Airbnb Host Offers no Flexibility During Pandemic

This was the worst Airbnb I have ever stayed at in my life. It was like walking on eggshells. I can’t believe I stayed here and extended my stay. I was manipulated and taken advantage of at the same time as well.

Since I was trying to save money in the middle of the pandemic, I figured I should probably stay in a cheap place with a kitchen. I was hesitant with booking with this host since the kitchen was not allowed. I figured she might be able to make an exception so I decided to message her first.

In our conversation, she told me “light cooking” would be okay. Unfortunately, that was my mistake. “Light cooking” was her way to get me to book the room so that she could make some extra cash during the pandemic. Apparently sautéing was not considered to be “light cooking”. Light cooking to her was considered to be making a sandwich, which is not really cooking at all. Because of this miscommunication, I had to throw away $30 of groceries.

My host also came into my room and moved my stuff around so that she could tidy up one day while I was gone for the afternoon. If I can’t come into your room I would really appreciate it if you didn’t go into the one I paid for when I’m not in the apartment. I mean how do I know if my stuff is safe in the room?

I can also see why previous guests were complaining about the bed. I had to fix the bed frame several times since it’s made out of wood. On her listing, it also says that a laptop friendly space is included. When I was at a desk typing on my laptop I was told to go to my room because “the living room wasn’t an office”.

If you’re a tourist and you’re not in the apartment a lot I can see why you would leave a good review but this was not my experience. I’ll never use Airbnb again.

blankblank
blank

Can’t Stay at Airbnb if There’s Nowhere to Park

blank

I saw this website. I discovered it was impossible to stay at the “cottage” I reserved on Airbnb. I could not park anywhere for blocks (possibly miles) around. It turned out to be located in a very congested neighborhood where cars lined the streets on both sides.  I felt misled as to the listing.

The attached picture is not what I saw. It was inaccessible; the directions said to enter the “cottage” by going through the yard of a “different house” — the one that was facing the street. The driveway of this “other home ” had a sign posted that said “do not park”.

I was  a nervous wreck, as I contemplated what on earth I was going to do if I couldn’t even park my car. Impatient drivers behind me kept honking their horns. One car was able to barely squeeze his way between my car and the row of cars to his left. He leaned into my car and said, “Get out of the way!”

I had nowhere to go but forward. As soon as I was able, I called the “host”, who did not answer. So I left a voice message saying, “I can’t stay at your house if I can’t even park my car. I expressed that I didn’t know what to do. I never got a return phone call.

I went to the Airbnb message center and chose the red highlighted area that said “contact Airbnb”. In between each four-way street traffic stops I wrote my complaint.  It took several attempts at explaining why I wanted to cancel. The site didn’t like “because I had nowhere to park” and it didn’t like “because the ad was misleading”, so I entered “because I don’t feel safe”.

Apparently it is some sort of preset answer/question format that has to see a certain reason as being acceptable before it comes back with the response I was looking for. Finally the response came back as “you will receive a full refund”.

At that, I headed home, all the way from Queens, New York (where the coronavirus had practically become an overnight pandemic) to Conway, Arkansas. I had not slept in over 24 hours because the other reservations I had made through Airbnb had to be cancelled when I saw that it was in a very high crime area. At least that reservation was cancelled without a problem.

Well, I arrive home three days later. I booked motel stays along the way (did not want to bother with Airbnb anymore) and guess what? I got an email from Airbnb that I was not entitled to a refund because of my host’s policy.

Boy, was I mad. My husband was furious. He jumped down my throat about booking with that company instead of just getting a motel. I immediately tried to complain. But, for some reason, I don’t recall why — I could not get a person to talk to.  I had to write my complaint out and waited for a reply.

When someone did contact me, after explaining all of the reasons I cancelled, I was told I had no supporting facts: no pictures, no correspondence.

How am I going to get that question/answer form that is on their end only? How am I supposed to get a picture of that sign in their driveway which said “do not park”?

As of now, I am out $260. I know that is not a lot of money, especially in comparison to some of these other unfortunate victims. If I were rich, I would pursue this with an attorney just for the principle  of the matter. I have submitted a third request for the refund I was promised.

blankblank

Feeling Like I’m on Candid Camera with Airbnb

I can’t imagine any experience with Airbnb customer service as frightful and frustrating as this ongoing experience. Had I not found this site I would have thought I was crazy. Get ready for a ride.

My husband and I are seniors (so they tell us). We got to Orange County on February 1st for a month’s stay while we visited our new grandson. Our son made our arrangement with an Airbnb host.

When we arrived we found this one-bedroom apartment. The major problem was that the bedroom had no closet nor did it have a dresser. My husband and I looked at each other perplexed with the same question: where would we put a month’s worth of clothes? Lay them out on the floor?

There was a tiny hall closet that could have possibly held a weekend’s amount of clothing with a portable hanging shelf which would hold the same. We were screwed. We immediately called our son who contacted Airbnb and the host to inform them we were not staying and we left within ten minutes.

Now the story gets good. The host offered to return half of our $3100, but by the time my son got back to her she rescinded the offer. Here’s where the story kicks in and the ride starts.

Airbnb told us to contact the host, which we did. This was her response:

“Hello, please stop the nonsense and willing harassment of me. This is my last communication with you. If you have further questions, please contact the rightful party.”

What? We were told to contact her… was she not the rightful party?

“I have nothing else to do with this. And nothing you’ve said has relevance or truth to it besides greed and entitlement.”

Are you kidding? What does that mean? It cost us a hotel room for days and then we needed to find a place for the month. I texted the host that there was no way that apartment could be rented for a month with no place for clothing. No response.

To make a long story short, we have, since February 1, spoken to nine different people at Airbnb who keep telling us our case had been handed over to a different case manager. It is now in the hands of a senior case “do nothing” manager with always promises to have someone contact me and tales of a procedure to follow.

One of the agents actually told us that in the amenities a closet was not mentioned. Since when is a closet an amenity? A hair dryer is an amenity.

Now get ready for the best part. We found out that the apartment complex does not allow their renters to sublet or rent through Airbnb. You’d think this meant gotcha. No. One agent told me that if they called this complex and that was the case then they could retrieve our money. No one has called them. So here I am, doubling up on my blood pressure pills, calling daily, and getting the same script from a different person.

blankblank

Don’t Trust Airbnb Reviews – Delete Bad Ones

I will file a lawsuit against Airbnb in two months, as soon as my upcoming non-refundable reservations end. I will also make a website called Airbnb Scams, Airbnb Lies and more domain names like this. I will explain all the scams, lies, misleading information, and Airbnb actions on my website in depth.

I had stayed at 28 Airbnbs in 17 months. I did hours of research to find a decent place in order to not to get screwed by Airbnb hosts. There are very few hosts honest enough in Airbnb listings, and Airbnb already knows all these scams because I have been telling them repeatedly for the last 17 months. Yet Airbnb does nothing to fix all these scams. Of course, if they remove all the scam listing, Airbnb cannot make any money.

1. You do not know where will you stay until you book and pay. If you are not familiar with the area , you will end up very dangerous place because even with 30 bad review, and a 2.6 review score there are lots of listings that still exist on Airbnb. Airbnb does not care if you are safe. They want your money.

2, Even though there are no bad reviews, it does not mean that the place is perfect because Airbnb deletes bad reviews reviews on some listings to do the host a sweet favor, just like an Airbnb case manager deleted my bad review about a host lying about me that I left his place dirty. I have recordings that show totally the opposite, and I am suing them in March.

3. Shows “kitchen” on the listing. Yet one mini fridge, one microwave and a coffee maker is not a kitchen.

4. Shows “gym” on the listing, and the gym is in the other building and belongs to some other company, or apartment. I even saw a gym listed but it was in the park.

5. Non-refundable bookings.

6. “Do not say you are with Airbnb; just say you are friend”. Most of the Airbnb hosts ask me or even say in their listing that I should tell anyone if asked that I am not an Airbnb guest. I should lie, saying I am their friend or relative. So, you are charging me $150/night and I have to lie for you? Then charge me $30 a night if you just want to scam your building staff, your neighbors, and the tax department?

7. No refunds if you stay there one night or two and find out the host lied to you about something. Airbnb may refund you the rest of the stay if you move out, but you still must pay the nights you were there just because a host lied to you.

8. Sometimes other very loud Airbnb guests will keep you up all night. There is nothing you can do.

I will write all my experiences when I make my website. One host said there was a gym, and I found out there was never a gym. In his words, Days Inn was letting them use their gym but not anymore. Surprisingly, the host found out the very same day I checked in that Days Inn did not let his Airbnb guests use the gym. Really? What a coincidence! I told Airbnb, and only got a partial refund. I lost $357 for one night, Uber payments, groceries, and wasted time and money.

28 places I have stayed, in three states and two countries. So many lies, scams, misleading information, and more. My only reason was the kitchen because I like to cook. Dirty utensils, lack of cooking materials, tiny fridges, more and more. They charge $50 – $250 cleaning fees, and yet I have to clean most of the places I have stayed.

As I said in the beginning, there are very few honest hosts. If you not spend many hours reading each listing word by word, you are screwed. There are so many hidden fees, such as for a jacuzzi, or two-bedroom apartment but the $38 price tag is for only one person, the second person is $16 extra per night, extra deposits and cash deposits. There are resort fees, this and that, and on top of all this, Airbnb charges almost $13% -15% and yet offers no real help if the host does not agree to anything.

Airbnb only helps if the host is willing to help. Otherwise you are screwed. No more Airbnb for me. I will continue to stay at hotels.

blankblank
blank

Relaxing One-Bedroom Apartment Close to Everything… Not

blankblankblankblank

This property should not have been accepting bookings because there are countless problems that make it unlivable. We were not told of, in advance, about the horrible living conditions of the property that we would have to endure if we stayed there. If we were made aware of those, we would not have chosen to stay there. We would have chosen a different Airbnb location and property, someplace that actually had parking, cable TV, wifi, hot water, and for that matter, water.

We were not told about the poor living conditions prior to our stay. Many inconveniences of staying at a location where the building was being retrofitted for earthquakes. It was noisy, dirty, and dusty all the time. There was no cable TV after 12 days and no cable wifi after 12 days, only a slow portable wifi hotspot that the host brought after the cable went out and had to be reset every day, many times.

There was no dedicated parking, a super small pint-size refrigerator, and the wall heater was not working. The hot water for taking showers was only around about 20% of the time and always extremely low water pressure in the bathroom. The garbage lock code given was incorrect, so we had to find elsewhere to dump our trash. The laundry room was very dirty, dingy, and dark. We had to go to a laundromat which was not close by.

At the time of booking, there was already retro work being done at the apartment building. No disclosure was given to us of the inconvenience nor a discount offered to my wife and I because of the construction work. We were not told about what we would have to go through by staying at this Airbnb location and the poor living conditions.

We were only able to park in the dedicated parking spot a few times during our stay there of 57 nights. We had to drive around for hours looking and waiting for a street parking spot to open up. (That was within one block) Why? There were either piles of dirt there or garbage or equipment in the way where the parking spot was located (not enough room to park a car there). Every time we returned to the apartment (which was daily, as we worked) my wife and I felt worried and pressured about whether we would find a parking spot or not.

On Monday, the cable went out because the construction crew tore the cable off the building. On Tuesday, the cable company came and said the outside wires were pulled off since they were doing retro work on the apartment. We called the hostess to let her know about the cable going out and she said she’d call. Then she emailed us that she would get a portable hotspot to use to go online.

She didn’t check in with us after that to see if everything was okay. Never a call, message, or email saying when the cable would be restored, etc. Some worker-type guy stopped me outside one day and said they needed to make an appointment with us to install the windows. I told him that I was staying temporarily in an Airbnb, but don’t think he understood. I called the hostess and she said yes they were doing that. She never asked us if it was okay that we hung around and ruined our Saturday to do that. Was this part of our job for them at Airbnb? Not even a thank you.

On Saturday, the apartment building had to change the windows in the apartment. We had to get up early and be ready for them to come in at 9:00 AM. They actually arrived at 9:20 AM and were there 2.5 hours. This interrupted our Saturday. It was also very inconvenient as we had to stay there while this was done but also needed to rearrange the furniture so the workers could access the windows.

My wife and I being furniture movers and apartment sitters was not a part of the Airbnb deal. We didn’t get paid. And again, not even a thank you, a discount or a fruit basket for our trouble.

The gas wall heater didn’t work. We would turn the thermostat on and turn the temperature up, but the heater wouldn’t turn on. You could hear that the pilot light was lit, but there was no big woosh when the heater ignites.

We chose this place because it had a kitchen. However, the refrigerator was only pint sized (very small) and not big enough to hold very much food. My wife was not happy. Because of this, the food we brought with us had spoiled – money wasted there. We had a lot of food as we just sold our home and left there the same day we came here. It leaked water on numerous occasions and the kitchen would be flooded.

Some evenings, workers still made pounding noises for the remodeling work. It was super noisy and we could not relax.

Taking a shower most times was a hit or miss for having hot water. If somebody in the building had taken one recently, then we’d have to wait at least an hour for a lukewarm one if we were able to take a shower at all. If the apartment next to or below us would use the water, this apartment would lose its water pressure completely. In the mornings there was never, ever hot water. Also, there was no water on about six or so different occasions. Sometimes there would be notices or not and then no water for a whole afternoon or day.

The bathroom sink was stopped up. They had liquid Drano under the sink, so they’ve had this problem for a while. We had to go buy more. Seven dollars out of our pocket for that.

This is not a relaxing apartment as advertised. It’s a dump, and the area leaves a lot to be desired. It’s an old, hotel style apartment building and not a secure one. There are homeless people hanging out in the stairwells at night. The neighborhood was not so good. My wife was afraid and would never go outside alone. The walls were paper thin and you could hear the neighbors no matter what. There was a baby next door or downstairs that was crying through the night, almost every night.

I’m not sure how this can be relaxing, being as you cannot sleep a whole night through. You’d think for $3000 a month, you’d be living in the lap of luxury. This was no way to live for two months. It’s an embarrassment that we even have to submit this. This apartment should not have been listed on Airbnb until the retro construction work was done.

Unbearable living conditions and bullet points:

• No parking except street parking (dedicated parking space we were able to use only about five or six times because dirt or equipment was in the way)

• No cable TV from the 12th day into our 57-night stay (not even two weeks)

• Extremely slow hotspot supplied after the cable went out and had to be reset many times every day.

• Low water pressure in the bathroom

• No hot water 80% of the time

• No hot water in the mornings

• Bathroom sink clogged and had to purchase a drain cleaner product

• Had to stay around here one whole day for window installation and moving furniture (and it’s not even our place)

• Pint-size refrigerator (not even close to full size)

• No place to empty trash – the code given did not open the trash lid padlock

• Dark and filthy laundry room

• Homeless people in the stairwell that led to the Airbnb. We had to walk around them.

• Paper thin walls / could hear neighbors

• Retro and construction work being done on the building (noisy, dusty, dirty, no parking, etc.)

• Gas wall heater not working, so it was cold in the apartment during our stay

• Not a secure building

blankblank
blank

Empty Airbnb House with no Utilities Hooked up in Winter

blankblankblank

This happened this weekend. It was my second time using Airbnb and what a nightmare this has been again. The first time I booked with this host she called me at 1:00 PM for my 5:00 PM check in to tell me she had no water but she would be willing to bring me portable water. I needed to shower. She said okay.

I had to call Airbnb and they gave me my money back since I had at that time booked a second Airbnb, and that host was so good especially since it turned into a really last minute booking. I drove by my original booking and saw that there was a tag on the door that showed the water was turned off due to lack of payment. Okay, so the poor girl ran into tough times. I then felt really bad for her, so decided to give her another shot two months later. She accepted my booking and didn’t answer any of my messages, which was a red flag.

I showed up. It was -30 C and snowing. There was a little more than a foot of snow from the sidewalk to the door with no footprints, and a bunch of newspapers that were brown in the mailbox. There was no smoke from the chimney and clearly no doors had been opened at this house in at least a month. I took pictures of the front and back. The snow had not been shoveled all winter so far and clearly no one – upon examining the back of the house – had lived there in months.

I took pictures and called Airbnb. After half an hour they told me they were going to pass my file on to someone else who could actually help me. After going to the event I was going to that night it was 10:00 PM and Airbnb had not assisted me at all. I found a hotel and booked it.

The next day, there was still nothing from Airbnb. I sent messages and got radio silence. I used my points and booked yet another hotel, so my $122.22 booking had now turned into $122.22+$135+$140. I couldn’t afford to keep booking hotels so I booked another Airbnb for my final night at $82. I had now spent $479 on accommodations that I budgeted and booked for originally $122. Just an extra $357… No big deal, I guess.

Finally I was so fed up I called Airbnb again. They informed me my file had never been passed on; I need to restart the process. Yep, do it all over again. This time they were wondering if they could possibly find me a new Airbnb. I’m like: “look at my profile; I already did so and paid for it. Finding me a new Airbnb should have happened two days ago.”

At this point I was just begging to get my original booking money back, and the host’s stay taken down so no one else had to deal with this ridiculous scam artist. I’m not holding my breath.

blankblank

Take your pick: noisy boiler, worn-out mattress springs

What an Airbnb nightmare we had over Christmas 2019 in London. We go and spend Christmas every year with my sister and her family in London and have been doing this for the last twenty years. We usually stay with my sister, but, unfortunately, this year she had a full house and so we got my nephew to look for Airbnb places to stay at for seven nights.

He (poor guy is now feeling so bad) found this advert for a “pretty studio flat” about five minutes from where my sister lives. The picture looked great and it was within walking distance to my sister’s house. We jumped at it, even though it was a bit expensive and we didn’t have much time left to look for anywhere else.

I did read some reviews and the only thing I found which made me get in contact with the hosts was about a very uncomfortable mattress with springs sticking out. We thought, oh, with our backs (we are both pensioners), this would be a no go. I contacted the hosts via WhatsApp and asked them what they had done about the mattress. They assured us that the problem had been sorted and that the mattress was “very comfortable”. We were reassured and believed them.

We actually had WhatsApp communication about whether there was a coffee machine, etc. Of course, there was no coffee machine. We thought fine, no problem: this is the UK and not Italy. We also knew that the road the “pretty flat” was on was going to be a bit noisy and we didn’t mind this too much. This flat is in busy London and we know the area well.

The hosts were now addressing us with “hi darling”, etc. We thought they were friendly, honest people. How gullible we were….

Fortunately, for us we always pay with a Visa. There was no payment upfront, thank goodness. The hosts, of course, don’t live in this tiny flat. I don’t think they even know what the flat is like, as it turns out they didn’t even know the wifi password. They gave one which didn’t work. However, my husband decided to look at the router and it had a completely different Internet provider. We informed the hosts of this and they gave us some excuse for not knowing this.

In addition, we realized during the night that there was a very noisy boiler on the wall above the kitchen area which just droned on and on all night and of course all day. We were both very tired, but this noise just didn’t stop. We got in touch with the “hi darling” hosts and we were told to send them a recording of the noise to see whether it was working normally or not. We just wanted the noise to stop.

We also wrote about the terrible mattress with springs sticking into our backs all night. They ignored this point. We sent them a recorded noise from the boiler and we were told this was “normal”. We wanted to know if we could switch it off. Of course not, as this is a boiler needed to pump water onto the third floor (where the tiny flat is).

I could only spend two nights in the flat, what with the incessant noise and the mattress digging into me (and my husband). Actually, when my husband turned in the bed, I bounced up and down. I went to stay at my sister’s on the floor.

Unfortunately, my husband had to stay in this hellhole for seven nights. We could close the window (which was very stiff) to block out the noise from the street, but, we had to listen to the droning noise of the boiler all night long. My poor husband had had a heart operation last year and this was a terrible time for both of us. We pointed out that perhaps if the mattress was turned over, it might be better. A cleaner came and did it, but, it made no difference at all.

All seven nights were a nightmare. The noisy boiler was never mentioned. The hosts appear to have other flats in this building. It looks like the building has many tiny studio flats, etc. While going up three floors, we could hear children crying and we could smell stale cooking. I wonder what sort of condition these people are living under.

We went there in good faith determined to have a peaceful time. But, it turned out to be a total nightmare. Since leaving the flat, we have not had any response from the money-making scrooges to our complaints. We are withholding payment. 

They are just making money (loads) from us poor unsuspecting travellers. How on earth does Airbnb let such dishonest people onto their books? Airbnb is nothing but a money-oriented organisation. This host certainly found a gold mine, robbing poor unsuspecting travellers. I hope the couple will soon find a conscience.

blank

Airbnb Host has not been Responsive and Lied in Reviews

blank

I usually have pretty decent luck with Airbnb but not this time. As guests, we understand that things and issues can happen all the time. When things happen, hosts should respond promptly and try to resolve the issue as best they can. However, this is not what we’ve experienced; our host is not helpful and ignoring us when we seek solutions, even if the damaged amenity is the bedding.

In short, this is what happened. We found the air mattress at our Airbnb damaged so we notified the host immediately for a solution because we wanted to sleep comfortably on something, not on the hard floor during winter.  The host acknowledged the issue, then ignored us.

We contacted Airbnb customer service regarding this issue, the host being very unresponsive when we, the guests, were trying to communicate. The issue turned into a claim and guests are eligible to request a refund from the host. Our host was not happy about the settlement of the claim and wrote a crazy review accusing us.

In a more detailed fashion, this is what happened. We booked this Airbnb for our ski trip. Although it is a studio, the listing said it can fit six people. We were a group of five so we thought it would be fine. Users on Airbnb might notice that the housing price varies by the dateby a lot; the place usually is around $170ish per night and due to the holiday season, we paid almost $500/night.

The night when we arrived at the studio, we found out there was a hole in the air mattress and immediately notified the host to see if there was any way she could fix it. The host replied: “Oh no! There’s a leak in the air mattress? I’m so sorry I don’t have another. How else can I fix this?” We were very surprised that the host was not aware of the damage to the air mattress.

Most hosts check the key amenities after the previous guests check out and before new guests check in. There are also dishes in the dishwasher that we were not sure were clean or dirty from the previous guests. I guess she didn’t check carefully before we arrived. We were also surprised that she didn’t have a spare air mattress and was asking the guests for a solution. We were already pretty tired from skiing all day and really needed comfortable sleep to recover.

We then messaged her: “I guess we need to figure out ourselves how to squeeze five people in one bed and sofa? We are also going to stay tomorrow night. Anyway, can you fix it tomorrow so everyone can have a comfortable sleep?” The host didn’t reply to us the entire night, and the last message we sent her was only around 9:00 PM.

This is the first time we experienced this. Our past Airbnb hosts have all been very responsive and able to fix issues very quickly. We weren’t sure if she was going to help us to resolve the issue so we reached out to Airbnb customer service about the situation with a picture of the hole in the mattress. They provided us with a couple options but none that could help us the first night. We squeezed three people in one bed and two people on the sofa. It was really really uncomfortable. Customer service also mentioned they were going to reach out to the host regarding this matter.

Finally, the host replied to us the second morning saying she was really sorry about the air mattress and she had another mattress at another rental she could bring over around noon - 1:00 PM. I then gave my friend’s contact information to her since she would be staying at the Airbnb the entire day and the rest of us would be out.

Around 5:00 PM we went back to Airbnb and my friend told me the host hadn’t showed up yet. I then checked my message inbox and ddn’t see anything about rescheduling the time or a delay. A couple minutes later, I got her message saying she would be there in 30 minutes. About an hour later, she still hadn’t show up. I messaged her asking when she would be there and she replied: “On my way up.”

About five minutes later, she finally showed up with air mattress. Because of the lateness, I thought she lived pretty far from there and it took time for her to get to our place because of the snow. I asked her: do you live in town? She pointed at a house right outside the window saying: I live right there. I was pretty shocked at that moment . Why did she ignore us the first night and take so long to get our place if she lives next door?

Another issue came up when the host was trying to set up the air mattress for us and she realized that she didn’t have the air pump; we couldn’t use it. She then went back to her place and found a cot and asking us if that was okay. I said yes because it was better than nothing.

I also want to note  the sofa bed and cot were not comfortable at all; we kept rolling and sinking to the center since none of them have support from the bottom. The only comfortable bedding is the bed. I talked with Airbnb customer service again regarding the second night situation updates and they suggested I initiate a conversation with the host to request a refund regarding our first night’s experience. They can start there once I’ve initiated the conversation.

Based on Airbnb’s refund policy,  if key amenities are missing or damaged, the guest is eligible for the refund from the host. We then sent the host a request for a possible refund due to missing/damaged amenities. Of course the host didn’t reply to us at all so we had to reach out to customer service again. Reaching out to Airbnb customer service is a very painful experience; once your claim gets assigned to a case manager, you can only work with them on your case. There is no way you can directly contact them. The only way is to write an in-app message and hope they see it and get back to you.

My experience of getting a response from a case manager on this case has never been shorter than one day. After a couple days of waiting and calling the Airbnb customer service number to ask them leave a note to my case manager for an update, my case manager finally got back to me, saying that he was unable to reach out to the host and they want to talk to the host in order to make a fair assessment about the claim.

Two more days later, and my case manager said he was able to speak with my host and sent me this message : “The host was a bit surprised about my request, and she also mentioned that there were scratches on the pots/pans.” The host probably thought that she could not get away from the refund so she started making things up.

First of all, based on Airbnb’s refund policy ,  if key amenities are missing or damage during our stay, guests are eligible to request a refund. She shouldn’t be surprised at all because we were missing one bed on our first night’s stay. Second, the scratches on the pots and pans were already there when we got there. It is ridiculous to claim they were made by us.

I asked Airbnb customer service if she wanted to report the scratches on the pots and pans against us, she should provide before and after pictures with a timestamp matching our stay (we were pretty sure such photos didn’t exists because they weren’t made by us). After more waiting, an Airbnb case manager replied that they haven’t heard anything back from the host in regards to the pot/pan scratches and were able to settle my claim about the damage amenities.

The settlement result was we received a refund of our first night’s stay. A couple hours after I got the news from the case manager that the claim was settled, the host left this crazy review accusing us of everything. She didn’t respond to customer service in a timely manner but she wrote bad reviews promptly. She just relentlessly made things up… such a crazy and ridiculous host.

In the review she wrote we:

  • Trashed her place. The fact she rented it out to another group right after we left probably meant we didn’t trash it enough.
  • Abused her kindness. Hmmmm, if lying and slow replies are considered kindness then I think we did abuse it.
  • We lied about our dog being potty trained, if our dog pooping outside is considered as lying about potty training. We didn’t even talk to her about anything in regards to dog potty training because our dog was well trained a couple years ago.
  • We filed a complaint against her because we didn’t know how to use the pull-out bed. I need to be honest about this one; we didn’t know how to use the pull-out sofa when we first arrived, but that was not the reason we filed a complaint against her. Though the pull-out sofa was very uncomfortable, the claim was about the air mattress leaking (damage/missing amenities). We were unable to sleep on it.
  • I think she forgot to mention about the scratches on the pots/pans which she mentioned to customer service. I think she needs to add that to the review just to keep her lie consistent.

Not Quite Airbnb Hell, but Certainly Uncomfortable

A few weeks ago I had my first Airbnb experience. Reviews on the place in Lancaster were decent, and the photos looked nice. The host did not live there. It looked like a very quiet, countryside place. I was looking forward to it and having the peace and quiet of being alone. The host did warn me that a family member would/could be there, but their area of the house was private with their own bath, so no need to worry about being bothered. My stay was for three nights.

A bit about me before I continue on. I am 69 years old. I don’t act it, don’t look it – so I am told – and I certainly don’t feel my age. I am very healthy and my energy level is way beyond others my age. Mentally, nothing gets by me.

I had traveled all day, flying from PA to Lancaster, having rented a car at the Charlotte airport. I was anxious to get to the place I was staying at. I had received directions for entering the house, which was very detailed, saying once I parked, I would be at the back door. A code was given.

Once I pulled in, I looked at the back door, which was on a deck that had 14 steps that I had to carry my 30-pound suitcase up. I just sit there in the car for a moment, wondering why this was not mentioned when it did mention having to climb steps once inside to get to my room.

Oh well. I am 5’2″ tall, and average weight. I lugged the suitcase by taking a few steps, then hoisting it up, another few steps, hoist, another few, and hoist, until I was finally at the door.

The whole while I was climbing and hoisting, I was thinking about how I was going to have to deal with getting my suitcase back down in a few days when I left. I entered a lovely sunroom; it was dark, but dimly lit inside. I moved to the kitchen area, which had been explained in the instructions.

I immediately was drawn to the kitchen sink, as I parked my suitcase so I could make a second trip with my other smaller pieces of luggage left in the car. The kitchen sink was filled with dirty dishes. Not just a few. I frowned and wondered why this would be left for a paying guest to see. Next I see a cast iron frying pan, sitting near the stovetop, with remains of cooked meat and grease.

After retrieving all that I needed from the car, I then began my ascent of the stairway to my room, having to go through a foyer. All was quiet, the stairway was lit. I then saw outdoor debris on the steps and realized they must not have vacuumed, and again thought and wondered why they didn’t have it cleaned better.

I am an immaculate housekeeper, so tried to shrug it off as just me being too clean. After all, I really couldn’t do anything about it. The house did look like a lovely house, and it was only for three days. I would basically only be sleeping there.

The Airbnb listing stated, in several places, that there were at least four rooms that were shared with owners, one being the kitchen. It even stated you could cook your own meals. This was not my intent, since I was there for a wedding and visits with family, so after eating a cup of yogurt and banana in the mornings (which I bought), I would be gone until the evening each day and leaving by 6:00 AM after my third night.

I never went into any other rooms, nor even peeked into other rooms. I only went through the places I had to go through to get to my room. Once in the room, it looked decent enough, but the carpet was dirty around the doors – actually black. The color of the carpet was a light tan.

I looked at the bed, which was very high, with about a dozen decorative pillows and cushions on it. I went up close to the bed and stood there in wonder as to how in the world I was going to get into it. It came up to my breast area in height. I looked around for a stool; there was none at the bed. I tried to swing my left leg up on it, then tried my right leg. No go.

Even though I am in decent physical condition, I just knew I would not be able to run and make a flying leap onto the top of the bed. I stood there questioning, out loud, wondering how they could not think that someone short would not be able to get into this bed, and how they didn’t provide a stool for that purpose.

I stacked up about five pillows and attempted it that way. I didn’t work, because I sank too low when stepping on the pillows. I was perplexed. I looked at the end to see if I might step on the foot-end frame to climb up. Due to the high curve and no decent ledge to step on, that was out of the question.

I decided to just use the bathroom and then come up with another plan for getting myself into the bed. The bathroom was referred to as the “Jack & Jill bathroom”. I’ll let you determine what that meant. Immediately I saw the dirty floor. It was white tile and obviously had not been mopped properly in a long time, as there were shoe prints and hair on the floor, and two throw rugs that were linty and matted down, so you knew they hadn’t been shaken or washed in sometime.

The toilet seat was open, the water inside the bowl was brown, and remnants of one of those toilet things that hang on the side was sticking to the side in a blue glob. I was really feeling disgusted.

I then returned to tackle how to get into the bed. I spied a chair in the corner. It was too heavy for me to move, but it had a rocker/glider foot stool at it. I wondered if it might be high enough to give me the boost I needed to get into the bed once I showered. I brought it over to the bed, not yet having pulled back the covers.

Well, it worked. It was just high enough, but of course the minute you put your foot on it, it would glide back and forth. I wedged it up against the side table next to the bed, now it only glided to one side instead of back and forth. I quickly steadied my elbows on the bed and swung the free leg up. I was on it.

Now to get off? I would just slide off on my belly till my feet hit the floor, as to step on the glider might be too hazardous. Once off, I pulled back the comforter and folded it nicely at the foot-end, after taking off the dozen pillows. I then saw the pillows. There was a brown stain on one that looked like dried blood. Then I saw further down a stain on the sheet, more towards the foot-end.

Fortunately, I brought my own pillowcase, because these pillows smelled like someone’s greasy head. I cringed and was feeling so disappointed in what I was seeing thus far. I placed the one with the stain on the floor and used my pillowcase on the other.

The room was too warm and the host did message me earlier, stating that if it needed adjusting to let him know as it was controlled by the wifi and he would have to adjust it. After showering I went straight to bed. The shower stall was okay, but it really was in need of a good cleaning; the corners looked yucky. I slept okay.

While having my yogurt in the morning, I sat at the kitchen table and messaged the host about the heat and requested it be turned down a few degrees, which he did take care of. I told him of the bed issue. He apologized and offered for me to sleep in another room they rent out. I decided just to deal with the room I was in, not wanting to cause more work for them by tearing up another bed.

I had brought my own tea to make, so used the microwave to heat it up. Other than that, I did not use the kitchen at all. The counters were dirty, too. I had asked the host, when I messaged him about the heat, where the dishwashing liquid was so I could do up some dishes in the sink that were there when I arrived. He told me it was under the sink. I didn’t not find any and decided I was not going to bother cleaning up the kitchen, as this was not why I was there, to clean for them.

On my last day there, I was gone all day and returned around 5:00 PM, having brought with me a premade salad from a store to eat for my evening meal. When I arrived, a family member was there, which had been talked about in the listing. She was watching TV in another room with a friend.

As I passed that room to get to mine, I introduced myself and asked if it would be okay to eat my salad at the kitchen table. I did not want to invade on their privacy. She assured me that it would be okay. They left shortly after that and she offered for me to watch TV if I wanted. I thanked her and told her that I wouldn’t be watching TV, as I was leaving early in the morning and needed to get some sleep.

I found a message on my phone during that time, from the host. It was strange; this was my third day and I would be leaving. His message was asking me if this was my first time doing Airbnb. The message had been left earlier in the day. I was with family all day, so didn’t realize until then that he had messaged me.

I answered that it was my first time and asked him why he was wondering. He responded saying because I had asked about the dishwashing liquid, that indicated I was using the kitchen, which wasn’t part of the rent. Naturally, I was stunned. I messaged back that I had not really used the kitchen – only to eat my yogurt in the morning, which I stored in their fridge and to make myself a cup of tea. I then reminded him that his ad indicated it was okay to use it.

After sending that message off I pulled up the Airbnb listing to read it again, to make sure I had not been mistaken or misinterpreted anything. I saw it was in at least three different places about the kitchen and other rooms being shared with owner, so I messaged him again to let him know that it was clearly stated in the listing that it was shared with the owner, but told him that I didn’t use it anyway.

It was obvious that he was now feeling insulted that I was right. He wrote back, telling me that no one else has ever done this before – other guests, he meant. By now, I felt he was accusing me of doing something I should not have done. I stopped responding. He wrote again, saying, “Congratulations, you are the first.”

I started shaking, wondering why he was acting this way. I did not respond. I showered and went to bed. However, I was not able to sleep at all, as I could not believe how this all turned on me in an instant. I could not wait to get out of there. I felt so uncomfortable about being there.

I was not going to say anything to him about the dirtiness of the place, the dishes in the sink, the greasy pan, dirty bathroom, sheets, etc., but now I decided to take pictures of all that I have explained here. They are on my phone and I don’t know how or even if I could transfer them to the computer, so won’t be putting them out here.

I don’t see how to save what I am writing here to see if I can do that later. It would have been too hard for me to write all of this from my phone, as I had to file a resolution complaint on the phone to do the pictures and it was difficult due to the small space, and having to write so much.

I waited several days, once home, and it was Christmas a few days later. Right after I contacted Airbnb via phone and explained all of this to them and asked them how to handle this with them. The only way to send the pictures was to open a resolution complaint, so I did.

Well, it all backfired. They ended up telling me my complaint was not valid since I didn’t contact the host, first, and also because I stayed the entire time despite the place being dirty. I have gotten numerous messages from Airbnb since I began the process. I’ve called them two more times. I wanted to explain further, but it has all been too much hassle.

I sent the pictures to prove it along with my initial complaint. I told them I did not want a refund, I just want for the host to see the pictures. I’ve decided this just isn’t worth it. I sit here now, just wanting someone to know the truth about it all.

Would I do another stay with Airbnb? Yes, as my son told me to just stick with those who are Superhosts and he will help me find one who is better, as he has much more experience with Airbnb.

I was so disappointed in how it all turned out for me this time, but the host showed his true colors in the way he reacted to me being right about what was in the listing. I never did sleep a wink that last night. My intentions were to leave around 6:00 AM; I ended up leaving at 4:30 AM and being relieved I was out of there.

That morning, while my car was heating up, I ate my yogurt in the car so as not to have to eat it at the kitchen table that was not included in the rent, as he claimed. I don’t know if Airbnb showed him the photos that I sent, if they did that is all I wanted, anyway. The person who is supposed to be taking care of the place is the family member. She isn’t doing it and the host needs to know.

At least I was able to get this off my chest. Sooner or later there will be others that complain about the dirty place or nothing mentioned about the deck steps or the too high bed and no stool. The last I checked on the listing, which was about a week ago, the ad still reads the same. How do you tell them their place is too dirty while you are staying there?

I had no other place to go to and could not afford a hotel, but according to Airbnb, because I didn’t leave, it made my complaint invalid. What a poor way to handle this when pictures tell it all. I stated that it wasn’t about getting a refund, so it wasn’t costing Airbnb anything by having to return my money. Yes, I stayed, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to.

Airbnb Supports Fraudulent Listings by Hosts

I checked into my cabana and it was listed as having two beds. There was one bed in a closet. The previous tenant had busted the TV, left it up on the wall, and had no plans to replace it. The pool and hot tub were freezing. There was no hot water in the shower. The space heaters, which were the only source of heat, kicked off continuously because they were plugged into power strips.

I immediately contacted Airbnb and informed them of the fraud. They told me that I had to give the host a chance to fix it. After four days of no sign of repair, I called Airbnb back and moved out. The host would not even take their phone calls for a week. It’s now three weeks later and I have spoken to twelve caseworkers, a specialist and one manager and now the final answer is I’m not getting my refund because apparently this is all my fault. Airbnb has left me with nowhere to go. They have kept my money, ruined all of my holidays plans and caused a great deal of stress. They are criminals.