Airbnb Host Payments Via Western Union

As a Airbnb host in a country where Airbnb does not deposit into hosts’ accounts, I receive some of my payments via Western Union. This has proved successful; Airbnb sends you an email when payment is made quoting a Western Union reference number. I go into Western Union, quote the number, and collect my cash or cheque.

It was great until last week. Airbnb did not send an email with a reference number. After seven hours online with the support center, they gave me a reference code. Immediately on seeing the code I told them it was not a valid Western Union one. Basically a Western Union code (known as a MTCN) starts with MTCN and is followed by ten numbers (no letters).

They supplied a reference with less than ten digits and mainly letters. I explained this to them and they told me to reach out to Western Union. This cannot be done quite simply because I do not have a valid reference number.

After seven hours of back and forth yesterday, Airbnb stopped responding. I started the support process this morning and eventually received a message saying this support case was closed. I then sent through a query, asking how can it be closed if it is not resolved? To which I received the reply: this support case is closed.

Here I sit wondering how to get my 500 USD (slightly over) and how to feed my family. We host not to earn a little pocket money but as a family income. Basically it is the only income we have, so here I am with over 330 five-star reviews, Superhost status for three years… and penniless. Thanks for caring Airbnb. I care which is why I share.

Complain to State Attorney General About Airbnb

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Back in December I tried to book a room via Airbnb. The host sent me the offer and asked for payment. Within minutes they retracted their offer and raised the listing price. It was a classic bait and switch.

I reported it to Airbnb and provided the screenshots of the offer and change. The rep went on about fluctuation, pending time, etc. The retraction and change was clear and concise. They did nothing.

I booked a room with a host in Las Vegas. I chose his establishment based on his Superhost status and reviews. The reviews all said the place was clean and so on. One thing to remember is that to some people who might be nasty, this place might have very well been clean. He listed his place as a sanctuary and a private retreat for writers.

I arrived and there was a photoshoot going on and I could hear the music and chatter from the street which was 100 feet away from the front door. Upon checking in, he stated that the photoshoot would be ending within the hour. I decided to take a shower to kill time and found the tub riddled with mildew, some around the sink drain, as well as hair all over the floor.

Long story short, the next day I asked for a partial refund in which he obliged and was apologetic about the situation. Then he later left a scathing and false review to which I rebutted. I gave Airbnb screenshots of our text correspondence and photos of the conditions. As per the usual, they did nothing but dance around the subject, stating that the review could not be taken down because it was his experience with me.

I reminded the rep that the photo evidence I showed proved he was lying about the people making noise being community residents and he, in writing, said they were from a photoshoot. It made no difference.

I was compelled to do further research and found that the host/establishment did not have a business license. The lady at the county clerk’s office advised me to report them to the business licensing department because they were in a zone where it was required. So, I did. I also filed with BBB.

I advise anyone who wants to see results or at the very least put the hosts on notice to research the address with the business license office in their jurisdiction to see if it is required and if so, report them if they do not have one. In Las Vegas a host was fined $72,000 for operating without one.

Also, if they offer food or snacks they must provide a permit for that as well. Airbnb takes no responsibility for anything because they are unregulated. If your room is dirty it’s just your opinion, and no one really cares about that. However, the government absolutely will have no problem launching an investigation against hosts with no business license because they are not paying taxes.

Airbnb should be forced to display that the host’s license has been verified and that they are indeed the owner of the property they host and if not, they should be forced to provide a notarized agreement between the owner and the renter stating they have permission to host on Airbnb.

How to Move on a Problem Airbnb Guest?

Someone please help me with some advice as how to address a guest who has kept the bedroom really dirty. He is a long-term tenant and the bedroom looks totally trashed. Fortunately he’s often out so he doesn’t use the kitchen very much.

He has told me he has never cooked in his life so when he cooks something he has burnt my frying pan and the things he’s washed are all grimy and oily feeling when I pick them up.

The bedroom is the main problem. It has been a month since he changed the sheets, doona cover, and pillow cases from his bed. It’s problematic in the hot Sydney summer. He’s also had a bad cold.

When I asked him to please change his sheets after a month, he agreed reluctantly and put the fresh sheets I’d given him over the bed. I noticed last week they had been pushed down and the mattress protector has also been pushed off; he’s sleeping on the bare mattress.

The room already smells really bad with empty biscuit and chip packets and a used jar of Nutella sitting open next to his bed. I know this because when he goes out he leaves his door open and I can smell the stench from the room.

I’ve had a similar problem in the past with a guest not changing their sheets during their stay in my spare room. After they left the sheets, doona, and pillows smelled of rancid sweat. The smell stayed on even after washing and I ended up having to throw it all out and buy a new set of everything.

I have even had problems with him using the bathroom. He left a soaking wet bathmat where he’s said he soaked the floor and had to mop up… so he used the mat, then left it scrunched in the corner. I’ve been repeatedly hanging the mat up to dry. When he couldn’t see where it was he used my personal hand towel to wipe the floor and then hung it back on the railing soaked and dirty.

I’ve tried talking to him but he’s often out. When I try to raise something he always says “yes” but keeps on with the same behavior. I feel like I’m living with a 15-year-old teenage son. Not a young man in his mid 20s. I get the distinct impression he has never had to clean up after himself. They are not necessarily big things but a series of little things that are incredibly frustrating.

I’ve tried ringing Airbnb and the assistant at the call center in the Philippines says I can’t do anything about it. They have discouraged me when I said I was considering asking him to leave. The latest is that he doesn’t flush the toilet properly after doing a number two. They discouraged me from asking him to leave, saying it would be negatively assessed by the organisation if I did so. They said if there is any damage to my property that I could only send them photos after he has vacated and then I’d have to submit a claim to their resolution center. I have another three weeks of this guest and I feel stuck. Any suggestions?

Airbnb Rents to Those Who Lie About their Age

We are realtors and property managers of prestigious properties in Palm Beach County, Florida. On February 24th, 2019, a guest booked one of our luxury homes. Our team tried to contact the guest 17 times in order to find out how many people/ages/etc. were booked. There was no reply from the guest until one hour before check in.

You may ask why we didn’t cancel the booking? Of course any cancellation by a host is penalized by Airbnb. We were suspicious and contacted Airbnb to explain our concerns, i.e. we smelt a rat. The naive Airbnb person, who could hardly speak English, said the standard phrase “I fully understand your situation and I will reach out to the renter.”

As we had no confidence in the Airbnb telephone assistant, we met the guest at a neutral location (Panera Bread). He is a 22 year old, with eight friends under the age of 21, a couple of whom were 17 years old. He admitted he did not return our attempts to contact him because he knew we did not accept groups of under 25s.

This is the wording of the contract he signed to obtain the booking:

Rental properties are for family vacations only: [the host] gladly rents to families or responsible adults over the age of 25 years old. [The host] has a “No-Group” Policy, which includes but is not limited to the following: SCHOOL, SPRING BREAK, PROM, GRADUATION, SORORITIES, FRATERNITIES, OR WEDDING RECEPTIONS.

[The host] may approve at the time of reservation and at our discretion to rent to groups, but you must disclose at the time of reservation 1) that you are a non-family group and, 2) the majority of the group members must be at least 25 years of age. [The host] will not enter into a Rental Agreement with anyone under the age of 25. Be honest!

The best way to avoid problems during your stay is to be up front when making the reservation. Any such misrepresentation, overcrowding, exceeding parking capacity, or sub-letting of Rental Property will result in both the forfeiture of all monies paid (including all fees) and immediate, expedited eviction.

In addition, if [the host] discovers any undeclared parties, prom groups, graduation groups, or underage groups, before during or after stay then [the host] will bill the guest credit card a minimum fee of 1 night`s rent and any damages or additional housekeeping charges. In addition, [the host] reserves the right to bill $150 per incident for neighborhood complaint calls made to the police or complaint calls to [the host] after hours emergency number, or any other neighborhood complaint regarding Guest noise, nuisance, and parties.

[THE HOST] HAS A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR ROWDY GROUPS-PLEASE BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!”

Obviously, we were unable to allow him to stay in this multi-million dollar home with his eight friends. Airbnb then made a ruling, after having all of the above information, to fully refund the renter. Our client has now lost almost $5000 and the property cannot be rented at this late stage.

Here is Airbnb’s reasoning: “It is Airbnb’s policy not to discriminate on age against anyone renting a property over the age of 18”. This means the contracts you upload onto Airbnb are, apparently, trumped by the Airbnb policy of no discrimination against anyone over 18 years old, even if they are spring breakers looking to party in quiet neighborhoods. It is exactly this policy that gives Airbnb and local property managers a bad name, in quiet respected neighborhoods.

Would you really like this guest and his buddies next to your mother and father for a week? Airbnb: you are a disgrace and no wonder Palm Beach County is taking legal action against you. There is a real need and a responsibility to protect neighborhoods from Airbnb’s naive policies.

Fleeced and Kicked Out by Crazy Airbnb Host

This nightmare began when I saw an ad for a three-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac in Walton, Kentucky. I contacted Airbnb and made a reservation only to find out the address that I was sent to wasn’t the correct address. I called the host who gave me an address some 30 minutes away.

When I got there, there wasn’t any three-bedroom cul-de-sac; it was a rundown trailer park with a bunch of rundown trailers. When I got inside, the nightmare turned real: the floors had large holes in it with pieces of carpet trying to conceal it.

There was another guest there that told me to run but I thought he was joking. The host put him out for telling me and I told her she should put locks on the doors so guests could have privacy. She flipped out on me.

I stayed up that entire night and went to work the next day. When I came back, she had changed the locks and kept my stuff. I contacted Airbnb because I had nowhere to sleep outside. For three days I called Airbnb and they had the nerve to say go get pictures.

Then they said the host refused to give me a refund. Did you really think that I would ever get any resolution? No refund, no calls back, nothing. I just got ripped off. I am going to the news stations to sue.

Threats and Lies from Horrible Guests

I wanted to take a moment to share our recent experience with Airbnb and explain why we will be deleting our listing and not renting our home. We are being threatened by a crazy guest who cancelled her reservation and was upset at the cancellation policy.

Someone named “Maygan” booked a reservation at our home for one guest. I accepted the reservation and began chatting with her through Airbnb messages. In these messages she informed me that there would be twelve people staying at the house. I informed her that our home only sleeps ten, but I could increase the maximum to twelve if she promised to take excellent care of our home. She agreed and thanked me.

When she made the change the price increased and I explained that there is an incremental increase in price for parties greater than four guests. Maygan is claiming that we are scammers because we charge more for a party of twelve than we do for a party of four. I disagree.

When I book properties through Airbnb as a guest I always make sure I put in the correct party size so that the system shows me accurate prices of places when I consider booking. Instead of thinking that we are charging more for larger parties, I prefer to think that we are offering a discounted rate to smaller parties.

Regardless, Maygan accepted the reservation change, which clearly shows the price changes. She then said she was going to check with the rest of her party to make sure everyone was still interested. Since it had been two days since the reservation was originally booked, Airbnb charged her card for the reservation she was booking.

Towards the end of the second day Maygan decided to cancel the reservation, but due to Airbnb’s cancellation policy, she was informed that she would not be getting a refund. At this point she apparently told her group that “the hosts went ahead and charged her credit card without authorization for the entire amount of the reservation.”

Maygan claims that it was a couple of hours from the time she booked until the time she cancelled. I wish that were the case, but unfortunately she booked in the early morning on 2/27 and cancelled in the evening on 2/28.

After this I was contacted by Airbnb and asked if I would refund Maygan’s money. Every single time a reservation had been cancelled up to this point, I have been asked by Airbnb to make an exception and refund the money… and I have always allowed it. This time I said I would refund the full amount if our home was able to re-book for the dates or I would refund half of the amount if I was unable to re-book for the dates.

I was traveling out of town that weekend for a baby moon, as we used IVF and surrogacy to (very expensively) get pregnant with twins. It is a month until they will be born and our soon-to-be children’s godparents decided to gift us a baby moon trip to rural Colorado.

It was a wonderful trip and upon arriving back home I received an Airbnb message from someone in Maygan’s group. This person created a fake spam account on Airbnb and messaged me to say that I was an unethical and evil person because I wouldn’t make an exception to the cancellation policy.

This person then said they posted our physical address, names and personal information on this site and others in the hope that other people would get angry. They said, “Who knows what other angry trolls will do to you.”

This person then threatened to get into our home somehow and plant lots of bedbugs in the beds, release full traps of deer ticks in the yard in the hopes that we would get Lyme disease, post fake items for sale on internet sites in the hopes of having lots of random strangers come to the house, etc.

This person then sent another message saying that they could see on the calendar that people would be at the house this weekend and they were going to “post an anonymous classified ad at the house while it was booked so dozens of people would show up looking for stuff… it will be an ordeal.”

At the end of this horrible message it ended with, “P.S. I enjoyed looking at your photos of the wedding in (LOCATION). The photographer did an excellent job. You too look really happy.”

Now this person is stalking me? I have reached out to law enforcement and was told that these threats could be considered criminal harassment and result in fines and a year in jail. Now, I don’t want it to go that far but it is nice to know that the law is on my side here

What I have proposed is that if Maygan provides the identity of the person threatening my property and family I will authorize Airbnb to refund all of her money. If something were to happen to my home or my family, I want to know the identity of the person that was threatening us.

I will update this but for now I am just awaiting Maygan’s response. I do think it’s a little ironic that someone is hiding behind a fake profile in order to threaten me and make my personal information public.

Host Used Misleading Photos and Kept the Money

I met someone in January 2019 in Costa Esmeralda, Panama. He responded to a sign on my rental property. He said he was an Airbnb host and could easily rent the one that I had unoccupied. He wanted 5% commission. I was fine with that.

He booked a party of four into a one-bedroom casita for three nights. The guest was surprised to see that the rental was not the same as the photos posted. The host paid me my rental fee the following week, and said he had a new booking who had booked the one bedroom for a period of one month.

This host charged her 1400 instead of the 850 I had told him to charge. The guest was unhappy about the isolation of the rental as the host had not told her there was no transport from my property. I told her I would drive her to the supermarket whenever she needed to go.

She left but returned in three days and stayed only about two weeks, as she left on March 12th, instead of the 19th. The photos in the ad showed my personal house and pool, not that of the rental, so the guest thought she was getting my beautiful Buddha garden with the pool.

Until this time I had not looked at the ad as I was preparing for a yearly art sale. I now searched for the ad and found the photos were indeed misrepresenting. At this time the host emailed me and told me he and his wife were sailing in the Caribbean and would “keep in contact”.

That is the last I heard from them as they obviously left the country without paying me a cent, and they collected 1400 USD from the guest. These two are obviously criminals and I want my money from Airbnb that these crooks stole.

They have other listings where they are listed as hosts. I am hoping that Airbnb has the brains to remove their listings; they are in El Valle. I have emails from both guests to support my comments, and I have screenshots of the bookings.

Host Attempted to Kiss Me Despite My Refusal

I had reached the apartment the afternoon of February 27th, 2019. I had to drag my suitcase up all the way to the third floor having to ask 2-3 people on the way if it was in fact the “F building” as there was hardly any way for newcomers to be able to check if they’re entering the correct building despite the host sending me pictures of the entrance before. The picture doesn’t really help when you’re in the actual situation looking for the entrance.

I had also asked the host in advance – since there was no elevator – if could I pay security to get my suitcase for me. The host seemed really worried about getting in trouble and about how nobody is supposed to know he hosts guests through Airbnb. His secretly hosting guests without having the rest of the residents on board caused me an enormous amount of inconvenience, especially in a building without a lift.

There were security concerns, like the key being left on top of the door so that the host didn’t have to be there to receive anyone. The key was accessible to everyone, though if the host continues to keep it there I am assuming nothing must have happened until now. I didn’t really like that it meant even the maid had access to come in anytime; I needed to know if my own stuff was safe if I decided to leave it behind. Luckily the maid had come by the time I got ready to go out around 3:00 or 4:00 PM and had been asked to not go into my room. She agreed.

There was wifi, hot water in the bathroom, and sufficient space in the guest’s room. What was missing was a proper bed instead of a mattress, a chair, and a table so there was some place for people to relax and to keep their stuff. Not everything can be done lying down or sitting on a mattress at such a low level.

I came back around 10:00 PM and the host returned about an hour later, knocking on the door. I replied and he opened the door and asked if everything was okay several times, so often that I got tired of answering. Then I mistook a bottle of water for alcohol and he said “Why would I keep alcohol just lying around when I have a bar in my cupboard?”

I didn’t know what to answer to that. He asked if I wanted to see it so I just said okay. He asked if I wanted something after revealing his collection to me. I said, “Okay, if it’s okay with you.”

He asked what does that mean and I said, “It’s your alcohol so…”

He said, “Yes, you can have some.”

I know how expensive alcohol can be so I didn’t know if it was okay to ask for some from someone living in a tiny two-bedroom apartment with minimal furniture renting one of the rooms to Airbnb guests. But he seemed more than enthusiastic to show off his Honey Jack Daniels talking about how expensive it is, how he buys them from Abu Dhabi, and how he really wanted me to feel the “luxury” of this drink with every sip.

Then he offered me Old Monk and started talking about the brand and some of the facts. It was so plain and boring. On top of that he asked me to go bottoms up which I couldn’t do because I found it absolutely tasteless and disgusting. However, he insisted and I just finished it in 2-3 sips since very little of it was left. I had no more interest in this intellectual alcohol discussion torture.

He said he would give me the Jack Daniels one now since I liked it better and I said that was enough for now. He asked if I don’t drink often and I confirmed that I don’t. Then the topic of cigarettes came up and he asked if I smoked. I said, “No,” and he asked why. When I said it was for health reasons he started making counterarguments that it’s not as bad as people say it is.

He lit up a cigarette and asked if I wanted to try it. With every drag he took he asked me to try it or made counterarguments about why it’s not that unhealthy or how one cigarette won’t convert me into an addict. None of it really mattered because I had said “no” to every offer and he was trying to lower my inhibitions.

Then he asked me if none of my friends smoke. Some do and some don’t, though I did not want him to try to convince me to smoke anymore. I just said “no” and then he asked the same thing about my boyfriend. I hesitated because I did not have a boyfriend but I did not want to tell him that as I had started to feel scared after he asked this question. After hesitating for a few seconds, I just shook my head to say no.

He asked me again “He doesn’t smoke?” (recognizing my hesitation) and I shook my head to say no again. A few seconds later he asked me what my boyfriend does for work. At that point I confronted him about him wanting to seduce me. He looked at me dumbfounded, asking me why would he want to seduce me in a really slow and soft tone, without breaking eye contact, repeatedly. I asked him if I could just go and sleep in my room. He said “okay” in the same tone, without breaking eye contact like before. I got and left.

He asked me if I had had dinner when I was near the door. While I was answering, he came closer to the entrance of my room and asked if I have everything I need, like water, etc. He was going to enter my room to “check if I have everything” but I was holding the door towards me and my arm was between him and the room. He changed the topic and went back to asking why would I think he would seduce me in that same manner as before. Then he said “I thought we could kiss.”

I said “I don’t want to.”

A few seconds later after some beating around the bush he asked “Do you want to kiss me? Can we kiss?”

I said, “No.”

He asked, “Why?” and I didn’t know what to say. I just looked away and smiled a little because of my nervousness.

Then I looked at him and he was walking towards me with his arms in the air like he was walking towards a lover or something. I freaked out, brought my arms between us, and pleaded with him to not rape me. He was a little shocked and asked me why would he rape me, and if I was crazy. I said, “Let’s just forget this and go to sleep.”

He said “okay” and I locked the door.

Within an hour, I had packed up everything, called a dormitory hotel and asked them if they had a bed available, that I was trying to escape a dangerous situation so they should write down the address just in case. I even messaged my friend to message me back in ten minutes to ask me what was going on.

I was really grateful to the dormitory hotel who did a really good job of checking on me by calling me twice after I had called and even messaging me a fourth time. They were all expecting me and took my luggage without asking any questions.

They quickly got my check in done and escorted me to my bed, put my suitcase in the storage under the bed and handed me the keys after which I was lying on my bed, and ensured my friend that everything was fine. I had my heart rate go up when everything was over, as it was starting to dawn on me what had just happened. I finally fell asleep and woke up later than I had planned to.

Airbnb refunded the money next morning though they did not give me any confirmation on what they’ll be doing with the host’s account even though I have asked them to ban him. They said they take these issues very seriously and that they will be investigating this issue.

The listing currently seems to be gone but his profile is still there. Here is his Airbnb profile. His Airbnb address is in Sameer Housing Society, Versova, Andheri West. I really hope Airbnb doesn’t let sexual predators have profiles on their website. They’re also not publishing my review of him so future female travelers can’t know about what he did, which I think is a really unethical thing for Airbnb to do.

At least his listing is not available anymore but since his profile is still there who knows? Maybe they’ll bring back his listing hoping I’ll forget about it.

Mistranslation Concerning a Shared Room

I offered a so-called “shared room” on the English Airbnb homepage and specified there that it was a “common area”. On the German homepage this was translated by Airbnb to a zimmer, which is actually a “room” in English. A customer misunderstood this; she thought that it was a room. This is understandable because the English homepage and the German homepage differ a lot.

The whole offer is differently (and wrongly) presented on the German homepage than it was originally written. On the English homepage it is possible to specify where the bed is located: in a bedroom or in a common area. This is in actual fact very important information and because it is not possible on the German homepage, Airbnb just changed my offer on the German homepage to a bed in a bedroom.

This was an indication for the customer that she would get a bedroom, which was not intended by me when I wrote my offer (only) on the English homepage, where it could be specified precisely. When the customer complained later, the German staff member of Airbnb decided that I had made a mistake. Airbnb cancelled the reservation early and charged me for the difference, which is against German Law.

Obviously the German staff member was also only looking at the German homepage with the translation error though I pointed out several times that Airbnb made the mistranslation. I am shocked that a company with such extensive experience should make such a fundamental error and blame me (and probably other hosts as well) for it.

Airbnb’s Fake Policies Include Not Paying Hosts

I’m currently dealing with a broken air conditioner that cost over $5000. Case closed, no reimbursement from Airbnb. I sent in over 15 minutes of video taken as soon as I walked into the home finding all the destruction.

After 11 days, they finally responded to me. They gave me time to send in the evidence – pictures – to find replacements, and send in the receipts. Fine, but I needed more time for the AC since the repairman came and got here by the deadline.

This is what I learned: if they had offered me anything, any amount of money for reimbursement – maybe two dollars? – I would take it and run. Airbnb does nothing to protect properties whatsoever. I also had six people cancel at the last minute who were not entitled to any refund under my strict cancellation policy. Every single one of them made up some story and received a 100% refund.

One girl didn’t receive a refund because I refuse to “authorize“ it. She didn’t deserve it and it would be filing my cancellation policy I protested. The next day Airbnb cancelled the guest whom I had been looking forward to meeting and had a $1001 payout. They cancelled her reservation and told her I canceled it. She got a new place to stay and I completely screwed.

I’m only posting this summer, have received rave reviews from every single guest that stayed here, and I’m currently out over $6000. I counted I bought new towels, sheets, a portable air conditioner, fans, counting on $7000 and payouts that were anticipated due to bookings when I started. I received less than $3000 payout and now, I’ll be lucky if I get $3500.

Airbnb restricted my account weeks ago, because a guest falsely claimed I had a security camera in order to get his refund equal to 100% of the original payment. Ridiculous.

I wish I never did business with Airbnb; they are crooks, and they lie. I’m moving to VRBO.

Hosts: Beware of Airbnb’s fake policies. They will not do what is your best interest even if it goes against their policies. Airbnb caters to the guests, which in my case cost me over $6000.