I’ve had nothing but positive experiences using AirBnB. I’ve made over $40,000 since I started and have met exceptional people, many of whom I now count as friends. Sure there are bad stories out there but I have yet to encounter one.
I think www.airbnb.com is full of property owners who try to make money without paying tax, it is all a scam, or else plenty are breaking rules to sublet their properties. My experience with ww.airbnb.com in Lima was awful.
The first time I stayed at a, Airbnb property in LA, it was wonderful. The host was nice, the property was first class. So, I thought I will do it again when I visited Lima. I actually stayed in the new Lima Hilton Miraflores for the first 2 nights, after travelling through different places in Peru, my other half booked a property in Miraflores, thinking the best way to learn about a country is by living like the local.
Boy did we make a mistake? The property was not big, but it has 3 bedrooms, one double room facing the main street and two twin-bedded room at the back. There are only two of us. The rate was US$110 each night. We walked in, it looked fine. Barely 5 minutes later, the owner’s estate friend rang the doorbell. I only noticed later on that there is a CCTV looking gaget next to the door, though I am not sure it is for show or it is used to monitor house guests. This person does not speak English or French, only Spanish. I noticed that it was quite cool and damp in the place, so I asked for a heater. That is when the trouble starts. The owner was contacted, first she said it is a health and safety concern, then she said she will ask her friend to look for one, but then no one ever come back with one. One has to understand, even though it says 18 degree C, which is 64 F, it could still be chilly, because of the humidities in this country. While we are back and forth by email trying to resolve this issue. The owner sent an email to the www.airbnb.com’s customer service, and sent us a reply saying that heating was not one of the amenities. I was shocked, hot water and bedding are not listed as amenities, but do vacation rental provide them? Because it is such simple run of the mill things travellers expected. So we ended up sleeping in long sleeve T shirts, 5 layers of blankets, because her place does not have any thick blankets.
Then there was not enough hot water to run for a hot bath, there is enough hot water only to run for a luke warm bath. I notified the owner, but nothing was done.
www.airbnb.com’s customer service is despicable, there was no more reply.
A House Manual was only emailed to the house guests after one booked the place, i.e. after you have paid for your accommodation. This particular owner is on the unreasonable side, there are so many rules, and she emphasizes that they have to be followed — Am I living in a boarding school?? Then another ridiculas one is that one person can only do 1 laundry each week!!
Our of the 3 bedrooms, the one with the double bed next to the balcony at the front is very noisy, you can hear all the cars honking and nearby hostels and restaurants’ people coming out late at night…….
I will NEVER USE www.airbnb.com again!
Beware, since all guests are pre-paid, it is unlikely you can back out once you paid. Plus www.airbnb.com was not helpful in resolving issue.
OMG I just spend the last two night in a nightmare! Actually it wasn’t even a nightmare because I COULDN’T SLEEP! I rented a room on airbnb.com for the first time ever, and the crazy kids renting the room next to me were from europe and didn’t bother making the time adjustment, so they were literally up ALL NIGHT both nights smoking pot and blasting their music! I asked them to be quiet but they didn’t… I asked the Host to give me a refund so I could go to a hotel, he said he would “talk” to the other guests, but nothing happened. Finally I contacted airbnb and told them the story, and they ask me if I had any PROOF!! Right, I forgot to RECORD the crazy kids and try to document what time it was! Never using airbnb again, seriously. It’s just not worth it!
The only good thing about this villa is its location (provided you like noise and feeling unsafe given it’s located down a dark alley with no security).
I booked Villa Rumah Damai for the month of July, having had a number of emails back and forth with the owner’s wife on the Airbnb website. After the owner assured me that it was an ‘amazing’ villa to take my toddler and confirming that aside from a staircase and stairs to the pool that it was ‘family friendly’, the beautiful photos of the villa had me sold so I stupidly paid the owners directly – as per their suggestion – therefore losing any (non-existent) rights I would’ve had on Airbnb(no doubt a ploy used by the owners to ensure they can keep your money no matter what).
Upon moving into the villa after the villa manager was an hour late collecting us (leaving us waiting in the humidity with no contact or explanation) it was evident just how old the villa was. I was shown around and everything in the website photos that appears ‘white’ – linen, mosquito nets, day bed etc – is actually a dull, dusty grey. The photos are incredibly deceptive, so don’t be fooled! It soon became VERY clear that the owners keep this villa in a state so it’s barely rentable and that’s it. The kitchen tap wasn’t just dripping, it was streaming water. A number of light bulbs were blown. The fridge freezer was frozen over. The lock on the upstairs bedroom broken (and I specifically asked about lockable bedrooms PRIOR to booking the villa of which I was assured that “all bedrooms have lockable doors”). There was no advertised wifi (told by the villa manager to ‘use next door’s’ which involved standing in a corner, holding phones up to the ceiling). The toaster was DOA and the kettle looked circa 1974 given the build up of calcium inside and the foul, floaty white particles in the consequent boiled water. The real kicker occurred after a night of rain when the pool flooded and filled with dirt. This wouldn’t have been a problem if the pool filter was working, but of course, it too was broken. The pool was unusable for 6 days with maintenance people appearing in the backyard at all hours (they had been given a key without my knowledge and appeared one morning, banging around at 07:30!) coming to ‘look’ at the pool. And more often than not, that’s exactly what they did. They would ‘look’ at the pool and then leave. Honestly, this villa was a disaster. I sent ‘nice’ text messages to the villa manager outlining what needed to be fixed (after 4 days of darkness in the upstairs bathroom due to no lightbulbs, I went out and bought lightbulbs myself) then escalated it to emails to the owner’s wife who was – conveniently – traveling. I booked the villa for 28 nights, but after just 12 nights of disruption (maintenance people coming and going, villa manager coming and going, us being asked to be there to let the internet people in, the villa being a filthy, dysfunctional dump etc) disappointment and despair overtook the situation (not to mention having a pool we could not use and no internet) I simply had to move out. Oops, I neglected to mention the giant knife left outside my bedroom door where I was sleeping alone with my 18-month old toddler – of course I freaked out when I found it the next morning given it wasn’t there the night before, but the useless nanny confessed that she left the knife there for the gardener!!! Seriously, what kind of nanny leaves a giant knife where a toddler can get it? Then we discovered the final insult. $320 had been stolen out from under our noses. I personally had IDR 2,200,000 stolen from the safe in the downstairs bedroom and my friend another US$100 from her bag in the upstairs bedroom. Both thefts occurred when we were in the villa and it was being cleaned. We – I had a friend over from Australia visiting us – waited until bank statements and money exchange receipts had been checked before we made such serious accusations, and when we were absolutely sure we’d been robbed, we informed the owner via email. In the email I stated that given the top bedroom had a broken lock, the owners were liable for the theft, to which I received the reply: “I’m afraid the lost [sic] of your money caused by broken lock isn’t relevant either. You mentioned yourself that it happened when the cleaning is being done — meaning the room has to be unlocked, correct? So I don’t see the correlation between two” . This pretty much sums up the attitude of the owners. Out to make a quick buck. I also went to the Balinese police to lodge a report, however, in true Bali style, when everything was said and done, the police were asking more in bribes that we’d actually had stolen!
I had noticed when providing the nanny/cook with money for groceries (she was thrown into the rental deal for free, not that we ever wanted her), that small amounts – $5 here, $2 there – would be unaccounted for in receipts, and I paid the villa manager IDR 60,000 to purchase an Indonesian SIM card for me. When I didn’t return the SIM card with the phone handset she’d lent me – after all, I’d purchased the SIM so it was mine – she slipped up and asked for the SIM, telling me that it was a SIM she’d had for years and lends to all her guests. All these little amounts of money added up and no matter If it’s one dollar or the three-hundred and twenty dollars, it’s NOT their money to take. I have the right to give MY money to whom I choose.
I informed the owner’s wife that I would be leaving the villa 16 nights early based on all the reasons above – stressing the point that the ‘broken’ pool was completely unacceptable given that every time it rained, it became unusable plus reiterating all the other faults and flaws with the dump-of-a-villa – and requested a refund for the nights we did not stay there. The owner’s wife then proceeded to direct me to the cancellation policy of the Airbnb website that I DID NOT book through! So, they kept my money for the nights we did not stay and sent ridiculous emails with ridiculous explanations as to why it was so poorly maintained, going as far as to tell me that my expectations were too high and that I should be grateful for the great monthly rate they gave me ($4,000, originally advertised as $2,500 but they conveniently did a ‘bait-and-switch’ scam on me) So, I ended up having to rent another villa as I had more friends flying out from Australia and this meant I was paying double rent for 16 nights. Not. Happy. About. That.
When I left Indonesia, I sent a pleasant email to Airbnb telling them all that had happened. I admitted that I had been foolish to pay the owners directly, I said that I understood and accept that all my rights in regard to payment/refund were null and void given I had paid the owners directly, I clearly stated that I was not ‘after them’ for a refund, but that I simply wanted them to consider the facts:
– that the villa is an old dump and nothing like the photos they use to advertise it (deception on the host’s part)
– that they are using the Airbnb website to attract business but then taking transactions off of the site (highlighting the fact that Airbnb lose their 18% commission on bookings)
– that they ‘bait-and switch’ by luring renters in with a cheaper rental rate than they actually charge
And all the twit ‘Helen’ on the Airbnb team could focus on was the fact that I (stupidly) took the payment transaction off the Airbnb site:
“Unfortunately the reservation was taken off-site. This is not allowed per our Terms of Service. We can not do anything about payments not made through our secured payment system”
I kept replying and reiterating that I knew they couldn’t do anything about the lost payment and that they should remove the listing given it’s nothing like what is promised on the listing, they (Airbnb) are losing money in commissions/fees via these hosts as they make people pay offline and the hosts are ‘baiting-and-switching’ rental prices. No response from these Airbnb idiots. Oh, but they managed to send through a questionnaire on their ‘service. Ha. What a joke. Just like Airbnb is a joke. Honestly people, DO NOT USE Airbnb. Pay the extra to a property management company/agent who actually has to work for their commission/fees.
-Editor’s Note: The story above was written about this airbnb listing www.airbnb.com/rooms/1025330. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I rented out a room in a large house advertised on AirBNB and there were 3 other guests staying there at the same time, as well as the host.
Everyone seemed like nice enough people and I felt pretty comfortable. I decided to pop down to the shop to grab some groceries and when I came back about an hour later my bag was gone. And I don’t mean a small bag. It was all my belongings I had brought with me. The host informed me that one of the guests had just left but she didn’t notice what bags they had with them.
We both spoke to AirBNB when I called to report it, and both of us got the same generic answer that without proof their hands are tied. What proof could I possibly have? A note from the thieves saying “Sorry, I stole your bag”?
The host was shocked but she was really lovely and helpful with the whole situation. AirBNB on the other hand are the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned.
When it comes to AirBNB you can do all the research in the world but you have no way of knowing what the neighbors are going to be like.
My husband and I stayed in an absolutely gorgeous unit and for the first night it was lovely. It was when the second night came around that the problems started. The people that live above the unit we were staying in decided to have a party and at first we weren’t too worried – we aren’t that old, we understand the concept of fun.
It was when it got to the third continuous day and night of partying that I thought I was going to lose my mind. We had two nights left of our stay and I rang AirBNB to see if there was anything they could do to arrange alternate accommodation because the party obviously wasn’t stopping. They wanted me to prove that there had been constant noise.
How silly of me! I should have known to record every second of the last 3 days to “prove” that there was noise. Or perhaps I could have run upstairs with my phone and asked the guys throwing the party to have a quick chat to AirBNB to confirm that they had indeed been partying?
We ended up leaving anyway and staying in a nearby pub just so we could get some sleep for the last 2 nights.
What a bloody joke!
When we went away last month for an engagement party, we got a few friends together and booked an entire house through AirBNB for three days.
The hosts were in another country so we were pretty shocked to see someone else there when we arrived. Apparently, the son of the hosts decided that him and his mates needed a place to crash and used a spare key to get in.
There was plenty of room but that’s not the point. We paid for an entire house we should have gotten it. It was awkward staying there with complete strangers!
AirBNB were called and they told us they would contact the hosts but we didn’t hear back from them until we got home which was useless. And then they denied our refund. I won’t be making that mistake again.
Just a warning to everyone that the descriptions on AirBNB are extremely misleading. Our main requirement for accommodation was that we wanted a fully equipped kitchen so we could cook our meals and save some money by not eating out every night.
When we got there we had a look in the kitchen cupboards and there were plates, cups, cutlery and a toaster. Oh and of course the fridge.
To me that is NOT a fully equipped kitchen. As much as we wanted to save money on meals, we weren’t going to have toast every night to do so!
I rang AirBNB and SURPRISE! They are sorry but there is nothing they can do!
Me and my boyfriend just got back from a weekend in California where we stayed in a room we booked on AirBNB.
There were guests staying in the other rooms who seemed a bit rowdy when they arrived but we just put it down to them being excited. Unfortunately they only got louder and after having no sleep at all I was pretty pissed to say the least.
We recorded the noise on our phones so we had evidence when we complained to AirBNB but they pretty much accused us of making it up and implying that it was us making the noise.
What a bunch of con artists – they will tell you anything to get out of reimbursing you.
My friends and I went to Vegas a few weeks ago and tried to save a few bucks by staying at an airbnb place just off the strip. Long story short, the place was terrible! It was dirty, smelly, didn’t really look like the pictures… just awful. Long story short we filed a claim with Airbnb to get our money back, but it’s been over 2 weeks and we still haven’t heard anything back except a standard bs form email saying that they received the complaint. So annoying!
My question is: Are there any good alternatives to airbnb that treat their customers better? I realize there are always hotels, and that’s fine… but surely there is someone else out there running or building a better service than Airbnb’s terrible customer service right?!