Claim Made 20 Days Ago, Still Waiting For Our Money

We had a guest stay at our property using Airbnb (we live next door) and several things went wrong. First, they had way more people than agreed; they brought in a dog and damaged some of our personal property. When the guests left, we went inside to find blood soaked bed sheets, duvet cover, and the kicker: a used tampon left on the floor.

We filed a claim on July 5th to withhold part of the guest’s deposit to replace the bedding and an extra $100 for our cleaners who had to deal with that disgusting situation. We are now 20 days into the constant back and forth with Airbnb and they still haven’t resolved our claim. When we filed, they guest had three days to reply; they did not.

I involved Airbnb as instructed and of course the representative incorrectly closed the claim instead of escalating it. It took several phone calls, several days and tons of emails back and forth to finally get the claim escalated to the correct department. However, they will not talk to you by phone; there is no one that replies to your emails and they leave you hanging for weeks. Had I not followed up every day, the claim would have been closed without my knowing and my allotted time frame to file the claim would have been up.

The guest has not replied to any communications. We sent photos of everything, copies of the receipt to replace the items, and copies of the original costs. We have done every single thing we have been asked to do and we still have not received a resolution.

This is the second time I personally have dealt with this. The first time Airbnb did the exact same thing to me. They told me the claim was filed, they said someone would get back to me, however when I called to check on it the claim was “accidentally” closed. We have emails proving that we followed all the steps correctly, but still Airbnb said our “time had run out” on being able to file a claim. This is how they get away with not paying host for damages.

Airbnb Guests Throw Party And Damage Our Home

I am sharing my story because I feel all hosts need to know how important it is to protect your home from unruly guests. We recently had our first guest in our vacation home on the Columbia River by the Gorge Ampitheatre. Sadly, our first experience did not go very well. We met the group coming in (a party of eight), went over the house rules, walked them around our home, and felt like we connected with them. Our home is a special place in the world, and we really were hoping to attract people that would enjoy it.

Unfortunately, our guests decided to host a party there and had over 50 people in our home. Our floors subsequently were damaged (over $14,000). We contacted Airbnb. We were directed to message the guests to see if they would pay for the damages. After three days of no resolve, we were allowed to escalate this to a case manager and seek coverage under the “Host Guarantee”. Our case manager asked us to get a bid from a contractor as well as furnish them with the original cost of the flooring (not the easiest thing to find, but we did). They had us send pictures of the damage to them as well as provide a professional statement from the contractor. We did all of this (keeping in mind we live over two hours away from our vacation home), and in the end, Airbnb emailed this to us (our home is 800 square feet):

Thank you for your patience throughout this process. After careful review of all related documentation and communication, we have issued a $50 security deposit payout for the reported damage. You can view this payout in your Transaction History. While the documentation you provided far exceeds this amount, Airbnb is only able to reimburse for fair market value of the damaged areas in question. The average laminate flooring costs from $2.40-$4 per square foot and since you have higher grade flooring, we’ve issued the payout based on $5 per square foot for the 10 feet of estimated damage. It’s been a pleasure to assist you. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns regarding this case.

$50 on damages over $14,000 (we have a $1500 security deposit on our rental… who knows where that went) and no further explanation as to how they came up with $50. We have emailed, called, and have gotten no support or help. I am shocked as a frequent Airbnb traveler as I have always had good experiences. As a host, this can’t be the way business is conducted. We are devastated. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas as to where to take this issue?

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 Colludes with Host to Fraudulently Charge Guest

A few months ago I rented a large property on Airbnb in Cape Town, South Africa. During our stay we accidentally caused minor scratch damage to one of the interior walls whilst moving our belongings up a stairwell. I notified the host via email of the damage to his wall (including attaching a photo of the wall) and offered to immediately arrange for repair work to be done (i.e. a refill/replaster of the scratch and repaint of the affected wall in the existing wall colour).

After no response from the host, I decided to go ahead and call a local contractor to do the repairs on our last day at the property and then sent a picture to the host of the repaired wall and asked him to confirm if he was satisfied. A couple of weeks later, the host sent me an email demanding to be paid R4000 (USD 300) for the cost of repair of the wall damage and the replacement cost for a couple of broken wine glasses. I naturally queried this, as the wall had already been repaired by a professional for half this cost claimed by the host, and at my own expense. I therefore asked the host to provide photos of any additional repairs he had allegedly done and invoices for those expenses.

He refused but instead sent a formal complaint and damages claim to Airbnb more than a month after my stay at his property (which according to Airbnb policy is not permitted beyond two weeks following a stay). I then sent several emails to the relevant Airbnb consultant, disputing this claim. Airbnb never responded to any of my emails. Several calls to their call center/”help centre” also proved fruitless. A month or so later, without warning, Airbnb summarily deducted USD 400 from my credit card account (claiming those funds would then be transferred to the host for damages.

The host has yet to provide a single shred of evidence that any such expenses were ever incurred and why his damages claim suddenly jumped by a further USD 100 from the initial USD 300 the host had first claimed to me directly. Should you ever find yourself in such an unresolved dispute , I recommend you cancel or block your credit card before Airbnb can make such fraudulent deductions on your card.

Fair Warning? Who’s to Blame for this Airbnb Accident?

My husband and wanted to return to the New Forest for a weekend 23 years after we had our honeymoon there. I found a beautiful barn conversion on Airbnb. We arrived around 8:00 PM on the Friday evening and was treated by our host’s son, a student. He said the door was unlocked and the key was inside. We went in and made ourselves at home. I cooked a meal and we lit the fire log burner. We sat and tried to access the internet; I had to ask him for the password. He said it was in the manual on the fridge. I looked and there was nothing but a bread board. I located the book (which was a completely unmarked ring binder in a small bookshelf), we found the code and I started to read through the book. There were lots of pages to read, but I read them all. There was a little note at the end, almost an afterthought, saying that the towel rail gets hot.

We then watched some TV and went to bed around 11:00 PM. When we woke on Saturday morning my husband wanted a shower. It was a great shower. However, when my husband got out and bent over to pick the towel off the floor, he burnt his buttocks on the towel rail. He screamed so loud, I ran to him and thought he was messing around at first. Then he turned around and he had the most horrific burns I had ever seen. It had removed several layers of skin and seeping raw flesh was in welts across his buttocks. He was in agony.

The worst part of this was that we had arrived on our Victory motorcycle, and the thought of travelling 3-4 hours home on Sunday was worrying to say the least. I wanted him to go to the hospital, but without knowing the area we opted for the nearest chemist. I asked the host where that was; he asked if everything was ok and my husband replied: “No, it bloody isn’t! I’ve just burnt my arse on your f%&#g towel rail!”

He was in so much pain. We set off tentatively to the chemist where he did not want to come in out of embarrassment. I went in, described the symptoms, and got the largest wound dressings they could find and some burn gel. Returning to the barn, I dressed the wound. However, the gel he’d given us was hurting it even more, so I carefully washed that off and tried to keep as much of the skin I could around the wound.

Later the same day, my husband went off to find his friend to take his mind off the pain as much as he could. At this stage we still had not seen or heard from the host’s son. I was sitting in the sun when a friend of hers came by, saying she was just popping in to see the host’s son. She was there for some time so I gathered he was in. I thought this extremely rude, especially under the circumstances. We stayed until early Sunday and left.

There was another surprise when we returned home as the host had written a report that I was pleasant, but my partner was rude and had shouted at her son about the towel rail. She also stated that we had left black marks all over her white rug which she said we had made from our dirty boots from the motorcycle we arrived on. Instantly I realised she was completely prejudiced against bikers and would blame anything she could on us. We took our boots off at the door (as we always do) and the marks were already on her rug; I thought they had probably come from the log burner. I thought nothing of them when we entered the property.

As you can imagine, we were both livid with her response. We decided to make a claim against the host and got our solicitor onto it as soon as we could. However we seem to have many problems with that, as the host has not responded to any email and our solicitor wants another address we can contact her by. This I realised was more difficult than I thought as trying to contact Airbnb is almost impossible.

Memorial Day Airbnb Disaster Could Have Been Avoided

We have used Airbnb for almost a year now. We’ve had several issues with prices randomly changing and people booking our home for holidays at an off-season daily rate. That is not what this story is about, though.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2017 we rented our house out to a party of ten. Our house rules are very clear: no smoking, no parties, and no more than ten guests. As many people do, we count heads with a ring doorbell. We noticed a party developing as group after group showed up.

Saturday morning, we called Airbnb to ask if we could evict the renter without issuing a refund. We intended to keep the deposit as well. We also did not want negative feedback. We spoke to an Airbnb representative who was absolutely clueless and seemed to want to make our call about himself. We were told, “they can leave feedback if they stay at your house. They can request to be refunded.”

Not wanting to lose over $2,500 or get a bad review, we left the guests alone. We were told that the Trust and Safety team would contact us as this was urgent. They continued to promise there were no more than ten people. Over the next two days we gathered videos of probably 100 people coming into our house. Still, we waited for Trust and Safety to contact us. They didn’t, so we called back. This time we spoke to a supervisor who told us the same thing as the first representative.

On Monday, I came to my house to find carpets ruined, furniture broken and stained, and the decks trashed; everything appeared as if there had been a wild party. We have videos of the partygoers, the drinking, puking in our bushes, and other deplorable acts.

We want to submit a claim, but how? Trust and Safety won’t tell us what to do. Why? Because after more calls than I can count, they have not reached out to us. We have 14 days to submit a request. We don’t know if that means a request to the house violator (guest) or through resolutions, or through the host guarantee. Airbnb told us to “submit your request for additional guests and cleaning first. That goes to one department. Then we have another case for your damage.”

I don’t have a case number to refer to. We have many thousands of dollars in damage and Airbnb just refuses to lift one finger to help us. They have many unqualified people to answer their phones, but all they can do is BS us about how important our call is. I will upload files after I have some resolution. However I am thinking if Airbnb does not want to involve themselves in this, maybe it’s time for an attorney and perhaps a class action suit.

Bodily Fluids Stains and No Refund from Airbnb

I am extraordinarily unhappy and feel unprotected and violated by Airbnb during my last few resolution calls. It is a vicious cycle of abuse, combing terrible customer service shielded with bad excuses the representatives call policies. Isn’t it bad enough that Airbnb allows people like this? He got to keep his account after he demonstrated an affinity for threatening hosts and landlords just to get a discount; Airbnb never suspended or deactivated his account. Airbnb allowed him to violate these hosts’ lives. In addition, he left the keys in the apartment when he departed with the door open.

It does feel like Airbnb does everything in its power to not protect the hosts. Now, I am in the middle of another disagreement with another guest over damages to my organic mattress topper. Because it was bought over a year ago, I didn’t have a receipt and the full amount may not be returned to me. That means that a partial refund – if any – that could be collected would still mean that every guest who damages something would be given Airbnb’s “let it slide” approach; this would mean that I could not afford to replace anything. Consequently, that would mean I would have downgrade or throw away all the damaged furniture and downgrade my entire apartment overall.

My case manager did not seem to understand I cannot just be repaid the cleaning fee; something that goes on a bed damaged due to a guest’s bodily fluids cannot be given to another Airbnb guest. Is that what the Airbnb team recommends? Furniture damaged in such a fashion needs to be completely replaced. It is simply too easy for Airbnb to blame hosts who are left with damages, bad experiences and a downgraded personal apartment. If you were in my shoes, would you honestly be very happy with this kind of service?

We Found the Host Having Lunch in our Airbnb

I had a five-night stay in a Brooklyn Airbnb, where my brother and I rented the entire home. After the first night, I called the host to express my dismay at the lack of cleanliness and got nowhere. If I had contacted Airbnb at that moment, none of the following would have happened; I would have gotten my money back, and all would be well. I didn’t know that was an option at the time. I tried to work with the host directly. I didn’t think I could have afforded to move to a hotel and I was worried about paying for two places and not getting my money back. I stayed and tried to make the best of it.

On the third day, the ceiling started to cave in from an upstairs plumbing issue and the pipes had backed up into the bathtub. The bathroom was completely unusable. I contacted the host, requested a refund and he refused. He literally said, “Why?”

Really? He said it was an old house and he would get it repaired. When I returned to the home that evening, the repairs had been made. I only had two more nights in that awful place and I figured I would make the best of it, really wanting to avoid any further hassle. The next day, we came back to the rental to find the host and another person inside. They had been there for quite a while, totally unauthorized. My suitcase had been packed and moved aside. The host was eating a meal on the patio and refused to leave even after I showed him my reservation. There was a huge fight. He said it was his house and he wasn’t leaving. I certainly wasn’t going to stay and hang out with him.

It was an unsafe and very volatile situation. I had no choice but to leave immediately before things got out of hand. I contacted Airbnb by phone from my alternate lodging less than an hour later and they said they would look into it. A few days afterward, I received an email stating they have issued me a refund for one night’s stay.

Does this seem right to you? No one should have been inside much less going through our things. Despite all of my other complaints, this alone should warrant a full refund. They were trespassing. He had no reason to be in there much less hanging out with another person while we were away. How many other times was he there while we were out for the day?

Airbnb Does Not Care if Criminals Want to Rent your House

Airbnb is a giant scam. Beware. Their customer service sucks (both as a host and as a guest). But that is only the tip of their iceberg. Hosts (especially) should use VRBO or other vacation rental resources, and travelers and guests are advised to do likewise. Airbnb claims to verify their renting guests, and puts many hurdles in the way of hosts trying to require potential guests to fully identify themselves. Only owners or hosts who own fleabag properties would allow any Joe Schmoe to take possession of their property without providing full ID – SSN, Drivers License, DOB, full name, mailing address, etc. – and permission to run a credit check. Maybe that is why so many Airbnb properties are fleabags.

We have properties worth over $1 Million with valuable furnishings and artwork and there’s no way are we going to give the keys to someone Airbnb will not let us verify. I am a realtor and attorney, and I can tell you horror stories when owners do not fully vet guests themselves.

We recently tried to check on one “verified” guest, only to find that their cell phone was really someone else’s (same first name, but different last name and no idea who the “guest” was). No other information Airbnb gave us access to checked out either. We tried several ways of contacting the booking guest but only got one reply – through Airbnb’s anonymous contact email, which was clearly written by a non-native English speaker (even though their name was listed as “John Smith”; I am using a pseudonym here, do not want to implicate anyone directly).

I am guessing they were Eastern Bloc scammers who had cased our Airbnb listing through the pictures, booked for a weekend, and planned to simply rob the entire place during their stay. When I called Airbnb to report my reasons for thinking this was a scam and cancelling the reservation, they penalized me and said I was being unreasonable in the information I was requesting from the guest even though my listing clearly stated what I require prior to a stay.

VRBO has no problem with me getting full verification and ID from guests. Airbnb claims they have a $1 million dollar insurance policy on each rental. When the bandits steal all my valuables, I then get to argue with a third party insurer who has no relationship or loyalty to me (only to Airbnb, their real client), prove my losses to their satisfaction, and hope that I am ultimately made whole (of course, after paying out of pocket for six to twelve months to refurnish the property, not to mention trying to replace irreplaceable artworks, which I enjoy sharing with my otherwise respectable, and fully vetted, guests).

Any legitimate business model would give paramount importance to securing the person and property of the owners and hosts. Any hotel around the world will make you show authorized IDs (passport, credit card, etc.) for every guest before renting you a room. Only Airbnb thinks it can bully owners (increasingly sleazy slumlords and fly-by-night “re-renters” who have no real connection to the properties or neighborhoods they have on offer) into rolling the dice on any jackass who can present a credit card with a limit equal to a few nights’ rent. They then might steal or cause damages worth 5, 10 or 100 times that amount.

My Place was Trashed and Airbnb won’t Pay

A guest booked my place for three nights. She agreed to my house rules: no parties, no noise, be respectful of neighbors, and have a maximum of four occupants. She hosted a prom party with a large group until 4:00 AM and trashed my place: they jumped on the bed, ripped kitchen back splash tiles off the walls, left spilled booze pooling on my countertop (it seeped into the seam, inflated and warped the countertop so much I had to replace it). All of the linens, comforters, blankets and towels were covered in food, makeup, and booze. The inside of the oven was black with food scraps and a big pile of stinking, rotten forgotten food. The floors and furniture were covered in scattered garbage, half eaten food, drink bottles, and personal items that had been left behind. My dishes and decorations were found tossed around in different rooms. What normally takes four hours to clean took twelve hours. The cleaning and countertop repairs cost me over $700. Airbnb took eleven days to get back to me, despite many calls I made asking for an update. They responded via email, refusing to pay for anything and described it as normal wear and tear. I emailed them back twice asking for someone to contact me, but they have not. I have hosted for almost two years and have had hundreds of guests. I have never put a claim in. I have zero trust and don’t feel safe using Airbnb after their refusal to honor the host guarantee. If it doesn’t cover partiers trashing your home, what does it cover? It appears that the host guarantee is a scam that gives you a false sense of security. If your place gets trashed you have no recourse.