Host didn’t answer the door when I arrived at midnight

I booked a ferry set to arrive at an island at about 8:00 PM. I noted this when booking my reservation. Two days before I was supposed to arrive, the host asked me to confirm my arrival time. I thought that my message went through, but apparently the wifi didn’t load and the message didn’t send. Regardless, the host didn’t ask for a follow up and I assumed that he knew and all was well (the listing noted that the check-in time was flexible).

My ferry ended up running three hours late. I let my host know as soon as I could… and then I realized that my initial message didn’t go through. There was no response from the host during the three-hour ferry ride. I got to the apartment at midnight, but no one was there. I had to show up at a random hostel to find a place to stay. It was not a great situation to be in as a young solo female traveler. My host said that he assumed I was no longer coming because I didn’t respond to the message. I asked the host if he could refund my stay. He hasn’t responded. Is there anything I can do about this or do I just have to cut my losses?

Host Never Showed up for Check-in and Phone was off

I am a Cypriot who traveled to Hungary with my family and wanted to make a complaint about an Airbnb case as they are failing to accept their responsibility regarding cancellation of a reservation and failure to deliver an apartment. This left me and my family – including my six-month-old daughter – on the streets without notice in the early hours.

We arrived in Hungary on September 4th at 11:55 PM and found out that host’s phone was off. They didn’t appear to give us the keys to the apartment we paid. We contacted Airbnb and they were wasting our time promising that they would resolve the issue and get back to us. They said that they found us room at two different hotels and sent us there to find that they never called the hotels and that there was no available room.

After complaining again at the call center and asking to be assigned a new case manager because our first one was lying and playing with us, we were assigned a new case manager. He only found us a room that we paid for at 10:30, spending all the night with a six-month-old kid on the streets calling the international center’s number and using mobile data over roaming. The reservation was done through their website for one day less now but we had to pay even more this time because the apartment that they suggested and was available was a higher price per night. I paid again with my credit card.

Initially they wanted to refund us just for 71 EUR which was the additional money (to return to my card after a few days) but after I asked for compensation they proposed giving me 200 USD maximum, including the 71 EUR. Airbnb wants to refund us for this (including the extra money we paid for a more expensive room through their website) with the ridiculous amount of 200 USD.

I explained to them that this was disrespectful and not acceptable as compensation. After this I asked to escalate the issue and was told that someone else took over our case; he is not responding. In the chat box it doesn’t show the name of the person to whom you are talking so I can’t know if the issue was really escalated or it’s just the same person who served me as case manager who is pretending to be the supervisor.

In similar cases when there is a flight cancellation the airlines compensate passengers up to 300 EUR while on this occasion we were not waiting in the lobby of a hotel or an airport lounge but on the streets, including my six-month-old daughter. We didn’t know where we could sterilize her bottles, charge our phones, etc. In addition we were played by this case manager and sent from hotel to hotel. He lied, said that he called the hotels, and said there was room available; when we arrived the receptionist told us nobody called and the hotels were full.

Terrible host was ready for us to check in at 11:08 PM

Our Airbnb host informed that he would be abroad during our booking dates but we did not need to be worried because he would have a friend who would come to give us a key and was in contact with the cleaner. When we got there, no one was around. We could not find his place following his directions. We had to text him so he gave us all the details and all the codes that he had not given to us. When we got in his place, it was dusty and dirty. There were even leftovers in the refrigerator. The check-out time on his profile was about noon and the check-in time was about 2:00 PM, giving him about two hours for cleaning.

He informed us that after the previous guest checked out, a cleaner had not come in to do the cleaning yet. He asked us to open the door for the cleaner at 3:00 PM. The cleaner spoke Russian; we did not. I texted him to send someone to stay with the cleaner so we could go out to do our travelling and come back when everything had done. He informed us that he had no one. Since there was nobody there, we had no choice but to become the cleaner’s supervisors.

When the bed sheets, pillow cases and blanket covers were done in the washing machine, I asked him for the dryer. He informed us that he had none so the cleaner hung them in the middle of the room to let them dry. They were soaking, with water dipping on the floor.

Time passed until 7:00 PM came around. Then the cleaner finished her work. The host informed us he wanted us to help him by paying the cleaner, and he would return the money to us later. We did not want to get involved, so we had to refuse. The cleaner looked at us with her sad eyes. It is one of the most terrible memories that we have to carry with us in our life.

It was about 7:30 PM. We informed him that we did not have clean and dry bed sheets, pillow cases and blanket covers to use for the night. I informed him that we cancelled the booking for his place and let him know that we would leave the room key at the same place that we got it. He asked for two more hours to solve the problem of the wet sheets.

When the two hours passed, we left the room. We did not get even one single contact from him between about 7:30 PM to about 9:30 PM. We looked for a hotel and checked in at about midnight. I found out later that at 11:08 PM, he texted us that there was clean and dry bedding in his place. He could provide us a proper place to sleep in at 11:08 PM, about nine hours after the about 2:00 PM informed check in time. He informed us that according to his cancellation period rules in his profile, we cancelled the booking on the check-in date, so we would get no refund.

The good, fair and prudent rules and regulations should not protect the one who did wrong. He made mistakes in his job as a host. He needs to take responsibility. While he was on his vacation abroad, we were suffering and being burdened during our vacation in Moscow because of him. We are contacting Airbnb and asking them to investigate the case for getting us a full refund.

Worst Travel Experience Keeps Money in Airbnb’s Pockets

Worst travel experience so far with Airbnb . My host canceled my booking in Tel Aviv, yesterday, two days before my flight there. I had to call up three different support agents to be able to find someone willing to help me with the issue. They told me they would call other hosts to see what they could offer me instead. Note that flats that are available two days before the actual check-in date are obviously flats that nobody wants. I did not hear anything about them calling any hosts or finding any solution or compensation.

Last night at 1:00 AM I decided to book a place on Airbnb as it was only one day before my flight there. The place was booked and confirmed. This morning I received a message from the host telling me that I could only check in on the 1st of May. I paid for 19 nights. I booked a flat that I would never get in a normal instance, 30 minutes away from the center of Tel Aviv and the host tells me that I can’t check in on the 25th.

I had to call up Airbnb again. They canceled that stay and they “accidentally” refunded me instead of keeping the funds on the account, which will take “5-10 days” to clear out. I now don’t have any place to stay in Tel Aviv, lost two days trying to get in touch with support, lost a 360€ flight, and don’t have access to my 2600€ that I paid for the 19-night stay.

Horrible Customer Service Leaves me Paying for Hotel

I bought concert tickets for my wife for Christmas to see Pink. I then booked an Airbnb for two nights with two bedrooms (because I snore) so we could each have a restful sleep. I arrived at 3:30 PM to check in and was unable to enter due to Airbnb not sending me the unlock code. I tried to call the host with no success. I then contacted Airbnb customer service and was told within the next hour I would get the code or they would set me up with a new place.

Two hours went by with no response. With the concert starting at 7:30, my wife had to change and get ready in a bar bathroom. Being on a budget, I brought enough food for the three days we were going to be there. After repeatedly trying to contact customer service, I finally got a hold of them at 8:30 (one hour after the concert started) and was told I would be staying in a hotel. I explained that we need one with a separate room and was told that they only work with certain hotels and I would be given $100 to find my own.

As you could imagine looking for a certain type of hotel at 8:30 PM with all the stress of the last five hours while the concert you came for is an hour old… was rough. I finally found one; I had to pay upfront and it was $400 a night. I could not leave my wife any longer at the concert by herself so I paid for it and went back in. I’m out the money for the hotel and three days of dining out.

The host contacted me around 11:30 but said he could not give me the house code because Airbnb cancelled my reservation. I tried to contact them the following morning, but nobody would take my complaint because it was assigned to someone else, and she would be calling me asap to correct the situation. I must have reached out 15 times the next week. I never received a phone call, but I did receive a message (seven days later) stating because I looked for my own hotel they would only cover one day at $100. I also had to keep changing the ice in the cooler so all the food I brought wouldn’t go bad. Their customer service is non existent. It’s not worth ruining your time like I did.

Hotels are Always Preferable to Unreasonable Hosts

After deliberating at length, I’m sharing my story and advice. I planned a trip to Paris, my favorite city, to celebrate my birthday. I carefully chose an Airbnb based on reviews and location, with price being my least concern (but still looking to minimize). My host notified me via email the morning of my departure that my check-in could be two hours earlier.

My transatlantic flight, which included a layover in London, touched down just after 14:00. After claiming my luggage, getting my bearings and securing train tickets, etc., I headed to the city. Combining these activities would warrant at least a two-hour window, even if I knew the exact location already, which I did not (though after eight previous visits I know Paris somewhat).

Once off the train I texted the host again, noting I was in a cafe for a break before heading over. It was 30 degrees F and sleeting outside, and I needed to consult my map and have a quick bathroom break, unsure of just how close/far I might be. The host rang my phone immediately and was very curt, saying I was late. I knew I had been expected at a certain time, and he had been waiting for 30 minutes.

I stated that based on weather, my fatigue and (obviously) his displeasure I was happy to seek hotel refuge and regroup, to start over the following day. I had paid for six nights. He said he would not be free any other day to meet with me and pass over the keys. Following this statement to me, as I made an effort to explain my situation, he hung up. I was shocked and dismayed, so I went to a hotel.

What transpired afterwards was just more and more of my precious vacation time texting, emailing and phoning with Airbnb. To sum this up as I see it now, a hotel (even a small privately owned one), would have been available based on the demands or shortfalls in my schedule, and would have recourse for a complaint, refund or even cancellation based on my customer experience, without requiring added time and energy.

I will use Airbnb again, but strictly within the US, where there is little or no language barrier added to the experience. I did receive a portion of my fees returned, but my hotel stay far outshined and surpassed what that apartment could have offered, for the same price. Lesson learned.

Avoid Hosts who Leave you out in the Cold

We arrived to be left on the doorstep for 45 minutes. It was damp, the gutter was dripping on us the whole time, someone was obviously in the room (they looked through the curtain of the room we had booked and paid for). We continued to knock until eventually I banged on the door saying that if the door was not answered I would be calling the police. By some miracle, the host came to the door and asked, “Why are you banging on my door?”

I asked, “Are you [host]?”

She said, “No, who are you?”

I explained that we had booked and paid for the room for six nights. She then said “You will get your money back. I am cancelling your booking.”

We had been travelling all day, starting early that morning from Spain (she knew this). There was someone in the room we had paid for (probably why the door wasn’t answered). This person, who resembled the picture on the site, was the host, proof of which was clear when she said she would cancel.

We are both getting on for 68 years of age, my husband wasn’t well, we both received extremely bad colds, mine resulting in bronchitis due to standing on the doorstep in the cold night air, getting wet. We had nowhere to sleep that night and ended up sleeping the first night in our hire car, as there wasn’t anything available in the vicinity. The rest of the time sleeping on the floor of our daughter-in-law’s. As we had paid over a month in advance, and this was obviously double booked without giving prior notice, I find this appalling behaviour.

What were we supposed to do? Just disappear into the sunset after paying for the privilege of standing on the doorstep for the better part of an hour knocking on the door? Avoid Airbnb like the plague.

Stalker Host Keeps up Messages for Weeks

I had a reservation for last week and had stated that I’d try to arrive at the host’s place by the 9:00 PM check-in deadline. I flew instead of driving, so I was on the property at 5:15 PM. I had to request the address several times, but could’ve been late because I was flying. The host was very rude when I called, saying that I wasn’t supposed to arrive until 9:00 PM… I never said that.

The property exterior was really junky: some cats on the porch that I was allergic to. Airbnb was awesome, though, when I had to cancel the reservation. I didn’t say terrible things or write any review; I just went to a hotel and called Airbnb. Now, a week later, I’m getting texts in the middle of the night from the host, ranting long paragraphs about what a terrible person I am. I had to call Airbnb to be sure that the host didn’t get a copy of my driver’s license. I’m happy to know that hosts do not receive that information, because she is still sending the messages today.

The Pros and Cons of Using Airbnb in Other Countries

Airbnb may have started in San Francisco to fill the needs of visiting business travelers as guests and vacationing homeowners as hosts, but obviously it’s become something much, much more… and not all good. Plenty of guests swear by the platform for all their vacations, domestic and international, but if something should go wrong, where would that leave them? Here are some of the factors to consider when you book an Airbnb in another country.

Pros:
– Even if you’re renting an entire house or apartment, an Airbnb is a window into another culture abroad: how homes are decorated, what foods people eat, how they cook, where they live.
– You can have that “at home” feeling instead of the sterile cookie-cutter environment of a hotel room or a crowded hostel.
– Airbnb properties can be cheaper than hotels, and don’t always conform to peak season prices.

Cons:
– Checking in and meeting the host is difficult if you don’t plan ahead by getting a local SIM card or arranging a place to meet.
– Your host may not speak your language. Though this isn’t always a problem if the Airbnb is pristine and in working order, if something goes wrong, you’re going to have a hard time explaining it.
– Should there be a major problem with the property or the host, it’s a little daunting to just walk out the door into a foreign country without a backup plan.
– It’s harder to report a scam or fake listing for some of the reasons above. Airbnb scams in NYC have been so successful with international guests because they’re unfamiliar with the area, may not be able to stay in touch with Airbnb – calling online instead of by phone – and can’t always arrange replacement accommodation on short notice.
– Though there are plenty of Airbnb properties near tourist attractions and accessible by public transportation, these are people’s homes; they’re scattered across the countryside, suburbia, and the city and don’t always make it easy for travelers to get in and out.

Host in Tallahassee Needs to Grow Up and Accept Hurricane

We booked a townhouse in Tallahassee, Florida necessary for evacuation from Hurricane Irma. The host was to contact us one day prior to provide the lock box code for the key. He never fulfilled that promise. Rather than drive five hours hoping he would come through, we canceled the reservation at 6:30 AM and emailed the host. Note that the hurricane had shifted west and Tallahassee was now in the path of the storm. Being in an evacuation zone, we scrambled to find a safe place and inquired about a refund. The host responded a day later at 5:45 PM stating his no refund policy. After some back and forth after the fact, he had the audacity to blame the hurricane for the reason he hadn’t responded. The reason we canceled (besides never getting the lock box code) was the same reason he said he couldn’t communicate and he still denies us a refund? I’m not sure how many properties this host has on various sites but stay far far away from him. Perhaps he can grow into a real man but for now he is an immature child who can’t take responsibility for his own failings.