Incorrect Compensation for Working Hot Tub

We had been scheduled to host three people for a month. Before they checked in we asked them if they wanted us to fill up the jacuzzi for them but they said we could just show them how it worked when we met at check in. We instructed them about this the moment they arrived at the apartment. Two or three days later they contacted us again saying the jacuzzi wasn’t working so we sent one of our staff members to show them again how it worked and once again instructed them.

A week before they were schedule to check out we received an email from a case manager at Airbnb saying we needed to send documentation that showed the jacuzzi was working. I responded “How can I do this?”

The case manager said we needed to go and take a picture of the jacuzzi when it’s filled up and so on. We wrote the guests about this asking to come and do this but they didn’t respond. The same day they were supposed to check out we went there and took a video and pictures. However,t Airbnb sent us a decision before we had finished saying we needed to compensate the guests 691 USD because the jacuzzi wasn’t working. Now it doesn’t matter what I send them as they are saying our deadline has passed. It’s very frustrating and I can’t get in touch with anyone at customer service or file a complaint.

Hosting Companies Are Slowly Ruining Airbnb

I am neither a host nor guest although I have used Airbnb as a guest and had great experiences. I applied for a casual job as a cleaner for an Airbnb house. In applying I dealt with the owner. After weeks of delays and masses of emails the house was finally on the market.

It was only then that I realised it was managed by a hosting company and they were in another country, as was the owner. The house was just that; it was certainly not a home and to begin with only had the absolute minimum of fittings (cheap bedding, one towel per guest, no saucepans, cooking utensils, oven and dishwasher not working, no toaster, no microwave etc). Basically it was a two bedroom house with a queen bed in one room and a horrible single bunk in the second room. While it was advertised as suitable for five people, one would have to sleep on a thin foam mattress in the master bedroom and the other guest on the lounge in the living area near the TV.

This lounge was not a sofa bed, and was not long enough for an adult to stretch out his legs. There were no glasses (just plastic cups), one mug, plate, bowl per person and the same with cutlery. There were no pictures on the walls (just the hooks where pictures had been) no books, magazines, music, or DVDs. There was a large TV that has the minimum number of stations available, i.e. no cable or Netflix or something similar. There is internet and it is actually rather good.

People are being charged nearly $170 a night for this. I spent a lot of my own time cleaning the house before the first guests as it just had that dirt that tends to accumulate when someone lives there, especially when you remove most of the furniture. For some bizarre reason, it was heavily booked for the first few months. All short-term guests seemed happy enough. By this time I had convinced the owner to purchase a few necessities such as drinking glasses, extra bedding (winter was on the way), and saucepans. Some things I bought myself as I realised they were needed.

Once some longer term people stayed, they mentioned in their reviews things such as the fact there was no oven or dishwasher. The ‘host’, who pretends to be the owner, told big fat lies and said the previous guests had damaged the dishwasher; that’s why it didn’t work. A previous time they said a guest had broken the oven, when it has never worked. When other guests mentioned the lack of cooking facilities, the ‘host’ basically accused them of being too fussy. None of this “customer is always right” stuff.

When you look at the reviews the hosting companies give for each guest, it’s exactly the same wording for every one, so completely useless as a guide to other hosts. I used to give them a review of each group of guests as they left but now I don’t bother. There’s no point. This host (who uses a pseudonym to pretend he isn’t the owner) has never been to the house, just seen some very selective images sent by the owner. I am the one who deals with the guests. They have mostly been wonderful and grateful for the effort I have made to make sure the property is clean and as comfortable as possible.

When I consider that I originally thought Airbnb was a platform to have a local experience: have access to a home so that you could live, cook, maybe even have someone over for dinner and experience someone’s home. The host that runs this house has hundreds of properties yet still pretends guests are dealing directly with the owner. I need the work so I am still cleaning (and of course have become the contact person when things go wrong). I think places run by hosting companies should be marked as such. Some people might actually prefer it that way.

The problem is of course, once business takes over where communities once reigned, it all goes horribly wrong. eBay is the perfect example of that. Owners who share their homes with guests are mostly going to be proud of their place and treat the guests with respect. That has been my experience using Airbnb. Hosting companies just want to make money and do very little other than take bookings and money, and then take a really long time to pay.

My Trip Motto: Expect to be Disappointed with Airbnb

We went south of the U.S. for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The host had good reviews but I had a different experience. It was so hot and humid, there were strange odors of mildew and urine, and the phone, wifi, and TV didn’t work. The fridge was moldy. I was afraid to touch anything. The worst part was when the owner came down and apologized if I saw him looking in my window: “I wanted to see if you were there.”

At the time I thought it was an honest mistake, though he could have knocked on the door. I was a little freaked out but figured he wouldn’t have said anything if he meant to be sneaky. Then I turned around and saw his friend, with a drink in one hand and a beer in the other and he was clearly drunk. There I was in a foreign country standing between a drunk guy and a peeping tom. I was told there’d be wifi but it never worked for me.

This was all happening on my birthday. I couldn’t call, text, or email anybody. It was the worst, loneliest birthday in all my 51 years of life. I left early. Kudos to Airbnb for cancelling my reservation for the rest of the week but now the hosts are upset that they were only paid for two nights instead of seven. It sucks for the hosts, too. I’m sure they don’t understand my consternation. I’m sure they’ll give me a bad review but I don’t care because Airbnb and I are never ever getting back together.

Know What You’re Getting Into Before You Book

In the city center of Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain, there was a cozy and quiet Airbnb apartment for rent in a building over 100 years old. It was newly renovated and in the historic center of Palma, located 150 meters from City Hall Square (Cort), 300 meters from the cathedral, and just 70 meters from the Plaza Mayor.

I would like to share my experience with you about this Airbnb host. I heard that Airbnb will start doing inspections and I am very glad for this. My last experience at Palma was not very good for a few reasons. I don’t want to make this story very long but I want it to convey what you are getting into if you are thinking about renting this apartment. The only good thing I can say about this apartment is that it was a good location if you like to be downtown. The rest I will be honest with you about; not a word of this is a lie. I have pictures and recordings to document my stay.

The stairs (she mentioned that there was no lift) are a nightmare. They aren’t meant to be used by older people; this should be mentioned in the listing. What she forgot to mention was that the building right beside the apartment (I mean less than two feet away) is under construction. The sound of drilling is still in my head. We had to leave from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. The noise seemed like they were actually in our bedroom. It was really terrible and extremely loud.

On a previous trip to Palma, we went to the beach and came back around 3:00 PM to take a nap. Not this time. One day we arrived at the apartment early and it was impossible even to talk because of the noise. I wrote a private letter to the host and the answer I received was not very good. He gave a very poor apology, saying that it was not noisy. I have this recorded.

There was also a very bad kitchen. It said on the listing that the kitchen was fully equipped, but there was not even a kettle to heat water. One knife that barely cuts.

The most important aspect for me was the safety. There was no fire escape, only two fire extinguishers in the second floor (people could be fighting over using them). I don’t know the rules in Spain, but this is unacceptable. An accident can happen when people smoke everywhere. There was no place to go in the event of a fire. There were also ants everywhere; the host was so “kind” that he left an ant killer spray.

Airbnb Fisherman’s Hangout Unbearable without AC

We booked a fishing trip via Airbnb at a very quaint cottage on a canal just off the lake we were going to fish. To start off the nightmare, on Monday before the Friday we were scheduled to arrive, the weather report was forecasting a tropical storm “Cindy”, making a direct b-line to the location on the very day we were to arrive. We contacted the host and he acted as if he would work with us if the forecast was correct. Luckily it hit the night before our arrival a little east of its expected path.

We continued with our plans and got to the location on Friday and the weather was not as bad as it could have been. The cabin was very well kept and we were very excited to be there. We unloaded or stuff and while going in and out of the cabin I noticed the three AC units but only two were on. I promptly went to each of the two that were on and turned them down because it was not at a comfortable stage yet in the cabin. I also turned on the one in the bedroom. I also noticed a box fan in the living area pointing into the bedroom which raised my suspicions that something might not be right.

After we got settled down and got our boat docked, we were going to cook steaks, but after looking at the grill it was full of water from the rain. I decided to cook them on the stove. After going into the kitchen I noticed there was no vent hood and with the temperature being already at an uncomfortable level, I told my wife we better eat sandwiches instead, to give the AC time to cool the place down. I went into the bedroom to find it rather warm and after feeling the air coming out of the AC unit in the bedroom I could tell it was not working. Since it was rather late by that point I did not want to bother the host. I was hoping the other two ACs would catch up and with the help of the fan, they might have been able to.

I now knew the purpose for the box fan was there to help blow AC into the bedroom to help cool it down. We spent a very miserable and restless night sweating and experiencing back pain from the very small, very hard, full size bed. It was so bad I went into the living room at 4:30 AM in front of the AC and tried to get some rest on the couch, to no avail. I waited until 9:00 AM to call the host and told him of our issue. When I did I was greeted with the claim that I was complaining without a legitimate reason; the last guests had no problems and the AC was not having issues then, nor did he think there was a issue now. My question to him was then why was there a fan in the living room pointing into the bedroom. He said it was just for circulation.

He would never admit the AC issue and I even offered to help him install another window AC if he would go buy one. His reply was: “I can tell you are fishing for a refund.” I then told him we had planned this trip for a long time. Coming even in the shadow of a tropical storm should have shown him we wanted to stay at all costs. He never offered to fix the problem. Afterwards, I offered to go buy an AC unit and put it in another window; he did accept that offer, of course.

We then left to see if we could get some fishing in. The more I thought about it, the more I decided we should just go back, pack up, and go home. His lack of concern ruined the trip we had so looked forward to, and if he had at least tried to fix the problem or come over to the cabin to verify that the unit was in fact not working, I would have done whatever I could to help him get it resolved. He did not come by because he already knew that it was not working.

The bottom line is he did refund $198 of the $270 for the three nights, less our cleaning fee and the $39 Airbnb fee. I opened a case over three weeks ago and Airbnb keeps telling me they are going to help. So far I have not received any resolution. All I am asking for is the $72 left off my three nights, excluding my $50 cleaning fee and $39 Airbnb fee. All this and if the stupid host would have just shown a ounce of concern and fixed the AC. He would not have had to refund anything.

I am not at all impressed wit my overall experience at Airbnb, but I do think I will give it another chance.

Airbnb Definitely Not As Advertised, Many Faults

We got to our Airbnb around 6:00 PM. By 10:00 PM, we advised the host that we needed to change locations because my son was having an allergy attack. The host met us the following day but simply said that we were the only guests who complained. I hope my story will warn future guests.

The host had a very strict policy with keeping his place clean and charged 10% more than the rental fee for cleaning. The host claimed that his place could accommodate up to four people, that it had internet, a TV, a hair dryer, a washer, and heating. The photo of the place shows it is well lit. However, upon arriving to his pad, we saw cockroaches and tiny bugs in the toilet. The cabinet which held his tiny 3-kg washer smelled like cockroaches were living there. The place was really dark because of busted bulbs along the hallway, the common area, and bedroom. The internet signal kept dropping every hour and the TV was not working.

The portable heater, which could only heat a very tiny room, would suddenly stop working. When we opened the drawer of cutlery it was a mess. His dishwasher was filled with tableware which had not been cleaned well. Some food particles were still on the washed dishes . The host had a strict policy of guests tidying up upon leaving the place because he wanted to keep it clean.

His kitchen sink was almost as wide as a pencil; it was actually a small bar sink. The sink in his bathroom was not much better. The floor needed scrubbing since we could feel the stickiness while walking. The drainage would back up when we took a bath.

Finally the place was really like a dungeon because it was a bit too dark. Even in the daytime it was really very dark. Because he had limited bulbs installed, it was not sufficient to light the room. I guess I would not feel bad if he only charged AUD 100/night for his place because it was really shabby. However he charged me a total of AUD 244/night. We moved out the following day even if the host offered to replace the busted light bulbs and probably send someone to fix drainage. I will attach photos to prove my claims. Hope this will help future guests to be careful. Thank you.

Locked Our Child in the Room to Avoid Bad Hosts

Lesson learnt. Don’t ever use Airbnb. I used it once and cancelled my account. Airbnb will not check the size of the room and the number of people that it can accommodate; it’s up to the host to decide. Even in a small room they will accommodate many people for money. No mercy for kids, either. They will fake the review, even if you call them and complain. They will talk to you nicely and will tell you that they will file a complaint and send you an email copy regarding that. In fact, they will not do that.

My wife got a job in Lake Mary, we moved from NJ to FL. The place was totally new to us. I was trying to book a hotel for a five-day stay (because we got an apartment for rent near my wife’s office after five days) with my family. One of my friends suggested booking an Airbnb based on the host’s reviews, which I am regretting now. Since I was traveling with a kid and the area was totally new, my wife and I decided to rent a place with a kitchen to cook fresh food for my son. The rent was $100 than a residential hotel. Since the reviews of the host were good, we booked the place.

The property was hosted by a young couple from the same land where I am from. The first day we reached the place around 7:00 PM and the hosts were so good; they asked us to feel free to use the common area since the room was very small for three people to stay. Starting the second day, the nightmare began. When we started cooking around 1:00 PM on the second day and since they were very friendly and set very high expectations, we started asking about little items like salt, sugar, etc. We cooked with most of our pots and pans. Even though they put in the Airbnb listing that new stainless steel equipment was available in the kitchen, we didn’t see anything there. When we asked for some, they were not happy.

Since we were new and we didn’t have all the items we need and no car, we could not go to the shop and buy everything on the second day. The host was not there and his wife was messaging him about everything happening and keeping him updated. So far so good. The guy came home. He had spoken nicely to us the previous day. However, he entered his home with anger in his face. My kid went and talked to him; he never responded properly. I noticed something was going wrong. I went and talked to him. He was telling me that we were asking for items which we should not ask, overutilizing the kitchen and not cleaning the dining table area properly. In addition, he was very arrogant telling me that if we did not clean the dining table area properly, he would cancel the booking. I was scared that with three big suitcases, three big hand bags, and a little kid, in a place which was really new to me, where would we stay?

I quietly told him we booked the room because we had a kid and we had to cook fresh food. To my knowledge, we were also cleaning the table. He told me that when they eat food, they clean the floor around the dining room table because small food particles might be there. I told him that I would clean the floor if that’s the case. Then I went to the kitchen and saw a piece of rice in the sink. His wife was there and I told her I would clean that up; otherwise, he would not be happy. After hearing this, he told me in a rough voice, “Come here, don’t talk to my wife. Talk to me. What did you say…?” as if I was going to do something to his wife.

I never expected that kind of harshness from him and I explained what I had said. After having our lunch, we went to the room. I Googled around and found some hotels nearby. I told my wife we should get out of there. However, my wife was not completely okay because of our kid and the amount of luggage we had. We went out to talk to the hosts to tell them we were ready to move out. They said that they will not be at home starting the next day so we could use the kitchen. However, we had to clean it properly. My wife said this was okay and convinced me to stay.

After that incident we didn’t want to go out when they were there and kept our son in the room. We basically locked him in the room. The room was so small for three people. I don’t know what kind of verification Airbnb is doing if someone is ready to host by allowing a certain number of guests, especially kids. The room can accommodate only one queen size bed, so they put a bed on the floor by the side of the main bed for my son.

As they said, no one was there for first two days. I went out and prepared something for my son and fed him as my wife left for work. During dinnertime, we went out because they were there. On the third day his wife was there the entire day, so we never went out. We had only oats for my son and I and at night, as usual, we went out. I was waiting for the fourth day because that was the day we were checking out and going to our new apartment. I was so happy when we stepped out of the room. Please don’t use Airbnb and suffer like I did. It’s better to use a hotel.

 

Dreamland Nightmare: No Amenities in Bali

Friends and I decided to go for a surf trip to Bali, Indonesia. We found a good looking place for a good price as we are students and don’t have a lot of money. On arrival in Bali we were told that the manager of the house would be waiting for us at the villa to open it. When we got to the villa there was someone different: not the host or the manager, some random person. He struggled with English and quickly left once we were in.

We soon realized that our beds had no bedding or linen. This was a bummer. We also realized that there were no towels so a shower after the long plane flight was a no go. The villa was dirty and falling apart. Shelves and cupboard doors were falling off their hinges. There was no kettle. The gas stove had no gas and to top it off, the wifi that was promised seemed nowhere to be found.

We contacted the host, and she was very responsive and apologetic. We asked for the linen, towels and wifi and she assured us it would be there tomorrow, as we arrived late in the night. We have been here for three days and nothing has changed. We have contacted the host countless times. Every time she reassures us that our needs will be met but we have yet to see anything happen from her part.

Halfway through our stay the manager arrived randomly one evening. He did not bring bedding or towels. He couldn’t speak a word of English so communicating with him was extremely difficult. His friend who accompanied him told us that they need to do renovations two days before we are supposed to check out. This was very weird and we were extremely confused. He then told us that he will move us to the house next door for the remainder of our stay.

This is ridiculous. It’s a complete joke. The host is extremely useless and is treating us terribly. Hopefully we can get a refund or something because no one should be treated this way. Thank god the waves are amazing because it’s the only thing keeping us happy.

Do Not Use Hosts Who Demand Positive Reviews

Upon arriving at this pool house that was suppose to sleep ten people, we discovered there were only three beds. We had expected three pull-out couches from the listing on Airbnb. After contacting the host, she informed us that the other four people could sleep on the couches, that the couches were not beds. While looking under the cushions for the pull-out bed, we discovered food, candy and dust under all the cushions. It look like they had not been cleaned in months. We did not even want to sit on the couches, so we covered them with sheets.

Then we contacted her and asked what the hours were for use of the pool. She said they had no restrictions on the pool use and that we would not disturb them. She knew that our girls did not get finished with dance until after 9:00 PM, because we told her. After we left, I received an email from her telling me how surprised she was at how clean we left the place. I explained that was how I was raised, to clean up after yourself.

She went on and on about how great renters we were, then she bashed me on my review. She said the children were left unattended at the pool (the “children” were 16, 17 and 18 years old) and that they removed the Polaris from the pool. That was not true. She also reported that they had to scrape food off the couches. As I stated earlier, the couches were covered with sheets she provided for us. If they were scraping food off the couches, it was from the previous tenants. She begged me for a good review and stated that she would give me a good review as well. As it turned out, she lied about that too. Take my advice: do not rent from hosts like her.

Airbnb Deletes Negative Reviews, Favors Hosts

This is an echo of the same stories other guests had. I just want a way to let Airbnb know as they don’t seem to hear. I had a great experiences with Airbnb hosts for a few years. I always left the place very tidy and clean. I respect these are the hosts’ homes and livelihoods perhaps. I think there are some really picky people out there who pay for three-star services and expecting five-star treatment. I believe in honesty. However, I suppose any comment would possibly be taken personally by a host as it is their own home or livelihood and Airbnb is a way to help pay for their mortgage. Usually I try to be gentle.

I had a two-week road trip in the UK recently from tip to tip. We had great experiences, and honestly we just wanted to have a clean place with our own bathroom and toilet, in a quiet location… a place that appears the same as we see in the pictures. We also needed a place to boil some drinking water. We didn’t expect to have breakfast or meals there.

The place we stayed at Cornwall was not the cheapest nor the most expensive: a double bed with no views for £60 a night with no breakfast. It was advertised as two minutes from a cliff with a great view. The reviews there since May 2016 (about one year’s worth) have been 100% positive and still are since our visit. There was a friendly host, great place, etc.

However, on the night we arrived, we found out that it was a shared bathroom/toilet situation and we didn’t know that this was something Airbnb hosts don’t have to disclose. Most hosts would based on our favourable experiences. The host mentioned part of their home was closed at night for their family’s own use, i.e. their best selling point – the balcony – overlooking the sea cliff was only available in the morning. We were fine with that. We are pretty much out most of the day anyway.

Here is what we disclosed from our experience on our review:

1. There was no toilet paper in the shared toilet on the night we arrived. It was all used up. We didn’t want to bother the hosts, so we waited until the morning to tell them.
2. No wifi password was provided on arrival and we forgot to ask when we first met. We texted them to leave us the password in our bedroom during dinner. They did but it was on a card with writing so blurry you could hardly read it. We took a picture with our iPhone, blew it up, and could finally make out what it was.
3. The second day we were there, the other guests left the bin in the shared toilet full. It is the only bin which we have access to at night. They must have left it there the whole day since check out is in the morning and we found the rubbish at night after we returned around midnight. We messaged the host in their own home on the second floor to ask where we should put the rubbish. Our intention was not to mess up anyone’s home. We would like to respect their privacy but not go into their closed kitchen and lounge area. We didn’t leave all these gory details; we just suggested they could provide a bin in each room so that guests could leave rubbish. The small bin in the toilet may not have been enough.
4. We didn’t feel that the nicest part of the house was available to us as they left the door closed in the morning and didn’t quite tell us on our arrival that it would be okay to walk right in anytime before certain hours. This is the point to which they objected and thus Airbnb removed my review
5. The area that we got to see the most often was the room which faced a wall of the garage. The bathroom could be heard clearly from our room. There was no mention of any of this in the listing of course; we commented on this.
6. The bathroom was shared and not mentioned on the listing.

Airbnb removed our review based on this last point as well. What we only mentioned privately was we were badly bitten by some sort of insects which we are pretty sure happened at their property; the redness and itchiness appeared at least 30 minutes after we had left. The host vehemently denied it of course. Now I know better after reading this website. Airbnb is much more concerned about insect attacks than any of the neglectfulness we experienced. What I feel is most unjust and sour about this Airbnb experience is the host said we should be in a hotel and not use airbnb at all.

Airbnb said I cannot mention the shared bathroom was not disclosed, since they want to hide that fact, obviously. The host said that my comment about the accessibility of the nice balcony was incorrect. It is a bit of he said-she said I suppose. However, if Airbnb had looked into my history, they would have seen I was never vindictive towards any host. The whole review was taken out and Airbnb tried to call me once to explain or discuss the situation. I feel that they really should have done better to help expose the truth here for their user experience which was what made them stand out in the first place.

On the other hand, I had then stayed with another host two days later where they had a lodger just below us banging the ceiling and shouting at us when we were just taking showers. We still rated them five stars because they were friendly and helpful; they didn’t know their lodger was doing this. We told them the next day. The place was otherwise fantastic. The price was reasonable. We didn’t leave any bad remarks. In addition, Airbnb protecting these Cornwall hosts bad mouthing us by leaving us a bad review ‘saying that we should have stayed at a hotel’ when they are just providing service worse than that of a hostel at a price I think 40% above a hostel rate is leaving me a sour taste. It is bad business for the hosts who are doing the right things as well.