Irresponsible Host Causes Accident at Bali Villa

My family and I made plans to go to Bali and decided to book an Airbnb. We settled into this nice villa in Seminyak. We went there for a family getaway trip with my cousin’s family, just hoping to relax and enjoy the beauty of the villa and Bali. We arrived late at night around 10:00 PM, got settled, and was amazed how nice the villa was. It really was as described and how it looked in the pictures.

We went on a short trip shortly after to buy some food to eat in the villa. There were three other villas in the same area. To get to the villa where we were staying, you needed to walk for about 15 meters, and the path is paved with block paving. However, one of the blocks was not perfectly placed – part of it was bulging out. As it was late at night and there was minimal lighting to aid us, my brother tripped on it.

At first we thought that his thongs (flip flops) just broke. However, he said that he was in pain. Once I turned on my flashlight I started screaming. A lot of blood was pouring from his left foot. There were so much that I almost puked and had to look away. My family helped him right away and shouted for the villa’s security, asking if they had first aid kit. They didn’t.

However, security was nice and helped him to get into the car to be taken to nearest hospital. My brother ended up getting a tetanus injection and six stitches across his bottom toes. As a result, he was not able to walk properly nor could he enjoy the pool and beaches. Our holiday trip was really disturbed.

In addition to that, on the third day of our stay, the AC in the first room was broken, causing water leakage into the wardrobe. My cousin’s clothes were soaking wet. He had to buy new clothes afterwards as there were no more clean and dry clothes left.

What made us so unsatisfied with the place was that the owner did not take any responsibility for my brother’s incident. The fault was clearly on them as they were not able provide a safe place for us to walk. The paving block was easily fixed right away after my brother’s accident. They were just too lazy to do so, as they said that they needed to open it again. If that was the reason, they should have put a sign or plant around it so that people could avoid it.

We were not able to contact the owners right away as they were based overseas. We had to deal this matter through their employees, who said that the owner would not take any responsibility and that we should just claim it on our own insurance. We travelled domestic and our airline did not provide travel insurance. I also requested reimbursement through Airbnb but the hosts said that the accident happened outside the villa. It happened next to the villa’s parking space and on the entry way to the villa. We really did not enjoy our stay here. Thank you for reading.

Host Cancellation Policy Not Worth Paper it is Written On

Just a warning for you hosts out there. Airbnb can refund 100% of the rate you have agreed upon with guests, and will not even inform you about it. The first you will know is when you receive a statement saying they have taken the money from your bank account, or deducted it from a future booking (which is what happened to us). It does not matter if you have a strict cancellation policy; Airbnb’s terms and conditions allow them to override this and “steal” (there really is no other word for it) your money and give it back to the guests, and not even inform you about it.

We had a booking in August – our peak period, and so we spent time, money and effort preparing our property for these guests, including purchasing food for their stay, paying for staff (our villas are serviced), and arranging cleaning, only for the guests not to turn up at all. As people fly to Bali, such a late cancellation left us no chance of finding other guests to take their place. When we contacted the guests, we found out that their grandmother had unfortunately died, and so they had decided not to travel.

While we had sympathy for the guests, we assumed that they had travel insurance (as we recommend for all guests) and so would claim on that, and so we offered to provide whatever paperwork they needed to do so. This is our business and our only source of income, and so we have a strict cancellation policy, as losing an entire week of income would be a big blow to us. We thought because of our cancellation policy that we were protected by Airbnb.

If guests contact us we normally work something out, and have in the past. For example, we have let guests stay later in the year for free. However, instead of claiming this on their insurance, the guests just went directly to Airbnb, and the next thing we knew, 100% of the amount paid had been taken from us. No warning or discussion from Airbnb. No discussion or message from the guests. We had had no argument or difficulties with the guests, just minimal conversation as we assumed they were busy with the funeral arrangements.

We are left here with all the costs of setting up the villa for the guests and yet zero income, and no ability to get other guests to stay or to recoup the income we had expected. We complained to Airbnb and they told us that when using Airbnb, we have to follow a policy called Extenuating Circumstances. In Airbnb’s view, their policy is evenhanded as it allows hosts to cancel at the last minute, as can guests for reasons outside of their control. However, if a host cancels due to some unforeseen emergency, then the money is repaid to the guests, and if the guests cancel due to some unforeseen emergency, then the money is also repaid to the guests. The host loses out in both cases.

Guests can also insure against unforeseen emergencies, but there is no such insurance to cover hosts for last minute cancellations leading to a significant drop in forecast income. With no discussion, notice, message or anything we were given zero opportunity to challenge or question this. Airbnb did not even check if the guests had travel insurance, and could have claimed that; they just quietly took the money without telling us. Not only is this policy grossly unfair to hosts, it is totally unethical to implement it without any discussion at all, and tells you that trusting Airbnb as a company is a very dangerous thing to do. A massive warning to Airbnb hosts: you are not who Airbnb cares about.

Dreamland Nightmare: No Amenities in Bali

Friends and I decided to go for a surf trip to Bali, Indonesia. We found a good looking place for a good price as we are students and don’t have a lot of money. On arrival in Bali we were told that the manager of the house would be waiting for us at the villa to open it. When we got to the villa there was someone different: not the host or the manager, some random person. He struggled with English and quickly left once we were in.

We soon realized that our beds had no bedding or linen. This was a bummer. We also realized that there were no towels so a shower after the long plane flight was a no go. The villa was dirty and falling apart. Shelves and cupboard doors were falling off their hinges. There was no kettle. The gas stove had no gas and to top it off, the wifi that was promised seemed nowhere to be found.

We contacted the host, and she was very responsive and apologetic. We asked for the linen, towels and wifi and she assured us it would be there tomorrow, as we arrived late in the night. We have been here for three days and nothing has changed. We have contacted the host countless times. Every time she reassures us that our needs will be met but we have yet to see anything happen from her part.

Halfway through our stay the manager arrived randomly one evening. He did not bring bedding or towels. He couldn’t speak a word of English so communicating with him was extremely difficult. His friend who accompanied him told us that they need to do renovations two days before we are supposed to check out. This was very weird and we were extremely confused. He then told us that he will move us to the house next door for the remainder of our stay.

This is ridiculous. It’s a complete joke. The host is extremely useless and is treating us terribly. Hopefully we can get a refund or something because no one should be treated this way. Thank god the waves are amazing because it’s the only thing keeping us happy.

Airbnb Hides Whenever There Are Problems – No Service At All!

In the middle of a trip through Indonesia I booked a stay in Bali. In the communication with the host we came to an agreement that it would be more convenient for both of us to stay somewhere else. That was no problem, and there were no bad feelings about it. I booked another stay for the same date. The problem I have now is that Airbnb already took the whole payment for the now-cancelled booking from my bank account. I tried to contact them on their dubious help center. There is no option in the pre-selected answers that fits my needs. After calling their telephone hotline I waited for 45 minutes without someone picking up the phone until my account was emptied. Now Airbnb is completely silent without any response. How can they charge two bookings for the same dates anyway? Do they think I split in half and stay at two places at the same time? This platform seems handy if everything goes smoothly. When there are problems, especially if the problem is caused by Airbnb itself, it is nearly impossible to get into contact with someone from Airbnb. This looks very strange to me when you consider the high sums they charge for their “service”. There is no service!

Christmas Disaster in Bali Thanks to Airbnb

I wanted to share my last Christmas experience so others can learn from it. I live in Singapore but am originally from France. This year we decided to bring our family from France to Bali to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. Ideally, we wanted to find a house for the family so I decided to use Airbnb. The initial experience was good, but issues started to arise when we tried to reach the house (a quite peaceful paradise in Kuta). It took us more than 45 minutes with a private guide to reach the house as most of the time the host was not reachable. The house was advertised as a quiet and peaceful paradise in the middle of the busiest street. The real issue came when we reached the house. Paint was peeling off the roof, the bed sheets were not cleaned, the kitchen full of rust, and last but not least, taking a shower was part of an experience in which you had to wait about half an hour to get sufficient water to wash your hair.

I was feeling so bad that I immediately called Airbnb and the owner. The owner just said he was sorry but the cancellation policy is clear; there would be no reimbursement (does not take into consideration any difference between the pictures and reality). I decided to call Airbnb, which is in itself a challenge. I ended up talking to a person who said that he would call back to help me to find an alternative place to stay and mediate with our host. After five days nobody called, so I had to manage to find a last-minute hotel for the whole family. Today I received a reply from Airbnb saying that they were sorry but there was noting that they could do.

So my conclusions are:

  1. If you have a crappy house, rent it on Airbnb with no reimbursement policy. If the guests are not happy, too bad for them. Airbnb will not do anything as they need the transaction to get their cut.
  2. Airbnb is a high risk solution to accommodation. You may have the chance to find an honest host with great properties but you could also end up in the garbage. In both cases, Airbnb is only there for the transaction and will not risk the lost of any rent. This essentially means renters are screwed.

Villa Bali Cliff Kuta South – Experience Review

I suggest anyone considering Airbnb in Bali be very careful with this property and the host. The villa had two living room doors per room which did not isolate us from the outside wild garden area. Two palm-sized spiders came through closed doors or the roof on our second night. Tropical spiders may be very poisoning and dangerous to your health. It was obviously not safe to sleep inside. A big frog came in too. After this, we started to study our living conditions more closely. We found red ants living in the antique furniture. There were big piles of chips attracting them, insect excrement on the mirror frame, and a spiderweb underneath the bed. Obviously there hadn’t been any major cleaning in a while.

The host was kind and nice but only before we started to talk about issues with the property. Both evenings that we were at the villa we smelled alcohol on his breath. When we started talking about issues, he promised to find a solution and asked us to wait, which at the end turned out to be a play for time. He simply waited until Airbnb transferred our payment to his account and stopped responding after that. We should have immediately called Airbnb, which I now suggest everyone do if they see a problem.

When we decided to leave early, our host offered us a 50% refund for remaining days but under the condition that we write a good review. Nice of him, isn’t it? He wrote this in the Airbnb app chat so we can share to confirm. I don’t know if you need to believe all the positive reviews of his villa. Our goal is to provide information and not to judge.

The following day after we discovered the spiders we moved to a hotel. Our host knew that problem with the doors exist, confirmed by his responses in our chat. You surely won’t see it in the pictures here but plaster comes loose from the celling in different areas. The good news is that we have house pictures and videos (sent to Airbnb too). We would be happy to share with readers too, to know what you pay for. To excuse himself, our host guessed in the app chat that we simply wanted a party area of Bali. We moved to Nusa Dua, which is similarly not a party area. Right now the question of reimbursement is still open and under the Airbnb team’s review. We hope that they can help. Sadly, we sense that we won’t even receive a full refund for the remaining days we were out of the villa. Hours of wasted holiday time. Please feel free to contact us via cyrilreview@gmail.com. Here is a link to more pictures.

Host Cancels – and I Lose the Fees!

This is a very simple story like most of those you read. My host cancelled at the very last minute (while I was at airport on my way to Bali). She told me she did not have the accommodations after all, and offered an alternative which was much less suitable. So I ask her to cancel, thinking (like all standard hotels) that if the provider cancels then naturally all fees will be refunded. Not so in this case. No matter what I did, Airbnb takes a cut from their guests. So a host can cancel under any circumstances and it costs the guest. This is not professional at all.

So, when it works, Airbnb is great. I have had some cool stays through the site, but this experience has just been gouging: taking money wherever you can, trying to navigate their website and so-called resolution process. It is circular and guarantees you either fall over from boredom or fatigue trying to recover small amounts (in my case $150), which is probably half the intent. I realize now: they are more about making money than “providing great experiences”. The brand presents wonderfully but there is a dark side. Hopefully more will realize this: every time they book they take a chance that a host will cancel at the last minute (tolerable) but Airbnb wont refund your guest fee (intolerable and dodgy). Imagine charging a guest anything when they didn’t initiate the change.

This has been a hard lesson but a good one. Bye bye Airbnb! Comfortable in cyberspace and outside international law!