Held Hostage and Extorted on an Airbnb Boat Rental

We booked a sail boat on Airbnb with the promise of sailing. The listing was named “Sail the Eagon” and promised a trip to different beaches. We booked two nights.

Once we sailed into the ocean the host asked me for an extra €200. What for? He stopped the boat and explained the €400 I paid was for accommodation only (a four-star hotel in Kas was €70 a night) and sailing cost extra. That was why he kept asking if we would be staying more nights. From there he went on about how he is in trouble financially and needed the money. I didn’t like him being this strict when asking for either money or agreeing to book an extra night so he could pay some of his debts.

He made it pretty clear we would not be sailing back unless he got the €200 extra that he asked for as Airbnb wouldn’t pay him for a few weeks. I eventually gave him the €200 so we could be taken back (it was me, my wife, and two-year-old child he was blackmailing), where we left immediately despite the days booked and paid for and stayed in the €70 four-star hotel in town instead.

I contacted Airbnb the next day. First they said the host has agreed to refund the €200 of the €600 if I removed my bad review. I then said I would rather lose the money so others are warned. A week later they emailed me to say my review has been removed for violating guidelines I can’t get them to point out. Anything to protect their scamming money mules. Airbnb could not care less about the customers. It looks like the hosts are their priority as this is where they get their “fee” from.

Nightmare Experience in Portugal Involving Creepy Host

I’m going to preface this by saying I have stayed in countless Airbnbs in three different continents and have had nothing but positive experiences until I stayed at this place. My roommate and I faced one absurdity after another. Conveniently my review (and all other negative reviews) have been removed by Airbnb.

The apartment itself was borderline uninhabitable. To be frank, it seemed to be a storage locker that the host was trying to pass off as an apartment. There was no ventilation and just two windows the size of a laptop. Both had broken glass with a makeshift net covering them, allowing roaches to freely roam inside the apartment; the place was infested with them. In addition to the ventilation problem, the shower pressure was so low it only had a drizzle of water pressure that would not allow for anyone’s definition of a proper shower.

The highlight of this stay was our second night when a leak under the bathroom sink caused the entire apartment to flood. Instead of a proper response to the situation, like securing a pump, the host and his mother came over with brooms and mops, handed them to us, which resulted in us (the guests) sweeping water out of the apartment for several hours in the middle of the night. We then also helped sweep water out of his apartment next door.

Following this, the house was never properly cleaned which resulted in a sickening odor throughout the house for the remainder of our stay (my flatmate and I felt physically ill throughout our entire stay). She kept getting migraines following this and I was congested and sick. After this we had to ask for a change of sheets. What we were provided with was the consistency of sandpaper and was meant to last us for an entire month.

To add more discomfort to the situation, the host managed to find me and repeatedly liked me on different dating apps where I found some of his prompts about impregnating people truly disturbing. Knowing that this person not only shared a wall with us, but also had keys to our apartment made me incredibly uncomfortable and had us looking for new places while there. He would almost daily ask to enter the apartment for “supplies” or to “take care” of the multitude of issues the apartment had to deal with. We understand that hosts may need access from time to time but the frequency made it feel gratuitous and like we had no privacy.

Once I left my review, the host had the gall to ask for $2,000 of “cleaning” fees and had taken photos of our belongings without our consent. I repeatedly reported this to Airbnb. They even had the nerve to remove my review of the host but I am now stuck with a derogatory review on my account. To say that Airbnb only protects the interests of the hosts would be a gross understatement. I am so disgusted by their handling of this situation.

Airbnb Fails to Follow Its Own Guest Refund Policy

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I rented an Airbnb for a four-night, five-day stay at a cost of $1906.76. On the host’s Airbnb primary webpage, there was nothing listed about the host having dogs that frequently barked, and one described that ‘may’ bite. Nor was there anything to indicate that the host might not be present at the property during the stay (as we had assumed).

The dog disclosure was only evident when one clicked on ‘show more’ in the ‘Health & Safety’ information, at the bottom of the web page. This is deceptive, as there are four or five health and safety issues listed at the bottom of the first page, but apparently the other more significant issues don’t ‘fit’ on the page, hence the need to ‘show more.’ How creative of Airbnb to do that. At any rate, the hosts are not fully transparent about having pets, as nowhere in the listing’s primary description page does one read anything about pets being present, let alone pets that bark and ‘may bite.’

The evening before the rental was to begin, the host messaged us that they were delayed coming back from Portugal, and that their ‘house sitters’ were leaving the property earlier than scheduled, resulting in them having to place their two dogs in a garage (directly above the area that we would be occupying during the rental), and that we might hear some barking. The host suggested that if we were disturbed by this, to simply turn on a TV, a stereo or a white noise machine (they’ve tested them – indicating this has been a problem for prior guests). It is our opinion now, that the host did this as a CYA [cover your ass] tactic, specifically so she could deny a refund should a request be made due to this issue. And congratulations, it worked.

We messaged the host that this new situation was not okay, that we did not know they had dogs that barked and might bite, and that, given the new information which had the dogs staying in the garage and barking, we did not want to stay at the property. I messaged her that we wanted to cancel and receive a refund. The host ignored this request, and refused a refund. We were scheduled to fly to Colorado Springs very early the next morning, and since it was already 10:00 PM, we made arrangements for another booking with Airbnb.

We had to get up at 5:30 AM to go to the airport the next morning, and did not want to continue a back-and-forth message session with the host, as the host also indicated that they would be flying international back to the USA, and could easily be out of communication with anyone. The host messaged us at 3:00 AM that morning (which we did not see until the next day) indicating that she would be able to get someone else to take care of the dogs. For us, this was too little, too late. This was her problem, but she made it our problem. We value our peace, security and safety, and did not want to risk a stay at a property without the hosts being present and with two dogs that might be kept with no supervision, barking.

We escalated this issue to Airbnb on the evening of the 7th (before the booking was scheduled to start), and spoke with seven representatives by phone and three by Airbnb messages over the course of the rental period. The first Airbnb representatives we spoke with on the phone told us about the dog disclosure under ‘show more.’ He was almost proud that he could do that, as if he had practiced doing it and had done it before. It made his day to be able to prove that we had been advised of the health and safety condition in advance, even though it is not immediately apparent that one has to do this in order to be fully informed.

However, we had also read Airbnb’s policy for hosts who keep ‘potentially dangerous’ animals on a rental property, and found that it stated that a secure enclosure had to be provided for such animals, so that they could not get out and threaten a guest’s safety (i.e. bite them). We shared with the Airbnb representative the host’s own ‘check in’ instructions (now curiously removed from the host’s website, but a screen shot has been added to this review). The photos in the ‘check in’ instructions show the guest being directed right by the area where the dogs are kept outdoors (yellow arrow), and more importantly, show the type of ‘enclosure’ provided by the host.

This ‘enclosure’ is nothing more than a portable ‘puppy’ fence, only two feet high (see attached photos). We did not believe this enclosure to be secure, and did not want to risk having my wife bitten by one of the dogs, who in our opinion, could easily knock down, jump over or escape the flimsy outdoor ‘enclosure’ (see photos). Not to mention we did not want to risk staying there, and having new issues arise with the host not being able to get home from overseas, or not being able to have a third party come to the property to ‘quiet’ down the barking dogs.

One has to wonder about the ‘intelligence’ and ‘foresight’ of any host who would own a dog that has a propensity to bite, place that dog in a non-secure enclosure, and then direct guests to walk immediately by that same enclosure every time they were coming and going from the property. This particular host is asking to be sued by a family with a small child who is bitten, and with the type of arrangements indicated by the host (in writing no less), they would easily lose that lawsuit. It was our opinion that the host lacked good judgment, and we did not want to risk discovering additional areas of poor judgment on the part of this host. This was a safety issue.

All of this was clearly explained to the Airbnb ‘investigative’ representatives and case managers/ambassadors/supervisors assigned to review our case. Screenshots were taken of everything. The host’s check in instructions were shown to an Airbnb representative. We were repeatedly told by Airbnb not to cancel the rental. When we asked one of the representatives if we should check in to the property, given the safety issues we had identified, the response was, “No you need to wait until the rep gets back to you with instructions.”

Their only messages to us were that they were in the process of communicating with the host, and then were escalating the issue (again) to a supervisor. Meanwhile the host had been told to message us ‘check in’ instructions, no doubt so she could claim us as a no show, and claim she had done ‘everything possible’ to accommodate us. The money was more important to her. Remember that about these folks, and wait until you see what she does at the end of this.

The time to check in came and went, and we were already staying at another Airbnb. It was not until the last day of the rental that the Airbnb supervisor indicated that we would not get a refund, and he added insult to injury by stating that we were denied a refund because we had not stayed at the booking.

I actually asked one of the Airbnb representatives this question on the day prior to the rental. Specifically, we asked if we would be considered a ‘no show’ if we did not cancel or check in, and were told, “No please do not worry, we have escalated this to the investigation team. They will contact you and let you know the status of this.” This was deliberately deceptive on the part of Airbnb.

I then requested that the decision be appealed, thinking that it would be viewed by another Airbnb management team member, higher up than the supervisor. No, it was the supervisor reviewing his own decision. And he did what he is good at: he lied to me a second time. I had been requesting all along that I speak via phone, directly with the rep and then the supervisor. Each time I requested this on the phone with Airbnb reps I was told that the rep and then the supervisor would be calling me. Neither of them ever called. We know our phone works, because we have received calls from Airbnb reps before, on the same phone we have in our profile, the same phone that is verified.

The supervisor lied and said that he was going to call but could not, because the phone listed in our account was not verified. The supervisor really should be fired for that. At any rate, the supervisor denied the appeal of his own decision. We hope his supervisor read this review.

We followed the advice of Airbnb customer service, and requested a partial refund from the hosts. They denied the refund. We were amazed that they simply ignored our original request to cancel the booking on Oct. 7. The hosts must be having a hard time paying the rent on their $800,000 home in Colorado Springs, that or their trip to Portugal must have been very expensive. The host was told that, in our opinion, what she did constituted ‘theft,’ specifically as a breach of contract, and a form of ‘unjust enrichment.’ She should have done the right thing and realized that they as hosts:

  • Deliberately do not state anything about the dogs on the first page of the rental. They don’t want you to know about the dogs because that might negatively impact their cash flow. It’s great to have dogs. But you know what, you really need to tell people about them on the first page of your rental description. Why are you hiding that information? Has one of your dog’s already bitten someone? That would be our guess.
  • Deliberately direct guests to walk to and from the entrance to the rental immediately by the non-secure ‘enclosure’ (that she says is a fence) every time a guest walks to and from the required entrance to the rental, subjecting the guests to barking and a potential dog bite each and every time. Why don’t you take some of that rental money you are making a build a proper enclosure? What would happen to one of your dogs if their head got stuck in that puppy gate when you weren’t there? Answer, they would likely strangle themselves or at the very least become injured. Ever hear of animal cruelty?

The final insult came after the host was told that it was our opinion that what she had done (not refunding the money) was wrong (i.e. theft), and that we would be posting a review of the experience online. Airbnb had removed our review of her property because they indicated we had not stayed at her rental. How convenient for the hosts. Remember, it was Airbnb’s own customer service representatives who said we should not cancel and not occupy until the safety issue was resolved and we received a call from the rep.

The host then threatened us in her final message, indicating that we should be careful because, “You don’t know us or who we maybe connected to.” We filed an extortion/threat complaint against her with Airbnb, which was summarily ignored by Airbnb, and the ‘investigation’ (if there ever was one) promptly closed.

We have utilized Airbnb six times in the past eight years. Every rental was a joy and a treasure, and we always had a wonderful experience at every property we stayed at. Every host we stayed at was very complimentary of our behavior as guests at their property. And most of those experiences were us travelling with our own dogs. Keep that in mind. We are excellent guests and excellent dog owners.
Probably why it is so easy for us to spot ‘bad’ dog owners. But this final experience with Airbnb was a true eye-opener for us.

Airbnb management did not have our back on this, and was deceptive and untruthful. We will never use Airbnb again.

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Deceptive Airbnb Listing and Shady Host Practices

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I stayed at an Airbnb hosted by a Superhost. She had all five-star ratings (I later found out why) and was very responsive by text. The location was excellent: in Arlington, VA very close to Washington DC.

The apartment was large, as advertised, but that was the only true thing. The ad listed “central AC.” There was a large ceiling unit in the living room. It had two settings: off or frigid. The furniture was Walmart quality and on its last legs. The “fully stocked” kitchen was a joke. I had to buy several things in order to make anything more complicated than toast. The bathroom was tiny and there was no fan.

The real issue was that on our last night there we talked to another tenant who told us that there was mold in the building’s pipes and that you have to sign a waiver to rent there. We felt this should have been disclosed. Apparently the water is not safe to drink. When I posted an honest review, giving 3.5 generous stars with a pro/con list that was very kind, the host lost it and convinced Airbnb to take it down. Apparently, if the host removes their review the guest’s is removed as well and there is no recourse.

In addition, we realized we had left my husbands medication behind and asked to pay shipping for it to be returned. We were told she would only return it for an additional $150. I will never use Airbnb again, since you cannot trust any review posted.

Guest Cancels and Leaves, But Still Charged

We booked a week in a property starting July 17, 2021. When we arrived, we found the accommodation to be very unsatisfactory. Initially on inspection we discovered the accommodation only had five beds yet our party consisted of six people. When you’ve paid £2,250 for a week you don’t expect to be offered a camp bed.

When we first arrived, the cleaner was still there mopping the floor. The maintenance chap was also there. Neither were wearing face masks. In the listing advertising the property it stated (and still does) a 100-inch HDTV. However, there was no big TV: it was actually 24 inches.

As we closely inspected the place, we discovered the kitchen area to be unclean, the utensils were very dirty, and there was a used tissue in one of the drawers. The biggest shock was the state of the double oven. On opening the first door we could clearly see it hadn’t been cleaned and was in very poor condition. When opening the second door we discovered someone’s leftover pie. The cleaner quickly snatched it and hid it behind her back. The entire kitchen was in a very poor condition and certainly not what you’d expect for that amount of money. The garden area was untidy, with the grass not cut and loose tiles on the path.

On contacting the host, we found him to be rude, swearing and suggesting we were being unreasonable. We had just completed a six-hour journey to find our booking wasn’t to any satisfactory standard. We very luckily found alternative accommodation 30 minutes away so our stay at the Airbnb lasted only two hours.

On contacting Airbnb that evening telling them about all the problems and supplying photo evidence, at no point were we told to cancel the reservation until three days later, which meant we received £550 out of the £2,250 paid. Unfortunately for us, Airbnb took the host’s side and stood by the decision not to give us a full refund, which astonished us after sending the photo evidence.

A few days later, I decided to request a charge back on my credit card. Within a week we had our money back on our card and felt relieved, until my card company reversed the decision to uphold the chargeback and now I am £1,700 out of pocket for accommodations I couldn’t and didn’t stay at. I’m still contacting Airbnb and the host but not really getting anywhere. I’m desperate for any help or advice on what to do next. I feel I have a very strong case but unsure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Airbnb Host Expected Me to Clean the Toilet After Fees

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I paid over $1,300 for a three-night stay at an Airbnb in Michigan City, Indiana. It had a pool. At first, all was well. We had a great time, but the night we got home, I got over 25 messages from the host, claiming she was disappointed in the way I left her house.

My crime? I didn’t vacuum or sweep the kitchen (I actually did sweep… must have missed a spot). I didn’t put her cushions back correctly in the garage (I tried; I just didn’t do it correctly). I put too many sheets in her washing machine (there wasn’t even a checkout manual — I had just stripped the beds and washed the sheets out of courtesy). I didn’t clean the stove (I don’t pay $1,300 to clean a stove). I didn’t wipe off the bathroom counter (again, just soap grime… no biggie). I entered her “clearly marked private space” (this was a cabinet with a post-it note where I found the laundry detergent).

She found dozens of other flagrant violations, all this from a person who didn’t leave a checkout manual. All this from a person I actually attempted to help by washing sheets and towels. All this from a person who included a $200 cleaning fee. All this from a person I actually left $20 for a cleaning crew (actually, there likely isn’t one). I did forget to empty the kitchen garbage into the outside garbage, but if someone strips your beds, attempts laundry, and doesn’t leave a dirty dish, you’d think this grave sin would be overlooked.

Instead, she left me a very, very mean review. I’ve flagged her conduct — which bordered on harassment — to Airbnb. Here’s hoping they care. I’ve attached some of the photos she sent me, that allegedly show what a “pig” I am. I’ve examined the photos carefully and for the life of me, I can’t spot what the problems are.

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Airbnb Hosts Turn ‘Karen’ Over Guest Complaints

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I recently stayed at an apartment in NYC for a getaway for a few days. Initially the host came across as very helpful and responsive and was easy to communicate with. Unlike any other Airbnb that I have stayed at, this host used a security app called Latch as a keyless entry system to his apartment and that system sent the guest a log in email. I never received the email from Latch nor did I receive one from the host (sometimes technology fails us — no big deal).

When we arrived at the apartment at 10:00 PM and downloaded the app to attempt to log in, we were unable to check in because we never got the confirmation log in. Being that we’ve never used this type of entry we assumed we would be able to access the building if we downloaded the app which wasn’t the case. We contacted the host to let him know that we could not get in to which he and his wife went full on “Karen mode” and attacked us about not getting the email.

When we asked if someone could come let us in — seeing as a host is responsible for helping guests if they have a problem checking in — we were told it wasn’t an option and it was a huge ordeal to get someone down to the building to unlock the door. Finally after arguing with the host and his wife over something so ridiculous they finally helped us get the app to work and we were able to come and go without any problems.

You’d think this would be the end of the issue, right? I mean having someone attack you over not receiving an email is an unpleasant check in experience and just absolutely stupid. Well, it got worse.

We finished our trip and left the apartment cleaner than when we arrived (knowing that the host flipped out over an email we most certainly made sure everything was immaculate as to not piss him off again). I reviewed the place as I would any other place I stayed at and left an accurate and unbiased review and recommended the place to anyone who would be interested in staying there.

The host responded to the review in the public comment section slightly passive aggressive but civil. However, he then private messaged me and went on a “Karen war path” for leaving him a three-star review. I have attached the screenshots of our message thread that shows the messages I sent him when we could not get in as well as the war path he decided to go on when he didn’t like my review of his place (also attached is the review and his public response).

Now I know this isn’t as awful a horror story as some of the other posts on here but it’s just utterly absurd that the situation turned into what it did. No one deserves to be berated over an email or a review. I would like to save someone else the headache of this host so I am posting this story here. Everyone loves a good “Karen” story and this definitely fits the bill. My only regret is that I did not voice record our conversation for your listening pleasure.

Airbnb Host Lies in Review After Disastrous Stay

We rented a three-bedroom apartment in Split, Croatia on the first floor using Airbnb. The host posted the same listing on Booking.com and Expedia too. At that time I did not know that my dream vacation would turn into a nightmare.

Let me start saying that the host is providing misleading information on the post. As per the description, it should be a deluxe apartment with a nice garden and air-conditioned accommodations. Sounds like a dream. It was a little expensive but the pictures were amazing; you can see a brand-new place with a garden and pool. I thought it was worth it. Such a mistake.

The location was not so good as advertised, but it was fine. The apartment was extremely dirty with hazards inside.
The place was hot, like 100 degrees F hot (+30/+35 Celsius) and all three bedrooms did not have AC. There were two ancient AC units in the living room and dining room. (Why the host has two AC units in one room, I do not know).

Two out of the three bedrooms did not have mosquito screens. As a result, I got a lot of mosquito bites during the night or could have slept in the hot box without the air. My son has asthma and he could not even breathe in the steamy hot bedroom. As result, my kids were sleeping, starting from the second night, on the sofa in the living room.

AC was not only a problem. In the master bedroom, we found blood stains on the mattress cover sheets. Super nasty. I sent pictures to the host in no time. She promised to remove the dirty sheets the next day, but it never happened. Also, all over the apartment were spider webs. Besides that, between window frames, there was a crazy number of dead bugs.

I opened the closet and I found old, dirty shoes. The closet inside was dirty too, and there were stains on the sofa and walls. The moldings on the floor were not fully attached. One of the bedrooms had a bleach stain on the cover. Generally, it was the dirtiest place we stayed in ever.

The washing machine was broken and discharge water was on the floor. I had to clean the water. There were exposed wires at electric outlets near the bed and wires all over the place, which could have caught fire in no time. My favorite example: a lamp in the bathroom had a wire exposed — good luck not getting electrocuted when you turn on the switch.

The pool was not usable. It was closed, and we could not even open it. In the listing’s picture, it clearly shows a beautiful pool. There was no mention on the listing that the pool was not in service, which is very misleading too.

The person who rents this apartment does not take care of the safety conditions. I sent many pictures and messages to the host within 30 minutes after checking in that I was not happy with the condition of the place, but she ignored my concerns. Airbnb asked me why I did not leave and fight later. Really, it is easy to say just go on the street, in another country and find a place to sleep with two kids, when you paid crazy money for this place and do not have a budget to pay another $2,300. Airbnb will not cover the cost.

After we left, the host posted fraudulent claims on Airbnb. The host stated as a fact that I asked for a refund for “the entire stay.” I never did this; I never thought it was an option before the review appeared and I called customer service to find out why the host was claiming this.

The host posted a review on Sept. 17. To create an escalation ticket regarding this fraudulent claim, I have to request a refund according to Airbnb policy. My request was created on Sept. 22. I did not request anything before her response. The refund requested was only for 22% of the total amount as punitive damages for the dirty apartment and false accusations. I was on and off with Airbnb customer service for a week. I had to provide pictures and videos to prove that the place was dirty.

The host also claimed that bloodstains were from me. I did report this issue right away, but no one cared. Actually, customer service said that I must provide proof that I reported stains right away and it was not my fault. I did report it on their website; they were too lazy to check.

A customer service representative said that according to Airbnb policy, hosts can post any false claim because it is only their opinion and does not need further investigation. Really? Hosts can post anything? Any false accusations? Nice to know.

Summarizing all this, Airbnb refused to help me with my concerns and stated that: “While we encourage and expect all community members to post reviews that contain objective and accurate information, Airbnb doesn’t mediate disputes concerning the truth of reviews. We expect the author of the review to stand behind the content of their review.”

Also, I requested Airbnb to check the misleading and false information regarding the apartment descriptions like the AC and pool, but they refused to do it. Every day I requested to talk to a manager, but my request was never satisfied. Airbnb only takes money and does not help with any issues. It’s so sad that people will pay money to this dishonest person and fees to Airbnb.

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Lost $1000 to Avoid Sleeping in Filthy Airbnb

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Once you click “book” on Airbnb, your money is gone. Misrepresentation and filth are not enough to get your money back. I booked what was represented as a beautiful waterfront home where I could work for a week. I booked just a couple days in advance.

Upon arrival, it was a rundown cabin, part of a rundown crowded campground. On top of that, the place was filthy with sticky residue on the appliances, light switches and mystery drippings on the walls. The bathroom was disgusting with a moldy shower curtain and orange slick grime that’s hard to see in the pictures. The grounds were a mess with cars, debris and junk.

I texted the owner via the app immediately (because all communications had been through the app). I said the place was not at all what was represented and that I was leaving immediately. She did not respond. I immediately contacted Airbnb via the app as well and they did not respond either.

The next day Airbnb got back to me to say they had to ask the host for the refund. I never heard from the host. Surprise: the host declined. I suggested a 50% refund to settle, which was generous in my opinion. Airbnb said I needed to go back and take pictures (a two-hour drive). I made the trip back to the property and took pictures of a clearly moldy shower curtain, sticky surfaces and junky grounds. The host noticed that I was returning to take pictures, so the property was actually an improvement compared to the views on my original arrival.

Airbnb said the host refused the refund because I didn’t speak to her in person. When did that become a requirement? Then they told me they could not refund the money because I didn’t take the pictures that first day and never explained why they sent me back there. I gave up and posted a negative review on Yelp and cancelled my Airbnb account. I lost over $1,000 to avoid staying in filth. I will never use Airbnb again and frankly think this sort of thing needs to be better regulated.

Months later, a person I suspect to be a friend of the owner tried to comment on my Yelp review but that was rejected. The post was just a bunch of name calling. Now more than nine months later, the owner apparently did some research to find out my profession (attorney) and posted a response to my Yelp review trying to deflect from the photos of the grossness and reality of the junky grounds. I never mentioned my profession.

Another guest recently posted more photos on Yelp of the disgusting level of filth complete with another moldy shower, exploded food left by others in the microwave and more. Airbnb has yet to hold this property owner accountable despite pictures. Even the more positive Yelp reviews from guests expecting a campground experience note the need for better maintenance.

The stalking behavior by the owner in digging around to find out about my profession so many months later is disturbing on a whole different level. And there is yet another Yelp review describing how the host cussed out their group when they complained about the mess.

What does it take for Airbnb to hold a host accountable? I read an article about a Boy Scout troop that booked a place in Florida. When they contacted Airbnb to report that two different listings were using the same information, Airbnb protected the hosts. The Boy Scout troop showed up to literally no place to stay and it made the news. Apparently you need a news story to hold hosts accountable if they are making money for Airbnb.

Don’t trust Airbnb for reviews. When I tried to post my review on Airbnb, it mysteriously went into the cosmos. When the world settles down a little bit, I think we need to look to our legislators and consumer protection laws to make some changes. In the meantime, I suggest using VRBO and VACASA. They cost a little more but they also have higher standards in my experience. Take lots of pictures upon arrival in case you need documentation for any reason and let karma take care of the rest.

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Host Robs Customers and is Supported by Airbnb

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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.