The Inner Workings of Airbnb: What They Won’t Tell You

While I am still waiting for an outcome on my own host nightmare – 35 days and counting – I thought I would share this bit of information with all you wonderful people here on Airbnb Hell. I’ve been perusing the stories of hosts and guests alike. It’s all very sad and alarming as to the rate that Airbnb is burning bridges with hosts and guests. Something that everyone needs to understand is how a company platform like Airbnb works. There is this illusion that they make all their money when a host offers his home and a guest rents it. While Airbnb makes a tidy sum from the 3% they take from the host and the 18% (I have heard) from the guest, that is not their real moneymaker.

1. 21% of the money is collected from the actual physical ‘rental’ of a property.

2. Interest on money held. Airbnb collects all payments at booking (sometimes months in advance) and sits on it, only release it to hosts after the guest checks in. Even if these funds were collected and sat on during just one overnight period alone, the interest that is compounding is almost staggering to think about.

3. Negotiated credit card processing rate. While hosts and guests are paying a certain advertised percentage rate for credit card processing, this rate has been negotiated (behind the scenes) with the credit card company. Airbnb collects their advertised rate from hosts and guests and then pays their ‘negotiated’ rate to the credit card company. Maybe 0.017% doesn’t seem like much, but when you are processing hundreds of thousands (or possibly more) dollars a day it adds up very quickly in Airbnb’s pockets.

4. Selling your information to third parties. This is Airbnb’s goldmine. This is why they want access to all your private and pertinent information. This is not to protect the hosts. Platforms already exist where Airbnb could act as merely a ‘Yellow Pages’, connecting hosts and guests alike. It would then be up to hosts to vet guests of their own accord. However, that is not where the money is. Airbnb wants all your information because that makes you more valuable.

Your age? They have lists for that.

Your gender? They have lists for that.

Your Facebook friends? Yes, they have lists for that too.

You are a potential goldmine and you don’t even know it. Everyday your information is sold for a huge profit to all the ‘marketers’ out there. Now don’t worry: they aren’t selling your actual name and then all your personal information attached to it (at least we don’t believe they are – because that crosses into illegal territory). However, with that having been said, I personally do not trust Airbnb and that could be happening while you are reading this. You and all the others like you of the same age, gender, nationality, etc. are being grouped together and being sold off like cattle at an auction barn. This is how you keep getting all that wonderful advertising ‘tailored just for you’ – because the marketers already know you because they bought your information.

You can get angry when they screw you over hosting and pull your house from their database, or as a guest who has rented a home that doesn’t exist and is sitting in the rain in the middle of the night trying to call the help center and no one is home. To really make a difference and an impact is to let your friends and family know not to do business with them and if they choose to do so anyway, don’t let them have access to your or any of your friends’ and family’s information. Don’t tie your Facebook account or any other list to verifications. If you are truly done with Airbnb, go in and delete your account from their database. Deleting an account only deletes it from us, the public; Airbnb still has all your information. What you need to do is go into your account and make changes a few days before. Delete out as much information as you can from your profile. Don’t just make fake changes. If you change your birthday, you have still given them an opportunity to put you on a list. Remember they are there for quantity, not quality.; they don’t care how much of the information that they sell is accurate. Let that be a problem of the marketers. Remove what you can. Then a few days later, delete your account. Now all that is left on their end is the scant bit of information you left them with days earlier. Remember people: the only way to eat an elephant is ‘one bite at a time’. Now, where did I lay that fork…? Good luck out there friends.

Airbnb Refuses Refund due to Loud Masturbating Host

We checked into Scott’s home in Silver Lake, CA after a couple of long flights. I’m from Chicago and my partner is from London. Scott welcomed us in and showed us to our room. He was very pleasant face-to-face. After no more than ten minutes, we left to get a late dinner. We returned around 11:00 PM and crept up the stairs to avoid awakening what we assumed was our sleeping host. We changed our clothes for bed, and my partner went to brush her teeth. She came back to the room wide-eyed and asked me: “Do you hear that?” She looked like she had seen a ghost. I said I had not. She gestured towards the door and whispered “listen.” I jumped up and took a step towards the door, immediately heard what she had, and understood the look on her face. Scott was vigorously masturbating and shouting to someone over the phone. I opened our bedroom door and he was yelling (he is somewhat deaf): “Yeah, you like it?” My partner said when she was on the toilet she heard him say “Eat that a#@$*le, you like that big hairy c$%k in your face.”

Scott’s bedroom is adjoined to the only bathroom in the house – the bathroom my partner and I, another couple, and Scott were to share. My partner said she felt sick. I went to brush my teeth and came back to the room with an idea: “I think we should just go down the street to the Comfort Inn. I don’t feel comfortable here.” My partner flipped her laptop around; she had the same idea and was searching for a new place to stay. We looked up Airbnb’s customer service line which was far too difficult to find. We called the Airbnb “Trust and Safety” line to make a report and the first thing they asked was for my partner’s phone and credit card numbers. After a complicated process (because my partner is British and the Airbnb system would not recognize her phone number, even though she booked the trip), we finally reached someone. My partner recounted Scott’s loud and aggressive masturbation session, said we were not comfortable staying with Scott, and would like a refund so we may stay somewhere else. The best they could do was refund roughly 30% of the 11-night trip we had paid for.

At this point, we had spent fewer than thirty minutes in the house. The “Trust and Safety” representative said that if Scott was not directing his sexual language at one of us, there was nothing Airbnb could do. The only avenue they suggested was talking to Scott, telling him our issue, and asking him for a full refund, which they reminded us would not include Airbnb’s fees. Nothing could convince the Airbnb representative that this was an uncomfortable place for us to stay. Their response was essentially: “It’s Scott’s house, and he can do whatever he wants in it.”

Yes, Airbnb, it is Scott’s house and we have just spent our holiday budget on a room in that house. Apparently feeling uncomfortable because of someone’s very loud and aggressive sexual behavior, audible from our bedroom and just short of inclusive while in the bathroom, does not meet Airbnb’s cancellation policies. Now we can’t leave Scott’s home because we can’t afford other accommodations. Airbnb offered no support or empathy. I suspect that when a person plans a trip to a new place, they would like to trust the person they are staying with, or at the very least the company that vouches for their hosts. It turns out, with Airbnb, you can’t necessarily trust either. It probably goes without saying but I will never plan a trip with Airbnb again.

Tax Season: Airbnb Team Lies About Paperwork

On January 10th, 2017 I contacted Airbnb customer service. I am in the process of filing my taxes and found that my 1099-K for 2014 was missing. I do have the 1099-K for 2015. I have logged eight hours talking on the phone with customer service representatives and have been referred to their “Tax Team” who haven’t yet responded. Each time I call I get a different explanation as to why in 2014 they withheld 28% of my payouts and why I may not have received a 1099 for that year. My request to the Tax Team has been made urgent and yet forty days later I have not heard from anyone. This raises the question for me whether the 28% they withheld went into their own pockets, what kind of organization they run that they can get away with not responding for over forty days, and why is there no other recourse? Do I need to contact a lawyer? We are talking about $4000 that they withheld and told me but won’t provide documentation that they may or may not have paid it to the IRS.

You be the judge: Who is at fault, the host or guest?

My experience with Lane & Elizabeth was absolutely awful. As I reached out to Lane attempting to meet at the house at 3:00 PM to check in, he could not make it at that time and it wasn’t convenient enough for him; he pushed it to 4:00. The second I walked into Lane’s place there was an overwhelming smell of chemicals. Lane spoke to me as if I were a child being given a lesson, as he barely showed me around, handed me the key rudely, and left. I already felt uncomfortable. As I began cooking dinner I could hear the neighbors walking around above me and clearly hear conversations from the hallway, outside and through each of the walls of Lane’s place. It was already an issue that the walls were so thin and if I would have known they would so easily let sound pass through I never would have rented the place.

I continued my evening with a few friends. I made sure they kept their voices down to avoid any noise complaints and sure enough after Lane responded to my question about how to set up the television he mentioned a noise complaint. At first he explained how clearly the neighbors would hear anything happening on the balcony so I warned my guests. Soon afterwards I received another text demanding “the party be shut down”, labeling my gathering as a crazy party Lane was stressing over. He said the neighbors were angry and he didn’t want to have to drive over and leave his pregnant wife at home. This is Airbnb, an official business under a professional transaction. Although I understand Lane’s complaint about having to deal with his nine-month pregnant wife it was very unprofessional and did not concern me as the cause of the stress he was experiencing. He continued to text me that the “Party needs to end now. The party needs to end.”

Receiving these texts was beyond annoying because there was no party happening. On a Friday night at 10:00 PM I was being told to send my few guests home and make me feel like we were being extremely loud when it was truthfully not loud at all. Next an Airbnb manager called and spoke to me about the complaint purely being about loud voices on the balcony and nothing else. By this time I had completely silenced the music and had minimal friends over who were all just talking and eating. It was extremely frustrating to be yelled at by Lane over text when I had followed all his instructions and kept the noise to a minimum. This still wasn’t enough. At this point we were over the night and extremely disappointed to have been bothered multiple times, complained about when I had been responsive, and in communication with Lane and the Airbnb manager who had called twice. The Airbnb manager was very polite and understanding and completely willing to accept a compromise in the end.

Five people did sleep over, which I honestly had not known would cost extra or be an issue, but I did agree to pay an extra $25 per person. This was my fault and I just wanted to compromise in some way. This $705 will not be paid to Lane because my experience was just as unenjoyable as his. He complained that there was a balloon stuck in the fan which would cost $100 to fix. We had meant to remove it but no one was tall enough to reach. It was not tied in or stuck at all, it was simply wrapped around and an easy fix for any of us. It is crazy how angry Lane was the next day. He texted me saying his place was trashed which was completely not true. We had taken out all the trash, washed all of our used dishes and cleaned all the trash and food. Anything we had brought was removed from his unit.

I paid a $45 cleaning fee and all we left for Lane’s cleaning crew – himself and his nine-month pregnant wife – to clean was the floor which had chip crumbs on it. Lane also complained that we had left a phone and bullets, which was innocent enough. A friend of ours came from the army and left them with his phone, there was nothing more going on with them. I do understand how this was probably scary but I assured them it was an innocently mistake and we could provide any proof if necessary. My friend was not able to retrieve his phone right away because Elizabeth held it hostage in exchange for her blanket, which we mistakingly took because I thought my friend had left it. She sarcastically responded to us finding it saying: “Oh, all of a sudden you now have the blanket”. She was extremely rude, and harshly accused my friends of trying to steal it.

The last complaint Lane left was regarding burns on the sofas and carpet. These burns were there when I had first come into his unit. I saw them myself and asked Lane about them because I clearly read that one of their few rules was no smoking whatsoever. There was no one smoking at my gathering and I can assure you that I am being wrongfully accused and attacked. I do not feel it is right to charge me $705 and unprofessionally handle this situation due to the anger and rage Elizabeth held towards us, someone to whom she had never spoken.

Host Pet Allergy Problem: Awful Airbnb Guests

I have had several problems with Airbnb in the past and I am a Superhost. This time was so crushing. I specifically stated I have a no pet policy because my oldest is extremely asthmatic to dogs and cats. I came home to find the guests brought a dog into my home and it defecated all over the house. It was disgusting. After 40 emails and pictures, Airbnb would not refund the carpet and house cleaning bill. Sadly, this is not the first time Airbnb has sided with a guest over a Superhost. I had a guest cancel on me at the last minute and I have a strict cancelation policy; Airbnb refunded the guest in full. Airbnb customer service is perhaps the worst I’ve encountered. You cannot actually speak to Trust and Safety and when you call the help desk they claim they have no way of getting a hold of the team. What is the point of a security deposit if a guest can break house rules and not be held accountable?

Lost Over $7,000 Due to Airbnb Check In Policies

My experience with Airbnb has been unfavorable to say the least. For starters, I had helped some work associates book a property as they had to be in Los Angeles to work on a construction project. Since these are close personal associates, I offered to book through my account since the guys had never used Airbnb before. These men are also aware that I am a licensed realtor, so they trusted that I was more than capable to set us up with something that was safe and secure. Since I hadn’t been there at the time the guys showed up, and the owner decided to drop in, the situation turned ugly. Frank Grande, who is by far the biggest scammer I’ve come across, kicked everyone out, and reported the incident to Airbnb. Considering that I was going to be joining the men during the duration of their trip, it should have been noted and considered when it came to Airbnb’s terms and conditions, which clearly indicate that you must be present at the booking. However since I wasn’t there at the very same moment, I was penalized and lost over $7,000 due to Airbnb’s “judgement” on the situation.

The entire situation was ridiculous. I lost thousands to the owner who kept all of the money, and Airbnb who pocketed their share. Considering this, how can Airbnb be considered a neutral party to pass judgement on the situation? Isn’t it fair to say that since they stand to profit off my loss it would have been an easy decision for them in spite of my reasoning? Wouldn’t it be fair so say that a licensed realtor would never want to compromise their license over a booking for strangers? Considering the fact that I explained the entire situation to them and received no remorse and no compromise, I’d say their scales are highly tipped toward everyone’s pockets being filled versus moral ethics and compromise considered by a neutral party that doesn’t profit.

I have recently come to discover that someone had recently placed a listing on my account, allowing people to request and book through my account. I received no verification, emails, or any kind of authorization for the creation of this listing, the acceptance of bookings, and any notice until after the fact. How is this even possible? When I called Airbnb, I had to wait 25 minutes to speak to someone who merely apologized and told me they would have someone contact me. Here was their response: Change your password (in a nutshell) and then close the report. What kind of service is this? I will forever discourage people from using the site and being very careful about any bookings they place and payment sent considering this was easily done and Airbnb has done nothing about it… what a pitiful company.

Airbnb Guest Destroyed Flooring Amounting to $1,000

My very first guest stayed at my condo for two weeks. Needless to say, I was quite ecstatic since it was my first time hosting. I thoroughly cleaned the place, stocked up up the kitchen, provided clean linen and extra towels, the works. Throughout his stay I was kind of worried because whenever I texted him he would not respond. I trusted him enough to let him have a late check out time and self check out. To my demise I walked in the unit a few hours later after I finished work and my laminated floors were all damaged from moisture. There was a huge puddle under the split-type air conditioner. I messaged the guest several times (he was on his way back to California) and got a response two days later; he admitted that he saw the leak, just simply cleaned it up with the towels, and declined to pay the measly $300 that I was asking for a cheap band aid solution. I got in touch with Airbnb and it was only then that they said I should get a proper documented estimate. I got in touch with our building’s supplier which naturally cost more. I gave Airbnb two options: one for $1,000 and another for about $1,600. They got back to me just now (I filed the complaint on February 12th, after the guest left) and the emails state that they will issue me a check for $1,000. I’m really looking forward to getting the check and having the repairs done but sufficed to say, I’ve unlisted my space for good. Just a tip: never list your space on Airbnb if you are not ready for damages and the stressful process of it all.

Airbnb – Are they burning down their house?

A little over a year ago I wandered into this vacation rental business, first signing with VRBO- then Airbnb. 2 very different platforms – 2 very different types of clientele.

We had our first booking within 20 minutes of going live on VRBO and within 24 hours had 2 more confirmed weeks by different families. (We only rent multi-day/weekly rentals). Now granted I was smack dab in the middle of my town’s ‘season’, but we continued to book up to capacity for the next 5 months. We spent the summer booking 2 of the 4 weeks of each month, allowing my family time to spend in our home.

The Airbnb platform was new to me and at first this was not a good fit. Being paid for my rental 24 hours after guests checked in was not conducive to renting an entire home ($500-$700) nightly rate. Nor was billing guests months in advance and sitting on thousands of dollars until check ins. On the other front – the cancellation policies that allowed guests to cancel just days before a scheduled check-in with little to no repercussion could cause the home to sit empty due to the initial turning away of previous guests also wishing to share that time period. When these detriments were discovered I had to respectfully decline doing business with Airbnb. At this time I was contacted numerous times and ‘courted’ for my business. I stood firm – the terms would simply not work. Airbnb relented giving me a 30 day prior pay out period and a strict cancellation policy to guests. Perhaps now we could do business.

My itinerary of guests throughout the year bounced back and forth between VRBO, Airbnb & my website. All my guests were kind, gracious and took extremely well care of my home and property.

Until lately ~ 2017 came in a like a LION

2 Airbnb groups back to back.

The first group were a WILD bunch.
Numerous complaints from the neighbors to the noise from the teenage boys.
I had to ask for them to keep things under control.
A broken pool due to the diving/jumping of rowdy teenage boys from the sides (pool coping broken off – skimmer broken – $400 repair bill)
Although this group partied like it was 1999 – they did pick up after themselves and left the rest of the home in good condition.
We did NOT ultimately turn this claim into Airbnb – as we had our hands full with the below folks and the husband said it was not worth the time & grief to have both cases going. Just get thru the big one and say goodbye to Airbnb.

Then comes group 2 – and Good Grief is all I can say to describe them.
I have been a landlord in my home state for 22 yrs. I have seen the ‘best’ of them come and go. What is TRULY frightening about this group is they only had possession of my home for FOUR days. And in those 4 days they turned it completely upside down.

I blame myself in the onset – the contact was very difficult to work with. After booking I sent documents for signatures and had to ask 5 times over a weekly period to have them returned. We require copies of driver license to accompany docs. It did not come – 5 more times over the next few days I reminded guest docs were not complete until the DL arrived. On the 4th day of asking I finally received. As the time for check in approached I contacted guest as to her arrival time so that the caretaker could meet up with her. This contact began on a Monday morning – for a Friday check in. No response and each day I asked again and again. I was finally awarded with an answer Thurs evening at 7pm. This inconsiderate action on her part waiting to get back with us caused my caretaker to keep his entire day open on Friday to receive them.

Upon arrival at the home on Friday at 4pm – the caretaker met with guests. He gave them their personal codes for the home. He showed them how to use the locks and then gave them a complete tour of the home answering any questions they might have. – For his services the guest gave him a score of a 3 on Airbnb’s review system. I do not know what MORE she could have expected from him – her dinner made and sitting at the table upon her arrival???

1 hour later after her settling in – I called to say “Hello and welcome to our home” and see that everything was in order or if there was anything that needed to be addressed. I was told that we had a beautiful home and they were very excited to be there and everything was just perfect!!

7pm my phone rings. “We have no power” – what happened? Is the neighborhood out? She could not answer either of these questions. I called a neighbor to confirm. The neighbor stated that while the rest of the street was in good condition – my home gave her no surprise that the power was out. She told me she was “surprised that planes were not landing on the lawn mistaking my home for the airport and runway. Everything was that lit up”. I knew then we had blown breakers. I called the guest back asking her if she knew how to flip breakers to which she replied she did. We walked thru the panel and found that there appeared to be no tripped breakers. I let her know I would call for backup and to hang tight.

Calling my caretaker to find that he was out of the area, I called upon another individual who helps with the maintenance of the property. He and is wife went over to the home and checked the breakers. They too could find no problem and at that point we called the electric co. The gentleman gave the ladies a box of emergency candles (reminding them to NOT set them on anything – to which they responded that they KNEW information like that already). As an inspection of the home was made at that time it was determined that EVERY electrical device that could be found was activated. Every switch in the home on (interior/exterior/floods), every appliance running, all their personal items plugged in- the home was completely over-loaded! He explained to them that even though there is an outlet/switch on every wall – there is no home that can support EVERYTHING in the home running full force along with every personal item that they brought at the same time. It is also at this time they he witnessed the home becoming in complete disarray with clothes, personal items strewn about, half-eaten food, dirty dishes, furniture moved and items just generally tossed about. (A stmt letter was supplied to Airbnb of his findings).

The power company gave us a 2 hour window to get to the home- putting them there no later than 9pm. However, we STILL did not know what the source of the problem was as the breakers were all in good condition. I imaged that I might have to bring an electrician in to check wiring if the power co was unable to restore power. While we were waiting for this to happen – I called the guest and explained to her that IF the power could not be restored I would put them up in a hotel (16 folks) and have an electrician work through the night to remedy. Or – they could stay in the home and ‘camp’ (while electricians worked) and I would refund their night. They elected to stay in the home. I told them then we would wait to see what happened at 9pm.

At 9:06 pm the power company restored the power to the home by flipping one of their main breakers outside the home. Yes, they had used SO much power that they blew it OUTSIDE. After the home was back up and running I was confronted by ANOTHER member of the party that I still owed them a FREE NIGHT as they were without power for 5+ hours. (They checked in at 4 – the power blew at 7 – it was restored at 9) – I reminded them of this. They argued about the inconvenience – I didn’t bother arguing back that THEY caused it. Out of the goodness of my heart I gave them a refund of 1/2 nts stay ($280) – they were without power 2 hours – they had 22 more hours to spend – that was ALL I was doing I told them. They accepted it. As they should have been more than ELATED to do so.

All was quiet through the night. In the morning I noticed that they still had on all the flood and exterior lights burning. I called and asked them to please turn off during the daytime. They said they would. They never did. And although repeated calls and texts were sent to them for the next 3 days – they never turned off any of the exterior lighting on the home or even acknowledged me. I gave up. (Fast forward to my electric bill: These guests used $110 of electricity for 4 days – avg over $27 a day in usage – comparing the graphs to other guests usage the highest we ever had was a wedding party of 22 folks at $17 a day) and the temps during these guests stay was in the low-mid 70’s – this was NOT A/C usage).

On the last night I called to wish the guests a safe trip home and to remind them about the checkout procedures list that they had agreed to and signed. They assured me no problem – we are taking care of it. I volunteered them to stay in the home til noon and they told me they had to leave at 9am to catch flights home. I wished them well – and that- I thought was the end of the story.

My alarm system tells me they exited the home at 3:39am the following morning. At 8:45am I called my caretaker to do his exit walk-thru. My caretaker arrived at the home to meet the pool cleaner in the driveway. They had a quick discussion as the pool cleaner described the ‘carnage’ around the pool area. He also told the caretaker that he was ‘screamed at’ by the guests for interfering with their vacation when he came the previous day to check on the status of a repair (that being the previous guest mentioned ‘coping broken’)

At 9:30am my caretaker entered the home – called me and said, “Oh.My.God.” as he walked thru the front door.(The caretakers letter was also submitted to Airbnb as evidence) He then proceeded to take me on a ‘virtual tour’ through the home describing to me his findings. – Including an empty left on coffee pot sitting burning on the counter.

I immediately called Airbnb – was treated rather RUDELY by a CS rep. At this point we had NO idea to the true extent of damages to the home. I was only ‘reporting’ that we had an issue. He told me that I would need to send in pictures, etc. After we had a telephone discussion he sent an email giving me a link to respond. The caretaker took many pictures, sent them to me and I forwarded to the email supplied by Airbnb.

I then called the owner of the housekeeping company. She sent a team over to access the carnage. I asked if I should come – she said, “No – it’s BEST if you stay away”. To which I took her advice. The housekeeping team returned the next day and they spent 12 hours over the next 2 days cleaning, re-organizing and putting the home back together again. For this I incurred a $600 cleaning bill. The guests were charged $280 at the booking.

Numerous more pictures were taken, statements recorded from the cleaning company owner, caretaker, maintenance man and they were all forwarded to Airbnb the next day.

2 days after that I get notice that the guest has written a review on me. Are you kidding me? She trashed my home and wrote a review? I didn’t really know how to respond just yet to this information. With Airbnb no party can see the others review until both are written or 14 days comes up if one party fails to write. I pondered LONG and hard on her review. I knew I needed to wait to write it until it could be written from a fact-based point of view instead of a emotional one. I was still very too RAW to comment on the issue.

On the 13th day I wrote a review. And I wrote a review that my MOTHER would have been proud of. It was short & to the point. I stated that due to the condition that my home and property was left in I would NOT recommend the party to other hosts. And that I had to contact the Resolution Ctr because of damages.
I was now privy to the guest review. It was short and sweet – ‘Big beautiful home for a very large guest party’. Then she proceeded to give me all 3 stars – for cleanliness, ease of checkin, working with her, location, amenities, etc…. In her notes to ME – she stated that my water smelled like SEWAGE and that she recommended that I get it checked out. And who KNOWS what she said to Airbnb behind the scenes.

I was LIVID with this review and her comments! 3 stars for a host, caretaker, maintenance man that BENT over BACKWARDS to help & accommodate her.
Then to trash my home – tell me that my water smelled like sewage- I believe the smell came from the garbage that was hauled from the home (7 trash bags full picked up just from AROUND the home and pool area). I have had NOTHING but 5 stars from EVERY guest that came through my door. I am hosting guests now that are coming time and time again. If I HAD a sewage problem I would have KNOWN about it by now.

I contacted Airbnb about this review and how it needed to come down as SHE trashed MY home and this review was unfair/unjust. And you know what they did??? They took MY review down. That’s right. They informed me that my review was in violation of their ‘terms/policies’ and that I mentioned that I had to contact the Resolution Ctr and that is NOT information that is given to other hosts. WHAT?????? That is EXACTLY what other hosts need to hear and know. WHY would I rent to someone that was not even cooperating with a host and the case had to be mediated? So now – this woman is out there in Airbnb land. No reviews – and maybe she has already done this to others, who knows. But now other Hosts are exposed to her and they have have no protection.
This is something that AIRBNB is really WRONG about – and this is one of the MANY reasons I will NEVER use Airbnb again. This is deception by Airbnb at it’s very best!

But backing up a bit before the review issue – I am still trying to get satisfaction on my case – and I am being put through one ringer after another.
Below is a timeline of what Airbnb had done to me so far:

DOCUMENTED Emails & calls relating to this case:
1/18 12:24pm – CALL – house trashed – was treated VERY poorly by MARK R.
1/18 12:46pm Mark R sent request to turn in info
1/18 1:46pm all info was returned to Mark R
1/19 10:10am more info to Mark R
1/23 8:00 am –CALL – WHY have I heard NOTHING
1/23 8:05am  STOCK canned response from response @airbnb – send us your info
1/23 8:30am -CALL – how do you NOT have my info?? rwestmoreland – send it to me personally
1/23 9:05 – 9:07am 1, 2 & 3 info emails sent AGAIN to @response
1/23 9:05 – 9:07am copies of emails of info to Rwestmoreland
1/27 9:20am CALL – WHY are you not doing anything???
1/27 9:26am Richard J – send us information about your case
1/27 9:30am  sent SAME info AGAIN + a Resolution form this time
1/28 2:15pm Another request for the SAME info AGAIN from Richard R
1/28 2:30pm CALL – are you people freaking crazy???
1/31 7:00pm Thank you for submitting your forms –  the team
2/2 10:17pm – Another discovered damage – email, pic sent to – the team
2/6  2:07pm Lizz – You are in violation of your review – it’s being removed
2/6 6:19am ME:  Unfortunate you are hiding review from other hosts -cancel my acct
2/6  7:17pm MEL:  We are not covering your cleaning – send your info again
2/6 9:04am Lizz:  We have final say about your review- cancel your acct & there will be repercussions
2/7 12:41pm ME:  Please clarify where damages are not covered
2/8 6:01pm – ME: still waiting for a response
2/9 12:45am   Give us your feedback – tell us how we are doing….. yeah – right!
2/9 7:06pm MEL– we are NOT covering your damages – you have 72 hrs to send us your info again
2/9 9:37pm  ME:  Have I died and gone to hell or something?

The day after the review issue I get another email from Mel; We do not cover cleaning costs. WHAT????? Why? It’s not part of the terms/policies. No cleaning is paid for if the property can be restored back to it’s original condition. Is that NOT what cleaning is??? Putting things back to their original condition? What is the DAMAGE Dep for then? Well, we don’t ACTUALLY collect any money from the guest. If you have a problem – you go to them and ask for your money – if they won’t give it to you – that’s when we get involved. This is a joke- right? WHY would a guest that trashed your home then willingly GIVE you money to clean it up simply because you asked? This is STRIKE 2 against Airbnb. The amount we are allowed to put on our listings for ‘damage’ deposit is a farce – it’s a feel-good, because there is NO damage money collected.

After that the communication just STOPS with Airbnb. And that is when I take it to Social Media. I have a personal Twitter Acct that was not tied to my vacation home. I started tweeting out photos – Airbnb got wind of it and had no idea who I was. They started sending messages to please contact them. I realized I had them over a barrel and I kept tweeting. And the requests kept coming. Finally I sent them a message so that they could contact me. They sent (what I would later discover is just another CANNED response they send to shut people up).
I waited for help, and I waited. And then I went back to Twitter and I started beating the heck out of them. My follower count started climbing like crazy (I already had 67,000+ followers) – in one week I gained another 2000 followers. To make matters worse for Airbnb I started re-tweeting everything coming over their help timeline. Folks were eating it up and we were letting them have it.

I have tweeted to various media outlets, wrote a BBB complaint, wrote a letter to my Senator (I understand there has been a special committee formed to investigate the practice of Airbnb and the consumer complaints) – and generally have been a pain in the neck for Airbnb on social media, And I will NOT let up.

Last night I get another email from them. We want to work with you. (I bet you do) – let us know what it is you want – replaced items or repairs and we want to let you know that we have received authorization to get ALL your items repaired and we can talk about those that can’t. That’s beautiful. It really is. However, they are forgetting about the 12 hours that we had to have the place cleaned up. They are forgetting about the utilities that the group blew through, or the time and expense I have with having main. man come try to fix a problem guest caused and the $280 I gave BACK to guest. Or the extra time caretaker was paid to document, inventory & take photos. They are forgetting about all the grief and time I have spent chasing this case when I should not have had to.

I have yet to respond to their email. I am ‘thinking’ on it – but I promise they WILL be made accountable for their actions and in-actions. As I am NOT finished with them yet – not by far….

No Payment Following 12-Day Airbnb Stay in Italy

Having hosted someone from Italy for 12 days in our Australian apartment in January we are still waiting for payment. We received an automated email saying we would be paid on January 23rd. We have been on Airbnb’s books for four years now and have Superhost status. Despite numerous calls to their call centre – the staff of which point blank refuse to pass you on to the management level and if you persist with the request, cut you off – nothing has happened. All they do is pass a so-called ticket to their non-responsive team. Despite many emails to this group no one comes back and now my emails are bouncing back saying they are not deliverable. I wonder what filter they are using to do this? Is it fraud? The work of the FBI or maybe Brian Chesky? On top of this, someone within their organisation has switched my daughter’s bank account details back to those of one that was closed in 2014. So despite receiving money being deposited in 2015 and 2016 now it has been changed back. Hence my use of the word fraud. I can’t help but notice articles in Forbes Magazine where this is now a worldwide issue regarding non-payments and the behaviour of their call centre. It also mentions that the company is worth $25 billion, which clearly adds up to a lot of non-payments. I also noticed that they had a TV ad shown during the Super Bowl. What’s the cost of one of those, three million dollars?

Host Nightmare: Religious Beliefs vs. Guest Rights

I have had the worst experience hosting in my house. The guest’s name is Fernando, staying from January 10th to February 14th, 2017. I’m really upset about his behavior – his irresponsible act of throwing a lot of tissues into my toilet until it was clogged. I spent 350,000 rupees to fix that and I decided to just let it be my burden. Second, he didn’t put any effort into keeping the house clean. Everything was always messed up: all his clothes were scattered around the floor, and his hair after shaving was everywhere on the floor. He left the house in a condition where all my appliances were on, which is very dangerous. Can you imagine if there was any short circuit that could cause a fire? I have always asked for his permission whenever there’s a regular checkup and he said I was snooping on him. It’s normal to have a regular checkup in my own house otherwise he would have broken all my belongings. I do respect him as a guest in my country, but I don’t think he does the same to me. He has known from the beginning that my neighborhoods are predominantly Muslim, and he didn’t seem to respect that.

Last thing, I just can’t tolerate the fact he brought a woman to my house for sex. Though there wasn’t any stated rule that prohibits adultery on my property, it is an obvious covenant for Muslims to never allow adultery in any way. This isn’t a hotel; this is my house and it is strictly prohibited for adultery to happen in my house and around the neighborhood. He should have known this because I told him in the very beginning that the neighborhoods are predominantly Muslim, and he definitely knows that Muslims are prohibited from allowing adultery. However, he just didn’t abide by the covenant. I have always tried to do my best to serve him as my guest: I’ve tried to fix anything he has complained about, I’ve tried to fulfill his requests, and I’ve definitely asked for his permission when my family visits to have a regular checkup of the property. We’ve always emptied his trash and cleaned the house. I apologize for this situation, but bringing a woman in the house is truly crossing the line.

I have a lot of friends from the US and all other parts in the worlds as my business partners, and this is truly the first disappointing experience for me. He is my first and my last guest because I’ve unlisted all my houses on Airbnb. Now he is requesting a refund because security chased that woman out of my house after his stay was almost finished. After all he has done to my house, it’s really challenging my sanity. I’ve tried to call Airbnb in the US, Malaysia and Singapore so many times. I’ve stayed on the phone for ten minutes and there isn’t any answer. It is so frustrating to have never reached Airbnb customer service for resolving such problems.