I’ve hosted many rooms on AirBNB for almost 2 years and always had a 100% perfect rating, but then I caught two of my guests sneaking in their friend and having him stay with them without telling me. I was annoyed but I very reasonably said that he could just pay $10 per night for the 3 nights he stayed, and we would call it even. They agreed to my face, but secretly they made up a story about mice and bugs being in the condo and filed not one but two complaints directly with airbnb! I thought, wow that’s annoying, so I promptly responded to the claims with lengthy explanations about what REALLY happened, expecting that airbnb would naturally see through the lies of these two young kids. Instead, Airbnb gave the kids HALF of their money back for the three week long reservation even though they had already stayed 18 of the 21 days before making a complaint! Even better than that, the kids damaged both of their rooms, stole money, wine glasses, and other kitchen items, yet when I filed security deposit claims against both of them including photos and witnesses, airbnb literally ignored the claims without so much as a response and refunded the kids 100% of their security deposits!
Long story short, I’ve had enough of terrible service by large companies that just don’t feel like they need to give a crap about their customers, even a long-term host with a perfect rating.
I had a similar Airbnb adventure…
A guest rents my apartment in Paris just 8 weeks after my plumber did some routine work and pressure cleaned my bathroom plumbing (work that is guaranteed for years and everyone in the neighborhood knows and trust the local plumber – he is stellar). Unknown to the fraudulent guest, I had stayed in the apartment two weeks prior for a night and a 4 day guest had checked out just days before his arrival with no problem at all.
Well, this new guest comes in and finds everything wrong with the apartment – cannot work the internet, the apartment is too cold and two blankets plus brand new heating system are not enough – I never had anyone complain about this as the heater is two meters long and brand new while the apartment is about 22 square meters. My greeter still goes out of her way and buys a brand new (third) blanket to accommodate the one I now label “the fraudulent guest”.
24hours into his stay, the guest is now complaining that the shower does not drain. I immediately call the plumber who says that it is impossible unless there is a problem on the main pipe which is a coop board issue. I contact everyone under the sun to try and fix this but it is a Friday night in Paris. I call the coop board and email them: no answer. After 24hours of silence by management, I beg the plumber to come by as soon as possible but he cannot – not even on Monday and tells me that he should not intervene as it is a building issue which he is not contracted for. So, my greeter comes back to the apartment and takes pictures – it seems that there might have been a draining issue because there are wet towels on the floor but somehow when she comes in to take pictures all is resolved. Still, asked the guest to move to a hotel room nearby (even made the calls to check availability, so there is proof) and explained that I would pay for it – he refuses. In restrospect, this was fishy.
So the story goes on… The next morning I get a call at 4am (EST as I am in New York) and the same story is delivered to me. I remind the guest that offered to pay for a hotel and that there is nothing more that I can do from a distance. At that point, I really do not understand what is happening. I can only assume that the local plumber is correct and that there is a problem in the building’s plumbing. So I am desperately awaiting for an answer from the coop board. The sleep interruption is also getting on my nerves.
Tuesday morning, the guest contacts me again at the wee hours of the morning (he knows that I am in NYC by the way) saying that there is a horrible smell in the apartment and that he has checked out as scheduled but that the plumbing problem did persist when he showered that morning.
I am now freaking out: is there a plumbing issue in my apartment or not and why is no one getting back to me?
My best friend – who is a freelancer, hence more flexible than I – gets on the first flight for Paris. He arrives at the apartment and there are towels soaked in water on the wood floor outside of the bathroom by the front door and garbage everywhere – my best friend host 3 Airbnb apartments in NYC, so he knows the drill and is not impressed. The floor where the towels were left is soaked through (why did the guest no leave these towels on the tiles in the bathroom where they would cause no damage?) and since the neighbor downstairs had called to mention that she had been flooded during the guest’s stay, my best friend pays her a visit. He gets back to my apartment and deals with the towels while wiping the floor dry. He then films the damages to the downstairs neighbor’s apartment. He finally runs the water and the drain seems clogged. He lifts the metallic cap to the piping and notices that the syphon (two cups, each with a lateral opening, topping each other to prevent clogs) is askew and needs to be lined up. He cleans up the area and makes sure all is in place. He runs the water for over an hour while doing laundry and flushing the toilet: it all runs beautifully.
Meanwhile, the guest was still harassing me that day and calling me at the wee hours of the morning now asking for a partial refund of his stay. It was a few days after he had checked out now and I figured: “I really cannot deal with him anymore: I will reimburse half of his stay (this is what he was now requesting), block him from ever messaging me again and then deal with Airbnb directly”. So I had just talked myself into reimbursing half this guest’s stay to end the grievance he was causing. I was now livid. I contacted Airbnb about the issue and opened a case over the phone.
A few days pass, my best friend goes on living 48h of Parisian life and returns to the apartment before he leaves. It turns out that the wood floor by my entrance door is seriously warped and two of the wood planks are making a pyramid – the entrance door barely opens. I call Airbnb again now fuming. They claim that they need a few days to contact the guest too. You know what came out if it? Nothing. They closed the case.
I called a third time. Airbnb asked me to re-open a resolution case once more and requested that I contact the guest yet again. I abide reluctantly and am now met with criticism from the guest – he must have read my negative review – who is now menacing to sue me. I explain to him that while I was under the impression that my plumbing had caused him an unpleasant stay, I had since discovered that there was no issue with the apartment’s plumbing nor main piping to the building but that the syphon in the shower (although it was lined up prior to his stay) may have been dirty and had somehow moved during his stay – my greeter cleans the apartment (shower included) before and after each stay and it was draining perfectly prior to this last rental, clearly it was also drawing during the fraudulent guest’s first 24h of stay, so it is on him. I tell the guest that not only did he make no attempt to look into the draining issue, he refused to leave the apartment when prompted and ended up seriously damaging my home. He goes on and claims that I am a scammer. At that point, I start thinking: he might have actually staged this whole mess on purpose to get a free ride out of me.
How did Airbnb handle the case? Airbnb customer service never provided me with an email address to send videos (although I requested so repeatedly because the mailing system on their app does not support videos), so they never received substantial proof of the damages caused. The pictures that I had initially sent when opening the case were taken by my best friend the day he first arrived at the apartment, so the floor was not dramatically warped yet.
Bottom line: Airbnb left me to bare the cost of all the damages. The insane part is that I left the guest a horrible review – clearly – and he left me a very nice review. However, Airbnb saw nothing wrong with that nor the fact that when I had to get back in contact with the guest for a re-resolution, ie: after the guest had read my review and I confronted him with the warped floor issue, he had then changed his tune and was now telling me that he had the worst stay of his life: no TV, no heat, no shower, horrible smell. I am a type A person, so I checked everything: cable bill, electric bill, water bill – all was in check. Yet Airbnb sided with this guest!!! And my 16 reviews are all stellar especially over the last two year!!! Insane!!!
We can join as well. Airbnb did not charge the 2nd month in advance, every 30 days as promised. Guest did not pay, airbnb sent me an email stating her card didn’t go through. Long and short? Guest stayed for 11 days for -0- cost. All because Airbnb did not run the card when they were supposed to. Airbnb response? Too bad, so sad. I lost 11+ days of revenue and paid an Arizona AC bill of about $100 for the week, as well as internet, cable, etd. Removing all listings from Airbnb.
Same shit here. Got some “guests” staying over a busy period, they managed to entirely fuck up with the entrance door (it was obvious that they smashed the lock and more). Now, that kind of lock was really expensive, and I thought it was not fair for me to take the blunt of this. Airbnb sided with their customers, refunded them fully for most of their stay and I understood that their $1,000,000 guarantee is a total joke and has more strings tethered to it than a spider web!
Moral of the story: as a host, Airbnb will ALWAYS side by their guests. You’ll be had.
So crazy… I thought airbnb a good company before my roommate and I also had a theft problem with an airbnb renter and airbnb did NOTHING to help us!!