Money Hungry Airbnb Host Gets Guest Banned

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If you’re going to need a place to stay in the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area, stay clear of this host. This greedy bastard tried to squeeze every dime he could out of me.

I was traveling as an essential worker. I needed a long term stay in Lincoln for me, my disabled wife and our two dogs. I saw the listing and the price was reasonable.

After about a month, he started raising the weekly rate. When the rate doubled, we decided to leave. We stayed there 83 nights and paid $8,000 for a dingy basement apartment. Then that’s when the real nightmare began.

He sent me texts threatening me and calling me a criminal, demanding $400 for carpet cleaning, $250 for extra cleaning fees, $700 for a stained shower, $220 for lost revenue, $120 for a urine-stained mattress (we never used it), $250 for a broken mirror frame, $60 for a dirty microwave, $60 for dirty towels, and $100 for torn comforters.

Here is my response to the host’s complaint with Airbnb:

I have rented Airbnbs all over the country and Mexico. This host was by far the worst host I ever had. He priced gauged me every chance he got. I messaged him letting him know I need a long-term stay as I am a traveling essential worker. When I first moved in I was paying around $550 a week. Then after about a month he raised it to over $700 a week.

I went ahead and paid it because my wife is disabled and it’s hard to up and move at a moment’s notice. Then he raised the rent to over $900 a week. That’s insane. He was taking advantage of us. I can’t afford that. He waited until we were good and settled and then surprised us with the higher rates without notice.

Had I known the rates would go up like that, I would have never booked this place to begin with. That’s something a con artist would do. Very deceptive of him. He was charging me more than he was charging for the four-bedroom house above us. I believe that after 30 days I have tenancy rights. That would mean that he would have to give me a 30-day written notice before he raised the rent. He owes me money for every week I was charged more than $550 a week.

We had to deal with bats. He did not respond when I informed him about it. He did not properly remove snow from the property and my wife fell and sprained her ankle. We had to duct tape a window to keep the cold out. The heaters were not adequate to keep the apartment warm. Now he is being greedy and is trying to extort more money from me. Instead of contacting me and talking to me like an adult, he sent me threatening texts privately, not on Airbnb, trying to bully me in paying him a bunch of money.

He was threatening to call and get me thrown out of my current Airbnb, call my job and call the police if I didn’t pay him by the end of the day. He also called me a criminal. If he would have talked to me like a human being, I would have worked with him to find a solution. I would have come back and cleaned the carpet, the microwave, and the shower basin and wash and bleach the towels. But instead, he wanted money. He wanted me to pay the full retail value, not the actual depreciated value. No one peed on that mattress. That was there before. Also, it is twin mattress, not a full.

I know that this is not the first time he found a urine stained mattress and it won’t be the last time. He should be prepared for it. Hotels have ways of cleaning mattresses. If I had an Airbnb, I would have had a mattress cover on it to protect it.

The carpet is old and dingy. It needs to be replaced. There were already stains all over it. It’s not worth the $400 he wants to clean it. Also, I found $79 carpet cleaning service for five rooms on Groupon. I’m not responsible for cleaning all the carpet in the apartment. I’m only responsible for for the three stains caused by my dogs, not the yeas of neglect this carpet has had.

The comforters were not ripped to shreds. If you pulled the comforters from the bottom of the bed, they would sometimes catch on the bed frame. That’s how they got ripped. Anyone with a sewing machine could easily repair them. I’m not paying him to get all new bed in a bag like he wants.

The mirror frame was already broken when we moved in. If we broke it, the mirror would also be cracked. He mounted the mirror right above a heater. Over time, the heat probably caused the wood to delaminate from the glue holding it to the mirror. You can go to Home Depot and find a piece for the mirror fairly cheap.

The microwave was not burnt. It just needs to be cleaned. Only one towel was ruined when my wife colored her hair. The rest were just dirty and need to be washed and bleached. The towels were dingy to begin with. The shower basin can be cleaned with Comet, CLR and some scrubbing. It’s not permanently stained. You have to do more than just pour bleach on it.. He’s trying to get a new shower out of me.

I don’t owe him for lost revenue because no one is trying to reserve the place. He is charging too much. He has it listed for $250 a night. I don’t owe him the extra cleaning fee. He is not paying for extra cleaning if he is having professional carpet cleaners come over and providing tub cleaner that he is already charging me for.

He acts like we ransacked the place. That’s not true. My wife scrubbed and disinfected the place from top to bottom. She made the beds and wiped everything down. We don’t owe him anything. He did not give me the opportunity to fix anything. He is greedy and trying to extort everything he can out of me.

He is mad because he thought he could keep raising the rent and I would keep staying there. I asked him the last time the rent went up he said he had no control over the rate and it was based on an algorithm. Most places would cut a deal with their long term renters to keep them there.

This was Airbnb’s reply:

After careful review of all photos, documentation, and related communication provided by both parties, we determined your host should be reimbursed for the damage caused during your stay. Thank you for your patience throughout this process.

As a guest, you’re responsible for leaving the property in the same condition that your host provided. These responsibilities are detailed in Airbnb’s Terms of Service. Based on the information available, we have determined that your host should be compensated $822.76 for their loss. The host timely reported the damage and was able to provide valid documentation of the loss and the cost to repair or replace the damage.

The total amount of the loss is $822.76, which breaks down as: 1) Mattress : $104.80 2) Shower repair/cleaning : $385 3) Mirror frame repair : $250 4) Lock safe: $33.08 5) Microwave : $49.88. Please submit the $822.76 using the below secure manual payment link. You must be logged into your account to access these links. We request that you complete payment within 24 hours.

Once payment is complete, please let us know by responding directly to this message.

I gave the host a $150 deposit after I booked the place. He requested through the Airbnb app. Also, I did not agree with the amount Airbnb said I owed. So, I sent this reply:

This amount does not reflect the $150 deposit that the host stated in his claim I already gave him. Also, the mirror is not worth $250. I did not break the frame. It is old. Years from being in a hot moist environment from the shower steam and being mounted over a heater caused the frame to break.

However, since I’m being held responsible for its damage, I’m going to prove that it can be repaired for a grand total of $14.74. At Lowes you can get an eight-foot strip to cut out the small piece of the frame that needs to be replaced for $3.46. Then you can a 1-qt can of paint that you can color match to the rest of the frame for $10.28. Add Lincoln sales tax of 7.25% for a total of $14.74.

This is very minor damage to an old mirror. If it’s going to cost $250 to fix it, then show me an estimate. I also attached a picture from the host’s rental page of the shower. It clearly shows permanent stains on the wall and the basin. It is not white like the rest of the shower. What I left was dirt, not tar. No effort was used to clean it. The host said in his statement that he let it soak in bleach for two hours. That is not going to clean it. He does not mention anything about scrubbing the shower. Comet cleanser and a scouring pad would clean that up. The host is trying to scam me and Airbnb.

A few days later I got this reply from airbnb:

Thanks for your reply and after a full review of the incident, we have decided to remove you from the Airbnb community. This means you can no longer access your account and cannot create a new one. We determined that you violated the Security section of the Airbnb Community Standards, which you agreed to in the Terms of Service.

The violation involving property damage was reported on Feb. 27, 2021. Any upcoming reservations have been cancelled and you’ve been fully refunded. We consider this decision final. You can read more about removal from the Airbnb community.

Now I’m banned from Airbnb. All because I stood up for myself. Airbnb will always be on the host’s side.

Airbnb No Longer Reimbursing Hosts for Material Damages

Two guests booked two days for our 35-foot motorhome during a local Renaissance fair. We’ve been hosting 3.5 years. I should have been suspicious when three guests showed up. The guests were drunk when in residence — a bit loud, but tolerable because the motorhome is remote.

Then we went to clean for the next guests. What a mess. They had been cutting and sewing costumes for the fair, both inside and outside the coach. Strings and pins/needles were everywhere in the carpet. They ruined one set of sheets and towels with black goop that my wife couldn’t get out, so we had to order new ones for $65. They spilled coffee with creamer on the fabric couch and dribbled it on floor.

Normally takes about 2.5 hours to clean the unit. My wife spent five hours cleaning and I spent three extra hours spotting the carpet and steam cleaning the couch. I had to crawl around on my hands and knees to remove all the tiny threads, and pins/needles so the next guests would not injure themselves. I’m an an old guy but we got it cleaned.

The three guests left just after a noon check out, and new guests arrived at 4:30 PM and had to wait until we were finished. This was the first time this has happened in 3.5 years.

Here is the clincher. When we contacted Airbnb for reimbursement for the sheets and towels (not for our extra five hours of cleaning) we were denied because we didn’t meet their “complaint before next guest arrives” time frame. The next guests arrived before we had finished cleaning. Did I mention the extra time Airbnb demands to meet their COVID-19 cleaning requirements?

What have we learned from this lesson? Airbnb does not cover hosts’ damages even through they require a damage deposit from guests. Do not allow new guests to check in until you have made any claims, even if it means cancelling the new guests. We are rural and must drive to town to upload pictures due to our slow internet. We have no cell signal here. We increased our price 25% to cover any material losses because Airbnb will not charge guests for them.

When our “weird-s–t-O-meter” goes up for new guests…. we go with it and deny them access to the property. Don’t get me wrong: we have had good results with listings from Airbnb. Their fees are more expensive than most other platforms and our guests in the past have been top notch. I find that it is Airbnb, not the poor guests, that are the problem. Airbnb has always paid us the $50 per night on time and correctly.

If you cannot “personally” manage your rental check in and after rental inspection then I would not recommend them, as I do not believe you will be reimbursed for any property damage. Talking to a large number of Airbnb guests has convinced me that “hosts” are not cleaning to the Airbnb standards on the website as we do. But I must admit when we have traveled using Airbnb we have gotten very clean and tidy places to stay.

Airbnb Guest Urinates on Bed in Stockholm

I have had more than 100 guests and have loved it. Never any problems and I have earned Superhost status with 5.0 in terms of customer ratings.However, I have now had a guest where I immediately discovered urine in the bed after check-out. The bed is the Swedish brand, Hästen, handmade and extremely exclusive. The mattress is ruined and must be replaced immediately as I have new guests arriving.

The guest admits that she “accidentally poured water into the bed with a leaking water bottle” and says she is willing to pay for cleaning. But Airbnb customer service does little or nothing. It still takes time for them to even look into the matter, even though I do what is expected of me.

The problem has not been solved, and still being handed by Airbnb. No decisions regarding compensation yet. I realize that as a host I only have obligations but no “rights.” An extremely sad discovery and I am considering leaving Airbnb altogether.

It is interesting that a company whose content is only about people being willing to rent out their accommodation or parts of it is not faster to deal with problems that arise and support a host or a guest. Now Airbnb is planning an IPO, a company earning their income on booking fees, which however, presupposes that there are landlords and tenants.

Don’t Expect Any Host Support — it is Airbnb Hell

I am a property owner that has had listings with Airbnb for six years, with reviews that have been 4 or 5 stars 100% of the time. Even so, Airbnb chose to support a terrible guest who had been listed with them for two years (and had no reviews) over me. Not only did they support her, but they were rude and threatening to me.

The guest did a same day instant booking at 10:00 AM and then late in the afternoon sent an image text that was blank. I sent a text telling her that there wasn’t an image, and around 7:00 that evening she said it was her service dog information. They had already checked in.

We have a strict no animals policy. Our cabins are new, and we want to keep them dander free for the comfort of guests with allergies. Furthermore, our area had lodging options that accepted animals, so they didn’t need to ignore our no animal policy in order to find lodging. The guest also never provided any evidence that her dog was actually a service dog. I believe this is a scam she has been pulling wherever she travels.

After they checked out, I found short black hairs everywhere. I had to wash all of the fabric, including the curtains. I also vacuumed the floor twice and then mopped it. I finally thought I had gotten all of the hair out of the cabin, but when I opened the fridge there were short black hairs on the shelves inside.

I posted a review of her stay with information about the condition of the cabin and a private remark that we were disappointed that they wouldn’t respect our wish to keep our new cabins dander and animal hair free. The guest complained to Airbnb about my review (which I had posted to protect other hosts from her). They removed my review and sent me a threatening email that they could remove my account for being discriminatory. I asked Airbnb to explain what was discriminating about my review and they did not respond.

We are removing our listings from Airbnb and hope that other hosts will learn from our mistake and choose somewhere else to list their property. I would love advice on finding listing agents that have the backs of property owners.

Just as a side note, I understand that the ADA has tried to provide protection to those with disabilities, and I would totally support someone with a disability who needed a service animal. However, I don’t believe this guest or her husband have a disability. They were simply taking advantage of a system set up to protect those with real needs.

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Airbnb Rip Off in Austin Forces Guests Out

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I’m a PM for a Internet technology company and I’m responsible for choosing Airbnb rentals for staff, usually 2-4 staff members. In September, I chose a host in Austin for one month. The rental had good reviews and looked good in the photos, so our admin assistant booked the unit for one month, starting the second week in September to the second week in October.

The staff arrived in the afternoon on a Saturday and were immediately underwhelmed, The cleanliness of the location was poor; there was debris in the front entry, dirty and dusty tile floors from the gap under the door allowing debris to blow in, sticky counter tops, a refrigerator with plenty of odds and ends from previous tenants with sticky unknown substance in nooks and cracks, and pubic hair in the toilet rim. In addition, the light bulbs and face plates in the house were not maintained and looked like the owner did not care to present a home they cared about, just a take or leave it house. However, they took 100% of our payment, $3,369.

Since our staff had to go through me and the company admin, the issue could not be addressed until Monday morning. Well, the host had an excuse for every issue, refused to let us out of our term, but was willing to send cleaners back over. After two days in the unit (not a home), our staff said “no way” to staying in this unit and we care and trust our staff. The host only offered a $220 refund and Airbnb is completely complicit in this behavior (they bear no responsibility or customer support for such situations). Since July my firm has spent approx. $41,000 with Airbnb. I will be recommending Extended Stay hotels to my executives for future projects.

Even with Roaches, Guest not Sure Who to be Upset with

blankThis isn’t a clear cut black and white Airbnb horror story. There are some things I should have been more aggressive on, but in the middle of a pandemic I feel it fair not to be too aggressive because for all I know this could have been my host’s only source of income.

To begin, I walked in and the place was very much not clean. I was given a warning by my boyfriend, to which he felt the judgement call up to me. To be honest, my mind was on their cute little pig that met me at the door; he was so sweet.

I quickly looked around and noticed maybe one or two critters. It was no big deal; it’s getting warm and in Mississippi the critters start coming out. My boyfriend is definitely a city boy so he freaks out about everything. I messaged the host telling her exactly that.

However, I was wrong. It wasn’t until really late into the night that more started coming out and they were huge. That’s when I really looked at the place. The kitchen sink wasn’t cleaned (why did I pay a cleaning fee?) and under the bed/chairs/sink there were enough either droppings or roach body parts. I was disgusted.

We couldn’t find a place to book that late at night so we were stuck one night. I kept joking that my cat would defend us from the roaches while we slept (I couldn’t sleep that night). The next morning we were trying to get out to the Marriott that I booked. The pig says good bye on the way out (he really was a sweet pig and I’ve never seen a pig run to me until that day).

The host at least refunded me for the other days, and as for the cleaning fee I wasn’t very aggressive because as I’ve said before I’m not sure if this is their only source of income. They also let me bring my cat without putting in a pet deposit.

I contacted Airbnb later about the service fee (possibly the cleaning fee) that night because trying to get settled into a new place last minute had its own issues. I will admit I wasn’t very aggressive with it; maybe it’s because during all this pandemic I feel like that isn’t what the world needs right now.

Airbnb basically told me to f&%k off on the service fee and I definitely wasn’t getting the cleaning fee refunded. I should have checked with VBRO or nearby hotels, because most times with all the fees it ends up being more expensive than a Marriott. This was one of those times.

I’m not sure if I should be upset with the host, Airbnb, myself or anyone really. It’s up to you, are you willing to take the risk? Is the pig worth it?

Being Scammed with a Fake Listing Would have been Better

We booked this Airbnb in Switzerland, seeking a peaceful beautiful corner of Swiss alpine experience that was indicated in the advertisement. Instead, we would instead just putting up a tent in a train station. You would have more room, and get the same experience of living on a railway track.

Literally every few minutes a train was passing by, even throughout most of the night. Many were so fast that the place shook. It is so close to the train station that we could hear the noise of cars being loaded onto the train. It was the complete opposite of the peaceful and scenic spot that we were expecting.

Sleeping in train station might also have been cleaner. The bed sheets were disgusting, stained and grimy. Desperate for sleep, we even stripped the bed hoping that the mattress might have been less awful. That was a mistake; it was a stomach-turning science experiment.

The towels looked marginally clean, so we made pseudo sheets out of them and disinfected ourselves in the morning. The floor and chairs were covered with spots of grease; we just didn’t feel like touching anything without putting on gloves or needing to take a shower afterwards.

Someone in the building must be a chainsmoker, as we were so often greeted with puffs of cigarette smoke floating into the place. Not exactly the fresh alpine air we had in mind.

We have stayed at hundreds of Airbnbs and similar accommodations at this point. This was nearly the worst. The only ones we can think that might surpass the awfulness of this place are the couple that were pure scams that didn’t exist. Honestly, we would have preferred this to be a scam versus the misery of staying at this place.

We should have left in the first hour, but all the hotels in town were booked and we just didn’t want to spend our limited time battling with the host and Airbnb. Anyway, we realize it is impossible to post negative reviews on Airbnb without getting hassled or blacklisted. We’re hoping this candid review ends up helping someone else avoid our experience and just put up a tent in a nearby train station instead.

Villa Offered as Quarantine for COVID-19 Virus

The neighborhood monitors the Airbnb which is ruining our neighborhood. The host of this Airbnb has offered it as a quarantine location.

First, there are not 14 available sequential days, the designated virus quarantine period. Second, and most importantly, what will they use to completely sanitize an 8000 square foot house with a 1000 square foot pool house when the quarantined quest leaves?

We’ve all watched the cleaners in between guests. They do the laundry and are in and out in about 2-3 hours. I don’t know what the CDC procedures are for cleaning a public house or room following someone who has had the COVID-19 virus, but for a public place like an Airbnb, I seriously doubt it can be done by just a simple cleaning crew.

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Airbnb Host Expects Guest to do All Cleaning

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I planned a weekend in Montreal for my son and I and tried Airbnb for first time. Upon arrival I noticed food crumbs all over the sleeper sofa in the living room. In the bedroom, my son pulled back the blankets; the sheets were stained. We contacted the host and he told me I could find clean sheets in the closet or dryer. After driving 6.5 hours, apparently I should change the sheets. I would also have had to wash the blankets, clean the sofa, stove, the TV, and god knows what was on the table; it had a film of grease on it.

I left and got a hotel for the weekend. My host’s response was to tell me since I left he hoped I had locked the door because I was responsible for the house and he would look at the place in the morning. I checked in with him the next day and heard nothing back. He then contacted me to say his property manager went to check on the place and there was a couple of issues but nothing as bad as I implied. Stained sheets are a deal breaker.

I contacted Airbnb and asked for a refund. Even though I asked for a manager, the agent gave me a $11.32 refund because he felt my issue with the host could have been resolved by me cleaning the place at 11:30 at night and washing all the bedding. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I arrive at a hotel it’s really nice to not have to clean for three hours before being able to relax.

Guest Life Ban for Complaining About Racism

I recently learned about Airbnb’s regulatory and reputation risk strategy: make a complaint about racial intolerance, then get banned for life. Forever. Irreversibly. Or, as the Airbnb customer service representative explained to me:

“We are trying to cut down on racial complaints. And you made a racial complaint. I see you received a confirmation of your complaint. So your account was frozen.”

This sorry saga about how Airbnb implements their strategic anti-discrimination policy started over the holidays when we responded to an advert about an apartment in Santo Domingo. It was peak season, and this was the last unit showing any vacancies. You can guess why. It was in German – perhaps the only listing in the Western Hemisphere in German. The nearest German-speaking nation is about a nine-hour away flight away, with a stopover/transfer.

Most potential guests seeking to rent in the Dominican Republic would skip the translator and move on. We do not speak a word of German, but my girlfriend and I know how to use the Google translate function. We did. We booked.

We arrived at the unit and were greeted by the maid. She looked us over and asked where we are from (my girlfriend has a dark complexion). I detected a sneer, but I’m no mind reader. My Spanish is lousy, we were exhausted, and so I just took the key and left it at that.

The following week was a nightmare. The next morning at about 8:00 AM, while still asleep, I heard someone opening the bedroom door. I thought we were getting robbed.

It was not a burglary; it was the maid. She ordered us out of bed as she wanted to clean the room. No discussion would change her mind. We stumbled into the living room, waited for her to make the bed and sweep the floor, and then went back to sleep.

The fun did not end. She made herself at home in in the kitchen, turned on the radio, made coffee, and explained she was “working” until 3:00 PM. She was going nowhere, like it or not.

We explained that it was very kind of her, but we absolutely did not require a maid, thank you very much. My partner speaks fluent Spanish. There was zero miscommunication. We thought the problem was solved. If only. The next morning, yet again, the maid returned, walked in the bedroom, and rousted us out of bed again. It looked like we had a live-in roommate.

I repeatedly contacted the host to request she call off her maid and finally got a reply. The maid, she explained, must visit the apartment every morning to “see if everything is okay”. She explained that the maid told her we were not white Americans; my partner nor I do not exactly “look American”.

The host’s exact words, if memory serve me, were, “I don’t want any Spanish, blacks or anyone from the street in the apartment. It’s a dangerous neighborhood.” My girlfriend, who I met through friends in Boston some years back, “is from the street, may be dangerous and could steal things.” Thus, the host required a security guard/maid to check on us, and see what we were up to in the bedroom at 8:00 AM.

The host explained that her Airbnb listing was in German. I found that odd as this host speaks better English than I do. She preferred only Germanic guests: from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Northern Italy – and perhaps the Sudetenland, which was German in late 1930s.

The host noted my partner was a dark-skinned Latina and I did not use an accurate profile photo. In my photo, I appeared 100% Caucasian, as did my small cousin sitting next to me.

I explained to the host that if there was a problem, we would move out ASAP. She apologized away adding that it was not her who had issues, but neighbors in the building complaining to the doorman. They did not want Haitians, blacks, or dangerous-looking people (?). The host simply wanted to make sure nothing was stolen. She was expecting a Caucasian American family; the apartment could house four or five people. Instead, she got an Asian guy, and a dark-skinned girl.

Nonetheless, we stayed and a week later even requested several more days from the host.

On the morning of check-out day, sure enough, the maid woke us up in bed. We got up and let her clean the bedroom. Instead of going back to sleep, I went to take a shower. Some minutes later, when I opened the shower door, I saw the maid was now cleaning the bathroom sink. I am not a prudish guy, but when I step out of the shower that means I am not dressed in business casual.

This was just too much. I asked the maid to leave and even offered her $40. Then I realized what I should have figured out from day one. The maid said she cleaned for five days, and wanted to be paid more – not simply $40. Unfortunately, I only had about $80 on hand. That’s why guests use Airbnb: no cash necessary.

This is an old trick often played on tourists by local scammers; offer the tourist something, hope you take it, and then demand as much money as possible afterwards.

This maid was absolutely not going to settle for $80, or $40. Nor, it turned out, was the host going to pay her a penny. I need to hand over some money. Now.

This explanation about paying online though Airbnb, in my limited Spanish, fell on deaf ears. The maid wanted money. I was a foreign tourist. The host declared open season on foreign tourists, and I was it. I fled to the bedroom, shut the door, and rang the host. No answer. I then texted. Now the maid was pushing in the door and having a go at me.

Excuse the typos. I was holding the door closed with one hand and texting with the other:

In the end, I simply emptied my wallet with whatever I could find (“cash only”, no cards accepted).

The maid finally agreed to wait downstairs for us to pack up and leave. An hour later, we left the apartment with the key under the doormat, as agreed.

The fun did still did not end. While trying to drive out, the doorman refused to open the gate from the parking garage. He asked asking about getting paid a fee for the garage. Yet another tourist scam. The really exciting part was that not only was he keeping us locked inside the garage, but he was backed up by the building security guard who was conveniently armed with a shot gun.

This is an OJ Simpson scenario, and how the Juice ultimately served seven years, i.e. “Give me what I want, my pal here has a gun, and we don’t want anyone hurt.” Hint Hint. Technically speaking, that’s assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful imprisonment.

Fortunately, another car arrived and entered the garage, the gate opened, and off we drove.

While I was at the airport, the host finally called. She said I should have paid the maid a lot more – as she met us to get the key and now was cleaning the unit. And, she added, I damaged the apartment. She sent a dozen photos, one showing stain on a large pillow. The apartment had two bedrooms, many sofas, and zillions of pillows everywhere. The maid did an inventory, found one with a stain, and now I was charged, indicted, tried and found guilty of leaving a stain on her pillow. She argued about the stain with great indignation.

The stain on the$15 IKEA pillowcase was ridiculous. I told it I never saw it, but would simply pay an invoice to drop the matter. I explained, again, we were essentially robbed by the maid, and then held at gunpoint by the guard demanding money for parking. Airbnb must be notified.

Before leaving, I had earlier sent a complaint to Airbnb.

I sought no refund, no discount, no nothing. I naively thought I would be a part of the Airbnb much publicized community.

The host threatened that as I had complained, she would retaliate and complain about me and my girlfriend; we were not white and we were not registered (I am thinking this meant we misrepresented ourselves, as I appear Caucasian on my profile photo, and I am not exactly).

My response to this host at this point was simply: do what you want. I reported the maid, and the attack. If you want to exclude non-Caucasians, Latinos, Haitians, whatever, and have a complaint about me – go right ahead. I suggested we drop the matter, I was about to board my plane, and in the future, she should pay the maid a decent wage.

End of story… or so I hoped.

Two days later, I was contacted by Airbnb customer service in response to my complaint. They said – as expected – the host made a complaint that I damaged the apartment.

I then made a very foolish mistake of addressing each and every photo, in admittedly a smart-alecky manner as the complaints were so trivial, and then pointed out that this host had some hospitality issues. I received a confirmation to my response. In truth, complaining to Airbnb about racism is a very stupid idea.

Later, I got this message that Airbnb was unable to support my account moving forward. They have exercised discretion under Terms and Conditions. They are obligated to provide an explanation.

I am a guest banned for life for making a racial complaint.

I soon learned from Airbnb customer service that my ban resulted from my discrimination complaint. “We automatically block the account after we get that type of complaint – it goes to Trust and Safety,” he proudly chimed, and advised that if I withdrew my complaint, my account would be reactivated.

I also asked if this was about the pillowcase, or any other damages, charges or fees I owe. He assured me repeatedly that nothing was owed, no payment due. Withdrawing the racial complaint should unblock my account, “As we are trying to eliminate these types of complaints.”

Statistically, this makes sense. Out of, say, the last 100 instances of a guest making a complaint, in perhaps 75% of cases, a previous complaint had been earlier sent to “Trust and Safety”. So, if you ban guests upon their first racial complaint, you will likely eliminate most future complaints of racism.

This may have a vague degree of legitimacy from a risk management strategic point, but it is illegal. It is illegal retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). It is illegal to retaliate under the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). This is not only my opinion, but also the view of the attorneys at the NYC Human Rights Commission.

Nonetheless, I sent in my apology/withdrawal, later checked my account, and it seemed to work, although I did not book anything. Just last week, I discovered that the “unable to support my account moving forward” will not be reversed. That is what the Airbnb Customer Experience Trust and Safety had said, and they are good to their word.

Once you make a racial complaint, they will be unable to support your account going forward as Airbnb does not want you nor your big mouth complaining about racism. Forever. For life. As they are fighting racism.

So now Airbnb will test their “retaliate against loud mouth guests who complain about discrimination by banning them” policy with the NYC Human Rights Commission. We will go to AAA Arbitration, as per the Airbnb terms and conditions. This will be $10-20K for Airbnb in legal fees. But in the run up to their IPO, banning guests who complain about racism has become a top priority.

Airbnb shall fight on the seas and oceans, fight in the air, and fight on the beaches. But Airbnb shall never surrender in their struggle to eliminate racial complaints – by retaliating against and banning guests who complain, and being unable to support my account going forward.

Never complain about racism to Airbnb. You will be banned for life.

PS: The host was able to list her apartment on Airbnb a few days later.