Host Called Cops On Us But They Hate Her Too

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We rented an Airbnb called the “streamside forest peaceful” in Salida, Colorado from a host for $1,900 for five nights. Even with some bad reviews about her being nasty, spying on people, not refunding damage deposits, and a mouse problem, we were desperate so I reluctantly booked it.

After I booked it she sent a lengthy contract with crazy details. Others had complained about this as well. I have never seen a contract sent after the booking. Anyways, we got to the tiny trail of a road behind a cow gate and it looked sketchy. The contract said a 4×4 was recommended but that she maintains the drive. In 19 years of going to Colorado we have never taken a 4×4. Two years ago we had five feet of snow that week and still only used front wheel drive. We were in a front wheel drive Buick Enclave.

We started up the slight incline and it was sheer ice and clumped up snow that hadn’t been cared for at all. I have attached a picture. The car immediately started spinning out and turning sideways in the road. My husband had everyone get out thinking that may help. The kids went in the house which was dangerous even walking to, and we continued to try to get the car to either go up or down. No luck. We got a shovel and that was a joke.

After pushing and accelerating, it backed up a bit but then got stuck again. At that point we called the host. She offered no solution and told my husband the contract said we should have 4×4 and she was not responsible for his inability to drive. What a joke. He was a police officer and drove in every condition as well as driving every year to Colorado with no problems.

My husband told the host we needed to call a tow truck. She offered no assistance and he said we needed to cancel because we couldn’t get to her house. Even if we got towed to the drive, we would be stuck all week. She then hung up on him. I called her back and she didn’t answer.

I cancelled the reservation even though it was obviously past the refund date, thinking Airbnb would consider it extenuating circumstances and we would still get a refund. Then she messaged me and told me to leave the property or she would call the police. We left having no place to go, exhausted from driving 13 hours. It took all of us pushing the car to get it back to the end of the trail to the cow gate.

We were parked on the side of the road when the police came up to talk to us about the “trespassing report.” The policeman said: “Oh, we know her! She is always calling the police about stuff. Her neighbors hate her and we can’t stand her.”

We had a good laugh about what a miserable person she is and they went on their way. After that I messaged three other hosts looking for a new place to see if we would have the same driveway problem and all three said they maintain the property and it was all clear, like it should be. We rented a new place from VRBO. The host was so gracious and the road and drive completely clear.

Now the fight with Airbnb started. They completely leave it up to the host whether they refund you or not. Do you think she would refund us? — she got to keep every dime. I’m sorry the host is such a greedy miserable person that wouldn’t refund a family on vacation.

Airbnb Host Will Not Allow Us to Reschedule

My family and I booked a home for five days in Sedona, Arizona through Airbnb. We were so excited to go and learned, after our booking, that our sons, who serve in the United States Army, could not travel due to COVID restrictions. We asked Airbnb to reschedule our date (they were very nice) but the policy, as they explained eventually — six emails and three calls later — states that the host ultimately decides if you can reschedule your trip or not. He would not allow us to reschedule our trip under any circumstances and thus we are out $2,800.

It amazes me that we were not informed of this policy prior to our booking and that we were told, due to COVID, we would be able to reschedule if needed. Ten of us are out of a family vacation, one that we were really looking forward to. Disappointed to say the least.

Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy Leaves Guest Out $1.6K

I am planning on relocating to San Miguel de Allende so I booked a one week stay in a darling casita in January. When I realized the pandemic wouldn’t allow me to travel in January, I changed my reservation for the entire month of April. Now it looks like April is too soon to travel also so I wanted to cancel until we get the all-clear travel advisory.

I was told that I could cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours before my reservation. Now Airbnb is withholding all my money for the first 30 days (my entire reservation) and only refunding me $25 out of almost $1,600. This company sucks and I will never use them again. I will post warnings to others wherever I can. This company needs to be replaced with one that actually has customer service.

Unable to Find Airbnb, Nowhere to go in Scotland

On the seventh day of our vacation around Scotland, we spent the day sightseeing around the northeast. At about 4:00, knowing we had about an hour of daylight left, we headed for our Airbnb which was twenty minutes away. Unable to find the location, we called and messaged the owner. While waiting for a response, we continued to circle around the coastline looking for the property. The number was not there and the directions were crap, of course. Finally, after twenty minutes we pulled over and messaged again. This time we waited for another 20 minutes. No response.

It was getting dark and we were truly in the middle of nowhere. We had to make the command decision to drive and find other accommodations. The only place to go was west towards a snowstorm or south towards Edinborough. We eventually found a spot twenty minutes away. Our new host actually knew the lady that was not responding to our Airbnb messages. He informed us that during the winter she left the country for three months. That’s why she wasn’t messaging.

Long story short, our host took the money even though she knew she would not be there. Airbnb was a pain in the butt. We called them several times that evening. Their solution was to continue to try and contact the lady. After three hours, they recommended another stay which was 75 minutes away. Because we refused that stay (it was 8:00 PM and we had already found another accommodation) Airbnb said they couldn’t refund us.

We continued to message the Airbnb host for several months, hoping she would pitch in and help facilitate a refund. We never heard back from her. Because Airbnb cancelled the accommodation, we were not allowed to review this host.

No Key? Just Open the Door with a Knife!

I booked a whole apartment for a COVID-safe stay for work at the beginning of 2021. The host told me to contact her through her private telephone number so all communication was done through Whatsapp messages (she refused to pick up her phone and didn’t answer her Airbnb messages until I’d Whatsapped her).

I arrived at the address and the key wasn’t there (but three other useless keys were). She refused to believe that I was using the keys properly until I showed her a video of me trying to open the door. She then sent a cleaning lady who couldn’t open the door with the keys either. Then the cleaning lady borrowed a butter knife from someone in the other apartment and tried to force open the door, telling me that this has happened before.

I messaged the host (who still would not answer her phone even though she was calling the cleaning lady) and she said go to Airbnb for a refund. Airbnb said there was no aggravation to the case, and that I wasn’t entitled to a refund even though their website clearly states guests should be refunded when there is no access to the listing. The case went into mediation and the host said it wasn’t that alarming.

This is so ridiculous, I can’t believe it. It’s such a scam. Do not go to this listing. The host also refuses to let my review go up by not reviewing me in return (How could she? I have never stepped foot into the apartment).

 

Never Use Airbnb — Hosts Will Leave You High and Dry

I booked a private room with Airbnb for accommodation in Dubai for five nights. I paid for this in advance. Upon reaching Dubai, the Airbnb host told me that he could no longer accommodate me. He provided me a different address and asked me to go and stay there for two nights and he would shift me to original booking place after that.

Upon reaching the other address, I found that the flat was locked and no one was there. I had to ask reception for help to contact the Airbnb host as my phone was not working there. Upon contact the host he said he couldn’t accommodate me at the new address either. He did not provide any explanation and left me without a roof over my head in an unknown city. I was left to sort out my own accommodation with limited internet connectivity and battery life left on my phone.

In this situation I had to take whatever was available. I ended up staying in a hostel sharing a room with five unknown people and also sharing other facilities. Airbnb put me in this situation as they failed to fulfill their responsibility. My safety was at risk. My health was at risk as I had to share things with five other people for five nights. I could not get proper sleep.

The entire experience not only totally ruined my trip but also left me in distress and with negative effects on my mental well being. I was constantly anxious and worried about my health and safely due to the pandemic. I informed Airbnb about this incident the evening of Dec. 30. I received a call and provided all the information to customer service. They said they were unable to contact their own host to find out why he could not accommodate me. They also did not offer me any help to find an alternative suitable accommodation.

The entire trip turned into a nightmare. Airbnb staff were totally unhelpful. They could not even contact their own host after I provided a different number that he was using. Airbnb neither provided any immediate help or help to find alternative accommodation. On top of that, they also closed my case without reaching any conclusion. This company should not be allowed to operate in the hospitality sector at all.

Airbnb Guests Might be Waiting a Month on Refunds

During the early days of the pandemic I understood that people were unsure about hosting strangers, especially someone traveling from another country in their house. In March, I had a few hosts either just not respond to my booking or else politely tell me that they’d suddenly had a family member turn up and therefore the room wasn’t available. They cancelled the booking and I got my money back… eventually.

Sometimes it can happen several times in a row and that can hurt you because I’m a world traveller, not a tourist, and I book for a month at a time to save money. Long after the pandemic fear was an issue, I sometimes had lazy hosts who may not have even been renting their house, just failed to respond to a booking. Sometimes it took a ridiculously long time to get my money back.

I arrived in Mexico after one fraudulent booking and I only had enough money left to take a cheap place for a week until I could afford to book again, which of course cost me more. Then I booked a really nice house in the mountains. The guy had only one review and it was terrible but I could also see that the person complaining was being completely unreasonable. I can see through those sort of reviews — some people are just whiny and expect champagne on a beer budget.

One thing that bothered me was that the guy had a long response time listed, so I tried to message him first. I didn’t get a reply for half a day. My current place was about to expire and I didn’t want to book again for a single day at a higher price, so I took a chance. I mean… people can be busy, right? So I booked for a month.

I waited. After 24 hours he hadn’t responded and Airbnb said I would get my money back. Sometimes this takes a few days. Sometimes it takes a week. Airbnb will always say that it’s PayPal’s fault or your bank’s fault, but I have a very efficient bank (Citibank) that accept intra-bank deposits instantly, and updates my account statement instantly. I don’t have that problem. When there are delays, it’s never my bank.

This time… the money just didn’t come back. I had to borrow money in order to make a new booking, which was really awkward. I’m stuck overseas. It’s hard to find work when I slap down a month’s rent and the renter doesn’t even answer. Airbnb has taken my money that really leaves me in a pickle.

I contacted Airbnb and of course it took a day to get some outsourced, incompetent idiot, to whom I complained at length, who ignored what I said, and gave me canned responses. When I complained further they escalated and then still gave me a canned response saying it could take “2-5 days” to get my pending transfer released. I pointed out that at this point it had been two weeks and then they changed their tune and said, “Well, actually it can take up to 30 days depending on your bank.”

I was just like, “No, man. Make up your mind. Is it 2-5 days or is it 30 days? It’s never been that long before.”

I’m currently at three weeks and my bank says the money hasn’t been released. PayPal say it has. Airbnb just says, “It’s not our problem.” But the thing is, I’ve had this crap happen several times this year and Airbnb just doesn’t care. I’ve been outright defrauded by hosts who’ve demanded huge (one month) deposits in cash and Airbnb hasn’t delisted them after complaining.

I’ve tried to book at places whose hosts have immediately cancelled the listing and messaged me saying, “That’s really just an advertisement. We don’t really accept bookings through Airbnb. You have to pay us directly.” Airbnb hasn’t removed those listings either.

Airbnb doesn’t care. They don’t remove fraudsters and they don’t remove people who just don’t bother answering their messages or accept bookings. It doesn’t matter how much you complain. They’d rather have millions of listings than actually weed out the BS ones and make sure that they have some sort of quality control, and their system of taking your money before the host accepts your booking is absolutely unconscionable.

If you’re a young backpacker, or a student, or you’re just living from week to week on a tight budget… if you slap down a month’s rent on a place and then it takes 21 or 30 days to get it back when the host doesn’t even bother accepting your booking, you’re up the creek without a paddle. Regardless of whether it’s your bank or PayPal’s fault, Airbnb should not do things this way. They shouldn’t take your money until the booking is confirmed and it’s absolutely ludicrous that they will take your money for up to a month on a speculative “this booking might be accepted.”

I’m so sick of having my money taken by Airbnb and having to fight with them to get it back, or have them tell me I just have to wait a month. I’m not some rich jetsetter. I’m just a schoolteacher who is trying to make a life moving from country to country. I don’t have the sort of money to have month’s worth of rent tied up in failed bookings. This system clearly has no regard for the customer’s rights and is designed with mistrust as the primary motivation. There is no situation in which it makes sense for anyone to take a customer’s money and hold onto it for a month before a booking is accepted. That’s not protecting anyone.

We’re all verified users with our passports on file. We’re not going to make fraudulent bookings. We can’t. No one’s going to book a place if they don’t have the money. If they did that even once, they could be reprimanded or banned. Instead the attitude is, “We don’t trust you. But we do trust the hosts. So we’re taking your money now just for expressing interest and even if the host completely ignores you… you’re not getting that money back for a long time so I hope you have spare cash to book something else because you might be waiting up to 30 days to get the money back. Sorry not sorry.”

It’s just not good enough. You shouldn’t pay for goods or services before it’s confirmed that they are available.

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Airbnb Host Posted Photos of a Different Apartment

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I rented a suite on Airbnb for 29 days. Upon check in, the entire place was filthy: hair on the floor, dirty sheets. Absolutely no towels were provided. We left immediately. The place was disgusting.

We messaged the host right away and he denied it, so I contacted Airbnb. We checked in at about 2:30 PM and didn’t hear back from Airbnb until the next day. We’ve been going back and forth with Airbnb for a month now. They are saying the apartment is exactly as described. However the host described it as a three-bedroom apartment when in fact it is a one bedroom with one bed and a couch.

The photos were 90% accurate but extremely misrepresented. It was photoshopped to remove all the rust and grime around all of the sink. Most deceiving is the living room the host advertised. He used an entirely different photo of another place with only a couch that somewhat looks similar. If you look at the photos of the windows, the sliding glass door, and the walls, it’s clearly not the same apartment.

I am out about $2,350 CDN as Airbnb is refusing to refund me. This host has also received similar scam reviews on his profile. The guests from his other listings are corroborating my claims. Yet Airbnb still has this host on their platform and refusing to refund me as a guest.

I have been using Airbnb for about eight years with over 77 excellent reviews as a host and a guest. I do not have a history of trying to cancel reservations. I’d like to sue this host in small claims court as I live in Vancouver as well but his information is not available to me and he did not give me a phone number (other guests have said the same). What are my options for getting my money back?

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The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

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I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there were four rooms and a small bathroom. Each room was numbered on the door.

As I came to find out, the host, his wife, and three young daughters all live in the basement level of the apartment, when they are not all occupying the common areas with cooking or meals or remote learning. So I wouldn’t call them common areas — they are his family’s area and you can use them if you want though it seems to be frowned upon as I was the only guest that seemed to be using the dining room or den.

There was a girl living in one room who seemed to be a permanent resident as she had plants growing in her windowsill. She was never there and kept her dog locked up 20 hours a day. The dog barked and banged on the door viciously every time I went up or downstairs.

There was a backyard area but it was cumbersome to get to via a side gate and completely covered in dog feces. The lower patio area was strewn with kids’ tents, old rusty chairs and other debris. When I first arrived I brought poo bags but after seeing the crap covered yard and no one else making an effort (he has a dog too) I said, “why bother?”

I tried to make the best of it, but it was awkward as other guests were either not there most of the time, or hid in their rooms, taking meals in their rooms. They expect you to do your dishes right away, but of course being a family of five they leave the sink full quite often. You are provided your own mini fridge which is nice.

Another thing is you are always being watched on camera. There are cameras everywhere in the “common” areas on the main floor. I was really craving a soda which I don’t normally drink. I drank a Pepsi out of a 12 pack on top of another guest’s fridge, with the full intention of replacing it. I know probably shouldn’t have but hardly a cardinal sin.

Less than a minute later, the host came running up the stairs and started checking things. He obviously saw what happened, and was down in the basement spying on his guests. He finally brought it up and I said I was sorry. I bought the other guest a liter to replace the can and still she left a note on her fridge saying to “stay out of her stuff” Even though she herself had commandeered one of my tupperware containers.

I worked late sometimes doing Doordash and had to let my dogs out when I got home, sometimes at like 1:00, 2:00 AM or later. I started getting messages via the app that I was being too loud and waking him up outside of his hours. He works from home so he’s always there, watching. His poor kids are forced to live down in the small basement area in a single bedroom. I only know the layout of the basement level because he allowed me to do laundry once with very restricted hours because his washer and dryer are also down there. When I saw it, it was in complete squalor: dirty blankets and dishes.

Like I said, I tried to make the best of it and be a good guest. Then the real trouble started. I need to mention that I was in the hospital in Texas for two weeks prior to returning to Colorado and had emergency knee surgery due to certain complications. I discussed some of the details with the host in casual conversation at about day 20. He then began asking me questions about whether I still had an “active infection” and telling me to wash my hands.

Apparently he suddenly became very concerned; it became very awkward quickly. Soon thereafter I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was completely bedridden for the next two days. I was in a lot of pain, and when I hobbled to the bathroom or to take my dogs down to potty, I’m sure made a lot of noise. One time when I was stumbling around the kitchen at night trying to make some food I heard him yell from the basement “you’re making too much noise.” No offer to help — both he and his wife were aware of my condition and just watched me suffer.

I will say in all fairness the hosts did take my dogs out for me like three times, once brought me water, and she bright me an ice pack. On Christmas Eve I got an appointment to see the doctor on short notice for a cancellation. I had less than 90 minutes to get there. I asked the hosts if they could take me to the doctor for like $10, and they said they were busy. I tried to get ready as best I could and struggled to take a bath and get dressed.

I hobbled to my car with no help and tried to make it in time. I didn’t make it. I was really upset. I then got my Christmas dinner from Boston Market and ate alone in my car at the park. When I got home that night there was no close parking by the house. My ankle was throbbing, my wrists tired from using the crutches. I just wanted to get to bed.

I parked behind his SUV and sent him a text letting him know the situation. Very coldly he texted back he needed to be able to move his vehicle “at any moment.” I asked if maybe he could park my car up the street I got no response.

I woke up Christmas Day. My foot was somewhat better, and I managed to make it to the grocery store. I used the handicapped cart to get my groceries which was embarrassing. I came home, put my groceries away, and was not in a great mood. I told the host something to the effect that, well in 100 years we’ll all be dead and no one will remember this anyway. She very sarcastically said “well have a wonderful day” and went down to the basement.

About 30 minutes later I got a call from Airbnb stating very matter of factly that I had violated the terms of service and my reservation had been cancelled. Dumbfounded, I asked what that meant. They told me I needed to leave to property immediately. I tried to talk to the host, but it became quickly obvious this was a premeditated decision to get rid of me, with my busted ankle on Christmas Day.

I had to pack all my things. The host carried my bags down and I loaded up my car. Airbnb did put me in a hotel last night, for one night, but I was unable to book anything else due to the ongoing “investigation.” I used my mother’s credit card to book the room so the refund is going to her card and will not do me any good. I am currently broke as I hadn’t worked and literally spent my last $25 on groceries an hour before I was tossed to the curb.

I am writing this from my hotel bed. My ankle is bruised and swollen still, I’m hobbling along the best I can with no help and all the walking and moving from yesterday has not helped my condition. I am currently 50 minutes from being homeless, as checkout is at noon. I have $3 in my account and as of now cannot book another Airbnb using my mother’s card. Being this close to New Years there are ever decreasing options every time I look. If they decide to ban me, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Long story short, do not ever, ever stay at this house in Colorado Springs, lest you meet a similar fate.