Dishonest Host Refuses to Admit Shoes have been Stolen

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One Airbnb host, Steeve, runs a series of Airbnb apartments with his friend in Cannes. We ran into major problems with this guy when staying in one his apartments: we had over £1,000 worth of property stolen and he has repeatedly tried to cover up what happened and is not willing to help resolve the issue.

He has already duped a previous Airbnb host in the past, as shown by this review she eventually left. I tried to leave a review with Airbnb but the host obviously is able to manipulate them into siding with him.

On August 12th, we left the apartment around 12:00 PM and returned at around 9:00 PM. However, after starting to pack up the apartment, we realised two very expensive and rare pairs of our designer shoes went missing, worth in excess of 1,000 euros. We definitely had the shoes there before we left that day. After that, all three of us­ rechecked the whole apartment three times each, and definitely couldn’t find them.

We called the host and asked if anyone had been in the apartment. He said nobody had, and he would not accept that anyone could have stolen it or entered the apartment and continually said “it’s impossible” and that they “must be in the apartment”. He then came in person, and checked with us, and of course, failed to find them there.

The host just would not accept that someone could have stolen it, claiming that his workers are trustworthy and that nobody else has access to the keys. However, he contradicted himself here as on August 8th he asked if his cleaner could come into the house to clean while we were away. They actually did not turn up and he remarked to me later that day that he then “had to get the keys off her”.

The host was adamant that nobody could have accessed the flat but then could not explain how shoes could have gone missing. He also implied that perhaps we hid the shoes, or were lying. I feel this Airbnb host was unprofessional, missing the point and defensive, as he also made remarks like “extraterrestials must have taken them” and “who would steal just shoes?”

The fact still remains that: we were reporting our property being stolen under his watch; a crime had been committed; and it must have occurred within an eight-hour time period by somebody coming into the apartment. It is extremely curious as there were absolutely no signs of any forced entry, door damage, window damage or damages to the locks of the door, meaning the thief must have entered using a key. This should be great cause of alarm for the safety of future guests.

The host also seemed very nervous and hesitant of getting law enforcement involved in any way. Instead of saying “No, Airbnb should sort it,” a friend of the host’s came to visit the flat on August 12th just before 11:00 AM to pick up a baby pram/bed. He was checking each room as if he was struggling to find it. We were with him the whole time, but found it curious how he was scanning the entire flat.

The host phoned the cleaner and his friend, ­­­on loudspeaker in front of us. All that was asked was “do you have a key for the apartment?” to which his friend said “no”. However, the cleaner seemed very hesitant and confused about whether she had one or not. The host was defensive of her, and did not accept that it was possible that she would have done anything.

We were the victims in all of this, having £1,000+ worth of goods missing. Our host was not very considerate, blamed us for this, and acted as if he was the victim.

We are currently filing a report with the French police to investigate this. However, it is difficult as I’m trying to do this from the UK. Please share this with as many people as you can on social media, so that nobody else can get scammed by this dishonest person. I’d also argue that if someone was able to be so dishonest and callous with their tenants, you would also not want to engage with them in any business.

 

*******Update Sept 22, 2018********

I got an email from someone pretending to be Airbnb, basically threatening me! (Photo below)

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Host Posted my Personal Information on Airbnb Review

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I have used Airbnb for work-related travel and never had a single issue until Wednesday, August 29th, the day my horrible nightmare began or as I call it “the cockroach chronicles”. I work as a outside sales rep and I travel daily thru SA and the surrounding rural areas. Since I was required to be at a job site at 7:00 AM on Thursday, August 30th, I booked this room since it was fairly close and I wouldn’t have to make the one-hour commute from my residence. The price seemed very fair and would save me money on gas. I did not receive the actual address until I paid for and booked the reservation.

When I pulled into the neighborhood, I was immediately nervous about the safety for myself and my new vehicle. I was informed in advance the host was not home and I was to use an access code for entry. I tried to use the access code numerous times and it would not work. This was roughly at 8:00 PM. I messaged the host indicating the code was not working and he didn’t respond immediately. Since the neighborhood did not appear to be safe and I was getting scared I knocked on the door.

A young women clearly annoyed told me that code has been provided and I wasn’t following instructions. I told her I attempted to use the code and it didn’t work. She walked off on a huff and mumbled under her breath. I was caught off guard by her reaction but was tired from long day at work so I proceeded to go to my designated room. When I turned on the light switch I immediately saw 2-3 large cockroaches scurry across The linoleum floor.

I screamed and the young lady appeared again. She asked what was wrong and I told her there were roaches. She said the exterior of home had recently been treated and offered that as an explanation for the appearance. I asked her where the bathroom was and she pointed down the hall. Again I turned on the light switch and other cockroaches even bigger decided to welcome me in. This time I went directly to the room and said I was outta there.

I got my belongings, ran to my car, and notified the host his house had a bad odor, had a roach infestation, and the bathroom was disgustingly filthy. He offered to leave work and come home and clean the bathroom. I indicated I appreciated the kind gesture but no amount of cleaning was going to provide me with a peaceful night of sleep. Besides it was late and I just wanted a shower in a clean bathroom and to lay my head down without fear roaches would have a feast on my face while I slept.

I requested a full refund of my invoice since the post failed to mention my roommates would be cockroaches. Not only did the host refuse my request for a refund he also sent me a request for a $70 cleaning fee. No mention of a cleaning fee was made prior to making the reservation, only mentioned once I cancelled. I posted a negative review of the home and I received a Facebook friend request from someone today. Since we did not share any mutual friends I declined the request then a short time later I received what I interpreted to be a threat.

After I basically told the person sending the message I knew it was regarding the Airbnb incident due to the timing, the individual basically admitted he was the host and demanded I remove the negative review. Now I don’t want to sound prejudiced against individuals who are clearly intellectually challenged but I was taken back that this person had the audacity to make a threat and send me a map of my work address as a bullying tactic. It got better; he even called my employer and claimed I stole belongings from his home.

I swear I didn’t steal his beloved roaches. I was in this person’s home for less than five minutes. Even he admits that, and out of the given minutes I was in his home, his roommate was scowling at me for four. Now if this doesn’t tell you what his brains are made of maybe this will. He posted a negative review of me on Airbnb along with my personal information: the actual name of my workplace, my full name and what my job description was. Guess what? Airbnb refuses to take down the post.

Terrible host was ready for us to check in at 11:08 PM

Our Airbnb host informed that he would be abroad during our booking dates but we did not need to be worried because he would have a friend who would come to give us a key and was in contact with the cleaner. When we got there, no one was around. We could not find his place following his directions. We had to text him so he gave us all the details and all the codes that he had not given to us. When we got in his place, it was dusty and dirty. There were even leftovers in the refrigerator. The check-out time on his profile was about noon and the check-in time was about 2:00 PM, giving him about two hours for cleaning.

He informed us that after the previous guest checked out, a cleaner had not come in to do the cleaning yet. He asked us to open the door for the cleaner at 3:00 PM. The cleaner spoke Russian; we did not. I texted him to send someone to stay with the cleaner so we could go out to do our travelling and come back when everything had done. He informed us that he had no one. Since there was nobody there, we had no choice but to become the cleaner’s supervisors.

When the bed sheets, pillow cases and blanket covers were done in the washing machine, I asked him for the dryer. He informed us that he had none so the cleaner hung them in the middle of the room to let them dry. They were soaking, with water dipping on the floor.

Time passed until 7:00 PM came around. Then the cleaner finished her work. The host informed us he wanted us to help him by paying the cleaner, and he would return the money to us later. We did not want to get involved, so we had to refuse. The cleaner looked at us with her sad eyes. It is one of the most terrible memories that we have to carry with us in our life.

It was about 7:30 PM. We informed him that we did not have clean and dry bed sheets, pillow cases and blanket covers to use for the night. I informed him that we cancelled the booking for his place and let him know that we would leave the room key at the same place that we got it. He asked for two more hours to solve the problem of the wet sheets.

When the two hours passed, we left the room. We did not get even one single contact from him between about 7:30 PM to about 9:30 PM. We looked for a hotel and checked in at about midnight. I found out later that at 11:08 PM, he texted us that there was clean and dry bedding in his place. He could provide us a proper place to sleep in at 11:08 PM, about nine hours after the about 2:00 PM informed check in time. He informed us that according to his cancellation period rules in his profile, we cancelled the booking on the check-in date, so we would get no refund.

The good, fair and prudent rules and regulations should not protect the one who did wrong. He made mistakes in his job as a host. He needs to take responsibility. While he was on his vacation abroad, we were suffering and being burdened during our vacation in Moscow because of him. We are contacting Airbnb and asking them to investigate the case for getting us a full refund.

Kicked Out of Property, Airbnb Made it Right

A day before our departure after a good four-day stay our hostess kicked us out of her house. She went in the house when we were gone to “check her plants” which I had been watering for her. She didn’t like that my wife put her carry-on bag on the leather ottoman and a duvet in another room because it was damp and musty in that room. We were on the ocean with no air conditioning. The whole house was damp and musty.

The hostess sent me a nastygram and then confronted me at the front door. She used very foul language and gestures and kicked us out with one hour to leave. She said she was going to get the police. Ridiculous…

We left in one hour and left the house in the same condition we found it. I got us a hotel room for the night and we survived. I contacted Airbnb immediately with an email message and a phone call. They handled it very well. They were very empathetic and even reimbursed us for the hotel room. They also banned this woman from using Airbnb.

They told me she was very uncooperative with their investigation. No surprise there. I was concerned that she would continue to use Airbnb and attempt to ruin someone else’s hard earned money and vacation time. I am completely satisfied with how Airbnb handled the situation and I will use them again.

Three Negative Airbnb Experiences in Japan

We went to Japan with the goal of climbing Mt. Fuji, and decided to book three Airbnb locations during our stay. All three had some major problems, and I would absolutely not book an Airbnb again after that experience.

Location one was a disaster before we even booked. The host was extremely rude and condescending to us. We had asked for a different rate for our second of the two nights because our third party would only be present on the first night (extra charge for a third person). It was only a question, however the host took great exception to it, and accused us of freeloading, not understanding the close knit Airbnb community.

He told us the rate was as low as it could be and he would not split the rates, and it was rude of us to ask for anything lower. He also told us that it wasn’t worth climbing Mt. Fuji, we should just look at it from afar. Well, that’s the whole reason we were booking his home… to climb Fuji. Despite this we booked the room, but just for one night as we couldn’t get the correct rate for the other nights. I had a bad feeling about it, but we went ahead with it because the location was good for what we were trying to do.

We changed our plans to stay in a different town after the first night, which was inconvenient but we decided that was going to be the best plan. We arrived in town, walked to the location, and found that we could not access the key box; the pass code wasn’t working. We tried over and over again, with no success. We tried contacting the host, without luck. We were getting concerned at this point; it was getting dark, and we were alone on a small street without access to our room, tired, hungry, and needing rest to prepare for the climb.

We finally got in touch by text only with the host, but he did not answer his phone. He accused us of something or other in a nasty text (lying about how long we were waiting for his response for instance) and threatened us with the “bad reviews” game. Finally, he gave us another code, which did not work. After the third code he gave us, we were able to get inside to great relief, but also concerned over this host’s behavior and what else we might be accused of. I quite frankly believe the host purposely gave us the wrong codes because he was angry with us regarding our original inquiry. It seems strange to get it wrong two times.

I must say however, his home was the nicest of the three we would stay at. The major issue was actually that there were steps up to various parts of the house which in the dark and in an unfamiliar place was very hazardous, but other than that it was actually a nice place, and as advertised. One other small concern was that there were very see-through curtains on the huge windows that looked out into the street. Only after it got dark did I notice how exposed we were to the street, and we closed the curtains. The host was terrible, however the room was good overall.

We moved on after a good night’s rest to location two. We actually met our host in person and he walked us to his home. He was a wonderful host. His home was a traditional Japanese home. While it was nice, it was very rustic. It was as advertised, so I cannot claim it not to be. There was no air conditioning but we knew that going in. The rain on the first day there made that issue not as bad at first. It was very buggy however, and close to a canal that I think made the bugs much worse.

We saw spiders and mosquitoes. There were plants growing through the tatami mats, and we even had a major ant issue just before checking out. We actually had to dump one of our luggage bags and get all the ants outside. That was awful, and we missed something we wanted to do. Also, once the sun came out the heat really started being more of an issue. The host here was absolutely great though, and showed us around town when we asked him to. Fewer bugs, and I would have given this place much higher marks. There was even a washer available in the home. The bathroom was so small that we could not shut the door and use the toilet at the same time, but the shower was really great.

Location three – the host was operating the Airbnb illegally. We know this because our instructions upon arrival were to tell neighbors who asked that we were “friends” with the host. We did not meet the host for this location; instructions were all sent to us, some of which were confusing. The washer/dryer we were promised were actually coin operated and in the hallway, not as advertised. The place was not clean, the toilet was gross, and I cleaned it myself with supplies I found in the closet. The bathroom smelled awful.

We complained to the host by message about the cleanliness and were completely dismissed. Forget using the toilet after a shower – the water made the floor in the bathroom a total slip hazard. The place was so small it was crazy, and of course the photo choices somewhat covered how small the room was. It was to be for three people (our third person was to join us the last night in Tokyo again.) I would not call the room big enough to sleep three. The beds were super small, and one was bunk style so the third person had to climb to the top bunk.

Honestly by this point in the trip I wanted out of these places so badly. So much for living like the locals. Somehow I thought that would increase the experience unlike my first trip in hotels, but after three places with issues, I was dying for a hotel. I guess now with the experience over I can appreciate it, but we gave up a lot of comfort on this trip for some dubious places. It wasn’t worth the savings, adventurous as it may have been. I would not chance booking with Airbnb again. I especially did not appreciate the attitude of our first host, or the threats he made to us about not giving him bad ratings. It was very irritating to deal with him. Also, these places claim professional cleaning, which we paid extra for, but I do not believe that was the case at all.

No Water in Bathroom Not Grounds for a Refund?

We arrived in Paris for a three-night stay at a “cozy, cute apartment with panoramic views” to find a cozy, cute apartment with a balcony. 15 degrees of the view did show Montmartre but the other 165 degrees was a perfect panorama of the adjacent apartment building, maybe 20 years away. Fine – we weren’t going to be spending much time in the apartment.

Exhausted and somewhat stinky from the overnight flight from the US east coast and battling the Parisian strikes affecting transportation in from De Gaulle airport, I was ready for a shower, to brush my teeth and take a quick nap. Mon Dieux! There was no water in the bathroom at all. The kitchen sink had water, but la toillette, shower, and sink, as well as the washing machine, lacked any water.

We turned a few knobs, my husband checked my work to make sure I had somehow failed to remember how to turn on water at the age of 63, and I contacted the delegated Airbnb host, since the official host was not available. I contacted him through the Airbnb website and then he reminded me that he preferred to use WhatsApp.

Problem #1: the Airbnb customer service person later informed me that because I used WhatsApp it was impossible to be absolutely sure I was communicating with the right person, despite the back and forth conversation over several hours, the ability to look up the phone number, the screenshots, and the Airbnb website communications.

The host asked for a photograph of the plumbing in the bedroom which we took on our iPhone and sent to him. He responded, “Voila – just turn the nozzle to the washing machine and all will be wonderful… not.”

I reminded him that that nozzle went to the washing machine, not the shower, toilet or sink and that we had tried several times. He assured me it would get fixed. Stinky and exhausted, we napped for a couple of hours, blissfully uninterrupted by any further attempts by the host to settle our problem. After our nap, I called, messenged, and sent him and the owner notes asking for a resolution.

About six hours after arriving, unable to go out because we were (stupidly) expecting someone to come to fix the problems, we decided to cancel and go elsewhere. I let the host know, secured alternative housing, and returned the key five blocks or so to the secure key drop (he was very good about sending me the key code so he wouldn’t have to come to pick it up elsewhere). The host even had the nerve to say that no other guests had ever had this problem, insinuating that perhaps this was our fault.

Since returning home, I’ve contacted the Airbnb customer service folks and as I saw written in the intro on the Airbnb Hell website, found them wanting. Several apparent problems: I should have communicated only on the website; I should have contacted Airbnb central; I need to prove that I didn’t have water.

Proving the absence of water is quite difficult, actually. I couldn’t get a response as to how I was supposed to do so. Apparently having no water in the bathroom is not a reason for looking for a different situation, nor is a complete lack of results by the host in improving the immediate situation and my assumption that the host would know the rules and use the website only (not WhatsApp) is incorrect and absolutely no protection even though it works well for the host.

The customer service agent has refunded me about half of the cost. I have asked him or her to provide me the contact information to make an appeal and he/she simply ignores that request in our communication. This has been incredibly frustrating and I am asking for a full refund. Until this time, I have had only good experiences with Airbnb and my thought is that this host may just have a bunch of hotels he rents out without any real attachment. He’s not a host; he’s a short term lender. Just a hunch.

Clothes Stolen by Host, Airbnb Does Nothing

I have been using Airbnb since 2011 and generally have had good experiences. However, my most horrific experience happened in May in Kiev. I arrived from the airport late, went to the apartment close to the centre, took the keys from below the door mat, and entered the apartment. Five minutes later, the host entered the apartment with knocking saying that he still wanted to clean. Even when I insisted that this was not needed, he said he wanted to do so and also needed to get some stuff. I gave him permission but had to leave the apartment right after to buy some groceries.

The next morning, I had a bad surprise as I could not find half the clothes that I had left in a plastic bag. I called the host, who sounded shocked, saying “Oh man, I did not know these were your clothes!” He told me that he had put my clothes some place in the apartment but did not know where exactly; I should call him in the evening. I waited until the evening, when I received a message from him saying: “The bag of clothes that you left in the apartment – I did not touch it, so try to remember where you left it!”

I got really upset, because it became clear what was happening: he had taken the clothes and was now denying responsibility. I called him and he finally admitted that he had taken the clothes because they were in a plastic bag; he thought that they were from an old guest and thus thrown them away. He had thrown away my clothes, including a jacket, a blazer, shirts, sweater, and a 150-euro anti-radiation underwear. We tried to recover them but they were gone.

I asked for compensation, to the amount of the value of the cloths, that I listed. Not the value of buying them new, but the value taking into account that at least the jacket was over a year old. The total value would have been over 500 euro but I asked for 237 euro, the minimum amount. The host agreed to this compensation. I asked him to pay via PayPal. Airbnb wrote me within minutes saying that I could not ask my host to pay me via PayPal, only the internal payment method. I tried internal payment but that only gave me 70 USD, which was the price of my stay.

I asked Airbnb customer support agents and in fact have talked to five case managers. They still have not answered my question how I can get compensation for the stolen goods. Before leaving the apartment, I wanted to get compensation from the host, but he did not respond. I remained at the apartment, but called Airbnb and was told that I had to leave the apartment right away. I said, “Once I am gone, the host might never compensate me.”

They responded: “Do not worry; we’ll take care of it! You just have to leave the apartment now”.

I left, but when I asked for compensation, neither my host nor Airbnb wanted to pay. I got a new case manager who told me I needed to upload pictures of my clothes, so that they could compensate me. I did that but then the case manager disappeared and I got yet another case manager. That case manager talked to the host and reported he did not want to pay anything in compensation: “I am sorry! There is nothing else I can do.”

In short, my clothes were taken by the host and neither the host nor Airbnb wants to compensate me. I had five case manager changing every few days, none willing to help. I was promised that Airbnb would take care of it, and they did nothing, only assigned it to a new case manager. I was told I could not use PayPal but was never offered a way to get compensation. I was told to leave the apartment and that they would fix it, but they did not do anything. The only thing they did is ask the host if he wanted to compensate me, and if host says no they say, “Sorry, we cannot help you.”

The Tale of an Awful Hostess who Held me Hostage

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TL;DR: Airbnb hostess agrees to let me change a three-month reservation to one month, then goes back on her word and verbally/financially holds me hostage until Airbnb got involved. Also unreasonably bitchy about stuff. Gather round, and let me tell you a fairytale-like story that quickly became hellish…

Once, in a neighbourhood called Butte aux Cailles in Paris, there was an apartment listed on a place called Airbnb. A young student from the faraway land of North America decided to book this apartment for three months while she was working in France. Even though the student didn’t have much money, she thought that the neighbourhood and the experience would make it worth it (big mistake, she later learned, as she paid about 1000 euros per month for a room, which is way overpriced for what 99% of rooms in Paris are worth).

Anyways, in this apartment lived a woman who the student had figured would be a nice and agreeable person. The tales from others on Airbnb had claimed that she was, however – this young student would later learn – really, for lack of a better term, a “nasty and unreasonable bitch”.

So, what are the problems, you ask? Well, dear reader, let me list them out (and at this point I will just break immersion since writing in the third person is tiresome, and straight up tell you what happened).

Week 1 [~May 3rd]: Host complains about “turning on the water taps too hard and running the shower too hard.”

“Well, if I’m paying 1000 euros just for a room, you really shouldn’t complain too much about me turning on the tap because it’s a little sensitive,” I think, but I shrug and say “alright.”

Week 1 [~May 4th]: The host’s friend was staying over on the couch. She’s nice, although there isn’t much space in the apartment so a curtain is drawn up between the living room and the entrance to my room.

Week 1 [~ May 7th]: I told the host that I was planning on moving out to the dorms after the end of May. She was understanding and sympathetic at the time, and offered to help me find a room with her friend. Unfortunately, it’s too far from where I work, so I declined. However, she said that she would call Airbnb to waive the normal 30-day fee for modifying the reservation.

Week 2 [~May 14th]: I came home at around 11:30 PM and went to my room. The next minute, the host sent a text message complaining about the noise I made when opening the door (she had told me on the first day that the door is tricky, and obviously turning the lock would make unavoidable noise). I had not known beforehand that her friend had been staying over the last two nights, and I told her that: “I would appreciate it if you tell me that you have guests staying the night. It would be unreasonable to expect that I should be completely quiet if I don’t know that someone is already asleep when I come home (via text).”

I believed it to be a reasonable request to ask from her, as I was happy to accommodate if I had known that her friend was staying. On most nights, the street below where her house is often very loud due to the many pubs, with the noise going into late hours of the night (2-3:00 AM).

Week 2 [May 14th night]: The host flips out. She said that “it is quite normal to make less noise in the apartment, because I also live in this apartment, as does my friend and my daughter [which is false, only the host lives there].”

Then she complained to me about the unwashed dishes (I left a cup in there once) and the hygenic pads in the trash (where do pads go, in your bed?), and kept telling me to “respect the rules of the contract.” All I asked her was just to give me a headsup if her friend was staying over.

Week 3 [May 15th]: I told the host that I would be moving June 1st (as discussed with her over a week ago). She flipped out a second time, and told me that I could not leave until after the end of June. In her words: “she has a contract for her daughter’s (university) room until the end of June.”

While this was the case when I originally booked, we had agreed in Week 1 that I would check out at the end of May. I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable being held verbally and financially hostage like this. I was super stressed to return to the apartment, or even leave my room.

Week 3 [May 16th]: I saw her in the morning and she asked me to explain “What was the problem? I don’t understand what was the problem.” This culminates in a terse argument between us. I sent a plea for help to Airbnb support.

Week 3 [May 17th]: Airbnb was surprisingly super helpful. They called me telling me to cancel the agreement, and refunded me for the nights not spent, while also nullifying the 30-day penalty. A colleague let me stay in his house shared with six others until the end of May, which turned out to be a 350 square meter apartment in Paris. By Parisian standards, this was pretty much a castle.

Anyways, to wrap up my long-winded story, avoid this host at all costs. She made me so nervous and agitated being around her because I felt like I had to constantly tiptoe around her or get bitched at. And that was just the icing on the cake compared to her outright lying to me, and not letting me leave in May instead of July – even after we agreed multiple times that I could check out early.

At least I know that long term rentals on Airbnb are awful. Unfortunately I forgot to leave a review on her listing and profile because of a bunch of other stuff was going on at the time, and then I missed the 14-day time limit. This story did actually happen though; take a look at these pictures.

Dishonest Host Takes Advantage of Airbnb and Decent People

I booked a room in Clearwater, Florida for a month with the most evil, manipulative and dishonest woman I have meet in my life. I do not recommend this room to anybody; it was a nightmare. The air conditioning didn’t work right, my room in the afternoon was so hot that I had to stay out, the ceiling fan didn’t work, and the glass lamp felt off, so I couldn’t even use it.

The host was expecting to get a new roof during my stay, and moved me to a room in her house as her convenience – another problem. She knew of all this but did not tell me at the time of my booking. The ceiling in the bedroom was all damaged, with open holes; it was disgusting. The door didn’t close properly, so anybody could get in or out of my bedroom without my permission.

The host couldn’t care less about my concerns. One day I came back to my bedroom. The door was open and the smell of fish was so strong that even my clean shirts smelled bad. She didn’t have the decency of closing my bedroom door when she was cooking. From the first day I got there I told her my concerns about the heat in the bedroom; she told me that the air conditioning was off, and added that the cleaning lady left it off and that was the reason for the bedroom to be so hot – another lie. Day after day, she manipulated the air conditioning; one day it was okay, and the next it was off, really making it a hot room.

The worst thing was her intrusive and imposing behavior. She kept inviting me to drink beer, and I kept telling her that I don’t drink. She ignored my words, and every day kept inviting me out to go dancing and do other activities. I told her I wasn’t interested, but she would not stop pressuring me. I started to feel intimidated by her abusive behavior.

Another concern was she had a obsessive compulsive control issue; everywhere you looked was a little piece of paper telling you what you can do or not do in the house. There were paper posts all over the house which made me feel like I was in a military camp: so many rules. She also told me things that I was not interested in hearing, bad mouthing all the guests that gave her bad reviews in the past (she is always the victim).

The garden was a mess. There was no way anybody could sit and relax on that patio. They had chairs that didn’t work. She even told me to be careful about the rats, and the coyotes. How could you live or enjoy a whole month in a place like this?

At the time I didn’t know one could call Airbnb and make a complaint, and I am sure many new Airbnb users had similar experiences but are not familiar with all the rules. I also tried to sit and read in the living room when my bedroom was too hot, but it was not a very cozy place. The whole house was full of objects and boxes that the host used to sell online. She was also trying to sell me a bicycle. I even hurt my knee one night when I needed to go to the kitchen by hitting the same bike she was trying to sell me: she left it next to the kitchen sink, and she keep bringing up the idea of how nice it would be for me to have a bicycle.

After seven day of broken promises, she didn’t fix anything and kept up her abusive behavior. I dint know what else could I do; I was in her house. I told her again about the air conditioning. I was so tired of this situation and I decided to leave. She begged me not to call or report her to Airbnb and “promised” to pay me back the other three weeks I hadn’t stayed. I believed her. I thought there was a bit of decency in this woman; I even felt sorry for her.

A few hours later, somebody from Airbnb call me and promised to resolve the situation. I was surprised because I hadn’t reported her. The host called them. She went about her manipulative ways, called Airbnb, and told them that I had decided to leave. She knew that I was new in this kind of situation and took advantage of the opportunity. Airbnb told me that without any pictures, written complaints, or any proof, they couldn’t help me. I paid $1,250 for a whole month’s rental and stayed only one week. The hostess never paid me back the money she promised. She is a scam artist, and now I know better. I just hope that my terrible experience with Airbnb prevents other decent people like me from been used and robbed.

Last Minute Cancellation by Host in the High Season

I booked an apartment in Brussels for a seafood expo in April 2018 more than two months in advance knowing that it was high season and all. The host was very responsive at first after we paid through Airbnb, telling us to inform him of the arrival details as soon as possible. Two weeks into the stay, I contacted the host advising him of the arrival details and asked for check in information. I have used Airbnb only in the US – never for Europe – and this time I did not get a prompt reply. I sent again another message and there was still no reply. I tried to call the host and there was no answer. I contacted the host on Whatsapp and after a few days he answered saying that he would give me the information on Sunday, the day I will be flying into Europe from Asia. My stay was for that Tuesday, please bear in mind.

Sunday came and no information from the host. I sent him a message on Whatsapp again; the message was read but there was no reply. On Sunday close to midnight when I was transiting, a message from Airbnb came in saying my host had cancelled. I panicked; it was the busiest season in Brussels and I had no place to stay. I tried calling the host. He did not answer, but just replied: “Sorry, I’m busy!”

I scrambled to find a hotel room at the last minute but the prices were exorbitant or they were full. We ended up paying for a small one-star hotel for five times the price. It was a nightmare for us and for sure we would never recommend Airbnb to anybody. We tried to contact the help center through email and for no replies whatsoever. The conclusion is that we have been lucky with Airbnb all this time and if you ever get into a problem with your booking, well, good luck.