Reservation Mix up with no Fix in Sight

Our first Airbnb experience has been horrible. We booked a room through Airbnb for our vacation to Nashville. We got our reservation confirmation through Airbnb for June 19-24th. On our way down we called the resort to confirm and they had the reservation as June 19th-23rd. Right away we tried getting in contact with the host who never once got back to us even though over a period of four days we had called, emailed, and texted. After that wasn’t successful, we contacted Airbnb who told us our case was a priority. After didn’t hear back from them we called again and again. Finally we were told that they got in contact with the host and the situation has been resolved. The next morning after that message we called the front desk to confirm that it had been dealt with and the checkout date was the 25th and found out that nothing had changed. Now after we have been dealing with this for our entire vacation we have to check out tomorrow morning two days early even though we paid for two more nights. This has been beyond frustrating. There needs to be three-way calling for some way to confirm the host actually does what they say they are going to do. The host has been horrible. He hasn’t gotten in contact with us even once and he’s the only one that can fix this. We will not be using Airbnb again because they ruined our vacation. Something that was supposed to be family fun and relaxation has not be that but consumed with trying to fix this.

 

Airbnb is a Nightmare for Guests of All Ages

I am still fuming following outrageously dishonest treatment from a host in Leatherhead in the UK in early May which was arrogantly backed by Airbnb. They took over $849 AUD without providing any accommodation. I refused to stay in the accommodation shortly after check-in after enduring parking hell involving a building site with extreme restricted access in the “designated parking area” (see photo) and access to the flat. I was met with a drummer in the room above practicing and a room/flat which would never be described as “spacious” and certainly not “homely”.

The host was overseas at check-in and unreachable for three days. Instead he sent his mother to officiate, who showed no sympathy and was only concerned with defending her son. Airbnb even phoned me on my 50th birthday to tell me to take a hike and reduced me to tears as I apparently “hadn’t followed the cancellation procedure.” As far as the website was concerned, I had done so to the letter. The Airbnb representative was just nasty: she refused to take my photographic evidence into account that backed my case, saying that it was ” irrelevant” and condescendingly told me that “she didn’t have a problem with the website”.

I will never use this company again. I will certainly be warning others. The way the company operated towards me was utterly immoral and shameful and appears to deliberately make it extremely difficult to contact them. I would not trust them ever again. A disgusting organisation. Go to hell Airbnb.

Marietta Nightmare: Everything is an Uphill Battle with Airbnb

Last week, my business partner and I had a last minute business trip come up. We needed to go to Marietta, Georgia. Most hotels were full or their rates were sensational, so I decided to give Airbnb a shot for the first time. Normally I take my time, do my due diligence, and made sure everything is in order, but I only had two hours to find a place to stay, book it, get last minute briefings finalized, and pack. I admit, I should have done more research on the place.

The place reminded me of Victorian townhouses you see sprinkled across England. The rate was $120, which seemed fair for a full townhouse. I noted check in was anytime after 4:00 PM. All seemed well, so I clicked “accept.” Next thing I know I get a message. The host wrote to me in broken southern English and immediately I was concerned. He says he works until 6:30 and has to get the place ready, so he can’t let us in until 8:30 PM. I was annoyed and it was obviously contradictory with what he had stated on his profile. However, I went along with it.

Two minutes later, my phone dinged again. It was another message from the host: this time he was trying to change the reservation. Instead of offering a full house, he was trying to have us agree to just use the master bedroom, so that he can rent other areas of the townhouse to other people. Then I was pissed. I declined the request and sent him a rather forceful message demanding that he honor the original reservation. He apologized and explained that he thought he had set the price a night at $129/139; he said was going to lose money now, but he would honor the price set anyway.

At this point, I wanted out of the reservation. I could feel that this was now going south and sensing that when we arrived, he was probably going to try and hit us up for more money. I just knew this was only the beginning, so I logged onto Airbnb to try and cancel my reservation. It had literally only been about 15-20 minutes since I booked the place and I figured I’d have no problems cancelling. That’s when I found out I was only getting 50% of my money back. I tried calling their number and after several attempts, realized that I would never be put through to a real person.

I was freaking out, but decided to keep an open mind. We arrived in Marietta and first things first: we wanted to see where we were staying. It was only 4:30 or 5:00 PM, so we figured we’ll do a drive by, go eat, and then meet the host afterwards. Hopefully, all would be well.

As soon as we turned the corner into his cul-de-sac, my heart dropped. It was a ghetto: broken down cars everywhere. Nasty, filthy… and then I saw the place. He had taken a close up shot of the front of his house, so that you wouldn’t see what it was actually surrounded by: human decay.

I was out. I was so out I couldn’t even see straight I was so mad. Mostly mad at myself, for not having done my research. I logged into Airbnb again and decided I would take the loss of $100 and change. Nope, it had changed again; now, I would lose the entire payment. We went to the Hilton and checked in there. We waited it out and I decided I would go back around 8:30 PM and let the guy know I wasn’t interested in the place. Then I would speak to Airbnb and explain that “based on their terms and conditions”, I was eligible for a full refund. It clearly states in their terms, if you feel your safety is in jeopardy, you are entitled to full compensation.

I definitely had a case. The guy never showed up at 8:30, so now I’m golden. Or so I thought… I went back to my nice, clean, safe hotel and started a conversation over the Airbnb messaging service. I explain what happened in gross detail and requested a full refund. Some guy who barely spoke English told me he needed photos as proof. I never thought to take pictures; I hadn’t even been inside the place, so I Google mapped it and send him screen shots of the dilapidated neighborhood. Long story short, the Airbnb desk jockey told me he was not refunding my money. I could have gotten nasty. Told him he was nothing more than a slave to a silicon valley, or a corporate monster… but I left it at that and phoned my credit card company. I’ll get money money back, but my vengeance isn’t over. This post is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll rant and rave until the day Airbnb finally goes bankrupt, because they will. There’s just no way a company with that kind of customer service is going to make it.

Airbnb Leave Guests Out in the Cold in Cork

I arrived at my rental in Cork, Ireland only to be told there was no running hot water in the kitchen and not to leave the heat on because if it ran out of gas and the hosts weren’t home we would have no heat. The only source of hot water in the kitchen was a kettle to boil water in. The house was three stories high so you had to go to at least the second story to wash your hands in warm water. I expressed concern to the host and got a hostile response; we left feeling threatened.

The host called me to ask why we left the keys. I again tried to explain, but he hung up on me. I called Airbnb and was told someone would call me back. No one did. I called the next day and was told someone would call me back… no one did. What Airbnb did do was cancel my reservation and refuse to issue a refund because according to them I didn’t convince the host to make the repairs on the spot. Repairs that would require plumbing and electrical work. Airbnb also said they don’t think not having hot water in the kitchen is a problem. Buried in the reviews of the house, I found another person who commented on the lack of hot water among other things. The response from the host was an announcement that no one uses the kitchen anyway. Since they were saving the planet, they didn’t think it was necessary.

They avoid responsibility for any problems and blame the guest instead. This is exactly what we experienced from the obnoxious young man with dreadlocks who showed us the place. I don’t use boiling water from a kettle to wash my hands or do dishes because boiling water burns and is a safety hazard. No heat in Ireland…. sure, that’s not a problem at all. Trying to work out problems in a rental with a very large and angry man behind two locked doors far from the street is not something I’m going to attempt. We had to scramble to find a hotel. Airbnb customer service is abysmal and their lack of concern for safety is a dealbreaker. I’ve had problems with them before but never anything like this. I’ll never use Airbnb again.

College Graduation Weekend Best Not Entrusted to Airbnb

My first time using Airbnb was horrible. We were late to the table for booking a hotel room for a college graduation weekend. A friend recommended I try Airbnb. After looking at a few possibilities, I decided on a king-size condo for six people close to campus that looked nice. I asked the hosts a few questions and decided to book the property. After I committed, I asked a few more questions, but never heard back from the host. “Oh well,” I figured.

Upon arrival at the “condo”, I was shocked to find a rundown student house that had been converted to hold four small rooms. Our room was about 300 square feet. The parking spot in the back of the home was a gravel mess and there was no sidewalk to the front of the house; we had to use the steep, uneven driveway (that was shared by many other houses and businesses) to get to the front of the house. There was a long uneven staircase up to the house that didn’t even have a hand rail up to the top.

In the evening there were no lights in the parking area or even the front of the house. I had paid extra for another person, yet there was no bed, sheets, blanket, pillow, or towels for the third person. Even though the three photos of this “condo” looked nice, the floor was filthy. I called and complained to the host. The following morning I used the microwave and blew the main circuit. We had to go to the graduation sopping wet. After three hours the host finally responded and told me to go flip the switch myself.

We decided to vacate the property because we felt unsafe. I contacted Airbnb when we returned, and they sent us through a silly process that accomplished nothing. To make matters more interesting, I did a Google search of the property and found that it is owned by a guy in Chicago; he had created a fictitious name to be a host. Airbnb told me that hosts often do that for privacy. They pretend to be someone else, and have all of my information? It’s kind of scary if you ask me. After all I went through they did not even post my review, which is wrong on their part. I believe Airbnb is all about the host, and have little hope for the guests. I will never use Airbnb again.

Unsafe and Dirty Apartment in London, Still no Refund

Last month, my boyfriend and I booked an Airbnb in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London for three nights. The experience was unpleasant from the beginning. We picked up the keys from a coffee shop and the baristas were short with us and unfriendly. We then entered the apartment, which was advertised as a studio, but was completely misrepresented. The apartment did not have the amenities of a studio (it was nine square meters in total with only a microwave and small fridge, making it technically count as a studio). It was dirty, and had towels left in it that were already used and falling apart. The worst part was that the apartment was completely unsafe.

When I say unsafe, I mean that when we entered, the front doors to the apartment had been left wide open. It was easy for anyone to walk directly into this apartment building, go upstairs, and break into the rooms. The front doors were left open every single time that we entered and exited the apartment building. Our personal apartment door did not have a lock on it that was very secure, so we were completely vulnerable to any intrusion. It had the lock of a bedroom door, and a dent in the wall seemed to indicate that it had already been easily kicked in in the past.

We decided to call Airbnb customer service. Our customer service representative took down all of the information and ensured us that safety is the number one priority of Airbnb. We had to wait on the phone for 40 minutes (and this was an international call since we were not calling from our home country) and then explained the situation and how we felt extremely unsafe in the apartment for another 30 minutes. She told us to take videos of all of the extreme noise, dirtiness, and the unsafe and opened doors so that we could send them to her later. She also said that she would call us back within five minutes so that we could proceed with the case by sending all of these videos, and that most likely Airbnb would change our apartment for us that night.

The problem is that we never received a call back from Airbnb, and after a horrible night of sleep (the bed was caving in, there was noise directly outside the door, and someone even banged on the door in the middle of the night) we decided to check out in the morning. I am still shocked that there was absolutely no response from Airbnb when we had stated that we were experiencing huge safety issues. We tried to explain the situation to the host, but she was just rude and told us to deal directly with Airbnb, as the person kicking in the door was probably just drunk (this was clearly because this apartment scam has probably been going on for a while).

I had to look for another nearby hotel and spend extra money just so that we could sleep in a safe place, with no guarantee of a refund and no response from Airbnb at this point. When I arrived back home, I again called Airbnb and sent all of our receipts from the new hotel, all of our information (the videos I took, the photos, and the communications we had with the host and Airbnb), and spent approximately ten hours of my time going back and forth explaining this situation and sending all of my documented information. It is clear that we deserved a full refund, and even something extra, considering all of our time spent documenting, talking on the phone, and sending details over emails. It is clear that this shouldn’t even be a question as we were left with no response in an unsafe apartment.

However, first Airbnb offered us no refund (even though over a phone call, which customer service said had been recorded, they agreed that we should have a refund). After I insisted to have a second and third opinion on the case, we were offered only a one-night refund and a $100 Airbnb credit. This is the worst example of customer service I have experienced in my life. Our main contact told me over and over again that she had no decision making power over our case and that I was not able to speak with someone with decision making power. As stated before, she even agreed that we deserved a refund, but she was not the one deciding. How can it be explained that I could not even speak with an official decision maker?

It seemed like I spent hours playing a cat and mouse chase with no real winner and no clear answers. Why were we never given an explanation of how this refund was calculated? Customer service told me that we met all of the requisites for a refund, however in the end this randomized refund was offered to us with no real explanation of how it was calculated. It is clear that it is just in their interest to give no refunds to customers, as I had to even insist to get this partial refund; their first offer was no refund for no valid reason. I asked in various emails how this was calculated with no response.

I was also even told at one point that only my boyfriend could be in contact with Airbnb since the reservation was made on his account. So are only the guests that make the reservation valid guests? Do they discount all other members of the reservation in times of disagreement? This was also clearly a way of just trying to not deal with me, as I am a native English speaker and my boyfriend is Italian, so of course it was easier for me to be the one to explain this situation in my native tongue. I found this response one that just tried to avoid dealing with my level of discontent as no real answers could be provided.

This offer of a partial refund took almost a month to resolve. This is extremely slow, and as of today it still is not even listed as refunded in my boyfriend’s account. How can they explain that a company that is supposed to be prided on efficient service takes so long to answer a customer service query? I have never experienced such a terrible example of a company solely asserting their market power without caring at all about their customers’ experience. Clearly I won’t be using their services again and hope that this example makes others think twice before paying them for a service without any guarantee of true care for their customers.

Evening of Airbnb Hell in Marina Del Ray

The “Wayne and Abby Venice Beach” location is advertised as quiet, and their house rules insist on quiet behavior by Airbnb guests. My wife and I checked into this Airbnb location on Thursday afternoon, February 23rd. Thursday evening was peaceful, but Friday night, we endured non-stop loud noise in the building all night long, from 9:00 PM through 8:00 AM Saturday, February 25th. There was a wild party downstairs, which meant little sleep for us.

I notified and complained to the host at 6:09 AM Saturday. I did not receive any reply and sent another message via the Airbnb system before noon. At approximately 4:30 PM, I received a response from the host saying that she would notify her landlord. It was then that we realized that she as an Airbnb host is only a tenant herself in this multi-dwelling building. Her response and results were ineffective, and we decided to cancel the remainder of the trip, as another noisy party in the building was underway.

The host argued that we did not give her the opportunity to work things out. We notified Airbnb, checked out and canceled the reservation. We requested from Airbnb a refund for five of the six nights (one unsatisfactory evening plus four unused evenings). Airbnb processed only a partial refund of $444 (for the base room cost for three nights, but not for the pro-rated tax and “service” fee) already credited to our credit card. I contacted our credit card customer service on March 1st to complain. The credit card company is still adjudicating the matter. I’m requesting an additional net refund from Airbnb of $504.

Airbnb informed me that they consider the matter closed and will not respond to further inquiries from me. Furthermore, Airbnb has blocked me from posting a negative review. That’s why all you see are the positive reviews. We will never use Airbnb again, for anything. Imagine staying in a Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton Inn, getting no sleep because of noisy guests, and the hotel chain denying you a refund for lack of satisfaction? Imagine the hotel telling you to get lost with your complaint.

Driveway from Airbnb Hell in Montacino Italy

We booked a house in Tuscany through Airbnb last week. Unfortunately, we couldn’t even check in because the driveway road (a treacherous footpath) was so dangerous we were afraid we would destroy our rental car or get into an accident. This left us stranded at 1:00 AM, forcing us to find a random hotel 30 minutes away after driving for nearly three hours. We called Airbnb Customer Service immediately to file the report and even spent part of the next day capturing pictures of the road on foot. Despite all of this, Airbnb refuses to refund us, won’t reopen our claim, and wouldn’t even let me speak to a supervisor. I was a loyal Airbnb customer for four years but I will never use them again. Never.

Cheated by Airbnb Twice for Deceptive Listing

I rented an Airbnb in Naples, Florida for three weeks. It was a slum and I was robbed for the first time when they charged my credit card up front for $1500. I called customer service immediately to tell them how horrible it was and they offered me a $200 credit to move to another Airbnb. However, the ones available were of course much more expensive because it was now high season. I decided to stay there, leaving early in the morning each day and returning late at night. It was listed as a new two bedroom condo, but was actually a one bedroom with the host sleeping in the living room. It was in a slum and the host didn’t look like the person on the profile. There were broken lights, cardboard boxes for tables, broken doors and ripped screens… you get the idea.

When I left, she claimed I dirtied her towels and lost her key; for this lie, she got an additional $150 from Airbnb. I used my own towels, her door was broken, and I didn’t use a key. Airbnb didn’t listen to anything. They said I hadn’t proved my case and I even lost my security deposit. I was robbed and then robbed again. Scammers know how to play the game and Airbnb doesn’t care. I hate Airbnb.

Airbnb Closes Case After Vegan Host Asks to Cancel

Our Airbnb host asked us to cancel the reservation after we discovered that we couldn’t eat honey, milk, etc. (vegan craziness) and asked for a full refund. Then she refused to refund our 50% strict cancellation non-refundable deposit ($800 CAD). Airbnb asked her to make the refund, she refused, and then they closed the case, bouncing back any email reply. That’s it. We’ve been deceived with a misrepresentation and lost 800 CAD after following the host’s directions one day after booking. Airbnb washed their hands of it, and the case is closed. What a horrible company and experience. There’s complicity in theft, which doesn’t even apply their own terms and conditions. I will never deal with them again, and am closing my account.