Airbnb College Party Bachelor Pad with a Breeze

When you’re traveling alone for business, you would think it might be nice to save a few dollars and spend it elsewhere by getting an Airbnb a few minutes away from the conference you’re attending. I can put up with a lot but when you start to feel like a vagrant in a homeless shelter, I think that’s where I draw the line. I should’ve figured something was up when I exchanged texts with my host who told me to head upstairs and open the door because it would be unlocked. Nothing of value and nothing to worry about, I suppose. I walked into what was obviously a college student’s bachelor pad. All furnishings were kept to a bare minimum except for a rack full of men’s sneakers. At least it looked clean, if not bare. I walked in to find a partially exposed full-sized mattress on a bare metal base with a single dingy dirty flat sheet, a thin ratty looking blanket on top, and a blue/brown pillow that looked like it should’ve been either blue or brown (but not both).

However, it was late at night, I was tired, and I tried to overlook this but I couldn’t get over how cold it was there. The “furnished living room” was surrounded by windows across two walls with a connected balcony door. That’s when I discovered that there was a gaping hole in that balcony door and a thin garbage bag taped over the opening was still flapping in the wind. Now, mind you there was an extreme cold advisory and windchill warnings in Portland, OR that week. It was 29 degrees outside and there was a hole in the window. The heat wasn’t working – of course – and despite what my host said should have been an easy flick of the knob, I wasn’t able to force it on. So I sat on this dingy ratty looking mattress with a dirty looking sheet, blanket, and used looking pillow and thought about why I made such a poor decision to take a risk on Airbnb. I went to the bathroom and found it bare, stained, and moldy looking with no toilet paper. None. Nowhere to be found. I mean, I was already thinking that it’s a little ridiculous to ask me to bring my own bath towel, but should I have brought my own toilet paper too? Even public restrooms stock their toilet paper. What am I paying for?

In the end, I left because even the host had decided he wasn’t going to stay there until the window was fixed (likely after a drunken college party as I found bottle caps and tabs under the bed). He was at dinner with his friends and wouldn’t be back for a few days, after the window was fixed. I tried to get a refund, which is obviously a joke. The host said he was never paid the full amount, Airbnb said he was. He would only give me the “portion” of the money he received, because he didn’t want to give me money of out his pocket (I guess only fools like me do). Airbnb said the $25 service fee was nonrefundable but I laid into the poor man I spoke with on the phone and he gave me a $25 credit on the site. I’m not sure why I agreed to that (maybe because I obviously wasn’t going to get anything else).

Reservation total = $125 for 2 nights. The host refunded me $57 out of the $97 reservation cost; so I’m out $40 for being stupid (-$3 which just disappeared) with a $25 credit to be stupid again. I’m so disgusted with the whole situation.

Airbnb Retreat Offers No Hot Tub in Palm Springs

Is there no way to contact Airbnb directly to present a major complaint? This was the first holiday season in 40 years that my husband was able to take off work. We had a wonderful and very expensive Christmas vacation planned for us, with our grown sons and their significant others, in Palm Springs. We live on the East Coast. This was our first Christmas ever away from home, and we chose this particular property over many others with the same amenities because of the beautiful and unique looking heated pool and hot tub/spa, framed by the mountains. The first thing I checked when booking was that the pool would definitely be heated since temperatures are in the 60s in December. It was the main thing my husband and I were looking forward to in terms of relaxation and exercise. We arrived to find a cold pool and a half empty hot tub. To attempt to make a very long story as brief as possible, we spent four days of our seven-day stay, phoning, texting, pleading, and questioning the property manager about it. A variety of service guys were sent to fix it, to no avail. Four days of anger, frustration, and incredulity.

The last service man, who said he had been called to the property many times in the past, said the whole system was old and needed to be replaced but the owner refused to do anything about it. I say four days because after that we gave up. To add insult to injury, the property manager treated us as though we were being unreasonable about being so upset. The only offer of compensation was to refund the extra charge – over and above the advertised price – that we had to pay to heat the pool. If I were the host or owner of the property and this happened to a family spending their holiday at my house only to find the “crown jewel” of the property broken down, I would have offered either a refund or an invitation to come back at another time for a seven-day stay to compensate for this disaster. That didn’t happen of course.

It was then that I realized that Airbnb has major pitfalls. As per the agreement, Airbnb holds no responsibility for ruined vacations and is not obligated to offer any form of compensation for a major amenity not in working order and not delivering what is promised in the description; the property manager or host is not obligated to do anything in terms of compensation (they take half of the fee) and guests have absolutely no rights whatsoever. $4,000 rental for a Christmas trip? Just suck it up. I’ve used Airbnb many times, but never will again. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take me to feel anything other than pure rage every time I think about it.

Misleading, Dodgy Host Protected by Airbnb

In order to allow our son to stay with us in New York, we foolishly responded to an Airbnb posting describing a quiet, modern, spacious and well-appointed apartment. We were due to move in early in the evening after returning from New Year’s in Boston. Perhaps the first clue was a request not to tell other apartment owners that we were paying guests. When we arrived we found a dark, old, ground floor apartment, on the street. We could hear people talking outside and traffic noise. There was a stupefying smell of bleach, mould in the bathroom, and a living area dominated by a fridge with no extra room. The flooring was old and dirty, the blinds were broken, and there was a general sense of disrepair. We stayed long enough to survey the disaster and then checked back into a hotel in which we had previously stayed. We immediately reported our concerns to the host who simply denied everything. We reported the issues along with photographs to Airbnb. Despite numerous phone calls we had little response until today when our case manager informed us that our request for a refund had been denied. So we are $4,500 out of pocket with nowhere to go. This appalling organisation needs to be stopped immediately.

Beware of Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy

Airbnb is great as long as nothing goes wrong. But the whole process is too complex for nothing to go wrong. In our case we were not able to travel to our booking in Yosemite National Park because of a national weather service advisory about a winter storm which clearly mentioned “not to travel unless in a emergency”. When we contacted Airbnb they suggested that we need to first cancel the booking and then claim a refund under their extenuating circumstances policy. After we cancelled the booking we filed a claim. The entire customer service experience was horrible. First of all, Airbnb could only be reached by email, which was slow. It took almost three days for Airbnb to reach a conclusion: they will not refund a single penny. When I asked for an escalation, a blunt email arrived stating that this was their final decision and they would not entertain any further communication.

Disney World Christmas Turned into Airbnb Hell

My story doesn’t have any funny part at all. Actually it’s a disappointing and shocking one. This December my family and I decided to go on vacation to Orlando for Christmas because we thought it will be nice to go to Disney World for the holidays; we were looking for places to stay and I had heard about Airbnb before. This was not the first time we traveled; we have had the chance to do it often. In any case, we decided to make a reservation through Airbnb with Glasstone Vacations, from December 17th to the 28th, but the reservation was made from November 17th to the 28th. We made a mistake and we accept that, due to the excitement and everything I didn’t realize the month said November and not December. We didn’t realize that the dates were wrong until I got an automatic message the 28th asking me about my experience. You can imagine my surprise when I got that message because my reservation was meant to be from December 17th to the 28th.

As soon as I got that message I messaged the host and told her that my reservation was meant to be in December, not November. I got no reply, then I tried to call her. I called around five times and no one answered the phone, so I decided to call Airbnb. I kept calling Airbnb for at least an hour until someone finally picked up, but I didn’t get any solution. What I was told by my case manager was that he was gonna talk to the host to help me. This is the second week already and I still don’t have any solution, but it actually gets worst. The reservation was for 11 days at a house, the price of the house is more than 2500 dollars, and among my family there is a kid (my brother) and a pregnant woman (my sister). I needed to get this fixed because we had no place to stay. I was waiting for an answer about the money but no one was giving me a solution.

I kept calling Airbnb. Their answers so far have just been “we are sorry, we will contact you soon”, “wait for an answer”, “you have to wait for your case manager”, and a bunch of other excuses. I talked to my case manager on Monday (last week) and he told me he was going to be out of the office for two days. Of course I was supposed to get an answer by Wednesday, but I called Airbnb again and he was nowhere to be found. I don’t know if anyone has had the same issues with case managers but honestly he was no help. On Thursday I got an email from him saying that he will contact my host again. It had been four days, but I was trying to be patient and fix this so I agreed. I also talked to my host from Glasstone Vacations and she said that she needed to talk to the people from Airbnb.

The thing is that I still haven’t had an answer from Airbnb and it turns out that the host sent me a message saying: “We are just going to give you the cleaning service money back because you didn’t use the house, but the rest of the money you are not getting it back.” So you are telling me that you are just gonna take more than 2500 dollars from someone just like that! Without me using the house or anything? I was trying to find a solution that will work for both parties so I proposed that my host reschedule the visit; I didn’t want my money back, I just simply didn’t wanna lose all my money. I even told Airbnb and the host that if I have to pay a fee and don’t get 100% of my money back it’s ok, but I can’t just lose more than 2500 dollars. However, my host didn’t agree to any of this. She clearly wasn’t interested in trying to help me. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been robbed face to face.

I called Airbnb again and talked to a different person. I just keep explaining my case to every single person I talk to and I am not getting any real answer or help. Glasstone Vacations is definitely a horrible company to rent from and Airbnb is not helping at all either. I already asked for a different case manager but they look like they don’t care and just want the case to go cold. Well, I am not going to give up. I need my money back and I am telling my story so people don’t fall into this situation. I will never in my entire life recommend Glasstone Vacations and Airbnb. The first one just robbed me and the second one is no help at all. Glasstone Vacations said that “they already paid the owner.” Clearly they just don’t wanna give me my money back or provide any other option. They just care about their own benefits and that means to get money from someone who didn’t even stay at the house.