome any suggestions as I have requested a full refund. The host has not been replying anymore. We were not able to cancel our booking, so we didn’t get a room in Paris that day, just roamed from one hotel to another because of this incident. At night we got an apartment from booking.com and then I cancelled my Airbnb booking. I had a talk with the host to refund 50% of the cost, which has still not been done yet. I’ve attached screenshots of the messages. I don’t want to lose this money. This has made me lose trust in booking from Airbnb.

Drug Traffickers use Airbnb Hosts’ Addresses

My last guest was using a name that was not his real name. How he can use a different name from the verified one? He also didn’t have a picture on his profile, but he had mostly good reviews. He booked for two nights. He arrived late the first night and early the next day I had the police at my door with a big FedEx box. The police were part of the Package Interdiction Team; they showed me the closed package with my address on it and the guest’s first name. They asked my permission to enter my house and locate the guest. They brought the guest downstairs, opened the box in front of him, and it was full of drugs. The guest was arrested. The police said this was happening a lot: drug dealers were using Airbnb to do the trafficking, so they could use temporary addresses. I had to deal with returning the guest’s rental car, which was also a nightmare. I reported this incident to Airbnb and never got a call back from them.

Apartment Trashed, Airbnb Closes Case After 24 Hours

My guests came, held a party, and trashed my place, causing thousands of pounds of damage to the furniture and fittings. I was made redundant last year, and I rented out my apartment as I could not sustain the cost. The previous tenant moved out on February 24th, 2017, and the new tenant took up residence on March 16th, 2017. Given that I had three weeks when the apartment was vacant, I decided to use Airbnb to ease my strained financial situation. This was my very first time using Airbnb, the auto accept function was on, and I was too naive and should have checked the guests had reviews before accepting.

The guest held a party, trashed my apartment, and caused damage to furniture, the wooden floors, and fittings. It was a traumatic shock when I came in: there were stains from alcohol everywhere; the wooden floors were badly damaged as they moved furniture; the furniture and fittings were also damaged. I immediately called Airbnb on the day. I was supposed to get a call back, but didn’t get one. I again chased them down, and  was eventually directed to the resolution centre. I sent in the pictures of the damage, but unfortunately I had not been able to get the receipt for my furniture from the manufacturer. I also could not get the contractor to come around in time to assess the damage to the wooden floor and fittings, and this is the only contractor we are allowed to use under the building lease to maintain standards.

I explained the situation to Airbnb, that I was chasing the contractor, but they kept decreasing the time I had to submit the documents, from 72  to 24 hours (and they sent their emails at 2:00 AM). They closed my case, explaining that it was in line with their terms and conditions, and that the final decision rests with them. The problem is exacerbated for me as my current tenant is saying that the damage to the floor and furniture was not there when he agreed to the contract, and wants the floor fixed and the chair replaced, otherwise he will vacate. This is going to cost me £5,000, which is very difficult at this stage given I don’t even have a job. I know Airbnb has the final say, and they have gone by the terms and conditions laid out. I implored to their sense of compassion, as the ramifications are more far reaching than just the damage; if I don’t fix the damage, I may lose the tenant, which would be a disaster given my already strained financial situation. However, my case has remained closed.

Airbnb is Collecting my Taxes and Not Paying Them

I was surprised to see a letter from The Department of Revenue of Pennsylvania only to open it and find out Airbnb has not paid the occupancy taxes. However, they have been collecting the money from my guests for over 16 months. They state of Pennsylvania is looking for the last five quarters of taxes from me now. I called to discuss the matter with them because the website is a nightmare and impossible to navigate. I have now called five different times on different days and have been stuck on hold every time for a minimum of 25 minutes and maximum of 50 minutes before I give up or have to end the call. To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. I have nowhere to turn… except to stay on hold to pray someone answers. You would think if they make these payments you would be copied in on the paperwork in some form or fashion. At bare minimum, on your account page there should be a way to search for these payments or have their records available to you. If anyone can point me in the right direction or would like to share a similar story please feel free to do so.

Even Resetting Airbnb Password is a Nightmare

I have tried for months to get Airbnb to reply to my question on how to access my account. The password I used to create my account does not work. When I go through the help steps to request a new password or reset my password, I receive an email to reset my password, but when I click on the link, I get a message saying ‘unable to perform action. Please try again later or contact support if you need immediate assistance.’ I then click on the link to ‘support’, but I need my passport to access my account in order to connect to the support desk. So, it’s back to ‘request a new password’… and on and on. I have tried for almost six months to access my account but I am not able to.

For unknown reasons, the details I entered when creating the account were incorrectly reflected on my profile, and I am having guests book for space I do not offer. I have just now had a request for a three-sleeper, which I do not offer, but the guest has paid. Now he has to cancel and wants his money back, which I do not have access to, as he has not checked in yet. I would also like to view the banking details Airbnb has for my payments but cannot access my account. I am not able to access my account to make any necessary changes or reset any information. I have asked guests if they are able to send a message to Airbnb to contact me, but I’m not sure they can.

I see there are numbers people can call from the US and UK (though they openly warn that you will be on hold for 7-12 minutes). I live in South Africa, and cannot do that. I find it very strange that they do not offer an email address where we can post questions and have direct answers. If you are at all able to change this unacceptable situation, please do so ASAP.

Airbnb Cares about the Guests, but not the Hosts

I received an extremely bad, fabricated review in retaliation from a guest who I reported to Airbnb because she had additional people staying in my apartment for whom she did not register or pay. Although our email correspondence on the Airbnb website clearly showed that the woman had additional guests, Airbnb awarded me a minimal and unacceptable settlement. Their reason? The guest did not make herself available to them for verification of my claim, and the term of infringement was not clear to them. I made numerous complaints to no avail. Airbnb’s inflexible transparency policy has allowed this false review to remain on my page. Since it appeared, I’ve had 73 views of my page but not a single rental. Previously, my apartment was always being rented. That means not a month has gone by without guests until now. Airbnb is more concerned about the guests than they are about the hosts who make it possible for them to earn money. I intend to change to Vacation Home Rentals and hope my experience will be better there.

Airbnb Customer Service Trusts Guests over Hosts

An Airbnb guest booked my apartment for one person over a period of three weeks. I learned that she actually had two additional guests staying with her when I visited her at the apartment on her last week. I told her she would have to revise the request and pay for the additional guests. She refused to discuss the matter. Ascertaining from my neighbor that all three guests had lived there most of the time, I made a complaint to Airbnb. Of course, Airbnb advised me to request additional payment through their website, which I did. Those requests were refused by the guest. After I made numerous requests and complaints Airbnb awarded me additional payment for only two days because the guests wrote in her email that her friends “only stayed a couple of days.”

Although it was clear from our correspondence that the additional guests were there for at least three days, Airbnb did not honor my request for additional payment since the guest who made the booking would not communicate with them about the issue. This guest retaliated by leaving my apartment in a filthy condition (I sent pictures to Airbnb) with all windows and doors left open – an invitation to robbery. In addition, since her bogus and scathing review I have not received a single request. I have a 4.5-star, business-ready rating with 26 excellent reviews. Airbnb’s inflexible transparency policy has effectively prevented me from receiving other requests. They won’t remove this scathing review or put it at the bottom of my page where it is less likely to be read. Therefore, I would have to start from scratch with a new page which is completely unfair to me. I am going to close my account and use another vacation rental service if this matter is not handled favorably.