Not Paying Attention to House Rules Can Cost You

I had a flight to Zurich two weeks ago. When I was boarding, I made a booking on Airbnb at the last moment, like I always do. This is my travel life style; everything is booked at the last minute, and I thought no host would complain about it. Anyway, I booked it, they charged my card, and after a while this host in Zurich said that I could not check in at the time I wanted (1-2:00 PM) and I needed to wait for him until 9:00 PM. For me, after a long flight the last thing I want to do is wait seven hours with luggage, tired in the airport. Of course I wanted to arrive, take a shower, sleep, and then explore the city.

When I saw his reply that he only checks in guests at 9:00 PM and later, I said he could cancel my booking. He rudely said no, that this was my problem for not looking at the house rules on his profile page before I booked. I checked his page, and it was my mistake. I totally agreed with him and asked him what I could do now. I had already paid. Again, I was completely okay with this being my mistake, because I made the booking in a hurry before my departure. However, from the beginning I saw a rude attitude in his messages and honestly did not want to see his face. Even though I had already paid, self respect is more important than the fifty dollars I paid.

I arrived in Zurich, met my friends for coffee, and told them the story that I had to wait for host until 9:00, and that the host didn’t sound like a host. My friends told me I could stay with them, and forget about paying 50 USD for an Airbnb. I was very happy. That evening this rude host started asking me where I was, and why I was late. Really? I rented a room at his place, where he lives, not the entire home, and he wrote in his profile that checking in anytime from 9:00 PM until 3:00 AM was fine. Why should I hurry? He would be home all this time, waiting for me and his other guests, because this is somehow extra income for him. Why would he tell me he is not a hotel and I most arrive at the time which we agreed upon?

What is it, if not a hotel? The moment you start to get any money from a guest it’s called rent, and I’m his customer. I wanted to write a negative comment about him, but was busy with my travels. Now Airbnb is saying I can’t write a comment after 14 days, which is sad, because he wrote a comment about me. I don’t know how to remove it, or how to write and report about him.

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.

College Graduation Weekend Best Not Entrusted to Airbnb

My first time using Airbnb was horrible. We were late to the table for booking a hotel room for a college graduation weekend. A friend recommended I try Airbnb. After looking at a few possibilities, I decided on a king-size condo for six people close to campus that looked nice. I asked the hosts a few questions and decided to book the property. After I committed, I asked a few more questions, but never heard back from the host. “Oh well,” I figured.

Upon arrival at the “condo”, I was shocked to find a rundown student house that had been converted to hold four small rooms. Our room was about 300 square feet. The parking spot in the back of the home was a gravel mess and there was no sidewalk to the front of the house; we had to use the steep, uneven driveway (that was shared by many other houses and businesses) to get to the front of the house. There was a long uneven staircase up to the house that didn’t even have a hand rail up to the top.

In the evening there were no lights in the parking area or even the front of the house. I had paid extra for another person, yet there was no bed, sheets, blanket, pillow, or towels for the third person. Even though the three photos of this “condo” looked nice, the floor was filthy. I called and complained to the host. The following morning I used the microwave and blew the main circuit. We had to go to the graduation sopping wet. After three hours the host finally responded and told me to go flip the switch myself.

We decided to vacate the property because we felt unsafe. I contacted Airbnb when we returned, and they sent us through a silly process that accomplished nothing. To make matters more interesting, I did a Google search of the property and found that it is owned by a guy in Chicago; he had created a fictitious name to be a host. Airbnb told me that hosts often do that for privacy. They pretend to be someone else, and have all of my information? It’s kind of scary if you ask me. After all I went through they did not even post my review, which is wrong on their part. I believe Airbnb is all about the host, and have little hope for the guests. I will never use Airbnb again.

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!

Incomplete Airbnb Stays: No Reviews Allowed

My friends and I lost hope of getting a proper resolution of our case through the Airbnb resolution center. We did not get a refund and our review was not published on the website. The situation with feedback is totally awful as our review was supported by multiple photos. We have contacted Airbnb multiple times but got only formal responses. I would very much appreciate if you could advise what we should do in this situation. I would want a chance to at least make our review available to others on Airbnb; the apartment is still listed on the site so there will be other people who may suffer from it.

We had used Airbnb to book an apartment in Barcelona from January 5-11, 2017 for our family. We arrived at the apartment at 8:30 AM but at that time the previous guests were there. The host told us that we may check in only after 12:00 PM. At that time we did not have a chance to look through the apartment and discuss its conditions with the host. We left our luggage and used the rest of the day for sightseeing in Barcelona. We came back at 7:00 PM and realized that the apartment was not in a good conditions. The linen was dirty, the bed was not suitable for two people, and there was no linen at all for the third guest. We can provide the full review with photos if anyone is interested. The host was not available so we could not discuss these issues with her. We were not comfortable staying in the apartment, so we had to leave it and find another location.

The same day, we informed the Airbnb resolution center about these issues and asked for assistance. The next day I discussed these issues with the host and she told me that our requests about cleaning and the bed could not be satisfied. She did not feel comfortable providing the apartment after our feedback about these conditions so we agreed to sort it out with Airbnb. A few days later, an Airbnb specialist cancelled our booking without our consent, and informed us that the case was closed. When we came back home from the vacation we provided a detailed review but it was not published by Airbnb. We had contacted the Airbnb resolution center and got a response that the review could not be released as we did not stay in the apartment and the booking was cancelled. We had called the resolution center and explained that the review was based on our personal experience – that we had to leave the apartment because of its poor conditions and that our booking was cancelled by Airbnb – but the response from the resolution center did not change.

Airbnb Review was Blocked after Bad Experience

On my first morning, I refused room service because I was sleeping and the host contacted me later on the same day to give me a hard time. I decided to leave the room early, but I could have done that regardless as the cancellation policy was flexible. I left the room by following the official Airbnb process and wrote a negative review. My review was hidden because it “violated the terms of service by including social commentary” – even though that’s nowhere on the policy – and I didn’t receive any notification, nor did I have the chance to edit it. It simply got blocked, secretively. However, the same review was visible to the host, who retaliated with a negative review even though I was an exemplary guest. The host’s review – untrue, biased and vindictive – was posted on my profile immediately. After some back and forth with customer service debating the issue this is what I received: “As of now, your review has been removed from Cristina’s profile. This will be regarded as our final decision in this case.”

This seem to be a rigged system designed to protect hosts and curb negative reviews to create an illusory five-star marketplace where hosts and guests can only scratch each other’s back. I’m not the only one to think that. This system may seem pragmatic and effective at first but it’s not sustainable. By turning your back on the guests and censoring their reviews, eventually they will stop using this site, one by one, even though they have only five-star hosts. A straight and honest review system built Uber and the lack of it will shut Airbnb down.

Nasty Review When Host Provided an Uninhabitable Property

I booked a stay at what was described as a beautiful retreat in the Yosemite area. My friends flew in from across the country to join me on a hiking trip in Yosemite and we were excited to be going. Dan, the owner, was very happy to rent to me, and it was all set up. We arrived to find the place to be uninhabitable. No running water, no promise of repair, and the oven looked as if it was vintage 1970s and had never been cleaned. There was a huge crack in the microwave rendering it unusable. We had to use water from the hot tub to flush the toilets. There was nothing about the place that was as described and I let him know it. He would not offer a refund and told me that if I wrote a bad review he would sue me. I called Airbnb repeatedly for help. We had to search for another place to stay. They promised callbacks that never came, and when I did reach someone, it sounded like I was talking to someone overseas. Whether or not that was the case, they asked me to write a letter – which I did – and to email pictures, because I definitely had plenty of them. They were not willing to try to help me in any way. Ultimately I disputed the charge with Visa and won. Today, I went to the site for the first time since that nightmare, and there was a negative review of me as a guest written by the host of the uninhabitable filthy place that Airbnb had listed for rent on their site. When I tried to reach out to Airbnb to discuss removing the review as it was unfair and they had proof of it, I could not get anywhere with customer service and couldn’t even find an email address. Airbnb is a terrible site and I will never use it again.

Airbnb Changed my Review to Favor Host

Unless I have very bad recall of what I submitted, Airbnb edited my review to eliminate part of my comment about the “value” being over priced for what turned out to be the conditions of the lodging, and Airbnb upgraded the rating I provided in response to their question about “value”. Airbnb also upgraded my “cleanliness” rating from 4 to 4.5 stars. I have been unable to discover any method to communicate with Airbnb about this concern. Ten minutes after I submitted my review, I thought of something that would be a useful addition to my review for future customers, but there is no way to amend or augment the review after it is posted.

Little White Lies Lead to Big Bad Airbnb

I booked my very first (and very last) Airbnb reservation in October 2016 and have had one problem after another with it. When I was first charged, the Airbnb system calculated the total amount and applied it to my credit card. Soon after that I was contacted by the host, John, and was told that the amount was not enough since there would be three adults staying in two rooms. I pointed out to him that I paid the amount that I was given as per Airbnb’s calculations, that I had entered all information correctly, and if there was a mistake in his listing then it was his mistake, not mine. He kept coming back and saying that it hadn’t been listed correctly and he was losing money over it. I finally agreed to pay him an additional $135 for the 7-night stay and that I would give it to him in cash when I arrived on December 3rd. I didn’t know at the time that this isn’t allowed by Airbnb. He contacted them and tried unsuccessfully to fix his listing.

Four days before my sons and I were expected to arrive he texted me and said that Airbnb needed to speak to me; he gave me a phone number to call. I spoke to a representative and was told John wanted an extra $135 and an additional $100 cleaning fee. I declined, saying I had made a deal with him for $135 and was not going to pay another $100 to clean one bedroom. He finally accepted that and I thought we were good to go. My sons and I arrived at the property around 7:00 PM on the 3rd and were greeted by John and another man by the name of Tom. So far so good. The next morning we also met another man by the name of Emilio. It shouldn’t have been a problem but I had been told that my sons and I were going to be the only guests during our stay; it turned out the other two people were long-term guests.

In all fairness, the home was as described in the listing, and fairly clean. John even gave us a healthy fresh continental breakfast each morning. However, when I booked he told me we would have a queen bed and a king with ensuite bath. What we ended up with was two queen beds, one per room. Of course my sons were adamant about not sharing a bed with their mother or each other. Two grown men will not share a queen bed, brothers or not. So my oldest son, who is 46, ended up sleeping on the floor with a comforter and a pillow. On the third morning my youngest who was using the bed came to me and showed me a bug he had found on the comforter that my oldest had used on the floor the night before and had thrown back up on the bed. It was a live bed bug!

I took the bug and showed it to the host and he acted and stated that he was totally shocked that we had found a bug. After getting down on hands and knees and searching both rooms we found solid indications that there was a bed bug problem in the house that had been previously treated. So we went to talk to John and his response was to suggest that my sons and I had brought them in on our suitcases. My oldest son pointed out that since there were so many dead bugs in the rooms around the baseboards it was impossible for them to “fall” out of our suitcases and stick themselves to the baseboards. John then proceeded to blame the bed bugs on his previous guests. The gall of the man knew no bounds.

It later came out in conversations that included Tom, that the house had indeed been treated for the bugs and that Terminex had said the infestation was under control. This had happened two days before we arrived. John had never said one word to me in all of our conversations in the previous month about having bugs in his home. This was the biggest lie of omission of all. Just an aside: we also found other irregularities during our bug hunt. There was marijuana in one of the drawers in one bedroom and a container on the dresser that contained multiple brands of a large number of condoms. We spent the remainder of our day spraying our suitcases with spray that Terminex had left at the house and several hours washing and drying our entire vacation wardrobe.

In the small amount of fairness that I feel I can give, John did contact Airbnb and they refunded every dollar I had been charged. John paid a local resort for accommodations for the remainder of our stay. The downside to all of this is that Airbnb listed the reservation as cancelled by me. Hence I have no way to leave a review of my experience. I would have been fair about it, most likely would not have mentioned all the times John lied, and definitely would have given him credit for paying for our hotel. I don’t feel it is fair that Airbnb didn’t give me the opportunity to leave any kind of review at all. I guess that’s their attempt to protect their business name. I will never use them again as I feel they have no oversight on the condition of their guests’ homes or rooms and really don’t seem to care.