Both Host and Airbnb won’t Accept Negative Review

Here is a review I posted on an Airbnb host’s site. It was posted for one day and then Airbnb removed it from the post. I contacted Airbnb support and went back and forth many times and they refused to put the review back on the host’s rental site.

You will see in my review that I not only complained about the rental but also provided some positive feedback. It seems to me that the host and Airbnb don’t want negative reviews so they removed it. When I told the host I was posting a negative review, he threatened that if I did he would post something negative about me. I didn’t care about the negative feedback I would receive as I felt it was important to share my experience with others who may rent this house.

We also had five couples in the rental (all over 60) so I can’t imagine what he could have said about us. We were there less than 24 hours and took great care of the house. Since Airbnb wouldn’t post my review on their site I am now hoping to share it here:

Beware of this host. First let me say that we have rented many homes through VRBO and most recently Airbnb for over 15 years. This will be my first negative review I’ve written so I put a lot of thought into this post. Our first interaction with the host was amazing. She was quick to respond to all of my questions and allowed us to rent for only one night on a busy NYE stay – although at a premium rate of $1,600 per night (I believe the normal nightly rate is $500). We had five couples to share the cost so we felt the price was worth us spending a night in a nice house.

Now to the reason I’m writing a negative review. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the pool had not been cleaned; it was dirty and had leaves on the bottom of the pool. I contacted the host and she offered to come over and sweep it for us. We declined as it was starting to get dark and cool for the evening. Again, the host quickly responded to my question so communication was good. As the evening progressed we discovered many other issues. By this time of night it was getting late on NYE so we decided it was too late to call her. A list of issues we found that I want to share with potential renters:

1. When one of the guests went to prepare for bed she pulled back the top sheet and there was not a fitted sheet – only the mattress pad, which had many stains on it and was covered with hair. She found the fitted sheet wound up in a ball in the closet; it was wet so she couldn’t put it on the bed. She had to move all of her stuff to another bedroom which also had bedding issues (holes in the shams and stained sheets).

2. An ice cube fell on the floor so we grabbed a paper towel to wipe it up. The paper towel was black from the dirt on the floor. We tried wiping other areas in the kitchen and saw how dirty the floor was. We decided that we wouldn’t go barefoot in the house. In fact, by the bar area our shoes would squeak from the stickiness on the floor.

3. The fireplace didn’t work – or if it did we couldn’t find the instructions on how to use it.

4. One of the bathrooms had a hole in the drywall, the tub faucet was broken and the sink handle fell off when we turned it.

5. The ice dispenser didn’t work – we had to open freezer to get ice out of the bucket.

For $1,600 we expected a lot more from this rental. It didn’t have to be perfect as we understand many renters come and go through these houses, but clean and in working order was not too high of an expectation.

The next day I contacted the host and she said she was mortified about the linens and would repair all of the items I listed. Although too late for our stay, I hope it is better for the next renter. Her reasoning that things were not taken care of was that no one had ever told her about anything wrong in the house. I understand that others wrote good reviews so she wasn’t aware of any issues which is why I’m writing this review so the next potential renter can be informed.

All in all, the host was good to work with. We just felt that for the amount we paid to rent the house we deserved so much more.

Dirty Beach Grounds for a Bad Airbnb Review?

I am new to the Airbnb life. In August 2017, I rented an ocean front beach house for the weekend in Westbrook, Connecticut. I gave a surprise gathering for my boyfriend’s 46th birthday. The home was beautiful, a little outdated but nice. I met with the maid upon arrival and did a walkaround. The event was very adult and respectful to the home. The area of the beach that the host was responsible for was filthy though. We did not get to enjoy it because it had sea weed, dead crabs, sea shells open and closed, and black dirty sand everywhere. We dared not take off our shoes let alone spend very much quality time out there. A bit depressing being that it’s listed as an ocean front beach home.

However, I gave a guest review. I was mild about the beach. I did in fact mention that it was a disappointment. I didn’t give the details as I just did. The host must have gotten upset and posted a untruthful guest review, saying that my guests and I didn’t clean up behind ourselves, which was an outrage. I have pictures and video footage of the home right before we were checking out. I’ve been trying to send this information to Airbnb but they are giving me email addresses that are coming back to me not received. I need to prove my innocence. Since then I’ve tried to book two other places and got denied because of her lying statement. I need this removed from my review page and this is why I’m fighting.

Crazy Airbnb Host in Miami with Unreasonable Rules

I suffer from severe, excruciating menstrual cramps. During this period, I depend on ibuprofen to get through the day and I take hot showers of approximately 20-30 minutes to ease them at night. Girls who have this issue will know I am talking about.

Knowing that I would have this problem during my stay in Miami, I specifically booked a private room with a private bathroom so that I would be able to take these long hot showers without inconveniencing other guests. One night, my host and his mother came knocking on my room door while I was in the shower. They confronted me for taking an excessively long shower, telling me that as a result of my shower there was no more hot water in the rest of the house.

I was shocked and confused, because nowhere in the house rules or policy did he state any restriction on shower time. Of course, if he had stipulated such a rule in his listing, it would have been perfectly reasonable for him to stop me for exceeding the time limit. I probably would not have booked his place in the first place anyway. I had never encountered any other host, or anyone for that matter, whose house ran out of hot water as a result of someone taking a 20-30 minute hot shower. Furthermore, I was staying alone in a room that was meant for two guests, and I definitely wasn’t using more water or power than what two guests combined would have used.

Even after I explained my problem with cramps to him, he was not understanding or empathetic at all, insisting that I was inconsiderate and using up his water and power supplies excessively. One particular rule that this host had was that guests must not do laundry in his bathroom. Fair enough. I refrained from washing my jeans, pants, jackets, blouses, singlets, bras, and T-shirts. But this was Miami, where you go to the beach. When you go to the beach, your swimsuit gets soaked in seawater.

When I got back to my room after an evening of paddle boarding, I rinsed my swimsuit and shorts in the bathroom sink to get rid of the seawater. I also washed my panties every day for hygiene purposes. I hung these up to dry in the bathroom. The host and his mother inspected the room the moment I left for breakfast. He then came down and confronted me for doing laundry in his bathroom. I’m not sure what he expected… for me to leave my period panties and seawater-soaked swimsuit and shorts hanging in the room unwashed? Maybe that’s normal to him – but to me that’s just gross and unhygienic.

The worst thing was he later told me that he had taken photos of my “daily laundry” as evidence that I broke his no-laundry rule, i.e. he had taken photos of my panties and my bikini. How disturbing can that be? Finally, he accused me of being impolite and unfriendly to his elderly mother. His English is bad, but his mother’s English is worse. In fact, she cannot speak English at all – she cannot even understand something as basic as “how are you?”. All I could do was to smile and say “hi” when I saw her. There was no way I could have managed a conversation with her due to the language barrier.

My stay in Miami could have been perfect, but this host’s bizarre and unreasonable expectations and behaviour left me extremely distressed and uncomfortable.

Disappointing Experience with Vindictive Host

We recently stayed (Boxing Day 2017) at this Airbnb and found the experience to be less than that what we have come expect and what we are accustomed to with Airbnb. We had two friends with us (this was their Christmas present from us, and their first experience with Airbnb) and sadly they have stated that they would never use Airbnb if this was an example of what to expect.

The host was not home when we arrived, which wasn’t an issue. When she arrived home, she was very communicative. We had no issue with the host at this point. However, the facilities were not as we expected. The pool was green, and although it was to cool to swim on that particular day, anyone arriving later in the week would not have had the option, though it is clearly listed as an attraction on the Airbnb page. The host stated she had told us that the pool was not usable but we do not recall her saying this at any point.

There was very limited communication by the host, and the normal message from Airbnb to “pack your bags”, etc. was not sent to my email. We had to contact the host on Christmas Day to ensure that the booking was confirmed, and received a terse message to say that the booking had been confirmed months ago.

There was street parking only (not an issue as the area is quite safe). The listing stated ‘private facilities’ for our use; however, this was not the case. The bathroom was full of cosmetics, and items used by the family, and whilst there, the child of the house was using these facilities. There was no soap to wash our hands in either the upstairs or downstairs bathroom/toilet (which makes one wonder about the hygiene of the family members).

The house itself was definitely not clean, contrary to what the host replied in her review. A ‘continental breakfast’ was offered – we declined as we are on a special diet – but we told the host that the other couple with us would like the breakfast. On the morning of our departure the host said she normally sets up the breakfast for guests but had to rush off to drop her son off to a camp. She waved towards the cupboard and said ‘help yourself, there is bread in there and in the freezer’. We found a loaf of white bread, not the continental breakfast items as clearly stated on the listing.

We left the place tidy, and pondered for several days about what to state in the review. We decided to give an honest review, and then on the evening of January 2nd received a very nasty phone call from the host, followed by an equally nasty strange message that we were sent to her house to “deliberately sabotage [the experience] and that they were set up and will make the connection. Nobody is that cheap. The public domain will speak for itself. You are so unsophisticated.”

In the phone call she mentioned a couple of names of the people that had ‘set us up’. We are very perplexed by this as this was a completely cold contact found on Airbnb and we booked in August 2017. The phone call and message left us both very shaken, feeling threatened, and will make us more wary of using Airbnb in the future and giving honest reviews. My husband is currently recovering from cancer, which we chatted about with the host very openly, her final words on the nasty phone call were ‘no wonder you have cancer’ and then hung up, which left us both very distressed and having a sleepless night. This was followed up by the strange text message.

Driven from Airbnb Horror on a Snowy Christmas Morning

On a snowy Christmas morning in the Rockies everyone was staying in a poorly maintained house we rented due to a malfunctioning alarm system that flashed lights without stopping on the first floor of the house after beeping without interruption for several hours Christmas Eve afternoon (a missing sensor on an exterior door would not allow us to turn off the system). Adding to this awful situation we were told we could not adjust the heat in the house, as it was remotely controlled by the owner in Boston. Cabinet doors were torn off of the cabinets. The house was very sparsely furnished and in very poor repair. A king bed was not properly put together; nails were used instead of screws and in the middle of all the chaos it broke and the mattress fell to the floor. There was a large stinking pile of garbage in the kitchen. The house had two doors to the outside, and two were broken and unusable. We had complained about all this to the property manager who said she contacted the owner. This turned out to be a lie. She was unresponsive and lied when she did respond. Faced with this charming situation, we packed and departed the house about 6:30 AM on Christmas morning in a snowstorm. The owner in Boston responded with a blanket denial of all issues. We are in the process of a well documented dispute with Airbnb.

Negative Comments Need not Apply with Airbnb

Recently we met our German friends for our annual November retreat. We decided to use Airbnb this year since they had a lot more locations over our normal rental unit management company. We always stay in the Ft Myers/Naples area so there were a lot of great places to choose from. Our rental home was owned by a German couple who were responsive throughout the booking process and all in all seemed good.

What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that they gave us a “daily usage allowance” for electricity, something we were unaware of until the day of check in. Our German friends arrived the day before us (we traveled from Virginia) and checked into the house. The management company made them sign a document that they would pay for any additional electricity over the daily allowance ($3.50 per day). I’m not sure where you live but $3.50 per day for electricity when you have a pool, A/C, lights, an oven, etc. is pretty darn low. The really sad part is when you review the listing on Airbnb all the fine print is in English, until you get to the part about “Electric”, then it changes over to German.

We called Airbnb on this fact (after we had already checked in) and they said “That’s illegal. All our listings in the US are to be in English.” We thought they were on our side then they said, “Well, you will need to work out the electric bill with the host…”

Seriously? The Host breaks the rules and you tell me I have to work it out? Airbnb customer service also said “You should not engage in any agreements outside of the Airbnb system.”

I wonder why? Because they lose out on any additional cut they might be entitled to? It’s akin to bidding on an item on eBay that you eventually lose, only to be sent an email by the seller a few minutes later wanting to make the sales transaction “outside” the eBay system – at the same price you bid, of course. So they can avoid paying eBay the 5% fee. This was a foul by the host.

Sensing our frustration after several calls to Airbnb, during our vacation no less, they told us they would refund us $30 for our troubles. That was five weeks ago and there has still been no refund. I asked them why I did not get a link to provide feedback after the stay was completed. They said that because they knew our feedback would be negative they would not be allowing us to provide any comments – hence the reason I’m writing here.How do they expect things to improve if they deny their customers an opportunity to provide accurate and rational negative feedback? It’s pathetic.

Sadly that will be our one and only stay with Airbnb. I chose not to include a link to the host’s listing because while their idea of charging for electricity is misguided (especially in the USA) the home was pretty much as described. I would recommend the host abandon the “daily allowance” idea and increase the daily cost for the home by $10 which would likely cover most of the electricity (we stayed 15 days so that would be equal to $150). As far as Airbnb goes in general? I would highly recommend that everyone stay away from this sham of a company.

Airbnb: Unprofessional Standards Drive Guests Away

In the last three months I have stayed in three Airbnb apartments and houses: each for a month. I moved to a new Airbnb house two days ago. Already, I have noticed the TV system has a fault, there is no hot water, the fob to the garage doesnt work and I had to climb over the gate all day yesterday because I didnt have a key. The last two places were just as bad.

They are amateurs: they only want your money, and have no sense of professional responsibility or standards. No wonder the terms don’t allow refunds. If you find the electricity constantly cuts out, or the plumbing is so noisy it keeps you awake, or you do not get the necessary keys, or there is not enough hot water for two people to shower, or the fob to the garage doesn’t work, or there is little privacy to work there, or it’s cold with no heating, and consequently it’s overpriced – complain, or leave a bad review. It’s your duty to do so. We are the regulators.

Bad Experience at Noisy Airbnb in Hong Kong

I booked a one-bedroom apartment for a three-night stay in Hong Kong. The reviews were good, and although it was somewhat pricey (the equivalent of £100 a night), I knew that prices would be high in HK, and ‘sucked it up’.

The flat consisted of a bedroom, a small living room with an open kitchenette and a small bathroom. I assumed the owner rented it out all the time. It dawned on me later that she actually lived there, and moved elsewhere when she had a booking. The street, described as ‘quiet’ though with a little noise from a restaurant downstairs, was actually a party street with bars and restaurants open until the early hours every night. People would stand outside, smoking, laughing, and shouting.

Worse than this noise though, was the racket made by the ancient window-mounted air conditioner. The owner said it was a little noisy and needed servicing. That was an understatement – it was like a diesel engine rumbling away making enough noise to wake the dead. At times it started to pulsate and make the whole room vibrate. If the owner knew it was problematic, why didn’t she have it fixed before I arrived and paid £2,100 up front for my stay? Not using the aircon was not an option since it was so darn hot. I managed to sleep with the aid of earplugs.

I am a vegan, so wanted to cook my own food. Impossible – there were no pots and pans. There was no connected stove (a non-working gas ring). Even the microwave was useless since the power cord would not reach the plug socket. The windows were also filthy; you could barely see outside. The owner cleaned them one day, after I complained. I left after five nights and asked for a refund, but guess what? They only refund 50% of your rental fee. I wrote a damning review which Airbnb edited. All they posted was ‘amenities need improving’.

Is Airbnb really that selective that they censor renters’ reviews? I checked in to a serviced apartment. For an extra £10 a night I get a lovely serviced room and use of the residents’ gym and laundry room. Never again, Airbnb. Never again.

Booking Hotel Rooms Through Airbnb Not The Best Choice

I book at Palms Place in Las Vegas through Airbnb regularly because it is a great hotel and there is no casino there. My initial room was not clean. The carpet had not been vacuumed and there were brown spots all over the white walls. There was also nonstop noise coming from under my door. I had to deal with this mess for one night until I could reach management the next day. Finally I reached someone and was moved to another room, and it was presented as if it was a courtesy only, when the issues of my room were not my fault. I had to wait in the lobby two hours and thirty minutes going back and forth between managers being told by one my room was ready, and by the other my room was not.

I was in Vegas for work and was supposed to be working at this time but got pulled away to handle this situation. The new room had a broken TV that would not work. I wanted a refund to move hotels or to even be switched to a new hotel. Now I’m getting no response because I want a refund for my troubles. Airbnb blames the hotel, the hotel blames Airbnb, and then they both said it was the owners fault. All should get together and issue me a refund. Do not use Airbnb. book directly through a hotel so you do not have to pay for the additional amenities that should be included: like towels that I had to pay an additional $5 per set; or housekeeping, that I did not receive the entire four days I was there.

Cold Showers, Rude Host, and Ultimately a Terrible Experience

My husband and I recently travelled to Portugal. We had been visiting different cities in Portugal and staying in multiple Airbnb homes. We came across a listing for an entire house to rent for one month in Alentejo, Portugal. I talked to the host who was listed as a woman and had over 100+ four-star reviews for multiple properties and rooms across Portugal. The place we were interested in was a new listing with no reviews. Looking back, this should have been an obvious red flag.

I spent two days talking to the host on the Airbnb messenger and confirming that the entire place had hot water, a washing machine and a router that had wifi. I informed the host numerous times that I work from home; therefore, I would be relying on wifi. They informed me on the Airbnb messenger that they had all these amenities. The host also stated that the city had a taxi rank and close amenities but no local transport. The host volunteered to pick us up from our current Airbnb listing for a small fee and take us to their home by car.

In the morning a man arrived and claimed that he was working on behalf of the host and would be handling all our needs. He admitted that he had been pretending to be the host I was talking to, and that he was close friends with the host and used her account to list his house. This was odd but at this point, I had already made payment for one month through Airbnb and I thought as long as the place was as advertised it would be fine.

It turned out that there was no wifi in the house; there was not even a router. It was a 3G mobile hotspot that would jump between one or two bars and sometimes not work at all. There was no hot water whatsoever. The man had no clue how to operate the washing machine after he claimed that the house was his. He brought out a manual for the washing machine in Portuguese which we translated and used to operate the washing machine. It was clear that he did not own the house.

As it was within the 24 hours of us checking in to the listing, I contacted Airbnb and informed them of what was going on. Luckily, Airbnb refunded me 20% of the listing and gave me back 50% of my first night. I was also given the option to get a full refund and 20% discount on a new listing if I wanted to leave that night. Unfortunately, the small village we were in did not have a taxi rank that was in use; there was no means of us leaving the village. As it was during the popular summer season, a lot of the listings available on Airbnb were either too far away or unavailable.

We spent one month with no hot water and limited internet. Airbnb insisted that the host should try to rectify the issue and tried to reach out to the woman that owned the host Airbnb account. Her boyfriend called me and said that he was away at sea and could not drive down to fix the internet issues or the lack of hot water. He proceeded to try to speak broken English with me and tell me that there was hot water and that he had driven from Porto to Alentejo four days before our booking to ensure that everything was fine. As his English was bad, I spoke Portuguese to him so he could clearly understand everything I was saying. However, he insisted on speaking English and would not listen at all to anything we were saying, insisting that everything was fine.

Eventually, it was futile talking to him so I hung up and informed Airbnb of what he had told us. When the man that pretended to be the original host returned on the day we checked out, he stated that there was hot water. He proceeded to change the gas tank quietly while we were in the bedroom tidying up and thought that I was not watching him. He then declared that there was hot water and that we were not using the boiler properly. I informed him that I saw him changing the gas tank. He had absolutely nothing to say. Why lie? Why not just admit that the gas tank had run out before our booking?

I asked him why he lied about having a router and wifi, and he said that it was a small village and worked well for him. That was not what I asked him on the Airbnb messenger or in person. During our stay, we had to boil water with pots to take “showers” because he and the original host could not be bothered to ensure that there was a filled gas tank.

I left a negative review on the listing and Airbnb deleted it; the listing is still up. I wonder if this is why the place has no reviews – because Airbnb is deleting them. The moral of this experience is if you want to try and get some sort of refund or assistance from Airbnb, communicate in detail with prospective and current hosts on the messaging app. Airbnb can see everything that is said. Avoid phone calls if possible that discuss important issues. Avoid emails too. Communicate via the app so that all cards are on the table; I cannot stress this enough.

We are now staying in our last listing with another host who lied about having wifi with an ethernet port. Airbnb has offered me a partial refund if the mobile hotspot continues to give us issues. Why? Because I communicated everything through the app.