Airbnb Had Bedbugs, Awful Host and Airbnb Wouldn’t Refund Me

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I scheduled a stay at Kalkoen Farm in Hahira, Georgia for my sister and I to spend the weekend together and catch up from June 11-13. The first night I went into the bedroom and when I turned the comforter back, I saw a lot of ants on a corner of the comforter. I couldn’t see what was attracting them and it was late so I went into the third bedroom (a bunk bed) deciding I’d deal with it the next day.

The next morning I decided I’d just wash the sheets (not everyone washes comforters so maybe there was something spilled that I couldn’t see). When I pulled off the sheets I saw a small something moving along the mattress pad. I called my sister in.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Yup. A bedbug.

We further investigated and saw a few dead ones. My sister got a zip lock bag and put the live bedbug in it. We then looked at her bed and the bunk bed. Her bed looked ok; the bunk bed had a few dead bugs on the mattress pad but we couldn’t tell if they were bed bugs (very small). My sis pulled a wash rag out from a bin under the sink and there were multiple live bed bugs on the towel.

At that point I booked a hotel and we got the hell out of there. I reached out to the host to tell him we found bed bugs in his place and that I got a hotel. His response was: “do you have photos?” Yes, I did and shared with him. I attempted to work it out with him — I only asked for a refund for the second night that I couldn’t stay in the place. We went back and forth and he said he would refund me. Then I stopped hearing from him.

I reached out to Airbnb’s resolution center, shared photos, and explained what happened. I had to wait for 72 hours for the host to respond. He didn’t. Airbnb reached out to me to tell me that they couldn’t refund me because I didn’t contact them immediately after the incident. They asked the host if he’d be willing to refund me and the host told them no.

At that point I wrote a review saying that the house had bedbugs and the host refused to refund me my second night. Airbnb took down my review. So, I am out the cost of the Airbnb and the hotel. I’ve since canceled my Airbnb account and will never use them again. Kalkoen Farm is still up on Airbnb and who knows who else has been exposed to bedbugs. I guess I should thank the ants because had it not been for them, I would have slept in that bed with bedbugs.

Do You Know Who You’re Sharing an Airbnb With?

I was traveling up the Pacific Coast Highway as part of a road trip that had been planned pre-pandemic. Finally, after a year of lockdowns, my summer trip began in Los Angeles with the bustling city and the colorful people setting the tone for a great journey ahead. After a packed day and a quick nightcap, I headed to the Airbnb reservation in a quiet, suburban neighborhood.

Allow me to set the scene: there are five rooms in the house designated for Airbnb reservations. There is only one shared bathroom. I was awoken to a loud conversation at six in the morning in the room directly to the left of ours. Mildly annoyed, I figured that most of everyone in the house was up and about. Gathering my toiletries and towel, I made my way to the dark bathroom just across the hall. The water was scathing hot against my skin as I washed the shampoo from my hair.

Suddenly, a knock on the door. A voice mumbling as the door handle was jostled. My stomach in my throat. The door opened.

“I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave now,” he said.

The support team at Airbnb would question whether he had been too senile to realize what he was doing. The man who was repeatedly asked to leave, who left and shortly returned before verbally refusing to leave and attempting to open the shower curtain as I screamed for help? No, he was not too senile to realize what was happening. The illusion of safety is easy to grasp onto.

After all, you trusted a stranger to open their home to you. Why would anything bad happen if Airbnb tells you otherwise? It becomes easy to blame yourself. Did I lock the bathroom door enough? Did I not speak loud enough the first time? Reality sinks in hard when you need to prepare yourself for the possibility of these questions being thrown back to you by a stranger’s voice on the other end of the phone, telling you that you can trust them. Trusting another stranger to handle your traumatic ordeal with a stranger? How strange.

We were told that we would receive a refund, but the lingering trauma replaying in my head would stick with me for the rest of the trip. Our final reservation in northern California held four rooms designated for Airbnb with one shared bathroom between all of them. The illusion of safety was shattered.

The affordability and convenience of Airbnb will always be a draw. There’s no doubting that. Yet, the veil that serves as your safety while inside a stranger’s home is razor thin. Airbnb would never have known that the lock on the bathroom door was never going to function properly, or that the man in the room next to mine was never going to acknowledge a locked door to begin with.

For women to truly feel safe while booking with Airbnb, the shared bathroom would need to disappear. There is no way to guarantee a guest’s safety otherwise. All guests on a reservation should have an Airbnb account and receive a background check, not just the guest who booked the reservation. There is no way to guarantee a guest’s safety otherwise. Small steps towards something much larger.

As we checked in to our hotel in San Francisco, a wave of relief washed over me. A dead bolt on the door and the bathroom being located within our room meant a solid wall of safety, a brief interlude between the next dark bathroom down the hall of a stranger’s home.

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Airbnb Host Warns of No Air Conditioning During Heat Wave

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I had planned on having a fun, relaxing weekend for my husband and booked a cute cabin in Flagstaff, AZ for Father’s Day weekend. It was listed that there was no AC but that it is cool in Flagstaff and not needed. Based on the reviews, I didn’t think twice honestly.

I booked his airfare (I was going to drive to Scottsdale to stay with family with our two boys) to meet us in Scottsdale and researched hikes in Sedona. Upon checking in to the cabin, it was cute and had everything we thought we’d need for the weekend. It was 86 degrees F upon check in, but noticed that the host had left the largest window opened and it was 101 degrees outside. I was a little annoyed but figured once we left the windows open all night and immediately closed them upon waking up that it would in fact stay cool as the host left his “stay cool tips.”

Well, the joke was on us. It finally got to 71 degrees F at 4:00 AM. We couldn’t sleep comfortably at all. The kids tossed and turned (ages 1.5 and 8) and it wasn’t until 4:00 AM that I was able to finally fall asleep for two hours. We got up around 6:00, closed the windows and headed for Sedona. After hiking for a few hours we headed back to the cabin. It was 86 degrees F in there, again.

I reached out to the host while nursing a migraine and dealing with three very very grumpy and miserable boys. He basically told me that it was a heat wave and outside his control. Which yes, I understand he could not control the weather, but I mean come over and check out how hot it is. Bring over fans or a portable AC (we paid him enough), get us a cheap hotel with AC, give us a partial refund… anything. He could not have cared less honestly.

I ended up having to take a cool bath with our baby to just calm him (and myself) down. My husband had started packing because we couldn’t imagine staying another night like we already had. I messaged the host again to let him know it was now 93 degrees F and there was no way we could stand another night there with it being that hot. I asked for a partial refund (we checked out with 24 hours of check in) and was told no, that his cancellation policy said no refunds.

I can’t imagine treating anyone like that but especially knowing how hot it truly was. To expect us and kids to stay in that is infuriating. It was mostly disappointing that someone could be that selfish and cruel. After reaching out to Airbnb, I was ghosted for two weeks. I decided to just call and was told “unfortunately the host said he won’t issue a refund.” I explained the situation to the gal and she was very nice but not very helpful. I was told she was going to reach out to the host and see if he’d change his mind basically. I told her it was unlikely and asked if I’m basically out all the money even though we checked out within 24 hours and she said I could escalate it to some Airbnb team and go from there.

Well, now I’m being offered a $100 coupon. All I want is my partial refund for the night we couldn’t stay. We didn’t even ask for a refund for the night from hell. I can’t believe the host and Airbnb just wouldn’t do the right thing.

Airbnb Stole My Refund — No Results for a Month

This matter is super easy, for a normal company. Of course for the spawn of hell, Airbnb, it is impossible.

I checked into an Airbnb. The apartment had construction in progress that was not disclosed. I immediately cancelled with the host in line with their cancellation policy. We stayed two nights and the host agreed to refund the rest. Airbnb confirmed on June 2 that the refund was paid.

It is now 32 days later and there has been no refund. Airbnb has taken the money from the host and this refund has now been misappropriated by Airbnb. Never in my life have I dealt with a more incompetent and horrifically inept service team than at Airbnb. They lie and lie without taking any action to resolve anything. I have escalated this over five times and very single time the consultant says they don’t know where the refund is, then transfers me to an “expert” who I assume is the same person with a different persona. Then after that they suddenly never respond again.

Airbnb has already agreed to the refund? So why not pay it? What is Airbnb hiding? All I want us to know where my refund is and then for Airbnb to make immediate payment. Airbnb is hands down the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of using. I will pay more to stay directly with hotels in future in order to receive actual service.

Airbnb Hosts in Spokane Were Scammers

The story I am about to tell is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I traveled 2500 miles and thought I found a perfect Airbnb. Upon meeting the host and his wife I felt good about the decision to pay upfront and thought the place was beautiful — this was only a first impression, though.

I went about my business and upon returning home I noticed my curtains were opened. I then quickly checked my belongings only to find a few prescription pills missing and then a credit card. I decided to hold off and sleep on it before making any accusations. Much to my surprise, the host told me he had to ask a young women to move out early because she was smoking. I said I have never smoked and hadn’t smelt anything although her room was directly across from mine.

Near the end of the week I was trying to reach out to the host and he was not responding. I received a response indicating I needed to look at my Airbnb message board and found a message telling me to “revert.” I didn’t know what that meant so I messaged back inquiring and was told I had violated the host’s smoking policy…. but I don’t smoke.

Then I received a message from the host that said if I initiated a cancellation then he wouldn’t wouldn’t have to and doing so would get me refunded for the days I didn’t use. I immediately called Airbnb and they said quite the contrary: it is the host that has to initiate cancellations and if their reasons are baseless and unproven you get your unused days refunded. So basically the host was baiting me with falsehoods so that I would initiate a cancellation and be liable for his losses.

There is a point when you know that a person is trying to run a scam. I eventually was able to get my refund but wanted to also let everybody planning to visit Spoken to stay away from hosts like this one.

Airbnb Refusing to Refund Service Fee Despite Cancellation Policy

My wife and I booked an Airbnb property that stated it had a full cancellation policy if we cancelled by August 15. I went to cancel on June 21 (two months ahead of the date where the policy changes) and the website refused to refund the $500 service fee. I contacted customer support and they stated if we cancelled that day and ahead of August 15 we would receive the $500 service fee.

Customer support has been a nightmare and then later said the cancellation policy states the service fee is non-refundable. My wife and I both checked the cancellation policy ahead of time and it was a full free cancellation. In addition, the previous customer service person agreed that the service fee is refundable. The property is no longer showing on the site so I’ve asked them to produce the actual cancellation policy tied to the listing and show it to me. They’ve failed to do this. This is horrible customer service. $500 may be a small amount for a company like Airbnb but this is a huge amount for a family. Extremely disappointed by their level of service here.

Locked out of the Building by the Neighbours

I stayed at an Airbnb last year in a small town close to Thessaloniki, in Greece. There weren’t many choices, so I chose one that had the most good ratings and was nearest to the beach. I’m a single woman in her 40s —not someone who’s having parties or blasting music all night. The host was a surgeon and was generally in Athens. He wouldn’t be there to meet me, but he left detailed instructions on where to get the key to the front door of the building, and then, once inside, to the apartment. So far so good.

The building was in good shape and the apartment was decent. The television and satellite weren’t hooked up, so there was no cable/streaming or wifi. The host promised to send someone to fix that the day I arrived. That didn’t happen, but as I was only there for three days and wanted to be out and about I wasn’t too bothered. I did notice what felt like hostility from the very few other residents I encountered that I just tried to ignore it.

The second day I was walking back from dinner in town and saw a couple outside the building next door and said hello. They spoke a bit of English and were curious about who I was and where I was staying. When I told them, they seemed really surprised and said “But he cannot do that. The building does not allow this and he had a lot of trouble last summer.”

I told them I was leaving the next day but that everything seemed okay. I had booked a car to the airport the final day at noon, so I went down to the beach around 10:00, with a plan to come back up at 11:30, have a quick shower, throw on my clothes and leave. 11:30 came and I walked back up to the property, wearing a bikini and sarong and found, to my absolute horror, a brand new lock on the door to the building… and my key no longer worked.

I rang all the doorbells; no one would answer. Several residents came onto their balconies and shouted down at me but no one would unlock the door. I rang the host and left several messages with his PA. I tried ringing Airbnb, who were worse than useless, telling me that the host was entitled to change his mind about letting me stay. They seemed to totally miss that it was the end of the stay and I just needed to leave.

The car showed up. I had to pay him EUR 100 cash to sit and wait (small town, no cabs, I’d booked him in advance and if he left, I’d miss my flight). Finally, around 1:15, the neighbours I’d spoken to came home and saw what was happening. I pleaded with them for help and they finally convinced a man in the building to let me in to get my things. That man stood there and literally watched every move I made. I couldn’t even change my clothes because he wouldn’t let me close a door. He gave me five minutes to get out.

I never got any joy with Airbnb. Their view was that I’d stayed as planned. The host finally rang me as I was en route to the airport and absolutely reamed me for ‘being mean to his PA and calling repeatedly.’ Never mind that he was prohibited from renting on Airbnb or that I’d been locked out in a bikini for almost two hours. Or that his neighbours were so angry they changed the locks on the building. When I left a review reflecting this, he left a response saying that I had parties every night, the neighbours called the police because we were using drugs… all made up of course. Never again.

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Horrible Host + Horrible Customer Service = Airbnb Nightmare

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My husband and I checked into our Venice beach studio late for a five-night stay. Exhausted, I fell into bed, but thought “This looks like a 3-star place, not 4.82.” The photos showed a bright and sunny room, but the reality was tired and sad: old bathroom and kitchen, tiny room sparsely furnished. We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside, so I didn’t think much of it.

The next morning my husband called “first shower,” but quickly retreated. The bathtub was covered in dried human feces. I immediately called the host and told her we were checking out and wanted a full refund. She agreed and we left immediately and checked into a much more expensive hotel. I tried to call Airbnb, but after a half an hour wait I was cut off.

That afternoon, as instructed by my host who said she could not issue a refund until I had cancelled the reservation, I cancelled online. The next day I filed a formal request for a refund with Airbnb’s resolution center. My host had 72 hours to respond and despite my repeated requests, she was radio silent. Finally, my host wrote that she had spoken to Airbnb and was under no obligation to give me a refund, but “out of the goodness of my heart” would refund less than half of our $1,226.

Then I entered Airbnb Hell. I filed a complaint with Airbnb, twice, and only got the response “Here are some articles that might help you.” I wrote to Brian Chesky and several people high up in Airbnb. No response. I DM’d Airbnb through Instagram and got an immediate response: “We are going to assign you a Support Ambassador, a specialist assigned to your case.” For eight days I awaited word from my Support Ambassador (and yes, I kept DMing Airbnb through Instagram and kept getting reassuring responses that they were very concerned about my case).

Eventually, a canned response came from my Support Ambassador which said, in essence, “Sorry. Not our problem.” In the meantime my host was again running the clock and although I did not post a damning review of her studio (or any review), she slammed me with one implying that I had caused the plumbing problem, that I had harassed her, didn’t wait for the problem to be resolved before leaving, and that she had issued us a full refund. Her last ageist jab was: “Cranky old lady. Don’t host her.”

This cranky old lady is also an experienced travel writer. Airbnb says the first thing when there’s a problem is to contact the host. Done. Then Airbnb. Done through the Resolution Center. Bad experiences can happen. Airbnb can be a crapshoot. But why won’t I use them again? Because they take no responsibility, despite their exorbitant fees, for their product. Brian Chesky was just listed as one of the wealthiest people in America. Let the attached photos speak for themselves.

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Nightmare at Mexico Airbnb Makes Us Leave Early

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A misrepresented listing led us to find serious issues with listing in Cholula Puebla, Mexico: three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, three-story house, two years old. It was not only dirty but there was no PPE or COVID-19 sanitizing protocols or cleaning supplies even though the host is a dentist. The host said they only cleaned once a month; there were no cleaning supplies at all, so guess we missed that window, right?

We walked all over the house. There was no gas or internet. We were told to wait for the gas truck and cable company to do installs, while the hosts left. The workmen took 7.5 hrs to finish (no PPE while going up and down the three floors) you can see the installation on the photos I will include. The gas people finally showed up and the pilot was lit, immediately there was a strong gas odor. The host said it was nothing and “just leave the boiler door open” except that the gas leak was very strong all over especially in the kitchen. I should say the boiler temperature never increased from the pilot level so the gas couldn’t get worse which meant no hot water.

We called the host several times about the gas leak, and they finally said a plumber would arrive right away. They never did. I opened the rear sliding door only to be met with all types of flies and mosquitoes. We had to keep it closed. I should add the home was very hot, with no window coverings. We were told the internet would work the following day but it only worked on the first floor due to the installation plus this was an old issue they were aware of.

We gave them benefit of the doubt but couldn’t sleep due to the gas situation and being bit by fleas or bedbugs as soon as we lay on top of the bed. Add to this house wasn’t as advertised — new, modern house completely outfitted — the living room furniture was badly stained, dirty and full of dust plus broken (they were same style as listing but different fabric), and the same for the dining room and kitchen.

The upper floors were stifling hot so they had small fans everywhere. Everything had serious calcium deposits which affected the use of any water, the microwave was dirty and greasy, and everything was old and mistreated. There wasn’t one pan for cooking, just old beat up pots but no spoons, spatulas, coffeemaker, blender, even where you drain dishes didn’t have base on it so couldn’t be used.

They say they’re set up for long-term stays? Definitely not. They also gave us limits for utility use: 500 MX for gas, 500 MX every two months, (roughly $25). You pay for anything over. The host made a abig deal of utility conservation yet with a gas leak, only multiple ceiling lights, no small table lamps available so you’d use much more electricity, plus a very hot house requiring fans everywhere gives the reason for their utility limits.

We left the very next day after seeing had odor was worse, there was no plumber and the internet was still not working properly. We notified Airbnb about getting a refund. It’s been over a week and even though they replied, there has been no resolution yet.