Airbnb not Helping this Host in the Least

I had a bad guest stay recently. Everything from broken tiles, burnt plastic on pans, stolen bathroom fixtures, the whole place smelt of weed… the worst was when they broke the hot tub by smashing in the inlet grate.

Airbnb refused to give me a claims advocate until I lodged a quote, but that wasn’t possible for five days until the hot tub repair person arrived to determine what the issue was and how much it would be. As soon as this happened I lodged the claim and got a claims advisor only to be told that as another guest had checked in, my claim was now invalid. What?

Countless emails and messages has only led to Airbnb becoming elusive and not calling me when they said they would. It feels like the DMV on steroids. As a host I just need help on this. I feel like I’m in some sort of a bad dream.

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Airbnb Founders Should be Ashamed of Themselves

Firstly I’d like to say Airbnb has falsely pushed up rental prices all over the world. This first came to light when I joined Airbnb as a host. I know the average rent in Hua Hin, Thailand. As soon as I joined as a host I was told I could get much more in rentals for my condo.

They’ve tried to push up rentals all over the world. People in Thailand are generally poor. A good monthly wage is seen as $400.

I took over management of my friend’s Airbnb account. I received a booking for 1500 Baht (about 40 USD) but I could not get a cleaner so I emailed the customer and asked if he minded if I canceled because of this issue. He understood and we agreed to cancel. I pressed cancel. I received a fine from Airbnb for 3121.08 Baht because I canceled. This is theft and breaking international contract law.

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Finished Dealing with Amateurs at Airbnb

Although I have never had a horror story with Airbnb as some people have, in the six or so years that I have been using it, this is what I have found:

90% of the time, there is some significant issue. Either it is in trying to find the place, or in trying to gain entry. Or the place is dilapidated or has many maintenance issues. I have found the reviews to be unreliable as well. In contrast, when I book a hotel, there are only significant issues around 10% of the time, plus the reviews are much more reliable.

In using Airbnb, I am relying on amateurs. The problem is that when a person travels, they are more vulnerable and insecure because they likely have no network of friends in the area. Traveling is generally stressful enough without unpleasant surprises. I find that in using Airbnb, I really save little money and its just not worth the hassle. In the future, I will be using hotels and other alternatives.

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Insensitive Attitude by Host and Airbnb to Corona

I have made bookings for my trip to Singapore through Airbnb. Considering the orange alert declared by the Singapore government and current health advisory situation, I requested Airbnb cancel my booking.

They have left me to the mercy of host. Obviously, the host is not interested in giving me a full refund as it is a loss to him. Instead, the host is suggesting me to roam around in Singapore with a mask on. That is their idea of a holiday – have more stress. The host is saying he won’t get a replacement guest if I cancel as if I am responsible or the situation is in my control.

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Sick of Airbnb Deleting Negative Reviews

Airbnb is so afraid of losing revenue that it is, as others have noted, deleting negative reviews. I stayed in an Airbnb in Atlanta that operated more as a rooming house and had a refrigerator full of old food that smelled so bad I would run in the kitchen to microwave coffee and then run back out.

In my review, I talked about the neighborhood (fine), the room (also fine), the other guests (fine), and the gross smell emanating from the kitchen (not fine). Then I learned that Airbnb took down the review because it didn’t meet their “Content Guidelines”.

Does it get any more absurd than that? The reason I had this awful experience is because Airbnb is censoring reviews that might have alerted me to the situation. They don’t care if you walk into filth. They just want to keep their numbers up. I’m really getting sick of dealing with this company.

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Rejected by a Host Because I’m from Taiwan?

Yesterday I asked a host in LA a few typical questions about housing conditions and parking, and I stated that I’m from Taiwan. The host, without asking further details, simply replied that she’s afraid of the coronavirus situation, and said she couldn’t help us. She rejected my request to book her place.

Now, of course, I’ve lost all interest in this host, but I feel very insulted that she assumed the virus situation in Taiwan (which is fairly safe at the moment) is the same in China (which is much worse). If the health inspectors at LAX let me through, why does she have the right to reject me just because I’m from Taiwan?

What’s more, my friend, who is Japanese and will be traveling with me to LA, also contacted the host and mentioned she was from Japan. Strangely, she was accepted. I’m not sure what’s on the host’s mind here. Either she can’t tell the difference between China and Taiwan or she is hostile toward Taiwanese guests.

Since I can’t book this place so I cannot leave a negative review for this host. I want others to know exactly who the host is and be aware of my encounter. I want people to be aware that there is more and more discrimination on Airbnb based on guests’ background due to fear of the coronavirus. I highly recommend others who are considering  staying at this place to look elsewhere.

Who knows? Maybe as the virus situation gets worse, she will cancel your reservation out of fear, especially those guests from Taiwan.

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Don’t Trust Airbnb Reviews – Delete Bad Ones

I will file a lawsuit against Airbnb in two months, as soon as my upcoming non-refundable reservations end. I will also make a website called Airbnb Scams, Airbnb Lies and more domain names like this. I will explain all the scams, lies, misleading information, and Airbnb actions on my website in depth.

I had stayed at 28 Airbnbs in 17 months. I did hours of research to find a decent place in order to not to get screwed by Airbnb hosts. There are very few hosts honest enough in Airbnb listings, and Airbnb already knows all these scams because I have been telling them repeatedly for the last 17 months. Yet Airbnb does nothing to fix all these scams. Of course, if they remove all the scam listing, Airbnb cannot make any money.

1. You do not know where will you stay until you book and pay. If you are not familiar with the area , you will end up very dangerous place because even with 30 bad review, and a 2.6 review score there are lots of listings that still exist on Airbnb. Airbnb does not care if you are safe. They want your money.

2, Even though there are no bad reviews, it does not mean that the place is perfect because Airbnb deletes bad reviews reviews on some listings to do the host a sweet favor, just like an Airbnb case manager deleted my bad review about a host lying about me that I left his place dirty. I have recordings that show totally the opposite, and I am suing them in March.

3. Shows “kitchen” on the listing. Yet one mini fridge, one microwave and a coffee maker is not a kitchen.

4. Shows “gym” on the listing, and the gym is in the other building and belongs to some other company, or apartment. I even saw a gym listed but it was in the park.

5. Non-refundable bookings.

6. “Do not say you are with Airbnb; just say you are friend”. Most of the Airbnb hosts ask me or even say in their listing that I should tell anyone if asked that I am not an Airbnb guest. I should lie, saying I am their friend or relative. So, you are charging me $150/night and I have to lie for you? Then charge me $30 a night if you just want to scam your building staff, your neighbors, and the tax department?

7. No refunds if you stay there one night or two and find out the host lied to you about something. Airbnb may refund you the rest of the stay if you move out, but you still must pay the nights you were there just because a host lied to you.

8. Sometimes other very loud Airbnb guests will keep you up all night. There is nothing you can do.

I will write all my experiences when I make my website. One host said there was a gym, and I found out there was never a gym. In his words, Days Inn was letting them use their gym but not anymore. Surprisingly, the host found out the very same day I checked in that Days Inn did not let his Airbnb guests use the gym. Really? What a coincidence! I told Airbnb, and only got a partial refund. I lost $357 for one night, Uber payments, groceries, and wasted time and money.

28 places I have stayed, in three states and two countries. So many lies, scams, misleading information, and more. My only reason was the kitchen because I like to cook. Dirty utensils, lack of cooking materials, tiny fridges, more and more. They charge $50 – $250 cleaning fees, and yet I have to clean most of the places I have stayed.

As I said in the beginning, there are very few honest hosts. If you not spend many hours reading each listing word by word, you are screwed. There are so many hidden fees, such as for a jacuzzi, or two-bedroom apartment but the $38 price tag is for only one person, the second person is $16 extra per night, extra deposits and cash deposits. There are resort fees, this and that, and on top of all this, Airbnb charges almost $13% -15% and yet offers no real help if the host does not agree to anything.

Airbnb only helps if the host is willing to help. Otherwise you are screwed. No more Airbnb for me. I will continue to stay at hotels.

Airbnb Cancelled my LA Accommodation with no Warning

I have been planning a road trip around the US from Australia for several months now. There are five of us going: myself, my sister, my brother, and two friends who are a couple. Between us we are aged 27 to 43, one of us is pregnant, and we’re all nerdy. Hardly party people, right?

Due to the fact there are five adults needing four beds and we’re driving so we have a car, Airbnb is the cheapest and most convenient way for us to book accommodation. We booked all of our accommodation months in advance.

Last week, with no warning, I got an email from Airbnb stating our accommodation in LA had been cancelled. There was no explanation, no apology, just that it had been cancelled and I would get a refund. I messaged the host asking why he cancelled, and in the meantime searched for a new house.

What did I find? The house I’d booked, back online and available for the dates I had booked, but at an increase in price. Furious, I emailed Airbnb Support. According to their guidelines, if a host cancels the reservation “you won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of a cancelled reservation”.

The host responds and assures me he has not cancelled the booking, but Airbnb has instead. Nowhere in my short email and text from Airbnb alerting me to this cancellation is it clear that Airbnb has made this cancellation. The host says it’s due to new laws in LA.

I Googled these “new laws” and found one news article saying Airbnb has cancelled a number of reservations in LA due to complaints of these houses being “party houses”, after a mass shooting at one in October last year. I sent Airbnb a follow up. The host has said that Airbnb is usually pretty good at assisting guests with rebooking after cancellations. This was not something they had offered to help with for me.

I finally get a response from Airbnb Support. They stated: “When we checked the host account, the reason why they cancelled the reservation is due to the new law in California regarding renting the place. Almost all the reservations were cancelled. Their local government is requiring them to do some stuff before hosting. Until the host settle this with their local government, that’s when they will start hosting again.”

I responded, asking why the house in question was still listed as available on Airbnb if the host has to “do some stuff” before being allowed to host again. I also requested advice on how to rebook in LA if this is a blanket law. Airbnb responded saying they do not have control if the reservation is cancelled by the host, which is why there are cancellation penalties in place.

Obviously the people at Airbnb were struggling to read English. This is not the case. Airbnb cancelled my reservation, not the host. I requested clarification, Airbnb responded with yet another weak excuse, blaming the host. I responded expressing my disappointment, asking why they hadn’t addressed my concerns or been able to give me an apology. They didn’t respond.

I’ve been sending them a message everyday, reminding them that I don’t believe my matter is resolved, and requesting to speak to a manager. I’m hesitant to rebook in LA, if the same thing is likely to happen (they won’t address this concern at all) and don’t want to risk my booking being cancelled too close to the trip, as LA is our first stop. Honestly, this has put me off using Airbnb because clearly customer service is not a priority for them. Does anyone know how you make a formal complaint against them?

Complain to Airbnb about Your Privacy

I wanted to share that I emailed Aisling Hassell using her email (aisling.hassell@airbnb.com) to complain about Airbnb’s new policy of requiring guests to upload a photo of their government ID. I got a response from response@airbnb.com:

Hi [Name], a wonderful day to you! This is a community education specialist and I would be glad to assist you today. I understand that this situation is difficult, but let’s try to find a solution. I’ll make sure to exhaust all resources I have to resolve your concern.

The identification info you provide to Airbnb is governed by our Privacy Policy and transmitted using secure encryption, the same process that websites use to transmit credit card numbers. When we receive information from your driver’s license, passport, or national identity card, we store the number in an encrypted form, so you should only have to confirm your identity once.

Only authorized Airbnb employees are allowed access to your original documentation for troubleshooting or internal purposes. Our third-party databases store information according to our written instructions. If allowed under the laws of the jurisdiction where you reside, you may request that Airbnb not process your personal information for certain specific purposes (including profiling) where such processing is based on legitimate interest.

If you object to such processing, Airbnb will no longer process your personal information for these purposes unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for such processing, or such processing is required for the establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims. You may exercise your rights to object just tell us.

Other Airbnb users who are concerned about their privacy could try emailing Aisling or just response@airbnb.com and then requesting to exercise their right to object to data collection. The Airbnb privacy policy also directs users to opt-out@airbnb.com.