Host Robs Customers and is Supported by Airbnb

blankblank

I checked into a condo in downtown Aspen, where you would anticipate a nice stay if you have even half a brain. I checked in to see the condo had a tiny mini fridge and for some reason a giant ice box freezer on the floor. The freezer portion of the fridge was completely frosted over. The fridge continued to freeze all of my groceries so I contacted the host asking for help.

The host dismissed me and told me they’ve had other guests with no complaints. Apparently appliances only break on their perceived timelines. After two days of trying to get help from the host, I reached out to Airbnb. This was too late since I didn’t contact them within 24 hours. They suggested I check out and request a partial refund. I checked out well before check out time so the host could have rebooked if they would have liked. The host assured me they would give me a refund for the nights the condo was booked by new guests (as shown in their message attached).

The host laughed at me, made fun of me, called me names and berated me for days. No refund was issued. Airbnb told me there was nothing they could do even though the host assured I was due a refund. During a conversation with an Airbnb support ambassador, I explained what happened and asked them if they would be okay with paying someone $2,000 when there was no working refrigerator and they checked out only after a couple of days of a weeklong stay. They respond that would absolutely not be okay and my request was reasonable.

Airbnb staff agreed this was unacceptable only to then state that Airbnb would not do anything to help. I’ve never experienced customer service like this and hope people are aware of how Airbnb treats paying customers.

First Airbnb Experience was Extremely Disappointing

I joined Airbnb on Sept. 1. I found a suitable place and went ahead with the booking process for a two-week stay. Having booked various hotels and properties previously, I assumed it would be straightforward.

After inputting my details, dates, and agreeing on a price, I was asked to enter payment details. Fine, I thought. It asked to check my details — fine, I thought. Everything seemed to be okay but it was only after all of this I was then I was asked to verify my identity. There had been no mention up to this point including when my card details were checked which came as a surprise.

Unfortunately I couldn’t do this at that time which was 10:00 AM until I returned home at 6:00 PM. The booking was due to commence the next day and by 3:00 PM the host hadn’t confirmed. I was unaware they couldn’t confirm anything until my ID was verified. I checked my bank and the funds had been taken by Airbnb despite them clearly informing me no bookings could go ahead without official ID verification. I cancelled the booking so that I could verify my ID and rebook later.

I then contacted Airbnb by phone at 6:00 PM when the money had not returned to my account, nor made transferable. I was told by Airbnb it was my bank’s fault and the money should be available. Maybe it was my bank’s processing time, I was told. I was told for the future I should upload my ID before making a booking. Like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I contacted my bank (Halifax) the following day who said no, it was Airbnb who needed to cancel the pending. It wasn’t even a refund so should only take 24 hours maximum. That was last Thursday.

Skip to today, and there has still been no movement on the funds. I contacted Airbnb and the rep clearly didn’t have a clue how to resolve this. Not her fault at all, so I asked to speak to someone who may have dealt with this before because. The only other resolution was to raise the issue and complain via the bank and let them complain to Airbnb.

she agreed to transfer me to someone but then said they would call me back. I said okay, but asked if I could have her details in case there’s no call back. At which point she then started to pretend she couldn’t hear me for about a minute. She told me I’d pressed mute, which I hadn’t. I knew she was lying because there was an echo on the line and she paused at one point when I spoke over her to say I could hear the echo. I called back and what do you know…. no follow up recorded. Completely unprofessional.

My money should never have been taken. These people have not only prevented a host from a substantial booking, prevented me from rebooking, but now caused excess expense to me as I’ve been in a hotel waiting for this to resolve. With regard to trying to resolve it they’ve got systems not fit for this purpose and clearly employ dishonest tactics. They simply do not care at all. They have left both guest and host out of pocket.

blank

Listing from Hell and the Song that Made it Worse

blank

I showed up, escaping Hurricane Ida, to an Airbnb in Houston. It’s Labor Day weekend and we had dogs in tow, so the pickings were slim. Still, this looked okay. Four of us were splitting the property; it was 3 bedroom/3 bath, a townhouse, in a nice part of town. I lived up the street when I came here for medical treatment two years ago.

I showed up and there was no key where it was supposed to be. The provided garage door opener didn’t work. The entire place smelled like mothballs and the modem and router were on the floor in the foyer. There were giant stains on the carpet up and down the stairs. It wasn’t clean and hadn’t been vacuumed. The furniture was split and there was just a sofa. No other furniture was provided in the living room. There were large water stains where some of the plaster had fallen from the ceiling in the living room.

There was a pool table (“don’t sit on the pool table” as if it was some heirloom and not a piece of crap from Walmart) but no tables — literally no tables anywhere. There were two stools to use at the counter in the kitchen. No coffee table. No end tables. The third bedroom was also locked from the inside.

The best part was that the host called himself “Premier Lux.” There was a plastic wrapper on the box spring of one of the beds. None of the bedsheets had been changed. You could see the outline where someone had slept in it. I refused to touch any of the linens because this screamed “bedbugs” to me (and I’m far from bug phobic). There was a large cardboard box of dirty laundry in the laundry room.

To recap: it was filthy, I couldn’t lock the front door and one of the bedrooms was mysteriously inaccessible because it was locked from the inside. I kept wondering “who is in there?” The entire place looked like a crew of eight 20-year-old frat boys had just moved out a few days before after a four day bender.

I turned to Airbnb (I am a host in New Orleans, so I know their drill pretty well). To make it “better.” Airbnb put me on hold to get a “Support Ambassador” on the line. So it started. Their horrible Airbnb song — you know the one, in which the waify girl singer that they always play on repeat to make people hang up, saying “Followww me”? Follow her right to the depths of hell.

The support person claimed he had to come back every two minutes to ask me again “may I put you back on hold” and the song started over again from the beginning. You heard that right. He claimed he had to get “permission” to put me on hold again. I’m 57 years old. I’ve never encountered that particular piece of customer service nonsense.

If I had any hair left, I would’ve pulled it out. It took 45 minutes for a “support ambassador” to come on the line. So I listened to the first two minutes of that “song” (it’s really a musical abortion) 22 times. Ultimately Airbnb made it right and refunded all of my money (and added a $200 coupon for next time), but not before adding heavily to my post-hurricane stress and aggravating me beyond measure. When they cancelled the reservation (and refunded my money) it was as if the host had cancelled, so I can’t leave a review. The listing is still there for the next sucker.

Needless to say, the host never responded to my phone calls, Airbnb messages or text messages to his phone. He’s a scuzzball who should be banned from Airbnb, but likely will not. I’m only posting one photo because it was the most bizarre. The huge box of dirty laundry waiting to be washed. That kind of summed the whole place up in a nutshell.

‘Last-Minute’ Reservation Cancelled and Future Reservations Blocked

I tried to make a reservation nine days ahead of time. I got a message from Airbnb saying it was cancelled citing “last minute booking of large houses” and also restricted my account from making any reservations. I don’t know what system assumes nine days as last minute. I usually book the same day.

I believe it’s part of the new program at Airbnb to prevent parties. This is broken since I never party. I had a false bad review about my leaving a place dirty recently that Airbnb might have assumed to be a party, but I never party. The last host’s place was dirty when I checked in. My most recent review from a host of a big house is extremely positive, and so are all other reviews.

Airbnb is a way of life for me. I work remotely and book at the last minute. It is who I am. I have a history of reservations and history of great reviews. How does Airbnb just restrict such an account?

I would like this to be resolved and call on more attention how Airbnb is taking advantage of its monopoly. If there was another service with as many listings as Airbnb, Airbnb would be out of business simply because of terrible policies and customer service.

MIA Host, Double Booked Room, and Guest Climbs Through Window

After hours of the host being unresponsive, another resident of the unit let me in the apartment, then broke into the room through the window AC to let me in (this guest does work for the host). The room was double booked. When the other guest arrived he was belligerent and said he’d call the cops on the host (and presumably also me). All the host ever said was “can I call you back later?” via text message.

I had to extricate myself from the situation and get a very expensive hotel room at the last minute. Airbnb’s phone support agent did not help me with this but simply gave me a $128 coupon, which was borderline offensive; the refund itself might take three weeks to arrive. This host also has a long history of plain awful and unsafe behavior and they still allow them on their platform.

I’ve used Airbnb for many years. This year alone I’ve spent $12,000 on the platform, but I’ve had enough. I will stop using Airbnb because of this incident (other than during my confirmed, upcoming reservations which I can no longer cancel, unfortunately).

Exposed Jagged Glass, Bloodstained Sheets, Delusional Host

It took weeks to resolve our bad stay with Airbnb and, since it’s not actually resolved in my eyes, I have a tale for the sore-eyed.

My husband and I reserved a stay in a Catskills Airbnb with a hot tub, described as “clean” and “well-kept.” Suffice it to say it was neither: mildewed pillowcases, pillows yellow with the drool of years past, and I found lots of similarly stained sheets in the closet when I tried to change out the dirties (none were clean but all backup bedding had stains, and a lot of blood). The duvet cover had never been washed. My mistake was thinking that the host’s cranky answers to any negative reviews might have had some merit, and there were 180 reviews before my scathing one. Another mistake: not reviewing all of them.

Airbnb immediately refunded the cleaning fee after I send photos of the gross situation. Getting any further with support after that first level is like pulling teeth. I requested a refund of the service fee as well because in my humble opinion the listing should not be active. I researched their hygiene and cleanliness standards; feel free to send your photos in if you have a dirty experience like we did.

We did stay for the three days because the Catskills rental market is hot this year, and not a lot of rentals were available. We also have a dog — how many other rentals were likely to allow pets? Was Airbnb really going to pay for a stay at a swell, canine-accepting place like the Emerson Spa? I didn’t want anyone to crash right into our three-day stay, which we do annually after dropping the kids off at camp. What was the owner going to do, even if I did spend half the time on the phone with Airbnb support, send his crappy cleaning person in to do another bad job, and FedEx us new pillows?

We were worn out from waiting for a response from Airbnb about the host’s responsibility to provide a safe place. I accepted their inadequate offer of a $100 coupon instead of refunding the service fee. At this point it really wasn’t about the money; we didn’t want someone’s innocent six-year old gashing their chubby little finger on the exposed glass as host advertised as “fine for children six and over.”

At one point I had to rethink what other people consider “clean” and “hygienic,” but that morphed into wondering why anyone would think we’d want to shell out $300 a night to sleep on bloodstained sheets? I got my answer when I saw his “review” of us which wasn’t even posted as a review. The host simply responded to my honest review. He sounded positively unhinged.

Airbnb Guest: The Closet is Not a Bathroom

I’m going to share with you our very worst Airbnb experience. We have a suite in our house. It was Valentine’s Day and this couple rented our place.

They showed up and everything was fine. The next morning they messaged, “Can we have a late checkout?” and we said, “Yea, sure. You can check out at 12:00 PM.” because our checkout is normally 11:00 AM and we had more guests coming.

We do all the cleaning ourselves and so we had to get it ready for the next guests. Luckily I was gone to lunch with my sister-in-law and so my husband went in at 12:00 PM.

I received this message from him: “I don’t know what went on!” He sent me a picture of poop on the floor in our Airbnb in the closet. How bizarre — this has never happened.

I was like, “Ok, I can come home… I’ll try and come home.” We have three kids. It’s hard to clean when you have three kids and we were trying to get it ready for the next guests.

I got home and the story got worse. My husband started cleaning more and he found that our guests had pooped in our hamper in the closet. There was a lot of blood and we ended up having to throw away bedding, sheets, our hamper, pillows and towels. It was disgusting and we were shocked.

We messaged our guests. We had taken pictures of everything and she acted shocked too.

She said, “I had no idea that happened. I am so sorry.”

We still said, “We need to charge you.”

We got it all cleaned up, but definitely, hands-down, worst Airbnb experience we had. I don’t think it can get much worse than that. Our guess is that they were super drunk or or using drugs or something and thought, in the middle of the night, that our closet that’s in the bedroom was the bathroom and the hamper was the toilet.

Airbnb Host Refuses to Post Exterior Photos

Must just be me but we get into the strangest situations. We are planning to visit grandchildren in California this September. We had been looking for an Airbnb place to stay. The one in which we usually stay was booked long term until January 2022. We thought we found one; it was a mini farm with small animals, and thought it would be fun for the kids. With the pictures online, the inside looked clean and nice and the reviews were good.

Since we spend so much time outdoors, we wondered why there were no outside photos. Most places show the deck, porch, yard, etc. We emailed her and asked if we could see the outside.

She replied:

We appreciate your interest in the [house]. Airbnb does not allow pictures to be sent before booking. I assume to prevent people from booking outside of Airbnb? Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions that will help you determine if you would like to book a stay with us.

We could understand that, so we replied:

How kind of you for responding so quickly. We were thinking maybe you had photos of the outside that you could post on your listing. Have a great day.

She replied:

The [house] is a guest house on our property, so the outside area guests have access to is limited to the immediate surrounding area. We don’t have pictures of the outside for our own privacy, and security of our own home. If you could please explain why such interest in the outside and deck? We may be better able to answer your question or advise if we have what you’re looking for or not. Stay well!

We decided at $200 a day this was not the place for us when she would not even let us see the outside until we got there. Meanwhile we noticed they have their photos on the listing and even their child’s photo — so much for their privacy.

blank

Host of Dog Beach Penthouse Lies, Making Guests Leave Early

blankblankblankblankblankblankblankblankblankblank

What can I say? We were told this was a special place: lots of great reviews; $300 a night; accepted small dogs. We arrived and used a Schlage code on a half installed security door. Mind you the lock was not even installed properly. The main doors were open as were all the sliding doors. The main door after entering the security door did not have a lock on it at all so we couldn’t feel safe.

We put one of the ripped chairs under the entry door that didn’t have a lock to help keep us safe when trying to sleep. We could see the door lock installed on the security gate wasn’t installed and there was a gap. You can stick your fingers in the gap and move the lock to open it. It wasn’t installed on an entry wood door. Unsafe and scary, though that’s another issue.

The bed sunk in the middle. All but one of the sliding doors wouldn’t lock. Once inside, the walls were filthy, along with the floors, furniture, bathrooms, vents and stove. There were missing blinds so we couldn’t close them. Faceplates on electrical outlets were missing. They had the cheapest paper towels and toilet paper and bath towels that looked like something I would use on my dog when giving them a bath.

This place was a dump. Probably worse than a Motel 6 at $300 a night. We left the next morning and vacated. We filed a complaint with Airbnb for a full refund for being an unsecured property with no locks to keep safe along with a dirty environment. I’m still waiting. Airbnb doesn’t allow uploads for videos so take a lot of pictures of any issues you might have. Hosts are scamming people. Stick to name brand hotels. Our first and last stay at Airbnb.

blank

Airbnb Implied We Should Risk our Lives and Health for Booking

blankblank

My family is living in Vancouver, Canada, and we had an Airbnb booking from Aug. 18 through 22 in Penticton for our vacation. I had to cancel it two days before our booking because of wild fires and consequent air quality issue.

Wild fires were literally burning every route from Vancouver to Penticton. If we were going on our vacation, we literally had to drive through the road on which wild fires are burning. Consequent air quality was also an issue. Wild fires were not burning in direct vicinity of Penticton, but multiple wild fires were burning within a one-hour drive of the area. The air quality in Penticton was extremely unhealthy.

Airbnb implemented a new extenuating circumstances policy in January that states: “When this Policy allows for cancellation, it controls and takes precedence over the reservation’s cancellation policy.” I believe my case was definitely an extenuating circumstance as no one would go on a vacation in such circumstance risking the health of my children as well as that of myself and my wife.

I contacted Airbnb’s Online Support, but they rejected my refund request. They said my case was not an extenuating circumstance. They didn’t consider my case as an extenuating circumstance, and that automatically means that they think I should have risked my family’s life and health to honor my Airbnb booking. They never said it directly, but what else could it mean?

I asked them: Would you go on a vacation in that kind of situation? I asked multiple times, but they never answered this question.

I almost gave up on getting the refund, but I thought that I at least deserved an answer. I asked them to explain why my case was not an extenuating circumstance and explain why the extenuating circumstances policy can not be applied to my case. They never answered these questions, and they closed down my session. Now they are completely ignoring me.