Horrible Host in Dallas Doesn’t Even Know his Place is Clean

Stay away from this host and his place. I wrote a review after leaving an Airbnb that said that the place was not clean. There were bugs in the bathroom, the towels weren’t clean, and the silverware and sink were also not clean. However, I also added that everything else was accurate. That was all that was said in the review I wrote. Days after I wrote the review the host decided to contact me at night saying that my review was crap and I was not welcome in his place anymore. I was shocked that this person even reached out to me since I hadn’t even stayed at his place for almost a week. Of course I replied to defend myself and make him understand why I wrote the review the way I did which was I had the intention of being honest. After I replied he went on to say that I was too high maintenance and fancy for his place and that’s why I wrote what I wrote; I just needed to go to a hotel.

I was so offended. I replied and told him not to contact me again going forward. Nevertheless, he decided to tell me in a calmer tone that he would give me a refund for my troubles. I went on to be calm since he decided to be more respectful towards me and replied to him. However, when he said that he wanted me to edit the review to make it not be seen I was like… why?

Of course I wanted to test to see if he was trying to give me a refund because it was the right thing to do since I had to deal with the whole experience. When I told him that I couldn’t change the review he said that he couldn’t give me the refund. The funny thing is he tried to twist things on me, saying that I was trying to make him pay me to get the review changed. When it was obvious that he wouldn’t give me the refund unless I went to call Airbnb to go get the review changed, who is really trying to get the review taken off for money? After he said he couldn’t refund 50% of the money at least twice in the conversation prior to me telling him I couldn’t edit it. Airbnb has a 48-hour timeframe to edit a review, so then he said he wouldn’t give me a refund.

After that I told him that I will be publicly letting everyone know the type of host he is and I would reach out to Airbnb. He then wanted to use what I had said before and say: “You are unwelcome to contact me. Do not contact me.”

I didn’t reply after I sent my last message. This dude was so rude and so immature to be reaching out to over a freaking honest review about his place. Let me tell you: he made me take pictures of his place when I got there so that he could see if it was clean from the prior guest… what kind of host does that? He doesn’t even clean his own place and doesn’t even make sure it looks good for the next guest? He makes people do the work in making sure everything is clean… which is fine since he did state it in his handbook, but taking pictures of the place to make sure everything looks good? It should already look good when guest arrive if you’re a good host.

This was such a horrible experience for me and it made me so upset and annoyed to be dealing with something so unnecessary. For future reference, avoid places that make you clean everything for them. It probably means that they don’t care about the quality of your stay. Lesson learned.

A Little Piece of Heaven is Airbnb Hell

Our daughter has been attending college in Maryville, Tennessee. She contacted us with the logistics for graduation. After speaking to several family members it was decided that we would look for a cabin to rent instead of all of us finding hotels. My son, who has been an Airbnb host for several years, suggested that we use Airbnb again (we had used it once before with excellent results). The search was on to find the perfect spot for 14 of us to meet and stay for the May graduation. After several emails back and forth amongst the group we had narrowed it down to two places. The reviews were great for both, and the price was about $100 difference per couple between the two. We made sure that the cabin would accommodate the group, and that it would be handicapped accessible, which was confirmed by the host.

After asking a few more questions of the host for “A Little Piece of Heaven” in Sevierville, Tennessee it was decided that we would take that one. On January 2nd, 2017, we paid $1498 for the booking.  It was rented for May 18th through the 23rd. All of us were excited and I exchanged a couple of emails with the host, “Jouandot Enterprises”, telling him that we were excited.

Fast forward to the week of the trip. We were driving leaving Naples, Florida on May 17th heading to the cabin to meet up with family coming from Michigan and Pennsylvania. The host emailed me with the code for access to the cabin and wished us a safe trip. It would be a 15-hour drive and we would stay in Pigeon Forge for the night. We could not check into the cabin until 3:00 PM the following day.

After meeting up with our daughter in Pigeon Forge after her last final, we looked around and enjoyed some of the sights and then decided we would go to the grocery store and then head to the cabin.

We drove in still excited, and upon walking onto the deck noticed that there was an overturned trash can, and what looked like a planter with no plant that had been tipped over. There was dirt all over the deck. We then walked further onto the deck and there was a mop leaning against the wall and a picnic table that when leaned against literally swayed with you. There was a hot tub whose top looked to be either too small or badly damaged as there was a thick layer of dirt and waves in it. Coming onto the deck from the other side, there were molded slats around the hot tub. We saw the two rocking chairs that we had talked about sitting in to look at the view (which was by the way, still stunning). It looked like some type of varmint had been eating the wood above them, and there were wood chips all over. There were spindles on the railing that had been kicked out and had not been repaired. The gate to the deck downstairs was barely hanging on. Looking over the rail, someone had tossed a bag of garbage into the woods below and trash was scattered about.

We saw a gas grill and thought: “Well, at least there is a grill to make the burgers.” Upon further inspection, the three burners were completely rusted through and the grill was filthy.

I used the code and opened the door to look directly at the arm of a dining room chair hanging off the chair to the right, and to the left a spring sticking out of the back of the couch, which was supposed to be one of the beds.

Underneath the dinner table, there was a yellow stain. Urine? Vomit? The rug was disgusting and you could tell that it not only had been there for a while, but it had not been cleaned in a long while.

By this time, I was more than a little upset and my husband said maybe we could just clean up a little and make the best of it. We looked around in the bedrooms and there was not a blind there that hadn’t been broken or was about to fall apart.  We were going to open it up some as it was overcast outside, and dark inside the cabin.

The surfaces looked to have been wiped down, but there was no pot in the coffee maker. I opened the cabinet to find the pot, with a hole in the bottom of it. There were thin quilts on the beds and questionable sheets, with no mattress pads at all. The only spare linen we found was stuffed in a magazine rack in the living room, and blankets had been thrown – not folded – in the top of the closets in both bedrooms. So the question in my mind is: how clean were they?

There were ticks in the bathroom tub and dead roach carcasses in the windowsills and on the dresser in the upstairs bedroom. There was a broken lamp stuffed in the closet that we found when looking for any spare linen.

Trying to make this cabin work was just not going to happen. I stepped outside and tried to regain my composure; I was just sick. I placed a call to the hosts and left a message. By then I was in tears as I had no idea what we were going to do… there was more family en route and nowhere to stay.

There was no way to make this cabin work; it was awful. After about fifteen minutes one of the hosts phoned me, and I explained that I was so disappointed that the cabin was filthy and in such bad disrepair. He said that he was so surprised to hear this as the people who checked out the day before said nothing. I told him that I can’t speak for other people, and I asked if he had another cabin nearby that we could try. He said that they did not. I was mid-sentence telling him that we could not stay when the call was dropped. I couldn’t get him back on the line. He texted me a few minutes later that he would call his cleaning service. I responded that we would be leaving the cabin and going to find rooms in town. I also told him that this was not just a cleaning issue; this place was in disrepair.

The host proceeded to offer us a 20% discount on the cabin if we wanted to stay. I thanked him and told him that even at no charge, we would not be staying.

As I was texting him, my sister-in-law arrived with her family – they have the handicapped son. She took one look and told me we would get a room in town.

One thing the host did say while I had him on the phone was “it is a ‘rustic’ cabin.” My response was: “I have stayed in many ‘rustic’ cabins. I’m from Idaho originally. Rustic doesn’t mean filthy and falling apart.”

I think this would be a lovely place to visit, but hosts need to have pride in their properties. Keep them clean and in good repair. This was one cabin where the reviews and the pictures did not match what we found.

For the record, we work every day.  I cleaned houses and offices for many years and I am now an office manager. My husband is a painting contractor. We work very hard for our money and to be able to afford to take trips, so to find this was totally unacceptable. It was not a great way to start what was to be a celebration trip.

We went into Pigeon Forge and I tried contacting a couple of other Airbnb hosts to find available places that were available to rent for our group. We saw a Cabins USA office, and our daughter’s coach suggested we give them a try. She called them and they had one place available. It was a little bigger than we needed and more expensive; however, it was available, so we took it.

Once we had settled into the new cabin, I phoned my son and asked him what I needed to do. He instructed me to go online and cancel the reservation and then email the host and to do it through Airbnb. I got online at Airbnb and tried using the Help feature in the app to cancel. It kept giving me an error message and just continued to ask me to check in. I then typed out an email to send and tried to send it tree times, receiving an error every time.

Frustrated, I emailed the hosts from the listing on Airbnb. I explained that we had left the cabin, and would not be staying. I asked what I needed to do to request a refund.

The next morning, (19th) I emailed the host again to confirm that we had left and asked what I needed to do to request a refund.

Within the hour, they texted me back and said that they would issue a refund through Airbnb. I responded thank you and went about the day. I thought the matter had been resolved.

We had several activities going on at the college which were about a 45-minute drive. We were there for a graduation, so we proceeded to visit with family and attended some of the festivities.

Later in the day I was shopping and I received a call from Airbnb. I explained that I was in the store and asked if they could call me back? I shared that I thought the matter was resolved as the host said that he would be issuing us a refund. However, I would be happy to speak to them, just a little later. I did ask if I could call them? I just asked that they email the contact information.

That night I checked my emails, and there was an email from Airbnb. I typed a response stating that I felt the matter was resolved. The email was sent at 10:47 PM, May 19th. This email was sent in response to the complaint that I had sent on the 18th – the one I thought had not gone through. I found this out from Airbnb Customer Service.

On the 20th we were scheduled to move our daughter out of her dorm and into an apartment in Knoxville. It wasn’t until later that night I saw different emails on the 20th.  It had taken the better part of the day to move, and I really didn’t think anyone else would be contacting me. Graduation was on the 21st and we had a dinner out so we did not get in until late. I was not looking for any emails or calls from anyone. We were just trying to enjoy this time with our daughter and family.

On May 24th after we arrived home in Florida,  I reviewed the emails from different Airbnb people from May 20th. I emailed a response. There were also several “rate your stay” emails, which I kept deleting as I didn’t want to kick a dead horse. Then about the fifth time, I left a one-star review. It was short and sweet: the cabin wasn’t what we expected, we did not stay, the matter was resolved. The cabin could be much better with a little TLC. No lies, no trashing the people. Short and sweet.

In the meantime, I keep looking at my credit card and waiting for the refund. Then towards the end of May, I sent an email to the host asking if there was something more that I need to do: contact Airbnb, or what?

The next day I receive an email from them stating, “there will be no refund.” Airbnb had left it up to them since I didn’t respond. I responded with an email that stated that I had copies of the responses sent to Airbnb and to him. I explained that I didn’t think I needed to do any more than I did as he told me he was going to issue a refund. I thought the matter had been resolved. However, I also told him I understood that he did that likely so I would tell Airbnb that and not pursue the case any further.

I was so angry. Was he serious? This “host” was just going to take the $1500 and dismiss us? Well, not without a fight.

He also stated that I left him one star… so in my response, I told him that I wasn’t even going to leave that. I explained that I didn’t lie and I didn’t blast him or his cabin, I just said we didn’t stay. This guy is a real piece of work. He works Airbnb to his benefit, and the fact that he did it the way that he did, indicates he has done it before. He also shared that his reputation speaks for itself, and he wished me well.

Again, I got on the phone to Airbnb. I reached them on the same 415 number listed on this site. I spoke to a representative who sounded genuinely concerned at the predicament. She said would email me and I needed to respond. I told her I was at work, so it would be later that night or in the morning (this was Friday, June 9th). There were other photos on my husband’s phone that I needed to send as well.

She told me that I had time, just get them together and send them. On my lunch hour, the same day,  I printed the texts and emails and emailed them to response@airbnb.com. This was a reply to the email that she sent to me as promised. That email went through fine. When I got home I put all of the photos together. I then tried to email them to the same email address and immediately received an error email that Airbnb did not receive the email with a link.  The link took me to the listing for the cabin and hosts along with the help page.

I then called a 415 number and it was a recording that said my response person would get the message that I had phoned and be in touch. Nothing.

This brings me to June 14th at 6:00 PM. I was just walking in the door from work and my phone rang; it was Airbnb. There is a woman who confirms who I am and proceeds to tell me that they are closing my file as I have not responded to their requests… what have I been doing, then? I proceeded to explain that yes, I have responded, several times what is she talking about, and we would not be closing the file, not by a long shot.

Is there anyone there that even reads these responses? We talked for a few minutes more, and she said she understood that there was likely some confusion on my part about the need to respond since you felt the matter was resolved. Not until recently did she find out that it wasn’t. She told me that she would speak to her supervisor and get back to me by phone or by email.

Today, June 14th. Email from BobbiLee:

Hello Kim,

Thanks so much for your patience throughout this process. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns with our team. However, we have issued our final decision for this case and we will disengage from further discussion on this topic.

We’re truly passionate about providing our community of hosts and guests with the best possible traveling experience. I’m really sorry that this hasn’t been the case here. Just know that we’re always working to improve our products and policies, and even when we aren’t able to accommodate requests, we absolutely value our users’ feedback. As a customer of Airbnb, your voice is both powerful and essential and I’ll be sure to pass your thoughts on to the right team.

Thank you for your cooperation during the mediation process and for your valued time and contribution.

Best wishes,

BobbiLee

www.airbnb.com/help

My Response June 15th:

BobbiLee,

Airbnb will “disengage” from further conversations even though this matter is far from resolved. I have not spoken to the same person twice and Airbnb feels that they have done a thorough job investigating this case? I’ve sent copies of texts and emails. I was unable to send photos, as the email address that I used to send you copies of conversations had with the hosts always produced an error. I called your corporate office number and it said that someone would be in touch, I sent emails asking what to do… and nothing. Now this?

I did send the photos to the owner. He knows what the property looked like and still couldn’t find anything wrong? He never even commented on it. Maybe he knew he wouldn’t have to provide anything to you, because Airbnb really didn’t care one way or the other? You ruled in his favor, as that’s what he told me, and left it up to him to decide on a refund? So, instead of making your host follow through on what he wrote to me, you threw me, the customer under the bus and let him decide. How convenient for you.

I find that more than a little disturbing and it is apparent to me that I will need to seek other advice. I can’t afford to just throw away $1500 for filthy accommodations.

Shame on you as the company, and shame on the hosts for thinking that this is acceptable.

We were told that we would receive a refund on the 19th at 11:47 AM from our hosts. I thought the matter fully resolved and wrote as much in an email to your staff. A refund is what I was promised and a refund is what I fully intend to pursue.

I will seek legal advice in the matter of this rental. I work hard for what I have and we paid your company up front for a cabin advertised as something it was not. These are unacceptable business practices and I’m more than a little insulted that you think that what Airbnb did was a “resolution” to this situation. You and your “host” turned what was to be a celebration of our daughter’s graduation into a nightmare!

Rest assured I will let others know what happened here. It is like being robbed.

You and your host stole money for a service that was promised and not provided, then lied.

Then neither of you notified me of anything that had changed… a little cowardly don’t you think?

Bad form Airbnb, very bad form. Question is, do you really care? I think not.

 

Pennie Kimberlyn Hall

Very Disappointed Consumer

 

As a follow-up, my husband then phoned and got a young lady on the phone to again explain what had happened. He asked to speak to a manager as it is apparent that the people who answer the phones can’t get anything done. She asked to whom we had spoken and the name of the person we last spoke to. I gave them the name of the representative and then told her there was an email signed by BobbiLee. She told us that she was trying to get through to her, but couldn’t get an answer. She said that BobbiLee was in the office. She said that she would message her to call us back ASAP. It never happened, and we have not heard from anyone since. This was the call that I was told they had received the pictures that I sent, and the cancellation email that I sent, even though I received an error message on my end? So, if they had all of the information and the pictures, how can they say that I didn’t respond to their requests for information?

I found this website. Maybe there is something that I can find out here… thanks for letting me vent. However, I am so truly disturbed by this experience that I will never use Airbnb again. The good experiences that I have had have been overshadowed by this one. I’m disgusted that others may have to go through this as well. I am going to keep working on this, I assure you. I would appreciate any feedback.

Ottawa Airbnb Nightmare: Kate the Con Artist

I’m currently fighting with Airbnb and this con-artist host to resolve this issue. I will post updates if possible. Here is the rundown of everything I sent to Airbnb, with a request for a full refund:

I’d like a full refund for this incorrectly advertised, poorly hosted, nightmare of an Airbnb rental. I’ll start off by explaining what was wrong with the property itself before I go into the more disturbing issue with the host. First of all, the advertisement was listed as: “massive downtown seven bedroom.” The description said it was a large home that was very spacious, with large bedrooms.

The first thing we noticed as we we drove twenty minutes past downtown was the location. A rundown, beat-up house in the middle of a bad neighborhood in the south end of Ottawa. We were disappointed before going in, but tried to make light of the situation. We walked in to a crammed kitchen, a tiny excuse for a living area, with what was supposed to be the rest of it converted into the first “bedroom”. The rest of the house was just as small and crammed.

The first thing we went to do, as a small group of six, was to sit down in the kitchen and start eating some of the food we brought with us. We went to go sit down and the table tipped over and almost broke. We lifted the corner of it and I messaged the host to tell her about the issue. She kindly told me where the tools were in her house in case I wanted to fix it. I told her I’d leave the table in the corner and wouldn’t use it instead; she had no problem with that.

The place was clean for the most part except for bugs. Only eight of us stayed the night, and only four bedrooms were used out of the six small ones available. The next day, we cleaned up what we could, except all the dishes, because we knew that was taken care of with the cleaning charge. We even swept everywhere before we left. I personally checked every bedroom and washroom to make sure the place was properly presentable and a five-star rating was completely within reach for myself as a guest. I locked the front and side doors and put the key in the lockbox happy with the overall trip even though the Airbnb was disappointing.

Then came everything afterwards. Kate messaged me asking me what I thought of the property and to give her a personal review. I gave her a review in a polite and respectful way and even praised her as a host, just to be nice. I don’t think she liked my review so that was the last I heard from her for the day.

I realized I forgot my wallet in one of the rooms and messaged Kate the same day to ask her if she could please meet me or do whatever protocol we have to go through to retrieve my lost wallet. It took her over 24 hours to reply, after I reached out to Airbnb support for the issue. This leads me all back to right now. The host just sent me a disgusting message and is outright lying in all her claims. It’s very shameful someone in a position such as herself, who manages multiple properties, would be this slimy and corrupt in an attempt to pull more money out of her overpriced rental property than she already has. I’d like Airbnb to call me personally to deal with this. The only claim that she was accurate about was us moving that 8×10 paper-thin sorry excuse for a ‘carpet’ she had on the living room floor. No one touched the TV, the windows or the screens. We never left the residence so no one was ever locked out. The host is trying to steal money and delete the mediocre review I gave her.

There’s more I have to add. The six pictures of evidence the host provided were lazy enough to help prove all of it was a lie. She showed one broken screen in the backyard of the house that we didn’t go near or had any reason to go to. She opened the garbage bag that we left outside of all the things we cleaned, and for some reason took a picture to prove something in her favor…? There were a few flakes of ash in a bathtub that they placed to take a picture of, and then there’s a picture of what looks like a perfectly good TV – no picture of the “pulled out” cord. No picture of any broken fan. Then a picture of the living room that also looks very neat and tidy. There was also one more picture of a window, one with nothing wrong with it. Apparently we broke two windows?

The house was “smoking allowed” so the years of stench from other people smoking was strong when we came in. I still feel like I’m dreaming because I can’t believe that people have to resort to this slimy low level just to make extra money. Anyways, I’ll fight this in court if I have to.

 

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 Hosts Shouldn’t Skip Important Details

I found a place on Airbnb, booked it, and started my conversation with the host. I found out that the host had two dogs that have roaming rights over the grounds. This was not mentioned in the listing. It’s probably not a big deal to most folks, but I’m a dog breeder, with an unspayed female bitch. Where I go, my beloved dog goes. As my dog is more than a pet, her welfare is of utmost importance to me. Given the presence of canine influenza and other male dogs, and the fact that nothing was mentioned in the listing, I choose to find another place. However, the strict cancellation fee states I only get half of my funds back. What a crock… I have placed a complaint and asked for help from Airbnb. They had to think about it and will let me know in due course if I’m able to get any more of my funds back. No time frame was provided when they may let me know. I had booked the place at 10:00 AM, found out about the dogs, and contacted Airbnb at 5:00 PM the same day. This is probably my first and last time using this company.

Family Scammed by a Host in Seattle

My daughter and fiancé moved to the Seattle area. Upon arrival they discovered their apartment wasn’t ready due to mold issues. They had to retile the place and wouldn’t be able to allow guests to move in for another week. My family was stuck. They also had a sweet older cat with them. They had to book a hotel for the first night. I, being the helpful mom to my 22-year-old kid and her fiancee and kitty, wanted to look into an Airbnb rental so they could be comfortable.

I found this listing. If you scroll down on pricing it says: “Extra people: $48/night after the first guest.” It could be my mistake that I did not see this. I was going back and forth with her from Friday evening into Saturday late morning about the listing. Moving forward, I went to book and the price went from $80 per/night to $128 per/night. I attached the screen shots of our messages and my confusion on the part of the second guest. If you read this, you can see she is even confused and looks like she is saying that I was probably trying to book for three guests (myself, daughter and her fiancé) and she said I need to book for a total of two people.

I made the mistake of thinking when I put one guest I thought myself plus one guest. It was a dumb mistake on my part since I have booked with Airbnb before. However, in all the comparable listings in that area – I clicked through about twenty – the prices were always for two people; I didn’t think twice and booked it. The other thing, the host clearly saw me saying “them” when referring to guests and listing their names. I even told her their story in the beginning: how it was my daughter, her fiancé, and their cat (I did not include this screenshot, but I can if needed).

Here’s where it gets interesting. My kid had her number and proceeded to text the host that they were on their way. She texted my kid and said “your mom only paid for one person.” My kid asked how much it would be for two people and she stated it would be an additional $180. I told my kid that it was too much, thinking there are other places for that price that were private.

Did I mention that this host’s place was not private? She said it was like “one big master bedroom, but the kitchen and bathroom is shared.” She has it listed as an entire home/apartment but the room and living room was separated from the kitchen by a blackout curtain; her and her husband’s room is private in the back. $128 per night in that area? Why didn’t I just book a whole cottage for $100 per night?

You can see in my messaging that I was considering having them just stay the one night and not the rest of the week. However, I ended up canceling the whole thing and they stayed in a hotel. I also wanted to attach the text messaging thread. You can’t get each other’s number until you book for safety purposes. She and I were texting back and forth with this misunderstanding and I apologized profusely. I asked then if I would get refunded. She assured me I would. I told her okay, I would cancel and thanked her for the refund. I knew she had a strict cancellation policy but I figured she has been super nice and understood the situation was my mistake.

The next day I contacted the Airbnb resolution center on the site. All I wanted was to make sure she refunded me. They told me to request money from the host, so I did. There was space to put the reason and I typed “misunderstanding at check in, host agreed to refund full amount.”

What does she respond with? “Not truthful guest.” She then declined to refund me. If she would have said “no, sorry I can’t give you a refund” then I at least I could have paid the extra $180 and not be out $400. She basically has no one staying in her place for five days and Airbnb and the host got $450 (fees included) out of me. Even Expedia doesn’t do that. Once I accidentally booked the wrong dates and was out of the cancellation policy. They still refunded me and told me: “It’s ok. Sometimes stuff happens.”

I ended up calling my bank to have them dispute the charges. I had to tell them the whole story and send them the screenshots of the messages. When a case manager from Airbnb called me, he seemed nice at first, taking in my story. I even sent them the screenshots of the text messages where she stated more than once she would refund me. He said they are the final say in this matter. I received a call back from the case manager the next day. He stated the host said I lied and tried to “pull one over” on her, that I tried to book for one guest and was really bringing two. Like she didn’t know and capitalized on my mistake. Then she said I called her and harassed her. I did no such thing. If I were able to upload all the screenshots of the text messages then you could see I was nothing but apologetic and kind.

Now this host was so rude. He was talking over me, yelling at me, and bullying me. I was made out to be the villain. This host just joined this month and had no reviews. That in itself should have been a red flag. The Airbnb case manager made me feel foolish and said that this host has a strict cancellation policy; when I booked, he stated that it was a legal and binding contract and he cannot force the host to refund the money. He said she wasn’t going to refund the money at all and I am basically screwed.

First off he talked over me, then when I did the same he yelled at me. When I raised my voice he said over and over this was a legal and binding contract and in the end he essentially said: “Well, you have booked with us before. You should know how to book. This is your fault and you will not be refunded.”

He didn’t even offer a partial refund or a voucher. Nothing. I hung up and cried because I was just bullied on the phone over nothing, just an Airbnb listing. Why does this case agent even care? He should have tried to be a better mediator in this situation and look at my history of being a guest: I have never complained or done anything shady.

I’ve blasted Airbnb on Twitter. You may have seen them if you follow @airbnbhell because I copied them on Twitter too. The case manager emailed me and said “it was a pleasure talking to you this morning… blah blah blah” I responded with a lengthy email, told him he bullied me and yelled at me, and I was in tears afterwards. I mean I hate be the victim but this host acted like one and got $400+ out of it. Why can’t I tell the truth and tell them how I felt? I felt like a used pair of underwear.

When I emailed them back I also copied Belinda Johnson, who is Airbnb’s Chief Legal Council, and Donna Boyer, who is Airbnb’s Director of Product. Working in tech in the Bay Area (where Airbnb is headquartered) you can find out who these people are. Just about an hour ago I received an apology from Anthony with a $200 voucher. Really? Seriously? If I do not plan to use Airbnb anymore, what good is it going to do me? Just send me my money! At least send a voucher that is equal if not more than what I went out of pocket. I ended up rebooking another listing for my daughter through Airbnb and luckily that went fine. It would have been nice if this voucher was there before that since I just plan to use VBRO or VaCasa or something else in the future. Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Host Needs to Work on Definition of Full Loft

Our Airbnb property was advertised as a “full loft” with “dedicated parking behind the building”, which is why we chose it. We arrived in Montreal and drove right by the property twice, because it’s a poorly-marked, hard-to-find doorway between two other buildings. Behind the building there were no markings about where to park and/or that there was a safe, dedicated area for guest’s vehicles. Our email from the host suggested we park across the street on the public road. Due to the French signage and parking permit issues, I did not want to do that for fear my car would be towed.

After hauling our luggage up a narrow, tall flight of stairs, we were confronted by a narrow hallway that smelled like cat urine. There may have been a “full loft” up here at one time, but what we saw were three doorways with numbers on them. Behind our doorway there was a room that was, perhaps, 10’ x 10’ with one tiny, skinny window above eye level and a skylight. In the original listing photograph that accompanied our original reservation confirmation email, there had been a real bed with end tables; the actual bed in the room we got was a pull-out couch with a two-inch thin mattress.

There was no kitchen, only a small counter and bar fridge. No table on which to eat breakfast. The bathroom was so small, if one person was on the toilet and the other opened the door, it would have hit them in the knees and the head. The room was like a student residence, not a “full loft.” My suspicion is that this property had once been a “full loft” but, in order to pack in the people like sardines to make more money, it had been divided up with thin walls (that also needed some fresh paint). We had planned to cook and have friends over during our stay, but it was so small and embarrassing, we left within the hour and found a hotel instead.

We contacted the host immediately: he defended the property and said we hadn’t looked at the photographs closely enough. He said he would contact Airbnb to see about a refund, which I assume was a stalling tactic since the Airbnb site clearly states that refunds are up to the discretion of the host. We also got the impression that the host listed hasn’t even seen the spaces on his profile and is only managing them through text messaging and emails. We have taken a screenshot from our original reservation confirmation, along with a screen shot of the follow up emails. As you can see, at first glance, both spaces shown are similar (barnboard on wall, deer art above bed) but that’s where the similarities end. We booked this space based on the first photos from the original listing and the original reservation confirmation. I don’t know if the host was trying to pull a “bait and switch”, but to us this is misleading and why we are asking for a refund.

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. 

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.