Airbnb Booking Leads to Trailer Park Nightmare

I booked an Airbnb in Canada for myself, my girlfriend, and her three kids for a trip around Alberta for a couple of weeks during the summer 2021. It was in a mobile home park, but Airbnb did not tell us it’s a mobile home park on the website. It was one of the very few Airbnbs in the area. I believe there were only two or three that could accommodate five people.

When I was on Airbnb’s website, there were about nine or ten pictures of the unit and I’m believe about five of those pictures were of the kitchen: pretty much five of the exact same pictures. It looked okay in the pictures; there was nothing to see or identify that there was anything wrong with the house, which in the end was not a house. It was a rundown 60-year-old looking piece of crap trailer in a trailer park on the outskirts. There was a lock box that had the key for the trailer in it that was attached to an old wooden fence. Anyone could have come along, broken the fence, and taken the key.

As you enter the trailer you have to climb up these rickety stairs on to this wooden deck that looked like you would almost fall through. The door to the trailer was an old wooden door where the lock on the door barely locked. There was an approximately two-inch gap on the bottom of the door; mice or anything could have come in with no problem. Everything in the trailer was like a step back in time.

They listed it as a two bedroom: there was one full bedroom in the back of the trailer and the other bedroom was part of the kitchen where there was a curtain and a old rickety wooden bookcase that had been laid on its side to kind of make it look like it was a separate bedroom from the kitchen when it really wasn’t. There were no towels in the bathroom. Barely any hot water. The floor was disgusting; there are parts of it that I swear to god I thought I was going to fall through a number of times. Everything in the kitchen was plastic like it was made for a 50-year-old daycare.

The trailer park was full of noisy neighbors partying and yelling for half the night. It was a very disgusting experience I would never ever stay in the area again. When I called Airbnb after it was over to tell him about it then complain I got zero customer service from them: no returning my phone calls, no answering my emails, nothing. I love using Airbnb. I have used it a number of times and this was the first time I had ever experienced a problem residence. I just wish that Airbnb had much better customer service than they do.

No Help, No Refund in an Airbnb Emergency

My son and girlfriend rented a room in Ft. Lauderdale. The room was not as presented, but they tried to deal with it. They were supposed to have a double bedroom and no used condoms on the floor.

While there, my son was robbed, threatened to be shot, and left the property. They tried to reach Airbnb since arriving at this unit over the room situation and could not get through to a person. Police were called to the hotel after the incident. The hotel clerk told my son and his girlfriend they needed to leave before something happened. Again, there was no help from Airbnb.

They left their unit at 1:00 AM and had nowhere to go. Their money was tied up in this unit and they would not give their money back but promised to get it to them. We got a frantic phone call at 2:00 AM that our kids were on the streets. Still nothing from Airbnb. We got on the phone and still nothing. I bet if it was their kids something would have been done.

I posted this and suddenly I got a call. The kids and I had tried to get in touch with them for weeks after this happened and got a total run around. They actually put me through the whole process three more times: telling the same story, promises to do something, promises to call back. But, they did send me an email asking me to state it all over again, and then after I did, they told me “because of my lack of response they are ending the dispute.”

Are you freakin kidding me? Every time you call they mention how the calls are being recorded. Check your recordings and email history. I have called at least 15 times. The problem is, they know that this happened to young adults juggling jobs and school and they could wear them down. I won’t be worn down.

How can a company allow this? They know it happened — there are police reports. They removed this stay from their listings and they think telling me that it has been handled internally helps those kids and future kids in any way? They deserve their money back at a place they couldn’t even stay.

Poorly Cleaned Crack Den Passes for an Airbnb Listing?

Without going into the minutiae, the property was not as advertised (graphically or descriptively) on the web page through deceptive and misleading photography and unbelievably optimistic interpretation of the property condition, style and “vibe”. It was so incredibly dirty that it would not be addressed by an additional visit by a cleaner in the duration of the stay and very distressed throughout with burns on curtains, water marks on soft furnishings, dozens of scuff marks on floors and walls, chipped enamel, raised floor tiles, dirty, thread bare “linen”.

It was also potentially unsafe. The appearance and demeanor of the host’s assistant was not inviting at all: scruffy denim, no teeth, fell out of a scruffy white van on arrival and could barely walk straight or string a sentence together gave us the distinct feeling that he was a drug addict.

Based on this, we immediately complained to Airbnb, hastily took photos (because of safety issues) and left the property as advised by Airbnb. The host reached out to us within the hour and offered a further cleaning of the property. We declined as we had no intention of returning to the property as this was not the main issue. The host subsequently offered us another apartment in the same building. We declined this offer as we felt that any customer good faith had be irrevocably destroyed. In the meantime we started a full refund request from Airbnb.

Over the next several days we struggled greatly to deal with the process with many response delays, misinformation and lies from the various Airbnb Ambassadors. Eventually Airbnb summarily rejected our complaint but offered us a $500 good will gesture refund. We rejected this outright with the intention of reclaiming all our money.

blank

Reasons to Stop Using Airbnb in the Future

blank

I booked a trip to Montreal for February of next year to get out of my city and celebrate my graduation. The Airbnb I selected did have a strict cancellation policy which wasn’t an issue at the time because I had no intentions of cancelling. However, very shortly after booking the COVID situation in Montreal became dire with the whole city declaring a state of emergency. This week, Quebec reported nearly 10,000 cases. Montreal is on a complete shut down and will likely have similar strict measures in place come February. I decided it was best to cancel my trip early instead of waiting and having to do so last minute.

I contacted the host, whose profile says “response time one hour”. He did not reply to any of my messages. I contacted Airbnb customer service, which was of no help. They took a patronizing, condescending tone with me and constantly reiterated the “policies” by which their hands were tied. Airbnb does not protect customers in the case of COVID-related travel bans, closures, etc. Thus, even if I wanted for an official travel ban to be enacted, I still would not get my money back. My best option was to request a refund from the host. I did this and the host declined, citing this ‘policy’. Airbnb will not issue any credit to my account either. I have effectively lost my deposit.

Firstly, I do not think it is ethical or socially responsible for Airbnb to allow such policies in a pandemic. Obviously we’re all tired of this and want to get out and travel. However, there should be measures in place to protect customers in the event of unforeseen circumstances. I am aware the host has a strict cancellation policy, but this is an exceptional circumstance and I was at least providing him enough notice to find another guest.

I have accepted that I have two options: I can go through with my trip (or try to) or cancel now. I did not anticipate things would get so bad so fast and I do not want to risk traveling in February when COVID is likely to still be ravaging Montreal. I have decided to wait until the very last day to cancel my reservation, in hopes that it lessens the chance the host can find a new guest. I am also deleting my Airbnb account immediately after and will be boycotting the service going forward. When I think about it, I’m not saving that much money compared to a hotel. Maybe hotels will cost more, but I also won’t have to pay a cleaning fee and be responsible for cleaning the place lest I get tacked with additional fees and a bad review.

People like this host make the world a worse place to live in. Airbnb’s treatment of their customers is beyond poor. I refuse to give any more of my money to this platform. I always knew it was unethical, but I compartmentalized what I knew because part of me did like what Airbnb had to offer. The reality is, Airbnb is contributing to rising rental prices and housing scarcity.

If you’re on the fence about Airbnb or questioning whether you should boycott it, let this be a sign. At the end of the day, once they have your money, they couldn’t care less about you as a person. Customer service is not a priority once you’ve already paid them because absolutely nothing is forcing them to deliver. Put it this way: if a hotel has your money and for some reason you can’t travel due to unforeseen circumstances, they aren’t going to waive some draconian policy in your face and talk to you like you’re stupid. They will refund you or compensate you in some other way. A hotel isn’t going to charge you more money for not cleaning your room or subject you to a rating system that serves to encourage guests to ignore obvious problems with the unit and accept subpar service.

 

Illegal Airbnb Cost Me More Than $1000

Lesson learned: do not book an airbnb with a host who tells you to not tell anyone in their community that you are an Airbnb guest. I needed a pet-friendly Airbnb for two weeks because my house tested positive for black mold. I found a private room in an apartment. One of the house rules was not to mention that I was an Airbnb guest to anyone, but I didn’t really think anything of it at first.

I told the guard at the gate that I was an Airbnb guest, and he let me in. Apparently he was new and he did not know that the complex did not allow Airbnb guests. The host repeatedly told me to not tell anyone in the community, including maintenance or security that I was an Airbnb guest. I had already done that, and became nervous after the first night. I realized that what she was doing was illegal and that I could be kicked out.

She also didn’t like it when I asked her for her last name or to see her driver’s license, even though she asked for mine. She used a fake name on Airbnb. She was super shady and I could not trust her, so I packed up my things and left. I’m out over $1,000 and am staying in an expensive hotel. Airbnb has been dragging their heels and I can’t even get a straight answer on if I’m getting a refund.

I will take her to small claims court if she doesn’t give me my money back, or if Airbnb does not resolve this. It’s looking like the latter because they have taken over four days to resolve this and have not reached out to me.

Shady Superhost Makes Airbnb Stay a Nightmare

I booked a comfortable little apartment in Quebec for my family vacation this summer and it turned out to have a crazy owner and a crazy drunk neighbor with a dog who bit my child and who killed a hen in front of our eyes. The place was dirty, with an inch of dust and hairs on the floors, and strange stains on the upholstery of the chairs. It smelled like a medieval pub. The dishwasher was rusty with broken parts, the rust stayed on the presumably washed dishes afterwards.

The place was so small that once you got in the room there was no air; you had to keep the window open all the time and there was no mosquito netting in either bedroom. The host was crazy; he insisted on entering the premises while we were out, lying that the previous tenant forgot a coffee maker. One day he thought there was nobody home and tried to get in the house, but it was locked and as I shouted he ran off.

He found occasion to come every day. Once he walked with a chainsaw back and forth in the backyard, which was creepy enough for me. The neighbor is a crazy local drunk that drank wine and then got in her car with a friend of hers. There was a child with them as well. She assured me that her dog was very well behaved and I let my children play with him. At one point the dog started chewing my son’s shoes and at the end he attacked my son, knocked him to the ground, and bit him. The dog owner was drunk and didn’t even care enough to do something. Several days later the same dog killed one of the other neighbor’s hens in front of our eyes.

On top of everything, the host left an awful review on my Airbnb profile claiming that I broke his fan and the garden parasol, which was a complete lie. I was mislead by all the positive reviews on his profile and I wondered how someone can give five stars for a broken rusty dishwasher, dirty floors, non-working TV, dirty old magazines and broken kitchen table. The only explanation for me is that these are his friends.

On top of it, there were three spoons in the kitchen, three bowls and three tea cups for a family of four. I claimed a certain amount of the paid sum from Airbnb but they did nothing. The host also refused of course. The price was equal to a hotel stay and I regret not making a reservation in the nearby hotels. There were hotels much more close to the national park and way more beautiful and clean. The property is on a provincial road with a 90 km speed limit. The closest shop was 2 km away and there was nothing in it.

Criminal Conviction Ten Years Ago and Still Being Punished

I’m going to try and make this short and detailed. Over 10 years ago I was convicted of a felony. I was sentenced and completed the sentence. Since then, I have become a productive member of society, and have started a family. My life today is a complete 180 from where it was 10 years ago.

I recently went on a business trip. My company usually uses Airbnb but we have to use our own account to get reimbursed. This is my first time traveling for this company so I have never used Airbnb before. I went on the app, searched for the perfect spot for three nights and then signed up and completed the reservation. After that I got an email asking for my photo ID, which I sent rather quickly. It seemed like everything was fine.

A day before I was scheduled to leave town and arrive at the host’s place, I got an email stating my account had been permanently deactivated and my reservation cancelled and refunded. Now I was in a bit of a predicament. Sure, my company knows about my criminal history but I still had to contact a supervisor and get approval to use a different OTA to book a hotel. I don’t know who within the company knows about my criminal history, but I know that the supervisor I had to contact did not. The revelation did not sit well with him, but that’s another story.

The embarrassment of having to tell someone (a coworker) I couldn’t use Airbnb was devastating. I find it ridiculous that they can do this. I completely understand that the “hosts” are sometimes renting out their own homes and there is a certain risk that comes with this. But if Airbnb actually did research when a questionable background check presented itself, they would see that they are punishing some people beyond what they should be.

Illegal Airbnb Took Money That I Worked My Whole Life For

My host was illegally listing a property. I moved across the country to take a prestigious research job and to study at a prestigious school, but when the town apartment inspector showed up, she told me it was illegal. Airbnb promised to refund me my hotel room, gas and toll money back to my former community, but did not. I then went into another Airbnb because I was basically without a home, and that guy was a pervert and I had to flee. I got a third of my promised hotel reimbursements, and none of my gas and toll money reimbursed.

I maxed out credit cards to pay for this (some with high APRs) trusting I would get my money back from Airbnb as promised, but no. I was out of work and home for a month, and Airbnb has not done what they have promised. No more prestigious job or school, and I am in debt for $4,000 because of this. I finally found a home, but Airbnb has still not given some of my money back. I cannot afford hangers for my clothes, let alone winter boots or food now. My life is ruined, and both the illegal listing and the pervert are still on the platform.

Scammed in Lima: Abandoned by Airbnb

I booked a one-month reservation in Lima, Peru, and paid over $1,250 for a listing that purported to be a luxury apartment in an upscale neighborhood. Upon my arrival, it was a lower income neighborhood and clearly not the type of place you would feel comfortable walking around at night.

Upon my arrival to the apartment I thought I had the wrong apartment number as I overheard several people inside. I also observed a large bag of trash outside of the front door. I rang the doorbell and was met by two women with the dress profiles of streetwalkers, and some unknown male, all who were inside of the apartment drinking beer. I could immediately smell marijuana in the air. I also noticed a stained carpet and sofa, in addition to a stove with the remnants of grease along with a nearby unconsumed line of cocaine.

I immediately walked back toward the door and made my exit. I had a beer can thrown at me as I made my way to the elevator and down the long shoddy corridor toward the exit. While I waited for an Uber, the three individuals made a hasty effort to leave the property. One unknown women began firing off an assortment of profanity laced insults, in addition to telling me I should “go and die.”

I have now been stranded in a hotel for the past three nights with no material support or compensation from Airbnb. My account has been deactivated. Airbnb is a scam company that should be avoided at all costs. Brain Chesky and his rich friends are nothing more than white collared corporate scumbags and criminals hiding behind their corporate lawyers, or SFLAW located in San Francisco, while they enrich themselves at the expense of the victims that get defrauded every year by using this sham and disgustingly corrupt and incompetent short-term rental service. Beware of Airbnb.