Nasty Review When Host Provided an Uninhabitable Property

I booked a stay at what was described as a beautiful retreat in the Yosemite area. My friends flew in from across the country to join me on a hiking trip in Yosemite and we were excited to be going. Dan, the owner, was very happy to rent to me, and it was all set up. We arrived to find the place to be uninhabitable. No running water, no promise of repair, and the oven looked as if it was vintage 1970s and had never been cleaned. There was a huge crack in the microwave rendering it unusable. We had to use water from the hot tub to flush the toilets. There was nothing about the place that was as described and I let him know it. He would not offer a refund and told me that if I wrote a bad review he would sue me. I called Airbnb repeatedly for help. We had to search for another place to stay. They promised callbacks that never came, and when I did reach someone, it sounded like I was talking to someone overseas. Whether or not that was the case, they asked me to write a letter – which I did – and to email pictures, because I definitely had plenty of them. They were not willing to try to help me in any way. Ultimately I disputed the charge with Visa and won. Today, I went to the site for the first time since that nightmare, and there was a negative review of me as a guest written by the host of the uninhabitable filthy place that Airbnb had listed for rent on their site. When I tried to reach out to Airbnb to discuss removing the review as it was unfair and they had proof of it, I could not get anywhere with customer service and couldn’t even find an email address. Airbnb is a terrible site and I will never use it again.

Airbnb Screws Guests with Refund Policy

I’ll keep it short. I had a place reserved for a month on Airbnb and the host (Laila) did not have the apartment ready. She told me that she would give me a full refund, but then decided to change her mind that night. That was on a Friday night. She kept telling Airbnb that she would let my family and I stay (my wife and I have a two year old), but would ever answer our calls. Finally, after three days in a hotel, Airbnb cancelled the reservation on her behalf and gave us a full refund. That was on Sunday night. They did not take the word of the guest at all, only what the host said.

As Laila was not ready, I reserved another place in a last-minute situation to get my family somewhere to stay for the month. When I arrived at the apartment I asked the host if he was allowed to rent to me, and he said he wasn’t but that it was ok because he had just bought a house. I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with that, and to please cancel the reservation. He told me no, and to get out of his apartment. After he kicked my family and me out, I called Airbnb to explain. They then cancelled the reservation on my behalf, without my permission, and gave me a $2 refund on $2350. I called his apartment complex to confirm that he was not allowed to rent, and they provided me with the portion of the lease saying that he is not allowed to sublease or use online rental sites.

I let Airbnb know and sent them the portion of the lease, but they said that I needed to provide his full lease with his name and address. Seriously? They know that I can’t provide anything other than the contact information for the apartment complex so that they can reach out. I’ve been going back and forth with them for over a week, and they gave me an 80% refund, but at this point it’s looking like he’ll keep $600. Now I have to go through the process of filing a claim with my credit company in the hopes that their lawyers can resolve it. If you have the option, do not use Airbnb. There are other sites like HomeAway and VRBO that will provide you with a much better service, and offer protection for this exact situation.

Hour of Hell: Quick Glimpse at Potential Nightmare

This is the review I left on the host’s page:

I stayed for an hour. When I met Jason to pick up the key, which he was in a hurry to do so he could go watch a football game, he invited me and my under-21 kids to come back and “kick it” with him. He talked and talked about his job and how he broke his hand punching the wall. The bathroom had cockroaches as did the room I was going to stay in. The room is right next to the street so you hear all cars and anyone walking by. Around 8:00, in he came with a friend laughing, talking and turning the TV on very loudly. There is no trash can in the bedroom which I feel is needed. The entire home is very dirty with paint peeling, dirt and dust. My hour here was a nightmare!

This is the host’s reply…

First of all, I want to say that I take great care and effort in hosting Airbnb travelers in Charleston. This review is a slander in order to get a refund where this traveler ended up staying with one of their kids attending CoFC. I offered a complimentary bottle of champagne of which I do to some guests upon their arrival. The distortion of relayed information on how I broke my hand unloading my DJ equipment off a stage the night prior is in no ways hitting a wall, first and foremost. I have never even seen a cockroach on my property and considering the traffic my house sees with guests it gets cleaned daily. No trashcan in the bedroom is a first for a complaint [for this property] which has almost 50 great reviews… The timelines don’t even match up with an hour there when her check in was earlier and I never even saw her after check in. I really hope this isn’t a common practice with this Airbnber with her check ins abroad as it is wrong to a host to do such practices and falsify information. I took the high road and decided not to even leave a review for this Airbnber.

As of November 2016, I have sent numerous requests to the “Resolution Center” to no avail. I am now in contact with our company’s legal department.

We Didn’t Clean Host’s House = Negative Feedback

For my 40th Birthday we rented a house on Mallorca, Spain on Airbnb. The total for three nights was  1400 euros, including a 150 euro cleaning fee. I spent three nights there with family and a few friends. The stay was wonderful, but the beds were dirty and smelly. I didn’t report this fact to Airbnb, as we were overall lucky with the accommodation. Instead of giving negative feedback to the host, I just didn’t leave any feedback. After 14 days we found out the host had left following feedback for me:

“My guest, his family and friends celebrated a birthday party at the house. They were very nice and the communication was easy so we decided to offer them a late check out. Unfortunately, they didn’t invest this extra time in tidying up the house a little bit, as we found it very dirty and untidy. This is definitely not the way we consider it should be when you leave a property.”

The host offered the late check out, because this was more convenient to him. Also he had someone inspect the house at check out and the person said everything was ok. I felt very offended, giving my money to someone, and paying 150 euros for the cleaning. And he complains and expects me to have cleaned his house instead. If it was shared accommodation, things would have been different, but this was a commercial house rental. I wrote an email to Airbnb, asking them to delete my first review. They never replied, so I cancelled my account with Airbnb and I am note ever coming back.

Airbnb London Hell: Host Refuses to Cancel

I had booked an apartment with Isable and Hyder in London. I had made my booking at the end of October and paid three months in advance (all emails and payments are well recorded and can be provided if needed). Prior to making our journey to the apartment, we had contacted the host in the morning to reconfirm the booking and ensure everything went smoothly. The host had confirmed on several occasions that the apartment was ready for us. This was confirmed on the evening of December 28th, the next morning, and while we were on our way to the apartment.

When we arrived the consigner informed us that there was someone in the apartment we had booked. We tried to contact the host on several occasions and did not get any response from her; she avoided taking our calls. We finally managed to get ahold of the host, who then tried to relocate us to another apartment, which was much smaller in size, dirty and quite disgusting, and without a working shower, heathers, cooker or oven (recorded in photographs above). We informed the host that we would not be able to stay in such an apartment and she asked us to cancel our booking without any refund or compensation for the trouble they had caused us. However, we informed them we would be willing to take another apartment, similar to the one we had booked, but this was unavailable. The host then informed us they would compensate us £100, which was very insignificant, and an insult to the damage caused. We refused to cancel the booking and went through the process of a booking a hotel in the same area, which cost much more. At 7:02 PM the host decided to cancel the booking and a refund of £1041 was made to our PayPal account. However we had spent a lot of time and money in planning our five-day trip: £100 in household shopping including fruits and vegetables, £28.67 for our Uber from Harrow to Saint Edmund’s Terrace, £8.98 to Forset Court, and £25.24 back to Harrow. Our hotel booking is now £510 per night for three people and we are staying a total of five nights, totaling £2,550.

Villa Bali Cliff Kuta South – Experience Review

I suggest anyone considering Airbnb in Bali be very careful with this property and the host. The villa had two living room doors per room which did not isolate us from the outside wild garden area. Two palm-sized spiders came through closed doors or the roof on our second night. Tropical spiders may be very poisoning and dangerous to your health. It was obviously not safe to sleep inside. A big frog came in too. After this, we started to study our living conditions more closely. We found red ants living in the antique furniture. There were big piles of chips attracting them, insect excrement on the mirror frame, and a spiderweb underneath the bed. Obviously there hadn’t been any major cleaning in a while.

The host was kind and nice but only before we started to talk about issues with the property. Both evenings that we were at the villa we smelled alcohol on his breath. When we started talking about issues, he promised to find a solution and asked us to wait, which at the end turned out to be a play for time. He simply waited until Airbnb transferred our payment to his account and stopped responding after that. We should have immediately called Airbnb, which I now suggest everyone do if they see a problem.

When we decided to leave early, our host offered us a 50% refund for remaining days but under the condition that we write a good review. Nice of him, isn’t it? He wrote this in the Airbnb app chat so we can share to confirm. I don’t know if you need to believe all the positive reviews of his villa. Our goal is to provide information and not to judge.

The following day after we discovered the spiders we moved to a hotel. Our host knew that problem with the doors exist, confirmed by his responses in our chat. You surely won’t see it in the pictures here but plaster comes loose from the celling in different areas. The good news is that we have house pictures and videos (sent to Airbnb too). We would be happy to share with readers too, to know what you pay for. To excuse himself, our host guessed in the app chat that we simply wanted a party area of Bali. We moved to Nusa Dua, which is similarly not a party area. Right now the question of reimbursement is still open and under the Airbnb team’s review. We hope that they can help. Sadly, we sense that we won’t even receive a full refund for the remaining days we were out of the villa. Hours of wasted holiday time. Please feel free to contact us via cyrilreview@gmail.com. Here is a link to more pictures.

Airbnb Edits Review to only Show Positive Feedback

We rented an apartment in Oslo, Norway for two nights early in November. Though offered, there was no Internet, wireless or otherwise. We needed to buzz in to the third floor apartment, but the buzzer did not work. We stood on the street attempting to reach the owner by phone to advise her cleaning lady to come down and let us in. A balcony door handle was broken so the apartment could not be locked securely. No paper towels or cleaning supplies were provided. We mentioned all these details in our review; our one positive comment involved how helpful the cleaning lady was in showing us the apartment and surroundings. This was the only part published by Airbnb.

Review Removed: Terrible Trip in Milan

We are a mother and daughter from St. Petersburg, Russia. We travel a lot and used Airbnb for several years. We often stay in apartments in different countries; we have been to Italy many times and also stayed in many apartments in different cities. On previous visits everything was perfect: we hadn’t experienced any bad treatment or a shocking situation before. However, our most recent trip to Italy was terrible; Francesca was the worst host.

Our stay in Milan (which was short) was completely ruined by Francesca (on Airbnb her apartment is called “Mi casa es tu casa – Milano”). We booked her apartment from November 8-11, 2015. Our plane arrived on November 7th at 23:20 at Bergamo Airport. We took a bus at 00:00 and arrived at Milan Central station on November 8th at 01:10. We calculated our route in advance and wrote Francesca several times about our route in detail: when we would depart, when we would arrive, when exactly we would be in Milan. We were worried about a non-standard check-in time; that’s why we repeated our message with all information about our arrival several times, and immediately before our departure we texted one more time.

The most important fact is that Francesca accepted all our conditions and even added 25 Euro for an early check-in. We negotiated this itinerary: when we arrived from Bergamo Airport at Milan Central Station, we would take a taxi and send her an SMS that we were on the way. She was supposed to meet us at her flat, in the street. And then the worst began… we are still in shock. We took our bus, and decided to text her before we got in the taxi. It was a good decision. We informed her that we had arrived at the Central Station by bus and we were ready to take a taxi and go to her place. It was 01:30, November 8th, as we discussed (and she confirmed in her messages that it was ok).

Francesca didn’t reply for 10-15 minutes; all this time we were standing with our luggage at the railway station and waiting for her answer. Finally we got a message that shocked us: she said that there are other guests in the flat and she cannot help us, because she thought we would arrive the next day. She advised us to go to a hotel. Can you imagine such a terrible situation? We weren’t waiting in the safest place at night – the central railway station – and we were advised to run around and look for a hotel in the middle of the night? We have no words to say how terrible it was. In addition, we had an exhausting trip. We left from St. Petersburg to Tallinn on November 7th at 10:30 by bus. It took eight hours, then we took a flight from Tallinn to Bergamo – two hours more – and an hour more from Bergamo to Milan.

It took us 11 hours on several different means of transportation, and when we finally arrived we were looking forward to get to the apartment to get some rest. Instead, we received such a “nice” piece of advice: search for a hotel. Of course, we didn’t have any options. Almost all hotels near the central station were fully booked. After a while, we found one hotel. It was terrible, but we didn’t have a choice; we were so exhausted and Francesca’s message killed us. One night in the hotel (nine hours) cost 113 euros and didn’t include wifi. It was very expensive for us; we hadn’t planned on spending this amount of money at all, especially to search for a hotel in the middle of the night. In the hotel everything had additional charges and it was dirty and dusty.

When we checked in to the hotel, we wrote to Airbnb support asking for help, explaining the situation. Unfortunately, we only had wifi for three hours but a reply came in the morning. We spend a terrible night waiting for an answer and not sleeping. At 11:00 AM we checked out and were in the street again with heavy luggage. All this time we were sending messages to Francesca, explaining that because of her we were in a terrible place. She pretended she had no idea what dates we were talking about (as her English is so bad) and she insisted that it was not her fault but Airbnb’s booking system. We didn’t receive any understanding and support from this person. Finally, she “kindly” offered to let us check into her flat on November 8th at 11:30 am, when her guests left.

But the problem wasn’t solved. She didn’t want to compensate us 113+25 euros, which she took for an early check-in. We had to call Airbnb several times and try to solve this problem, walking with luggage around the city; it was a nightmare, and it was all because of Francesca. The support team called her and she said that the flat would be free ONLY at 16:00, though she told us that it would be free at 11:30. She lied to us. It was a crazy day. Instead of enjoying Milan, we were carrying our luggage around until 16:00. We regretted many times that we chose her. In the end, we took a taxi for 25 euros and came to her place around 17:00.

Tired and exhausted, we found one more unpleasant surprise: her flat was VERY far from the center, almost a suburb of Milan. There were not many people around and there are NOT any cafes and shops; you have to take a bus to reach them. It takes 20-30 minutes to reach the closest metro station by bus, then also the same time by metro. The district is very strange and a bit marginal; we always saw some suspicious people. We were warned in shops to be careful with valuables and money. It wasn’t pleasant to come back in a full bus in the evening, it is different in the centre. There is a criminal atmosphere in the district.

In the flat it was not so bad but we were confused that the host smoked inside, because we don’t smoke; it wasn’t nice. There was no blanket on the double bed, so we had to sleep under a cover. There was no electrical kettle; we had to find an old one, and clean it to boil water. Such things spoil first impressions especially when they were spoiled from the very beginning. On our first day at check-in we showed our bus tickets from Milan-Bergamo to Francesca, on November 11th at 16:40. She told us that it would take us 1 hour 40 minutes to get there. On our departure day we were in a hurry to clean the place and pack before 15:00.

We were a bit confused Francesca recommended we leave at 15:00, because we had gotten to know the city pretty well. That’s why we were ready at 15:20 and came downstairs to throw out our trash (we had several bags). Near the entrance we met Francesca, who opened the door. She didn’t expect to see us (she thought we would leave at 15:00) and told she wanted to say goodbye. It was the first time this had happened with Airbnb; we always say goodbye with an SMS, and leave the keys on the table or in a post box. Nobody came to say goodbye to us because it is not a convenient moment when you are packing and the host is staying above you. When Francesca saw the trash bags in our hands. she decided to show us how to “correctly” separate it. She started looking into our trash bags and separating them. Before this trip, we had stayed in Rome and the host told us how to separate the trash. Francesca didn’t say a word about it before; that’s why it was very unpleasant and unusual she would now.

Later we came back to the flat, and Francesca came with us. We hoped she would stay outside until we left, but no… We started packing our luggage, and quickly changing. Francesca was in the kitchen and was checking if everything was ok (in front of her guests): she replaced cups, turned on the gas, opened the fridge, and smoked. We could have been eating before our departure. We had to leave our products in the fridge, because the kitchen was occupied by our smoking host. Before our departure she reminded us to go to Garibaldi Station and change to get to Central Station. But everything was much easier, because there is a direct way from M Romolo to Central Station. It took us 30 minutes to get there. Francesca told us on purpose to leave the flat earlier because it takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

To sum up, we think it was unacceptable behavior with the guests. Our trip was completely ruined because of her, and it was full of disappointment. Such people mustn’t host guests, because she doesn’t respect them and thinks she is right. We don’t recommend Francesca’s flat of course, if you don’t want your holiday to become a living hell. After our trip, we wanted to write a not very positive but truthful review, and we did. However, our review was removed in just a couple of hours. We wrote customer support. And what do you think happened? The support agent wrote to us that our feedback had been rude, vulgar and not objective. She also wrote that the responses can not be removed, but in some cases there are exceptions. So our review will be deleted. We realized that the guests are not protected by anything. Airbnb is always on the side of the owners rather than the guests. This is very unfair.

Host Lies About What Happened During Our Stay

I made a booking to stay at Surry Hill (Sydney) where Debbie was my host. However, in her review to me, she totally lied about what happened and blamed us for all the unpleasantness:

1. She sent me three messages through Airbnb, with general information about her place and how to get there. This was great, but later on during the message exchange, her information conflicted with that of previous messages, so I had to ask again to verify her information. In her review to me, she said that I did not read her email at all.

2. My reaction when she told me there was no lift or Internet in the house was “Ahh??” If that’s considered rude, I wonder what’s the definition of “surprise”? At the time my husband and I made that booking, we both saw the “elevator in the building” option available, but not Internet. However, when we checked again after moving in, that option was gone.

3. When we arrived, we noticed the house was clean, but the detergent she used left a strong odour in the house. We immediately opened all windows to air the unit out, because this is quite normal. After that, when we came back from dinner, the smell was not completely gone; there was still a strong smell near the bathroom, and in the kitchen. We texted the host to ask, but didn’t receive a reply. So we searched the house and noticed that the smell was coming from the dirty toilet, behind the toilet bowl, and from her spices in the kitchen. I spent an hour cleaning up the toilet, while my husband cleaned up the kitchen at the same time.

4. Our second night, when we came back, we heard a very loud humming sound all around the house. We called the host immediately. After three calls, there was no answer. So we went out to check the source of this sound, and noticed it happened to fill the whole block. Ten minutes later, when we already decided to use ear plugs to sleep, she finally called us and offered to help, saying that she’d contact management to settle it. I’m not sure what she did, but around an hour later, the whole block was in a blackout, and the humming sound only stop around 1:00 AM (one hour after the blackout), when my mother in law already passed her bedtime.

5. The next day, Debbie texted me to mention that the previous guest gave her an extremely high five-star rating, and mentioned that we could move out to the hotel across the road; she would give us the refund for the night we haven’t stayed. Although it appeared to be a fair offer, I found it ridiculous she mentioned other guests gave her five stars, which was no use to solve our problem, and also it’s not really fair as we all know how expensive hotels would be for an immediate booking. Therefore we did not take that offer, to save us time and hassle from the move.

6. On our last day, we cleaned the house as our general practice using Airbnb, but I made the mistake of forgetting the rubbish in the hall. I texted the hosts immediately because I already left the keys in the unit; I couldn’t access it to remove the rubbish. Both replied nicely that it was not a problem, which turned out to be a lie. She mentioned in her review as if I purposely left the rubbish in the hall.

I still gave her a good review because I thought it was my mistake forgetting the rubbish in the hall, but I regret my kindness now. The way she replied privately to me and publicly in the review gave me impression she’s a liar. This was my second try with Airbnb. Although the first try was wonderful, this second try really dissuaded me from using Airbnb again, and if there’s another host like that, I’d prefer to go back to traditional hotels.

No Show Host, No Bad Reviews Allowed

I am a double-lung transplant recipient. I go to Duke Hospital in Durham every six months for a check-up. I decided to try Airbnb, since my stays are only one night, and I could save $30-40. This host had all 4-5 star reviews. After arriving at the airport and taking my rental car to her house, she was not at home. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and texted her. No reply. I was forced to scramble to find a hotel for $30 more. While I was communicating with Airbnb, I got a text saying the host had canceled the reservation, which I was about to do. They quickly refunded my money, but really should have reimbursed for my more expensive hotel. When I went to write a bad review about the host, I discovered I was not able to do that. I called today to ask why (after jumping through hoops to find Airbnb’s actual phone number), and was told it was because the reservation was canceled. That’s not what the text I received said, and before I was able to cancel. I feel I was deprived of the chance to leave a bad review, in an effort to protect the host. None of it is acceptable. I await their return phone call, which I’m very skeptical about getting.