Awful Experience San Francisco, Refuses to Refund

I had an awful experience using Airbnb in San Francisco. I paid $1545. The condition of the apartment was deplorable: food stains on the beds, cigarette butts on the floor, old and stale food open in the kitchen, excrement in the toilet, flies around the trash, chewed and ripped up rugs, broken furniture, broken shower (meaning it did not function) and it smelled like musty dog pee. It looked nothing like the clean and nice photos on the website.  We checked out well before 24 hours after explaining this to the host, who simply disagreed with my assessment, claiming she’d had someone clean the place. We were willing to pay for the one night we were there, and wanted the rest back.

We provided all communications with the host, and photographic evidence of everything we found there, to Airbnb customer service. They’ve refunded the one night and kept the rest. After five phone calls and a slew of emails, our case manager sent this: “I have looked through all the documentation on this reservation including message strings and resolution case comments. I have also spoken with you and the host by phone. based on the overall situation and verifiable events I concur that a one-night refund the host provided is reasonable. This is a dog-friendly listing and building, which is clearly stated in the listing description. It is unfortunate that you did not enjoy this experience. However, there are no apparent or significant violations by the host that have not already been compensated.”

Dog friendly was never our issue. I own a dog; she doesn’t pee in my house, so it doesn’t smell like dog pee. Dog friendly has nothing to do with food stains, flies, trash, excrement in the toilet (as far as I know dogs don’t use the toilet or wipe with toilet paper), a broken shower, broken furniture, and open, stale food. The violation is that this place is falsely advertised as clean with a working shower. Our case manager refused to speak with me to explain how he and his team came to this decision to steal over $1300 from us. Not to mention the money we had to spend on different accommodations. Apparently, he doesn’t have a supervisor, and no one at Airbnb has the power to escalate this any further. Apparently, Airbnb can’t be held accountable for anything.

We’ve contacted our credit card company to see what our options are. My advice? Screw Airbnb.

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


  1. Did you take any photos as evidence and compare them with the listing? You’re basically saying that all of the positive reviews are lying and you for some reason are unable to post a review?

    Or is there no way to attach photos to a story here?

    Hmm. That does sound kind of fishy. Just saying.

  2. Had the worst experience with air bnb wish I read these comments earlier. Their consumer protection is the worst and I am going directly to the legislature to have them stopped in NY. Wait until I post their customer service actual correspondences – you would think they got their training using a prison handbook. And it’s really not less expensive at all. I made an email just to start my campaign to warn travelers how gross it can be to work with them. Wish I could post pictures so you could see how awful it can be and how stuck you are with their rotten service.

  3. That sounds like a story out of a horror show. Very strange that someone claims he saw 63 positive reviews. I’d like to know which review you’re speaking about? I want to see it.

  4. Just goes to show that ‘subjective reviews’ are simply that – subjective. It’s impossible for AirBNB to control what happens, and to be correct – there’s no one around and they work with people who are unprofessional. If you want to be sure of a good experience, don’t use marketplaces whose business models are built around their commissions and not around your satisfaction.

  5. That’s because airbnb does everything they can to not post bad reviews. Their review system is not effective. Even though we stayed one night… We aren’t allowed to leave a review at all. Why do you think sites like airbnbhell exist?

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