Airbnb left me with a dead body, $50,000 in damages

There was a story that was aired on the local news the morning of July 28th, 2019. This story included vague details of a pool party that went wrong and the death of a Clay High School student by gunshot. Including only one side note was that it was an Airbnb listing.

There were many details that the story failed to capture. I am the homeowner of that Airbnb listing. I had listed the home on Airbnb just over a year ago as an entire house rental, private property with horses and country escape at around a $500/night booking fee.

Of the seven or eight bookings I had, it was a great experience, until it wasn’t. I had a one guest for a one-night booking the week prior to July 27th. This person had a verified Airbnb account that included one five-star review. They didn’t offer a lot of details about their stay but like every time before, the house was prepped, the key was left, and I was gone before they arrived.

I was notified by a neighbor around 1:30 AM that something seemed wrong with the amount of cars at my property and traffic in and out. I immediately called the police to assist in removing anyone from the property, as they were all trespassing and likely causing unspeakable damage to the home.

The shooting happened shortly after that, before the police even made it there, leaving one 18-year-old man dead in my driveway. This one guest rental was a 200-300 person party of underage people and dangerous criminals. There were Hennessy bottles thrown at my horses who were on the property during this time, luckily not causing any significant harm to them.

Upon further discovery, the actual verified guest has an extensive criminal background. There was blood throughout the entire home, over $20,000 in building damages and another $30,000 in personal property that was either stolen or ruined. Although the local police recommended bleach and water, I hired a hazmat crew to come and disinfect the home and clean the immense amount of bio waste that was covering my walls, floors and furniture.

People continued to return to the home in the days following so for the safety of my family I hired private security to protect the home and property. These people are and have been at war with each other. My home just happened to be the location that the battle was fought at.

I live with the reality every day that every single person who had access to my home can clearly tell it’s only a young woman and a five-year-old boy who live here. Of all the things damaged and all the pain this has caused, there is no greater fear than the idea that these monsters could come back and harm myself and my son.

My story isn’t about publicly shaming those who did this. My goal, however, is to shed light to the darker side of hosting for Airbnb and the complete lack of restitution that they have offered per their Host Guarantee and the lack of actual vetting they do to verify a guest. Almost three months, over 50 emails and communications, and they have decided to wash their hands of this due to the fact my personal homeowners insurance stepped up and covered just under $20,000 of the damages.

The process of their Host Guarantee is basically a death march to the point hosts rely on personal finances and their own homeowner’s insurance to begin the process of putting their lives back together. Although my insurance was amazing in the process, there is still $30,000 of personal property that was accounted for in detail as a loss.

The Host Guarantee specifically states (per their contractual agreement) that they will pay the difference of insurance claims. The most recent communication is that they took a if/then method stating that if my personal insurance has stepped up, then Airbnb is free and clear of any liability.

I hope to share my experience so those who are simply doing this to share the experience of their home, improve their homes for their families, or even just make some side cash on their primary residence know that if something does go wrong, Airbnb will not stand behind you.

Airbnb will suffer… in this life or the next

I have not been paid as a host for the last two months. Despite calling about three times a week to their customer service, there has been no resolution nor are they making any effort to come to one. The amount owed is more than £1000. Airbnb is simply not interested. Customer service opens a case then does nothing to resolve the issues. They even find excuses for why the payment has not been sent then once the issue has been solved they find something else. I think Airbnb policies are truly evil, misleading and thoroughly dishonest. The people that devise this evil will be brought to account for their actions… in this life or the next.

Canceled our Upcoming Reservation and Closed our Account

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Today, I would like to tell you my story to you. If someone can help, please contact me. We have done everything we could… even contacting Airbnb directors:

I am addressing this to all of you because I do not know who I can talk to about a really problematic situation with Airbnb support. We were Superhosts and proud of it. We have built a super relationship with more than 300 Airbnb guests around the world and many of them are still in contact with us.

Last Friday, we managed to address a false allegation that a guest had made against us. Subsequently, the security department has taken a dislike to us, cancelling our upcoming reservation (without informing us) and closed our accounts. We were Superhosts for several years. We have hosted more than 100 families around the world in our family house and private house. We were selected as one of the five families to make a promotional video for Airbnb in October 2019 and now, our account is closed. No reply, no callback… nothing.

A guest invited additional people without paying, unplugged the security cameras for the hidden extra guest, stole product, and made a defamatory review about us. If someone has already managed to reactivate his account. contact me. The guest review was deleted and a few hours after that they closed our account.

I’d like to point out that in July 2019 we had a similar issue with another guest. It escalated to the resolution center again and was resolved in our favor. The agent also pointed out that we should add a substantial penalty for guests who would tamper with the camera to act as a deterrent to hide or unplug the cameras. I’d also like to mention that the listing clearly indicates that we have cameras outside and inside. You can also see them in the profile pictures.

The camera outside focuses on the backyard and films the patio door and side door. The second camera is located in the kitchen and points at the side door as well and observes the activity in the kitchen. The third camera is installed in the living room and focuses on the living room to look at the front door. Basically, they are there to watch the ins and outs in the house and, as an added bonus, we feel a little secure to know that the stove won’t be left on by accident or water running in the sink.

To access the bathroom, you need to go in the corridor and then turn left to the bathroom. The cameras have no way to see into the bathroom and I’d like to add that they are not able to film in the bedrooms. You could strip naked out of the bathroom and walk to the master bedroom (located in the same corridor) without the crossing any cameras.

For sure, if a guest would have waltzed naked in the kitchen or living room, the camera would register it. This does not necessarily mean we would watch the footage, since we don’t have enough time in a day to observe 24 hours multiplied by three (three cameras recording 24 hours a day). The cameras are only accessed if damage happen, there’s a door alert, or whenever my neighbor reports that there are more guests than reported.

Now for this guest’s group we have three claims. The first is the easiest one: the $2 for a chocolate bar. In a discussion with the guest, we’ve mentioned and sent the price list for a little pilot project we have started: a mini convenience store in one of the kitchen cabinets. The goal was to sell snacks, dried pasta or canned goods to prevent a trip back to the supermarket. Some guests do not have a car or simply don’t feel like going out.

The markup on these items is about 25%… enough to cover stolen/damaged/expired merchandise. We see it as a service and not revenue. The guest’s daughter took a chocolate bar, as he admitted in communications. We simply want the $2 for the goods as it was explained when they arrived. It was never complimentary, and they knew it. Also, we couldn’t care less if Air Canada gives them away. Try that lame excuse at the supermarket to see if they’ll give them away since you’ve purchase $100 worth of meat… you’ll see.

The second claim is for the extra guest. We live near the house, but not next to it. My neighbors, ones I’ve known for 34 years and the second for 30+ years, kept an eye on the property for me. One has the key and helps with the garbage, pool and all. One of them reported to me that the guest’s group was six people. Their reservation was for five though.

The guest also proved this himself in writing by agreeing they lied to us, tried to cheat the Airbnb system, and did in fact invite an extra guest. We don’t care that they are trying to get away with only one night of extra guests instead of two (at that point, I would have been surprised he didn’t). So far, the guest proved that he was willing to lie to steal money from us, whether it was for the chocolate bar or the extra guest. My neighbor hasn’t lie to me in 30+ years… the guest did twice in a weekend. So this is why we are claiming an extra $40 (2 x $20).

The third claim is for the camera unplugging. $250 is the fee to tamper and/or unplug a camera as mentioned on the profile and added following an Airbnb agent’s suggestion. Again, something they proved they did in writing. This one is pretty obvious to me. They did it. They are guilty. The will pay the penalty fee. I want to point also that my husband had to realign the cameras after their stay since they had directed the camera “off track” as well.

After what was demonstrated above, it’s now striking why they did so. The camera clearly was an obstacle in getting the extra guest in, combined with the chocolate bar petty theft. Note that the penalty isn’t per day or per minute… it’s per offense. Since they have unhooked two cameras, we could have counted two offenses resulting in a $500 claim, but we found that $250 would be enough of a penalty.

I think this explains the reason we made these claims and clearly demonstrated that they are justified. If anything was left out, feel free to reach out to us. Thank you everybody for your support and help.

Airbnb Stealing from my Dying Husband

Airbnb has stolen money from my dying husband. I will not stop until we speak to the legal department. Airbnb has been totally disgusting in how they’ve handled this simple but now costly and insulting mistake they have made.

We have been loyal and dedicated and successful Superhosts for several years now, with multiple listings and an established tree house retreat. We have provided ample evidence to support our case to show we were in no way near or under threat by bush fires. Airbnb has given nothing to support their mistake to say we were and they only have been secretive with no transparency. They have stolen money from us and hence my darling dying husband right now is in the hospital with brain tumors.

We are so totally upset that we have been treated this way and my husband and I have not been supported as good Superhosts. Airbnb does not want to understand that the whole Hinterland was not on fire and we were not affected. We had two very positive reviews from guests that stayed through that time demonstrated in their positive reviews they loved the stay and showing no fire or smoke in our area. This was brought to Airbnb’s attention; there was still no response from them.

Airbnb has allowed a guest to get a full refund out of our back pocket at the very last minute on a strict cancellation policy. Based on their event being cancelled that was half a day event at best in a totally different area to use with no associations with us or the stay agreement. This basically tells everyone and anyone is entitled to a full refund for any external event or outing that is cancelled no mater how short the event is to the stay, and on a strict policy, on the night before check in are allowed to have a full refund.

Three guests were coming and no doubt were going to enjoy themselves like all the others had been doing so. But no, security for the hosts. No professional process or interactions have been received as of yet. Why risk placing valuable property in their care? If there is support for hosts using this platform, where is it?

Airbnb seems to think they are allowed to pull the rug under hosts’ feet whenever they feel like it, despite host and booking agreements in place. They do this arrogantly without providing any evidence or sharing any professional or appropriate communication to support the decision. They refuse to share what they are looking at, where they are located, and only taking money out of our pockets. It is unacceptable.

We only have received a secretive and uncaring response, and a very unprofessional response. The case manager was aware my husband is dying, and we rely on the rules of this platform for income for his medical bills as he can not work ever again in his life. I juggle everything, giving several years of positive business dealing with Airbnb through our property spaces.

This counts for nothing with Airbnb it seems; they hide and refuse to share a map with us. One employee even said she saw the map Airbnb had and we were nowhere near the fires. So why does the supervisor refuse to show us? They ignore maps that are official and clearly show we were not near the fires at all. No warnings for our area at all. Water is all around us; it’s a huge area, no smoke or anything.

Airbnb needs to compensate us for their mistake. They should have never refunded money out of our account based on incorrect information they refuse to share with us. We do not deserve this treatment or problem at this time of our lives and we have only done everything right towards Airbnb. We have received no support whatsoever and it’s such a disgusting process. There is no excuse or justified reason to receive no explanation of their process.

Airbnb has affected my ability to pay a medical bill. I will not rest until Airbnb looks at this properly and acknowledges they have made a mistake. Just because a small majority of the Gold Coast was effected by bush fires does not mean the whole of the Gold Coast needs to suffer. Through the worst of the hinterland fires, we had fantastic views you could see the water and city views from our hill, and beautiful reviews of guests on the same weekend.

Airbnb gave a full refund to a guest the night before check in on a strict policy booking. Airbnb is hiding and needs to come out and deal with this properly and start appreciating good hosts and what they sacrifice for a successful business partnership. Airbnb is not providing a stable, supportive, intelligent and respectable platform for dedicated hosts who are providing wonderful spaces for them to actually have guests using their site.

Ultimately, if they do not have good listings, they do not get guests and there would be no Airbnb. Let me stress that our property was not affected by any bush fires. Airbnb says they can justify taking a two-night booking away from us; this was a mistake they are refusing to acknowledge. I have sent them photographs and the reviews and official maps clearly demonstrating there was no fire associated near or in our area.

Still, we get nothing back from them on an intellectual or acceptable level. They only write back saying we have reviewed it and we will not be giving money back. This is without showing anything to support their claim or belief. Where is the map they are looking at? Believe me I have asked and demanded to see it, but they refuse to show anything. I now don’t believe they do have a map that is at all relevant to our area or contains anything factual.

Some cock up from an Airbnb international office has circled all of the Gold Coast to be on fire. Ridiculous. We have shared the maps from official authorities of the bush fires of Queensland to demonstrate all the history of the bush fires as we were monitoring them very closely. Still, Airbnb ignores this. It’s bad enough to lose a lot of summer bookings out of the type of fear associated with the word bush fire. Then for Airbnb to take away your bookings for no legitimate reason is inexcusable and they need to compensate us.

I have worked so hard to support my husband and through this livelihood we have been making it with Airbnb. I see no reason to continue my listings with Airbnb if they can not deal with this properly and correct their mistake. There is no real security or support with Airbnb. I will update this if it changes. They are totally incompetent in their due diligence or they are simply hiding a mistake they don’t want seen.

Give us our money back Airbnb. We provided a beautiful space. We will never get that weekend back and there are policies in place for good reasons. Airbnb needs to respect the agreement they had with us. I’m very disappointed to write this. We have a responsibility to the community to tell and warn anyone about Airbnb in how they have been treating us. At no point in time our property was ever listed in a danger zone. We had fantastic views beautiful water views and happy number of guests through that period of time.

Only one guest capitalized on Airbnb’s mistake, an event that was half a day at best in a totally different area. We had a two-night booking on a strict cancellation policy. They were bringing three people around for the stay. On Friday the 13th in the late afternoon Airbnb allowed them to have a full refund. Based on what? Based on an event that had no relevance to us on the property.

Now I believe that if I book or anyone else books a long stay through Airbnb and their event gets rained on, or their bus gets cancelled, or the singer gets sick, they are entitled to a full refund despite any level of cancellation policy. This is what Airbnb has done to us. Now I know If I ever book with Airbnb as a guest, I can cancel for any reasons for extenuating circumstances.

A full refund is expected. I would expect that for any reason I claimed to be my reason for booking I can get out of it, despite the accommodation having no association whatsoever with the excuse. This is absurd and Airbnb should see it to be otherwise. There is no security whatsoever as a host to provide beautiful spaces if there is no support for loyal and long-standing hosts.

Is there anyone in Airbnb who can salvage a long-standing and good business relationship and multiple listings and wants to rectify this accordingly? Refund us the two-night booking that we had secured. Airbnb cancelled a strict cancellation policy booking,taking money from us based on incorrect data without cross referencing information or sharing it. No transparency, nothing to support their actions.

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Not Airbnb Hosts, but Still on Mailing Lists

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I pity the poor investors who will eventually be parting ways with their money when (and if) Airbnb gets their act together to file for an IPO. Today I received the Airbnb Magazine in the mail. I am not a host or guest. The name on the “To:” portion of the address label was to a Mr. Richard Fabian. Mr. Fabian was the supposed “host” of our home when he set up a fake account portraying my family as Airbnb hosts.

The outcome of that story is buried somewhere in the Airbnb Hell server but basically we had people dropping by the house unannounced looking for their key. The fact that we never heard back from anyone at Airbnb regarding this fraud does not surprise me now that I’m receiving their magazine. Throwing away money by mailing on what looks like an expensive rag to a fraudster is par for the course of this organization.

Airbnb, you grew too big too fast. Stop for a moment and count the bedbugs.

Airbnb Customer Disservice Leads to Threats

I actually have never had any problems with Airbnb. I’ve been a host for a couple of years, and thus far, I’ve had great guests, and great experiences. I just had a guest who wrecked something so I mentioned it in the review. She was shocked and went above and beyond to remedy the situation (her husband had used our white towels to clean his muddy shoes, but she ordered a new towel set from Amazon and had it sent to us).

Because she did this, I wanted to go and either delete the review or mention that she fixed the problem… just to be fair. So this is all great, but then I landed on a customer service guy who was the antithesis of anything customer service oriented. Here is our conversation. Remember, this is a customer service / resolution representative.

“It appears what I have told you so far hasn’t made it to you. So here it is again – shorthand. I’d like to change a review I made of a guest, as they left a significant mess but they remedied the situation and I don’t think it’s fair to leave that review up about them without also sharing the actual outcome, as she went above and beyond expectations to fix the problem.”

“Unfortunately, I’m unable to resolve your case so I’m forwarding you to a team that can better assist you. While response times may vary, we do our best to respond within 24 hours. Thank you for your patience.”

“Will they call me or how does it work? I’m not waiting on here for 24 hours am I? Are you still there? Hello? Anybody out there?”

“Relax, my colleague said within 24 hours and it’s been three minutes. I’m from Airbnb’s resolutions team, please let me have a look right now.”

“I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to wait here for 24 hours or what. Thank you for your kind communication and your efforts to help.”

“Wow. FYI the difference between 9:34 and 9:40 is six minutes, not three.”

“Relax? This communication is definitely going to head office.”

“So you are already threatening me? That’s not very nice of you.”

“I have just been assigned to your case. It’s not a threat. I’m telling you about accountability. I’m trying to do a good thing on here, and you’re telling me to relax? That’s very resolutiony of you. You were assigned to my case and came on and told me to relax? For real? You’re acting like you’re an anonymous Twitter user, and you’re not. You’re representing a company that is global, and makes a lot of money. I will absolutely be sending this communication for accountability. You hold your hosts and your guests accountable for their behaviour, so I think it’s only fair to do the same with the so called ‘customer service’ representatives.”

I particularly like how he says “You’re already threatening me?” showing us all that he perceives that gets threatened regularly and it’s just a matter of time. I’m guessing if one pulls up his other communications, there will be a lot of anger and animosity. This is not a guy who should be representing any company in a customer service way, and he might want to go back to his Twitter troll ways.

The great thing is that he’s not anonymous, and we do know where he works and who he’s representing with his toxic aggression. I will also be sending a hard copy of this communication to the address Airbnb Hell has supplied. Just because. If we’re all held accountable for our behaviour, so too should the jerks representing Airbnb.

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Airbnb Decides it’s Okay for Guests to Stay for Free

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I was a host with Airbnb for almost three years. I own a beautiful villa on the island of Phuket and I’m not greedy so for a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom villa. I charge $300 a night, while nearby hotels are charging that for one room per night, so I’m fair.

Airbnb had some people stay at my villa during a violent storm. I warned these people that the Thai weather commission had issued violent weather warnings for the south of Thailand. During the night, around 2:00 AM, the power went out in the south of the island. The guests called me to complain at 2:00 in the morning, I informed them that my power was also out and I could not come over to fix anything.

The following day I called back to be yelled at for all the money to be refunded in full. I informed them that I am not allowed to do an off-site transaction as Airbnb will hold me responsible. I spoke with Airbnb and was told that storms are not my fault and nothing would be held against me.

After these guests complained that the power went out Airbnb canceled my listing and told me that any guests who have booked already will be allowed to stay at my property as I have agreed to do so. I contacted Airbnb to inform them to take their customers and put them where the sun don’t shine. All in all, Airbnb is a rubbish company and needs to change their ways. As you can see, my villa is a complete dump according to this company.

Host Guarantee Means Nothing to Airbnb

I will be talking about the devastating and very much time consuming that I have been through since August 1st until today. Almost 40 tiring days have passed with no result but that feeling of being very much ignored with many saved responses by the case manager from the resolution center remain.

I had a guest who robbed my apartment, taking an expensive Canon camera 50mm f/1.2 lens and an ironing machine. I overlooked the ironing machine and the fact that she had left permanent stains on the bed cover which I bought new right and I considered them collateral damage after the one-month reservation.

However, the 50mm lens was $1,472. Thus I have reported this incident to Airbnb support center on the phone and by messaging from August 1st until the 10th. I talked with tens of agents and case managers and I sent them all the photos and documents that they needed. They told me they would contact me soon.

Anyway, this was a lie from all of them and my first experience with such an incident. On the 11th of August I called again and a case manager told me that I had to request a refund from the guest who robbed my property. I have done so and she denied it, so I got the resolution center involved.

They automatically send you an email that it should take seven days to have your case resolved. It took until today, which is 25 days. This required all the patience that I had. I sent all the documents that they requested with every tiny detail and I waited and waited. Then they requested a police report which was a very strange thing to ask for after 25 days (I had four guests in my apartment since then). Why didn’t they request it when I called, messaged, and reported this incident?

I managed to go the police station and told them every tiny detail. They gave me the police report. By the end of that day I thought Airbnb would honor their Host Guarantee. I then resent all the photos, conversations, and documents.

Since then the case manager took five days to respond to my emails. He emailed me very strangely as if he knew nothing about my case. He said – and I’m quoting from his mail – “Thanks for your response. In order for an incident to be eligible for Airbnb assistance, the reported damages must have been caused by a guest or an invitee of the guest. You are free to pursue reimbursement from your guest directly. However, per this requirement, this case is not eligible for reimbursement. You may review the Host Guarantee terms here. If you have other questions about the Host Guarantee and what is covered feel free to respond.”

As if I didn’t involve them after I requested the refund from the guest directly. I emailed him back and he didn’t answer of course. Then I called Airbnb and after a very long conversation – thirty minutes – in which I had to tell the whole story from the first detail, I requested that they change the case manager who is investigating my case. He responded shortly by email: “After a thorough review, we have decided to uphold our original decision. We determined that a payout could not be processed in this instance. We consider this decision final.”

I will unfortunately be un-listing my Airbnb apartment. Although I met with many great guests, I would never have done this if I hadn’t been that ignored.