Airbnb Colludes with Guests to Provide Refunds

I had a guest from Seattle: Canadian, liar, Harvard Extension student. She traveled via Airbnb to deliberately find problems with hosts in order to find a cheap place to stay and free food.

You should have the full story. She had full access to the kitchen. The microwave was not in the kitchen (in my room) and was not included in the listing. She misled Airbnb to believe that I did not allow her to use the kitchen, when in fact I did.

She came into my room without my authorization several times to use the microwave. While I was not home, She came into my room and turned on the air conditioning (there is only one unit A/C in the unit, and it is in my room) while also using the microwave at the same time. Therefore she could have caused circuit damage. Air conditioning was not listed for use by guests on Airbnb. I notified her that I would ask maintenance to fix the circuit damage.

She lied about the laundry. I stated in my listing that there was a laundry card and showed her the laundry room downstairs when she checked in. It was not across the street and not coin operated as she fabricated. She’s unhappy and is playing the victim. However, I am also unhappy about the damage she caused because she did not respect my house rules by entering my room without permission, by using my A/C and microwave without permission, and by lying. She needs to pay for the damages. I am the victim of her lies.

The Airbnb representative asked how much I was willing to refund her. I was not willing to refund anything. I provided my service to the guest according to what was stipulated on the listing without compromise and without misrepresentation. She misled Airbnb about the microwave. She misled Airbnb about laundry being across the street. She might have misled them about other things as well. I went out of my way to drive the guest to buy groceries, and go shopping. I was attentive to the guest’s needs. I even allowed her to use my laundry card when she was short on cash. I allowed her to take some of my food. I stopped short of cooking for her, when she said she didn’t know how to cook.

I’m concerned she might have made similar complaints during other Airbnb stays and have received refunds for deliberately finding issues. If so, I don’t think Airbnb should want her as a customer, because that is really bad for hosts like myself who goes out of our way to make sure the stay is comfortable for their guests by adhering to the listing’s descriptions without compromise and without misrepresentation. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what other complaints requires evidence to clarify the fraudulent complaint.

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4 Comments

  1. Had a situation almost exactly like this last one recently, after 5.5 years of renting on Airbnb to mainly happy guests that left good ratings. The house is funky and old, but clean, vintage and interesting. It was well described in the listing. A guest booked who was in a local horse show. I have a strict cancellation policy. The horse may not have made it, I don’t know. They said that they wanted to come anyway. What happened was that immediatley on coming they called Airbnb to complain that it was nothing like what they expected. There was no AC (wrong), there wasn’t a bed long enough for their 6′-7″ son (any of you have beds that long?) and the place was dingy and dirty. To prove this they took a picture of the old sink upstairs that has some mineral deposits on it from 90 years of use. It is just stained and authentic. They called this dirt and used it to justify their demand for cancellation.

    What was actually most galling is that the agent did not call me or investigate but simply cancelled the reservation. Nor did he call me later. I actually then got a reprimand for cancelling as a host saying that I might be terminated if I did it again! When something similar happened a few years ago the service folks sided with me and actually gave me a credit for travel! . But not this time. When I loudly complained of this treatment after so many years, the reviewer just gave a curt “the decision stands”, no conversation, no gesture toward mediation. Airbnb that started as a “sharing economy”, anti-corporate booking platform has become a corporate bully who feels that they can do what they want with your home and dispose of you when they will. Outrageous. Do not any longer recommend.

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  3. For my friend’s cat-sitting NYC sublet, I was the proxy to greet the guests. After showing up 3 hours late, they oddly carried in no luggage (after an alleged transAtlantic flight); then seemed disinterested in my orientation & instructions, asking not one question about any of the myriad details. I found them so unsettling, unlike any prior guests I’ve met, that I emailed the host an advisory note, promising to check on the cats ASAP. In the middle of the night, the guests texted me that they were abandoning the agreement, giving me a bogus reason (cat allergy). I learned that they’d reported to AirBnB that the apartment was “dirty” with a “strange smell” — claims that are blatently easy to hyperbolize or fabricate. AirBnB rewarded these dissemblers (who were newbies with no track record) by granting a refund, while penalizing their long-time, reliable host who’d tallied steady, good ratings (for cleanliness, among other factors): they levied both a rental block and a fine, besides jeapardizing cats’ well-being.

  4. I have a similar situation with an Aussie girl, who I caught (on CCTV) surreptitiously taking photos of the rubbish storage area outside my front door, and then sending them to Airshit to try and get a refund, when none was due! Luckily I have a 30 day cancellation on monthly rents, but she broke house rules by doing this, and the case mgr hasn’t called me back yet! Needless to say they have my money, and I don’t know if I’ll receive the £450 owing for the rental.
    Better use Gumtree if renting, ALWAYS take a photo of ID, and take a full months’ deposit (in cash, or prepaid bank transfer), Then they’ll far less likely to take advantage of you.

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