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 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.

Seven Guests Who Will Never Use Airbnb Again

On May 1st, 2017, through Airbnb, we booked and fully paid for a beautiful property at Helensvale on the Gold Coast which perfectly suited our needs in order to spend Christmas with other family members who are residents there. On June 15th, the host withdrew the property for personal reasons. We received a perfunctory automated email from Airbnb that the property had been withdrawn, our booking had been cancelled, and a full refund had been initiated. Seven people were left with no accommodation and out of pocket to the tune of all the credit card costs.

We immediately emailed Airbnb to ask why we were not offered the choice of a refund or assistance to rebook a suitable equivalent property, as per the policy published on their website where it supposedly explains what happens if a host cancels. It took five days to get a response from Airbnb that this cancellation policy only applies in very specific circumstances and not to us. We asked Airbnb to refer us to where we could read and understand the specifics of this policy and how it didn’t apply to us. Airbnb refused to do this. We also asked Airbnb why they had immediately refunded us without consultation, again apparently in contradiction of their published policy. Again, Airbnb refused to provide an explanation.

In fairness to Airbnb, they did provide links to several alternative properties which they said “may suit our needs”. We had been very specific that we needed five bedrooms and large living spaces, even if it meant a higher cost. The alternatives Airbnb suggested were 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms and all entirely unsuitable, as though they had completely ignored our requirements. When we asked why Airbnb kept offering completely unsuitable alternatives which were in no way equivalent to our original booking, Airbnb refused to respond. When we tried to pursue the matter further, Airbnb effectively terminated the conversation saying they could offer no further assistance. Further emails to Airbnb have met with zero response.

The lesson from our experience is that Airbnb may work satisfactorily when things go well, but if there is a problem, such as the host cancelling, Airbnb will leave you high and dry. They are very difficult to reach to resolve an issue in a timely manner, they seem to apply their published policies arbitrarily, they refuse to respond to the specifics of a guest’s legitimate questions, and their responses are generalized as to what Airbnb “can’t” do rather than what they “can”. In summary, don’t expect any useful assistance when things go wrong. You have been warned.

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.

Host Needs to Work on Definition of Full Loft

Our Airbnb property was advertised as a “full loft” with “dedicated parking behind the building”, which is why we chose it. We arrived in Montreal and drove right by the property twice, because it’s a poorly-marked, hard-to-find doorway between two other buildings. Behind the building there were no markings about where to park and/or that there was a safe, dedicated area for guest’s vehicles. Our email from the host suggested we park across the street on the public road. Due to the French signage and parking permit issues, I did not want to do that for fear my car would be towed.

After hauling our luggage up a narrow, tall flight of stairs, we were confronted by a narrow hallway that smelled like cat urine. There may have been a “full loft” up here at one time, but what we saw were three doorways with numbers on them. Behind our doorway there was a room that was, perhaps, 10’ x 10’ with one tiny, skinny window above eye level and a skylight. In the original listing photograph that accompanied our original reservation confirmation email, there had been a real bed with end tables; the actual bed in the room we got was a pull-out couch with a two-inch thin mattress.

There was no kitchen, only a small counter and bar fridge. No table on which to eat breakfast. The bathroom was so small, if one person was on the toilet and the other opened the door, it would have hit them in the knees and the head. The room was like a student residence, not a “full loft.” My suspicion is that this property had once been a “full loft” but, in order to pack in the people like sardines to make more money, it had been divided up with thin walls (that also needed some fresh paint). We had planned to cook and have friends over during our stay, but it was so small and embarrassing, we left within the hour and found a hotel instead.

We contacted the host immediately: he defended the property and said we hadn’t looked at the photographs closely enough. He said he would contact Airbnb to see about a refund, which I assume was a stalling tactic since the Airbnb site clearly states that refunds are up to the discretion of the host. We also got the impression that the host listed hasn’t even seen the spaces on his profile and is only managing them through text messaging and emails. We have taken a screenshot from our original reservation confirmation, along with a screen shot of the follow up emails. As you can see, at first glance, both spaces shown are similar (barnboard on wall, deer art above bed) but that’s where the similarities end. We booked this space based on the first photos from the original listing and the original reservation confirmation. I don’t know if the host was trying to pull a “bait and switch”, but to us this is misleading and why we are asking for a refund.

Unable to Cancel After Reading Fresh Bad Reviews

My wife and I booked a nice property in Pattaya, Thailand back in April this year for a holiday we planned for June. We saw the nice pictures and read the nice reviews, so we decided to book this property. Reviews have always been one of the main factors in our decisions for booking a property. Everything was fine until we saw three bad reviews on that property that occurred in May. Some of these reviews were quite bad, as some guests had bad experiences and shared them for all to read. We were really concerned about the prospect of having a similar experience, especially with my four year old with us. I attached the reviews above.

We no longer wanted to stay at this property. If we had read such reviews, we would not have booked that property. Our only problem was we had booked it two months ago in April. Our problems started when we contacted Airbnb, and an agent who said she was our case manager basically told us that there was nothing she could do for us as there was a company policy regarding refunds. Since the reviews are written by hosts and guests and not by Airbnb, bad reviews were not a reason to cancel bookings; there was going to be a 50% cancellation fee.

She made me feel that were creating trouble when in fact we felt like we were being victimized and forced to commit to a property that appears to be okay, but was in fact not. Would anyone who read these reviews even consider staying there? This is not right. Airbnb was trying to be polite and claimed to want to help us but just came across as condescending. It’s ironic that she said the reviews could be fake and Airbnb doesn’t recognize reviews as reason for cancellation, when reviews are the company’s bedrock for sales. We would really prefer to stay at a different accommodation and be given a full refund or to have the charges applied to a different property asap. We are running out of time.

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.

Host Refused Refund for Poorly Maintained Property

We booked a trip for ten nights in Barbados for my family of four. Upon arrival at the property, we heard hysterical dogs barking. The neighbor had a dog pen less than 30 yards from the house we were renting. The pen had about five dogs which spent every waking moment inside. When the host came about twenty minutes later to greet us, we expressed concern as we had a one-year-old who doesn’t do very well sleeping in new places, especially if dogs were barking aside. He told us that they would calm down. I wasn’t looking forward to our son and the rest of us being woken up at 1:00 AM to those dogs carrying on next door.

When we got settled into our tropical vacation cottage, we came to realize the place was filthy. Every piece of furniture was stained, and the floor hadn’t had a good mopping in weeks. I have pictures of our black feet. The kitchen was disgusting. One of the policies of Airbnb is that the properties must be clean, a policy they don’t care much about. There are even other reviews of the property (which we came across after the fact) pointing out how unclean this property is. The next day we asked to leave. We told the host about our issues. He said he had a little apartment in town that we could use, but the neighbors are less than desirable and it’s very tight quarters. He told us to think about it and contact him later.

We decided that we weren’t going to spend our 11-day vacation in some little dumpy apartment. We needed to be refunded and move on to another property through someone else. He told us via email that he wasn’t going to refund us anything. Airbnb asks that you place complaints within 24 hours; ours was placed 27 hours after check in. Keep in mind we’re in a foreign country trying to find a place to stay on very slow internet with two children. By 2:00 PM on the second day we found and paid for another property using Homeaway.com and then left. After returning home, we contacted Airbnb again for a refund, supplying a detailed account of our experience and about a dozen photos of the filth. After going through the process, which took three weeks, we were told that because we didn’t contact them within the 24-hour period there was nothing they could do, but they would refund us one night’s stay. We paid for ten.

We tried numerous times to contact Airbnb after this despicable explanation and were completely ignored. We never heard from them again. We were out $1200. Then we decided that since neither the host nor Airbnb were going to do anything for us after a three-week runaround, that it was time to leave a review. But no, you only have two weeks to do that. That’s right: if you don’t leave a review within two weeks of your check out date, your window closes. We got completely screwed out of $1200 and couldn’t even leave a review. This was the last time we’ll ever use this horrible, disgusting company again. What a horrible disappointment. Beware folks!

Four Families with Seven Children Kicked out at Midnight

My family and friends’ families were staying in State College, PA for the Blue and White Weekend. We arrived at the Airbnb rental property at 10:00 PM on Friday night. When we arrived, the owner showed us the house and strongly encouraged us all to use the hot tub, despite it being late. We stayed the night, did not enter the hot tub, went to the game the next day, and came back to the Airbnb rental around 6:00 PM. We then played with the kids, all under the age of five, in the backyard, ate dinner, put the kids to bed, and retired to the patio and hot tub for the night. My three-year-old daughter is scared of the dark, so my wife was rocking her to sleep on the patio with us. Some of us went to bed with the kids, some of us were wrapping up the night, and some were having nightcaps on the patio.

A couple of us got in the hot tub at the owner’s suggestion. The hot tub was so full of water that it overflowed with just one adult entering it. As others got in, it continued to overflow. We knew this was odd, but didn’t think anything of it. We were sure to keep proper care of the hot tub, as my dad owns a very similar hot tub that we have used in the same manner many times. Around 9:30 PM, my 62-year-old father walked around the house to make sure we weren’t too loud, as the sign asked us to keep it down after 9:30 PM, so we started to wind down around that time. After all, a person can only really stay in a hot tub for 15-20 minutes. My brother and his wife had already gone inside and another couple was already in bed asleep. At 10:00 PM, the the owner came out from behind some bushes and started screaming at us, telling us we were being too loud, it was past curfew, we were breaking the rules, and we were misusing the hot tub. He said we had to get out of the house right away and the cops had been called (at this point he had already called the cops himself and reported a noise violation). When my 3-year-old asked why he was yelling at us, he turned around and yelled at her, scaring her and causing her to cry.

The cops came and when they arrived, they actually thought they were at the wrong house because it was too quiet in the front driveway. We explained the situation to the police and the police pleaded with the owner not to kick us out. We even apologized, despite not doing anything wrong, and said we would go inside and head to bed as we had seven children sleeping in the house ages seven months to four years old. He would not take no for an answer and had the police forcibly remove us. He showed the cops a video, allegedly from the surveillance system (it is illegal to film someone without their consent in a private setting, let alone in bathing suits). The hot tub is surrounded by three walls and leads to a yard with an eight-foot privacy fence, making it more than reasonable to expect this area not to be under video surveillance.

The cops said they had never seen anything like this, but they had to ask us to leave. It was very traumatizing, especially to the kids, who kept asking why we had to leave, and my autistic sister,who was crying throughout the whole thing because they said we’d have to go to jail if we didn’t leave, and our kids would be given to child services. This is a traumatizing thing for a parent to hear, especially without being given a legitimate reason. We asked an officer and the owner to walk through the property so they could all see there were no damages to the household in any way. The owner chose not to walk through after all the guests were removed (he did storm to the door to go inside before we vacated and was stopped by the police). We have video evidence of the walk through along with pictures of how we left the house. For being kicked out at midnight, we left that house in pretty amazing shape.

According to the police, “officers cleared the call at 12:23 AM on April 23rd.” As for the hot tub’s condition, after the owner jumped out of the bushes and yelled at us, my father observed him close the hot tub, and everything was still working fine at that time, including the jets. There was no damage to the hot tub. The owner turned off the jets and placed the cover on. Several witnesses saw the jets working after the abrupt exit, the hot tub was 103 degrees when covered, and there were no drinks in the hot tub. The only difference was that there was less water, which is normal in any hot tub.

Now this traumatic incident has continued to disturb our lives with this fraudulent claim that we broke his hot tub. We exchanged words about the capacity rating of the hot tub and we informed him that my father has a similar model and we treated his hot tub the same as we treat his and did not misuse it. I think it is also worth noting that we were in one of the largest college towns in America; the parties of concern generally involve many college kids with extremely loud music and absurd amounts of alcohol.

We had a few 35-year-olds with a 62-year-old grandfather on a patio deck. We were kicked out in the middle of the night, packing toys, pack n’ plays, food, clothing and toiletries and loaded everyone into our vehicles for a two-hour drive home with our children. My 2-year-old was wide awake on the ride home and continued to ask: “Bye-bye? Why?” We did not get to our friends’ home until 3:00 AM, and our poor kids were tired, confused, and saddened. Not to mention traumatized because the owner yelled, screamed, was rude, and inappropriate through the whole ordeal. We are all shocked and stunned and are still suffering. There were no noise violations, no warning, and certainly no understanding or empathy for children. My friends’ wives and my sister were in tears because he was so out of control.

When we found out, he had been videotaping us in the hot tub as “surveillance,” we no longer felt safe. We called the police Sunday and the sergeant was very nice. He complimented us on how we handled the situation and even mentioned the guy tried to charge us with a noise violation and public disturbance. The police said, “the first officer arrived at the house at 10:15 PM and was met in the drive by the property owner. The officer did not hear any loud voices or music.”

The owner asked the police to charge us with a noise violation and public disturbance. The police did not witness anything that would warrant such charges and called the district attorney’s office to see if they could charge us with anything. The district attorney’s office told them we were doing nothing wrong. They called it a civil dispute in their report. This cop even apologized for having to do it, and said he would not have handled that as well as we did. We did not break any of the house rules. We did not have a party; we were not given a chance to vacate the patio by 10:00 PM, as his online house rules state, as he jumped out at 10:00 PM.

According to the police there is no noise ordinance for that area anyway. There were no rules anywhere about hot tub capacity or use. The owner then tried to open a claim against us on Airbnb for damaging the hot tub. His evidence is screen shots of random hot tub services, an invoice (which I have no doubt is fake), and his word. Looking through this evidence, I do not even understand where he is getting the number of $750 that he thinks we owe him. There are mostly screenshots of estimates from the internet. All of the screen shots of hot tub services/values prove nothing. There is one invoice, which our we believe is fraudulent. We believe this was fraud to exploit innocent families and children.

The invoice is also for cleaning the hot tub, which there was no need for. Airbnb ended up denying his claim because of the evidence we provided showing his claim was fraudulent and ruling in our favor. The owner and his friend were laughing as we carried our children from the house. I don’t know what kind of human being does this to kids and families. We have pictures and video evidence that we left the house in great shape despite being kicked out in the middle of the night. We tried to resolve this issue through Airbnb. Our first case was opened and seemed to be making good progress, but then communication stopped from Airbnb’s case manager. I called customer service and it turned out they closed our case for no reason. I reopened the case thinking it was a mistake. It took weeks to even get a response from them. I called every day for four weeks to check on the status and provided many pictures, police reports, and accounts of this story. On my final call I escalated the issue to a supervisor of the call center. The supervisor didn’t get on the phone and just relayed the message that the case had been closed. They did not give any reason or explanation as to why they closed the case, but offered to open another case, which I did. I still have received no response from Airbnb as to their handling of this. It is awful that they would let a host treat families like this with no repercussion. We will never use Airbnb again.