Guests Trashed our Home, Airbnb Ignores us for Weeks

This guest and his family completely trashed  our home. We came home after five weeks to a complete infestation of flies, fruit flies, maggots, bed bugs and lice. This guest never took their trash out in five weeks in July; they simply left it in the house and, as you can imagine, the condition of it was deplorable. We found piles of maggot-filled trash bags inside our home. The smell of rotting food and trash was overpowering. The swarms of flies required multiple treatments from a professional exterminator, who said he had never seen anything like it. They apparently ate in every room in the house (living room, bedrooms, bathroom) and left spilled food on the rugs, couches, and bathroom floor. I’m not talking about crumbs; these were chunks of meat, broccoli, and tomatoes on our furniture just surrounded in flies and maggots.

They broke our TV, refrigerator, and dishwasher, ripped our brand new bed sheets and bedspreads, put tables on top of bureaus (why?), left the mattresses on the floor (had taken off the bed frames), and clogged up the kitchen and bathroom sinks with god only knows what. Our home will never be the same. It’s been over two weeks and the stench of these disgusting people is still in our home. We had to have exterminators come back twice to eradicate the flies and eventually had to throw everything away: beds, couches, pillows, rugs, sheets, towels. We hired professional cleaners to remove the dead bugs not once but twice. These guests lived like complete animals but that does not explain how as human beings, they could completely disrespect and destroy another person’s home.

We have been going all through the proper channels with Airbnb for three weeks and we cannot even get anyone to contact us regarding our claim for over $20,000 worth of damage. They supposedly cover up to $1,000,000 but I don’t believe it. We’ve been waiting on hold for hours at a time, and sending multiple emails with no response. Customer service agents claim to have no authority to do anything except send an email to a supervisor say they will contact us but they never do. We sent 50+ pictures of the damage to our home, videos, receipts for everything, a copy of the police report, and there has been nothing from Airbnb.

Our family has been displaced from our home for three weeks, having to stay in hotels and pay for and replace our damaged items completely on our own. Our lives have been put on hold and this incident has caused our family great emotional and financial duress.

“Personality Conflict” Excuse for not Publishing Reviews?

We recently used Airbnb to rent a chalet in Tahoe City, California. We were charged for the entire week immediately upon booking, four months before our visit. Several days before our visit I had to contact the owners twice in order to get the address and entry information for the house. When we arrived the house was neat, clean, and attractive; however, it lacked numerous conveniences that we normally expect from homes that we have rented over the past few years. There was no information booklet or binder explaining how various things worked in the house, e.g. electric lights that came on intermittently but would not go off even at night in the bedroom.

There was no microwave in the kitchen and no closets in the entire house, or hooks, or racks on which to hang clothes. There was no shelf or dresser in three of the four bedrooms in which to place clothes. Everything had to be left on the floor. There was not a single shelf in any of the three bathrooms so all personal items had to be left on the floor. The master bathroom shower did not have a shower curtain so water went all over the floor and cool air surrounded you when you showered.

I communicated via text politely with the owners who did respond but they lived six hours away; they claimed that no one had ever asked about these items. We returned home and I wrote a polite but accurate review on the Airbnb website about the missing items. I stated that the house was lovely but that many common conveniences were missing. Weeks passed and my review was not posted on Airbnb. I finally tracked down a phone number. The Airbnb agent read my review and said that she did not see anything in the review that was against their regulations for reviews. She forwarded my inquiry to the Trust and Safety Department.

I received an email stating that the owner had been contacted and he claimed that we had a “personality conflict”; therefore, my review would not be published. I asked for documentation of the “personality conflict”. The second response from Airbnb did not offer documentation or comments in any way about the “personality conflict” but they did offer me a coupon for my next visit. I emailed back with my own documentation which was a complete thread of my texts with the owner during our visit that show there was no personality conflict; all of my contacts with the owner were polite inquiries. The third, and final email, from Airbnb was to to tell me that they considered the manner closed that that they would not respond to further inquiries from me. It appears that Airbnb handles any reviews other than positive reviews as a personality conflict and that this is their excuse for refusing to publish any negative reviews.

Airbnb Guest Has Few Valid Complaints, Plenty of Disrespect

I had a guest who is actually from across town in Halifax. She stayed at one of my properties for two nights. She arrived by bus and went to my neighbour’s house by mistake. She had a very powerful personality and I think she was upset or insulted when I went out to do my yoga, work, and meet with friends. She used all of my toilet paper in two nights. I hope it was just in her bag and not in my drains. She complained about my towel detergent and all her illnesses and sensitivities. I asked for her passport, as I noticed my listing somehow had the validation restriction lifted. She was very upset. I explained the Airbnb website asked to show ID.

Then she commented on my insulating plastic wrap on my china cabinet handles. This is my house and I have this cabinet for my china. There are plenty of dishes to use for my guests in the kitchen. What concerns me now is the long letter she wrote over nothing; it was a personal attack on me and my character. I have not experienced this disrespectful behaviour from any guest. She was so overbearing. I am afraid to write a comment about her and feel she will definitely downgrade my rating due to her own unhappiness. What do I do? I am getting my lock changed at a cost of $117, as I feel this lady was so unbalanced. She wrote about a towel that she was concerned about but that is minor. I told her not to worry about it; there were only three there. I usually put four but I could read her aggressive energy and just wanted her out. I offered to give her a lift in my car, in a diplomatic way. This was a guest from hell. I lost money to host her, but learned my listing validation was turned off.

There’s Rude, There’s Extremely Rude, Then There’s This Host

There’s rude, there’s extremely rude and then there’s being told to “f$#@ off” by your host. That’s what happened when I phoned my Airbnb host about the TV not working (aerial feed had been torn out; bare wire remained). “I don’t see it as a problem,” he assured me. He suggested I repair it myself.

“Okay, but how would you feel about it if this happened to you?” I asked. “Get another place. Find another room.” he said. “What?” I asked, shocked. “F$#@ OFF” he shouted. Then the phone went dead. I was on another man’s property. I was with my wife and my daughter. I was now uncertain as to whether or not we could stay. I felt very unwelcome. How can I write a good review after that?

Bully Host in Paris, Never Using Airbnb Again

I returned from my trip to France and Germany about a week ago. For the first time I decided to try Airbnb. My boyfriend and I had used it several times during vacation in the US under his account, and never had an issue. Then, I opened my own account this time to give it a try. Apparently, the review system is a hot mess. I received at least ten emails reminding me to write a review upon returning home. Quite frankly, I had such a bad experience I thought I should just not review it at all: a situation where if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all.

However, I went ahead and wrote a review with the positive aspects of the place, which in reality was a bargain for the location. When I read the host’s review, I found he had given me one star, saying that I was not pleasant, and that I was rude. I was shocked to read those words because I barely exchanged a word with him during my stay in the place, and when we left, he was all giggles and smiles with my boyfriend. It took a lot from me not to tell him what I was thinking about his demeanor.

I am a straightforward person. When things are not good anymore, I just remain silent. I cannot fake being happy with a situation if I am not. This man was the king of fake; in fact, that was the whole issue. He pretended to be okay, and he faked being accommodating. He stressed us so much, and he basically ruined our romantic weekend.

I travel to Paris regularly, and normally use Booking.com or TripAdvisor (and believe me, I do regret not using those for this trip as well). My suspicions of making a mistake started when just a couple of days prior to the trip I did not hear anything from my host. I proceeded to message “her” through the app to arrange our meeting. To my surprise, I was contacted by a man. He replied to my message the day before my trip excusing himself already for replying late (first picture). I was wondering why the listed female host was not responding, but I figured this person was somehow related to her. I did not think much of it, and he requested we use WhatsApp to communicate. I agreed to it, but I assumed he did not have a clue about how cell phones work, because my American phone would only work in wifi friendly areas in France.

We originally sat up a time of 6:00 PM to meet at the place, but as soon as I landed in CDG, I received a message from my boyfriend who was flying from Germany to join me on the weekend trip, telling me Eurowings had a delay of an hour, and we would need to change the check-in time. I did that right away: contacted the host to let him know we would be arriving an hour later than arranged due to a situation beyond my control (second picture). His response to me was the following “Umm, okay – is there any chance you can come beforehand? The apartment is all ready to go and I have the keys. But I do have other plans tonight and had arranged around 6:00 PM.”

Who in their right mind would ask a woman that just traveled eight hours to come and meet beforehand with a male host (not the listed female host), and leave her boyfriend hanging in the airport? Thanks to some miracle, we both arrived at the place at 6:45 PM. At this point my boyfriend, who happens to have a European cellphone, was in constant contact with the host (fifth picture). He was pretending to be cool with the situation, but stressed us out so much by telling us he had to go due to his prior social plans. I had offered to meet him in another part of the city to pick up the keys since I mentioned I was familiar with Paris in my precious texts. He said it was no big deal, and that he would wait.

He was not accommodating at all. When we arrived, I was very tired, and disappointed at him for harassing us. I was very quiet and short. Before he left, I asked, when should we check out, to which he verbally responded: “We will sort it out. I will contact you guys.”

My boyfriend had mentioned at that point that we would like to leave around 1:30 PM because we had bags, and we wanted to go straight to the airport. He said that would work, and still he would contact us. The day before we left, there was no check-out information (sixth picture). It was around 7:21 PM when I told my boyfriend to contact the host since we had not heard from him at all. We had thought that the check-out time would be sometime around 1:30 PM, per our conversation.

Sadly, once again, this host was trying to pull a fast one bullying us. He said that we needed to be checked out by 10:00 AM because he had another person coming in at 11:00 AM. My boyfriend and I went back to the Airbnb website and looked at the listed times for check-in and check-out. “Sophie”, the host we never laid eyes on, listed 11:00 AM for checking out. My boyfriend pointed this out very politely to him, saying we would be ready at that time, as it was indicated in their Airbnb listing (eighth picture).

If you go to the property’s link now, that he has skillfully changed the check out time to 10:00 AM. Thank god for cell phones and the ability to take screen shots. At that point, we thought things were cool, and I actually prepared to leave the place in excellent condition. He failed to mention this in his very objective review. When he arrived in the morning, he was all smiles, and frankly, by then I was extremely dissatisfied with the whole experience. I avoided eye contact with him, and exited as soon as I was able to. However, he made small chat with my boyfriend and walked us out. It occurred to me he was so fake because he was there with the next host.

I forgot to mention he was late once again. Seems like that is his MO. But god forbid someone has a delay in flights that might interfere with his dinner plans. I do not understand what he meant in his review when he is talking about me being unpleasant and rude when he tried to bully us, and he failed at hosting. I am a psychotherapist, and it occurred to me that he might need a psychological evaluation.

I hoped to get a hold of the famous “Sophie” host. I sent a message through Airbnb, but of course Sophie is just a front, because the truth is this guy was in charge of the listing. As for the place, it looked like a storage room that had been conditioned for the sole purpose of renting it. There was no electrical outlet in the bathroom, so I did my hair with my hair iron plugged in the living room. The “bed” was an ungodly uncomfortable couch, and there was no temperature control in the room at all. The electrical breakers for the whole building are in the apartment, and there is no smoke detector alarm.

I hope people thinking about renting this place read my review. I am a world traveler, and have never had such an unpleasant experience. I guess that is what I get for using Airbnb. I should have stayed with Booking.com or TripAdvisor, which I will do for my next trip. I sure hope my next journey to Paris is more pleasant, and erases this terrible experience. Maybe my story will save you some heartache, and aggravation. I hope you don’t have to deal with this man.

You Can’t Trust Pictures or Reviews on Airbnb

My wife and I have booked some apartments through Airbnb and we can now say that what you see is never what you get. The property pictures on Airbnb are embellished; everything looks shiny, but the moment you enter the apartment you realize you more or less bought a pig in a poke. Not once did we feel an apartment was more beautiful and better than its pictures. Sofas and chairs looked nice in the photos, but turned out to be very cheap and uncomfortable.

Beware of apartments with old furniture. Some owners advertise them as art, design, or something. This is rubbish. They’re there because they’re old and almost broken, and the owners don’t want to use them anymore. They’re too greedy to buy new furniture. I prefer apartments with IKEA furniture, because at least that’s new.

Once during an Airbnb stay, my wife got bitten so badly by lice from an old bed (I slept on a new IKEA bed) that she had to go to a doctor. We like to cook, but in some apartments the kitchen utensils were also old and broken. Don’t trust five-star reviews. I know for sure that owners can make a guest change a negative review. Once, we stayed in an apartment that had a bad smell in the bathroom. After a week, a previous guest published a negative review mentioning that same bad smell. I even made a print of the review. Some days later, I looked again and… voilà: the review was 100% positive. The bad smell was no longer mentioned. It’s clear that the owner promised the guest a partial refund if he would change his negative review into a positive one.

As bad as a hotel might be, if you have problems you can complain to the staff; someone will be there to help you. Not so with Airbnb. After you check in, most owners disappear.

What Airbnb Will Never Tell You About Our Vacation

Once a year, our family gets together in a waterfront home large enough to accommodate all of us so we can relax and spend time together. As our family has spread out across the country, this vacation gives all of us and our significant others a time and place to reconnect and create new memories together. We typically select an east coast location in the middle states. Today, the ten of us who traveled as long as 18 hours to get to our vacation home thank this host. Without her my wife would never be able to say, “someday we will look back on this and laugh.”

This host is a self proclaimed intimacy MD. When advertising her psychiatry practice and her book she touts, “Achieve change. Are you ready for your best life ever?” If you are ready for your best life ever, stay away from her Airbnb and HomeAway listing in Virginia, listed on Airbnb  and HomeAway.

Giving credit where credit is due, the house is very pretty. Beyond pretty. However, the host was only looking out for her interests, not ours. The problems started when she requested a $200 deposit to use the boat listed with the house, which is a direct violation of Airbnb policy. Naturally, she accepted checks, but if you are already traveling how do you mail her a check in advance of your arrival? She also wanted us to take an online course and send copies of our driver’s licenses.

Once you arrive, be aware there isn’t a phone line in the house. Okay, she made it clear in her listing that there wasn’t a phone line. The listing stated there was Internet access, but upon arrival there was a note stating the Internet modem would need to be reset frequently. Frequent resetting didn’t matter The wifi never came up as available. Somehow the settings on the DSL modem/wifi unit were different than what was listed in the host’s looseleaf notebook about the house.

We would have set up our own hotspot, but there was limited cell service at that location. We could receive calls, but sending and receiving email was rarely possible. A number of us are techies. To fix the problem, we set the wifi to the settings she had written in the notebook. Unfortunately for us, the Internet modem did in fact need to be reset frequently. The unit barely functioned for any period of time.

The bigger problem was the A/C didn’t work. I couldn’t get the house under 88 degrees. Upon closer inspection, the return filter appeared to be clean, but was not connected to any ductwork. The air conditioning would not function. That is the reason the A/C kicks on and the compressors make noise. Cold air was never delivered because there wasn’t a return. Lucky for us, the host left us a notebook that said, “If you encounter any problems, please call #. We have a property manager who lives in the area but may not always be immediately available. We will do whatever we can to fix your problem as soon as possible.”

We called him. He asked us the address of the home. When provided the address, he told us we had the wrong number. What could we do? I called the host, but the call went to voicemail. The good doctor never answered her phone and only responded via email. When we emailed her to discuss getting internet access and air conditioning, she emailed back, telling us to leave and go to a local motel… talk about callous.

Ten people booked her rental home months in advance, paid good money, drove all that distance along with two dogs, and were told go to a local motel. Since I found it hard to believe, and you may too as she is an intimacy doctor, I pasted images of her email with the photos. Her next act to provide herself with her best life ever was to refund our long held deposit and email us to get out by 11:00 AM the next morning.

This goes to what Airbnb will never tell you about our stay. By refunding our money, this host ruined our vacation and prohibited us from posting a review of her home. Where do you go with ten people and two dogs for an entire week during the summer? By cancelling our reservation, even though we stayed in her 99 plus degree hell hole, she made sure that Airbnb and HomeAway would never let you hear about this.

If the self proclaimed intimacy doctor should ever read this, please note that there was no intimacy in your hellhole. At 99 degrees, which I am sure you never experienced in your personal home, intimacy is the last thing on your mind. Be sure to note that before you write your next book and invest the money somewhere else. Please don’t invest in another house and then use it to ruin peoples hard earned vacations.

Airbnb Deletes Honest but Negative Reviews

I found out that Airbnb will side with its so called Superhosts over the guests in a dispute. There are fewer places to stay and millions of potential customers. Airbnb needs hosts more than they need the six disgusted guests, apparently. They lost all six highly paid customers on the first night. At approximately 2:00 AM on our first night after dinner and just a couple drinks (the host claims we were very drunk and very noisy – couldn’t be further from the truth), we returned to the beautiful but very dirty condo in Mexico City. One bed had multiple different hairs in it (never had been washed after last occupants?) My female friend refused to sleep in it and chose the sofa. The male had no option, so he slept on top of sheets. Our other couple fell asleep in second room only to find that the pillow “design” he thought it was the night before turned out to be someone else’s blood.

Both couples fled to nearest hotel. Fortunately my husband’s and my room was fine. I was too scared to look closer. I contacted the host, only to be told that it was impossible that this had happened; we must have done it. I’m sure we dirtied a perfectly nice apartment after we had already paid just to then go pay a lot more at a hotel. She must’ve accused me at least 15 times of lying. I stayed because we had invested so much already. I complained many times to the deaf ears of the Superhost and figured I would take it up with Airbnb upon our return. I had pictures and testimonies.

To no avail, Airbnb simply said it was her word against mine and they could not decide in my favor. Once my review was up and for all to see (she must have stopped getting calls on it) they informed me they were taking it down because I dared mention to said Superhost that I did not wish to leave a bad review (they considered that a threat). All I asked was for said Superhost to please help satisfy my request. My request was a refund of $150.00 against the $600+ I paid. I had been honest and told her of a third couple joining us. Now I see I should’ve never admitted that and I would never been charged for the third couple. After all was said and done, they paid me just $75.00 and took down my very honest review.

Paris Disaster, Airbnb Useless for High-End Travel

We paid over USD 3000 for three nights in a large centrally located penthouse in Paris. We booked this on February 22, 2017 for our stay July 2-4. We received notification from Airbnb that the host (represented by “Caroline”) cancelled the booking around midnight on June 29. I am traveling through the Scottish highlands with my family with limited internet and have now stopped in at Inverlochy Castle to try to book a hotel for ten people in Paris tomorrow. I’m upset enough to write this complaint.

Customer service has been of no help; one representative said his manager would call us back. Over a day later, and there has still been no call. I just spent a hour talking to customer service with a sympathetic person who couldn’t help. None of the suggestions fit our requirements. We’re flying into Paris tomorrow with no place to stay. I am now left with no options but to book hotel rooms. Airbnb will have cost me over a thousand dollars in extra costs, several hundred dollars in phone calls, and loss of peace of mind on this vacation… not to mention the fact they have held my money since February. The asymmetry of their policies is incredible: if a guest cancels 48 hours prior, they are liable for 100% of charges. If a host cancels, they are penalized by Airbnb. However, when a guest suffers losses because of Airbnb, they provide no compensation in damages or assistance. I will send them my estimated hotel charges as soon as I have them. Let’s see where we go from here…

Renting Outside Airbnb Leaves Guest with Mud, Mice, and Ants

My hubby got a job in Tennessee and needed a quick place to stay, reasonably priced. The host I found on Airbnb texted me and told me to call her. She gave me her number in three different messages so that it could get through, i.e. first text or call XXX, second call XXX, third call XXXX to beat the ‘no sending phone numbers’ rule from Airbnb. We discussed prices and she said if I paid three months in advance she would take money off the price. She also canceled my reservation on Airbnb and told me to send her money via PayPal since we are now friends… she asked me to send it to friends and family so there are no fees for her on PayPal.

The hubby showed up at her house November 11th to stay for three months. The house was obviously in need of repair. There was mold in the shower, the toilet didn’t flush properly, and the sink didn’t drain. If there was water running anywhere the pressure in his room (a converted garage) trickled. There couldn’t have been more than dripping from the shower head. This is not a problem if the rest of the house knows you are taking a shower and doesn’t use water anywhere, but since there are four roommates that keep to themselves, the water pressure is a problem.

The owner does not lock the doors to the house. It is always unlocked. Although she did provide a key it was a bad one and didn’t unlock the doors; the house was never secured. The parking is not very good. If you are not the first two people home you have to park in the dirt. This was a problem since my husband was in a car accident that left him walking with a cane for the last four years. There were always slippery leaves on the porch. I wrote to the host and asked if I could stay for a few days when I came to visit. She agreed if I provided a few hours of housecleaning. I understood why when I got there.

The entire house was dusty; it had not been vacuumed for a long time (several months at my best guess). I sat down with her and shared only a few of my concerns. I told her that since my husband had a cane and needed it to be safe for him, she needed to get the wet leaves off the porch. She told me where a broom was and that I could do it myself. She also was not happy when I complained about the toilet not working properly. She said to me, “Perhaps the Morningstar House is not best for your husband. Maybe he needs to be moved to a treatment facility.” Really? because we didn’t like the dangerous slippery leaves?

There were mice in the house and mice feces in the closet. I told her about it and she said, “Yeah, but those are like a year old.” Oh, so that makes it okay? Obviously she knew there were mice because she admitted the feces were old. She told me that since she provided stuff (electricity, singly-ply toilet paper, and dish soap) that the price my husband was paying for what he got was a good deal… in other words, don’t complain.

After he was there for two months she asked for the next month’s rent. Even though we had paid three months in advance, she ‘required’ (didn’t tell us until he got there) that rent be paid 45 days in advance. She also wanted a cashier’s check. I told her that she’d have to wait until Monday for me to go to the bank so she said to pay with a credit card and that we’d have to pay the credit card fees. I told her she was going to have to wait then because I was not paying the credit card fees. Finally she said she’d take the payment and lose the fees herself, like it was killing her to pay the fees. She already had been paid in advance… this was just another way to get money fast.

There were cockroaches in the house, and ants in every room. Other roommates complained about ants in their rooms as well. The next month the host asked my husband to leave so she could rent the room to two female nurses (most likely to get more rent). She told my husband she would gladly refund him anything he had overpaid for. The following month she said that he could stay because it didn’t work out with the nurses. Basically, whatever was best for her was what she was going to do.

The last straw was the third time she went into my husband’s room and removed furniture that was suppose to be included in the room. When I texted her about it she said, “Sorry, I just wanted to paint my wicker.” When one of his roommates moved out she came to the room and asked for her table back. Apparently the host just gave him someone else’s table to use without asking the owner’s permission.

There was supposed to be an Apple TV box but it was password protected and could not be used. There was no cable, but she did provide wifi. When my husband moved out, the host refunded (in payments) $950. There is a balance due of $138.34 which she refused to repay, stating that she doesn’t rent rooms for partial months (it is a daily rental listed on Airbnb). I gave her ample time to refund the money amicably but she has refused and will not return my texts or calls. She doesn’t live in the property but she does have ‘circles’ with music and peace pipes, and weird religious stuff. She also has a library of books about goddesses and other religious media at her home. If this sounds like the place for you, feel free to rent it out.