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.

Abusive Host Providing Hell Hole in Philippines

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Out of my three years of being an Airbnb customer, this is the first ‘bad’ review I’ve ever written for anyone. Prices should match the quality of service and quality of premises. $93 is way too much for a night for the experience we had. I’ve stayed in dozens and dozens of Airbnbs including those on friends’ accounts. Enjoy my eleven bullet points of cons.

– Check in was not as flexible as we liked. I’m used to hosts working around us when we are unsure about the check in time or arriving late. Instead we had to work around the host as she couldn’t get out of work at a certain time so we had to wait later for her. Even with check out, she asked us to unplug all appliances (I’ve never had hosts ask me this). Airbnb hosts have been accommodating to our check-in situation. If we are arriving late or not on time we are usually given the option to self check in, not wait for the host to leave work. She even had the nerve to ask me to cancel if I was unhappy with the check in time.

– The lifts didn’t work on our way out. We had to walk with heavy suitcases down three flights of stairs. Such an inconvenience. This really got me angry and the lifts didn’t have any indication on whether they were in service or not.

– The bunk beds were not prepared for us. We had to put mattress protectors and pillow cases on ourselves. One of the mattresses still had plastic packaging covering it, meaning we had to take it off ourselves. There was no way we were gonna sleep on plastic so noisy and uncomfortable.

– The curtain rod fell on one of our visitors when opening the curtain for the porch door. What kind of death trap is this place? My mother fixed up the curtains herself. This place was just awful.

– The bathroom had really bad mouldy grout. I’m surprised no one has written a bad review.

– No coffee, no milk, no sugar. We saw a little sachet of coffee that looked like it was being concealed right on the unreachable cupboard like they didn’t want us to use it. We had to go out of the premises to get coffee and milk.

– The second bedroom had no sun shades so I was woken up by the sun. I just couldn’t get a good sleep in – just ridiculous – when I was up by 6:00 AM.

– The cupboard doors were falling apart, which could end up being a hazard.

– The Internet was very slow. My own 3G data was faster. Visitors couldn’t use the wifi due to it being slow.

– The balcony door latch didn’t close, so good luck to anyone who climbs in from the balcony and steals your stuff.

– We wouldn’t have had to complain much about these issues. However, for $93 a night for a run-down condo in the Philippines, this is way too expensive. With that much you’d expect an immaculate place.

I’m so happy Airbnb has acknowledged her violation and poor customer service when a customer is unhappy. I was issued a partial refund. I have to admit, I was quite aggressive towards her from my frustration. But hosts should never attack or argue in a personal unprofessional manner. I said the lift was broken and the wifi was not working and she replied with: “It’s not my problem.”

She did apologise but in a sarcastic passive manner. I have photos and chat logs all to prove that I was honest in my review even though the host found it my fault because I was aggressive; that is all I did. I left her place more spotless than she left it for us.

Host Tries to Change Rates After Confirmation

We were first time Airbnbers wanting to spend Christmas in Switzerland. We found a property in St. Moritz, booked it, got confirmation back on the same day, and then booked flights. We sent a message to the host saying we were looking forward to the holiday. A couple of weeks later, I got an “accept new booking” request from the host. I did wonder what that was all about, so I read the email and realised that he was trying to get me to accept the change of booking to increase the price by 270%. I obviously declined this, but then received messages from him saying that this was not his fault and it was all Airbnb’s fault for accepting the booking. His justification was that he just wanted to make more money, then called me dishonest for not cancelling after he admitted that all he wanted was more cash.

After a brief exchange of messages, he asked me to cancel so that he could rebook at a higher price, even though most other accommodation in the area was a similar price to what he originally requested. To make matters worse, he cancelled yesterday and today I saw that he had reposted the flat and not as you might have thought at the extortionate rate he tried getting off me after booking, but at half that cost, and only a few hundred Euro more than we originally booked at. I didn’t think you could rebook a property if you cancelled the booking. I can’t get a hold of anyone in Airbnb. I know that I wouldn’t go there now but his actions were absolutely dishonest. I just wanted to warn people that this host is a bit untrustworthy and I would steer very clear of any “cozy and modern apartment in the center of St Moritz” in the future.

Kicked out of Airbnb Because of our Emotional Support Animal

I’m going to try and make this as succinct as possible, but there’s lots of moving pieces to this situation that may make that difficult to do. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to read through this.

Even though my rights to an Emotional Support Animal are protected through the Fair Housing Act and Airbnb policy, I specifically filtered for listings that were pet friendly when looking for a place here in Colorado. The listing that we booked did not mention an additional pet fee nor any mention of any requirements for notification regarding animals.

The host of this pet-friendly rental (let’s call him Ryan) who was the property manager and not the owner, initially told us that the rental would be ready at 5:30 PM, but when I messaged him and his wife (let’s call her Dana) yesterday morning (the day of check-in), his wife responded that she was “almost done” and would “have it ready by 1:30”. When we showed up with our puppy (fully house trained, mind you), Dana commented on how cute the dog was. She gave us a brief walkthrough of the rental and then left, stating that if we had any questions or issues that her husband would handle it.

At first glance, the listing seemed alright. However, as I was starting to unpack, my wife showed me that the floor was dusty and dirty, the couch was different than the one in the photos and stained with black spots and some whitish liquid (not even going to venture to guess what it was), my dog found a pill (not sure what kind of medication) and was going to eat it before my wife got it out of her mouth, under the bed was disgustingly dirty, we were missing the amenities described in the listing (TV in the bedroom, no soap, no toilet paper, etc.), and all the furniture was old, broken, mismatched and obviously found on the street or secondhand.

I contacted the host, but got no response. My wife decided to try and clean the apartment in the meantime (took about 3.5 hours). When the host finally got back to me, he stated that because we had “asked for early accommodation” (remember how the rental was supposed to be ready by 5:30 but they changed it to 1:30?) they had decided not to have the rental cleaned before we arrived. He also offered to stop by in a few hours, which I accepted.

Not being fully aware of Airbnb’s policy regarding cleanliness and listing discrepancies, I called customer service and filled them in, but said that I would like to try and work it out with the host in the meantime. He came over, acknowledged that it hadn’t been cleaned, and asked what we wanted to do about it. He did not act apologetic nor did he apologize at all even until now.

We stated that we would like to make this work, but we would need a new couch along with compensation for a whole day being spent cleaning the apartment and dealing with this issue. He then decided to bring up that he wasn’t aware that we had a dog and that they would need to charge us pet rent, a pet fee, and increased rent. I told him that because our dog was an ESA, that she is not a pet and is therefore exempt from extra fees and restrictions that would apply to pets. Also, even if she wasn’t, the listing said it allowed pets and never stated that there would be these extra charges anyway.

When I tried to pull up the page regarding Airbnb’s policies regarding discrimination and assistance animals, he refused to look at them and said he didn’t care about Airbnb policy. The same thing happened when I brought up the Fair Housing Act. He then stated that he would present our request for reparations to the property owners, and then they may or may not approve the dog. My wife pointed out that he was basically blackmailing us into asking for little or nothing in compensation or they would reject the assistance animal, which is illegal.

At this point, he said that this wasn’t going to work and that we needed to leave before storming out the door. However, he didn’t try to force us out right then (thankfully). I called Airbnb right away and explained what happened, and the representative said that he cancelled the booking stating the assistance animal as the reason, and that because of the discriminatory nature of this case I would be contacted by the legal team within an hour or two for further assistance and “rebooking assistance”. This was around 9:00 PM. I never heard from the team at all, so we ended up having to stay with some acquaintances in the area on their couch.

I contacted Airbnb again this morning (many times, as I had to explain the whole story over and over to new representatives who would transfer me to another new representative), before finally being told that the booking was cancelled. Airbnb offered a $173 credit to make up for the issue (my booking was over $3,000 and we had already cleaned the unit), and sent some “similar listings in the area”. All of the listings cost more than $6,000 for the same dates, and they were one bedroom options as opposed to the two bedroom that we had originally had. Many of them were also missing amenities such as laundry, kitchen, pool, etc.

I hated the idea of taking up legal counsel yesterday, but after making me jump through so many hoops and the negligence to communicate with me in a timely manner, I’m seriously considering it as an option. I don’t know where we’re supposed to stay tonight and I can’t afford any of the listings that are available in the area. What would you do in this situation?

A Holiday from Hell Thanks to Flooded Apartment

We arrived in Palma to find our apartment had been flooded. Our host took us to another that had been hurriedly evacuated by a Roma family (at least that’s how it looked). Our dealings with our Eastern European host were through a go-between who was simply charming and promised the Earth, but delivered nothing. We were promised we would eventually be settled in our booked apartment but it was never going to happen.

On our third day, water poured out from our shower and flooded the place, so we were moved to a hotel for one night. At first the go-between, who was on a sympathy kick, told us how lucky we were and he was paying for the hotel out of his own pocket. Fawlty Towers would have been an improvement.

Despite being asked to provide three rooms, the owner waited until we arrived before frantically searching for bed linen. We were asked to wait with our cases half way up an unlit staircase while he went looking. After twenty minutes or so there was a frantic knocking on the front door – the police. They had come to arrest a guy in the room opposite the one I was destined for. There weren’t three rooms, only two.

At this we told the go-between to forget it. He finally put us in a hostel. It was clean and modern and had ensuites so we were okay with this. But we had no idea where we were staying the following night as he had confessed our originally booked apartment was nowhere near habitable, the cost of the hostel was twice that of Fawlty Towers, and he wasn’t sure he’d get back what he’d already paid.

We had already started negotiating with Airbnb by email and phone (they hate you using the phone and hide contact numbers). They had only two responses to urgent messages: Airbnb didn’t believe we weren’t in the booked apartment so we had to send photos to prove it. Of course, by then we were in the hostel. Luckily I had taken a couple of pics to send to my wife so we retrieved those and sent them to Airbnb.

They then agreed on a partial refund but debited us the full cost of the first night, despite the fact that our original contract had not been honoured. We had already booked a new apartment so the refund was good news but still cost us. Then as we were (mid-afternoon) on our way to the new place the phone rang and it was the go-between, saying the leak had been repaired and we could go back to our revolting apartment. We told him where he could shove it.

The new apartment was lovely, modern and clean. However it turned out this apartment was next to a drug dealer’s home. Although the block had a entry lock I think they disabled it at night. We had paper-thin walls, and comings and goings all night long. This ended at 5:00 AM on our last night with a couple of guys hammering on the door and kicking it trying to attract attention. I’m not sure anyone was even in. I got out of bed and went to our door to suggest they stop (unpleasant confrontation in the extreme) but parted telling them I was calling the police. They left. The end of a lovely holiday.

The Airbnb Customer is Not Always Right

What a joke; I thought the customer was always right. Not in this case. I brought issues to a host’s attention about his place and the lack of help from his helper. Well, you thought I had accused him of fraud or something worse. Never had he heard this before, claiming he only had “happy customers”… just some of the responses he was giving me. He then went on to respond online about this, stating that I was impolite and rude to his assistant. If asking for someone to show their face and meet the customer to make sure everything is okay (finding where to go, making sure the room is suitable to enter, finding all the necessary items needed – towels, water, facilities to eat) then we must of been the rudest people ever.

The Airbnb response was even better, stating that we had been put on the “not providing a quality customer” category. Needless to say, we will not be using Airbnb again and certainly will not be using this whole building again, let alone this host. After reading some of the responses here, I know our situation is not that severe, but when you pay a decent amount of money to have a good holiday only to be treated like we had done something criminal it has an affect on you. I do feel better knowing we are not the only ones but feel sorry for those who have been put through this as well. Thank you for listening to my winge.

Host Became Aggressive Asking for Personal Information

After booking a long stay costing over $2000, the host became quite aggressive and asked for pictures of me, my full name, and the address of where I lived. I find this completely inappropriate. Even if I knew the same about him, which I don’t, I still think this is inappropriate and invasive. Airbnb won’t respond to my concerns (can’t get through on phone, emails no good, and no place on the help forum for this type of concern) and I can’t cancel without losing half of the booking fee. I’m out of my mind as to what to do. Given the aggressive behavior I don’t want to stay with this host, but losing half the fee would be a big financial impact for me. I’m a bit afraid because the host already has my personal email address and some other details so I don’t want to post the listing.