Airbnb Expected us to Use our Psychic Powers

My husband and I recently sold our home and needed a temporary place of residence for three weeks before we could move into our new home. We figured an Airbnb would be the most comfortable route as we have a dog and a young son. Upon our arrival to our Airbnb everything seemed fine and the host had been very kind in his messages. Upon further inspection, the toilet was not clean, the shower looked like it had not been cleaned in awhile, the shower curtain liner was brown at the bottom, and the host had left his used bar of soap that had body hair on it in the shower. The fridge was full of his food which left no room for the groceries we would need for three weeks and the freezer had dried food stuck to it. In addition the bed was only a full bed for three people (myself, my spouse, and our son).

We stayed there less than 12 hours and the next morning I immediately messaged the owner and kindly told him it would not work. He asked if there was anything he could do and I stated that we just wanted a refund and it was okay. I later called Airbnb asking for a full refund and they stated they would back the owner’s refund policy of only 50% if we did not cancel prior to staying there. My question is this: how on earth could it be possible that we would know before seeing the apartment that it would not meet our needs? We paid $2156 to stay there for 22 nights and only actually occupied it for eight hours. How is it fair that we only received $856 as a refund?

The cancellation policy was stated, but the apartment we expected was not what we got. The owner is also at fault. It is not expensive to hire someone to clean a residence before you know you will be having guests stay there. Basically we are out $1300 because Airbnb somehow expected us to use our psychic powers to know that the apartment would not meet our needs prior to staying there. Not only is that the most ludicrous and ridiculous policy I’ve ever heard, but it’s also theft to let someone take so much money from us and then not provide us with a refund. I will never, ever, use Airbnb again and I will let everyone know how they do not advocate for their guests. I will also be filing a complaint with the BBB. My husband even offered to refund the host for the time we did occupy the residence and still a refund was denied. In the past I have used VRBO to book vacation homes and have never been disappointed with my experience. This has taught me that I should have stuck with a company who cares about its guests and to never, ever, use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Nightmare – Roaches at Two Properties

This was my first time using Airbnb and it will definitely be my last. I just moved to Louisville, KY, and needed a place to stay for a week before my lease for my apartment began. I booked my trip and got to my new home for the week, where I was dropped off along with a huge carful of my stuff (to avoid renting a moving van, we decided to bring stuff down in different trips). The host was nice and the place was older, but clean. But I quickly realized there was an issue when I found roaches running around the kitchen and the bathroom. I took pictures and contacted the host, who was mortified and apologized for it, saying she would send maintenance out that day to take a look and spray. Maintenance didn’t come, and for another few days she kept giving me excuses about why they didn’t make it over yet.

After having a roach scuttle across the bathroom floor as I was getting out of the shower, I decided enough was enough and that I would call Airbnb. I thought it would be a quick process since obviously the listing had vermin, but I was on the phone for four hours, from midnight until 4:00 AM. They were originally refusing to refund anything except the nights that I didn’t stay at the residence (if I checked out early), but eventually I did receive a full refund for the nights I didn’t stay, as well as a 50% refund for the nights that I did stay, free accommodation at a different Airbnb location for the remainder of my stay, and compensation for the UberXL I needed to transfer my stuff to the new accommodation. It sounded pretty good, even though I had to fight for it.

When I got to the new residence, I found that there were more roaches there too. I made this video and contacted Airbnb customer service again. I requested a hotel room for the remaining two nights since I didn’t want to stay at another Airbnb location, for obvious reasons. I also asked for my stuff to stay at the dwelling since it was already paid for and I had no way to move it again, especially through a hotel (do you know how many trips on the elevators I would need? Let alone another Uber which I would need to pack and unload). The supervisor I spoke to told me that they could only pay for one hotel night, saying I could “use my refund to pay for the second night in a hotel,” and that they would only pay for the one hotel night if I canceled the current booking, which I needed for my stuff.

Let me remind you that my refund and paying for the new accommodation was meant to remedy the first roach-infested dwelling. Paying for two nights in a hotel would remedy this current dwelling’s affliction, but Airbnb wouldn’t make it right. Now I have potentially brought roaches into my new apartment, and Airbnb definitely doesn’t reimburse for pest control. I wanted to share this so that others don’t get screwed over by this company, since they apparently don’t seem to care about customer service based on my experience. Trust me, you’re better off booking a hotel.

 

 

Airbnb Reduced me to Tears Trying to Get Verified

I have used Airbnb a few times now and have been happy with my hosts; it’s Airbnb that is the problem. When booking a place in Krakow, I came up against this ID verification system. I tried to do as it told me but it just would not accept scans of my passport. I was worried the hosts in Krakow would think I was not paying quickly enough and I tried to explain the problem. They didn’t really understand but were understanding. I needed this sorted so I spent ages on the phone trying to get help.

After some hours I got help and the guy talked me through a way of verifying me. I was then told it had accepted my ID and I could now go ahead with my booking. Everything was resolved at last. I have booked other places since then and had no problems. Yesterday when I tried to book a room I was confronted with the ID request again. I have spent about eight hours trying to talk to Airbnb. I spoke to a girl on a very dodgy line and could barely understand her. She was confused about my problem and didn’t know what to suggest. She was asking me to do various maneuvers, none of which worked. I finally had to hang up as I was busy. She emailed me and said she was going to sort it out and get back to me.

The next day I hadn’t heard anything, so resorted to phoning again. I got through to three people somewhere in the world and the phone lines were so bad it sounded like they were underwater. On the fourth call, I got someone in Ireland. I explained the situation yet again and he was totally mystified as to what to suggest. He said he would get the girl to call me since she had dealt with me yesterday. I started getting phone calls which when answered had no one on the line. The phone kept ringing and there was always silence on the line. I knew it was Airbnb.

She finally got on the line but sounded like she was underwater. I was not very polite. She managed to say I was not verified after all and needed to do it again. When the host in Krakow was told I was verified this was not true. I hung up and said the telephone line was not satisfactory. I sent her a good few emails about how appalling Airbnb was and even when I was told to click on the Help Centre links it just took me to the history of places I have booked before. I could go on but I do have a life other than Airbnb. I have spent hours on the phone at my own expense speaking to people underwater. Enough. I have now booked a hotel. It’s sad because I was enjoying my trips with them. In theory the idea is really wonderful but sadly Airbnb is useless.

Did the Full Eclipse Motivate this Cancellation?

Our cancellation by a host in Portland, Oregon was issued about a week before the arrival date. The excuse given was pipe repair and the apartment was to be closed from August 18th. This booking was made well ahead of August 21st so that we could see the full solar eclipse. At the time of the cancellation all reasonable Airbnb accommodation was gone; most hotels were fully booked and those that were not were asking astronomical rates. We could not find anything and have changed our itinerary and have to forgo seeing the full eclipse (a once in a lifetime experience). When asked for proof of the pipe issue, none was offered by the host or Airbnb. Did the host cancel on us for a much better offer? We will never know. Did Airbnb offer appropriate remorse and compensation? That we do know; they did not. They offered a full refund or if we booked another Airbnb property we could use the refund plus 10%. What a joke when demand for that night was through the roof and at a massively increased cost. So… highlight of vacation ruined, extra cost incurred, and the host and Airbnb carry on regardless. Preplanning a stay is fraught with risk under these circumstances. We will never use Airbnb again and will revert to less expensive hotels of good quality where a bed for the night is guaranteed. Airbnb should be held liable.

Avoid Airbnb If Their Properties Are Like This

We booked a condo in downtown Toronto through Airbnb. On arrival the condo was filthy; even though we were tired from traveling, I decided to clean it anyway. Not only was it filthy, the extra bedding was rolled up, stunk, and had been thrown in the cupboard. The blinds were broken and missing, the bed had cigarette burns on it, and to top it off the window was broken and would not close. We were on top of a bar, so we could not sleep. There was no toilet roll, no washing liquid, and no shower gel as was stated in the listing. There was also a door that could be accessed through the office downstairs to our condo.

We contacted the host by email from my son’s phone who lives in the area. The host had no interest at all and said he would send in a cleaner. He did not want to know about the other problems. The pillows also looked like a dog had urinated all over them; they were so bad. We vacated the property after a week since then getting in contact with Airbnb has been a nightmare. I sent all the photos in of the problems several times and telephoned nearly every day. The case got accidentally closed a few times and now they are saying I can’t have a week’s refund as I did not contact them within 24 hours. Our phones did not work in Canada. The host was contacted, so after all the calls, why did they not tell me that after the first phone call?

I will never use Airbnb again and will tell everyone I know not to use them. The host must be laughing being allowed to take people’s money like that.

Won’t Host on Airbnb After Disgusting Guests

I was a host on Airbnb and after my latest experience with them I am only using VRBO now. We have been renting our ranch on Airbnb for years and I have never seen our home in such disarray. Our cleaning team sent me a list of all the issues (photo provided) including but not limited to:

– Stove top had burnt food all over it.

– Carpets were stained and had to be shampooed which is far and above the normal clean we would need to do after guests leave.

– There was dog food in the couch cushions.

– Toilets were plugged up and had all kinds of items that had been attempted to be flushed down including face wipes and tampons.

– Garbage was put in a coat closet.

– The bedrooms were a mess with food, drinks, games everywhere and the furniture had been all moved around (which we specifically ask our guests not to do)

– Worst of all, there were poop stains on my grandmother’s chair.

Our ranch hand came up to assist our guest during his stay with the toilet being clogged and reported to us that his 90+ year old father was sitting in said chair completely naked from the waist down. He had a “waste” bucket sitting next to him for him to utilize as a bathroom. My family’s ranch was purchased by my late grandfather in the 1960’s. This place is so incredibly precious to us and we love sharing it with others. We have always had respectful, wonderful people stay with us until now. I am so incredibly saddened, hurt, and frankly have a pit in my stomach by the way they treated our home.

Almost a month after I submitted photos, a cleaning bill, and a list of all the items that needed to be cleaned Airbnb finally responded with:

“After careful review of the information submitted, we’re unfortunately unable to process your request. Security deposits cover direct physical loss or physical damage to an accommodation. It does not cover indirect losses. Therefore, as we have not received documentation for any physical damages we would be unable to provide compensation.”

I will never use Airbnb again as a host or a traveler. A company’s true character is shown in how it handles the small events and they showed me theirs.

Airbnb Host Not Informed of our Reservation

My husband and I along with two other couples reserved a house in Camden, Maine for a week this past July. Airbnb charged the entire week to our credit card, half when we made the reservation and the other half a few days before our week started. We got numerous emails from Airbnb about our upcoming trip and how they hoped we had a great time.

When we got to the house, the owner had no idea we were coming and said he hadn’t dealt with Airbnb for over a year. Customer service was worse than useless. We were told that we could get a credit on a different place but there were none available and no help in obtaining alternate housing was offered.

After a couple of hours on the phone, we were able to get them to say they would credit our card but the amount they agreed to was over $200 less than the amount we were charged: probably a service fee. We waited a week and the amount wasn’t credited so I turned the matter over to Mastercard and of course was credited for the entire amount immediately while they investigated. It defies the imagination how a booking can be confirmed and credit card charged without the owner knowing we were coming. Never again Airbnb.

Will Never Use Airbnb Again After Construction

I used Airbnb for the first time a week again and I will never use them again. The studio we rented was totally misrepresented. When we arrived at the rental, we discovered the building was a construction site. The hallways and stairwells were being decorated and the floors tiled. There was dust everywhere, building materials on the landings and stairwells, doors held open with fire extinguishers, and bags of rubbish left in the halls. There were workmen coming and going, and they were grouting the hall outside the rental while we were there.

The studio rental was also directly above a nightclub. The host gave no indication of the nightclub in the description and at no point contacted me beforehand to let me know about or apologise for the building work. In addition, the keypad system to enter the building stopped working. We were in fact locked out of the rental on our first evening. It was late and only by the sheer luck of another resident turning up with a key were we able to re-enter the building and get back to our belongings. I emailed and left a voicemail for the host the following morning about this issue and to date he has still not had the decency to contact me. Fortunately the estate agent next door that managed flats in the building was able to get us a key. However this took over an hour of our time, during which we could not leave for fear of not being able to re-enter.

As soon as I returned I logged an issue with the resolution centre. Again, the host has not had the decency to respond to me. I have now forwarded my issue to Airbnb directly, and despite a standard response saying I would be contacted within 24 hours, I have not had any communication from them. Previously I have used Booking.com and Hotels.com for both personal and work travel and I will be staying with them from now on. They are both excellent services that Airbnb could learn a lot from.

Another Host Cancels – Airbnb Needs to Stop This

I have never completed a stay with Airbnb before and will definitely never try to use it again. However, I will certainly make sure that no one I know ever uses it. I was in the UK and planned a four-night break in NYC as a treat for my wife. I booked my flights months ago as well as an Airbnb apartment on the upper east side. I did read the host reviews and was slightly concerned as there was a complaint that the host tended to cancel at the last minute. I contacted the host, who assured me it was due to his unfamiliarity of how it worked and all was well… so I booked. I have just received a message saying my booked is cancelled and I have been refunded.

What good is that to me? Just try contacting Airbnb; there’s no email and a good wait to call the states from the UK. After looking into it, last minute cancellations seem to be common practice and Airbnb has the worst policy to prevent them: they only charge the host $100 if they cancel less than seven days before the booking. Soes the customer get the $100 for their inconvenience? No – it goes into Airbnb’s pocket. At the very least, the host should be charged a minimum of $100 for cancelling at any time and up to the total cost of the booking less than seven days and give it to the customer who has been stiffed over. I’m never using Airbnb again.

Oh Brother! Extortion and Intimidation in Toronto

Traveling is stressful enough as it is, especially when you are coming from a week of business travel in Europe, to a quick vacation stop in Toronto, before returning home. However, when you throw extortion by your Airnnb host into the mix, it elevates the stress to a whole new level.

Let’s set the scene: I (female) was meeting up with my male friend in Toronto for an event. We wanted to stay in the city and found this listing that appeared to be decent enough. The inside of the house looked charming, with a view of the CN Tower. It was titled the “420 Cottage” and was described as 420 friendly. This was not something we were interested in, but it was located in a great area and for a decent price. We decided to book the property.

Upon arrival on a Friday night, the property looked rundown, with the small front “lawn” a jungle of clearly neglected waist-high weeds. The listing didn’t include a picture of the front of the property, only the inside and view looking towards the city… for good reason I suppose. We got into the property without any issues, and Friday night went smoothly enough, if you could ignore the overly potent stench of marijuana emanating throughout the walls of the unit and the faucet handle that wasn’t even attached.

Upon exploring the unit, we noted that there was a locked door leading to a downstairs unit, which we did not have access to. We also noted some information about parking guidelines and local things to do posted on the fridge and left on the table. Saturday morning I woke up at around 7:15 AM and noted that it sounded as though somebody was entering the property. It sounded as though they spent a couple minutes in the kitchen area, near where the door to the downstairs unit was located, and then left, locking the door behind them. Assuming it was the host, we did not think much of it.

We left for our event at around 8:00 AM, locking the door behind us. At this point, it should be noted that there are two locks on the door: a bolted lock and a lock on the doorknob. I did my due diligence as a renter and locked both locks, from the outside of the house. We returned to the property at around 4:30 PM and were unable to gain access. The bolted lock would unlock, but the lock on the doorknob did not. We texted the host, who stated that we didn’t follow the rules, which clearly stated that the knob lock should not be locked as it cannot be opened with the key provided. However, given that the lock cannot be unlocked with the key provided, one would assume it cannot be locked with said key, which means we should not have been able to lock the door.

In addition, there were no house rules posted inside the home; if there were, they were not clearly visible, and the only rules noted on the Airbnb listing were: “No parties or events. Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years). No parties are permitted in the house, but there is plenty to do nearby.” There were also no notes posted near the door or the lock, indicating to renters that the lock would permanently lock you out of the property. The host noted that she was out of town and unable to help, which was not previously disclosed to us, but that she would have her brother come let us into the property at 8:00 PM.

At this point, it was an inconvenience to not have access to the property, but we didn’t have another option. At around 8:15 PM we returned to the property and were able to get inside by only unlocking the bolt lock. We showered and headed out to dinner. This time when locking the door, we locked only the bolt lock and were very careful not to adjust the lock on the nob, as instructed. When we returned from dinner, just before 11:00 PM, we found that the nob lock was once again locked. Knowing that this was not our doing, we once again texted the host indicating that we had been locked out, explaining that per her instructions we did not touch the nob lock. Her response was: “That’s awful that the door locked again. A locksmith is $150. My brother says he will come for $100. I am in Windsor and cannot help you.”

With all of our belongings inside the house, including passports, laptops, and luggage, it was very clear at this point that we were being extorted. Knowing that the brother had access to the property and the host was out of town, we speculated that it may have been him who entered the property in the morning and that he had deliberately locked us out of the property later in the day. After stating that this request was unreasonable, I tried calling Airbnb to get advice on how to handle the situation and was placed on hold. Simultaneously, my friend was on the phone with the host (the booking was in his name) trying to figure out what to do. He was told by the host that “if the knob lock is off by even a millimeter, the door will be locked,” which is not how locks work and indicates that she was aware this lock was problematic and failed to correct the problem or disclose the information to her guests.

My friend indicated that we didn’t have that much cash on our persons, to which she stated that she more or less has to bribe her brother to help. Out of desperation, my friend agreed to pay $80, all the while I was still on hold with Airbnb. We were told that the brother will arrive in 25 minutes. For my safety, I take my friend’s belongings, besides the $80 and his cell phone, and wait in our car down the road. About 15 minutes later the brother showed up while I was waiting in the car, about 45 minutes after being placed on hold with Airbnb.

I finally got in touch with somebody who refused to help me, since I was not the individual who made the reservation. Despite being able to confirm the name and dates, and stating that I was not looking to file a claim as my friend will do that later, I was just looking for guidance on how to handle a situation in which I feel unsafe and taken advantage of, I was turned away. Immediately after hanging up with Airbnb, I got a text message from my friend stating that I should come retrieve my belongings, as he did not feel safe enough to continue our stay. He told me that when the brother arrived to unlock the door, prior to giving access he stated: “I am an opportunist – I will take the money now.”

I entered the property and grabbed my belongings, loaded up the car, and we left to spend the night in a hotel. At this point, my friend called Airbnb and began filing a complaint. Similarly to myself, he was placed on hold for about 45 minutes before getting in touch with a person. He explained what happened and was told to hold again while he was being transferred to a manager. Over 20 minutes later, he got on the phone with a manager, who offered virtually no assistance. She stated that we can be refunded for one night, since we exited the property, but that nothing else will be done since “there is no documentation and it is he said/she said.”

Despite indicating that we have text messages documenting the case of extortion, that the host was aware of the issues with this lock and failed to correct or disclose them, and that we felt extremely unsafe in the situation, we were told nothing would be done. By the time we were finished with the calls, having accomplished very little, it was nearly 2:30 AM.

The next day, we were refunded $171 of the $409 we paid for the rental, which is hardly enough compensation for what we went through. I have since filed a police report and we are continuing to pursue the issues with Airbnb, who remain utterly useless. Never would I have expected to be extorted by an Airbnb host; never again will I be using their company, and I will encourage everyone I speak with to not use them. There was obvious negligence on the part of the host to disclose important information regarding the use of the property, including both information about her being out of town during our stay and the known issues with the locks. Given that she was out of town, an additional local contact should have been provided, or some form of emergency contact information. Maintenance of the property to provide a suitable unit for renters was clearly neglected.

The host and her brother locked our belongings in the property and used it to get additional money from us. Then, the negligence of Airbnb to provide any form of assistance when a guest who is using their services (although not the owner of the reservation) is placed in an unsafe situation, is horribly irresponsible. If I had been traveling alone, as a female who was not local to the country, who does not carry cash on them when traveling, I would have been in an even worse situation with limited options and been left even more vulnerable. When traveling, I try to screen my hosts and ensure they are somebody I would feel comfortable interacting with. Had I been aware that I would have to deal with the host’s brother, I would have changed my choice of accommodations.

Lastly, Airbnb’s inability to rectify the situation with my friend, the reservation holder, is appalling. The fact that Airbnb is claiming that we do not have any ground to stand on with these claims and stating that our concerns are irrelevant, is a testament to their unprofessional business practices and lack of concern for their customers. The fact that I was extorted and felt so unsafe that I needed to file a police report in the hopes that it would prevent other people from going through a similar situation speaks volumes to the severity of the situation. Airbnb’s failure to identify this severity and keep their customers safe is an indication that they are an unprofessional company and should not be doing business.