Airbnb Already Ruined Christmas, Waiting for Payout

I spent a lot of money redecorating a room in my home to have a new listing. A guest rented my place under false pretenses. I had to ask Airbnb to move them. When I did, I had the right to kick them out and keep the money but I did not.

I told Airbnb the woman could keep her next two future payments for the month of December and part of January. So, the agreement was that she would move out on November 30th and we would be done with each other. The last payment I received was on October 29th for the month of November. After all of this was arranged and decided in early November, I moved on.

December rolled around and two charges totaling nearly 1400 were removed from my payout. It said they were for “adjustments”. This happened late in the evening of the 23rd/early morning of the 24th/Christmas Eve. I had three guests at the time but for some reason the payment was late and not in full. I only received $136 for three guests?

I still had presents to pick up and had to travel out of state. I was depending on those funds to get me through the end of the month. I contacted Airbnb and they said the removal of funds was for the woman who moved out on November 30th.

I spent my Christmas Eve contacting family to help me financially to get to my destination and pick up the rest of my gifts – humiliating to say the least. I spend hours on the phone with Airbnb, and twice was told I would get called back immediately because they agreed with me, but only a supervisor could return the funds. Each time I did not get called back.

On Christmas Day I was contacted by Airbnb. A guest in my home had complaints and wanted to cancel and leave. He also wanted to talk to me in person. I then had to travel back home to NYC on Christmas Day to handle it.

Dealing with this literally ruined my holiday. I spent hours on the phone being put on hold and transferred instead of spending times with the kids. I had to leave the festivities and go home, only to have the guest tell me he was leaving because there was now room in his friend’s hotel. This is after him requesting the three most expensive nights of the year in NYC at a discount and after demanding I return home from out of state, to tell me he is leaving because he doesn’t want to pay.

The Airbnb supervisor told me they would fix the situation and call me in a few days. They were clearly working on Christmas, but made no attempt to fix the situation. A few days later they did not call during our scheduled time. I then spent over an hour on hold and then an hour and a half on the phone with people getting redirected.

I got another guy on the phone who agreed I should not have had the 1400 removed because I never received money for December and January from the woman. I have contacted Airbnb through Facebook and sent them all of my information twice. I have phoned people every other day. I have written within their app to customer service. Every single time they say they are still investigating. It is now 21 days later and they have admitted several times I am right but they claim to be investigating further and have not paid me out.

This is not the first time Airbnb has made “adjustments” and removed money from a listing for a previous one. I have also had guests come and ruin furniture, linens, and property only to receive nothing for damages in return. I provided photographic proof of a guest who wrote in sharpie on my walls, furniture and bed spreads. The same guest also caused a flood and damage to the basement apartment that are yet to be fixed.

I filed two complaints with Airbnb, provided proof, and they did not bother to contact me. Because of all this, I am constantly earning hand to mouth with Airbnb. At this rate, I am not really making a profit because I have not made back the money from fixing up the room and I have not made back the money from all the damage a guest caused in the other. Airbnb takes security deposits but what do they do with them?

Mismatched Expectations Between Hosts and Guests

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“In my experience communication with the host tends to be limited”

What do other hosts think about this? Would you allow someone into your house who doesn’t communicate? Even Airbnb encourages hosts to prepare a set of questions for guests, asking about their arrival time, reason for visiting, number of guests, luggage, house rules, etc. I literally copied and pasted the questions from Airbnb, but the guest used it against me, leaving one star for communication.

I moved to the freshly renovated luxury apartment a month before the guest’s arrival and asked him to take care of it like his own home. I mentioned I had a guest who painted her hair black in my brand new white bathroom – leaving black stains – and told the guest I’m not into drama which means if he doesn’t feel comfortable with my cleanliness he’s free to book other accommodations. I spend too much money on this apartment and couldn’t afford further damages in my first month. I’d rather him cancel and be open about it. I was sure I was  polite and professional with my communication; therefore I didn’t understand the guest’s aggression towards me and it really upset me.

“Upon arrival in the city, I reached out to the host to arrange a meet (something I’ve never had to do with any other host)”

Let me specify ‘the meet’ in the apartment. The correct word would be: meet and greet. What do you think, hosts? Is it bad thing to meet your guest in person? Even Airbnb commercials shows the meeting of the host and guest. Again, I didn’t understand what was my mistake.

“She provided me with a different address to the apartment”

My building has two entrances: the north and south side. You are allowed to put only one address on the listing. Therefore I always ask guests which side they’re coming from to give them a better address. I even send the map to the Airbnb team showing it was the same place. This was ignored.

“I think she could tell by my facial expression, I knew something was not accurate.”

Well, what a politically correct way to cover the fact he looked at me with disgust, assuming I’m Russian upon first meeting face to face. I felt horrible and very uncomfortable, but couldn’t name the feeling. I was thinking the guest thought I was from a third-world country and he was concern about the cleanliness. I reassured him everything was clean and showed multiple cleaning products and detergents. I encouraged him to feel free to use them during his stay whenever he wants.

He attacked me again, saying I asked him to clean. The apartment was sparkling clean; I put a lot of effort and heart in my new home. I’d never expect someone would want to clean it. Therefore I admit I left only one (thick) roll of paper towels alongside several different types of clothes, but I didn’t expect a guest would want to clean the entire apartment. I felt like he wanted to clean after me… clean out my presence. If he had asked about paper towels I’d simply have bought them, but he didn’t.

Finally, he complained about the “sparsely” furnished apartment. Before I moved in, I checked approximately 30 luxury apartments with a real estate agent. I took pictures of furnished model apartments, and I was collecting catalogs with recent home decor trends. My style would have been named ‘urban minimalistic’ by an agent, but not the guest, who used it as another occasion to attack me – suggesting I’m poor minded, maybe even retarded (as he mentioned in further conversation due to my origins) and couldn’t afford furniture. Obviously he didn’t expect I would know any trends; he prejudged me and my place. It was a disgusting experience, but that was just the beginning.

Can Misogynist Feedback Be Deleted?

I am an Italian host. You might wonder why I an not reaching out the Italian Airbnb website. I tried but I wasn’t very lucky. I am reaching to the US Airbnb site for two reasons: I have lived for some time in the US and there I got to know the US culture better. And so (second reason) I know people there take discrimination and bias seriously. Honestly after the #metoo movement and all its consequences I would expect some awareness here in Italy too, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case.

I had a problem with a guest who came to my place for New Year’s Eve. Since I was away for those days I thought it would have been nice to let someone get the chance to stay in my place and, at the same time, get a little extra money. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out as expected. I was unlucky to host a guest who had never used Airbnb before, expected my house to be a hotel, and expected me to be the hotel manager.

When he booked I asked him an approximate check in time. He didn’t answer for ten days and the night before check in he told me that since he already paid for the whole sojourn, he would expect me to be at his complete disposal. As I said, it was New Year’s Eve so I had plans with some friends. I told him that if he would have answered before I would have time to arrange a proper check in.

Anyway I did my best and told him my mum’s address to get the key. He did the check in alone. I left some post-its with important stuff and told him that for any questions he could Whatsapp me. Usually when I check someone in I give more details about where some helpful stuff is but I thought that since he would be staying just a few days we could just communicate via phone.

I checked on him a few times and he always said that everything was okay. He even asked me for the wifi password which is written in the house rules, proving that he had no idea how Airbnb works: he never even read my house rules.

After check out I got a surprise: some misogynist private feedback and a terrible public review. For example, he complained that there wasn’t enough toilet paper and no Schuko adapter but both were in the house. Why hadn’t he asked me for supplies? Just so he could write there weren’t any.

On the one hand I believe some people should just keep booking hotels and, as you can imagine, it is frustrating to deal with people that are not informed to be in the Airbnb community. If things would have been like this I could have let it go, but I am deeply concerned about the direction this world is going. Since I do not like it, I have sworn to myself to always try my best to make this world a better place.

This implies that I cannot let any sort of sexist comment go that attacks based on gender. In the private feedback, this guest insulted me because on my fridge I have a little plate saying “rompicoglioni della vagina!” which was given to me during a theater show of the vagina monologues (a very important show that started off Broadway and initialized the v-day movement).

He complained about the fact that I had my vagina ring (closed in its box of course) in the fridge: the vagina ring is medicinal for me and has to be in the fridge (between 2 to 6 Celsius degree) to be effective. I was told to put it in there by a gynecologist.

Last but not least, I had two used pads in the rubbish bin and of course he complained, claiming my house was dirty. In Reggio Emilia, both the recycling and generic waste (where the pads where) are collected door to door once a week; I really had no other options.

In conclusion, I feel like I am paying with my reputation, the fact that I am a feminist woman. This is wrong and should be stopped by whoever has the power to set a good example, Airbnb. Moreover, I wonder if there are any grounds to sue. Any help would be appreciated.

AirbnBS: Customers Want the Cheapest Option

I had several listings in central Sydney. The idea was to ‘test’ Airbnb at a few different market levels ranging through cheap, mid-market and high end. My experience has been that the only successful listings are the cheap ones. The reason for this is because Airbnb guests are inherent cheapskates.

Listings at the cheapest end of the market (a share room, backpacker style dorm) show a constant demand and high occupancy and as long as the photos and description are accurate and specific, the guests do not have any grounds for high expectations and, equally, any sustainable grounds for complaint. Alternatively, the opposite is true of mid-market and high end listings.

To attract bookings you have to be highly competitive and provide a full range of amenities, all of which are grounds for some kind of complaint by an asshole cheapskate trying for a free nights accommodation. My advice is keep it cheap and keep it simple and decline any guest who asks any question to which the answer is detailed in the listing preview. The enemy of profitability is time – don’t waste it. Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap and don’t take any shit from guests or management.

Airbnb Closing my Account after Fake Review

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“In my experience communication with the host tends to be limited.”

What do other hosts think about? Would you allow someone into your house who doesn’t communicate? Even Airbnb encourages hosts to prepare a set of questions for the guest asking about their arrival time, reason for visiting, number of guests, luggage, house rules, etc. I literally copied and pasted the questions from the Airbnb site, but this guest used it against me.

I moved to a freshly renovated luxury apartment a month before this guest’s arrival and asked him to take care of it like his own home. I mentioned I had a guest who painted her hair black in my brand new white bathroom – leaving black stains – and told the guest I’m not into drama. This means if he doesn’t feel comfortable with my cleanliness he’s free to book other accommodations.

I spent too much money on this apartment and couldn’t afford further damages in my first month. I’d rather cancel and was open about it. I was sure I was polite and professional with my communications, therefore I didn’t understand this guest’s aggression towards me and it really upset me.

“Upon arrival in the city I reached out to the host to arrange a meet (something I’ve never had to do with any other host)”

Let me specify ‘the meet’ in the apartment. The correct term would be “meet and greet.” What do you think, hosts? Is it bad thing to meet your guest in person? Even Airbnb commercials shows hosts and guests meeting. Again, I didn’t understand my mistake.

“She provided me with a different address to the apartment.”

My building has two entrances: the north and south side. You are allowed to put only one address on the listing. Therefore I always ask my guests which side they’re coming from to give them a better address. I even send the map to Airbnb team showing it was the same place. This was ignored.

“I think she could tell by my facial expression, I knew something was not accurate.”

Well, what a politically correct way to cover the fact he looked at me with disgust, assuming I’m Russian upon first meeting face to face. I felt horrible and very uncomfortable, but couldn’t identify the feeling. I was thinking the guest thought I was from a third-world country and he was concern about the cleanliness.

I reassured him everything was clean and showed multiple cleaning supplies. I encouraged him to feel free to use them during his stay – whenever he wants. He attacked me again, saying I asked him to clean.

The apartment was sparkling clean; I put a lot of effort and heart in my new home. I’d never expect someone would want to clean it. Therefore I admit I left only one (thick ) roll of paper towels alongside several different types of clothes, but I didn’t expect guests would want to clean the whole apartment.

I felt like he wanted to clean after me… clean out my presence. If he asked about paper towels, I would have simply bought them, but he didn’t.

Finally, he complained about the ‘sparsely’ furnished apartment. Before I moved in, I checked approximately thirty luxury apartments with a real estate agent. I took pictures of furnished model apartments, I was collecting catalogs with recent home decor trends.

My style would have been named ‘urban minimalistic’ by an agent, but not the guest, who used it as another occasion to attack me, suggesting I was poor minded, maybe even mentally challenged (as he mentioned in further conversations due to my origin) and couldn’t afford furniture? Obviously he didn’t expect I would know any trends; he prejudged me and my place. This was a disgusting experience, but that was just the beginning.

Host Taking Deposits Outside of Airbnb

Be very careful if staying in an apartment in Copenhagen with some Airbnb hosts. One is asking people to pay her a significant deposit outside of the Airbnb website. I made the mistake of trusting her and doing this. I am aware Airbnb’s website says not to do it… my mistake and stupidity.

Since she is a Superhost, I trusted her and she told me she had done it before. I paid her $2500 since she said she has very expensive furniture. I stayed in the apartment for a month for work after staying at another Airbnb for three months in Copenhagen.

The week after I moved out, I got a series of texts from her claiming I had broken her glassware, broken the plug in the bathroom sink, and stained the walls and doors. She also accused me of having other people stay. I do not recall breaking glasses but since it was a chip maybe it happened unintentionally. I definitely did not break the plug in the sink and the marks on the walls and door could have been from blue dye from my jeans.

It’s been two months since I moved out. In that time, she has apologized for the accusations of having others there, saying she found out it was a different apartment. She did not check her facts prior and should have before laying blame on anyone. She delayed getting me quotes for the other claimed damages and now says I will not get anything back since its costing over $2500 for all these repairs.

I ended up taking the matter to Airbnb, who finally came back and said they can’t do anything since I paid her outside of the website. What shocks me is Airbnb is still allowing her to list her apartment and potentially do this to other people. She even went as far as lying to Airbnb customer support, claiming I wanted to pay her a deposit outside of the website. She then apparently retracted this once I submitted email proof of her asking me.

I have full proof of all our communications over the past two months of my attempts to get my deposit back and happy to submit that to anyone who needs it. I will not be using Airbnb again and certainly will not stay at any apartment from this host. I am very professional and was staying in Copenhagen on a four-month work assignment, so I would not be so stupid to lie about everything that happened, risking my reputation and potentially my job.

Poorly Managed Safety from Airbnb Corporate

My story is how poorly Airbnb as an organization is run and how dangerous it is for hosts and guests. I have been an Airbnb host for the past two plus years. I have about 15 listings of homes in Los Angeles.

I was very excited to join Airbnb up until last night. Yesterday I had a booking from a guest who threw a huge party with over 80 guests. The house is ransacked but the most troubling part was I almost got hurt by these individuals. The police were called several times last night.

There was a young girl carried out unconscious from my home in a hurry by these partygoers. I called Airbnb several times but only got a call back from a safety person who barely spoke English and made it a more frustrating experience.

I sent several emails. I called and asked for a supervisor but no one called back. I messaged an individual who said he was a supervisor from Airbnb at least 20 times if not more to get the person to call me. Another customer service person advised me that per Airbnb policy a senior management person never gets on a call or deals with an issue. This truly surprised me: that a company of this magnitude is not involved in such a serious incident.

From my experience I find that reply to be negligent and unacceptable. I just emailed their top management to see if they would care, waiting for a reply. While this happened at my property I had other guests, an older family that was staying in the same building who happened to be hosts in Vegas. They shared similar stories.

I feel our story, including possibly the footage my camera captured, might be an opportunity for other people looking to get into this business or thinking about renting an Airbnb. Or possibly getting more serious rules and responsibilities placed on these booking sites to make sure this does not happen to others.

There are too many Airbnb Reviews, Period

Here’s my beef: the reviews. Every time a guest checks out, I review the guest, and I’m asked, “What could the guest do better?”

Now, the guest is my customer and a customer of Airbnb, so Airbnb asks that I criticize this person who has just come to stay the night and doesn’t want any trouble. Likewise, the guests review me and must be asked a similar question because every single review I get, there is an area for personal comments and the guest always leaves a little nastygram, telling me what I can do better.

Whereas an occasional host might take that question seriously, and the guest gets some feedback – Like what? “You shouldn’t leave your snot in the shower drain” – all guests take it seriously, and put themselves in the position of Reviewer of the Year.

There are many things I provide to be nice. These are things I don’t have to stock. I get complaints if the bar of soap is small. I was providing one Fiji water per guest (in their private little fridge) and they were complaining there was not enough free water.

I’ve received complaints about the snacks: about some of the plates arcing in the microwave, not having a hand towel, having to stir their coffee with a knife. Someone found a hair on one of the towels. Someone complained the ceiling was dirty. The window sill was dirty. There was a suggestion to wipe out the shower (make sure it’s dry for guests). The shower drips for a while after it is turned off.

A bug was found under the couch. A cricket came in under the door. There are tiny spiders in the corners of the ceilings. There’s a musty smell. I’m too noisy upstairs (it’s just me and I tiptoe). Buy a Keurig (there’s already a coffee maker, and free coffee and tea). Buy new nightstands. Buy a coffee table. Put in a TV. Make it lighter, use LED lights from now on. Keep the computer turned on or make it easier to turn on or take it out altogether.

Change the electrical wiring. Get new pillows. Get a luggage rack. Provide a place to hang clothes. Give more heat. Give more parking space. Love my emotional support pet. Did you slam the toilet seat or was that the heater?

Two naturally-oriented guests left the double doors open during a rain storm and put the couch in front of the open space to look out. When they were done, they didn’t close one side completely and for a while, worms were coming in to die, seeking the cool tile floor. Complaints from the next four guests because I couldn’t figure out why they started coming in so much.

I internalize and act on the comments. After being fully booked for a year, all those complaints I listed? They’re all fixed. I’ve made the place better and better. There are new floors, a new TV with all the channels you can get, a dehumidifier, a new heater (which two guests say is too loud and one even suggested buying a second new heater), new nightstands, the luggage rack, the LED light bulbs, plenty of plastic silverware, unoffensive everlasting snacks, lots of water (no longer Fiji), new paint on the walls and ceilings, and even a strictly regimented cleaning process, which I would happily attach if it would make dear reader happy.

My suggestion is, if they have a complaint, let them leave a complaint. But don’t encourage them. Hosts get worn out by constant suggestions and complaints. A guest might get one suggestion in a year. I have received more than one hundred. And that – on top of cleaning the place 120 times (they don’t all leave reviews) and having strangers in my basement.

I know it’s helpful. I should unpack and cherish every complaint like the little gift (of crap) it’s meant to be. But it hurts my heart. I am caring about these people and making the place super nice (it’s five stars, I’m a Superhost, and it’s a three-room suite in my very nice basement area for $45/night in a touristy area) and yet the complaints keep pouring in with every review. It’s not public (although some guests can’t help themselves) but it still undermines my joy in the experience, considerably.

Could Airbnb maybe only ask half of them to tell me what I could do better? Let the other half think for themselves whether they want to tell me what I can do better. I have many other tangents I can run down regarding Airbnb, Heaven or Hell, Depending on the day, but I will save that for another time. Until then, enjoy the host experience…