Airbnb is a Total Sham when it comes to Damages

I had a reservation which Airbnb failed to collect payment on and still allowed these guests to check into my place. I called and sent a message to Airbnb. I was told numerous times that everything was okay and that I should not eject these people.

On the second day of the stay, I discovered that my books had been torn and thrown all over the the apartment. Food and drinks had been spilled everywhere and the apartment was filled with the smell of poop and urine. I had no choice but to remove them to prevent them from further damaging my place. Feeling bad for her and her two small children, I paid for a hotel night for them.

I came back to the apartment to find that she had allowed her mentally handicapped child to poop and pee on my carpet, and bed. It took my cleaning crew of two people six hours at $25 an hour to clean the apartment. Stanley Steamer came in the next day and charged me $169 after I could not get that smell out of my carpet with my home steamer. My books can not be replaced as they were my culinary school books. The bed, which was purchased in February when we had an interior designer design the apartment for us, had to be hauled away because the smell was so bad.

I submitted a claim for $1500 for replacement of the bed, and absorbed all the other costs as I plan to write it off as the cost of business on my taxes. After two weeks of back and forth – submitting pictures, quotes, etc. – Airbnb responded with “Congratulations! We have approved the coverage of your damages: $183”

What a joke. Their statement for that was that the damages did not affect the functionality of the mattress. Are you freaking kidding me? My apartment cost us $90,000 to complete because we will have my mother-in-law eventually coming to live with us. I thought in the meantime we would use Airbnb. People are paying $100 a night for my apartment, and Airbnb doesn’t think that the smell of poop and urine affects the functionality of the mattress. What a bunch of idiots. Who is going to pay $100 a night to sleep on a bed that smells like that? What kind of reviews do you think I am going to get and how will that affect my listing?

The bottom line is Airbnb doesn’t give a rat’s ass about damages to their hosts’ property. After I complete my current booking with Airbnb I will be taking my listing elsewhere.

Five-Star Accommodation in Italy Not as Expected

This is in reference to a farmhouse in Osmate, Italy reserved via Airbnb. We were a group of eight adults (four couples) who wanted to tour the Northern Italy lake area after a seven-day cruise which ended in Venice. We reserved a villa which received a 5-star rating on Airbnb – the pictures looked good and the reviews were excellent. We reached the “villa” at around 9:00 PM on a Friday night.

The person who opened the property for us was a friend of the owner. Our first shock was when we tried to reach the entrance to the property; the second shock occurred when we tried to get our car into the property’s parking lot; and our third and worst shock of all was the “villa” itself.

The owner advertises private parking. She doesn’t advertise that it’s nearly impossible to navigate a jeep in the extremely narrow alleyways to get to the property’s parking. At the entrance to the property, we were greeted by all kinds of leftover building materials. The area looks like a storehouse / garbage dump.

The first thing that struck us when we entered the house was the strong odor of mildew. There was mildew on the walls which is probably what was causing the very unpleasant odor.

The property’s lighting (and lighting fixtures) was extremely frugal – everything was so dark and depressing. The property did not look clean. Airbnb advertised two living rooms on the property. We only saw one living room with two couches covered with two different colored blankets and we were told that this is how we should sit. I assume they were covering up some very old couches.

The owner advertised 14 steps on the stairs. However, two of the bedrooms are situated on the second floor (17 steps) and the other two bedrooms are on the third floor (an additional 14 or 15 steps), a total of 31/32 steps to reach two of the four bedrooms. When I told the owner that the steps are a very serious problem for us, she offered this solution: bring the two beds down to the living room and have one of the couples sleep there. I asked her “what about privacy?” She couldn’t answer.

The beds in the bedrooms were like beds in very cheap motels: sloppy sheets, low beds with a metal frame. I’m not sure how much weight each bed can hold. The ceiling of the two bedrooms on the third floor is slanted so that when you go into the bedrooms, you need to bend down in order to avoid getting hit on the head.

The owner advertised four bedrooms and four baths. She doesn’t advertise that the fourth bath is two floors down from the bedroom and that this bath is more like a laundry room than a bath.

They advertise BBQ facilities, which are a joke. The grill (if you can call it that) was filthy and so old that you couldn’t call it even a simple, normal grill. We didn’t see the advertised ping-pong table anywhere.

The actual condition of the property and the surrounding area is much worse than what you see in the online pictures. Nowhere is it advertised that the building has three floors (without an elevator) and that two of the bedrooms are located on the third floor. After seeing the property, there was no way that we could have stayed there for even one night.

We decided to try to find four hotel rooms somewhere nearby. You can imagine how difficult it was to drive around in a foreign country, in an unfamiliar area, at 10:00 at night trying to find a hotel with four available rooms. We were tired and hungry and after driving in from Venice and touring some of the surrounding area (we drove nearly 400 kilometers on this day), the only thing we craved was reaching the property, taking a shower and going to sleep. You can imagine the aggravation we felt at seeing this terrible house. After several inquiries at local restaurants, we finally found a hotel that had four rooms available; this is where we stayed for the duration of our trip.

It seems to me that Airbnb does not visit the properties that they advertise. Because if they did, there’s no way that they would have advertised this on their website as a 5-star property, if at all. In view of all of the above, and in view of the aggravation that was caused us, we demanded a complete refund of all the money we paid (over $1,400 for four nights). The owner was willing to refund us the cleaning fee and Airbnb the service charge (100 Euros + $150).

I did not accept their offer. I was told by the Airbnb representative that they transfer payment to the owner only 24 hours after the guests check-in. The representative asked me why I didn’t notify them that we were not staying there. I did notify them the next morning (within the 24-hours from check-in time) but someone at Airbnb screwed up and did not handle our case properly. Besides, the owner informed Airbnb that same evening (while we were still there) that we decided to not stay at the villa.

I contacted the Airbnb office in Ireland and spoke to someone who promised to send my complaint to management, marked urgent, but I am still waiting to receive a reply. This is the second time I have made a reservation via Airbnb and both times, the advertising on their website did not reflect the actual condition of the property.

Abandoned by Airbnb after Fraudulent Host Swapped Houses

It’s almost impossible to find a place to lodge a complaint or comment on Airbnb, so I’ll do it here. Our dream vacation to Cancun was entirely ruined when a deceptive host picked us up at the Cancun airport and dropped us at an entirely different house than the one we rented with no mention of any change in venue.

We initially booked a beautiful beachfront property in the hotel zone and arrived in Cancun, excited and ready for R&R and lots of beach time. What we were dropped off at (by the host’s representative) was a house on the Lagoon (the mosquitoes and crocodiles were just dandy) and a house that was rundown, dirty and quite insufficient for our party of six. It was certainly not what we rented and Airbnb easily acknowledged that fact.

After 24 hours of phone time with Airbnb and a cancelled reservation (Airbnb did that), a near fistfight with the owner of the fraudulent house where we were dropped, a host who was initially unresponsive and then unapologetic and belligerent, we were basically without a place to stay in a foreign country during spring break. We were thrown to the wolves by Airbnb.

Airbnb refused to help us find or fund hotel lodging in the Cancun hotel zone (it was more expensive) and there was no other housing available during this peak time in our target area. We gave them the names of several hotels in the right area that had availability. No go. The most they would concede (even though they acknowledged the fraud) was a 10% concession for a new booking, but the end result was that we would have to find and book the property ourselves.

We did eventually find a nice house inland and that host was great, but we were forced to rent a car at a cost of $500 and fight traffic, find parking and travel one hour each way to access the beach. It was not fun. It was not relaxing. It was exhausting. It was generally an awful vacation because of the housing issues.

We were pulled over by a corrupt policeman who demanded a $96 bribe to not give us a ticket (careful tourists – Cancun cops are on the take). That’s just another trickle down effect of the housing fraud, as we shouldn’t have been driving at all. We should have been relaxing on the beach. Airbnb should have honored their guarantee and funded a hotel in the same area that we booked our vacation.

The worst part is that despite our complaints, this host is still managing 24 properties in Cancun on Airbnb (six weeks later). There seem to have been no repercussions at all for him. I am horrified that he was not removed as a host after what he pulled, and after what Airbnb acknowledged that they knew he pulled. They were aware of the whole sad scenario.

Why is this fraud tolerated among Airbnb hosts? When I complained to Airbnb, someone responded, “Oh, we handled it. The house was removed from our listings”. It was not the house that committed this fraud; it was this host.

As far as we’re concerned, never again, Airbnb. What a horrible experience. I spent the first 24 hours crying and frantically worrying about what we would do as I had been the person in our party of six who was responsible for booking lodging. My whole party spent the rest of our hard earned vacation unable to do the things we planned for our vacation. Shame on all of them. Airbnb, honor your commitments.

Airbnb Customer Support Reneged on their Promise

I am looking for a lawyer to represent me on a contingent basis to litigate against Airbnb. Can someone help me please? Please see the chronology of my situation last night.

I tried to establish a connection with my Airbnb host last night at 9:15 PM; the host’s phone was unreachable, but I tried calling multiple times over a 15-minute period. After that I called the Airbnb helpdesk number; they also tried the host unsuccessfully. Airbnb support transferred me to a “case manager”. This person tried to arrange an Airbnb or hotel for me but could not find anything as it was already 10:00 PM.

The Airbnb case manager specifically instructed me that I could go ahead and get a hotel at my own expense and Airbnb would reimburse me for the full amount (this call was recorded, I was told). The case manager also confirmed that I would get an email with a link and instructions.

My wife and I tried online to find available rooms in a 10-mile vicinity of the host’s property. Only the last hotel (a Ritz) confirmed they had one open room available for $850 + taxes. I walked to the hotel and got into the hotel room at 11:00 PM, then received a very strange email from Airbnb support that I would get a refund of the $100 Airbnb booking and an additional $10, which obviously made me very aggravated and disturbed.

I called Airbnb support. A representative spoke to me and apologized for the confusion. He reconfirmed that I would be reimbursed for the hotel that I had to book. I got an email confirming the same as what he told me on the phone, then I got a call from the same case manager as before. He was very impolite and suggested that I misheard him in the prior call. He was not aware of the other rep’s conversation with me and his email. He was clearly flustered as if he was being reprimanded.

The last call with the case manager left me very disturbed and I could not sleep all night. I have aggravated blood pressure and I lost one full day of meetings for ill health. Airbnb is not responding to my messages.

Airbnb Paid for Pest Control but not a Refund

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We stayed in a Toronto loft recently where Airbnb took the side of the host. The host was contacting us outside of Airbnb which is against policy. That wasn’t a problem until we had issues with the place. There were mice and roaches. Pest control had to come out and kill the mice – which we weren’t happy with as were animal lovers – but we shouldn’t have paid over $2000 to stay in a mice-infested room anyway.

I couldn’t believe when I complained to Airbnb they had the audacity to say she was a good host, take her side, and even paid for the pest control. They promised me compensation for my bad stay but closed the case as soon as I checked out and didn’t send me any money. They even made it impossible for me to leave a review for this host, meaning loads of guests who are none the wiser will be checking into this hell as Airbnb stops anyone leaving them a bad review.

It is absolutely crazy how much they sided with them, as if they have some sort of secret deal with the company. They even suggested I move out the apartment before they gave me any money back. Bear in mind I was in a foreign country with no other money or home to go to. The guy who lived downstairs even had the code to our room and would let himself into our “private loft” when we were sleeping or out of the house. Airbnb later just ignored any message I sent regarding this case and closed it without anything else said.

Horrible Customer Service Leaves me Paying for Hotel

I bought concert tickets for my wife for Christmas to see Pink. I then booked an Airbnb for two nights with two bedrooms (because I snore) so we could each have a restful sleep. I arrived at 3:30 PM to check in and was unable to enter due to Airbnb not sending me the unlock code. I tried to call the host with no success. I then contacted Airbnb customer service and was told within the next hour I would get the code or they would set me up with a new place.

Two hours went by with no response. With the concert starting at 7:30, my wife had to change and get ready in a bar bathroom. Being on a budget, I brought enough food for the three days we were going to be there. After repeatedly trying to contact customer service, I finally got a hold of them at 8:30 (one hour after the concert started) and was told I would be staying in a hotel. I explained that we need one with a separate room and was told that they only work with certain hotels and I would be given $100 to find my own.

As you could imagine looking for a certain type of hotel at 8:30 PM with all the stress of the last five hours while the concert you came for is an hour old… was rough. I finally found one; I had to pay upfront and it was $400 a night. I could not leave my wife any longer at the concert by herself so I paid for it and went back in. I’m out the money for the hotel and three days of dining out.

The host contacted me around 11:30 but said he could not give me the house code because Airbnb cancelled my reservation. I tried to contact them the following morning, but nobody would take my complaint because it was assigned to someone else, and she would be calling me asap to correct the situation. I must have reached out 15 times the next week. I never received a phone call, but I did receive a message (seven days later) stating because I looked for my own hotel they would only cover one day at $100. I also had to keep changing the ice in the cooler so all the food I brought wouldn’t go bad. Their customer service is non existent. It’s not worth ruining your time like I did.

Disgusting, Unsafe Accommodation Forces me to Leave

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There were some issues at my Airbnb property: an unsafe environment, and unclean accommodations. It was not as described. Sadly upon arrival at the booked accommodation I was greeted by what I can only describe as the British version of Beirut. Within the property I found a substandard and not as described room which was unsafe, dank, dark and dirty. In all honesty my heart sank at the rundown room that I discovered was where I was to stay, with a balcony door that led out onto a definitively questionable easy to access area of disrepair with a lock that wouldn’t keep a Care Bear out, let alone a rapist at 3:00 AM. I have never felt so unsafe in my life.

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Upon checking the rest of the facilities, I discovered wires hanging from the ceiling and walls, a garden with rubbish bags, a fridge full of expired food and quite frankly disgusting fermented urine within the toilet; that musky aroma overpowered my nose and sent me to tears. A public toilet was cleaner and safer that the property that was meant to be of a high standard.

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Due to the panic attack that ensued and the pictures I took, which horrified one of my friends in Scotland, they swiftly booked me into a hotel as it was so bad there was no way any of us would of been able to sleep due to fear of my safety. The bed sheets appeared stained and mucky, the curtains were damp, and the whole flat was a safety risk with the lack of security and exposed wires above what I can only assume was meant to be considered a dining table.

This, regardless of Airbnb’s terms and conditions, is not acceptable. They have failed to provide a service to a reasonable standard. This also falls under the remit of not as described and failure to provide a standard of reasonable care to a service user. I’m requesting a full refund as well as compensation for the Uber and hotel room that was required due to Airbnb’s safeguard failings for which both receipts of which are included. I wish this matter to be resolved in a timely manner. If this is not resolved within 28 days I will be pursuing a legal case via small claims for all costs incurred while attempting to use Airbnb as well as compensation for the stress.

Host Cancels Four Days before Arrival in Norway

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Two months before our trip, I booked a full apartment rental for four nights in Rjukan, a small town in southwest Norway. Nine days before our arrival, our host informed us that he was planning to go on a ski trip, but his partner was injured. He was wondering if he could share the apartment and sleep on the sofa bed of the small apartment.

While I pondered the decision of sharing an apartment with a stranger, he cancelled the reservation. The town is fully booked due to a climbing festival and there are no available homes or rooms during these four days. Airbnb customer service assured me that “they are with me every step of the way.” However, they have only managed to find rooms 1.5 hours away and offered no reimbursement. They used the phrase “rest assured we’ll have this taken care of” three times, and taken over 24 hours to respond, which sort of undermines it. At this point I’m just trying to get them to admit that they can’t help.