The Airbnb Amityville Horror in Holbrook

The place was in a reasonably quiet neighborhood in Holbrook, NY (Long Island). The price seemed reasonable (before I found out why it was so low). After instant booking, the host sent a novel’s worth of questions that were already answered in my booking. I reiterated all the answers verbatim from my booking. I got the sense that either the host gets a lot of people who jerk him around, and/or he doesn’t understand how to use Airbnb to set the expectations for a clear-cut host/guest stay.

In any event, I ended up requesting the day of my check-in to show up earlier than the agreed upon check-in time as per Airbnb. I received no response, so I slowly headed over, given I was provided full check-in instructions.

I got to the residence, and entered the room easily. However, I noticed the room had a strong, overwhelming smell of vinegar (either the paint, cleaner, or both). Also, the air conditioner unit in the wall was caked with dirt inside it.

I was exhausted from walking across town from the prior Airbnb (it was a really nice day and I needed the exercise), so I decided to take a shower. I walked in the bathroom, and the first thing I noticed was the bathroom window was the size of a person, both horizontally and vertically, with no curtain, blinds, or other visual blockage.

The neighbors, and folks from the street can literally see you naked and watch you do your business in the restroom. I was provided a humongous, bathrobe sized towel as a part of the guest amenities, so I used this as a curtain, and left it hung up until I could discuss it with the host.

I then proceeded to take a shower. While the host did provide soap via a public restroom style soap dispenser (most normal hosts just put a bottle of nicely scented body wash in the shower instead of trying to treat guests like YMCA members), no matter how hard you pushed the soap dispenser, very little to nothing came out. It appeared to be either empty, broken, or both. Thankfully I came prepared for unprepared hosts (you need to with Airbnb), so I simply used my own soap.

I finished up and got to my door, but promptly forgot the correct four digit key code. I had been diagnosed with heat exhaustion by a doctor earlier in the day, with suggestion I had a minor heat stroke (too much fun in the sun). So, my short term memory took a hit. I also had not brought my cell phone, so I was really up ‘S’ creek without a paddle. I walked outside, to a side door of the host quarters. I knocked but nobody responded. I figured the host would mosey around eventually, so I posted up on the stoop and waited.

After about ten minutes or so, a guy who looked nothing like the host’s picture showed up. I introduced myself and shook his hand, asking him if he was the host. He said yes. Not to be mean spirited, but the guy in front of me either smoked meth, drank way too hard, or has a condition, as he looked nothing like the guy in the picture. The guy in the picture had black hair. The guy in front of me had white scraggly hair, was missing teeth, had glasses, and looked wild eyed.

Regardless, I proceed to explain verbatim how I had heat exhaustion, apologized for bothering him, and just needed to get back in my room. He walked upstairs and punched in the key code. I then thanked him for his help. As I was doing so, he rudely interrupted me, and abruptly shouted at me that I could not leave my towel on the metal banister.

I immediately thought, “Is this guy for real? I just explained in very clear terms how I accidentally locked myself out given my heat exhaustion, and he is acting like I just committed murder on his property.”

He then immediately proceeded to chastise me about his bathroom carpet being wet, and how I need to replace it. Again, I looked at this guy and thought, “How many shots of vodka did you down, and/or bong hits did you rip before you came up with that one?”

I just shook my head in disgust, walked into my room, and closed the door. I got the immediate sense that this guy either has an undiagnosed (or diagnosed) mental illness, he has a learning disability, or cut to the meth/alcohol suspicion above. Regardless, I knew this guy was going to be trouble if I didn’t settle it immediately.

I called Airbnb and advised if the host doesn’t change his tune pronto, along with deal with all the outstanding problems, I’m leaving tonight, with the expectation of a full refund. Airbnb said that his son is actually the one who runs the thing, not the host. I called the son, who seemed reasonable, noted his father has a ‘strange’ way about him (no ‘S’ Sherlock) and explained all of the above to him.

The son said he would talk with his father to set him straight, and all the issues will be addressed exactly as I advised: the temporary curtain will remain until a permanent one is installed; the host is going to ‘back off’, never enter my room for any reason, and not communicate directly with me going forward; the soap situation will be straightened out; towels will be placed in the common area, replaced daily at the guest’s discretion; the host will stop conscripting guests into ‘free help’ (ordering guests to replace bath mats, tie up trash bags and throw it out daily regardless of if trash is actually put in them, etc.).

Given how sincere the son seemed, and how he was profusely apologetic of his father’s behavior, I figured he would set the matter straight, and I agreed to stay on these conditions. I then started to take a nap, and not a few minutes into it, the host loudly stomped up the stairs, waking me up in the process, and dropped a giant plastic bin from waist high onto the floor, making a loud crashing sound.

I opened the door, and saw that the temporary curtain had been removed. I immediately called Airbnb, advised how the son said one thing, and the host is doing exactly the opposite of what was discussed. Given how Airbnb has no immediate influence or control over the host (and obviously neither does the son), I advised Airbnb I was leaving immediately to book a hotel outside of Airbnb (I tried booking an Airbnb but everything was either booked, or not ‘Instant Book’ so had to move on). I also advise the host of the same via the Airbnb platform and text message as I was leaving the premises.

Once settled in at the hotel, I attempted to request a refund from the host directly. Here are the points made to the host verbatim, and the host’s one-star, reality-denying, insult-the-guest’s-intelligence responses:

Me: No concerns were addressed with my discussion with the son in any way.

Host: This is not accurate. My son spoke to you for 10-15 minutes and all concerns were addressed.

Me: I walked in and the room smelled like vinegar.

Host: We use all natural cleaning products, that may be what you smelled.

Me: The air conditioner was filthy and caked with dirt.

Host: You did not discuss this at any time during your reservation, nor did you mention this on the call with my son. I would have been happy to come take a look. Please send photo documentation of this so I can see where the problem lies as I’ve cleaned that before.

Me: The shower had no soap.

Host: The shower soap is clear, so it makes the dispenser look empty. I did take a [SIC].

Me: The host is overbearing, maniac, and doesn’t understand basic human interaction.

Host: We’ve had a lot of great reviews and guest stays. We’re just trying to be good hosts here. After speaking to my son and him having thought all of your issues were resolved, you left without a word.

Me: The temporary window curtain I placed was removed by the host so neighbors could see guests naked (ridiculous).

Host: Again, we’ve had a lot of guests, none of whom before you have complained about the window. Besides the fact that I’m sure the neighbors have no interest in seeing you naked, I’ve already ordered some window fogger to make future guests more comfortable.

Me: The host refused to put towels in the common area.

Host: In our house rules we ask that guests do not leave belongings in the common area. It is a hazard and can cause an accident. You were asked to leave your towel in your room.

Me: I left shortly after my arrival due to the above.

Host: You did not leave shortly after your arrival. You were here until late evening, and even showered/bathed in the house. For a one-night reservation you did check-in, use the bed, use the room, etc.

The bottom line is the host treats people how a librarian on a power trip would treat guests: rudely, with contempt, heavy handed, and ‘doubling down on wrong’ at every turn. Airbnb gave me a full refund, and I would never do business with, let alone with Airbnb, with this guy, or his son. If you enjoy being mistreated as a guest, then please by all means, book away. Good luck to you. You will need it.

Airbnb Host Steals our Bags in Prague

The day of our departure the host had a menacing and insulting attitude when we spoke by telephone. We missed the hour of check-out (Monday August 26th, 11:00 AM) that he had fixed some hours before (he sent me a message at 9:00 PM on Friday the 25th).

When we arrived at 12:30 PM to pick our bags (with our passports and all our personal belongings) and leave the keys for the flat, we found out that our bags had been taken away. In a panic (we thought that the bags were stolen), I phoned the host. He explained to me in a very rude way that, as retaliation for missing the check-out time, he had taken the bags.

He told me that, because of my mistake, he had lost 15 euros, and that now I had to pay for that. I apologized several times and told him that we needed our bags because we had our flight at 3:00 PM. He told me that he was busy with other clients and that he didn’t know exactly at what time he would arrive at the flat with our luggage. “Maybe in two hours,” he said.

He even hung up the phone rudely saying that he couldn’t waste more time with me, as he was with another client. I knew he was trying to frighten us, as he knew we had to catch a flight. We waited in the flat some minutes and then the cleaning lady arrived (the host didn’t even have the courage to give us our luggage personally).

My mistake was that I didn’t check my inbox on Friday the 25th, and so I didn’t know the exact hour of check-out. Nevertheless, this error doesn’t justify the host’s rude, menacing and overall illegal action (he temporarily took away our bags with our documents). We strongly discourage other Airbnb guests from booking this apartment.

Nightmare Airbnb Host and Even Worse Help from Airbnb

After using Airbnb faithfully for almost a year now, I can tell you that I am never, ever going to be using them again. Airbnb has consistently shown itself to be incapable of not only conflict resolution but protecting its guests from possible threats to their safety. Airbnb claims that they are committed to “creating a safe and trusted community around the world” and yet in this case they have failed on both terms. From the start of my long term rental, I documented and recorded the miscommunication between the host and Airbnb.

When I arrived at the apartment the house was clearly left unclean. I documented the mess and asked for the apartment to be thoroughly cleaned before I moved in. In response, Airbnb refunded me for the one night which affected my stay. They claim that this part of the case has been closed and “resolved”.

However, the problems which affected me at the start of the rental have grown into a much deeper issue. The host began messaging me at all hours of the day and night telling me that she had not been paid and was pregnant and therefore needed the money ASAP. I contacted Airbnb to ask them what needed to be done and they told me that they would prevent the host from contacting me anymore and that they would let the host know that this was neither my fault or my problem.

Clearly, Airbnb did not do what they promised as the host continued to contact me saying things such as she “expected me” to do something about her lack of payment. I decided to not respond to the host anymore as I started to feel unsafe and thought the best way to de-escalate the situation would be to not answer anymore.

The situation culminated in me receiving a message from the host’s boyfriend saying that he was going to come over the following morning to talk to me. He gave me no information as to why he was coming over. Immediately I contacted Airbnb concerned for my safety as a single woman in a foreign country. Airbnb handed me over to a case manager who told me not to worry and that I would be able to rent another apartment for two days (paid for by Airbnb) and then receive a full refund on my previous reservation. The case manager also said to not respond to the host and to avoid future communication with them.

I was on the phone with Airbnb until 1:30 AM clearly scared for my safety. As a woman alone being told that a man you do not know is coming over to your home is frightening but as a young woman in a country where I do not speak the language and am considered a foreigner is even more so. However, Airbnb promised me that I would be safe. By contacting me after business hours is enough to be a harassment case, but with the knowledge that the host is angry that she has not been paid, it makes it even more so.

Following Airbnb instructions, I did not respond to the host. Airbnb has not told the boyfriend to not come over to the apartment because the following day I received two furious phone calls from the host. This not only violates the promise that Airbnb made to me that I would not be contacted by the host but it is also incredibly threatening. The host is angry that no one is at the door and that no one told her that no one would be. I asked her to please speak to Airbnb directly and to not contact me anymore.

A couple hours later the host messaged Airbnb saying that there was a problem with the elevator and that is the reason the boyfriend is coming over. However, as a young woman who is alone in a foreign country, when you are told with no context that a man is coming over to your apartment you begin to panic. I no longer felt safe in the apartment I rented so I made an executive decision to extend the stay of the second reservation until the end of my time in Budapest as I feared for my safety in the other apartment.

Airbnb dared to follow up and tell me that “in context” this is not a harassment case and that had I not extended the second reservation I should have gone back to the first apartment. This is appalling because no one, especially a young woman in a foreign country, should be told that she should go back to stay in a place where she no longer feels safe. Secondly, it does not matter whether or not there is context; in this case, I was being harassed and felt unsafe.

The story should end there. However, I received calls outside of business hours, late at night, was told a strange man was coming to the apartment, was told I was “expected” to fix a problem that was not mine over a form of communication that goes against Airbnb safety policies. This should have been enough for Airbnb to take my case seriously and yet it was not.

I have been thrown around from case manager to case manager, who each promised different things with little to no results. Because the host (obviously) did not agree to give me a refund I had to cancel the reservation on my own volition, meaning I get almost no refund. This is completely unacceptable as I am not choosing to walk out of the apartment because the bed is uncomfortable or the pillows are dirty; I fear for my safety and needed to leave.

Now, I am being told that I have to return to the apartment where I feel unsafe to return the keys further proving that Airbnb does not care about the safety of its clients. Now, two weeks away from this awful experience I wrote the host a bad review sticking with the facts completely; the house was dirty and not as pictured, the AC did not reach the bedroom and that the neighborhood was unsavory.

The host messaged me on Airbnb again saying that I should not be allowed to write a bad review because I am a difficult guest and “falsely accusing them”. To retaliate, the host wrote a review detailing private information on the case which clearly goes against Airbnb’s Content Policy: “Content that provides specific details or outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” is never allowed on Airbnb, and I am starting to be told that I owe the full amount to the host after I was told I only have to pay the first 28 days of my long term rental.

Airbnb claims that they cannot find the case manager who promised me a refund (so I won’t get it) and the review does not go against content policy because the case is closed. Then what does “outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” mean? Help. This situation is a living hell.

Horrible Airbnb Hostel, Horrible Service

I suffer from middle ear issues which causes imbalance/vertigo, especially after long flights. I contacted a host prior to booking and asked if I could check-in early so I could lie down. She said that was fine. I booked at her place, but on arrival, she told me that someone was in my room and I couldn’t check-in. She wouldn’t even let me lie down in her house. Link to her room.

I was so dizzy I could barely walk. I had to leave my suitcase at her place and walk down and lie in an oval for six hours. While there, I had no water, food, and I was nearly mugged (I had my laptop out and a guy on a bicycle kept circling; I had to finally lie in the full sun because it was near a couple of other guys; I ended up sunburnt).

Airbnb contacted me and promised they would help me find other accommodation. I needed somewhere close by because I would be catching up with friends in that area in a couple of days. I couldn’t find any nice cheap accommodation in that area, so I sent a link for something just a little more expensive (not much considering what I’d gone through).

Airbnb stopped getting back to me and wouldn’t confirm if I could book. My phone was nearly flat and I didn’t know what to do, so I found another, cheaper, place in London and quickly booked (I didn’t have time to Google the address because I had 2% battery).

When I went back to get my suitcase, the host had locked me out of her house (I had a key, but she’d locked both locks). I then had to sit on her doorstep for long time. When she arrived she laughed in my face and said, “Because you asked me to cancel the booking, you can’t write a bad review.”

I began to cry. It got worse.

My phone went flat and then I had to walk my suitcase up a steep road to a cafe, charge it, and then call a taxi from there. It was then that I found out that my new accommodation was three hours on public transport from where my friends live (also a one-hour taxi ride which cost me 100 AUD; I sent Airbnb the receipt asking for refund and they have manually removed the receipt from the conversation).

I rang Airbnb and they told me that they would help. The gentleman said he would personally fix this terrible thing that happened to me and move me closer to my friends. He promised me that Airbnb would make up any financial losses. He promised me he would take on my case personally until it was resolved. Then I received a message through Airbnb, where he stated that he wouldn’t take on my case, and that it was being passed back to the person who didn’t fix things last time and who left me stranded in an oval, spinning like a top.

It has been hours and I still haven’t received any contact from Airbnb. Now I’m stuck on the other side of London, three hours on public transport from where my friends are. The first week of my holiday is ruined; and worse still, Airbnb is no longer answering my calls. I just want to cry. I wish I had booked a hotel room.

Injury, Infestation and Impertinence at Shendoah Solitude

I stayed at the Shenendoah Solitude in April, 2019. The listing notes “A 4WD vehicle is required to access the property in the winter.”

We went on a sunny, spring April day and could barely access the property. One of our guest’s cars was damaged en route, as the road was pure dirt and rocks, piled up to 1.5 feet high at places dues to a tractor having come through to ‘smooth the road.’ One car (a Mini Cooper) had to stay down in a parking lot at one of the local businesses for fear of getting stuck.

We were all rattled and annoyed as soon as we arrived. We saw a sign for “wildlife sightings” and began to fill out our experiences. During the trip we sighted: 1,000s of ants, wasps, water bugs, crickets, spiders, ladybugs, mosquitoes and coffee filter fungi, all inside the property.

We were provided with one roll of paper towels for seven people, for one night, and no additional rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. We could not find more than two towels per bathroom. One of the beds did not have sheets. We called the host and requested these items. She brought them. Upon cooking we noticed there were no oven mitts and no pot holders or trivets and had to do some pretty creative things, like wrapping our hands in the precious few towels, to remove items from the stove and oven.

The second night I took a shower in one bathroom in a very slippery tub that didn’t drain and fell getting out of it, crashing down on the sliding door tray. Getting down the mountain was even harder, and another car’s chassis got punctured.

All things considered: a terrible stay. However, that wasn’t why I am even taking the time to write this; it was the absolute horridness of the host that blew this experience from terrible to utterly despicable.

I emailed the rental property company with pictures of my injuries and reported on the safety issues. No response. I went to review the property on Airbnb and reported the safety issues there. I did not post a negative review about the host because I believe in karma, and if they took care of the issues I noted all would be good in the world.

But no, I accidentally ‘published’ my blank review which unleashed the wretched host’s review of me to the world. She called me “picky” and made fun of why I had called her: “Good communication, but this guest was nitpicky and had a lot of complaints. They called and said they had two towels for six people – the towels were in the cabinet. They called again and complained that the county was doing road work on one of the roads leading to the cabin and said that she was going to have to go get her car looked at because the road was so bumpy, etc.”

This was uncalled for. I contacted Airbnb and initiated a complaint regarding my injuries. I asked for a refund as well as compensation for my injuries and what I was prevented from doing in my life due to a severe hamstring and ACL contusions. They assigned a claims adjuster who looked at the documentation, receipts and my communications with the renter. The claims adjuster awarded me a little over $1,000.

When it came time to sign the release contract I noted that there were misspelling and inappropriate terms in the contract. I sent it back to Airbnb legal. The result? They completely ignored me, the claim, and have simply refused to respond to me any further. The claim is dead. I have been awarded no refund for the rental fee, no damages for the injury, and the property continues to be listed.

In summary: I will never use Airbnb again. It is like trying to get a hold of a foreign fly-by-night company. Airbnb is little better than these predatory sellers.

Absolute Nightmare of a Host and Stay

How can I even begin to describe the absolutely horrible experience my two friends and I had dealing with our Airbnb host? Nothing short of a nightmare.

None of us had ever been to Miami Beach and were so excited to spend our spring break there (April 10th-16th). In the beginning, prior to arriving to Miami, the host was super responsive, seemingly charming and very accommodating. Everything was awesome.

I was told closer to the date that we would be checking in with a man, which was strange because most people I know who booked through Airbnb had lock boxes or codes on the door. However, I assumed he was simply the landlord of the building or something.

They were nice enough to let us check in earlier than expected, since we took a red-eye to Miami and came in at about 3:00 AM. Check-in, which was initially 3:00 PM, was moved up to around 11:00 AM. Great.

The man and his wife, who joined him to let us into the building, were nice enough. I had to sign a lease agreement which I also found odd, since I never had to do anything like that when renting a hotel room. The apartment looked so cute on a preliminary scan, and my friends and I were absolutely enamored.

He and his wife left us with the keys and we were ready to get settled. I ventured into the bathroom to shower so I went through the drawers that were under the sink to find a washcloth and towel. I realized that there were only a couple of washcloths, but there were three of us signed up to rent the place. I assumed maybe there were more in the closet so I took one.

Afterwards, I went to hang up my towel and the towel bar just collapsed. There was no extra pulling on it, not anything. I simply laid my towel on it and boom. The anchor holding it to the wall slid right on out. That being said, it was obviously broken before (this information was later confirmed by him). We also discovered that there were, in fact, only two washcloths.

Before heading to the beach, the left corner of the bed was lightly sat on. It completely gave away and caved in. Luckily there were no injuries, but we were left wondering: where is everyone going to sleep now? I immediately messaged the host to let her know what happened, as well as texted him. No response. We wound up having to put something under the mattress to prop it up for our very first night in this place.

The next day: still no response. I was wondering what happened to my oh-so-hospitable host, seeing as she had always been so responsive prior to my stay. Finally I sent another message and she told me to just call him, but he didn’t answer the phone. I messaged her yet again after he didn’t respond and she contacted him. He showed up unannounced at almost 10:00 PM to give the bed a temporary fix. Then he also promised to bring more towels and washcloths. I never saw him again for the rest of the trip, so we had to continue to use dirty towels and washcloths for the duration of our stay.

One of my friends noticed water pooling behind the toilet, which I thought was maybe from the shower. It turned out, according to him, the toilet had a leak.

On the second night of our stay, since we rotated who would use the couch and the bed, one friend slept on the couch. The next day she woke up with a ton of red bites on her body, which appeared to be bedbug bites. At this point I was completely through with the place. She still currently has the bites and they still itch.

That evening, we all went out. Upon our return we attempted to unlock the door. We had done it quite a few times already so everyone knew which keys went where. The lock wouldn’t budge. We stood outside for a solid ten minutes trying to jimmy the key around until finally one of us was able to get the lock to give. It was then that we realized the top lock was actually broken, which is definitely a safety hazard. There was even a note on it that said not to touch it.

The fourth day we went to turn on the TV In the bedroom. It didn’t work. I am not sure if it ever did, but I know it was advertised and was one of the selling points for me, so I was very disappointed.

My friend went to use the hair dryer, plugged it in, and it made this loud grating noise as if something was stuck in it. Mind you, this was the first time we even realized there was a hair dryer. After the initial plug in, it was never touched again. I submitted a complaint, and the host was contacted about it.

The host was basically yelling at me via my inbox for doing that and was accusing my friends and I of the damage that was clearly pre-existing. I very calmly let her know about each and every problem that had occurred since the bed broke and she basically accused me of being a liar, especially about the bedbug bites. After getting completely snippy with me, she wrote me an awful review and attempted to accuse my friends and I of causing the damages that were clearly pre-existing and tried to charge us for the damages.

I submitted this same review and Airbnb took it down because it “violated community policy”. Although they dismissed the charges, none of my complaints were really addressed. Not that I expected any sort of money in return, but I did not expect to not be assisted at all.

To conclude, this host is a scammer, peddling a mediocre experience disguised as a dream vacation, and Airbnb is the medium that allows for scammers like her to operate unregulated. I am absolutely disgusted.

Worst Airbnb Host Ever in Chula Vista

I will never use Airbnb again. I rented an RV and then a room from a host in Chula Vista, California. Everything seemed fine at first. The RV had plumbing issues and the shower water was scalding hot for about two minutes and then went ice cold. Needless to say, I took very quick showers and lost many layers of skin. It seemed like a nice place for my dog, so I dealt with it.

I later moved into the house (he rented out rooms as well) and stayed in a sunroom with no privacy; I had to hide behind a crappy old piano to get ready for work in the morning. He did eventually build makeshift walls so it was okay. Emphasis on “okay”.

Fast forward a month later and a border patrol officer moves into one of the other rooms. He was disgusting and lazy; he would ask for rides to work and even had to nerve to ask the host to use his credit card to rent a car.

The bathroom was disgusting. It was like he was a porcupine with his pubic hair and would go in there and just release all of his “quills”. The hosts would get loud and drunk almost every night and leave food, pots and pans with food in them on the stove and all over the counters. For quite a while they wouldn’t even let me do laundry.

The icing on the cake was that they used my birthday as an excuse to throw a party that I neither wanted nor attended. I left so I wouldn’t have to deal with their drunk friends and neighbors. I returned the next evening and the host’s girlfriend (who lived there as well) accused me of having an affair with her fat, nasty boyfriend.

I told them the next day I was moving out and they continued making it more and more uncomfortable. The host used my Postmates account to order alcohol and never paid me back. When I told them I was moving out they increased my “rent”. There was no heat in my room, which is illegal in California.

I contacted Airbnb to complain and all they would do was refund me $150. The host also showed up at my work two weeks after I moved out to harass me. I had to tell him that if he ever showed up again I would contact the police and file charges. He said “it was the only way I knew how to get a hold of you”… he had my phone number. The most horrible experience of my life.

Terrible Airbnb in Queens Expected Babysitter

I had an unfortunate stay with a host who was so nagging and rude. She rarely left the place, and just followed me, criticizing and nitpicking over everything. She also forced me to pay $60 to replace a single sheet. Does that sound right to you?

I didn’t have time to go through the Resolution Center, as I was traveling. This was very inconvenient, as I am not wealthy. It seems like the host just wanted to make money, charging for ridiculous little things. The best day of my stay was the day I wasn’t there. She then claimed I “kept to myself.” Well, would you want to hang out with such a negative nagging person?

I didn’t think I was staying there to babysit her. The host is very insecure. I think she was mad because I offered her some of my yogurt, and then she said she couldn’t have it because of her diet. I did not know about her diet. In general, she seemed like a very touchy person, who thought she could take advantage of me.

Airbnb Ruined Holidays with Poor Customer Service

We recently booked a long haul xmas holiday with a stopover in Hong Kong. We booked two-night stay in a place advertised as an “arty, bright and quiet oasis in trendy Sheung Wan” by the host. The photos looked perfect.

When we arrived, the flat did not match the photos. It was filthy and disgusting. The bed sheets and pillow cases had not been changed from when previous guests stayed; there was hair and oil.

There were food scraps and hair everywhere. The shower door was broken and the toilet seat was loose. The listing said it accommodated three people, but there was only a double bed and a small two-seat sofa. We could not sleep a third person in the flat.

The location is twenty minutes from the MRT station, up several slopes from the street to the building, The flat is on the fourth floor with no lift; there were many stairs to climb. None of this was mentioned in the listing.

We contacted Airbnb immediately and told them we could not trust the hygiene standard the host kept and would like to change to a hotel. We asked Airbnb to recommend another place for us to stay. The agent said she could not and insisted we send her photos. We sent the photos as she instructed.

It was very stressful as we had a long haul flight – over ten hours – and arrived in Hong Kong in the early morning. This was already in the evening. We were very exhausted. The Airbnb agent did not seem to understand this.

We told Airbnb we preferred to stay in another place. This place was dirty and the listing was dishonest. They admitted there were cleaning issues but insisted we work it out with the host. We could not sleep in such a flat and had no clue when the issue would be solved. We left the flat and found a hotel.

When contacting Airbnb for a full refund, the agent said we should contact the host ourselves. We did contact the host. He tried to bully us to shut us up. The host insisted his flat was clean and refused to provide a full refund. He told us a negative review on Airbnb would harm his business. The host did not care about his guests and was dishonest about the listing. It is only money. Airbnb encourages that.

Hours and days spent communicating with the host and Airbnb agent. To say the least, we feel humiliated by both. It’s end of our Airbnb experience. We had to cancel our two other Airbnb reservations for our holidays. It is loss for us. We feel sorry for those honest hosts who do care about their guests, but the experience we had was so bad. We cannot risk having any more.