Airbnb puts Owners on Timeout due to Guest Scam

I have been using Airbnb as an owner for the past year or so. All of my reviews have been excellent except for two. One complained about the furniture, comparing it to a college dorm after she left, but never to me during her stay. Then I had another two guests after her who loved the place and wanted to use it again in the future.

Then a scammer reserved my home for four nights. He asked me to let him check in earlier than 3:00 PM. I told him 12:00 PM would be ok. Then I did not hear from him again. At 7:00 AM, the day after his check in, I got a message he had sent me at 4:00 AM saying that he just got there and found a roach. Therefore, he could not stay there and wanted his money back.

This was a scam because the previous guest never saw a roach and I use a professional bug company to spray the home inside and out. Airbnb had two different staff members ask me to tell them what happened. I did. They asked me if I was willing to refund the money. I said no, because it was a lie. I personally went to the home the day I received the message and did not find any bugs. The Airbnb person said okay, and closed the ticket.

A week later, another guest checked in and had no issues. I also got a guest request for a two-month reservation. After I pre-approved the guest, Airbnb sent me an email stating that they had suspended my listing for one week.

I immediately called them up to find out the reason why. The agent said she could not help me but would refer me to a supervisor who will call me at some point in the future. She had no idea when. I asked her what will happen with the prea-pproval and the guest trying to book my home for two months. She said I will not be able to communicate with her until Airbnb decides to relist my house.

Really? I did nothing wrong. I want to see what kind of hosting business will Airbnb have without any hosts! Please do not use this company to list your properties. Go to VRBO.

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


  1. The AirBnB customer service people seem particularly inept.

    About half a year ago, I sent a message to a host asking for info and I asked him if he would accept being paid cash at my arrival as I didn’t have a bank account, hadn’t had one for many years and never use Paypal or other online financial transaction services (and as the rent period was starting the next day or the day after, the normal rules for cancelling registration etc. would not apply anyway). I got a hostile reply in return, in which the host was accusing me of lying about not having a bank account, and told me to “tell the truth” (remember, this was someone who did not know me and who I had never seen in my entire life). I got so angry with that attitude that – knowing I would lose any chance of getting the room – I immediately sent him a message repeating I have no bank account, and I have to admit I was so furious I was, let’s say, “calling him names”. I didn’t care, at that point. I got no further reply but shortly afterwards, someone from AirBnB messaged me, telling me my account was suspended (or they may have used the word “inactivated”, not sure), for violating rules about respecting other BnB users’ human rights! I guess this means I was banned. I sent a message back explaining the situation, and carefully adding I would never knowingly violate their human rights, or agree with their human rights being violated (my personal opinions about them having no bearing upon my respecting anyone’s human rights). I think I got one reply back saying there was nothing she could do about it as those were their rules. I sent one short reply back, insisting on what I already said previously but didn’t hear from them again since.

    This was the last I heard from them and of course I can’t use that account anymore which implies any communication which I had ongoing with other hosts was made impossible by that fact.

    I can understand people renting their apartments or rooms to perfect strangers have to be careful but this was a bad experience for me.

    • … so a host (very understandably) did not accept your request to be paid in cash (which is unorthodox, a huge risk, and could end in them losing out on those dates if you didn’t pay) and then verbally abused them.

      The hostility from the host and the accusation about lying is rude for sure, I’ll give you that. but as you said, this person doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall and is well within their rights to not accept a booking from a total stranger. I have never heard of a host being okay with being paid cash on the day of.

      Sounds like airbnb made the right decision here. Buy a prepaid visa gift card in the future.

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