Airbnb Host Refuses to Cancel After Changing Rooms

I know my complaint pales in comparison to others. However, I am frustrated that I cannot review the host and want to warn others. I booked an Airbnb about six weeks before our trip. According to the booking, we would get a private bedroom with a king bed. About a week before we were to leave I reached out to the host to inquire about changing the length of our trip. At the time she informed me the room was no longer available and had been taken by someone else. She told me that we could sleep on a queen bed in the common space beside the kitchen.

When I saw the common space, it looked like we would be sleeping on a pullout couch. She didn’t even offer a reduced fee and was not willing to accommodate us regarding our request to change the length of our stay. Of course I was frustrated and told her that she, as the host, can cancel the reservation, as per the policy on their website. She refused because she didn’t want to get penalized. In order to get an resolution on this I had to phone Airbnb multiple times until a case manager called me back. Airbnb ended up cancelling it for both of us, which meant the host got off free. In the meantime, I was scrambling to find another place less than week before our trip, in the middle of summer vacation season. Be warned about this host. She may have positive reviews, but that may only be because those who may have given negative ones were not able to do so.

Bully Host in Paris, Never Using Airbnb Again

I returned from my trip to France and Germany about a week ago. For the first time I decided to try Airbnb. My boyfriend and I had used it several times during vacation in the US under his account, and never had an issue. Then, I opened my own account this time to give it a try. Apparently, the review system is a hot mess. I received at least ten emails reminding me to write a review upon returning home. Quite frankly, I had such a bad experience I thought I should just not review it at all: a situation where if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all.

However, I went ahead and wrote a review with the positive aspects of the place, which in reality was a bargain for the location. When I read the host’s review, I found he had given me one star, saying that I was not pleasant, and that I was rude. I was shocked to read those words because I barely exchanged a word with him during my stay in the place, and when we left, he was all giggles and smiles with my boyfriend. It took a lot from me not to tell him what I was thinking about his demeanor.

I am a straightforward person. When things are not good anymore, I just remain silent. I cannot fake being happy with a situation if I am not. This man was the king of fake; in fact, that was the whole issue. He pretended to be okay, and he faked being accommodating. He stressed us so much, and he basically ruined our romantic weekend.

I travel to Paris regularly, and normally use Booking.com or TripAdvisor (and believe me, I do regret not using those for this trip as well). My suspicions of making a mistake started when just a couple of days prior to the trip I did not hear anything from my host. I proceeded to message “her” through the app to arrange our meeting. To my surprise, I was contacted by a man. He replied to my message the day before my trip excusing himself already for replying late (first picture). I was wondering why the listed female host was not responding, but I figured this person was somehow related to her. I did not think much of it, and he requested we use WhatsApp to communicate. I agreed to it, but I assumed he did not have a clue about how cell phones work, because my American phone would only work in wifi friendly areas in France.

We originally sat up a time of 6:00 PM to meet at the place, but as soon as I landed in CDG, I received a message from my boyfriend who was flying from Germany to join me on the weekend trip, telling me Eurowings had a delay of an hour, and we would need to change the check-in time. I did that right away: contacted the host to let him know we would be arriving an hour later than arranged due to a situation beyond my control (second picture). His response to me was the following “Umm, okay – is there any chance you can come beforehand? The apartment is all ready to go and I have the keys. But I do have other plans tonight and had arranged around 6:00 PM.”

Who in their right mind would ask a woman that just traveled eight hours to come and meet beforehand with a male host (not the listed female host), and leave her boyfriend hanging in the airport? Thanks to some miracle, we both arrived at the place at 6:45 PM. At this point my boyfriend, who happens to have a European cellphone, was in constant contact with the host (fifth picture). He was pretending to be cool with the situation, but stressed us out so much by telling us he had to go due to his prior social plans. I had offered to meet him in another part of the city to pick up the keys since I mentioned I was familiar with Paris in my precious texts. He said it was no big deal, and that he would wait.

He was not accommodating at all. When we arrived, I was very tired, and disappointed at him for harassing us. I was very quiet and short. Before he left, I asked, when should we check out, to which he verbally responded: “We will sort it out. I will contact you guys.”

My boyfriend had mentioned at that point that we would like to leave around 1:30 PM because we had bags, and we wanted to go straight to the airport. He said that would work, and still he would contact us. The day before we left, there was no check-out information (sixth picture). It was around 7:21 PM when I told my boyfriend to contact the host since we had not heard from him at all. We had thought that the check-out time would be sometime around 1:30 PM, per our conversation.

Sadly, once again, this host was trying to pull a fast one bullying us. He said that we needed to be checked out by 10:00 AM because he had another person coming in at 11:00 AM. My boyfriend and I went back to the Airbnb website and looked at the listed times for check-in and check-out. “Sophie”, the host we never laid eyes on, listed 11:00 AM for checking out. My boyfriend pointed this out very politely to him, saying we would be ready at that time, as it was indicated in their Airbnb listing (eighth picture).

If you go to the property’s link now, that he has skillfully changed the check out time to 10:00 AM. Thank god for cell phones and the ability to take screen shots. At that point, we thought things were cool, and I actually prepared to leave the place in excellent condition. He failed to mention this in his very objective review. When he arrived in the morning, he was all smiles, and frankly, by then I was extremely dissatisfied with the whole experience. I avoided eye contact with him, and exited as soon as I was able to. However, he made small chat with my boyfriend and walked us out. It occurred to me he was so fake because he was there with the next host.

I forgot to mention he was late once again. Seems like that is his MO. But god forbid someone has a delay in flights that might interfere with his dinner plans. I do not understand what he meant in his review when he is talking about me being unpleasant and rude when he tried to bully us, and he failed at hosting. I am a psychotherapist, and it occurred to me that he might need a psychological evaluation.

I hoped to get a hold of the famous “Sophie” host. I sent a message through Airbnb, but of course Sophie is just a front, because the truth is this guy was in charge of the listing. As for the place, it looked like a storage room that had been conditioned for the sole purpose of renting it. There was no electrical outlet in the bathroom, so I did my hair with my hair iron plugged in the living room. The “bed” was an ungodly uncomfortable couch, and there was no temperature control in the room at all. The electrical breakers for the whole building are in the apartment, and there is no smoke detector alarm.

I hope people thinking about renting this place read my review. I am a world traveler, and have never had such an unpleasant experience. I guess that is what I get for using Airbnb. I should have stayed with Booking.com or TripAdvisor, which I will do for my next trip. I sure hope my next journey to Paris is more pleasant, and erases this terrible experience. Maybe my story will save you some heartache, and aggravation. I hope you don’t have to deal with this man.

Breach of Contract: Airbnb Location Changed After Arrival

The host changed the location after we arrived from the Bay Area to Boston. I stood on a street corner with my son and a pile of bags for 15 minutes waiting for the host before checking my phone and finding a message to meet him one block away. The host walked us another block away from the nice brownstones to dilapidated student housing. It was 9:30 at night because our flight was late. There was a hole through the subfloor in the kitchen, holes in the walls, a filthy bathroom, disgusting sheets, and only one bed. We got out as fast as we could the next morning. The host started harassing me. Airbnb assured me I’d done everything I could, multiple times. After three weeks and five rounds with the resolution case manager, the best Airbnb could do was to refund half of the remaining five days plus fees and a lecture from the Customer Experience Manager about how I wasn’t compliant with “the Airbnb family”. Here’s more if you want pictures and details.

Taking Advantage of Shared Economy: Airbnb in Paris

Let’s start at the beginning. I put my commentary here because the Airbnb website only allows five hundred words, clearly not enough to describe my experience. At my arrival, the host complained all the time about the big bag I had. It was my third week holidaying in France with one week at Guédelon and one week climbing in Marseille so yes… I had a big bag with lots of stuff inside. I had to insist not leaving my bag outside.

The apartment was small, smaller than 25 square meters. The host just rounded the number on Airbnb (for legal reasons, probably). At my arrival (more or less midday), nothing was ready. He hadn’t cleaned the room. I told him I would take a tour in Paris so he had time to clean (but after my bag was already inside).

After my tour, I came back to the apartment and saw the host watching TV. The problem was that the TV was in the bedroom where I must sleep and he was sitting in the kitchen. This is why there was no door; he could watch TV through the wall. It’s not a charming thing to see from a host. It was impossible to sleep without his consent (and after two weeks of playing sports and working under the sun, yes, you want to sleep a little). I had to wait until “his majesty” wanted to stop watching TV to have any rest.

It wasn’t even a room; there was no door. He could just come and go anytime he wanted. There was no privacy at all. The sofa was broken. He didn’t repair it; he just put a wooden board under the mattress, meaning it was a horrible night for my back. The host also complained every time I sat on it because… the board could break? He just slept in front of the main door, meaning it was impossible to go out without his agreement or any major evacuation. Or simply impossible to get water during the night or go to the bathroom without annoying him.

The host was not nice. He always complained about everything. For example, As I said, I had a big bag with stuff from my old trip (Guédelon and climbing) meaning there was a smell coming from my bag (I can understand). After an hour speaking with him, even him telling me the smell was coming from me, he just freely insulted me. Funnily enough, I closed my bag and the smell stopped. If the room had had a door, this could also have solved the problem.

The shower was disgusting; I thought I was in prison. There was no key on the door, and a big spider. There was also a cat. It was a cool cat but he slept on the bed and decided to sharpen his claws on my leg at 2:00 AM… that didn’t help me sleep.

After one night, it was impossible for me to stay longed. I looked for a room hotel (Ibis, Holiday Inn, etc.) but everything was full. I had no other choice but to take a ticket train to come back to Brussels (100 euro for the ticket). On the train, I asked the host to refund the money for the nights I didn’t stay via Airbnb. He refused and insulted me again (and probably will insult me again replying to this, as he did in the comments).

Some of his words were so surreal. For example, he said:

  • “If you didn’t find any hotel room in Paris, your mistake cost you 150 euro (An Ibis hotel room price).”
  • “I could find a room in a hotel when I decided to visit Paris, but someone just told me Airbnb was a cool experience.”
  • “Just look at your profile picture, I understand something’s wrong with you. Change it to improve your confidence.”

In conclusion, this host didn’t understand the Uberization and the philosophy of the shared economy. It’s just a guy with who said to himself “hey, I can make money with my crap.” I lost 277 euros (178 for the rent and 99 for the return train ticket) and had to accept that. I asked Airbnb for a case resolution (but honestly, I don’t believe in it). I also asked “Le Bureau de la Protection des Locaux d’Habitation” of Paris to check this guy out. I don’t have lots of experience doing this (or to see how to get my money back) but if someone can help me, please let me know.

Horrible Airbnb Experience In Alameda, CA

My family and I have been loyal Airbnb customers for years, but a recent experience with Airbnb disappointed us badly. I would like to share this experience with you guys so that in the future, no more Airbnb users will have to go through anything similar.

On June 27th, my parents and I were expecting to stay at an Airbnb in Alameda. I had lived in the Bay Area for years so I am familiar with the surroundings. I was so confident and joyful when I got the chance to stay by the Alameda waterfront. However, it was truly a “surprise.”

The check-in was smooth – hard to deny that fact. However, we found many notes that said “please do not open” and “no shoes in the house.” This was okay because we should respect the hosts’ desires as well as ours. It turned out the hosts were trashing our desires while demanding we respect hers.

When my mother went to boil water in the kitchen, she could not find any kettle but discovered a messy kitchen with cabinets full of open food and “who knows what.” There was one flip-flop in the kitchen drawer. The kitchen looked like someone just rushed out after living there for years. After that, my mother used a glass pan/pot to boil water since there was no kettle. A few minutes later, the glass just exploded. There was glass in my mother’s hands when she tried to move it to some other place.

We were already not so pleasant at this point. However, we thought this could be just bad luck. My mom and I tried to take showers in our separate two bathrooms which we found disgusting. Outside of my bathroom, there were screws that I believe were used to replace the carpet facing up; they went right into my feet. On my mother’s side, the shower could not be turned on, the toilet stunk and had years-old stains, and both showers were covered with yellow stains that could not be removed when we tried to clean it up. The wallpaper of my bathroom was peeling off, and the towels had someone else’s white hair on them.

We wanted to contact the owner the next morning because it was late at night, so we decided to put those things down and go to bed. The biggest surprises always come at the end of the day when you are exhausted and so wanted to sleep. The mattresses were broken. One side of the bed was completely falling for both of the beds in the two bedrooms. The bedding in my room was cheap polyester that kept irritating my skin. The ones in my mother’s bedroom were pilling. The pillows were made out of polyester as well and too thin to be called pillows. Where on earth can you even get this kind of bedding?

I reported all these big problems together with minor issues to Airbnb customer service. First, they guaranteed me a refund of half of the total price I paid, and I thought everything was solid. I booked a hotel for the next three nights and decided to leave in the morning. However, after a few rounds of emails, the Airbnb service person told me she could not do anything about it, and I could not get a cent more than 90-something dollars out of the $920 I paid. Ridiculous and outrageous!

Another customer service person said she saw the pictures of the listing as well -including the pictures I took. Did the listing say “our mattresses are broken” or “we throw our things in every cabinet in the house to create a big mess”? The pictures on the listing did not even include a shower or toilet view. Those pictures were misleading the guests and luring them into booking a wonderful place on the picture and receive a dirty ancient house full of low quality stuff.

I think Airbnb is so eager for hosts and available homes they lower their standards which encourage people like this host to be so careless. Now my family had the worst vacation ever, and the host claimed to Airbnb that she had done everything (which Airbnb has no proof of; they just believed her) and got $711. Is our society rewarding irresponsible people who hide behind greedy merchants? Where can someone find polyester pillows and other bedding? How hard is it for people who can afford housing in Alameda to purchase decent normal home supplies?

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.

Airbnb Takes Host’s Side in Flophouse Complaint

It’s been ten days since I discussed the complaints about my host with Airbnb’s resolution center, to no avail. She won’t understand my queries. She uses all her energy to agree with the host and dismiss me. All she understands about my complaints are the cleanliness and misrepresentation, and that’s okay with her.

On April 21st, 2017, we reserved the master bedroom of for an appartment in Hollywood. The listing claimed the following amenities were included:

– You get your own master bedroom with a private bathroom, closet, balcony
– Sleeps three (third person can choose to sleep on living room couch or an air mattress)
– Free wifi
– Central air conditioning and heating
– Hardwood floors (carpeted bedroom/walk-in closet)
– All brand new furniture and apartment
– Dishwasher, microwave, full size stove
– Laundry Facilities inside the unit (modern washer and dryer)
– Cleaned by professional maids
– Full kitchen
– Extra comfortable mattresses: 600 thread count sheets, high quality comforter sets
– Chic and modern design
– Stainless steel appliances

We demand a refund for the following reasons. Before reserving, we asked for more pictures, because only one was provided in the listing. A woman claiming to be the host said that she did not have any at the moment. When we saw the apartment, we understood why she would not provide pictures. We did have our own room with a private bathroom. It was very sparsely furnished with just a bed and a TV. There was No bedside table or lamp, no dresser, no chairs, and no sofa, contrary to what was shown in the picture. In addition:

• We had to ask for the air mattress, which was stored in a pile in the dirty living room. • It smelled like cheap perfume in the room, as if someone wanted to hide a bad smell.
• The bath, sink, and mirror were dirty.
• The only linens that were provided were five washcloths and a hand towel.
• The blinds did not work properly, missing many slats
• The balcony was cluttered with stuff belonging to other people (and the host responded that he wasn’t responsible for the comings and goings of the people in the apartment)
• The room could only be locked from the inside, so we could not lock it when we wanted to leave.

Furthermore, the front door was always unlocked. The host only gave us the key to the building, not to the apartment, claiming that there was always someone there. Therefore, both the front door and the door to our room were always unlocked, so we could easily have been robbed. When we confronted the host about these problems, he made up excuses and said he would get the air mattress (which he did) and extra linens (which he didn’t). When we explained our problems with the state of the apartment, he replied that we had only rented a room, disregarding the fact that we were supposed to have access to the kitchen, which was in a horrible state.

As for the rest of the appartment…

• There were four or five occupants in the living room and kitchen when we arrived (alone, because the host did not meet us). These were all temporary lodgers or Couchsurfers, judging by all the couches and air mattresses.
• The kitchen and fridge were dirty and smelled bad, just like the rest of the apartment.
• There was no coffee maker, and no glasses. We only managed to find two cups.
• When we woke up, six people were sleeping in that mess of a living room. We have traveled a lot (often using Airbnb), enough to know what to expect from a room costing 123 CAD (plus fees) in Hollywood. We did not expect the Ritz, but we will not accept paying that for a room in a dirty apartment that felt like a bad youth hostel.

We also had the following problems communicating with the host:

• He made me repeat a lot of information before we arrived, while I was in Venice. All that information was already in our Airbnb messages.
• I had to insist that he take our luggage on the morning of our arrival, as agreed, because he thought he might no longer be available.
• He arranged a meeting to pick up our luggage, not in front of the apartment, but across the street. It wasn’t the host who met us, but a lodger who had been woken up at the last minute, and was late.
• When we came back that night, we again had to meet across the street. He then gave us confusing information, and asked us to claim that we are family if anybody asked.

The host did try to be courteous, and said he did not want us to be dissatisfied. He even made a brief attempt at tidying up the kitchen, but that did not fix anything. We had to sleep there the first night, because we arrived at 7:45 PM (as he requested), which was too late to find any other accommodations at a reasonable price, though I searched for three hours. I did find something for the next two nights, but it cost more than my Airbnb booking. At such short notice, barely anything was available in Hollywood. For all these reasons, and generally for false advertising, we demand a complete refund.

On a final note, I don’t think this host even has the right to rent out his apartment, because he always refused to meet us in front of the building, never came in with us, and asked us to claim that we were family if asked. I have contacted his co-op board to find out. Thank you for your attention and your cooperation.

Airbnb Refused to Allow me to Write a Negative Review

I booked a last minute apartment in Athens, Greece called “50 Shades of Grey with Acropolis View” by Minas. Upon arrival, I discovered there was a full scale renovation of an apartment above mine creating loud noise all day and into the night (I arrived at 8:00 PM and there was still noise). I immediately told my host that I would not be able to stay there, but he refused to give me a refund. I also called Airbnb but they offered no help. In addition, because I told them I would write a review about the construction to warn future guests, they told me I would not be able to write a review. So yes, they charged me (even though I stayed elsewhere that night) and they denied me the right to write an honest acurate review because this particular host is a “superhost”. Airbnb has become a shady company and I won’t be using them anymore. They care more about receiving their service charge from a stay than the guests or hosts themselves.

Kicked Out of Airbnb Over Security Deposit

Upon arrival, this host asked us to pay an extra $90 for a security deposit that she hadn’t posted on Airbnb. It was strange because she didn’t care when she got it; she just wanted it to keep it. We told her that she hadn’t posted it on her Airbnb and we didn’t have enough money with us. In response, she threatened to kick us out right then and there. She then told us we had to go with her to the tourist agency and we told her we were already registered. She then told us we weren’t and told us that we can’t leave the country without a “white cardboard”. We had been in Montenegro using Airbnb for some time and no one else had ever asked us to register. All her messages seemed very threatening towards us. The apartment was unsafe because none of the doors locked. The wifi did not connect. We were very disappointed in this host and believe she should not have been able to host. She was very misleading and seemed like a scammer. Now we are out $154 because she told us if we didn’t give her more money we would have to leave. It does not seem fair to us that we could either leave or be kicked out and still be out of the money. We are young traveling college students who had really loved using Airbnb. I hope to still use it. I’m not sure if any money could be refunded; if it could, that would be wonderful. If not, she should not be hosting in the future. She tried to scam us and threatened us. Overall, we love Airbnb but please take this into consideration.

Airbnb Trips Turns into Extortion in DR

My friends and I went to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic on June 10-19, 2017. During our stay we had a couple issues: the grill not turning on, the fridge spoiling our food because it was not working. We booked an ATV riding experience and paid in cash on the spot because we wanted no surprises; some reviews stated the host had extorted money from guests for similar tours. We told them we had booked a catamaran with another company and they seemed a bit upset.

The next day we were told the catamaran company would pick us up at 8:45 AM. He said the company told him that; we were a bit confused by this because we had an email saying it was an 8:00 AM pickup. We thought maybe they worked together. We went on the catamaran. It wasn’t what we expected; it was boring, and even the best parts were mediocre.

After getting back we were then told the hosts had taken us on their catamaran (not the one we had booked) and they knew how to cancel our original PayPal transaction; they insisted we should send them the money after the tour. We were confused how they could do such a thing without our permission. They put it in a claim with the other company, saying they had come and taken us.

The next day the workers came again, telling us to pay $100 more then what we paid with our original plan. We told them PayPal had not given us our money back yet, and we would do it as soon as the money was received.

We left the 18th at night. One of our friend’s flight was later on in the day so she stayed. The host would not let her leave, brought security saying she couldn’t leave and the police were on the way. A guy friend of ours was in the same villa so he gave the host $350 and she charged the credit card that was on hold for $500 and the Airbnb account $720 in order to let our friend go.

We called the original company that we booked. They notified us they came and the host had said we didn’t want to go with them. We were also told they don’t issue refunds, so we payed for two catamarans. This host is a fraud and must be stopped. How can she live with herself, extorting people? She made a few thousand off of us for the Airbnb and extorted us for more. She told us a pickup time of 8:45 because we told her the pick up was at 8:00 AM. The company couldn’t reach us with all the security and they wouldn’t have waited 45 minutes. She set us up so we didn’t know we were on her catamaran.