Airbnb Nightmare in LA Leaves Family Stranded

My wife accompanied our daughter on a move to Los Angeles to start a new job. We own resort property and list through VRBO because they provide exceptional customer service and communication. A previous experience with Airbnb was problematic. We were reluctant to book through Airbnb again but my daughter liked one of the listings and it was close to her new job. When they arrived, they were met by the son of the owner who was out of the country. He handed them the key, wasn’t helpful in any way, and he left. When they opened the door they found a filthy apartment with bits of food on the dining table and kitchen counters. The appliances were greasy, there were stains on the furniture, and there appeared to be blood splatter on one of the walls.

My wife found the son to ask if the unit had been cleaned and he handed her a bottle of Formula 409. She asked to speak with the owner and he got him on the phone. He claimed his son is a “idiot” and lazy. My wife requested he arrange for a cleaning crew to come in while they wandered through LA. The owner went ballistic, said my wife was rude, and she wasn’t going to order him around. He also said they would not get their money back.

She took pictures with her phone, then called Airbnb. She spoke with someone who seemed helpful at first. She sent the pictures, and he said he’d call her back in five minutes; he never did. When she called back, she was told that he left for a minute and would call back, her credit card would not be charged, and they could apply the amount to another Airbnb property.

They found one that was acceptable, called Airbnb to advise them to move the funds to the new property, and were told that they processed the charge, and her pictures weren’t good enough evidence to cancel the reservation. My wife called her bank who reversed the charge, and they were left with no place to stay. Her credit card was tied up while she waited for the credit.

I believe the owner violated his agreement with Airbnb because his home was not safe, healthy, or inhabitable. He also failed to resolve what clearly was his responsibility. In addition he failed to disclose that there was a massive excavation construction project next door that was quite noisy and caused the ground to vibrate. Airbnb needs to better vet their hosts and create a more user friendly process for their guests. Perhaps they are unaware that guests may also own rentals and could be clients of Airbnb as hosts. I’m a real estate broker with influence in my market. I am going to do everything in my power to share this story and review. My attorney will be calling the owner to discuss his abusive language and fraudulent real estate activity.

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

One Comment

  1. I work in media. I am sending out a press release today to several major journals and I am reaching out to others whom have experienced such poor customer service. Let me know if you’d like to be in touch.

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