Listen to my Warning about Using Airbnb

I have used Airbnb a lot during a period, and advise people not to use it (at least the budget accommodations, a bit cheaper than a hotel, but sometimes not).

I found 5 out of 10 hosts had a criminal record (even money laundering) and the rest had serious financial troubles. Many people who rent out rooms are in desperate situations because of their personality and choices they have made. Desperation makes bad hosts. They all have introductions about how they love to meet people from different cultures, but most rent solely to make a buck the easy way. Many lie about their work (unemployed, fired, criminality). I have found mobsters use Airbnb a lot to launder money.

Reviews are wildly exaggerated positively, as guests seem to lie just to be able to stay cheaply (poor? stingy?). It is a veritable lalaland, to be found nowhere else. On Airbnb, hosts, guests, and the company seem to have some kind of joint psychosis.

Indecent sexual advances are quite common. I have had one sexual assault (he broke into my cottage) and several other highly inappropriate Superhosts. Most hosts lie: inaccurate photos, how many people are living there, internet, breakfast, location, noise, busy roads, etc. Lying is standard on Airbnb.

Airbnb does not give a s$#t, as long as it does not give bad publicity. They just want money and do not care about your safety at all. Their standards are abysmal. Airbnb destroys the housing market globally and actually promotes greed. If you are not extremely poor, stay at a hotel. It will also be cheaper in the end (proper breakfast, etc.), and you will not have to deal with shady hosts and unplanned negative surprises. Stay safe.

Cancelled our booking within 24 hours of check in

We booked an Airbnb months ago in NYC, very close to where my husband was to be a groomsman in a wedding. With less than 24 hours to check-in, we received a cancellation notice without any explanation from the host. After a frantic, stressful search, we found another property on HomeAway (a competitor). When we called Airbnb, they basically shrugged their shoulders, gave us a refund, offered us a $60 credit if we booked within the next month… and deleted all of our communication with the host.

What is that about? We wanted to write a negative review of the host to keep people away from them, but Airbnb would not allow us to. It makes me wonder if this is common practice by Airbnb in order to limit the number of negative reviews to keep people using the site. We won’t use them again.

Worst Experience with Airbnb in Arlington

We booked an Airbnb to share with friends in Arlington, VA. It looked great and the host was responsive when we asked questions before booking. When we arrived at the complex and called the host, his number was disconnected. He did not respond on the Airbnb App and no one at the complex knew anything about an Airbnb listing. In fact, the management told me that owners were not allowed to list on Airbnb.

I called Airbnb (thank you Airbnbhell for the number) and got someone. He tried to contact the host with no luck either. After an hour of this, he said he would refund my money and help me find a place for us to stay. It took nearly three hours to find a place and I had to pay an additional $995 on top of what we had budget to get this place. When I pushed Airbnb to pay the extra they said all they could do was give me 10% of my original payment of $104.50. This was a terrible experience for me and my guests.

Last-Minute Cancellation Leads to Airbnb Nightmare

We were due to fly to Florida from the UK on March 23rd. We’d heard nothing from the host and she didn’t respond to messages or a phone call. We reported it to Airbnb and they cancelled our reservation 14 hours before we were due to leave for Florida because the host had problems with payouts.

We were told we could have compensation of £221. Because the agent took two hours to get back to us, we lost the next 18-day reservation and could only book ten days. He took our £221 away because the price was less than the original booking, but we still needed somewhere for the first eight nights.

He told us that we couldn’t have the £221 off the next booking. I complained and he gave us a £100 voucher. Again, because he took so long, we lost that booking and the £100 voucher. By this time, with only five hours to go and having been up until 3:00 AM, I couldn’t take it anymore. We just booked a hotel through another company. Please refer to my messages as proof of what a complete and utter nightmare we have been through by using Airbnb.

Interracial Discrimination From Airbnb Rampant?

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After I was banned for life from Airbnb for absolutely no reason (booked twice, great reviews from my hosts, paid on time, went to book a third trip but was locked out), I went to try to contact them through Facebook and found a pattern: they are banning interracial couples for no reason.

They have us sign in through Facebook and most of us have photos with our partners. Then through a quick Google search I found out they’re being sued for discrimination at the moment. I ended up booking with HomeAway instead and highly recommend you do the same.

What do you guys think of this?

Busted After a Vegas Host Decided to Cancel

My nightmare began in April 2018 when I booked a Condo in Las Vegas for the SEMA convention. I selected a two-bedroom two-bath, five minutes walking distance of the convention center. I thought I had done my homework: I looked at all the reviews – all was well, so I booked.

Five days before the convention was to start (seven months later), I received a notice that my reservation had been cancelled. Out of the goodness of their hearts they gave me a 10% rebooking fee credit even though the prices showed they had tripled. I called Airbnb and they said the host had cancelled for security purposes… whatever that means. What it means is the owner got a better offer elsewhere.

I stopped by the condo and it was rented during the convention. After countless messages and multiple phone calls I ended up with a place at three times the rate, of which Airbnb only picked up a third. I have since learned and I want everyone to know that hosts tell Airbnb what they want to charge for a night and then Airbnb sets their price according to the demand. If you think you are safe after you book, you are not.

Airbnb House Nightmare, Just Wanted a Clean, Quiet Place

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Our experience was horrible at an Airbnb in New Orleans. We paid the place five months prior to our convention and was expecting to have a great place to stay as advertised.

As soon as we arrived at the place, we knew it was unacceptable. From the posting, it says eight people could stay in four bedrooms. However, there were only three bedrooms. The previous guest wrote all over the wall, making the place filthy… and the notes were inappropriate. The washroom was filthy and disgusting. Mold was everywhere and the floor was so dirty. The neighborhood was unsafe; people were looking at us and checking the car park in front of the place. There was one comment that if we stayed a bit longer, we would get robbed. It was a serious situation. Neighbors were screaming and yelling in the middle of the night.

The same day we called Airbnb, complained, sent pictures of the place, explained our situation, and asked for a full refund. Instead they helped us to relocate to a better place. Again I had to call multiple times to be relocated. It took our Airbnb representative 17 hours to figure out how to transfer the funds to the new place. We had to pay the difference on the top of the original charge. Now, we are in the process of calling them to get that refund.

On the same day, Airbnb only gave us $500 to cover the costs and our credit card still got charged. If someone could help me: what else should I do to get compensated for this trouble? Our first day in New Orleans was a nightmare. We don’t know how we can get compensated for this matter. We all lost sleep and didn’t get enough rest; that ruined the first day of our convention.

There are reasons to choose motels over Airbnb

Why not pay for a hotel? You are paying for staff who usually answer the phone (unlike Airbnb hosts), maids who might bring spare towels without having to take a picture of a bathroom with no towels, and dispute resolutions that are face to face, not a parade of characters who bounce in and out and come up with an ever-changing list of requirements to get a miserly refund. My favorite was the request that I take a picture of the Airbnb website to prove many of the advertised amenities were missing and it had the wrong address listed.

I was told I should have videotaped the standing host who spoke no English and closed all the windows while ratcheting up the heat in 95 degree weather. How could I prove the sheets on the bed were soaking wet? Easy in a hotel but impossible even by the Airbnb customer service standards. My contact with customer service ended with an email to which I couldn’t reply and a refusal to allow me to post a review. After spending $4100/week I guess I shouldn’t have scrimped on the private detective/videographer that customer service demands but really how many nights could I have luxuriated in actual functioning AC at a motel?

Reserved Eight Months in Advance, Host Canceled One Month out

I booked a condo eight months before an event I attend every year. Usually I book a hotel, but I thought it might be nice to have a kitchen and an extra room for my son. I booked early because the event is very popular. Since I wanted to be within walking distance of the venue, and I wanted to have a place to leave my car, I knew that lodging with those qualities would be in high demand.

Just over a month before the event, the host canceled, as his property is not zoned for short-term use. His last message said that “Airbnb says they will help you find a new place to stay.” That “help” has so far consisted of phone support sending me other Airbnb listings that are miles from the venue, that don’t have parking, or that are five times the price of my original listing for the dates I want because, again, it is a popular event.

Here I am, a month out, all the hotels within walking distance of the venue are now booked solid, and the ones farther away are 30% more expensive than they would have been when I booked the condo. Airbnb is offering no “help”: no compensation, nothing. Lesson learned: I will leave lodging to the lodging professionals from now on. No more Airbnb, ever.

First Time Airbnb Experience a Positive One

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This was my first time using Airbnb and it was sort of a horror story. We booked a room in a hotel resort with an option for an all-inclusive package to be paid at reception. Once we had driven several hours and checked in, the agreed price was marked up 50% from what was confirmed prior to booking. We called Airbnb and they advised us that they would honor the price difference as the host was unsympathetic and not willing to do so.

After dealing with Airbnb, night was falling and we started to see an infestation of cockroaches. We requested a callback from Airbnb and advised them we were out of there. They said they would find us alternative accommodation. By that night, we had not heard from them so we requested a callback; they said to book a hotel and they would reimburse us.

We stayed at a cheaper hotel and checked with them the next day. We never heard from them so we decided to just spend the money and book a five-star all-inclusive resort but only for three days and not the six which was initially booked. We never thought Airbnb would reimburse us for the hotel and thought it would be a battle to get the refund. Little did we know after going back and forth with Airbnb and them with the hostess, we got a full refund on the room booked. They also completely paid for our five-star hotel. We were eligible for the guest experience program.

All I can say is keep in touch with Airbnb when the first issues arises. We were impressed with the swiftness of reimbursement and the customer support from Airbnb for first time users. We were browsing this site upon investigating our ordeal. Reading all the horror stories, we’re glad we weren’t left hanging in the end.