Airbnb Host with Terrible Customer Service Skills

I stayed at the Crown Point Hotel Tobago (an Airbnb host had an apartment there) back in June 2017. My mother made a few local calls on the landline phone. I had an early check out the next morning. I spoke to the front desk staff the night before to find out what to do with the key. No mention was made of the calls; there was no billing set up. The front desk knew I had an early check out. I wasn’t even thinking about the calls. Months later, I see a nasty message from the host saying that I didn’t pay the phone bill and that the front desk clerk had to pay it. I didn’t intentionally not pay the bill. I was never billed and I wasn’t thinking about it. My contention is this: why didn’t the host just notify me privately? I would have paid the bill then and there. I think the host was being very low down and petty posting his comments on Airbnb as if I had no intentions of paying. I only happened to see the nasty message because I was going to rebook. Never again. Airbnb was difficult to reach to take down the nasty review.

Libelous Guest Feedback Forces Hosts to Reconsider Airbnb

I recently rented my two properties for a major event that usually attracts motor enthusiasts. I have never had any issue renting the properties until the last recent booking. As opposed to the usual group of guys booking, it was a young couple with a young child. I did feel this was unusual for the event; however, I accepted the booking.

I did everything as per usual prior to arrival to ensure the house was in pristine condition. I also employed a new cleaning company to assist in the final cleaning and preparation. I actually witnessed the cleaners thoroughly clean the properties. We normally do not provide full linens at the property as in summer we receive many back-to-back bookings which makes it problematic to change the linens when there is sometimes only a 3-4 hour turnaround between bookings. However, as the guests were travelling we made an exception and provided the full linens free. We also sent the guests a welcome pack via email before arrival which detailed the operations of the house, local attractions, maps, and advice on how to maximise their stay.

There was some communication prior to the guests’ arrival but nothing during or after the stay, despite providing my phone number in the event of any issue. After their stay I sent a few messages to which they did not respond – until finally the guest replied. At that time as I lived two hours from the property, I had not yet inspected the house. The guest made some very odd references to the lack of cleaning – which was just not accurate – as the property had been thoroughly cleaned – by us and the cleaners – up until the day prior to their arrival.

She made particular references to a bathroom – toilet and shower recess – which we knew was incorrect and a complete fabrication. She also suggested she would send photos – which never transpired, leaving us to believe that this was some kind of veiled threat to in some way gain a refund. When I inspected the property, I found that she had dumped all of the towels we provided on the wet floor of a second shower recess – for what purpose, I have no idea, as we provide a laundry basket and by the time I inspected the property some of the new towels were ruined.

I reported this to Airbnb and sent a photo of what I found. Over a period of a few days, my case appeared to be handed from one operator to another. This was prior to any feedback being posted form the guest. Essentially I smelt a rat and felt the guest had fabricated issues regarding the cleanliness of the house to negate her own disgusting behaviour of dumping wet towels on the floor of a shower recess. I could predict what was to come and suggested to Airbnb that they review the feedback. We anticipated fabricated references to cleaning.

However, Airbnb would not do anything. The feedback was posted. We received two stars for cleanliness, which dropped our rating from a 5 to 4. Her comments were also quite distressing. We are now considering removing our house from Airbnb as there appears to be no recourse when a guest posts negative feedback which is untrue yet damages a hosts rating and reputation. I have sent additional messages to Airbnb since the feedback, but have not received any reply. We have supporting testimonial from our cleaners who are also really angry by the comments made after they had cleaned what they believed was already a fairly clean and well maintained house beforehand. Does anyone have any advice how I can address this situation?

No help or support for guests when faced with a terrible host

I need to share my extremely disappointing experience with Airbnb. I’ve just returned from a trip to the USA, where I had a great time, except for my Airbnb experiences. Firstly, I had booked my accommodation very early, but two months before my trip I tried to modify my LA reservation by one day. The host kept refusing my request but also ignoring my messages. This went on for days, where I couldn’t get in touch with him and had to contact Airbnb for support. In the end, the support person told me there was nothing they could do if he refused to modify my reservation.

Around the same time, my host for my accommodation in New York cancelled my reservation because he wanted to host someone else. Again, Airbnb was no help, as the guest can’t stop a host from cancelling a reservation. Sure, the host is penalized – but that just means money for Airbnb. As the guest, I’m left without accommodation.

During my stay in LA, my host (the one who refused me to modify my reservation), was messaging me privately, being very friendly, and offering help and tips. From this I felt like perhaps I misjudged him from the earlier interactions. After I checked out of the apartment he sent me a private messaging that said: “I just got to the apartment. Thank you for taking such good care of it. You have been a great guest! I have a few apartments in this area. I would like to offer you a discount the next time you are in town. You are welcome back anytime. Safe travels!”

I have used Airbnb for all my trips over the last few years, and every time I treat each property with care and respect. I make sure I clean up before I leave: taking out rubbish, washing up and putting everything away, making the bed, wiping down the kitchen, bathroom, etc. I can confidently say that every place I leave looks like it hasn’t been touched. I left a review for the host in LA that was very honest; I mentioned that I encountered some issues leading up to stay with trying to modify the reservation, but also pointed out all the positive aspects of the actual stay and complemented on the apartment and the host. I believe in leaving a true reflection of my experience.

However, I then received a review from the host that said: “She was an okay guest. I did my best to accommodate all of her requests and questions. She requested a reservation change after having booked the apartment for a bit that would have left me hanging. I couldn’t accept the request as it was not in keeping with our cancellation policy.”

I found this review extremely spiteful and deceptive. He was clearly lying and pretending to be nice to me in the private messages, while the whole time holding a grudge over me trying to modify the reservation. His review did not reflect how I am as a guest, and made it sound like I had made a lot of unreasonable requests. Trying to ask for a modification to a reservation with two months’ notice is not unreasonable. Plans change, and I only wanted to modify it by one day; how can that possibly be “leaving him hanging”?

I still accepted the fact that he wouldn’t let me change my reservation and stayed at the apartment with no further requests. I never met him during my entire stay. I checked in and checked out myself. His review made it sound as if he went of his way to help me. I’m very angry at how mean spirited and deceptive someone can be.

What’s even more disappointing is Airbnb allowing this type of host to get away with it. I contacted Airbnb again, explaining my disappointment in the whole experience. The only help I got was links to the Airbnb policies – there’s nothing Airbnb can do for me, as there is a non-interference policy on reviews. Policies are all well and good, but where is basic human decency?

I know no matter how much I try to get my point across, I’m only going to hear about more “policies”. I’ve spent too much time emailing Airbnb’s support team. I may not get a satisfying resolution, but l will share how utterly disappointing and frustrating this whole ordeal has been. Airbnb has major flaws in their policies that doesn’t offer enough support and help for guests.

Destructive Review From Host, Only One After 19 Stays

During our six years as Airbnb guests, amounting to 19 stays in various parts of the world, I’ve very rarely felt uneasy enough to photograph the place before and after. This was especially true with this apartment because it all seemed ideal for us – terrible mistake. This Airbnb accommodation was just as described by the host and many glowing reviews: a comfortable, self-contained basement apartment with a well-equipped kitchen. My wife and I booked the apartment for two months because it was one of very few Airbnb offerings in Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada. Also, most fortunately, it was just a few doors away from our family, who we were in Black Diamond to visit. This unusually good combination of positive features caused us to ask the host if it would be possible for us to book the apartment for future visits and she responded favourably.

We had two great months there, though there was one problem. In the bedroom there was an infestation of bed bugs. Because the accommodation was otherwise so good and because it was our intention to return to this apartment in future years I thought it would be best to report the infestation to the host quietly and privately, rather than making any public fuss about the matter. This seems to have caused her some embarrassment and subsequent antagonism, which I believe induced her to give my wife and I such a startlingly bad review following our stay, as in: “Pleasant people, however they left the suite absolutely filthy.”

As a couple we’ve been enjoying Airbnb’s services for over six years and in that time have stayed at 19 listed locations around the world. It’s mainly because of Airbnb that we have felt secure enough to set out on most of these adventures. We are quiet and responsible retirees who have always treated our hosts with respect and consideration. This has invariably caused us to clean our accommodation thoroughly and return it to the way we found it before leaving, regardless of any pre-charged cleaning fee made by the host. which can be seen from the consistently good reviews we’ve had, until this most recent one.

For Airbnb to leave this damning and untrue review in place will make my wife and I reluctant to book any further Airbnb stays. I have been hoping there is something constructive that Airbnb can do about this situation. Any helpful intervention from Airbnb is still lacking to date. My conclusion: always take detailed before and after photos.

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.