How can I even begin to describe the absolutely horrible experience my two friends and I had dealing with our Airbnb host? Nothing short of a nightmare.
None of us had ever been to Miami Beach and were so excited to spend our spring break there (April 10th-16th). In the beginning, prior to arriving to Miami, the host was super responsive, seemingly charming and very accommodating. Everything was awesome.
I was told closer to the date that we would be checking in with a man, which was strange because most people I know who booked through Airbnb had lock boxes or codes on the door. However, I assumed he was simply the landlord of the building or something.
They were nice enough to let us check in earlier than expected, since we took a red-eye to Miami and came in at about 3:00 AM. Check-in, which was initially 3:00 PM, was moved up to around 11:00 AM. Great.
The man and his wife, who joined him to let us into the building, were nice enough. I had to sign a lease agreement which I also found odd, since I never had to do anything like that when renting a hotel room. The apartment looked so cute on a preliminary scan, and my friends and I were absolutely enamored.
He and his wife left us with the keys and we were ready to get settled. I ventured into the bathroom to shower so I went through the drawers that were under the sink to find a washcloth and towel. I realized that there were only a couple of washcloths, but there were three of us signed up to rent the place. I assumed maybe there were more in the closet so I took one.
Afterwards, I went to hang up my towel and the towel bar just collapsed. There was no extra pulling on it, not anything. I simply laid my towel on it and boom. The anchor holding it to the wall slid right on out. That being said, it was obviously broken before (this information was later confirmed by him). We also discovered that there were, in fact, only two washcloths.
Before heading to the beach, the left corner of the bed was lightly sat on. It completely gave away and caved in. Luckily there were no injuries, but we were left wondering: where is everyone going to sleep now? I immediately messaged the host to let her know what happened, as well as texted him. No response. We wound up having to put something under the mattress to prop it up for our very first night in this place.
The next day: still no response. I was wondering what happened to my oh-so-hospitable host, seeing as she had always been so responsive prior to my stay. Finally I sent another message and she told me to just call him, but he didn’t answer the phone. I messaged her yet again after he didn’t respond and she contacted him. He showed up unannounced at almost 10:00 PM to give the bed a temporary fix. Then he also promised to bring more towels and washcloths. I never saw him again for the rest of the trip, so we had to continue to use dirty towels and washcloths for the duration of our stay.
One of my friends noticed water pooling behind the toilet, which I thought was maybe from the shower. It turned out, according to him, the toilet had a leak.
On the second night of our stay, since we rotated who would use the couch and the bed, one friend slept on the couch. The next day she woke up with a ton of red bites on her body, which appeared to be bedbug bites. At this point I was completely through with the place. She still currently has the bites and they still itch.
That evening, we all went out. Upon our return we attempted to unlock the door. We had done it quite a few times already so everyone knew which keys went where. The lock wouldn’t budge. We stood outside for a solid ten minutes trying to jimmy the key around until finally one of us was able to get the lock to give. It was then that we realized the top lock was actually broken, which is definitely a safety hazard. There was even a note on it that said not to touch it.
The fourth day we went to turn on the TV In the bedroom. It didn’t work. I am not sure if it ever did, but I know it was advertised and was one of the selling points for me, so I was very disappointed.
My friend went to use the hair dryer, plugged it in, and it made this loud grating noise as if something was stuck in it. Mind you, this was the first time we even realized there was a hair dryer. After the initial plug in, it was never touched again. I submitted a complaint, and the host was contacted about it.
The host was basically yelling at me via my inbox for doing that and was accusing my friends and I of the damage that was clearly pre-existing. I very calmly let her know about each and every problem that had occurred since the bed broke and she basically accused me of being a liar, especially about the bedbug bites. After getting completely snippy with me, she wrote me an awful review and attempted to accuse my friends and I of causing the damages that were clearly pre-existing and tried to charge us for the damages.
I submitted this same review and Airbnb took it down because it “violated community policy”. Although they dismissed the charges, none of my complaints were really addressed. Not that I expected any sort of money in return, but I did not expect to not be assisted at all.
To conclude, this host is a scammer, peddling a mediocre experience disguised as a dream vacation, and Airbnb is the medium that allows for scammers like her to operate unregulated. I am absolutely disgusted.