Superhost Gets Super Bad Treatment From Airbnb

On July 11th, 2017, I received an award from Airbnb for being a Superhost for four quarters, something I have consistently achieved over two years and seventy guests. I have since received appalling ‘service’ from Airbnb. There are two types of Airbnb hosts: the rich landlords who own multiple properties and offer nothing but a bed and a coffee machine and make a fortune. Then there are people like me for whom this is an important living in a depressed economy. I pay tax on Airbnb earnings. I go out of my way to offer five-star service, gourmet breakfasts, quality linens, and thoughtful, discreet care.

I have just had someone flounce out swearing abuse – while I was doing online teaching – after a week here. She booked for a month. In that time she clogged the plumbing so a plumber had to be called; I didn’t charge her. She broke the kettle, claimed it was my elderly cat who can barely get onto a sofa, never mind leap onto a kitchen shelf. The kettle was fused to its base and could not be turned on, heaven knows how the guest did that. She broke an antique bookend; I asked her to superglue it. This was something precious to me that I’ve had for two decades and from my gran. She claimed she needed an alarm and I must buy her one – this from a Luxembourg citizen who had lived in Boston for six years and recently flunked out of college. I looked at IKEA, couldn’t find one and suggested she try CVS or Target.

She managed to break the cupboard door – not sure how – and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. The damages exceeded $600 and when I tried and load claims onto Airbnb it refused to accept pictures. I’ve sent in two queries about this no response. The Airbnb person tasked with this case has treated me with disrespect and contempt. He promised to take this matter higher early last week. Nothing.

The guest said the room was not cool enough for her. In three years I have received no similar complaints; the house has air conditioning, is surrounded by trees, and there is a spare fan in the room. I bought another high-end fan – for $67 – and she managed to break that one too. I have no idea how. She was only paying $100 a night (in exclusive Wellesley) and got breakfast each day: a poached egg, two chorizo, avocado with supergreens, rye toast, wild honey, raspberry yoghurt (organic), herb tea, and orange juice.

She went through five toilet rolls, two boxes of tissues, and two boxes of candies in addition to finishing two new containers of body wash in a week. I did two loads of laundry for her on Saturday – washed, dried, folded, and put it in her room – and there was not a word of thanks. On Sunday she demanded I do another two loads: a bra and two panties for one load (whites), then for colors a towel (her own – I gave her three fresh towels on Saturday and fresh bed linen). I said such a small load was environmentally unfriendly. She freaked and was verbally abusive, shouting and bullying me.

I was in such a state afterwards I locked myself in my room and sat on the phone for forty minutes trying to get help from Airbnb. There was no answer, so I emailed them and went to their host forums. No help. Airbnb phoned me last week on the guest’s behalf and only when I mentioned my email did the representative say: “Oh yes, it is here. I haven’t read it.”

I told him everything I listed above. He called me back and said I must refund the guest, despite a strict cancelation policy saying I don’t give refunds and even though I was not in the wrong. He says the guest was complaining that she was too warm in her room (she’s also over 6 feet, overweight and on multiple medications – by her own account – for anxiety, so that might be a contributor. I’m 5’2″). I noted how I tried to help her, including two long sessions of unpaid counseling (I’m a trained trauma counselor). I recommended she go to an acupuncturist to assist with her nerves; she went twice.

I told Airbnb after incessant bullying from him I was prepared to give the guest half of her payment back. The representative from Airbnb started yelling at me; I twice had to ask him not to yell at me… this to a Superhost who has just received a rare award from them and who has 70 glowing reviews.

When I was teaching over the internet on the guest’s last evening – which she knew – she came in the room, music blaring, shouted at me, and began banging doors. Really bad conduct. I later audiotaped her ongoing abuse. I was so frightened of her that I stayed in the living room, curtains open, lights on, hand near the phone in case I had to call the cops.

I apologize for this story being so long but if you have the time, read it all the way through. Someone also tried to book with me then refused – the second person in a row because there are so many verifications now loaded onto my profile that a guest has to supply a passport (which most Americans don’t have), a drivers license, and two other forms of ID. This person declined to book – and frankly I would not give my passport details either.

I wrote querying this last week. That too has been ignored. Many hosts are like me: ordinary folk, trying to make ends meet. We are the bedrock of Airbnb. We do right by everyone, our mostly wonderful guests, and we pay tax. We buy superior foods and linen for our guests that we deny ourselves and yet there is still no support from Airbnb and sometimes frightening situations.

How Long Do I Have to Wait for My Refund, Airbnb?

My last Airbnb guest left red spots on my two antique pillows. He left and didn’t tell me that he had spoiled my linen. I filed a complaint and he said he didn’t tell me because I was not talking to him. I don’t know how words we exchanged, sentences, and conversing is not considered talking. My pillows were antique: one of a kind that were spoiled and cannot be replaced. I requested $200 for damages. The guest sent me $65 and I said, “No go, son.”

He replied by saying, “they weren’t that special.”

How does a snotty nose brat know how special something is to me? Airbnb took a $1000 deposit. They were supposed to resolve the case in 72 hours; it has been almost two weeks. Is Airbnb more concerned about making more money that it is about treating its hosts with respect? I have called too many times and sent too many emails. A supervisor was supposed to call me at 3:00 PM today. It is now 9:00 PM tonight. Which day was he talking about? A million years from now?

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.

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.

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.

Airbnb Hosts Given no Recourse for Guest Damages

Airbnb has been making money off of my property for four years now, and I’ve had quite a few problems with them. I had a guest cause permanent damage to a $1200 Italian wood coffee table: scratches and deep liquid/heat cup stains that of course she didn’t inform me of when she left, and I discovered afterwards. Airbnb had the gall to call it “standard wear and tear” (even though every other guest for four years had managed to use the coasters there on the table) and gave me none of the $200 deposit I required with each booking, nor any other way to seek recompense or repair. This stuff cannot be repaired, as it turns out.

Recently, a guest’s cat damaged a leather chair, destroyed two new bath towels and two throw pillow. She told me she wanted to “make things right”, very convincingly. I trusted that she would. I lowballed the cost of replacing the towels and throws, and didn’t include the cost of my time, not even knowing if repairing the chair was within my abilities. I posted a very good review for her because I believed her, her only review so far. Now that I know she was lying, and has disappeared without sending the agreed upon check, I wish to change my good review, or at the very least, remove it. Airbnb’s call center (who claims to have no way for me to contact the actual Airbnb company except through the general “feedback” box on the website – no phone, no email address, not even a mailing address), told me they “had no way to edit it” and it was protected as “free speech”. I said, “Yes, my free speech! Which is no longer accurate!”

They said I should’ve waited until long after the guest left to post a review (even though we are prompted to leave one starting the same day guests depart), after she failed to mail the check she promised. All I want to do is prevent other hosts from reading my review and opening their homes to a guest who will damage their property and abuse their trust. It’s not only in the best interests of fellow hosts, but of Airbnb as a company, when those other hosts get snowed. The so-called customer service contact talked in these positively insanity-creating circles. She said nothing could be done because I hadn’t filed a claim through their claim resolution within 14 days and that no one was able to remove my positive review, as if there were bots who’d overthrown management and hijacked their website. She could not refer me to anyone who is empowered to correct or take down the review. We hosts are nothing more than cash cows for Airbnb as they pull at the udders of our property, allowing flagrant abuse of our trust, and of our homes, to their great profit.

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!

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.