Bait and Switch… Airbnb no help whatsoever!

Weeks ago I booked several nights at a “bright executive apartment” in Shenzhen via Airbnb. Hours before I was to arrive the host sends a note saying “very sorry… room has power problem… must switch you to other room… hope you understand”. I arrived (via flight) late in the day and was hurried to my alternative room, given the key and the host quickly vanished. Without going into excruciating detail the room was disgusting. There were cockroaches climbing the walls and running wild in the kitchen. (some pics at https://imgur.com/a/3QclV) There were splat stains on the wall where one could assume that people had killed roaches in the past. I immediately sent the host an email (via airbnb) saying the room was unacceptable and that it needed to be fixed asap. Unfortunately it wasn’t until the next morning that the host showed me another apartment (it seems they have a couple dozen units that they manage). The second unit was nominally better though it had a mouse trap and noticeable droppings in the kitchen cupboard. I decided that I had *no choice* but to leave and find accommodation somewhere else. Trying to enlist help from airbnb was utterly futile and useless. Going to the help/support I left a message for support – which has never been responded to – despite the automated “someone one the team is working on your issue and will get back to you as soon as possible”!! I discovered their resolution page where I found that the guest only has an option to *request* a refund from the host. Again, no involvement from a human at airbnb… just a facility that lets the visitor send a request to the host – which I suspect they can completely ignore. Loooong story short… still not a peep from someone at airbnb… but fortunately the host accepted my request for a refund. So now we’ll see if it somehow actually appears. Bottom line. I will NEVER use airbnb again. Not only do I travel alot, but I was actually also thinking of being a host too. But after this terrible experience I will not. In my opinion Airbnb’s pathetic customer service is a terrible business model that will ultimately be their downfall. I will resume using mainstream booking methods (eg. expedia, priceline, booking).

Ripped off

I was using the Airbnb site looking for somewhere to stay in London for a few days after travelling from Australia. I found an apartment in Covent Garden, perfect, dates were free. I next get a confirmation email from what I thought was Airbnb. This asking for payment for almost $1800. After a few emails back and forth, I was still waiting to be given the address of the property, by this time we had traveled to the UK. I then realized that I had been ripped off and had to find other accommodation. The response from Airbnb was basically, sorry can’t help you, it wasn’t booked through our site. What a joke, lack of security to protect the customer and no help after from Airbnb.

keep using booking.com

Mostly AirBnB is a great idea but if anything goes wrong, you’re up the creek without a paddle. You’ve given your credit card details and the shonky host has got your dollars but at check-in time they’re nowhere to be found, uncontactable and your complaints are answered with another copy of their brochure, e.g. Luigi in Genoa.

Have you been a victim to scammers?

Hi, I’m currently working on a new TV series for Ch5 which is aimed at raising awareness about the various scams out there. We are looking for case studies, people who are willing to tell us their story and help stop others falling victim to these fraudsters. If you have been a victim of a scammer through Airbnb or a similar website, please drop me an email on yourstories@stv.tv. The aims to raise awareness of how to protect your self through a mix of case studies and expert advise.

Airbnb steals guests money based on hosts fake evidence

I booked a room via Airbnb for 3 nights at 16 Fairfield Road, BS6 5JP in Bristol, UK. Olivia is the host. I checked out on 1st May at 11 am. I asked Olivia if I can leave my luggage in her flat and pick it up in the evening. She said this is OK. I returned at 7pm in the same day, picked up my luggage and left the key. No issues at all were raised by the host. Two days later, on 3rd May and after I had left her a positive online review in the previous night, she emailed me complaining she found a stain in the duvet. She said she didn’t see a stain when she made the bed after I checked out and that she only noticed it two days later. She took a picture then, 2 days after my departure, and said this is the evidence! She claimed £60 ($90). I replied her I have not left any stain and that it was her responsibility to report anything on the day of my departure. Airbnb charged my card without asking my view!! This is against their own terms & conditions. Airbnb policy says they also ask the guest and wait for a response for 48h. I never authorized a card payment, neither Airbnb consulted me. They also haven’t provided me with the photos. I have emailed Airbnb many times asking for the photos and why they breached their terms & conditions. They don’t reply me. Airbnb steals guests money, don’t value their opinion and provide no safety net at all. I will never use Airbnb again. Anyone wanting more details, please contact me via Twitter: @Ilias_Energia

This property has serial killer written all over it.

blankblankblankblankblank

I would not recommend this Airbnb to ANYONE! It is being misrepresented to Airbnb and unsuspecting guests. I am shocked AirBnB has chosen to let the host stay on their site. This property and the host has all the traits of a serial killer and horror movie. I have reported this property to the local St. Petersburg authorities. My findings of this property included the following; •a fake wall to the entertainment center that is locked and accessible only from the other side. The entertainment center’s sound speaker is wired in such a way it is very difficult to figure out. In my opinion. •a hidden hideout with a sleeping bag and soda can, •many drawers of personal collections of what appeared to be past guests items it. •women’s underwear •sex toys •cell phones •newspapers clippings •sunglasses Creepy, Creepy, Creepy!

Renter

Rented a house in Laurel Canyon on airbnb 3 weeks in advance of trip. Evening of trip had not received address of property from home owner. Sent 2 texts and left 3 voicemails. His response took hours. He responded with slight disdain “…the address is shown in the listing…” An hour later he realized he had given me the wrong address. He texted correct address and revised check in time. I asked if we could drop our things off an hour earlier than the 4 PM check in time (we had traveled from NYC with our 3 year old. He said yes. We arrived at the address about 50 minutes before check in time. The exterior of the house was a mess, junk everywhere, large bags of dog food, dirty laundry, old plastic bottles, towels, etc. Nothing was neat or organized around the house. Bad sign number one. Entered the house to find 3 housekeepers doing a very superficial cleaning job in a slow casual way and a handyman with a paint can, other supplies he was using spread around the house. Host was there and seemed unpleasantly surprised to encounter us. The pool was dirty with debris floating on the top, there were cigarette butts and remains of joints on the tiny concrete area around the pool. The cheap pool chairs were rusted and filthy. There was a large ceramic ashtray that looked like it hadn’t been wiped clean in months. The host left, we left and drove around for 45 minutes. We returned at 4 PM. House didn’t look any cleaner. Handyman still working (when not chatting with his girlfriend who had now arrived.) Cleaning crew and housekeepers left at 5:15. Our toddler walks around the house in her socks. Socks are black on the bottom in 2 minutes, pool is still gross, surfaces of house appear to be sort of wiped clean, but nothing feels clean, dead bugs in the shower, lamps don’t work in 2nd bedroom, sheets in master b/r don’t smell clean, ants are everywhere, bedroom tv doesn’t work, upholstery is filthy, living room tv works only after messing around with cables, etc. We call host and complain of dirty house. He sends cleaning crew back who don’t really know the difference between clean and dirty and don’t know what to do. They mop (with water) and leave. Pool guy comes and says pool is clean, but looks dirty “don’t worry.” There are floor to ceiling windows in master bedroom, no curtains, no shades, We stay 2 of 4 paid days and tell host we want a refund for remaining days. House is truly filthy dirty. He fights and ultimately agrees to refund of 2 days as long as we give our word not to post a review on airbnb. Feeling we had no recourse we agreed. I will NEVER use airbnb again. Probably a coincidence, but my daughter and I were both ill for the next two days. Laurel Canyon guy-you’re a jerk and your house is disgusting!

airbnb is a perfect platform for scam #2

After my unfortunate encounter, I emailed airbnb several times to obtain any help possible. This is what they replied me: “as per our Terms of Service, we are not liable for such losses, and are consequently unable to provide any compensation to you in this instance.” There are many reasons they are fully responsible for what have happened, I will only name a few here. Firstly, I wonder how the fake listing can even be listed on the website if it actually does not exist? As a user I have believed airbnb to be a trustable website to browse for holiday accommodation, just like hostelworld, hostelbookers or booking.com. Just like others, I believed that the hosts and the listed accommodation has been thoroughly screened and checked by the company before it was listed to the public. Obviously, the failure to filter out these fake accounts has exposed the users to risks of getting scammed. Secondly, not only that these fraud accommodations were listed, it was suggested by airbnb itself. I received an email from the official airbnb email (discover@airbnb.com) that suggests some accommodations in London. Much to my surprise, the suggested accommodation is the one used for scam. This can only reflects that airbnb holds absolutely no understanding on their listed accommodation. I cannot imagine the risks that airbnb have posed to the users by suggesting an ‘accommodation’ used for fraud. Third, it is still happening every day with a new and different account. After the fraud encounter that I was left helplessly by airbnb, I tried browsing for accommodation again with the same date and location. Similarly, I have contacted the host on airbnb and the same old thing happened again – I received a personal email from the host, provided with a bank account details and bla bla bla. This is obviously a scam. I cannot believe airbnb can just let these scammers to do whatever they want without getting caught, over and over again. This can only reflect airbnb has very poor regulation on their listed host. From the above points, it is enough to ask for compensation from airbnb because it is due to their poor regulation that opens up risks to the customers.

blank

Airbnb is a perfect platform for scam

blankblankblankblank

Approximately one week ago, I was browsing for accomodation in London through airbnb and this “Luxury Central Location Apartment” appeared and it seems to fit the criteria that I wanted. I have also noticed the host named Natsuko is verified. So I contacted the host using the red button in airbnb to ask for availability. I received the reply on the next day in my email, but not in my airbnb account. Because it was my first time using airbnb, I did not find it odd and thought it was the standard procedure. I also was not warned about this when I created my airbnb account. The host confirmed the availability and asked for my details, which I eventually gave. Within hours, I received an airbnb email (invoice@airbnb-payment.com) confirming my reservation and asked me to bank in the money to the bank account provided. At almost the same time, the host also emailed me that the reservation has been made and requested me to send her the payment receipt once the payment is done to secure my reservation. I made the payment few days after that. It started to concern me as i did not receive any payment invoice from airbnb. So i called airbnb on the second day and realised i might have been scammed. I called my bank to cancel the payment but it was too late. I called the receipient bank (Alior Bank) to report this and asked them to halt the account to receive the payment. I was informed that the only authority that can halt this is by direct cooperation between my bank and Alior bank. It was too late. Fuck airbnb.

Misogynist Host

The keys to the apartment didn’t work, the host extorted an additional night’s payment in cash (by claiming it was a “tourist tax” & threatening to claim we made damage to the apartment if we didn’t pay), made extremely rude & sexist comments, sent assistants to harass us late at night, claimed that I stole a curtain (!!!) & that he would report me to the police, threatened to say that I stole art as well if I complained, lied about the time of check in + the condition of the apartment + much more on the review. Worst of all – it was only after having checked in for over a day that we realized that covering every wall of the apartment was extremely violent and misogynist paintings incl a painting of a woman with her throat cut and bleeding out, a painting of a vagina with a sword through it, a drawing of a woman’s face as she appears to be raped, slogans such as “your girlfriend is a bitch” and “high men love pussy”.. and more! more details here: bit.ly/1FdPTNU