Abandoned: Non-Existent Airbnb in New York City

Upon arriving in New York, we caught a cab and gave the driver the address of the Airbnb we booked. He pulled up to a parking lot and said, “this is it”. We got out and went up and down the street trying to find the address. It was non-existent; there was no such address. It was rush hour, 85+ degrees and we had gotten up at 4:00 AM. Needless to say, we were frantic.

I called Airbnb and could not get through. After dialing continuously for over 30 minutes and being put on hold for over 15 minutes, I finally got someone on the line. She was very nice and promptly gave us a credit on this booking. Then we had to find a hotel, which, obviously, was a lot more expensive. This is the chance you take when you use Airbnb, so just beware. Will I book with them again? Probably, but I will really read the reviews. This particular apartment had a lot of reviews – believe it or not – so here again, beware. Airbnb is a crap shoot for everything to work out. We had booked in Barcelona and nothing went wrong.

Airbnb Host Not Informed of our Reservation

My husband and I along with two other couples reserved a house in Camden, Maine for a week this past July. Airbnb charged the entire week to our credit card, half when we made the reservation and the other half a few days before our week started. We got numerous emails from Airbnb about our upcoming trip and how they hoped we had a great time.

When we got to the house, the owner had no idea we were coming and said he hadn’t dealt with Airbnb for over a year. Customer service was worse than useless. We were told that we could get a credit on a different place but there were none available and no help in obtaining alternate housing was offered.

After a couple of hours on the phone, we were able to get them to say they would credit our card but the amount they agreed to was over $200 less than the amount we were charged: probably a service fee. We waited a week and the amount wasn’t credited so I turned the matter over to Mastercard and of course was credited for the entire amount immediately while they investigated. It defies the imagination how a booking can be confirmed and credit card charged without the owner knowing we were coming. Never again Airbnb.

Blocked Toilet and Freezing Shower Make a Bad Stay

I have been trying to get in contact with Airbnb for days to resolve an issue. The only time I got to talk to them was the day I decided to cancel my booking. The only person at customer service was a lady who was really hard to understand; it seemed like she had a muffin in her mouth, or was talking under a pillow. Her instructions were not clear; they left me even more confused and disappointed.

I made a booking for six days in one place. The toilet was blocked and every time I flushed it, it overflowed. It was the first day and first time entering in that toilet; it was supposed to be my private bathroom but it was dirty. I really needed to use it and felt uncomfortable telling the hosts the toilet was dirty. When I flushed everything just came back out. It was very uncomfortable because my host accused me of blocking in up when I had just arrived.

It was late and I took a shower before bed. The hot water was off and the shower was freezing cold. Coming out of the bathroom, I had to go through the baby’s room. He started to cry, and then the host said I was not allowed to use the shower or toilet at night because the baby would wake up very easily. I started to feel really annoyed.

The next day, due to jet lag, I slept all day. However, I woke up to eat something in the middle of the night since I was also very thirsty. The host’s mother came to the kitchen to say I was making noise, when in fact I was as quiet as a mouse. Again, I could not take a shower so I decided to cancel the booking the next day. In the morning, while getting dressed, their baby bumped my door open when I was practically naked. I notified the host and Airbnb about the cancellation and left the place.

Airbnb told me when the booking was completed they were going to refund me for the days left. I have been trying to reach them without any success, only to have them direct me to the host. I asked the host for a refund but she decided to insult me, saying that my change to the booking didn’t work. When I cancelled the booking, Airbnb didn’t get back to me at all. They paid the host the full amount.

What is going on? Where is the guarantee and protection for the guest? This is not fair.

My Trip Motto: Expect to be Disappointed with Airbnb

We went south of the U.S. for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The host had good reviews but I had a different experience. It was so hot and humid, there were strange odors of mildew and urine, and the phone, wifi, and TV didn’t work. The fridge was moldy. I was afraid to touch anything. The worst part was when the owner came down and apologized if I saw him looking in my window: “I wanted to see if you were there.”

At the time I thought it was an honest mistake, though he could have knocked on the door. I was a little freaked out but figured he wouldn’t have said anything if he meant to be sneaky. Then I turned around and saw his friend, with a drink in one hand and a beer in the other and he was clearly drunk. There I was in a foreign country standing between a drunk guy and a peeping tom. I was told there’d be wifi but it never worked for me.

This was all happening on my birthday. I couldn’t call, text, or email anybody. It was the worst, loneliest birthday in all my 51 years of life. I left early. Kudos to Airbnb for cancelling my reservation for the rest of the week but now the hosts are upset that they were only paid for two nights instead of seven. It sucks for the hosts, too. I’m sure they don’t understand my consternation. I’m sure they’ll give me a bad review but I don’t care because Airbnb and I are never ever getting back together.

Noisy Airbnb Nightmare in Jerusalem, Israel

On May 23rd, 2017 we booked a week at an Airbnb in Jerusalem. Our first impressions was that it appeared to be a nice clean apartment, and its owners appeared equally welcoming. We settled to sleep for the night, and then the noise started. It went on for some six hours or more. We heard talking all night, all from one man. As a result, I could not sleep.

I complained to Airbnb and they did not believe me. To date I have stayed in many Airbnb properties without an incident. The lack of attention Airbnb shows to their clients is appalling. They asked for photographs and communications. Even though I had a recording on WhatsApp of a dialogue that I had with the owners they did not believe me. The Airbnb contract is between the local owners and the guest, not with the company.

The hosts said: “I’m really sorry to hear about this incident. It’s the first time it has happened. We had a guest staying for a whole month and he never told me anything about it. I guess it’s a one time thing. The neighbor got drunk and made a lot of noise. Things happen… I really understand your frustration, especially since it happened on your first night with us. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it. I truly believe and hope it won’t happen again. My suggestion to you is to give it another night. Usually this apartment and neighborhood are very quiet! That having been said, I’ll understand if you want to cancel your reservation with us and move to another place. If you do so, we will refund you 50% of the reservation cost. By the way, did you try taking a broomstick and knocking on the ceiling, so he will understand he’s being loud? Maybe he didn’t realize. Try that or knocking on his door asking him to lower his voice. Like normal people do in this situation.”

A tenant in the next apartment revealed the truth of what was going on: “In this apartment complex, the Israeli Government lets apartments to Amidar, a social housing organization. According to the neighbor, who lives next door, next to him is a man who has a psychiatric disorder and in the garden there are two men who smoke joints. On the roof terrace are more drug addicts and this place is known to the Israeli police. [The host] knows this situation well and so it is no wonder that all night long there is noise. [The host]’s mother owns the apartment, and knows the situation here very well.”

I complained continuously to Airbnb and said I would send them the police report. At that point, they gave us a total refund. On our return to the UK they were still pestering me for the police report and I deleted my Airbnb account. I noticed that the apartment that we stayed in is still being rented out. You can view it here https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/17724596

Airbnb Fisherman’s Hangout Unbearable without AC

We booked a fishing trip via Airbnb at a very quaint cottage on a canal just off the lake we were going to fish. To start off the nightmare, on Monday before the Friday we were scheduled to arrive, the weather report was forecasting a tropical storm “Cindy”, making a direct b-line to the location on the very day we were to arrive. We contacted the host and he acted as if he would work with us if the forecast was correct. Luckily it hit the night before our arrival a little east of its expected path.

We continued with our plans and got to the location on Friday and the weather was not as bad as it could have been. The cabin was very well kept and we were very excited to be there. We unloaded or stuff and while going in and out of the cabin I noticed the three AC units but only two were on. I promptly went to each of the two that were on and turned them down because it was not at a comfortable stage yet in the cabin. I also turned on the one in the bedroom. I also noticed a box fan in the living area pointing into the bedroom which raised my suspicions that something might not be right.

After we got settled down and got our boat docked, we were going to cook steaks, but after looking at the grill it was full of water from the rain. I decided to cook them on the stove. After going into the kitchen I noticed there was no vent hood and with the temperature being already at an uncomfortable level, I told my wife we better eat sandwiches instead, to give the AC time to cool the place down. I went into the bedroom to find it rather warm and after feeling the air coming out of the AC unit in the bedroom I could tell it was not working. Since it was rather late by that point I did not want to bother the host. I was hoping the other two ACs would catch up and with the help of the fan, they might have been able to.

I now knew the purpose for the box fan was there to help blow AC into the bedroom to help cool it down. We spent a very miserable and restless night sweating and experiencing back pain from the very small, very hard, full size bed. It was so bad I went into the living room at 4:30 AM in front of the AC and tried to get some rest on the couch, to no avail. I waited until 9:00 AM to call the host and told him of our issue. When I did I was greeted with the claim that I was complaining without a legitimate reason; the last guests had no problems and the AC was not having issues then, nor did he think there was a issue now. My question to him was then why was there a fan in the living room pointing into the bedroom. He said it was just for circulation.

He would never admit the AC issue and I even offered to help him install another window AC if he would go buy one. His reply was: “I can tell you are fishing for a refund.” I then told him we had planned this trip for a long time. Coming even in the shadow of a tropical storm should have shown him we wanted to stay at all costs. He never offered to fix the problem. Afterwards, I offered to go buy an AC unit and put it in another window; he did accept that offer, of course.

We then left to see if we could get some fishing in. The more I thought about it, the more I decided we should just go back, pack up, and go home. His lack of concern ruined the trip we had so looked forward to, and if he had at least tried to fix the problem or come over to the cabin to verify that the unit was in fact not working, I would have done whatever I could to help him get it resolved. He did not come by because he already knew that it was not working.

The bottom line is he did refund $198 of the $270 for the three nights, less our cleaning fee and the $39 Airbnb fee. I opened a case over three weeks ago and Airbnb keeps telling me they are going to help. So far I have not received any resolution. All I am asking for is the $72 left off my three nights, excluding my $50 cleaning fee and $39 Airbnb fee. All this and if the stupid host would have just shown a ounce of concern and fixed the AC. He would not have had to refund anything.

I am not at all impressed wit my overall experience at Airbnb, but I do think I will give it another chance.

Crazy Host and Terrible Customer Service for Beach House

My family went to South Haven, MI for a weekend trip. We reserved an entire house. Everything started feeling a little strange the day of arrival. The host sent my wife incessant messages regarding the names and ages of all the guests. Even after we gave this information to her, she kept asking the same questions over and over. She sent a rulebook to us and quizzed my wife on it when she arrived. We were planning on having local day guests for beach access. Once the host heard about this, she forced us to add them to the guest list and wanted more money. My wife’s parents brought a guest with them we didn’t know about.

We were happy to pay the host for this guest, but she freaked out and started taking pictures of everyone with her phone, without their permission (including two boys under the age of eighteen and my ten-month-old daughter). She ran to the house and locked the door, refusing to talk to us. I can’t comment on the quality of the house, as I never made it inside. My family drove seven hours and had no place to stay.

I wasn’t aware of Airbnb’s policy that didn’t allow bad reviews when a trip is canceled and I couldn’t request a refund unless I canceled the trip. That was where I messed up. I asked the host for a refund (about $2000), which, of course, she ignored. We contacted Airbnb for arbitration and it was initially agreed that we would eat the first night’s rent and be refunded the rest. This was acceptable to us. Airbnb cowardly called my wife at 11:18 that night to tell us the decision was reversed. Of course, she was asleep. She has since called back 12 times. Every time our case manager is conveniently unavailable or the bastards simply hang up on us when they get tired of listening. As of this moment, we haven’t gotten anywhere.

Here is the listing for anyone who wants a great place to get screwed over in Michigan.

Not the Beautiful View’s Fault for our Airbnb Experience

A week into our 30-day prepaid Airbnb stay, the host began to exhibit some odd behavior. Two nights before that, he began to argue with his girlfriend (they met three weeks ago), slamming doors throughout the house. He said that she was detoxing and could not drink alcohol. We said we understood.

The next day he came in and told us we were using too much water. We understood that there were water restrictions; in nine day, two showers had been taken. The last night he came in and accused us of giving his girlfriend alchohol. We explained we had been gone all day and we had not given her anything. She expressed to us that she wanted to leave and needed to get out of the house; she looked very scared.

The host came back out and told us to get out of his house now; this was at 11:00 PM. He had never said that drinking was a problem. We even asked what they like to drink. He dumped out a bottle of vodka we had and then threatened to dump out other alcoholic beverages. We packed up our things in the morning and let him know we wanted a refund for the days left. He informed us he contacted Airbnb and we would have to get a refund from them. After speaking with Airbnb we were told that he had not contacted them.

The host then said that there were damages. Actually, there were none. He was in the process of fixing up the house for it to be sold. He was draging wood up the stairs and even painted a balcony during our stay. He told us not to use it so we obliged. We were already looking for a new place because of the hostile environment and didn’t feel safe. There was constant arguing and slamming of doors throughout our last night.

We had an extra guest come and asked the host beforehand; he said it would not be a problem if we just gave him $30 cash per night for the additional guest. I gave him $100 cash and he said he would give me $10 back as they only stayed three days. My daughter was coming into town and once again I asked if an additional guest could stay and we would pay for it; he said it was no problem. Today the host is stating we never gave him money and that it was going to be $40 a night for my daughter. Later on he stated that it would not be $40 and that he never said that. Read his latest text to me. See the tray of cannabis he served us daily from bottles hidden in our room. Do not rent from him.

The Worst Response to “Airbnb is Just a Platform!”

This little nightmare starts back at the beginning of May 2017. It has just been resolved two months later and still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At 10:00 PM the night of my reservation, I had to cancel after the host was MIA with directions on how to get into the property. Airbnb apologized for its host and the situation. They encouraged us to get a hotel room and they’d reimburse us up to $150; we spent $129 at Hampton Inn.

You must be thinking “wow!” like we were, and “how nice is that?” They really take good care of their customers. All those good feelings about Airbnb quickly vacated as time went on. I was assured twice by two different employees that everything was in place for the reimbursement. After waiting almost two months and losing patience well past the expected payout date, I called back a third time and spoke with someone who got me over to a “Customer Service Specialist” after we discovered I needed to input a payout method (like a host would) to get the reimbursement. This was news to me.

It’s not that the two-month delay wasn’t bad enough, or the misinformation; this is when it really got hellish. The specialist barked like a dog. He seemed old, cranky, short tempered, and not at all apologetic – not what you’d expect from such a “hip” company like Airbnb. He spoke over me constantly as if he was fighting for his life and this was supposed to be top management. He made sure to remind me that Airbnb is a 37 billion dollar company that is “just a platform”. He blamed us and the Airbnb representative at the time of the incident repeating over and over, “I don’t know where everybody’s head was at the time!”

He made sure to blame the host when he wasn’t blaming his underlings and asserted they are ultimately responsible because, yep you guessed it, because “Airbnb is just a platform.” I took this to mean he felt as an Airbnb manager he had no responsibility for my unpleasant, inconvenient experience with a host they vetted or the employees they hired and trained. So keep this in mind: Airbnb takes no responsibility for their hosts or employees. You’re on your own.

Well, I had quite a bit to say to this guy who claimed to be a “specialist” in the area of customer service. After pointing out that two representatives hired and trained by Airbnb, gave me incorrect instructions and information that delayed my reimbursement, you’d think an apology was in order. Nope. He just got crasser and meaner. I had to pull out the big guns and calmly repeated my dissatisfaction. I hinted and suggested an additional travel credit could smooth this all out and make up for all the mistakes Airbnb made along the way to issuing me reimbursement. Finally, he begrudgingly mentioned, “I can give you a $25 credit if that would shut you up.”

I continued to educate “the specialist” in customer service, mentioning how important it is to go above and beyond in this situation. All my suggestions were coming from my own experience as a business owner with unhappy customers. All he could bring himself to do was issue the lousy $25 credit (the maximum, according to him). A good habit to get into when dealing with these giant call centers is “resolution before disconnection.” There could at least be a confirmation number or the agent’s ID. At the most, it would be completely resolved. Try to get an email confirmation as documentation. Things get “lost” all the time in these behemoth call centers and repeating yourself is no fun.

Well, this specialist wasn’t going to have any of it: no ID, no last name, no email, no confirmation, nothing except a hearty, “just trust me, it’s taken care of.” He did take care of it finally, but the way all of it was handled should make Airbnb hide in shame for such a blatant disregard for its responsibilities as a “platform” and the ultimate satisfaction of its guests.

Why Does Airbnb Continually Break its Promises to Help?

As Airbnb guests, we encountered what seemed to have been a fairly straightforward question about a refund. The landlady agreed to give us a refund on our room. The only problem, she said, was that she didn’t know how to formally give permission to Airbnb to activate the refund, so she sent us a mail to show to Airbnb, as evidence to get the refund. That was several months ago. I must have called and talked with Airbnb advisors a dozen times now. It’s the same pattern every time – the advisor listens to the story, agrees that we ought to get a refund, and promises to pass the problem to a higher level – and that they will get back to us in a few days. They never do. Every time, they fail to do what have promised. How can the company behave so irresponsibly? They are not even together enough, or honest enough, to give us a straight ‘no’. Instead they just leave us hanging, every time. This has really put me off using Airbnb. If they can treat me like this over a fairly minor issue, what happens if a really serious problem comes up? Will they just run away like they did here? I am thinking of making a YouTube documentary of this saga, together with recordings of the phone calls and broken promises.