Host Called Cops On Us But They Hate Her Too

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We rented an Airbnb called the “streamside forest peaceful” in Salida, Colorado from a host for $1,900 for five nights. Even with some bad reviews about her being nasty, spying on people, not refunding damage deposits, and a mouse problem, we were desperate so I reluctantly booked it.

After I booked it she sent a lengthy contract with crazy details. Others had complained about this as well. I have never seen a contract sent after the booking. Anyways, we got to the tiny trail of a road behind a cow gate and it looked sketchy. The contract said a 4×4 was recommended but that she maintains the drive. In 19 years of going to Colorado we have never taken a 4×4. Two years ago we had five feet of snow that week and still only used front wheel drive. We were in a front wheel drive Buick Enclave.

We started up the slight incline and it was sheer ice and clumped up snow that hadn’t been cared for at all. I have attached a picture. The car immediately started spinning out and turning sideways in the road. My husband had everyone get out thinking that may help. The kids went in the house which was dangerous even walking to, and we continued to try to get the car to either go up or down. No luck. We got a shovel and that was a joke.

After pushing and accelerating, it backed up a bit but then got stuck again. At that point we called the host. She offered no solution and told my husband the contract said we should have 4×4 and she was not responsible for his inability to drive. What a joke. He was a police officer and drove in every condition as well as driving every year to Colorado with no problems.

My husband told the host we needed to call a tow truck. She offered no assistance and he said we needed to cancel because we couldn’t get to her house. Even if we got towed to the drive, we would be stuck all week. She then hung up on him. I called her back and she didn’t answer.

I cancelled the reservation even though it was obviously past the refund date, thinking Airbnb would consider it extenuating circumstances and we would still get a refund. Then she messaged me and told me to leave the property or she would call the police. We left having no place to go, exhausted from driving 13 hours. It took all of us pushing the car to get it back to the end of the trail to the cow gate.

We were parked on the side of the road when the police came up to talk to us about the “trespassing report.” The policeman said: “Oh, we know her! She is always calling the police about stuff. Her neighbors hate her and we can’t stand her.”

We had a good laugh about what a miserable person she is and they went on their way. After that I messaged three other hosts looking for a new place to see if we would have the same driveway problem and all three said they maintain the property and it was all clear, like it should be. We rented a new place from VRBO. The host was so gracious and the road and drive completely clear.

Now the fight with Airbnb started. They completely leave it up to the host whether they refund you or not. Do you think she would refund us? — she got to keep every dime. I’m sorry the host is such a greedy miserable person that wouldn’t refund a family on vacation.

Real Airbnb Hell with Snowstorm Approaching

We’re having an unacceptable Airbnb day today. Let me explain what happened. We were not happy with the room at our first reservation, as it was so small that there was no place for our luggage. We have taken pictures of the room (and the rest of the house); the pictures in the listing are not false advertisement but not fair either. There’s no full disclosure of this.

We called customer service at 5:00 PM, after a long trip, to know our options. We spoke to a case manager who did his best. We were told we would get called within the hour but they were “experiencing system issues”. It eventually took hours to find a solution. The first hour we waited at a restaurant and customer service was kind enough to offer a $25 coupon for our dinner.

When it closed, we waited outside. It was freezing in NYC at that time. It was impossible to reach them because the system was down. We eventually went back to the flat, where our stuff was, and called again. In the meantime, the host told us he didn’t feel comfortable having us in the flat and that we should get the refund on his terms and find another solution, like going to a hotel. The situation started escalating.

Three hours after our first call, we received a call back. His best solution was to rebook us but by the time he called us back all the listings that we had looked at and throughly read were already gone. We looked at some other listings together and found a listing that was online. This was already between 8:00 and 9:00 PM and we had no luck booking it. As the situation at the host’s place escalated and we were tired and stressed, we just wanted to get out of there and as customer service found a listing in a different neighbourhood, we had no better choice but to take it.

Customer service sent us a coupon for that listing and we had to add 4 euros and take an Uber to the next place because there was no public transportation at that late hour. As we were not able to thoroughly read the listing because of the said conditions, we asked if it was okay to book the next place just for one night – a reasonable thing to ask after the earlier experience – and Airbnb said that we had to book all three nights. We had no choice and we were happy to get out of a situation where we felt compromised and unsafe.

We got to the place where we are now at 10:30 PM, 5.5 hours after placing the first call. This is a different neighbourhood than the one we wanted, and it seemed sketchy. The house is run down and we found out that this listing is a dorm type of situation with seven rooms rented out and who knows how many people; this was not stated in the listing. So many people are coming and going, the shared rooms including the kitchen and bathrooms are busy and it’s noisy. It’s a hostel here, not an Airbnb. Also the window is broken and wind is coming in with a snow storm coming tonight. We took pictures of it.

We feel like the solution we got was worse than the original problem. We were pushed to take just any solution. We are very upset with the way this was handled. Airbnb could have at least provided us with a hotel room, instead of making this situation worse. We don’t want to stay here and we also don’t want another bad situation with the host just like what happened earlier today. We have been using Airbnb for six years now and this has never happened to us. This is really bad. We feel very upset.

It is almost midnight and we are still chatting with Airbnb customer service, who is still trying to find a solution. The host is asleep of course, but the guests are still running around in this “hostel”. It’s been seven hours and our nerves are wrecked. This is not fair. Tomorrow the weather conditions are going to be terrible, with a snow storm. A comfortable and safe environment is essential. This is what we expect Airbnb to provide, especially after all we’ve been through.

Using Airbnb on Disability when the Weather is Dangerous

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I am recognised as disabled with severe impairments and high PTSD and high vulnerability. Here is a picture of my highest Disability Living Allowance awarded in 2007 because I am deemed vulnerable and unsafe and need support. I have fought and become as independent as possible as most care and support is abusive and disgusting physically abusive, sexual abusive, or financially abusive. I use this allowance to be independent, free, and as active as possible.

I am actually travelling because I feel unsafe at home due to disability hate and threats. I’m looking for better future accommodation in Scotland using my disability benefits to do it. Social and support services are hopeless. “Disabled people are not human being but animals – it does not matter what anybody does to us.” That is from the professionals. I am independent and manage myself. I am active in the disability movement and an active blogger. I also campaign regarding disabilities, austerity, and the effects of cutting funds and services. I am also an active blogger and defender when it comes to abuse and discrimination.

I have travelled to Scotland using my DLA and highest Disability Premium Rate to work closely actively with others to move here. I feel very unsafe where I am in the southeast of England; councils and police are ineffective and disability abuse and targeting is high. I chronicle and write about disability abuse and inequalities. I get in a lot of trouble and ruffle a lot of feathers.

I paid for an Airbnb for last five days with a host in Glasgow, opposite Alexandra Park, which my little dog enjoyed immensely. I paid upfront for next stay, a full two weeks near Gretna Green, a remote dog and horse holiday place. The snow came down, and it got worse. Travel was impossible, and not only could I not get there but future hosts said they were not snowed in and could not come out themselves for next few days at least.

The host where I stayed wanted me to leave in the thick snow and blizzards. I did not have anywhere to go and was then short of funds. I begged to stay and even sleep on floor. She wanted me to leave and also got her boyfriend to approach me and insist. They offered to order me a taxi to get me out.

There had been no problems. I had been a perfect guest. I questioned the cruelty and unsafety of kicking me out and emphasised my disability and vulnerability. This seemed to fall on deaf ears. They went out to get more friends to come back later. I contacted Airbnb. It took ages for a response. By now people were being advised to stay at home; travel services were cancelled and weather was on high red alert and would be for at least two days. There was nowhere to move on to and no more money.

I argued and Airbnb agreed to refund my last payment as I could not get anywhere otherwise: nearly £300 and an extra £75 on top so I could immediately find somewhere else. I insisted and they assured me it would be in my account immediately. This communication, threat, and fear had now taken eight hours. When their email alerted me to payments refunded it said clearly it still could take up to 15 days for the funds to transfer and clear.

This means I have no accommodation. I have no money. I am under threat and pressure to leave, and there is only the streets and homelessness as a severe disabled woman with cognitive impairment, experience of a series of strokes and gross PTSD due to attacks and sexual assault faced with the prospect of being put in even greater danger.

I have contacted Airbnb again and warned and informed them of the consequences. I informed them of their duty of care They have so far not gotten back to me and I am alone in a cold flat where I am not wanted, waiting for hostess to come back with companions to pressure me. The only prospect is the streets and the cold. So far Airbnb has not gotten back to me.

This is where I am now. As I write this, I feel this is very important as Airbnb likes to promote itself as a trendy, aware, dedicated to equality, cheap accommodation service for those on little money and travelling cheaply. Yet now I am in a very distressing and precarious position. I wanted this dreadful state of affairs to be known as important for the health and safety of other vulnerable lone disabled women.

I have been active in addressing abuse and like many when I suffer discrimination and potential harm I can only write about it. Thank you for listening I am going to have another cup of tea and try and sleep on the floor until the hostess comes back and maybe I am out on streets. This is disgusting. I am an active writer, campaigner, and blogger on disability rights. Hate and failure of services and businesses accommodation of any kind is a nightmare. It’s more about intimidation and abuse than safety and having a home.

Driven from Airbnb Horror on a Snowy Christmas Morning

On a snowy Christmas morning in the Rockies everyone was staying in a poorly maintained house we rented due to a malfunctioning alarm system that flashed lights without stopping on the first floor of the house after beeping without interruption for several hours Christmas Eve afternoon (a missing sensor on an exterior door would not allow us to turn off the system). Adding to this awful situation we were told we could not adjust the heat in the house, as it was remotely controlled by the owner in Boston. Cabinet doors were torn off of the cabinets. The house was very sparsely furnished and in very poor repair. A king bed was not properly put together; nails were used instead of screws and in the middle of all the chaos it broke and the mattress fell to the floor. There was a large stinking pile of garbage in the kitchen. The house had two doors to the outside, and two were broken and unusable. We had complained about all this to the property manager who said she contacted the owner. This turned out to be a lie. She was unresponsive and lied when she did respond. Faced with this charming situation, we packed and departed the house about 6:30 AM on Christmas morning in a snowstorm. The owner in Boston responded with a blanket denial of all issues. We are in the process of a well documented dispute with Airbnb.

Left Out in the Cold After Instant Booking Fails

In 2017, I was touring Europe with my bicycle. I camped most of the time, but it was quite cold and rainy during a week in September. I decided to stay with Airbnb. The first night went quite well, so I made another booking the next morning. It was 60 km away, in a small village in Germany. Instant Book was enabled, so I immediately got a confirmation.

I set off and reached the address around 5:00 PM. When I rang the bell, there was no response. I messaged the host. After approximately an hour, the booking was canceled, without any explanation. It was cold and getting dark fast, so I headed to the nearest hotel. It was only five kilometers, but with the rain and the mud, it took me another hour to get there. At 75 euro, it was much more expensive than some of the other hotels I could have stayed with. Later Airbnb messaged me, saying the host enabled Instant Book without realizing the implications. They kind of blamed me for choosing a host with little experience and did not offer to pay part of the hotel bill. They have much more data on the host than me. They should not allow inexperienced hosts to enable instant booking.

Airbnb Host Slammed Door in my Face, No Help Offered

My host “cancelled” by saying something about not speaking English in German and then slamming the door in my face. When I arrived late after walking for over an hour, I could see the lit-up house. I knocked and shouted hello, but the host refused to open the door. I set up my tent in their front yard in subzero temperatures. In the morning they came out to tell me I couldn’t camp on their yard. I tried to say that I paid for the entire house already, but they basically said something in German about not speaking English, then they just slammed the door in my face. For hours upon hours I tried to reach Airbnb to get my service fee refunded. I am also completely screwed by having my vacation ruined since the dates and locations were planned according to my reservation. I still had to attend a conference in the area, but with no place to stay.

Now I am homeless, in a half-broken tent in sub-zero temperatures because Airbnb took five days to refund my money. The service fee and currency conversion fee will probably never be paid back and I have tried many many times to file claims with all kinds of subjects in the header, including “EMERGENCY”. Five days after filing a claim (which took hours – it is close to impossible to email, chat or get in contact with a human being) I was contacted by an agent. He offered no help at all, apart from booking a new place for my two remaining days (unclear if this would be free of charge). However, I had already made arrangements at that point, and couldn’t risk having to pay for those two days either way. All in all, there was no help, no compensation offered, and the host is still up for business. Airbnb cares more about making cents on the dollar than people running the risk of losing fingers in the cold. Airbnb may be cheap and lucrative, but do you want to risk freezing to death? If there is any problem, what will you do? It is impossible to get in contact with a human being. The only support available (as far as I could tell) is totally worthless enough it makes me wonder if people created it as a bad joke to those stranded.

Biggest Storm of the Decade not a Valid Excuse

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My wife booked a house for out winter vacations in Lake Tahoe. The check-in time was at 3:00 PM. Around 1:00 PM an avalanche blocked the highway. We were 40 minutes away from the house and ready to go. However, we were asked to wait until the road would be accessible so we waited. The officers told us they would clean it up in a few hours but it kept raining and snowing; it was the biggest storm in the past decade. We had to drive back that night because there were no hotels available. I checked the news the next morning and the storm was even bigger; the road was blocked for two days, so the only way to get to our Airbnb reservation was with a helicopter. Obviously, we didn’t have one. Our host refused to give us a refund. This is ridiculous; even hotels and other Airbnb properties refunded others. This was an extreme situation and it wasn’t fair our vacation got ruined. We lost our money. There must be something bigger than a “partial refund” from Airbnb customer service.

Beware of Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy

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Airbnb is great as long as nothing goes wrong. But the whole process is too complex for nothing to go wrong. In our case we were not able to travel to our booking in Yosemite National Park because of a national weather service advisory about a winter storm which clearly mentioned “not to travel unless in a emergency”. When we contacted Airbnb they suggested that we need to first cancel the booking and then claim a refund under their extenuating circumstances policy. After we cancelled the booking we filed a claim. The entire customer service experience was horrible. First of all, Airbnb could only be reached by email, which was slow. It took almost three days for Airbnb to reach a conclusion: they will not refund a single penny. When I asked for an escalation, a blunt email arrived stating that this was their final decision and they would not entertain any further communication.