Airbnb Needs to Offer More for Bad Hosts

Our flight was delayed two hours so we eventually rocked up near our Airbnb apartment in Amsterdam at 23:30, cold, wet, and tired. We were in apartment #79. We found #77 without a problem but that’s where the numbers stopped: in place of #79, there was a restaurant. Unsurprisingly they wouldn’t accommodate us but suggested #79 was in the opposite corner of the square (it wasn’t).

No worries. We called the host (who had been s%$t with his communication anyway). There was no answer via phone, Airbnb, Messenger, fax, carrier pigeon, or two cans with a bit of string tied between them. With the assistance of some very helpful locals we decided the property was one of two things: non-existent or well hidden.

S$%t happens but the real issue was Airbnb’s response. We obviously rang, waited the obligatory 15 minutes, and got the helpful “we’ll ring you back.” Waited. 00:45 (in a strange town, twenty minutes outside the centre). Waited. 01:05. Called again. “Case manager has gone home.” 01:30 called again: “Please help”; “A case manager will call you shortly.”

We gave up and dragged our luggage for another half hour to the nearest hotel we could find that would let us in. Hotels are not cheap at 2:00 in the morning.

We we were lucky. It was a nice town with nice people, and we were old enough to be unfazed. Imagine being young, scared and lost in a less convivial place. Airbnb needs to offer better security if their hosts let you down. A call back in the morning and a refund just isn’t good enough.

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


  1. I rented an Airbnb when I visited NYC a few weeks ago. The host refused me entry back into the property, held my stuff including my travel documents and personal items.

    I made a report to NYPD and several attempts to recover my items by officers were futile. I was lost and stranded in a strange city for over a month….

    Long story short…..same response from Airbnb. I only received some of my property and now have a lawsuit against the host.

  2. The issue is that none of Airbnb properties are regulated by any authority in any country … so the hosts can do what they darn-well please and do…… the answer to your complaint is quite simply, don’t use Airbnb…. Customer service on any level is abysmal. There are no guarantees of service by the host or a ‘friend’ or even that the property is going to be what they said it was or indeed situate where they say it is ….. just look at the comments on this site to prove all of this….. so book a b&b, a hostel – a hotel …. they have comebacks with their licences……

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