Paris Airbnb Host Tries to Extort Positive Review

I rented an Airbnb in Paris, mainly because the location was so good. Check-in was delayed from noon, which is what was advertised, to 8:00 PM. That wasn’t much of an issue, because the host did let me know with plenty of time. When I got to the apartment, it was pretty dirty. I let it go because I wasn’t planning on spending much time there; I had the beautiful city of Paris to see. However, it was reflected in my review.

About a week after I rented the apartment I received the following message: “The apartment was dirty, and some of my belongings were touched and damaged. Did you have a party, and did you use my things? Please tell me directly as I would like to settle this with you directly, rather than legally.”

I did not touch any of his belongings nor did I throw a party (I was in a foreign city alone – who would I have had over for a party?) When I told him I did neither of those things and asked for more information, he responded with: “Ok. I must be mistaken. I suggest you change your review or I’ll put a bad one also for you, which is not good for either of us.”

So, first of all, I can only assume he was trying to extort money out of me. But, then he went so far as to try to influence my review? I don’t even know how he saw my review. I thought those were confidential until they were uploaded, to prevent exactly this type of scenario. I know there are worse stories, but it kind of ruined my day.

Memorial Day Airbnb Disaster Could Have Been Avoided

We have used Airbnb for almost a year now. We’ve had several issues with prices randomly changing and people booking our home for holidays at an off-season daily rate. That is not what this story is about, though.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2017 we rented our house out to a party of ten. Our house rules are very clear: no smoking, no parties, and no more than ten guests. As many people do, we count heads with a ring doorbell. We noticed a party developing as group after group showed up.

Saturday morning, we called Airbnb to ask if we could evict the renter without issuing a refund. We intended to keep the deposit as well. We also did not want negative feedback. We spoke to an Airbnb representative who was absolutely clueless and seemed to want to make our call about himself. We were told, “they can leave feedback if they stay at your house. They can request to be refunded.”

Not wanting to lose over $2,500 or get a bad review, we left the guests alone. We were told that the Trust and Safety team would contact us as this was urgent. They continued to promise there were no more than ten people. Over the next two days we gathered videos of probably 100 people coming into our house. Still, we waited for Trust and Safety to contact us. They didn’t, so we called back. This time we spoke to a supervisor who told us the same thing as the first representative.

On Monday, I came to my house to find carpets ruined, furniture broken and stained, and the decks trashed; everything appeared as if there had been a wild party. We have videos of the partygoers, the drinking, puking in our bushes, and other deplorable acts.

We want to submit a claim, but how? Trust and Safety won’t tell us what to do. Why? Because after more calls than I can count, they have not reached out to us. We have 14 days to submit a request. We don’t know if that means a request to the house violator (guest) or through resolutions, or through the host guarantee. Airbnb told us to “submit your request for additional guests and cleaning first. That goes to one department. Then we have another case for your damage.”

I don’t have a case number to refer to. We have many thousands of dollars in damage and Airbnb just refuses to lift one finger to help us. They have many unqualified people to answer their phones, but all they can do is BS us about how important our call is. I will upload files after I have some resolution. However I am thinking if Airbnb does not want to involve themselves in this, maybe it’s time for an attorney and perhaps a class action suit.

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.

My Place was Trashed and Airbnb won’t Pay

A guest booked my place for three nights. She agreed to my house rules: no parties, no noise, be respectful of neighbors, and have a maximum of four occupants. She hosted a prom party with a large group until 4:00 AM and trashed my place: they jumped on the bed, ripped kitchen back splash tiles off the walls, left spilled booze pooling on my countertop (it seeped into the seam, inflated and warped the countertop so much I had to replace it). All of the linens, comforters, blankets and towels were covered in food, makeup, and booze. The inside of the oven was black with food scraps and a big pile of stinking, rotten forgotten food. The floors and furniture were covered in scattered garbage, half eaten food, drink bottles, and personal items that had been left behind. My dishes and decorations were found tossed around in different rooms. What normally takes four hours to clean took twelve hours. The cleaning and countertop repairs cost me over $700. Airbnb took eleven days to get back to me, despite many calls I made asking for an update. They responded via email, refusing to pay for anything and described it as normal wear and tear. I emailed them back twice asking for someone to contact me, but they have not. I have hosted for almost two years and have had hundreds of guests. I have never put a claim in. I have zero trust and don’t feel safe using Airbnb after their refusal to honor the host guarantee. If it doesn’t cover partiers trashing your home, what does it cover? It appears that the host guarantee is a scam that gives you a false sense of security. If your place gets trashed you have no recourse.

Airbnb Hell: Guest Shoots a Music Video

I allowed someone to rent my home because they were getting engaged. We do not allow parties at all and that is stated in the house rules. They said that there were only going to be four guests. When I showed up to check on my property – as I always do – to make sure everything was okay, there were over twenty people in my house and over ten cars in my driveway. We gave him two options: tell the truth, or we were going to shut it down and he would have to leave. The guest lied. He was black and thought because we were white we would discriminate against him. He was shooting a music video in my home. I live in an affluent neighborhood where Airbnb is frowned upon. The police have been called plenty of times because of guest lying to us and throwing parties. So we decided to do this guy a favor and allowed him to shoot his video, being that my husband is in the music and television industry himself. We stuck around because we didn’t want our neighbors to call the police and to protect our property; the gentleman was aware of that.

Now here comes the second nightmare: the guest reached out to Airbnb to get his money back because we stuck around and he said he felt uncomfortable. As the owner, I was pissed. Airbnb has a terrible customer service and resolution center. They offered no support in trying to remedy the situation and I still have not been contacted by a case manager. Please be aware that Airbnb doesn’t offer any support to their hosts when taking a risk and listing their homes on the website. They always tell you to reach out to the guest and try to resolve the issue before contacting them. They need to do better to help and protect hosts. You would think that they would understand that the little service fee that they make off the booking is not worth the thousands or millions that they could lose if they don’t do better.

Dishonest Host at St. Patrick’s Day Party House

I have stayed at three Airbnb accommodations. The first two were great. I always got excellent ratings and feedback form hosts. The third experience was not good. The ratings were all five star for the accommodations. Well, the other guests who stayed in this accommodation obviously do not know what a five-star rating means…. the living room sofa needed cleaning, the screens were ripped and falling off of two windows, there were huge cigarette burns in the outside deck upholstery, and the oven needed maintenance. Her personal clothes were in cupboards and drawers. The dresser drawers fell out when I tried to open them. There was partying outside all night for two nights – it was a rough area. My friend yelled at them as the noise was loud and went on for hours.

When we left we did not do the dishes. The kitchen was so small one person could hardly move around in it. There was very little counter space, the sink didn’t have a drain plug that I could find, and there were no dish towels. I was quite sick when we left. We did not put out the garbage; however, it was all contained in bags. I left a note to say why we did not do the dishes. The host said they could not recommend me again as a guest, saying we yelled profanities at the “people who were just celebrating St. Patty’s Day”. We did yell at them at 4:00 AM to be quiet after hours of yelling and fighting on the street, but there was no profanity from us. The people on the street were yelling at one another and uttering lots of profanities.

This review is now on my file. My understanding is that this will never be removed. This host is a little batty… we did not break anything. She did not hire a cleaning person – she expected us to clean afterwards. When I am on a holiday I do not expect to have to clean the place before I leave. I will never stay using Airbnb again. This review process has no recourse and can be very damaging to guests’ reputations. Airbnb should be inspecting these places and negative reviews should be shared between host and guest so both sides can learn from the experience. I would have been glad to pay for a cleaning service if I had known this was expected. I was very ill. However, Airbnb should require hosts to use a cleaning service.

Apartment Trashed, Airbnb Closes Case After 24 Hours

My guests came, held a party, and trashed my place, causing thousands of pounds of damage to the furniture and fittings. I was made redundant last year, and I rented out my apartment as I could not sustain the cost. The previous tenant moved out on February 24th, 2017, and the new tenant took up residence on March 16th, 2017. Given that I had three weeks when the apartment was vacant, I decided to use Airbnb to ease my strained financial situation. This was my very first time using Airbnb, the auto accept function was on, and I was too naive and should have checked the guests had reviews before accepting.

The guest held a party, trashed my apartment, and caused damage to furniture, the wooden floors, and fittings. It was a traumatic shock when I came in: there were stains from alcohol everywhere; the wooden floors were badly damaged as they moved furniture; the furniture and fittings were also damaged. I immediately called Airbnb on the day. I was supposed to get a call back, but didn’t get one. I again chased them down, and  was eventually directed to the resolution centre. I sent in the pictures of the damage, but unfortunately I had not been able to get the receipt for my furniture from the manufacturer. I also could not get the contractor to come around in time to assess the damage to the wooden floor and fittings, and this is the only contractor we are allowed to use under the building lease to maintain standards.

I explained the situation to Airbnb, that I was chasing the contractor, but they kept decreasing the time I had to submit the documents, from 72  to 24 hours (and they sent their emails at 2:00 AM). They closed my case, explaining that it was in line with their terms and conditions, and that the final decision rests with them. The problem is exacerbated for me as my current tenant is saying that the damage to the floor and furniture was not there when he agreed to the contract, and wants the floor fixed and the chair replaced, otherwise he will vacate. This is going to cost me £5,000, which is very difficult at this stage given I don’t even have a job. I know Airbnb has the final say, and they have gone by the terms and conditions laid out. I implored to their sense of compassion, as the ramifications are more far reaching than just the damage; if I don’t fix the damage, I may lose the tenant, which would be a disaster given my already strained financial situation. However, my case has remained closed.

You be the judge: Who is at fault, the host or guest?

My experience with Lane & Elizabeth was absolutely awful. As I reached out to Lane attempting to meet at the house at 3:00 PM to check in, he could not make it at that time and it wasn’t convenient enough for him; he pushed it to 4:00. The second I walked into Lane’s place there was an overwhelming smell of chemicals. Lane spoke to me as if I were a child being given a lesson, as he barely showed me around, handed me the key rudely, and left. I already felt uncomfortable. As I began cooking dinner I could hear the neighbors walking around above me and clearly hear conversations from the hallway, outside and through each of the walls of Lane’s place. It was already an issue that the walls were so thin and if I would have known they would so easily let sound pass through I never would have rented the place.

I continued my evening with a few friends. I made sure they kept their voices down to avoid any noise complaints and sure enough after Lane responded to my question about how to set up the television he mentioned a noise complaint. At first he explained how clearly the neighbors would hear anything happening on the balcony so I warned my guests. Soon afterwards I received another text demanding “the party be shut down”, labeling my gathering as a crazy party Lane was stressing over. He said the neighbors were angry and he didn’t want to have to drive over and leave his pregnant wife at home. This is Airbnb, an official business under a professional transaction. Although I understand Lane’s complaint about having to deal with his nine-month pregnant wife it was very unprofessional and did not concern me as the cause of the stress he was experiencing. He continued to text me that the “Party needs to end now. The party needs to end.”

Receiving these texts was beyond annoying because there was no party happening. On a Friday night at 10:00 PM I was being told to send my few guests home and make me feel like we were being extremely loud when it was truthfully not loud at all. Next an Airbnb manager called and spoke to me about the complaint purely being about loud voices on the balcony and nothing else. By this time I had completely silenced the music and had minimal friends over who were all just talking and eating. It was extremely frustrating to be yelled at by Lane over text when I had followed all his instructions and kept the noise to a minimum. This still wasn’t enough. At this point we were over the night and extremely disappointed to have been bothered multiple times, complained about when I had been responsive, and in communication with Lane and the Airbnb manager who had called twice. The Airbnb manager was very polite and understanding and completely willing to accept a compromise in the end.

Five people did sleep over, which I honestly had not known would cost extra or be an issue, but I did agree to pay an extra $25 per person. This was my fault and I just wanted to compromise in some way. This $705 will not be paid to Lane because my experience was just as unenjoyable as his. He complained that there was a balloon stuck in the fan which would cost $100 to fix. We had meant to remove it but no one was tall enough to reach. It was not tied in or stuck at all, it was simply wrapped around and an easy fix for any of us. It is crazy how angry Lane was the next day. He texted me saying his place was trashed which was completely not true. We had taken out all the trash, washed all of our used dishes and cleaned all the trash and food. Anything we had brought was removed from his unit.

I paid a $45 cleaning fee and all we left for Lane’s cleaning crew – himself and his nine-month pregnant wife – to clean was the floor which had chip crumbs on it. Lane also complained that we had left a phone and bullets, which was innocent enough. A friend of ours came from the army and left them with his phone, there was nothing more going on with them. I do understand how this was probably scary but I assured them it was an innocently mistake and we could provide any proof if necessary. My friend was not able to retrieve his phone right away because Elizabeth held it hostage in exchange for her blanket, which we mistakingly took because I thought my friend had left it. She sarcastically responded to us finding it saying: “Oh, all of a sudden you now have the blanket”. She was extremely rude, and harshly accused my friends of trying to steal it.

The last complaint Lane left was regarding burns on the sofas and carpet. These burns were there when I had first come into his unit. I saw them myself and asked Lane about them because I clearly read that one of their few rules was no smoking whatsoever. There was no one smoking at my gathering and I can assure you that I am being wrongfully accused and attacked. I do not feel it is right to charge me $705 and unprofessionally handle this situation due to the anger and rage Elizabeth held towards us, someone to whom she had never spoken.

Airbnb Owners Traumatise Neighboring Family

We have attempted to communicate with our neighbours for the last three years to find some sort of resolution to the constant intrusion to our family life. Our communication has been up and down to say the least but we are now blocked. In summary they have countered, ignored and deferred our desperate pleas for action for three years. I guess if they are earning $600 a night for a heavily booked hotel with no consequences, it’s not in their best interest to acknowledge our concerns. Insulating the house and putting up a decorative privacy screen does nothing to mitigate the foul behaviour and assaults that emanate from an openly advertised party venue. The owners are running the business next door and they are responsible for what happens there. I believe that as an owner of the property they should be held accountable for what happens. We have been verbally and physically abused and my children now have to ask if it’s ok to play in our back yard. Airbnb have ignored our multiple reports and phone calls. I was hit by flying beer and wine bottles last week. What does it take?

 

Airbnb Refuses to Pay for Damages for Guest Party

My roommate and I had a guest staying at our apartment for December break, since we were home visiting our parents. One guest in particular stayed on the 27th of December and decided to host a party. When I say party, I mean that the police were called multiple times, and we reached home two weeks later to find an eviction notice slapped to our front door due to multiple noise complaints. Since the maid service who had cleaned our apartment in between guests had only told us about damages in the apartment and the mess that it was left in, we were shocked to say the least. We went to the building manager to sort things out, and we were met with another surprise. The party that the guest had was not only loud and noisy, but her attendees were throwing things off the balcony, had broken the entry door as not all of them had the access key, and – here’s the kicker – pooped on the stairwell outside our apartment.

Airbnb had been contacted after the guests’ stay as the maid service had informed us about extra cleaning charges, and so we emailed them again telling them the new information. They gave us a two-day extension to provide us with an invoice for the damages. For those of you who have never had to live in an apartment building with a highly bureaucratic administration, you’re so lucky. For us, any little thing that has to be fixed or replaced has to be reported to management, who then has to file a maintenance order for it, report it to their office who will then call a company to take a look at the damage or assess repairs, and then they will call another company to do the actual repairs. The delay between each of these communications is at least two days.

Added to this chain, there is a legal team who is currently handling our file, as they are trying to review what has to be paid for and if we should pay for it. This team is not reachable by our building office or by us; communication has to go through the manager who will then ask them. This adds another few days. I explained this to Airbnb and they gave me another extension of another two days. This went on for a week. Finally, they emailed me saying I have 48 hours and no more extensions. I have repeatedly gone to the office and explained to them that I need the invoice asap, but my urgency was probably not conveyed to the legal team. When I emailed the case manager and told him this he replied saying that this is their protocol and he cannot change it. He refused to connect me to a manager and said that there is no customer care helpline I can connect with (I checked, there is).

Airbnb knows that we are helpless and is using that to get out of paying for the damages caused by that guest. The manager told me that including the cleanup and everything, the damages would amount to approximately $800, maybe more. We cannot pay for this ourselves. We’re students; we were just trying to make up a portion of our rent for the month that were away. Most of it went towards a maid service who cleaned the apartment between visits. Airbnb has turned a blind eye to us, and emails to the CEO have gone unanswered. We cannot pay the amount in damages, and we are at our wits end, missing classes to go talk to the building manager, and staying up looking for other channels of communication since our case manager has shut the door in our face. We cannot afford to start off a term like this, just as we cannot afford to pay an insane amount for absurd damages. Airbnb said that they would commit to better service after their 2011 situation. But everything they had promised isn’t being held up by their representatives, and I don’t know what to do.