Airbnb Nightmare at Casa Pasco at Lake Chapala, Mexico

We arrived at Casa Pasco in Lake Chapala, Mexico, having booked through Airbnb. Our welcome started with the owner answering the door after repeatedly ringing the bell at the gate. No “Hello” or “Welcome” just, “Where have you been?” Well, we landed in Guadalajara, grabbed a taxi and the taxi driver had difficulties finding Casa Pasco. The owner, Scott, gave us quite the rude welcome. Immediately my first thought was this place was not going to be what Airbnb advertised, starting with some small out-of-control dogs that attacked the pet we had traveling with us.

There was a sewage/chemical smell in both Casa Pasco Casitas. The internet was not working, as had been promised in my Casita. I went to my family member’s Casita, and the internet was still working poorly: forget about watching Netflix or even getting some work completed. The smell was so disgusting I returned to my Casita. Every time we went to ask for help we always felt uncomfortable as the owners were not so friendly, as if we were a bother since we were complaining. It was almost comical watching Scott try to work with a simple internet router that was hanging outdoors on a nail outside my Casita.

Within a couple of hours of being there I knew we had to get the hell out of this place. No way we were staying for multiple nights. I talked to my family member and explained that we were leaving no matter what. We stayed up the entire night, keeping my family member up in my Casita outdoors to avoid the stench of sewage and chemicals (maybe roach spray?). Scott claimed to be so involved with the local community; he said that his local friends and soccer team kids would be visiting and that we should be kind and accommodating. We were also told to lock our belongings up while they visited. I won’t say or express what I think about this host.

Within 12 hours we were packed and left this Airbnb nightmare. The photos look great and the reviews are all great but one must wonder about the authenticity of each review as we had to negotiate with Airbnb and the owner to get a partial refund. Airbnb seemed to side with the host and I wonder if they even suggested that the owner take an honest look at our complaints and resolve them. I will never use Airbnb again, as I don’t feel I should have to negotiate the way we had to. I think that us offering to pay for the first night was more than fair especially after our experience. Don’t use Airbnb, and stay away from Casa Pasco at Lake Chapala. We found an amazing place within those first 24 hours by searching for accommodations on Google. A place that said “welcome”, loved our pet, and allowed us to decompress after 12 hours of hell.

Airbnb’s Insurance Policy Doesn’t Protect Guests

In February, our Airbnb rental in Mexico was burglarized. The police came and a report was filed. All told, between two couples, we lost over $4500 of our possessions. The owner was very helpful; he filed a claim with his insurance company, which was denied about two weeks later because we were renters. Our personal homeowner’s policies covered all of our losses except our $500 deductibles for each couple, which might mean that the cost of our policies could go up.

I contacted Airbnb Customer Service over 12 days ago, to collect the two $500 deductibles from them. I was told to send all corresponding information to them, which I did. It has now been almost two weeks since Airbnb’s last contact with me. I have attempted to have other emails answered by their employees to no avail. I am now very angry at the rudeness of Airbnb. In the last two days, I have called the 855-424-7262 number four times. I was on hold for over 15 minutes each time with music playing, then when the music stopped (all four times), and I thought, yeah, someone is going to talk to me, I was disconnected. All four times.

I am mad and will not give up trying to reach Airbnb. They cover insurance for their homeowners; there should be insurance coverage for their renters as well. We are half of their business. My first communication with one of their representatives went very well. I thought this was a good company. However, in the ensuing two weeks, with no followups and reading about problems many other people have had trying to contact them, trying to reach someone by phone only to be disconnected four times after 15 minutes on hold, I am now convinced that Airbnb does not care. The CEOs have made their millions (billions) and they just don’t care anymore. I will be renting from HomeAway and VRBO in the future. Step up to the plate Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia. Someone at Airbnb should be reading the complaints and frustrations of your homeowners and renters on this website.

Stuck in a Long-Term Airbnb Nightmare

We booked the Casa Iguana Hotel and Suites in Mismaloya, Mexico. Advertised was an equipped kitchen, hot tub, swimming pool, wifi, and mini market, with the pictures showing a waterfall cascading into the pool. We are booked from January 6th to February 24th. We are still here. We have tried contacting Airbnb to no avail. We arrived to an absolutely filthy two bedroom condo. It was equipped with one fork, a couple of knives, two chipped plates, a couple of cups, no pots and pans, no towels, no dish towels, and no hangers in the closet – the rack was broken and couldn’t hold a hanger anyway. The lamps and shades were filthy, the hot plate did not work, and the kitchen counter was dirty. There is no waterfall. The mini fridge was filled with so much frost we could not put anything in it. The hot tub is empty and does not work, the four lounge chairs around the pool (for a 42-unit hotel) are broken, there are eight chairs around the pool to sit on, and there are only three tables. The “bar” has never been open and has nothing in it.

We were relocated to another suite the day we arrived after I angrily made a complaint to the front desk about the unlivable conditions of our condo. The next condo was tolerable, but the hot plate still doesn’t work and the lamps are filthy. We decided to make the best of it. We were given a single hot plate that is so slow it took me an hour to make mac and cheese. Tonight was the final straw: there are kids literally screaming from the early morning to 11:00 PM. The mini market has shelves that are almost empty. What’s laughable is Airbnb’s promise to mediate, and relocate us under these appalling conditions. How can they mediate when I cannot get ahold of them? We are stuck in this nightmare. Our final payment is due on February 3rd. There is nothing for us to rent in Puerto Vallarta in our price range from February 3rd until we leave on February 24th. Never again will I be dealing with a company that makes promises they cannot fulfill.

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.

Slandered and Threatened at Airbnb in Mexico

I am now rounding out my sixth week at an Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am in total shock over how I have been treated and if the advice I’m about to give saves even one person the psychological pain I have suffered, it will have been worth it. Somewhere within the Airbnb contract, it says that a host ask a guest to leave for any reason. That, in and of itself, is insanity. And in the state of Guanajuato, it is completely untrue. In my case, the “hostess” saw me smoking a cigarette in her “casita”. That was a no-no. I apologized but her response was, “I am changing the locks and will throw all your belongings onto the street.” My response was to call my Mexican attorney. Yes, I have one. He advised me to tell her to back all the way off. Which, I did. Instead of her backing off I starting receiving daily Airbnb emails from her and from Airbnb itself. Her emails included the following flowery phrases she used to describe me: “pissed off addict”, “worst person I have ever met”, “you are beneath me”, “unethical”, “shame on you” and endless references to this one cigarette. She repeatedly told me to “GET OUT”. So after more than five weeks into this drama, I asked my lawyer to write her a letter.

Here is the real deal about renting in Mexico, through Airbnb or just directly with a landlord. Harassment of a tenant in Mexico is a criminal offense. Any attempt to evict a tenant outside the court is a criminal offense. Airbnb has no jurisdiction here and therefore, the tenant holds all the cards. Did I want to leave? Of course. But nothing was available that was not quadruple what I had already paid the hostess so I had to stay put. Do not knuckle under if you find yourself in a similar situation. You are being abused, you are the victim. There is nothing Airbnb can do to remove you. In fact, if any attempt had been made to remove me, that person would be subject to arrest. I hope this helps someone.

Lawyerly Defense in Mexico: Host Plot Foiled

My Airbnb rental was reserved for 45 days in central Mexico. I’m still here. But I’m only here because of the intervention of a Mexican lawyer. My host complained when my flight was late. We got past that. My host has a rescue dog (one of the three on the property) and she asked me to photograph the dog. I’m a professional photographer and I said I would. The host said he/she was leaving for Thanksgiving to the US. The host said, “Can you take care of the rescue dog in your apartment while I am gone?” I said, “Okay.” I didn’t want to do it, but being an idiot, I said, “Okay.”

As we marched up to her departure date my host said, “I will be leaving the rescue dog with you for a few minutes every day until I leave so that you can get to know him.” I responded, “No. I know him well enough already and please tell me what I can do about the heat here as there is none.” To her credit a portable heater was brought in. She said when the tank is exhausted call this number and order another. You will pay for it.” I was losing my sense of humor by now. The issue of water came up because in central Mexico one must have bottled water. There was water – again to her credit – when I arrived. As it ran out I asked about more. She said, “I have more bottles here. You can pay me for one.” I didn’t complain.

Then I, who had not smoked for years, smoked. And the host saw me smoke. One instance and boom. She called Airbnb and said, “I want her out.” She emailed me and wrote, “Get out. I’m putting your things on the sidewalk and I am changing the locks.”

I called my lawyer here in central Mexico. Here’s the fun part. I used to live in central Mexico. Yes, I have a lawyer here. And Mexican law is this: someone rents you a place? You can’t be evicted without a court case, period. Forget Airbnb. You have rights in Mexico. So I emailed the host this information and she folded. As it turned out, she doesn’t own the place. She rents it. She sublet it to me. I don’t care. She’s continuing to abuse me verbally and Airbnb, who said it would help me, hasn’t. No shock there either. Airbnb will listen to your complaint and that will make you feel so much better. But it will do nothing for you. I’m not moving until I have to go back to the US. Of course, my time in this place is ruined and a nightmare. But at least I get to tell you that if you are in Guanajuato, Mexico and this happens to you, stay put and find a lawyer. One hour’s consultation and your mind will be at ease. Airbnb is a joke.