Hell’s Kitchen, Airbnb Nightmare Apartment in NYC

I just got back from four days in NYC. I rented an Airbnb from two guys who had an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen (okay, should have given me a clue). Upon arrival everything seemed okay; there were no dirty dishes in the sink, and the toilet looked clean enough. THe tub was stained, but acceptable (not taking any bubble baths in it anyway, so sufficient for showering).

However, upon closer inspection, I came to discover that the whole place was filthy. Dirty dishes were left in dishwasher (no dishwasher fluid to clean them with either). The couch was stained, and there were stained, dirty duvets and sheets. Sheets were crumpled and did not appear to even be clean. Baseball-size balls of hair and dust were around the entire apartment, especially on the baseboards and beds. There was a repulsive oven (it set off smoke alarm when we tried to use it) complete with an old hard, burned French fry, and a dirty refrigerator.

The list went on and on. We stayed in a tent in the Sahara Desert once that was cleaner than this place. I immediately texted the owner (he didn’t respond to us, so called another guy in charge) that a cleaning crew needed to be called. Of course, we were assured that one would be there first thing in the morning. We used the towels – that did seem clean – to cover the pillows and ourselves so we could sleep. Suffice it to say that the “cleaning crew is coming” lie was told to us for three days.

The final night the guy texted us at 9:38 PM wanting to send a cleaning crew. In retrospect we should have said yes, as my guess is he was bluffing then too, but trying to cover his #$%. By that time we had bought new sheets after hiking over two miles to BBB and back. Finding this was no easy task in NYC. Quite pricey too, as there’s no Walmart in NYC.

When I got my invitation to post my review, I was loaded. Like I said in my review, I’ve seen animal cages that were cleaner than this apartment. Every night when we returned to the apartment because we’d left for the day – so this magical cleaning crew could appear while we were gone sightseeing for the day, as we had been told over and over by the host – only brought more disappointment, frustration and a string of phone calls to the host and Airbnb. We came to believe that the elusive “cleaning crew” must have lived in the land of the unicorns and lost their metro passes because they never came.

I just got a review from the host. I use that term loosely, as it implies that these guys did something to treat us as guests. He slammed us (me) with a vicious lie saying that we put our used linens and towels in the bathtub (no exit instructions so we called Airbnb and told them what we were going to do; they okayed it. What do you do with dirty linens and towels anyway? This is what we do at a hotel) and urinated on them. What kind of sicko mind can even come up with a defense that gross? Of course you can’t photograph this and he knew that we were staying with a child – pretty low buddy, blame the kid. Little does he know that this child is not a “child,” but a mini-adult who definitely does not wet the bed if that was his implication.

Anyway, I was pretty much pleased with Airbnb for giving us a full refund and eventually resolving our complaint, but it did take five different reps and a lot of phone calls. I also had a lot of pictures (that I really don’t want to post in case I need them for further action) and evidence to present. Even though I probably won’t use Airbnb again, I can say that I’m overall satisfied with Airbnb. It still makes me mad that these guys are out there, ruining other people’s vacations.

Even after this review, they can just list under other names and open new accounts? And the reviews? These guys were Superhosts with 21 positive reviews. It’s not like I didn’t do my due diligence. Buyer beware. All I can say is the next time I’m in New Orleans I’m buying two voodoo dolls.

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One Comment

  1. I had a similar experience. Glad you sorted it out. If you would please let me know how you got to a manager…

    Anyways I’ll state my story. I was going to London on holiday, both my sister and sister in law live there. We decided to pay them a visit and I was travelling with my parents and my two year old son. Both of my sisters live in a two bedroom apartments and far from each other, so I choose the location based on being easily visited by both of them. We picked what it seemed a lovely flat apartment with a small backyard, perfect for the kid. It was actually cheap, considering the area I thought…
    We took our flight and as soon as we arrived there was a huge delay at the airport. Instead of arriving around 10 we were only able to reach half past twelve. My sister was there waiting for us.. as soon as we arrived we were horrified. The bedsheets were dirty, one had what it looked like blood. The stains on the carpet were pretty disgusting as well. Well it was to late to get out with my baby boy, so we stayed there for the night. I did exactly the same thing you describe: used towels as sheets to be able to rest.

    As soon as I woke up I contacted the owner. Tried to bring him to reason but he kept saying that he left the house to go on vacation and the maid was there and all was fresh and clean. So I thought it was pointless. I told him I was leaving and wanted to leave on good terms. He had a flexible cancellation policy, but at the time I fought I could only cancel before our stay. I didn’t know very well how to use the app and he tricked me to believe he would refund him back half of the money and to provide him a UK bank account. So around 10 we went for breakfast, we returned to the house and locked up, delivering the keys to the neighbour as he suggested. We then moved to one of my sisters and my parents checked in a Hotel across the road. I believed all would be well.
    The following day I asked him when he would deposit half of the money and he said he couldn’t pay yet, because only at the end of my stay the Airbnb would pay him and suggested I requested the fund through the app. I was naive enough to to it. So instead of cancelling the following day I requested the money through the app and two days later he refuses and starts with a series of lies towards my family and I, we broke some items, left the place a mess. Well you name it.

    Only then I knew I was being conned and a person actually told me to cancel. I still am being refunded for one night. Anyways, I sent a message to support and after two managers, they are basically stating that the guy is very difficult and won’t return the money back. So I feel I’m also being punished for not knowing the app well or my rights.

    I wrote him an honest review. The place was dirty and I didn’t even think about subjecting my son to this crap. He wrote a revenge review stating I was unethical and made false claims..I reported that comment. I still have hope that I might get proper assistance from costumer support. Else I will ask for legal support on this matter. So he doesn’t deceive other people, at least!

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