After using the Airbnb platform twice without issue, I decided to book two nights in a loft in downtown LA for a recent business trip. After confirming the booking, the host requested I send him a copy of my driver’s license outside the platform, which I was hesitant to do. I could tell this frustrated the host so I sent him another picture ID and said I could provide him with my license upon arrival.
Upon arriving I was greeted by a young lady who was not the man I was messaging with on the platform. I also couldn’t help but notice that she seemed nervous. I provided her with my driver’s license and she showed me to the loft.
My stay was uneventful. The place was marginal at best but I was there for business and only needed the bed, bathroom, TV, and fridge. I couldn’t get the shower to produce warm water and the lamp next to the bed was so flimsy I actually spent 20 minutes trying to get it screwed together in a way that gave it some more structural integrity.
Upon checking out I was prompted to provide a review. I gave four stars and left the typed feedback field blank as I’m not the type of person that complains about little things and wasn’t looking to write a bad review.
This is where the hell started. Upon submitting my feedback, I received the host’s review of me and was shocked. The guy had written multiple paragraphs stating that I left the place a mess and damaged the countertops with a knife. The guy even submitted photos of horrible scratch marks. There was no background so it could have been any countertop. I also found it hard to believe that the guy would go as far as damaging his own countertop.
I declined the payment request and a case was opened. I clearly explained the situation to the assigned “Trust & Safety Specialist”. After all, this was about as straight-forward of a fraudulent claim as one could imagine. I never used the kitchen, never mind any knives.
Airbnb told me they had requested additional paperwork from the host and after several days I received a message from Airbnb at 2:00 AM introducing me to a whole new Trust & Safety Specialist and saying that if they didn’t hear back, they would move forward processing the host’s claim. When I called Airbnb the lady tried to get me to admit that I incurred the damage saying, “well you were just doing your thing” to which I responded: “Absolutely not, I didn’t even use the kitchen. I can’t believe you would say that!”
Flash forward to today. I received a message from Airbnb saying I owed $1250 for the damages. I’ve come to realize that Airbnb is unable to maintain the integrity of its platform. This host knew it and took advantage of it. Now here I am left with a completely inaccurate review and a bill for over a grand.
I have never experienced anything like this before. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I refuse to pay a fraudulent claim on principle. I blocked Airbnb from charging my card but have no idea what will happen next other than my making everyone I can aware of this horrible experience and never using Airbnb again. This is literally criminal.