Brought Bed Bugs Home from Airbnb Stay

blank

We had a wonderful four days in North Wales this summer. I wouldn’t want to complain only if we had been smart enough to spot what was happening during our stay and not after.

I noticed some weird itchy bites on my body after the first night of our stay. Having no experience from the past with bed bugs, I had no idea it could be that. I was sure they were the little flies that you see near mountains. I noticed a couple more bites as days passed but still had no idea. It took us about a couple weeks after our return to realise we have brought home bed bugs. The itchy bites continued to appear and once we realised what an actual nightmare it had been, we found signs on our sheets and even one tiny bed bug on our sofa bed.

Unfortunately, we were unlucky and stupid enough to not spot this during our stay, and we had no evidence or proof that the Airbnb home was infested. We have coped with this fact, but I knew I must warn the host and make sure they take immediate action, so no other guests experience this.

I messaged the host nicely (and privately), without mentioning a refund or blaming them for having us in her nasty infested house. No, I was nice and kind. I explained what happened and suggested that she inspects her house and stop letting people in until it had been professionally cleaned.

The host’s reaction was a complete shock to me. She denied that what I was saying was even possible, accused me of lying, and ultimately threatened to have me removed from the platform. She said that she had inspected the house by herself and an independent third party company and it had been confirmed that her house was bug free. Then she said she would keep an eye on her furniture and if the infestation appeared it would have been me who brought the bugs into her house.

I would never have imagined I’d find myself in such a nasty situation. We have thrown away a few months old sofa, duvets, blankets, pillows, etc, and we can’t be sure our home is bug free as apparently they are a nightmare to get rid of. After all that, the host didn’t even think to show some respect and assure us that the action would be taken. We didn’t even try to get some money back, as we had no proof, but I needed to make sure she would take action. She didn’t; she insulted us instead.

Airbnb is involved but it is day four now without any single response from them. I guess it’s a lovely tool to use when you love travel, but only if you don’t need their support. My advice to Airbnb users: please be cautious. Because you are not aware of certain things doesn’t mean you are safe from their effects. Check sofas, beds and mattresses for any signs of bed bugs before you even take your shoes off at a hotel or Airbnb home.

Basically, Airbnb Thinks I’m a Liar for my Claims

I reserved an RV that was shown to be self-contained for a two-week stay while I was between homes. When I arrived to check in, I found the following: the couch pictured in the posting had been removed; the bathroom pictured in the posting had no water (no sink or shower), and the toilet contained dry brown material that emitted a foul odor; the kitchen faucet had no running water; the kitchen stove was not supplied with propane and did not function.

The property manager stated she was aware there was no working shower or toilet, and there is no propane connection for the stove. She went to the main house briefly to ask about the water in general, and confirmed there is no running water. The host was not present, but I contacted her immediately to inform her that none of the advertised amenities were working, and I requested a full refund. She responded “the amenities work”, said I would not receive a refund, and “god bless”.

I contacted Airbnb, and spent two weeks back and forth with “ambassadors”, and at the end of it all was told I didn’t request the refund quickly enough, and since I had no video evidence to prove the amenities don’t work, they will not issue a refund. Then said “have a lovely day”. I have repeatedly asked to have my case sent to a supervisor, and they just move it on to the next “ambassador”. I’m out over $400.

Racist, Narcissistic Airbnb Host Nightmare

I have a horrible host story. The guy was just creepy. He was a micromanager who wanted everything done his way (e.g. call, don’t text; stop here, not there; give me your full attention right now; respond to me right now) and just had a weird vibe. It wasn’t horrible until he entered the property when we weren’t there to get a vacuum cleaner, then denied that he was there. He said the day before that he might come and get it for another guest at another site, so who else would want it?

Not cool. We don’t know what he was doing or what he was looking at while we were gone. We decided to leave early, and this is where the fun begins. He wrote me a nice review. My review wasn’t mean, but it was factual. He got his feelings hurt and retaliated with another multi-message rant about how I was weak and everything was my fault. He referred to a previous guest staying in which he said “I will know not to have any more non-native English speakers as guests.” I am brown skinned. He is not. Then told me he would be praying for me.

I reported this to Airbnb and guess what they did? First of all, they did nothing about his entering into the property without our knowledge or consent. That’s not even mentioned. Then they deleted my review. This guy gets to continue his abusive, racists ways and is listed as a Superhost.

Shame on you Airbnb. They say they “care” about racism. No, they don’t. This guy’s been openly bigoted since 2014 and he’s still hosting.

Airbnb Platform Allows Hosts to Threaten and Extort Guests

We rented an Airbnb apartment to stay in downtown Toronto from April 19 to May 18. When we arrived, the place was extremely dirty. All kitchen items were in poor conditions. We couldn’t even cook or make coffee. There was a lot of hair and food stains all over the living room rug and carpets, a couch full of some animal hair, among many other issues.

I have a one-year old child and such a place would be less than appropriate for a toddler to be crawling all around. Not to mention Toronto was in the midst of a lockdown, and with all COVID safety protocols in place, those were the hygiene conditions of that Airbnb Plus property. After a lot of stressful back and forth communication with Airbnb and the host, they sent someone to clean and replaced a few kitchen items so we could at least cook. It was better, but far from ideal. We had to stay there for the rest of the contract because we wouldn’t get a refund and it would be hard to find something else at that point, so we made it work.

We left the Airbnb apartment two nights before the contract was up. The apartment was incomparably cleaner and in a more organized conditions that what we found when we arrived (I cleaned everything up myself because I couldn’t have my baby staying in such a dirty place). We took some pictures just to be safe and left. We thought everything was okay.

After Airbnb sent me multiple emails requesting that I write a review about my stay, I decided to do so. I believe that was around 11:00 PM on May 31. I woke up in the morning and there was an email in my mailbox titled “action required: your host is requesting $2,635 CAD for damages.” All the damages listed there were untrue. It’s scary how just a few hours after I had written my review that host was able to come up with a whole document with pictures of the alleged damage and invoices from stores for all the furniture he supposedly had to replace.

I won’t go into details of each of his absurd claims, but I called Airbnb and explained that I was being retaliated because of a review. A week later, Airbnb sent me an email saying the host’s claims were not covered by Airbnb, that he hadn’t provided enough evidence and they would not be pursuing payment from us. The request was removed from my account. We thought we were done with this.

The host sent me a message through the Airbnb app trying to extort money from our family. He threatened to start legal action against me if didn’t pay him $2,635 through Airbnb in three days. The payment request wasn’t even there anymore because Airbnb had declined it. Again, I called Airbnb and said I was not feeling safe, that I wanted to block this host from communicating with me (which I still am not able to do because the Airbnb app is not allowing me). They sent me an email a few days later saying I did not need to worry anymore, that they had given the host a final warning.

I received a letter from the host’s lawyer in my new home demanding payment by Aug. 20 (we just had moved to this address a couple months ago and that guy found out where we live). Airbnb was again notified about that.

We are not feeling safe. This host is clearly a troubled unstable person going to great lenghts to retaliate because he didn’t like a review. This is all happening because Airbnb created a platform that allows people to easily harass each other like that. We made a contract with Airbnb, not with this criminal and now we are being persecuted for that. He won’t leave us alone. Why are we having to waste our resources and time to deal with this?

Other things to consider:

– This criminal host is an Airbnb “Superhost”.
– The Airbnb Plus property is located in a building that does not allow short-term rentals. We had to constantly lie to the concierge and every time we parked our car in the garage.
– I communicated with Airbnb every step of the way and we are still having to deal with that criminal host almost three months later.
– Once I wrote my review, I could read the review the host had written before. He called me “nice and polite” with no mention of any damages. Would you call someone that caused you an almost $3,000 worth of damage “nice and polite”?
– He replied to my review with more false accusations, saying I was going after monetary compensation and Airbnb did nothing about that. But I am not the one trying to extort $2,635 from a family, am I?

That is the hospitality Airbnb offers you. We are not feeling safe and I am posting this here because we don’t know what else to do.

Hidden Fees Bump up Airbnb Stay by $1,300

I just completed my first and last utilization of Airbnb. I took my son and grandson to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture airshow. We booked a beautiful home near the airport for the week at $550/night ($3,300 for 6 nights). The host was very good and communicated well.

When I returned I found my credit card had been charged $4,658. I attempted to download an invoice from their very difficult to navigate website and was unsuccessful. Only after sending a “chat” message, I obtained a customer service phone number, which I called. My first attempt I was disconnected after finally obtaining a representative and explaining my dilemma. I called back and again after a long wait and final explanation, I was disconnected again. The third attempt, again a long hold and menu negotiation, I got a customer rep.

I addressed the $1,300 additional charge and asked for an explanation. After several holds, the final explanation was a $501 Airbnb service fee, a $600 occupancy tax, and a cleaning fee of $250, which I’m told is kept by Airbnb and not even given to the host. None of this was disclosed at the booking. The difference from my original daily rate of $550 turned into $775/night. Armed with that information I probably would have made different plans. The customer service person was apologetic, but offered no explanation as to the Airbnb policy. I will never use their services again and I will tell anyone standing still long enough to do the same.

Three Days of Pure Harassment over a Simple Misunderstanding

We arrived at our Airbnb today after 3:00 PM to check in. I walked in the backyard and found a pair of shoes — I didn’t know they were expensive, tried them on, and bought them back into the house. My son and I went out to dinner and when we came back we’re accused by host of stealing them. She stated they were her daughters and expensive and now she can’t return them and called the cops on me. I was horrified; I took them into the house to protect them. I didn’t text the host because I didn’t think it was my job to find out who these shoes belonged to. I offered to pay for them but they started to say nasty things to me again with the police there so I said we should wait until tomorrow.

I’m here with my family and we have nowhere to go. Everything is booked and there are no available rooms. The host broke into the house to get these shoes without my permission. I even called my husband during this and he stated what if I found a frisbee or a bottle of wine? How am I supposed to know? I didn’t harm or use anything. Just took them into the house. I want to feel safe here and not be pressured to buy these shoes.

The next two days were pure harassment. She called the cops on us for the next two days to force us to buy the shoes. It was a complete waste of time for the police and for my family. The host continued to watch the cameras on the home to see when we would come back from an activity. As soon as we arrived back at the home the cops would arrive 15 minutes later. The host also yelled profanities from the street to the house in the sunroom when we were putting sunblock on. My son took video of that interaction and we sent it to Airbnb.

Since this story has been uploaded to the platform, the matter has been handled by Airbnb and I was given a full refund and the host has been banned. You are not allowed to break into someone else’s space unless it is an absolute emergency. I want to thank Airbnb for handling this matter in a timely, professional way, listening to the guest’s side, and not thinking of the money made from the host.

When the host found out she was going to be banned, and the police said I was not going to be charged, she started yelling at Airbnb and the police. If any items are left in a shared space contracted by an Airbnb guest it is not the responsibility of the guest to secure the items.

Followed Airbnb’s Rules and Got Shafted for it

I run a business where I frequently use Airbnb’s services for myself and crew from Washington to California on a bimonthly basis for the last five years spending tens of thousands of dollars with all (but one) perfect reviews from hosts. This last trip, while cleaning up, we did a load of dishes in the dishwasher; it leaked on tje floor, but went unnoticed.

I got a request from the host for $1,000 for damage done to the floor in front of the dishwasher (apparently the dishwasher leaked and warped a 2×2 section of flooring in front of it). I refused the request for payment and called Airbnb to explain the leaking dishwasher was not intentionally done by us. Airbnb said they would look into it.

Two weeks later, at 2:30 AM, I received a text from Airbnb that they determined I was at fault, and now the bill for repairs was $2,500, due immediately. Without waiting for a reply from me, within seconds, I received a text from Airbnb saying an attempt to withdraw the $2,500 from my checking account failed and threatened that any funds from any current reservation by me could be forfeited.

What right does Airbnb have to withdraw funds automatically, without my permission, to resolve a dispute? I immediately called Airbnb to find out why the request for funds went from $1,000 to $2,500 and why in the hell they attempted to withdraw funds from my account without my permission. I have been waiting two days for an answer with an additional five calls to Airbnb to get answers.

blank

Airbnb and Host won’t Accept Weather-Related Cancellation

blank

I had my flight cancelled twice due to hurricane conditions while travelling overseas. I contacted Airbnb and the host in Tokyo more than 24 hours before the check in time. I was told they would do everything to help me. I didn’t hear back from either for more than 46 hours despite constant attempts to contact. Even though their policy clearly states if notified 24 hours you will get a free refund due to travel disruptions caused by weather I was given the runaround and avoided by both staff at Airbnb and the host.

I have been waiting 15 hours now for an update. I have lost the funds from the entire five-day booking and both the host and Airbnb continue to avoid their responsibilities. I will be filing a complaint with Consumer Affairs Association.

Save the headache and just get a real hotel. This company has no honesty or integrity towards guests or hosts in my opinion. I was able to get in contact with Airbnb customer service and they told me the storm had not registered on their system so only the host can provide a refund. The host has been completely dishonest through the whole process.

I wonder why Airbnb allows this type of activity. I have attached a picture of the host so if anyone is traveling to Tokyo steer clear of this agency because the host on Airbnb is not actually the host or owner just a front for the agency.

blank

Airbnb Left My Family in the Desert without Air Conditioning

blankblankblankblank

My brother, sister and I booked a luxury property through Airbnb for Father’s Day Weekend. The booking was made in May 2021 for a stay from June 18-20, 2021. The day before the trip, I learned that the owners fired the property manager who accepted the booking and the new property management company had no record of my booking.

A few hours before the trip, I was contacted by a representative asking me for my personal information so she could make a reservation and grant me access to the property. Although reluctant, I acquiesced. When we arrived at the property, it was 115 degrees outside and 90 degrees inside the property. There were huge lizards over the entry door, spiders and bugs throughout the property due to a cracked foundation, inadequate seals around the windows and doors and no working wifi.

After a couple of hours of trying to restore the wifi, I called property management and my sister attempted to reach someone at Airbnb. I started receiving text messages from one of the representatives who walked me through everything we already tried. After five hours in the extreme heat, they sent out a technician. The technician was able to restore the wifi, but could not get the air conditioning to work.

Airbnb provided no valuable assistance by phone. We made the difficult decision to stay overnight, because it was pitch black in the desert. I came from Moreno Valley, my sister from Los Angeles and my brother from Big Bear. We spent most of the night outside, unable to sleep well due to the overwhelming heat, an influx of spiders and the smoke detector going off at 3:00 AM. We got up at 6:00 AM, called The Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage who generously accommodated all of us with an early check in and attempted to salvage our trip.

I have spent the last month attempting to get resolution. As of today, Airbnb and the property owners are withholding my money for the first night’s stay. They did not provide the accommodations that were advertised, but are charging me for what was the worst travel experience of my life. The property management company is refusing to take any responsibility even though they accepted the booking, were responsible for managing the property, provided failed technical support and left my family in an extremely unsafe situation.

Dynamic Pricing = Fleecing the Client?

I browsed Airbnb for a property in Suffolk able to accommodate 13 for a family holiday in August 2022 and found a great contender. The listing quoted £3,141 for a week but there was no mention of COVID terms and conditions. I messaged the host who replied promptly with a satisfactory answer – so far so good.

On booking however, I discovered that the price had risen overnight to £3,535. I messaged again. The host replied (equally promptly) that it was due to dynamic pricing (i.e. based on demand). However, it was a good location and I went ahead with the reservation for my chosen dates which were for Sunday to Sunday. I thought I was home and dry, but no. The host declined the reservation, saying he only did Friday to Friday in the holidays, though this condition did not appear in his listing.

Another message and another prompt reply later, he assured me that if I rearranged my dates to suit his booking schedule, it would make no difference to the price. I asked him to amend the booking to Friday to Friday. Surely this would seal the deal? If only.

The host responded with the dates amended to six days for approximately £3,600 with an option of an extra day to make it a full week for another £200 or so and called it a ‘special offer’. The seven-day quote had now risen from £3,141 to around £3,800 – all within 36 hours.

I declined to book and he withdrew the offer. The moral of the story is that when you hear the phrase Dynamic Pricing, please remember that it actually means that for every enquiry you make, the price increases. I am not naming the property – the host may be very nice (though I will never find out) – but I believe the Airbnb system is fleecing its customers and will not be tempted down this road again. Airbnb’s loss is Cottages.com’s gain.