How Airbnb Refused to Protect Basic Human Rights

Note from Airbnb Hell editor: this post contains strong language

I would like to tell you a story about how Airbnb has treated me when I was faced with homophobic abuse at my own house by one of Airbnb guests. Let’s start from the beginning: I am renting my spare room via Airbnb in Amsterdam, and I had a guest from Texas.

Upon arrival, the guest started making comments about me and my friend: that we were wearing faggoty clothing and have faggoty hair. Once he came into his room, he started screaming that he needed a door with a lock because there are faggots with him in the house and we would rape him at night. I choose not to have a confrontation and decided to leave the apartment for the night altogether. I left him alone there, so he wouldn’t be afraid of “rape.”

I would like to mention that when he arrived, I carried his six huge bags upstairs because I was trying to be polite. I also offered him the choice of cold water, tea, and coffee. After I left the apartment, the guest ran away with his bags and my keys. He wrote me a message stating exactly the same. When I returned home, I called the police and reported the verbal abuse. I also had to change the locks, which cost an additional 100 euro. I obviously have submitted a complaint against this guest to Airbnb, but naturally they haven’t done anything (what can I expect?).

Today I received a message that this guest filed a complaint against me, stating that I didn’t give him enough privacy and respect and he had to leave. In my reply to Airbnb, I explained the entire situation one more time and offered the following documents as proof: a police report; photos of the rented room to show that there was enough privacy; invoice for changing the locks; witness statement from my flat mate who was present during this event; witness statement from the neighbors, who heard all the commotion and to whom my guest spoke upon departure, claiming that “dirty AIDS faggots” lived here.

What do you think Airbnb did? They charged me the price the guest paid for the room plus extra charges from Airbnb. Obviously they refunded him all the money, because the poor homophobe was upset. Apparently I didn’t argue with him in the messages. I am shocked about the very fact Airbnb once again completely ignored the gay community and returned money to an abuser. Please feel free to contact me for more details. Let me know what exactly you want to do; I’d be happy to provide more information.

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.

Broken Door Claim at Airbnb in Las Vegas

I have a condo at the MGM Signature in Las Vegas that i just recently started listing on Airbnb. I had a guest stay on Mother’s Day weekend with her boyfriend. I got a message on Airbnb from the guest saying that she was locked in the room for two hours and that MGM employees had to break down the door to let her out. After following up with the employees I found out that the door was broken on arrival. It appeared that someone had kicked in the door at the lock, causing it to malfunction. The engineer had to take apart the lock to let her out. It cost $580 to repair the door. I have statements from the engineer stating the door was broken when he arrived yet Airbnb has refused to pay. Also, she was not locked in for “two hours”. The engineer had her out of the room 20 minutes after the call was placed. She says she waited two hours to call because she was trying to open the door herself. The manager stated that her boyfriend was clearly intoxicated when the incident happened. I am furious that Airbnb let her get away with it. There is no “host guarantee” – none at all. It’s false advertisement; a class action suit needs to be made against Airbnb.

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.

Airbnb Hell: Guest Shoots a Music Video

I allowed someone to rent my home because they were getting engaged. We do not allow parties at all and that is stated in the house rules. They said that there were only going to be four guests. When I showed up to check on my property – as I always do – to make sure everything was okay, there were over twenty people in my house and over ten cars in my driveway. We gave him two options: tell the truth, or we were going to shut it down and he would have to leave. The guest lied. He was black and thought because we were white we would discriminate against him. He was shooting a music video in my home. I live in an affluent neighborhood where Airbnb is frowned upon. The police have been called plenty of times because of guest lying to us and throwing parties. So we decided to do this guy a favor and allowed him to shoot his video, being that my husband is in the music and television industry himself. We stuck around because we didn’t want our neighbors to call the police and to protect our property; the gentleman was aware of that.

Now here comes the second nightmare: the guest reached out to Airbnb to get his money back because we stuck around and he said he felt uncomfortable. As the owner, I was pissed. Airbnb has a terrible customer service and resolution center. They offered no support in trying to remedy the situation and I still have not been contacted by a case manager. Please be aware that Airbnb doesn’t offer any support to their hosts when taking a risk and listing their homes on the website. They always tell you to reach out to the guest and try to resolve the issue before contacting them. They need to do better to help and protect hosts. You would think that they would understand that the little service fee that they make off the booking is not worth the thousands or millions that they could lose if they don’t do better.

Criminal Activity from Many Bad Airbnb Guests

I had a guest who checked himself in and claimed to have returned the key, however he seems to have kept it and continued to stay in the place. When my cleaner came to the room he hid in the loft and hid some clothes in the ceiling. He also smoked, despite my strict no-smoking policy; the place reeked of smoke with ash everywhere. He left the apartment in a shocking condition. Of course any attempts to contact Airbnb to warn others are ignored as Airbnb does nothing to help apart from taking fees.

I also recently had a guest who booked for two weeks during the busiest season for my apartment. The shower apparently had a small leak and I was given an hour to solve the issue. Since I was briefly out of signal range I was only able to attend to the issue 90 minutes later, and had a plumber solve it immediately. It was too late; he cancelled the reservation and received a full refund during the busiest season. All attempts to contact Airbnb are unanswered. In fact Airbnb has never returned any of my messages. It’s shocking service all round.

Airbnb Hosts Given no Recourse for Guest Damages

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

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

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

Ripped off by Guest and Airbnb’s Horrible Customer Service

The guests checked in at 3:00 PM. At 8:40 PM they sent me a text complaining about seeing a cockroach in a 70-year-old beach house in Hawaii. I did not see it until 10:00 PM, so I planned to respond in the morning. I woke up at 5:20 AM to find an email from Airbnb stating I had until 5:40 AM to respond. I wrote them back immediately and at 5:50 AM I received another email saying the guest had been refunded completely for their booking: $3,600.

I disputed it and contacted Airbnb immediately. After a day of them ‘investigating’ it and getting staged photos from the guests showing the house was not clean I was sent an email with a link to their refund policy. Nothing. These guests and Airbnb just ripped me off. I will never use them again. They do not look after the host of a property. Stay away from Airbnb.

Airbnb Cares about the Guests, but not the Hosts

I received an extremely bad, fabricated review in retaliation from a guest who I reported to Airbnb because she had additional people staying in my apartment for whom she did not register or pay. Although our email correspondence on the Airbnb website clearly showed that the woman had additional guests, Airbnb awarded me a minimal and unacceptable settlement. Their reason? The guest did not make herself available to them for verification of my claim, and the term of infringement was not clear to them. I made numerous complaints to no avail. Airbnb’s inflexible transparency policy has allowed this false review to remain on my page. Since it appeared, I’ve had 73 views of my page but not a single rental. Previously, my apartment was always being rented. That means not a month has gone by without guests until now. Airbnb is more concerned about the guests than they are about the hosts who make it possible for them to earn money. I intend to change to Vacation Home Rentals and hope my experience will be better there.

Airbnb Customer Service Trusts Guests over Hosts

An Airbnb guest booked my apartment for one person over a period of three weeks. I learned that she actually had two additional guests staying with her when I visited her at the apartment on her last week. I told her she would have to revise the request and pay for the additional guests. She refused to discuss the matter. Ascertaining from my neighbor that all three guests had lived there most of the time, I made a complaint to Airbnb. Of course, Airbnb advised me to request additional payment through their website, which I did. Those requests were refused by the guest. After I made numerous requests and complaints Airbnb awarded me additional payment for only two days because the guests wrote in her email that her friends “only stayed a couple of days.”

Although it was clear from our correspondence that the additional guests were there for at least three days, Airbnb did not honor my request for additional payment since the guest who made the booking would not communicate with them about the issue. This guest retaliated by leaving my apartment in a filthy condition (I sent pictures to Airbnb) with all windows and doors left open – an invitation to robbery. In addition, since her bogus and scathing review I have not received a single request. I have a 4.5-star, business-ready rating with 26 excellent reviews. Airbnb’s inflexible transparency policy has effectively prevented me from receiving other requests. They won’t remove this scathing review or put it at the bottom of my page where it is less likely to be read. Therefore, I would have to start from scratch with a new page which is completely unfair to me. I am going to close my account and use another vacation rental service if this matter is not handled favorably.