Evening of Airbnb Hell in Marina Del Ray

The “Wayne and Abby Venice Beach” location is advertised as quiet, and their house rules insist on quiet behavior by Airbnb guests. My wife and I checked into this Airbnb location on Thursday afternoon, February 23rd. Thursday evening was peaceful, but Friday night, we endured non-stop loud noise in the building all night long, from 9:00 PM through 8:00 AM Saturday, February 25th. There was a wild party downstairs, which meant little sleep for us.

I notified and complained to the host at 6:09 AM Saturday. I did not receive any reply and sent another message via the Airbnb system before noon. At approximately 4:30 PM, I received a response from the host saying that she would notify her landlord. It was then that we realized that she as an Airbnb host is only a tenant herself in this multi-dwelling building. Her response and results were ineffective, and we decided to cancel the remainder of the trip, as another noisy party in the building was underway.

The host argued that we did not give her the opportunity to work things out. We notified Airbnb, checked out and canceled the reservation. We requested from Airbnb a refund for five of the six nights (one unsatisfactory evening plus four unused evenings). Airbnb processed only a partial refund of $444 (for the base room cost for three nights, but not for the pro-rated tax and “service” fee) already credited to our credit card. I contacted our credit card customer service on March 1st to complain. The credit card company is still adjudicating the matter. I’m requesting an additional net refund from Airbnb of $504.

Airbnb informed me that they consider the matter closed and will not respond to further inquiries from me. Furthermore, Airbnb has blocked me from posting a negative review. That’s why all you see are the positive reviews. We will never use Airbnb again, for anything. Imagine staying in a Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton Inn, getting no sleep because of noisy guests, and the hotel chain denying you a refund for lack of satisfaction? Imagine the hotel telling you to get lost with your complaint.

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3 Comments

  1. You are just not getting it John. You were not staying at the “Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton Inn.” Your expectations are out of line with the type of accommodation in which you were staying.

    You host is not a mind-reader. She doesn’t know a bad situation is occurring unless you tell her. She has a life too. She isn’t always checking her email. She, as a tenant, also has a lot more power to get a bad situation rectified with her landlord than you gave her credit for.

    Do you also believe that the host should have disclosed that the electricity may go out or a hurricane may roll through? Thereby giving you enough information upon which to make an informed decision. The honest answer is “no” because these are all circumstances which a reasonable guest could foresee – just like the possibility of having noisy neighbors. (She could not have built up such a stellar rep if these were her normal neighbors. The downstairs section of the house was likely rented out as well.)

    John, the fact is that you were not willing to call the police or contact your host while the unlawful disturbance was occurring and you did not give her enough time to resolve it after she became aware of it. This is why Airbnb denied your claim. Your host, Airbnb, Mm, and I all believe that you have unrealistic expectations for the situation at hand.

  2. Hello, Mm, thank you for the comment, but indeed there are a few legs here.

    The place was advertised as quiet, which it was not, for two nights in a row. Next, when AirBnB represents that that the listings are “hosted,” and that in our case Wayne and Abby were our “hosts,” well, we expect to be accommodated since we are paying for what was advertised that they are providing. Instead, they turned out to be tenants themselves with zero clout, who are only re-renting. Hosting, really? Not so much.

    AirBnB’s policy is for the guests to notify the host to “work it out,” but they could not. If you expect that the default should be for vacation guests to call the police or intervene personally in a noisy situation, that is beyond a reasonable expectation.

    Had you been our host, based on what you’ve written, I hope that you would have disclosed it might be noisy, and that you cannot control the neighbors. And then at least we as customers could have made an informed decision to book or not.

  3. I don’t think you have a leg to stand on to be honest. When I did airbnb I very clearly instructed that I expected the guests to be fairly quiet in respect of my neighbors, at the same time I have no control over and wouldn’t take responsibility for my neighbors and their level of noise if they were to have a party. I would expect my guests to notify the police, or approach the neighbors to rectify as I would. What is your host going to do the next day anyway? Other than notify building managers/landlord which she did.

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