My Home was Destroyed and Used as an Illegal Airbnb

I own a 5000+ square foot executive home in a gated community in Las Vegas. My tenant illegally rented out my home for up to $750/night. My neighbors reported that on a daily basis limos and party buses would roll up with 15-20 people going in and out of my house daily. My home was subject to bachelor parties, naked pool parties, and even had a rap video filmed inside. Airbnb does not check that “hosts” are authorized to rent out the homes. As a result, my home suffered over $25,000 in damage. When I reported it to Airbnb, they refused to remove it from the site and cancel future reservations. I had to get the police involved and move people out in the middle of the night. The same host is doing this with other unsuspecting homeowners. If anyone files a class action on behalf of property owners, I’m in. How is it that Airbnb does not check to see if a host is legally entitled to rent out someone’s home? Also, when notified, how do they not shut down the listing, as well as their other listings immediately?

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.

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.

 

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.

Airbnb Nightmare in LA Leaves Family Stranded

My wife accompanied our daughter on a move to Los Angeles to start a new job. We own resort property and list through VRBO because they provide exceptional customer service and communication. A previous experience with Airbnb was problematic. We were reluctant to book through Airbnb again but my daughter liked one of the listings and it was close to her new job. When they arrived, they were met by the son of the owner who was out of the country. He handed them the key, wasn’t helpful in any way, and he left. When they opened the door they found a filthy apartment with bits of food on the dining table and kitchen counters. The appliances were greasy, there were stains on the furniture, and there appeared to be blood splatter on one of the walls.

My wife found the son to ask if the unit had been cleaned and he handed her a bottle of Formula 409. She asked to speak with the owner and he got him on the phone. He claimed his son is a “idiot” and lazy. My wife requested he arrange for a cleaning crew to come in while they wandered through LA. The owner went ballistic, said my wife was rude, and she wasn’t going to order him around. He also said they would not get their money back.

She took pictures with her phone, then called Airbnb. She spoke with someone who seemed helpful at first. She sent the pictures, and he said he’d call her back in five minutes; he never did. When she called back, she was told that he left for a minute and would call back, her credit card would not be charged, and they could apply the amount to another Airbnb property.

They found one that was acceptable, called Airbnb to advise them to move the funds to the new property, and were told that they processed the charge, and her pictures weren’t good enough evidence to cancel the reservation. My wife called her bank who reversed the charge, and they were left with no place to stay. Her credit card was tied up while she waited for the credit.

I believe the owner violated his agreement with Airbnb because his home was not safe, healthy, or inhabitable. He also failed to resolve what clearly was his responsibility. In addition he failed to disclose that there was a massive excavation construction project next door that was quite noisy and caused the ground to vibrate. Airbnb needs to better vet their hosts and create a more user friendly process for their guests. Perhaps they are unaware that guests may also own rentals and could be clients of Airbnb as hosts. I’m a real estate broker with influence in my market. I am going to do everything in my power to share this story and review. My attorney will be calling the owner to discuss his abusive language and fraudulent real estate activity.

Airbnb Guests Doing Illegal Drugs at our Apartments

I’m not too sure which point I should be focusing on, the bad guest experiences or the Airbnb management system, but I will be explaining both so readers can be the judge. First, I had a guest book one of my apartments and checked in at night around 11:00 PM. He rang me up and asked how to check in. I gladly informed him of the instructions and he checked in successfully. Two days later on his check out day, our cleaners entered the apartment to clean after the check out time (11:00 AM). The guest was still sleeping, so the cleaners had to ask him to leave; he was not really listening so the cleaners had to ask several times.

Eventually he left but when the cleaners went inside the apartment, they found it in a hideous state. Everything had been moved, with splatters on the walls, sheets and blankets and pillows thrown everywhere, everything in the kitchen had been used and left unwashed, candles and decors were completely smashed, cups and other decors were missing, and there was a strong smell of cigarettes in the apartment. Obviously he had been smoking in our apartment, so already he did so many things wrong.

Guests are supposed to leave the keys on the table when they leave but when we couldn’t find them, I tried contacting the guest all day by phone, text, Airbnb, and even on Facebook. Eventually the guest answered the phone late that night saying he forgot to leave the keys and took them with him. He came back to return the keys and I asked him to reimburse for the damages done at our apartment. He said he would if I sent him an email with an invoice. I did and surprisingly enough, he replied with a rejection. He said he would not take responsibility and didn’t agree he left the apartment in a bad state.

I had to request money from Airbnb. Because the guest did not respond, it had to be escalated. Airbnb has not been replying. To be fair it has only been ten days, but I still think that is plenty of time for them to get back to me, as they have gotten in contact with me for other reasons, just not this. I have asked them what has happened to my case, and they only ask me to wait (probably forever).

Several days after this happened, the same guest decided to book another one of our apartments, and messaged me asking how to check in. If I’m thinking clearly, I couldn’t imagine why he would do this because we clearly had by far the worst experience with him. Of course I had to cancel by calling up Airbnb (because it was already after check in time). Thankfully they cancelled that booking for us, but they also cancelled the previous booking that he made and paid for, which resulted in the past reservation fee to be refunded to him. This was pretty much the last thing we needed, but when I emailed them and asked for this to be fixed ASAP, they only said it was a glitch and will be looked into very shortly… as in never?

Unfortunately I’m still waiting on this, and not sure if I will ever hear from those case managers again. Airbnb really does a pathetic job with training staff, technical systems, management, and customer service. This isn’t big news for anyone I suppose. I just wanted to put this post out here, to warn hosts about receiving dodgy guests. Please see if they have a bad history, review, or just a weird vibe in general. I just finished hosting his girlfriend today; I didn’t even know it was her at the time. I basically hosted the same guest, who ruined our apartment once, and she did it again.

This one burned all of our candles and covered the fire alarm with a shower head. She was in bed “sick” all day according to our conversation. Again, there were stains all over the floor, sofa, and blankets, the place fuming with a candle smell so bad because there were five full sized candles all used up in just a few days. We found syringes under the bed and sofa and all the furniture was moved in weird places. They locked themselves out by leaving the key inside so I had to go and let them in. I really should have caught on there was something fishy about them then, and at least checked out the apartment. All these signs, and the fact that it was the same guest that ruined our last apartment… I could only think that they had been doing some kind of drugs at the property. Please beware of guests like these, as they seem to go around Airbnb houses to do drugs.

Airbnb Experience from Hell in Toronto

I have stayed at many Airbnb properties in the past and have always had a great experience. The hosts have left me positive feedback as well. This is the first time I was ever in a situation where our stay was literally one disaster after another. Normally it doesn’t take me as long to write a review, but this one took me a couple hours as there were many incidents I wanted to touch on which created the terrible experience. Of course with Airbnb’s word limit I wasn’t even able to fully express my anger but now I can here on Airbnb Hell.

It all started a day before our trip which was a two-day drive for my sister and me; my boyfriend was to be driving separately and meeting us there since he lives a day’s drive away. I thought to touch base with the host as she did not have a house manual or any information on the listing telling me about the condo or how to check in. She didn’t reply to us for over 24 hours through Airbnb. I was growing weary that she may try to cancel, as one of the earlier automatic reviews mentioned she cancelled the reservation prior to the stay. I was also anxious, as once I entered Canada my phone plan and data plan would no longer work so I couldn’t text or check the Airbnb website unless I had wifi; while driving, I wouldn’t have that.

After waiting a day for her reply and not getting one, I was very anxious and weary. I contacted Airbnb to see if they could get involved. They replied that they were also unable to get in touch and have alerted her to contact me the next day by 9:00 AM EST (which she did not do), then they recommended I can cancel the stay. I really did not want to do this as we had already began our trip by this point. I did quickly looked at other places for us to stay in Toronto, but for three people almost everything was booked or a ridiculous 2-3 times our budget. Eventually I texted her, even though Airbnb recommends all communication happen on the platform and I also didn’t have an international cell plan. I was able to get a reply but no apology or acknowledgement about my messages on Airbnb from a few days ago that she ignored. In the texts, she gave me very vague instructions on the room number and told me parking was available.

At this time I never thought to ask any further questions but there were so many things I would later find that she didn’t explain prior to our arrival. The apartment uses fobs for entry and she has an assigned parking spot in a very complicated underground garage. On our trip my boyfriend, sister and I were traveling in two cars. We couldn’t figure out how to get the fobs to work or find her parking spot. I had to run in to get the fob from the doorman, and then once I got it and got back to my car (which was parked far away at a pay meter) I had to run back inside to the doorman because we couldn’t find the garage to the complex after driving around aimlessly. Once I was finally able to get in the garage, we assumed that the number written on the envelope was the parking spot number – it wasn’t. We spent an hour and 15 minutes searching for her spot and then another hour searching for a visitor spot as there are a very limited about for the entire place. It took two hours to get though all of that and was a huge waste of time when we only had one day to spend in Toronto.

The host did not make anything clear to us. How it works is there are a total of four big high-rise condos which all share this small parking garage. A fob is needed to get in, and the parking is assigned. Once you do go underground you lose cell service and it is easy to get stuck there with many dead ends in the narrow garage. Backing out is a huge pain. There were no instructions and everything was left unclear to us. After an hour of searching underground we actually made our way back up to text and ask the host how any of it worked. My boyfriend messaged her since he had bought a phone plan specifically before coming just based on the fact that he didn’t trust the host and wanted to be able to get in touch with Airbnb if we did get screwed out of the booking. While he was getting information from her, I went to the front desk to ask for help. The host told him her parking spot number and told him not to mention Airbnb, meaning she isn’t even supposed to be running an Airbnb to begin with. The doorman by this point can clearly tell I am not a friend of hers, which is what I had said I was since she said not to mention Airbnb, and he flat out asks if I am from Airbnb. By that point I can’t lie about it since she had given me no instructions or directions and I’ve been coming to him for help numerous times now. I mean I don’t even know her parking spot. He even commented “Wow, what a terrible host. She didn’t even tell you where the garage was or her parking spot or anything about this condo complex? That is really bad that she gave you no directions. What type of a host doesn’t give proper information?”

We asked the host if we could check in a little early at 3:00 PM (check in was at 4:00), since we were traveling from so far and just wanted to drop off bags. We told her we would then leave again so she could clean if she hadn’t already done so. She said that was fine. We walked in and saw it definitely wasn’t clean, but figured she would be doing it before check in. We all left immediately for the day for sightseeing since we had a lot planned. We didn’t make any comments to her, although my boyfriend did mention it. I didn’t message her only because I thought she had to come back to clean; the place was a disaster.

When we arrived back at the condo around midnight, we saw it was in the exact same disastrous state as before. When we first arrived the bed was completely unmade. It was so evident the sheets had been recently used and unwashed and they smelled (of urine) so we had to wash the pillowcases, sheets, and everything. Keep in mind when we finally got back to the apartment it was almost midnight on our one day vacation; cleaning was really a waste of time and not even something we should have even had to do. We were really upset about that. This is such a bad thing to do as a host: provide dirty sheets that your guest has to clean?

The rest of the place was nothing like it had been described. The photos didn’t match the bedroom or views from the condo at all. I even took a few photos of the messy bed and the dirt tracked all over the floor of the entire place. The place was very gross. There was no soap or anything to wash our hands after using the bathroom. The bathroom was bare and had nothing to use. Luckily, we were warned to bring our own towels but she should have mentioned that she also didn’t have any soap or anything. There was also no third “couch” she lists as part of the sleeping arrangements on the listing. Our third person, my sister, had nowhere to sleep. It said the space fit three people but definitely only fit two as the “couch” was clearly a very tiny loveseat. No one could sleep on that comfortably, especially an adult. She is really small and still couldn’t fit. All three of us slept on the small bed made for two so she didn’t get screwed over, which obviously wasn’t ideal.

I left the condo in way better condition than we found it as I actually made the bed with fresh sheets and cleaned the floor in the main room. When I arrived, as I mentioned, the sheets were used, the bed was completely unmade, and there was dirt tracked all over the main room floors. The laundry room was also a disaster as was the bathroom but I tried to avoid those spots as much as I could. The host didn’t ever contact me back on Airbnb until six days after my initial messages prior to my trip asking for information when she finally gave it to me. By then my trip was already over and I had to remind her I already stayed there last weekend. I tried to be as polite as possible even though I was pretty pissed about the whole stay. I told her the city was nice when she asked me how my stay was, and mentioned I would be writing her review later. It’s hard to say how much of the mess was from the last guest or her.

Since after coming back from the trip and after already writing my review and reading some of the recent reviews now I see that sometimes she will have two people stay in one weekend without cleaning in between. Honestly that’s extremely disgusting. She would not even wash the sheets for new guests. If this is what she’s doing she should inform the second person about this just so they have a warning about the situation. She should also tell the previous person that they should do their best to tidy up as much as possible as someone will be coming in right after them. Perhaps then our situation would’ve been better. It’s the only logical explanation I can think of for her to leave her place such a mess for guests.

We seriously considered canceling when we arrived back at the place at midnight and getting a hotel but it was so late in the night that we didn’t. The whole incident is also made me think twice about ever using Airbnb again as the other reviews weren’t terrible but makes me think they are fake. I don’t trust any reviews except the last ones which were also bad. However, these had not been posted at the time I had booked with her. No one should have to go through that experience. As some of the other reviews said, she should not be running an Airbnb because she was a terrible host. In addition, her complex clearly doesn’t allow it if her guests have to keep the Airbnb factor hidden. Even better than all of this is that I have received a reply from her for my review and I think our exchange just adds to the debacle.

Host: Unfortunately I paid someone to co-host/clean as I was in New York. Clearly they did not, so I apologize for the bed situation. In regards to parking, you’re the only person who had a hard time figuring it out. Given you did stay in my unit I’m open to returning $50 but I cannot pay you more than that. Laundry is off limits as well so it shouldn’t matter what it looked like to you. Hope you were able to enjoy your stay outside of this given the area is amazing and the amenities were great. I do have a pamphlet in the unit with all amenities listed and wifi. Thank you.

Me: I see in your message that you mention you “paid someone to co-host”, but it seems like from reading the other reviews I was not the only one who had this issue. In regards to parking, you also did not tell me prior what your parking spot was nor is it shown in the listing, yet I had told you I would be parking my car beforehand. That would have saved us hours from driving around trying to figure out a spot since we thought the room number/number on the envelope was the parking spot. It wasn’t until I asked for doorman that we finally got that information. You also say your space is for three people when you only have sleeping arrangements for two. How do you justify that? You also mention laundry is off limits, yet in the listing it clearly mentions that the guest has access to the washer/dryer. Also, if it’s off limits, how do you expect a guest to clean the sheets, since we weren’t given clean sheets when we arrived? As far as the costs, you mentioned giving me back $50, but then you only offered $36. Either way, I am going to involve Airbnb because of all the things I mentioned in my original message. Between the lack of information, the uncleanliness and us having to wash our own sheets, the false advertisement (saying the sleeps three when it clearly sleeps two) not to mention the photos of the apartment, bedroom, views, and bathroom aren’t even accurate and are not for this condo. For all those reasons I think a full refund is justified. Had we known all of those would happen we never would have booked this place, and if it wasn’t so late in the night we would have gone elsewhere.

Host: I’m sure I told you parking was 3017 or it was on the envelope but if not, have fun with Airbnb. I think you’re better off with a hotel next time. 3rd person would be the couch. All photos are accurate.

Me: I’m involving them because I believe my claim is justified for all of the reasons I gave you. Also you did not give me $50. The email I received from Airbnb said you only offered $36. The last time I checked, both of the last two reviews were also terrible. You also did not note on the envelope about parking. As I mentioned I didn’t have a phone plan in Canada so texting was not an option while I was there. My boyfriend who was in a separate car (and not with me) was the one who texted you- as we mentioned in the messages. The photos of the space (which I see you have taken down now) were not of the condo. The bedroom, bathroom, balcony and views were all from stock photos. Two other people even mentioned this in their reviews as well. As far as getting a hotel, we stayed at other Airbnbs along our trip and had great experiences at each and every one of them. What you have is a love seat – not a couch – which isn’t large enough for anyone to sleep on so I wouldn’t advertise it as a space suitable for three. Hopefully you can use the feedback I gave you constructively and not take it personally. Let’s let Airbnb decide how to resolve this. Have a good day.

Nazis Kicked us out of Airbnb and onto the Street

I want to tell you a humiliating story about me and my six friends. From June 7-11 we went to celebrate a bachelor party in Berlin. We are seven men from Israel, so we wanted privacy. We decided to take an apartment through Airbnb, sadly only after we discovered that it was illegal in Germany. Anyway, we decided to go for an apartment because we wanted privacy and to celebrate a little. In the photos we saw a two-story villa; in retrospect, it was only the upstairs area. In addition, the owner insisted that some of the payment be made in cash. I assume that because of tax matters, she prefers black money.

When we arrived we saw that the neighborhood was very exclusive. Then we discovered from the cab driver that the neighborhood was not sympathetic to strangers; he was surprised that we were staying there because it is on the east side. Anyway, we got there and the host’s daughter welcomed us. She was nice, told us we could have our party; to repeat, she told us we could celebrate. I asked her – because the Middle Eastern mentality is different – if it was okay to make some noise. She was all smiles and explained that her parents were away for two weeks. Then she walked away.

The day the nightmare began, the host’s son came into the picture and decided to be our surprise visitor. He arrived at 7:00 AM when everyone was asleep. When I woke up, I saw messages saying that he wanted to kick us out because we drank a little that evening and celebrated, as the host told us we could. I told the host that from now on, I would make sure everything was to her satisfaction… and indeed it was.

On the third day we went for a walk. Since it was a very hot morning and there was no air conditioner in the apartment, I opened the windows in the rooms to get some air. Because of an open window, they tried to kick us out. What kind of a joke is it to kick seven guys out on the street in a foreign country?

When we got to the apartment, we tried to talk to him but after half an hour of persuasion I saw that he really enjoyed lording his authority over us. He stood with a smile on his face. I decided to tell him that I think that if we were from Sweden or Denmark, this situation wouldn’t have happened. At the height of his stupidity, he agreed and told us he was a Nazi and did not care about us at all.

We asked him to call the police. Instead he called his criminal friends to come and threaten us. One of them even wanted to escort us to our car. When we did, the entire neighborhood came to see us humiliated and even enjoyed it. We asked him why he was doing this, and he said because men like us cannot be in such an area. I filmed the host’s son and my friends and decided that we would not be silent about this humiliation.

Video file of the incident

Twelve Days and No Resolution from Airbnb

My son reached out to Airbnb support on June 3rd to let them know that he did not feel safe staying at the Airbnb he reserved from June 1-26 after a nearby shooting and the fact the host’s description of the neighborhood had not been accurate. Instead of a vibrant up-and-coming neighborhood like the host had described, my son found a quiet and lonely street with little foot traffic, worn down buildings vandalized by graffiti, barred windows, and surrounded by construction sites.

This was not the first time that this host had been given a review that claims she is giving a misleading representation of the area where she lives, as stated on her profile. In addition, it appears the basement room she has been renting out is in violation of several health and safety codes. I also found out from Airbnb that there is at least one other ongoing case against this host. My son was told by Airbnb to cancel his reservation and work with his host to get a refund.

At first, the host seemed understanding of how my son felt, as a foreigner to the city. He spoke with her in person as he picked up his belongings on June 4th and later messaged her to thank her for her understanding, explaining the urgency of receiving a refund as he needed to find a new place to live. After this, his host never responded again. I tried calling her myself, leaving her a voicemail on June 5th. She never called me back.

I starting calling Airbnb the next day. I was unable to speak to anyone in the United States for days. While the representatives in the Philippines were very friendly and tried to be as helpful as they could, they continued to tell me they “only have so much power” and that their requests to transfer my calls kept getting pushed back. I was told the only thing that they could do for me is message my son’s former case manager, who told him to cancel the reservation, and ask him to reach out to me.

Not only did the case manager never reach out to me, but he was also “never online” the days I kept calling. When the representative from the Philippines, tried to reach out to the host on June 6th, the host told him she was “too tired and hungry” to deal with me, waiting at the other end of the line. The case manager then told me to fill out a form through the Resolution Center to ask for a refund, but warned me that I would have to wait for the host to respond or involve Airbnb after 72 hours of nonresponse.

The host read the message from the Resolution Center immediately after I filled it out with the representative on the phone. She would never respond through the Resolution Center, instead messaging me privately. In this private message, she accused my son of discrimination, saying: “This is a vibrant neighborhood as I stated in my description. People who are not used to diversity and seeing so many people of color, often mistake that for crime.” As a proud Latino hailing originally from Miami, my son was deeply offended by this accusation. She ended by telling my son, “This is really horrible what you guys are doing. And this deeply concerns me that you are creating this when you are here to work for [omitted],” leaving my son worried that she would go as far as to contact his place of work for feeling unsafe in her neighborhood and the room she rented out to him.

After days of countless hours spent on the phone waiting to speak to a case manager in the United States, my case was finally taken over on June 8th. This new case manager promised to reach a resolution given the circumstances. My son desperately needed the money to find a new place to move. She promised to update me every day as to how the case was going. After Friday, her first day working on the case, she stopped answering. The last update we got from her was that the host was not answering her calls. I emailed her every day since and received no response. I called Airbnb on June 13th and they informed me the new manager was on leave, and so she had not been working on my son’s case.

I then spoke to another case manager who told me the only person who could do anything was the one on leave, so I would have to wait until she came back on June 15th to revisit the case. He was extremely apologetic and even admitted that he would issue me a refund alone based on how my son was treated by the host. On June 15th, it will have been twelve days since Airbnb has continued to put off my son’s case. Airbnb has yet to acknowledge their host’s inappropriate behavior that goes against their mission to promote diversity and inclusion, has yet to speak to the host, who continues to ignore their calls and continues to be active on their site, and has yet to tell me anything other than “they have no power.”

This has been the worst customer service experience I have ever had. I have attempted all reasonable means through front-end customer service and am now taking to social media to resolve this issue.

Horrible Experience and Resolution for Hong Kong Airbnb

I tried to open a resolution case on the Airbnb website. It was really challenging so I’m just writing this long email to Airbnb. I think the part of my user experience differed from that four years ago. I started using Airbnb back when you could reach a live person about your problems; nowadays, it trys to automate everything.

My latest stay was in Beijing from April 13-16, 2017 in what was advertised as a modern, quiet, and relaxing apartment near the CBD. The resolution center kept asking me to “request money” from this stay which I didn’t have a problem with.

However, I am writing about my stay in Hong Kong, during which time I was overseas so it was difficult to call Airbnb. I was contacted by a local Airbnb resolution center specialist but it was handled really poorly. The room itself was horrible. It looked nothing like the pictures. In fact, I have pictures to prove what the actual living conditions were (will reply to any email with the pictures).

I landed in Hong Kong on April 6th. I was pretty jet lagged so just booked a place and fell asleep. The second day while I was in the city touring around, the owner moved my luggage into a different room. It was slightly bigger; however, there was a sewage problem with the bathroom (not to mention the fact she moved my stuff and suitcase and entered my room without permission). I was pretty upset, but still jetlagged. I decided to just go to bed.

In the middle of the night, I woke up from the unbearable odor from the bathroom. It was so strong and the room was tiny, with no window for ventilation. I was very upset and called Airbnb for help. Someone picked up the call and promised he would “call me back soon.” He asked me to “find a cafeteria or some place, wait for his call, and try to book a hotel: Airbnb would reimburse me.”

It was 2:00 AM at the time, and I had to leave and try to find another hotel. Nothing online allowed same-night bookings (in fact, I accidentally booked something for April 9th and was charged on booking.com even though I was supposed to fly out of Hong Kong the afternoon of the 9th). Finally it was 3:30 AM. I took an Uber and found a hotel to sleep in. The whole experience was horrible.

The next morning, someone from the local Hong Kong team finally contacted me, I couldn’t talk to her for long because I needed to check out of that hotel and try to catch my flight. I told her I would “reach out and resolve this once I can settle down.” She went ahead and cancelled my resolution case. Right now, I am asking for a formal resolution process to start. Due to the unresponsiveness of Airbnb as well as false advertisement of this “hostel” trying to be a house, I lost my valuable travel time in Hong Kong, spent money on Uber both ways, booked a hotel at 3:30 AM, and had to spend 30 minutes on international calling. Overall, my experience of Airbnb in Asia was just a much lower standard when compared to that in the US.