Slander is Acceptable to Airbnb Regardless of the Facts

My wife and I stayed at this Airbnb in Barcelona with a host who has had rave reviews. My review was also quite positive as we had no complaints. Upon posting my review, I saw what our host, Gloria, had written. Her comments were slanderous fabrications with no basis in fact. What happened is that we left the room early in the day. While we were gone Gloria, without our permission, let a “worker” in the room to do some “repairs.” After the worker had left she smelled smoke. That evening, upon our return, we were confronted by Gloria and accused of smoking in the room. Neither my wife nor I smoke and we were not about to take up smoking at seventy years old. We assured Gloria that we had not smoked and the accusation was false. It was pointed out to her that the fact that there was no smell of smoke before we left for the day or in the evening should be a clue as to who smoked in the room, i.e. the worker. I thought that was the end of it.

When I read her review I was livid as she persisted with the slander and a whole lot of other accusations. Filing a complaint with Airbnb, I was advised by a representative that there was nothing to be done, because a review is a review. My response to Gloria’s review was taken down. The reason was that I shared what Gloria had told us, in great detail, upon arrival in her place. She claimed to be one of twenty-five people in the world with a rare kind of brain tumor. Believing her, I had given her the benefit of a doubt and in my response indicated that Gloria’s rant may be mitigated by the fact that she has brain tumors. Apparently Airbnb decided that a comment on the host’s health condition violated their policy, even though the host herself had gone through excruciating detail telling us her medical history. Confidentiality did not seem to be a concern with her. My protest, a matter of honor, has been ignored. The host’s falsehoods stand while my response has been taken down. Needless to say we will not be staying at Airbnb properties again. My trust in them has been badly shaken as it is clear that some hosts are, in my opinion, less than stable.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Given the vast possibilities for advertising and promotion, both print and via the internet, I can see no reason why anyone would subject themselves, either as host, or guest, to airbnb “hell.” Surely towns and cities all over the world could do a better job of easing independent rentals.

    I have neither been a guest, (nor would I be), I a host, but I had read a smack-in-the-face bad review about one offering, that was so suggestive of horrors that could not be printed, with the allegedly unhappy guest offering to send (anyone?) photographs to prove it – that I looked to see about contacting Airbnb about it. I mean, this was clearly punishment for some harm that had nothing to do with the visit, and it sounds like blackmail. “I’ll send photographs.” ? I mean, either post the blasted things or don’t. There is no way to do so, apparently, unless one joins. I’m not going to join.

    What you describe, if you wanted to spend thousands of dollars to address in legal fees, was libelous by any standards. How devastating for you, and I understand. If you play by the rules and yet find yourself accused, where does that leave anyone.

    I do believe that it comes down to utilizing all other methods, and avoidance of this company.

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