Burned in Mexico: Airbnb Bait and Switch

This trip to Mexico was intended to be a fun get away for myself and two other girlfriends. One of my friends did all of the reservation making at least a month in advance. About three weeks before our trip, the owner of our Airbnb in El Pescadero wrote us saying that after his last renter he wasn’t going to rent the upstairs master bedroom and bathroom anymore. My friend just thought that since there were only three of us, we could make due.

The owner, however, never mentioned that all of the views were upstairs where we weren’t welcome. My friend also asked him specifically about the condition of the dirt road from the main road to the house. He said, “oh, it’ll be fine in a rental car!”

A couple days before the trip, he sent a text saying that the refrigerator had a problem but his neighbor went over and fixed it. A few days before the trip, our friend who made the reservations now couldn’t go since her husband was in the hospital with pneumonia. The two of us headed to Mexico alone for our vacation. We rented our car and drove an hour to the town. When we turned on to the dirt road it was a 20-minute drive on the most potted-pitted road from hell to the house. We had a hand drawn map that the host had sent but none of the landmarks he used existed. We had to drive 20 minutes back up to ask for help with finding the house. On our way down the RFH we kept seeing men weaving in and out of a pathway through bushes. That was a little unnerving, to say the least.

We finally found the house. We opened the door and the first thing we noticed was the place smelled bad. We looked around and saw it was dirty and grimy. The TV room had an old microfiber sofa that was lumpy and darkened, and the glass coffee table was disgustingly filmy and grimy. There was a blow-up mattress up against the wall, and the area rug was old and stained. We looked in the kitchen and the front of the fridge was gross. We opened the fridge to find it full of the host’s items with a small amount of room on two shelves for our eight-day stay. The worst part was the fridge stunk and was tepid in temperature. There was a spoiled, rancid odor.

The half bathroom was dirty with bugs in old candles and personal crap around. We were in a cell dead zone and neither of us could sign on to the wifi. We had no way of communicating with anyone. The ocean looked much closer on his website pictures. We felt stuck in some disgusting filthy house in a desolate part of Mexico with no way of asking for help if we needed it. We sent the host a text telling him his house wasn’t represented well and unacceptable. Therefore, we weren’t staying there. We then headed out to find a place to sleep. We were exhausted, frustrated, stressed and extremely disappointed.

We wound up spending a fortune to stay at a nice place and try to salvage our vacation. We have been denied a refund by Airbnb who sided with the host. This house was clearly a bait and switch. The host said we should have called so he could have had his neighbor come over and fix all of the problems. As a host, he should have had all of the problems fixed before we arrived. We are still trying to dispute the charges. $175.00 a night in that part of Mexico is really expensive, especially for a hovel like this property. I will never travel outside of the country and trust Airbnb. I see no integrity with the customer service agent assigned to our case. She won’t listen to reason or extenuating circumstances. 

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?

Romantic Getaway by a Waterfall Ruined by Airbnb

My girlfriends and I wanted to book a weekend away where we could relax and have fun. Being from different cities, we opted for a city in between our home towns. I found a ‘cottage’ on Airbnb with a hot tub overlooking a waterfall. It sounded perfect, and looked like what we had in mind. When we arrived, the long driveway was littered with an abandoned school bus, organ, and RV. Outside the cottage, chandeliers hung from the trees, and the waterfall turned out to be a foam-filled pond by a treatment plant of some kind. Inside, the floors were dirty. A dish of bacon grease sat on the stove. The fridge and freezer were so full of the owner’s food there was no room for ours – not that we wanted to cook in that kitchen. His hiking boots were hanging up over the counter and bowls. A vase of dead roses in brown water sat on the table.

In my room, the sheets were very stained. Rather than the open, tidy space shown in the posting photo, there was a rack of his clothes, and a half-full laundry bin at the foot of the bed. There were bathrobes to wear to the hot tub, but they were caked with grime. When we went out to use the hot tub, we discovered that the water from the pond left scum all around the tub. My friends started calling it the serial killer cabin: it was so gross and creepy, and they actually barricaded the door at night in case the host tried to get in. The next morning when I got in the shower, I discovered five used bars of soap, as well as his other toiletries. The wifi he said he had was actually only available on his iPad. When I opened it to try using it, his personal email was open. I wasn’t comfortable with that, so turned it off and had no internet access. This was obviously his residence, and he vacated it for the weekend without cleaning or tidying. I don’t think my girlfriend will let me book our weekend getaways anymore.

Sewage Leak Caused Flood of Human Excrement into Airbnb

My girlfriend and I were staying in Playa Del Carmen. When we arrived at our Airbnb, we were told that we had to move to a different unit due to plumbing issues in our original Airbnb. We were there for a music festival in which we had $500 invested per ticket. The second night we were unable to shower and couldn’t go out because there was about two inches of water in the shower and our host would not help. When we woke up in the morning there was about an inch of water throughout the entire apartment. Before the host sent a cleanup crew over, more sewage and human feces began spewing from the shower and toilet. Some of our belongings were ruined and we were homeless in Mexico. Airbnb kept transferring our ticket to over five support representatives over the course of four hours. Every representative lied to us. We heard, “we’re going to book a new one in the area for you.” This never happened. We heard, “we’re going to book a hotel for you because the other Airbnb’s are booked.” This never happened. They always told us that they’d call us right back; this never happened. We were forced to pay for a hotel out of pocket. We still cannot get ahold of Airbnb to find a resolution. This has been the worst customer service experience of my life.

Unsanitary Airbnb Stay in Anaheim, California

I am not sure who to reach out regarding my recent Airbnb stay in Anaheim. I am conflicted between leaving a negative review for my host or contacting Airbnb. Christine was responsive and genuinely a nice person when I meet her but the place that she hosted was not sanitary. She met with me and gave a quick tour of the studio. Upon entering, the studio had a pungent smell – hence the multiple candles and air fresheners in the room. The place looked clean but upon settling in, we found the bed was covered in white dog hair. We know it was dog hair because she drove away with her boyfriend and a small white dog. Luckily, my fiancé and I are not allergic to dogs. We found dog hair on top of the comforter and inside the bed under the sheets. We thought a quick fluff would do the trick but the bed was disgusting. As we removed the bed sheets, the mattress was yellow and brown and had nail polish on it. We found a fake purple press-on nail. The towels provided were gross. She said they were clean but they left purple lint on us as we dried off. The other towel was folded nicely on the counter; we turned it over to find crusted white stuff throughout the towel. We had to use our shirts to dry off. We checked in at midnight so we couldn’t find another place on short notice. Instead, we placed pillows on the floor to sleep. The next day, we ended up crashing at a friend’s house. I do not want to leave a negative review for the host, as she was super nice, but the place she listed was not Airbnb quality.

Rittenhouse Square Filthy Philadelphia Airbnb

I recently stayed at an Airbnb in Philadelphia. It was so disgusting: black mold in the shower and urine stains on the sofa. The window to the fire escape did not lock. I had my family with me. It was New Year’s Eve weekend. We bravely stayed for one evening. I thought I would wake up with bed bugs. I contacted the host the day we arrived multiple times. He was very responsive. I contacted him again in the morning asking for a refund because his place was just so filthy and unsafe. He said he’d refund me. He’s not so responsive anymore. Two weeks later, and I’m still waiting. Airbnb customer service said to read over the cancellation policy. I guess they don’t care what type of accommodations their hosts offer. I will never, ever, use Airbnb again. Unbelievable.

You Charge a Cleaning Fee? For What?

To whom it may concern: this location, though convenient to LAX, was the worst Airbnb property at which I have ever stayed. I have stayed in eight other Airbnb locations this year, and all have received good reviews. I normally don’t leave bad reviews, but the public needs to be warned. This place is that bad. The first thing that hits you is the smell when you walk in. Being that is a very old and dirty apartment, it’s not surprising there is mold growing everywhere and an unidentified slime coming out of the wall. The carpet is filthy, there is miscellaneous junk sitting along the edges of the wall in different rooms, and when you start looking around you begin to notice all the places the walls have been patched. The ceilings of both bathrooms and inside the cabinet over the kitchen sink have mold growing, literally hanging down like moss on a tree in the rainforest. The handles on the refrigerator have been ripped off and are on top of the refrigerator along with 1/4 inch of filth.

The cabinet above the kitchen sink is like something out of a horror movie. In the cabinet above the stove is more filth and a sticky trap with a dead cockroach and cricket. The ceiling in the top of the cabinet looks to have been finished by a drunk auto-body man who got a volume discount on Bondo. In the cabinet under the counter top stove are 220V wires just wire nutted together. This place has so many health and safety violations it should be condemned. The three bedrooms were sparsely furnished with cheap $5 pictures from Walmart but the worst part is the linens. For the room in which I slept (rather fitfully), the queen size bed had a king size fitted sheet, no top sheet, and a comforter that appeared threadbare and very old. The room at the front of the house was so bad that the person assigned to sleep in that room opted to sleep on the couch. All the vertical blinds had missing slats and did not allow for privacy from the neighbors. If we had not gotten into town so late we would have gone somewhere else. I think the part that makes me so angry is that I was charged and I am assuming previous occupants were also charged a cleaning fee. I have to believe that all the recent reviews that say the place is clean are fake. Unless you are okay living in filth do not book this dive.

Airbnb Nightmare: Sitges Spanish Dump

We booked a stay at a small, basic apartment in Sitges. We weren’t expecting anything flash, but certainly clean. It looked nice in the photos. We didn’t arrive until 00:30 and were greeted by our host’s daughter, as he was away. She gave us the key and left, so we went in. We found hairs in the bed and stains on the sheets. The bathroom was filthy and stank of urine. The sink was dirty and had hairs in it. The shower was gross and dirty. The toilet had stains down it and urine on the seat. The kitchen had food debris on the floor. The fridge was gross, mouldy, dirty and had hair in it. The whole place was disgusting. We spent the night sitting on the sofa searching for alternative accommodation as there was no way we could stay there. Once we had secured somewhere else the next day, I messaged the host to tell him. He was defensive and did not respond very nicely. We took photos and sent them to Airbnb. Thankfully we got a full refund, so we had no complaints about them. This host should not be letting out this property in such a disgusting state. There’s no excuse for cleanliness. It’s such a shame we can’t leave a review on Airbnb to warn others.