Airbnb Doesn’t Care about its Customers


So, we recently moved to Portugal and needed somewhere to live for three months before our permanent home was ready. We found (what we thought) was a lovely listing on Airbnb. The host was great – the pics looked great – there was a river view, and it was a pretty decent price at around €800/month. When we arrived, we thought, “hmmm… this place does not look as good as the photos.” There was a foul smell coming from the kitchen – but we thought: “ok, we’ll look for another Airbnb in a week or so.”

The host was actually really nice – however, he hasn’t been to his apartment in ages and lives in the north of Portugal. He had the sink looked at and the smell was taken care of. Then the rain came. That’s when we had pots on the floor catching leaks. Next, we noticed a lot of black mould coming through. We brought it to his attention – he apologised and said someone would look into it. At this point we couldn’t find another Airbnb available until July 1st. So we said, “alright, we’d stay for now” – mainly because we’d come down with a cold and case of food poisoning within the first two weeks and couldn’t bear the thought of moving all our stuff in our condition.

So we’re looking and looking for another Airbnb – suddenly – I’m locked out of my account – no notification or anything. I’ve seen other people post with a contact us lock. Nope – I can log in but the website disappears and only the header and footer show. Wtf. No contact info either for Airbnb – they make it a challenge to figure out how to get a hold of them. The best excuse I got for that? “Well, we only want that number used for emergencies!” HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, when an emergency happens the last thing a person wants is to have to stress and become a Google ninja to find their contact information. Makes total sense.

Anyway, with nowhere to go, we negotiated to stay after our booking date ended until we could find something else and sort the place out at a reduced rate. FINALLY, we find an Airbnb phone number and call – the girl says she’ll send the issue to the correct department… crickets for two weeks. I respond to the email they sent me (that says “reply here”) to no response. Now I’m pissed. We’re almost two months in a toxic mouldy place with no way to book another location on Airbnb. Also, I was told if I set up another account it would be against their terms of use. Plus, I want the good feedback I have on my account from previous rentals so people would trust renting to me.

We finally had to set up a Facebook account – thinking we could message them on there. Nope. So we publicly posted with photos of the conditions we have to live in and I can’t access the booking system to get us out of it. They respond with the typical “We’re sorry here’s an emergency number.” That girl? She couldn’t care less. She said, “sorry- because you’re past your booking date when you first got in touch.” Umm, yeah- because you made it impossible to find your contact information!

Anyway, she tells us she sees we’re in the emergency queue but they have a lot and are backlogged (weeks apparently) so we are screwed. We’re both getting sicker by the minute and we can’t find anywhere else to go on holiday because it’s also high season and places have been booked up. Airbnb should be ashamed of themselves letting sites like this be rented to people. I’m not going to lie – our host has been as nice as possible and apologetic – he didn’t realise it was in the condition it was in (or so he claims) but Airbnb staff have been dicks. I don’t appreciate their lack of transparency when it comes to being able to reach them. I’ve included some pics of our lovely place and its mould. The whole place is damp and wet. I’d include the link to our sublet but I still can’t access it.

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