Stealing + Worst Customer Service = Lose Loyal Customers

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I have been waiting three weeks for Airbnb to pay me AUD 1,338.33 owed to me as a host for two reservations. Airbnb has confirmed the guests have paid them but they have not paid me due to a “computer glitch” with “no timeframe” for a resolution.

My messages to Airbnb support get no replies. During calls to them I repeat the story over again, get told they will “investigate”, and no one follows up. When I requested an escalation, I was told no managers were available. I have also tried Twitter and get nothing but platitudes off them, saying there is an “open case” on my account; the case is marked as closed within the app.

The cherry on top is my current guest lied to me and has sublet my place to total strangers without my permission. I reported this user to Airbnb and have had no follow-up from them.

I have used Airbnb since 2013 as both a guest and host with a total of 47 reservations. After this horrendous customer service experience, never again. Airbnb has clearly overexpanded with all the ridiculous ‘experiences’ and has forgotten to look after its original customer base. The trust culture and sharing economy values it was founded on no longer apply.

You are not too big to fail, Airbnb. Word of mouth built you up and will tear you back down again. Fix your shoddy app full of glitches; I thought you were supposed to be a shining example of Silicon Valley disruptive tech?

It’s totally outrageous that Airbnb expects me to wait while they fix their crappy tech when they could just pay me instantly; they already have money belonging to me. A painful realisation that there is nowhere to turn to when the s$%t hits the fan with this company, one that will drive me back to hotels and real bed and breakfasts as a guest. I will never host again.

Just Another Airbnb Nightmare Experience

Below is the letter I sent to all the Airbnb contact emails I found online. There has been no response.

To whom it may concern, I have been an Airbnb client and host for years. This is the first time that I have encountered the problem that is far beyond your regular support team can solve it fairly. I hope that this email would be received by someone who cares, really listens, and reads every detail professionally.

We rented a room in Bangkok and the client wanted to leave earlier. Your team shortened the booking dates and refunded him without our permission. Our payment is now -‪19946.95‬ Baht plus the unit being empty for weeks during high season.

All of a sudden, the guest reported on the second week of stay that he felt insecure as there was an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift. We explained and provided legal evidence to the guest to confirm that his one-month rental period was legal as it was long-term.

The support team did not care about our opinion on this, refunded the guest, and never answered us again. We have been ignored several times by your support team staff and we are reaching for help now with great hope for justice. We hope you will listen to us. If not, we have no choice but to reach for help outside Airbnb; somewhere justice is still in practice. Thanks in advance.

Here is the review I left to the client:

I am sacrificing my time to write this long review to remind all hosts to be very careful in accepting [this guest’s] booking. It’s difficult to explain everything in print as it tortured us mentally, physically and financially.

Case (1): [The guest] booked the room for one guest and refused to adjust the booking for two guests. Finally, we gave him an approximately 60% discount to end the lengthy discussion and hoped to let him keep his travel plans smooth and trouble-free. Anyhow, we only received less than half of what had previously been agreed upon.

He rejected the idea of paying more. Two guests stayed at our place since day one. He said it wasn’t his business and we should talk to Airbnb ourselves. I spent days attempting to reach Airbnb and no one was there to answer. I was abroad and I had to use international calling. I couldn’t enjoy my New Year’s trip but spent the whole time talking to him and constantly messaging the service team.

Airbnb finally paid for him as the missing amount was the service fee which I also previously told him to make sure the amount we should receive is after the service fee. He didn’t care. Anyhow, the first issue was resolved. Now, the second one went far beyond what we could stand.

Case (2): Things went well for a week or so. Then, [the guest] mentioned about getting checked by local police late at night on the street on his tuk-tuk Bangkok tour. He wanted to travel somewhere else besides Bangkok but his tailor-made suit could only be finished on January 7th. Please remember this date well.

After almost a two-week stay, he got me by surprise by telling Airbnb that he just saw an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift and felt insecure. He wanted a full refund for his “uncomfortable nights”. Yes, this happened a day after January 7th.

Even though the sign against Airbnb has been there since his arrival. Even though we sent him the government confirmation documents stating that 30-day rentals are legal in Thailand (he wanted the official one so it’s in Thai) and told him where he could get a quick translation service around the corner. He succeeded in persuading Airbnb to refund all of his uncomfortable nights and left our place (with the AC on) with no notice.

We tried to reach Airbnb and they only said that it was their final decision on the case. There was no further reply and no attention to our messages. This made our room empty for weeks during high season and if you are a host you may know what that means. Airbnb agreed to refund [the guest] and repeatedly ignored our messages, simply because the support team agreed that this application was illegal in Thailand.

We still feel very much disappointed in being treated unfairly when we have tried our best to provide all guests with maximum comfort and joy in our home country. Along the way, Airbnb did contact us once. That was when [the guest] asked the service team to talk with us about the missing money from case (1) but never again.

This made us realize that we are not welcome here. After this post I will terminate my account with Airbnb. It was more than disappointing to receive his booking. If I could go back in time, I would rather keep my room vacant.

Airbnb Can’t Stay up to Date on Tax Laws

Recently I was contacted by the County of Marin, stating that I owed $2,400 due to Airbnb paying the wrong amount of Transient Occupancy taxes. I was notified by the county after one year, so the mistake was very expensive.

I contacted Airbnb approximately three weeks ago, and I still have not heard back. I have called numerous times. They promise to call back within 24-48 hours but they never do. I spoke with a supervisor who said he would call back within 24 hours, but no success.

I keep getting reservations, and they still are still charging the wrong amount. I have asked at “a minimum” to please change it to the correct amount, which they have verified to be accurate on their end, and they tell me someone from “the appropriate department” will contact me. This never happens.

This is only one example of the horrible customer service received by hosts. I recommend that everyone boycott Airbnb, and go to VRBO. That is the only way this monopoly will learn how to treat their customers with respect. Absolutely horrible customer service.

Enough! Calling all Hosts to Class Action Lawsuit!

My tale is long, complicated, and listed below. But more to the point of this post, are you a host who has been taken advantage of by Airbnb’s host guarantee? Calling all hosts to class action. The more people who respond, the more likely we are to get results. Read on for my story.

November 14th, 2019. Guests checked in for a three-month stay, but arrived with four more people than they paid for on the booking. I contacted the guest and asked for the reservation to be corrected to the accurate amount of persons.

On November 26th, the guest still had not followed through and I could see the guests were violating my house rules (parking on the yard). I got Airbnb customer service involved. My case person saw my proof (video) and said that he would address the issue. After going back and forth with him for a few days, he started ghosting me on December 5th. This lasted until December 13th when another agent contacted me to say “Thanks for reaching out to us regarding this issue. I’ve forwarded your inquiry to a member of my team who can better assist you. They’ll be getting in touch with you soon.”

On December 14th, an entire month post check-in, I was finally able to get the guest charged for the proper amount of people. Then it all went off the rails. My guest decided to cancel the rest of their stay, claiming the house wasn’t big enough for them. Which means they had to get out, the same day, and still pay for the next month, per Airbnb’s long-term reservation cancellation policy. I was fine with this.

However, Airbnb then had a supervisor ask me to refund the guests $4000. I told them that their request was outrageous. This guest lied about the booking, then ignored requests to make it right for an entire month, all while violating house rules over and over again… there was no way I was refunding them.

The supervisor asked me to allow them to stay for the next 30 days, even though their reservation was cancelled. I explained to him, that assuming guests take good care of the home and follow the rules, I am willing to let them stay but I wanted the reservation reinstated to protect my right within Airbnb’s policies.

He said they could not reverse the cancellation and asked me to simply block my calendar for the dates, then promised my rights would be covered as if the reservation was still active in their system. I asked for him to submit this information to me in writing. He said he would have my new agent send it to me. Despite multiple requests, that never happened.

After agreeing to house these guests without an official reservation on my account, the guest proceeded to violate my house rules by parking on the grass (there is a four-car driveway), leaving tire marks in my yard. All of a sudden Airbnb was asking me “How did your guests do? Please leave them a review.” I contacted Airbnb again to tell them that I can not and should not be asked to review a guest who is still in my house. Airbnb disagreed and said there was nothing they could do about it (which is false).

Fast forward to December 24th. Airbnb closed this extremely messed up case. On December 27th, I got to the house to do the yard and check on the conditions. It was awful. There was rotten food everywhere, damage to all my furniture in the living room and kitchen, a bug infestation as a result of the food, a cabinet was broken into and all my laundry supplies were missing, part of my refrigerator was outside full of dirt, and my smoke/carbon dioxide detector was covered by a plastic bag. I had had enough.

I kicked the guests out, via Airbnb message, because they were not present. Once again, the guest did not respond to my messages. I immediately took a video of the entire house and started to reach out to Airbnb again for help. The agents kept telling me that I had to go through the resolution center, but I couldn’t because the reservation technically ended on December 14th.

Calling Airbnb just left me in the run around, so I demanded a case manger help me with my claim via Twitter. He was awesome and promised to see me through the entire thing. He would be the last person I had to explain everything to, and I could submit my evidence for a claim to him.

January 1st, 2020, I started submitting video and still photos to prove my claim. Then on the 2nd, while still submitting documentation, I got a message stating that they didn’t know what guest I was talking about and I needed to go through the resolution department. I immediately contacted them again to ask for help… they ghosted me. At my wit’s end, I Tweeted at Airbnb Help again.

On January 4th, they then sent me a Senior Claims Specialist. He promised to help me with my case and ensure we’d reach a fast resolution. I replied to his message (which was now all via email instead of Airbnb customer service messages because they closed all my open messages related to this matter). I asked him if they had received my nine videos and 90 still pictures. He did not reply until January 7th, three days later.

In that message, they informed me that the total they were willing to provide for proven damages was $1774, not the $1870 that I submitted. The reason for this is that the “consumables” (laundry supplies stolen out of locked cabinet) are not covered by the guarantee and now I have to fill out a claims form to get paid. Fine, whatever. I went to the link proved to fill out the claim form and discovered that I must first try to contact the guest and file a police report. What?

I can’t contact the guest. They were kicked off of Airbnb already and deleted from my calendar by Airbnb, as if there were never there. As for the police report, I plan on filing one tomorrow, but I already repaired the house. I mean how else would I be able to submit my claim with all of my proof, if I had not actually gotten the work done? Also I feel this is a serious misuse of a governmental agency.

I wrote Airbnb to answer these questions:

1. How do I contact a guest who has been kicked off Airbnb?

2. Am I still supposed to call the cops 11 days after the event and post repairs?

I have no idea if he will respond tomorrow, the next day, or never. My case has been opened and closed multiple times, with seven different agents, yet still on going since November 26th. I have Googled Airbnb’s host guarantee stories.

I’m not a special Superhost. I’m just one of thousand who have been through this nightmare. Many host stories are worse than mine. I keep seeing people say “class-action” but have yet to find one class-action brought by host against Airbnb.

As a result, I called Morgan and Morgan and requested they look into a class action brought by hosts against Airbnb for their fraudulent guarantees and practices. They told me the more people who call, the more likely it is to take off.

Are you a host who has been done wrong and sabotaged by Airbnb? Do you have proven damage claims that have been denied? Call Morgan and Morgan at (786) 453-8466. If we all speak up, there will be no choice but to hear us.

The Dark Side of Airbnb for Female Travelers

We are a group of backpackers who have stayed in many Airbnbs. In all our stays, we had pleasant and safe experiences apart from our most recent stay which was awful beyond words. Our stay at an Airbnb in Kalpakkam opened our eyes to the dark side of Airbnb and safety.

We had to encounter probably one of the most horrible experiences of our lives by staying at this place. We encountered a host who abused, insulted and shouted at us. It’s only now that I am reading the reviews of this property and I can see the abuses hurled at by the host even while answering. It was a grave mistake that we did not really read the reviews properly while booking.

On January 3rd, we had a long, tiresome journey from Pondicherry to reach this place at Kalpakkam, near Mahabalipuram. When we came to this Airbnb we were quite upset to see that the beach beside the property was littered with garbage and local people in the area openly defecating in the beachfront. In addition, the rooms were not really tidy. The air conditioning in one room did not cool properly and the toilet in one bathroom had no flush. To be fair it is mentioned in the property description that the flush was broken and would be fixed after January 2nd (we arrived at the property on the 3rd and we had booked this place two months in advance).

After we arrived, we called the host to inform him out of courtesy that we had arrived and we were facing some issues regarding the AC and also mentioned that the flush was broken (yes, it is mentioned in the property listing but it also says that it would be resolved on the 2nd). There was no confrontation from our part and we casually happened to speak with the host about the issue. Immediately the host got furious and asked us to cancel the reservation.

The property is in the middle of nowhere and we had girls in the group. Obviously we couldn’t cancel and find alternative accommodations when it was already dusk. Within ten minutes or so, the host turned up with his mother at the place and started shouting and abusing the girls. We were unable to comprehend why would a normal person behave this way, unless the person is not really sane.

Apparently the host was quite upset because he has “sentiments attached with his home” and that we dared to complain about. However what remains inexplicable is the reason the host would shout at us, abuse us, and ask us to cancel the reservation when it was quite apparent that the location is remote, there are several girls in the group, and it was almost dark.

The host used insulting statements like “Why [would] Airbnb send such characters?”, “Get out of my house”, and “Who are you?” When we said we were not going to leave without talking to Airbnb, he shouted “Airbnb is nobody. This is my property – Airbnb cannot stop me” again and again.

This entire experience made us feel utterly unsafe and stressed. The most unfortunate thing is the fact that our female friends had to suffer such abuse. In a civilized society, no gentlemen would ever assault women, but this vile creature of poor manners is not man enough for civility.

One of our members had a nervous breakdown because of this episode. We are not used to abuse and altercations and we have unfortunately not taken any lessons on how to handle an adult who would bully and shout at you for no apparent reason.

Furthermore, the host said that he only wants “local people” to stay at his place. Apparently we are neither Tamil nor South Indians; he was implying that he does not want people from other parts of India. This was most insulting, humiliating and the highest form of discriminatory abuse. We were so stressed and traumatized that we could not sleep that night.

Apart from such an awful host, there was a group of boisterous local guys in the next house in the same property (probably belonging to the same owner). They were making catcalls, hooting and flashing lights at the girls of our group. It was an isolated place and naturally we were terrified for safety reasons.

To sum up, our New Year party trip was ruined by an unmannerly and unstable host who abused us and we had to endure these insults since we were trapped because of the location. I was constantly reminded of this quote by Gandhi throughout the frightening encounter: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” But alas, since I am no Gandhi I cannot forgive or forget this horrible episode.

Though we had booked this miserably grotesque place for two nights we left the next day in the morning as apparently we had an appalling stay and felt extremely unsafe and violated. This property is in the filthiest of places with an evil-mouthed, pathologically-egocentric and abusive host.

Airbnb has been requested multiple times to delist this property for the safety of guests. I am waiting for Airbnb to take appropriate actions. We managed to take a small video of the episode. Since we were not smart enough to take the video initially we missed the most insulting parts. But still, this video will give you an idea on how unsafe Airbnb is, especially for women.

Payment for Extra Guest was Never Released to me

Airbnb let a guest stay in my home on December 21st. Come the 22nd after they checked out I didn’t get the payment deposited into my PayPal account. After trying in numerous different ways to talk to someone, I was told that the guest paid the majority of the fee, but when the guest altered the stay for more people they didn’t pay the extra $30.

Airbnb allowed them to stay in my home but refused to pay me my money. It’s been 14 days and I keep getting told someone is working on it and they will get a hold of me but no one has. When I ask to speak to someone above them they say they don’t have that information for me.

Airbnb Invades Privacy and Preys on the Poor

When you keep your nightly rate going up and down, you’re trying to desperately get more guests in, so you can pay your rent – and the algorithm knows that. Of course, the more desperate for cash you are, the more likely you are to be booked by indecent guests. So it happened with me.

This guest was an influencer (of course), rated low on cleaning and observing house rules. I had to give it a go; I couldn’t miss my rent payment. Furthermore, if hosts cancel they will be penalised.

I entered 48 hours of hell, between this couple having sex in common areas, taking my bath towels and leaving them on the floor, while simultaneously trashing the whole place like a frat house, with a sense of entitlement and superiority: “I hate Germans, they dress bad and are annoying,” she said. I’m not German, and it doesn’t take Martin Luther King to forbid that kind of language into my home.

I reported her to Airbnb. Airbnb disclosed my report to her – violating my privacy, EU/US privacy laws and putting me in a dangerous position. I got a bad, fake review (of course) where she clearly states “I filed a report on her.”

This violates Airbnb content policy, but Airbnb won’t remove it. After numerous email exchanges they finally provided me with their legal department address (of course, in order to make things more difficult, they only gave me a postal address), and closed the case, saying “this is our final decision.”

This is the message for Airbnb hosts: If you experience a prejudiced incident and you decide to report it, be prepared for a violation of your privacy rights, a lower booking rate and therefore less money to cover your rent. Disgusting.

Airbnb is running a poverty-line, slave-powered system. It will be replaced one day; the very nature of business capitalism finds a way. Whatever they do to me will be done to them.

Airbnb Allows Fraudulent Host to Rent out Property

I had the pleasure of dealing with Airbnb; what a horrible business. I will never use them or suggest anything but staying away from them. I had hired a property manager who did not manage the property and basically disappeared: no communication, the cleaners did not know when to clean, and I was scheduling myself out of desperation during Christmas.

I could see three reservations that were on the calendar for after Christmas and New Year’s. Finally I got a text from the manager to enter information for a co-host on Airbnb so I could see the reservation information. That was the last communication I got. The guest came and went, damage was done, submitted pictures to her… crickets.

I called Airbnb as no money had been deposited into my account. They said I wasn’t the host so I couldn’t input the bank information. I sent the bank information to the manager… crickets. I called Airbnb; they assured me I would be paid, so I let the next guest stay… no money.

Finally after five more phone calls, I cancelled the last reservations. Airbnb didn’t care that the guests’ vacations would be ruined, not their concern. That’s why you shouldn’t do business with these people. They refused to provide me any way to get my money except to confront the person… unbelievable. If I could sue them I would. They are worse then any criminals I have ever dealt with.

No Hell until you’ve Dealt with Airbnb Customer Service

You have not been to hell until you’ve dealt with Airbnb customer service. My ongoing nightmare began on November 18th, 2019. It was a dark and stormy night. In a brick brownstone in Portsmouth, I started my fight with Airbnb over the new Massachusetts short-term rental law.

Under the new law there are a few exemptions, one being about bed ‘n breakfast and timeshares. Bonus, right? Well, what I thought would be easy became very stressful in nature. I contacted their wonderful support team, mentioning that I am tax exempt under the short-term rental law and asking them to please make all of my timeshare listings a zero exemption.

Thinking the elves in the Airbnb workshop would work some magic on my behalf, I waited patiently for a response. Airbnb sent an email stating every rental owner is required to sign up. The next morning I called the government to verify, that I am indeed, tax exempt. “Yes, you’re tax exempt and just a heads up – we had many meetings with Airbnb and they’re required to have a drop down menu for tax exemptions on the site.”

Great news. I called Airbnb back to see what the customer service elves could do. The next email I got from Airbnb stated this was a voluntary law and you will see below, the actual response from the Regulations Department at Airbnb.

I work on a specialized team here at Airbnb. Thanks for reaching out about our collection and remittance of local transient taxes in Massachusetts. I understand you would like your listing to be exempt from taxes during reservations on our platform, because it is a timeshare.

As you are aware, Airbnb entered into a voluntary collection agreement with the local tax collector. We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction, with the total combined reservation revenue. This means that all hosts located in your area will be represented by one remitted amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return. Regrettably, hosts at this time are unable to opt-out of automatic tax collection (collection & remittance feature).

For more information, please review our Help Center article. Your local tax office can share more information about the Voluntary Collection Agreement with Airbnb and how this process may affect your tax reporting and/or collection. For example, some areas request that hosts fill out worksheets indicating the amount that has been paid on their behalf. If you have additional questions regarding policies in your area, we recommend reaching out to a local tax professional or your local tax authority.

In short, I will say, to this day, I continue to fight for myself and the others out there who are suffering from Airbnb Hell.