Airbnb Hosts Given no Recourse for Guest Damages

Airbnb has been making money off of my property for four years now, and I’ve had quite a few problems with them. I had a guest cause permanent damage to a $1200 Italian wood coffee table: scratches and deep liquid/heat cup stains that of course she didn’t inform me of when she left, and I discovered afterwards. Airbnb had the gall to call it “standard wear and tear” (even though every other guest for four years had managed to use the coasters there on the table) and gave me none of the $200 deposit I required with each booking, nor any other way to seek recompense or repair. This stuff cannot be repaired, as it turns out.

Recently, a guest’s cat damaged a leather chair, destroyed two new bath towels and two throw pillow. She told me she wanted to “make things right”, very convincingly. I trusted that she would. I lowballed the cost of replacing the towels and throws, and didn’t include the cost of my time, not even knowing if repairing the chair was within my abilities. I posted a very good review for her because I believed her, her only review so far. Now that I know she was lying, and has disappeared without sending the agreed upon check, I wish to change my good review, or at the very least, remove it. Airbnb’s call center (who claims to have no way for me to contact the actual Airbnb company except through the general “feedback” box on the website – no phone, no email address, not even a mailing address), told me they “had no way to edit it” and it was protected as “free speech”. I said, “Yes, my free speech! Which is no longer accurate!”

They said I should’ve waited until long after the guest left to post a review (even though we are prompted to leave one starting the same day guests depart), after she failed to mail the check she promised. All I want to do is prevent other hosts from reading my review and opening their homes to a guest who will damage their property and abuse their trust. It’s not only in the best interests of fellow hosts, but of Airbnb as a company, when those other hosts get snowed. The so-called customer service contact talked in these positively insanity-creating circles. She said nothing could be done because I hadn’t filed a claim through their claim resolution within 14 days and that no one was able to remove my positive review, as if there were bots who’d overthrown management and hijacked their website. She could not refer me to anyone who is empowered to correct or take down the review. We hosts are nothing more than cash cows for Airbnb as they pull at the udders of our property, allowing flagrant abuse of our trust, and of our homes, to their great profit.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. I would like to add that I am retired and now travel as much as I can.
    I was disappointed that as a long term user of Airbnb, they deleted my review of our “host” but decided that his review of us, was quite reasonable and fair.

    I like to think that decision has cost Airbnb a lot of money. Not only the commission they have lost from us not using them anymore, but also the amount lost from all those people I am continuously warning about Airbnb. There are many other operators in the market now, see top of this page.

  2. Actually they can delete and do delete reviews.
    Long story short. I booked a place about four weeks in advance, for my wife and I to stay for just two days.
    After we booked, the location changed (which was why we took about 2 hours to find it) all the photos changed and the description changed as well. Even the host turned out to have a fake name and when challenged about everything, became abusive and threatening.
    Airbnb encouraged me to leave a review, in which I mentioned all the above.
    In return, the host said that we had smeared excrement over his walls, stolen some of his property and broken a whole list of things.
    Somehow he managed to have our review removed and he continued to host.
    The review on our page is still there, as Airbnb refused to remove it.
    We joined Airbnb in 2008, but have not used their “service” since this incident happened last year

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