Destructive Review From Host, Only One After 19 Stays

During our six years as Airbnb guests, amounting to 19 stays in various parts of the world, I’ve very rarely felt uneasy enough to photograph the place before and after. This was especially true with this apartment because it all seemed ideal for us – terrible mistake. This Airbnb accommodation was just as described by the host and many glowing reviews: a comfortable, self-contained basement apartment with a well-equipped kitchen. My wife and I booked the apartment for two months because it was one of very few Airbnb offerings in Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada. Also, most fortunately, it was just a few doors away from our family, who we were in Black Diamond to visit. This unusually good combination of positive features caused us to ask the host if it would be possible for us to book the apartment for future visits and she responded favourably.

We had two great months there, though there was one problem. In the bedroom there was an infestation of bed bugs. Because the accommodation was otherwise so good and because it was our intention to return to this apartment in future years I thought it would be best to report the infestation to the host quietly and privately, rather than making any public fuss about the matter. This seems to have caused her some embarrassment and subsequent antagonism, which I believe induced her to give my wife and I such a startlingly bad review following our stay, as in: “Pleasant people, however they left the suite absolutely filthy.”

As a couple we’ve been enjoying Airbnb’s services for over six years and in that time have stayed at 19 listed locations around the world. It’s mainly because of Airbnb that we have felt secure enough to set out on most of these adventures. We are quiet and responsible retirees who have always treated our hosts with respect and consideration. This has invariably caused us to clean our accommodation thoroughly and return it to the way we found it before leaving, regardless of any pre-charged cleaning fee made by the host. which can be seen from the consistently good reviews we’ve had, until this most recent one.

For Airbnb to leave this damning and untrue review in place will make my wife and I reluctant to book any further Airbnb stays. I have been hoping there is something constructive that Airbnb can do about this situation. Any helpful intervention from Airbnb is still lacking to date. My conclusion: always take detailed before and after photos.

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7 Comments

  1. To “Hosted”:
    You’re right, Bedbugs are a menace. As to any we may have brought home with us, they have been severely dealt with.
    To “Papillon”
    Having now experienced a similarly destructive review, I sympathize with you and also feel that there should be a system in place to check these reviews.
    To”Mm”
    We didn’t clean the windows (they were not easily accessible in a basement anyway) and we didn’t wax polish the furniture. But we kept the place clean during the whole 2 months. The apartment never approached anywhere near being in a “Filthy state” at any time. So, after a full day of cleaning before we left, the place was clean, just as we found it.
    As far as I can tell, the host had originally set out to rent the property on the basis of a minimum of 2 nights but found that she had to reduce the minimum to 1 night because that’s where most of the demand was. Consequently, the kitchen had received very little use. For instance, the wooden spoons provided for cooking were in pristine condition, as was most of the other equipment.

    I understand human frailty, both my own and that of others. My attitude to Airbnb hosts has always been that if they provide the accommodation advertised and paid for, then any mild behavioral peculiarities need to be overlooked with good humor and a smile.
    Early on, in our experiences of Airbnb we were glad to book shared rooms and kitchens in houses and apartments and usually found that these were happy and memorable experiences.
    Then again, some, maybe young financially struggling couples, who’s relationships with others might be largely formed on-line, do sometimes, early after becoming Airbnb hosts, get quite a jolt when they arise one morning to find virtual strangers brewing coffee and making toast in the kitchen that they had advertised as available for use.

    This particular host, who gave us such a bad review wasn’t young but I don’t think she was really prepared for the effects of letting her basement apartment for a 2 month period. From some of her comments during our stay it seemed to come as something of a surprise to her that we would be using the kitchen for cooking food. After all, most of the one-nighter guests would have gone to the local hotel of restaurant to eat.

    Though the apartment was self contained and a separate space the host seemed also quite taken aback by our family members from just up the street calling in to visit us during reasonable hours of the day and evening.
    This social aspect of our visit we had made clear during our initial pre-booking conversation with the host but somehow she still seemed to find it an invasion of her privacy having folks going in and out through the garden gate.
    Then again, after the bed-bug infestation became apparent quite early on, the family visitations tended to take place at other venues.

    To “Steve”
    I did leave a honest review. The apartment was excellent for our needs both in it’s facilities and it’s location.
    Due to the lack of other accommodation in the area and because there were so many other aspects of the situation that were suitable for us, both now and in the future, I chose to make the bed-bug problem a private issue between myself and the host. This was in the expectation that the problem would be overcome effectively by the host.
    I thought I had handled the situation most diplomatically but the effect was unexpected and quite extreme.

  2. I received a negative and untrue review by a host. Such a pathetic little man in Virginia Beach, USA. He was worried that I was going to leave a less than glowing review of him and his accommodation. To be honest, I was on a road trip and once it was time for me to leave, I didn’t give the little toad another thought….

    However, he posted a review which was a pack of lies and actually fabricated an incident. Due to my being on the road, I didn’t always have Wifi access and it was a few days after he posted the review that I read what he had written. I was livid and emailed Airbnb immediately. Long story short, his nasty little review was removed because it was not in line with Airbnb policy.

    This is one of the many problems with Airbnb – the reviews are not monitored. The language he used in my review was unpleasant and Airbnb should have measures in place to block such vocabulary. After all, their system works efficiently enough to block words Airbnb does not like in correspondence between guests and hosts!

  3. I m sorry you had this bad experience. Bed bugs are not something you take lightly. If you stayed there for 2 months you are likely to have taken it with you to your home and you are eventually going to give to people who visits your home. So it’s not fair on anyone. As a host if it was on your review I will not host you. Because there is a chance you will bring over to mine.

    unfortunately other than asking if you want to cancel this reservation, Airbnb Won’t be helpful either. They are monster bastards.

  4. I’m sorry that happened to you, she does sound nasty and vindictive obviously because of you bringing up the bed bug issue and I think was expecting a mention of that in your review.

    But back up from that point a moment . You stayed there 2 bloody months. It wasn’t overnight. Though I doubt it was even filthy, 2 months without a host maintaining to her own cleanliness standard is a long time, you can tidy all you like, but there’s a massive difference between tidy (which would be you taking out rubbish, washing dishes and surfaces, maybe stripping beds) and 8 weeks worth of dusting, deep cleaning bathrooms, fridges, cupboards, washing every blanket, cushion, throw etc which is what this property would have needed.

    Absolutely filthy is you leaving your rubbish piled up, grease all over the cooker and oven, mould growing in the freezer, so unless you did this, the host should have elaborated and specified exactly what was filthy and taken it from that exorbitant (!!!) security deposit. Host is a moron, you need to fight this with airbnb to get that black mark off your profile. Good luck

  5. Airbnb really doesn’t care. They hire anyone and those people don’t give a rat’s ass about customer service because next momth they will have a new job.

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