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

This 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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Worst Airbnb Experience at their HQ, San Francisco

We rented a unit for a month and regretted it. Read this to understand what you might experience at an Airbnb location. When we arrived, the owner gave us a key, took us through a dark garage, opened the door and wished us luck. When we walked in, the place smelled bad. The owner gets paid for cleaning between Airbnb visitors but it didn’t look clean when we arrived.

However, we had been traveling for ten hours so we just collapsed. There was no welcome card, no information about the area, or even basic information like which day the garbage would be picked up. It turned out that the regular entry to the apartment was down a dark, dank, dusty hall that looks like no one has been there for years. Spooky.

The bedding looked very used. On top of that, the mattress squeaked with every movement. When we took their bedding off, we found stains and rips in the mattress protector. If you are allergic to dust mites, good luck; no amount of Zyertec will help.

The next morning we went to IKEA and bought our own bedding. My husband was starting a new job the next day. When he left for work I bought my own cleaning supplies. There was no mop or broom or anything else to keep the apartment clean. No paper towels. Nothing. Yet the minimum rental is a month. I guess you’re just supposed to let it get dirty.

I started cleaning. It took days. When I mopped the floor, the water was black. Whatever I wiped showed layers of dirt: the tables, chairs, headboard, cushions, the shelves, everything. I took videos to show my family and friends. They couldn’t believe that such an expensive place was in that condition.

We decided it would better if we covered the couch. It smelled bad. There was an old carpet that looked very dusty, and it was. When I lifted it to clean there was a cloud of dust. We set it aside, not wanting to it to foul the air through our visit.

The kitchen utensils look like a mixed bag of whatever other visitors may have left behind. The sprayer on the sink was rusty and there was rust on the refrigerator too. We didn’t want to touch the dishes so we ate off of paper plates and plastic utensils. When we sat down to our first meal at the table, we could see sticky spots from previous visitors.

When you see the picture of the outdoor patio it looks inviting. In fact, all the furniture is covered in dirt and mold. I tried to clean it but it was way too beat up and old. The chaise has a couple of old, moldy cushions. You can’t sit on the furniture anyway because it’s falling apart.

It would be nice to open the sliding door to the patio for the pleasant air. Unfortunately, there is no screen and the bushes are filled with mosquitoes. When we did leave the door open, bugs and flies would come in. On the walls you will find squashed mosquitoes left behind by other visitors. My husband was bitten many times. I took pictures of the red blotches on his face.

The door to the unit is next to the host’s garage. Several times we opened the door to find that their car had blocked our exit. Either we had to climb over the bumper or push through the bushes to get out. This was unsafe.

I hope you’re not looking for a quiet evening. On random evenings you’ll hear pounding on the ceiling. It’s the kids jumping and running around above you.

Now about safety; the address is “2022 A.” The main house is “2022.” The only indication that there is an entrance to “A” is a tiny half-inch letter. If you have any mail or packages, you’re in for trouble. Twice the owner took my packages and opened them. A bigger problem is theft. Two very large packages were delivered at the owner’s door. They were new clothes that I had specially ordered. After a couple of days, I noticed that they hadn’t been delivered to 2022 A. They were stolen, so we had to file a police report. I have my copy.

Here’s something else creepy. I was in the kitchen and I heard a noise in the bedroom. I went to see and found that someone was trying to get in from the main house through the door from the owner’s garage. It was a woman who called herself the nanny. If I hadn’t remembered to lock the door while I was cleaning, the owner and other people in their house could have just come and gone unannounced. Don’t leave anything valuable behind.

We left ten days early, and we were glad to go. I know what the owner will say: “Why didn’t you tell me?” Shouldn’t an owner who constantly rents their property do more to make it livable, clean, sanitary, and safe? Is it our job to point all this out to the host, who lives upstairs?

The second bad experience was trying to post a review on Airbnb. We posted our review at the end of our rental which meant it was available for Airbnb to review at any time. They waited 14 days to see if the owner was going to write a review too.

After 13 days and 18 hours (late in the evening) Airbnb sent an email saying: “I wanted to reach out to you about the review that you left about the host. We wanted to let you know that we investigated the review and in the review you give out the address of the listing which is a violation of the Airbnb Policy, so because of that we will have to remove the review.”

We hadn’t listed the address, only the street numbers because of the problems we encountered. But, okay, no problem. We could make a tiny edit. However, by the next day they said the “time limit” to edit the review was up, so it did not appear.

I called Airbnb four times and also emailed them. The operators were pleasant but in the end, no one would listen. I simply explained that they had not given us any time to make the tiny correction and that we wanted to post the review. We let the host know about our review. She immediately threatened us writing, “Do not spread a bad review and rumors. I would consider it libelous to do so. The Airbnb lawyers will handle this.”

Airbnb prohibits “extortion” saying, “reviews are a way for Airbnb guests and hosts to share their experiences with the community. Any attempt to use reviews or review responses to force a user to do something they aren’t obligated to do is a misuse of reviews, and we don’t allow it.” That includes “hosts asking a guest to take specific actions related to a review in exchange for a resolution to a dispute between the parties.”

Beyond that they say the hosts and guests agree to follow all Airbnb guidelines and policies, including the Extortion Policy and that failure to do so may result in the restriction, suspension or termination of your Airbnb account. “If you think you’ve experienced extortion, please contact us”, which we did. There was no response. I know this is a lengthy review but if your experience was like ours, you will regret not paying attention to this story.

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After Night in Toronto, Never Booking Again

I just stayed at an Airbnb for the first time on Halloween, in Toronto. I live in Toronto but wanted a place to stay downtown after going out. I only booked one night for me and my friend. In my request, I had mentioned that we might be checking out at 10:00 AM (check out is 11:00 AM) because of work the next day.

Upon check in, it took the front desk 15 minutes to open the door, and when we told them we were a “guest of [host]” she looked at us like we were crazy.

I said “for an Airbnb?”

She said “well do you have a key?”

Puzzled, we said no and she literally just told us to go upstairs, without showing our ID or anything. Later on, when I had another friend come by to do our makeup, they wouldn’t let her upstairs at all and insisted I come downstairs.

The place was honestly small, but it was cute. We got ready, had a few drinks and went out for the night. We came back to the condo early, because we honestly both don’t drink often and got pretty sick and wanted to sleep.

The next morning, I called in to work saying I would be starting at 1:00 PM instead. This was at 9:30 AM. My friend was still sleeping since she was a lot sicker than I was. When I got up and showered I noticed mold in the shower, which looked like they tried to cover it up.

As soon as I got out of the shower, at around 10:00 AM, I heard a knock on the door. The cleaners came early assuming we would have checked out at 10:00 AM. I kindly told them that there had been a change of plans and we need to stay until 11:00. This was mainly because we needed to clean up and pack, but my friend was still sick.

Now, I understand that I had mentioned to the host that I might check out early, but this does not change the check out time. Especially if it was only an hour difference and was never confirmed. I spent the next hour packing and cleaning up, the cleaners knocked on the door 15 minutes before 11:00 and my friend (who was sick) answered in, to be honest, a rude tone at first but then quickly apologized.

We talked to the cleaners for around 20 minutes before leaving. Well, they talked about nonsense to be honest. Now, the property may not have been sparkling clean, mostly because of all the sponges and counter towels left for cleaning smelled terrible, but the place was not “disgusting”.

This is what the host chose to write about my stay. He even accused us of chipping the porcelain in the bathroom. I don’t even know how that could even happen. He was petty, complaining about little things like coffee stains, shoe marks, stickiness on the counter or towels/sheets having makeup on them. Wouldn’t you have to wash them, anyway?

He wrote more than an essay on how disgusting we left the place, how we checked out twenty minutes late and made his cleaners wait an hour that he paid them for. He proceeded to over exaggerate so many things: the wrappers in the bedroom, and the ashes on the balcony (smoking on the balcony was allowed).

This guy literally disgraced my name on Airbnb and I only stayed one night. I barely had enough time to make a mess, let alone clean up. I was extremely rushed out during a hangover. In his review about me, he made it seem as though I missed work because of my “heavy drinking” and questioned my personal character. So uncalled for.

He then proceeded to BS how he paid his cleaners over $800 for three and a half hours of cleaning? Firstly, the cleaning ladies looked like they were his mom and grandmother based off of his picture, and secondly can I become his cleaner? What is that, $50 an hour? Pay me and I will leave the Airbnb spotless.

Jokes aside, you pay a service fee and a cleaning fee, and all of a sudden $130 a night is $250 and he wants the place spotless before I leave? I have to get on my hands and knees and scrub his damn floor? No thanks. Never again – back to hotels for me. As a suggestion to future renters of Airbnb, take pictures before and after you leave.

Tricks and Traps When Using Airbnb Platform

Strict cancellation terms: if you book two months before, but cancel one month before, you will be reimbursed only 50%, even in low season. This is the choice from a “host” who, since my cancellation, has earned three nights without having hosted anyone and maybe accepting other guests.

I kindly requested a partial reimbursement from the host, attaching medical certificates of treatment, but he did not deign to answer. If he had done so I would have immediately asked Airbnb to intervene, because there are only 14 days to make a complaint. The host certainly knew, was silent, and waited.

Airbnb tries to convince you to buy their service of “free cancellation within 48 hours” but this is effective from the time of payment, not 48 hours before staying (which would obviously be disadvantageous for hosts). It can be misinterpreted.

If you look hard you will find the number of guests who have used the house, and much more in evidence like the number of positive reviews. Subtract the positives from the total number of guests and you will have a more realistic idea of ​​the appreciation of the place. It is not transparent because negative comments are censored.

I had booked two weeks in two different houses, then canceled the second due to the need to use a vacation for medical treatment. With the remaining house, however, it did not go well: we arrived on a rainy day and there was a strong smell of dampness. The radiators were never turned on and there were no instructions, so time was lost to avoid getting cold at night.

Everything was clean except for the shower (of which there were no detailed photos in the listing) and some details in the kitchen. The indecent thing is that two days after the check-in the host told me that due to the risk of clogging the drain, I had to throw used toilet paper in the basket.

I left, he repaid me, but in any case he kept 40€ of “cleaning fees” over the two nights. In general it is better not to risk ruining your holiday. Choose a hotel directly or take a vacation in a tent or campground if you want to save money.

Another Person Staying in my Booked Airbnb

My worst Airbnb experience happened in Tours, France. I arrived around 21:00 to pick up the key from the box to the apartment just to find out there was no key from it and there was already someone staying in the same apartment. The other guest was surprised too. It happened that this other guest had a cousin living in the same town, so she left the apartment for me.

At first I was happy that I didn’t have to look for another place to stay… until I entered the dirty apartment. There was hair on the sheet, wet towels, and crumbs on the table. The host promised me clean sheets just the next day, but she gave me a refund for a one-night stay. The most ironic part is I got a bad review stating that I left the apartment dirty. I left it the same as I found it and a cleaning fee was included. Not recommended.

False Review from Airbnb Host in Bosnia

Not a terrible experience – and actually I do not have anything negative to say about Airbnb itself, just this host. Two friends and I were on a road trip through Bosnia and Montenegro. Using the filters “3+ bedrooms” (not people) and “entire property”, we booked a place in Trebinje, Bosnia as a base prior to the Montenegro border crossing.

The confirmation said the property had four bedrooms and was for 16+ people. As a relatively regular Airbnb user, this isn’t unusual and the prices were not out of kilter with other “entire properties” in the town. We checked in around 6:45 PM, and were shown (by a rep, not the host) a one bedroom apartment “for 3 people” because “this is what you booked”.

Well, my confirmation said different and the rep agreed; she called the office and we were told we could have the connecting one bedroom apartment if we paid cash. Red flag alert. They told me it would cost more on Airbnb – which I knew – but felt very scammy at the time. We were the only people staying at this complex. We would’ve paid extra cleaning fees had they given us the separate bedrooms we’d booked, but they wouldn’t move at all.

Rather than give them a penny, we spent about 30-45 minutes arranging alternative accommodations. Our next host came to our rescue and left a family celebration to check us in one day earlier. She was amazing and her place was awesome.

We did get a full refund, and Airbnb called me multiple times to make sure we weren’t stranded which was impressive (if unnecessary). We never got an apology, just a rude and dismissive attitude. So I had the choice – write a negative review and get one back in return, or just leave it.

After giving them two weeks to correct their listing I went for the negative review so no one else would have the same problem. Then I got this back: “This guest is very complicated. They booked one apartment for 3 persons. When they arrived we give them option choose apartment which most suitable for them, but they wanted apartment with 3+ bedrooms or whole Villa (our Villa has 9 AP). We explained them that it is not possible, because price for theirs reservation was 35$. After check in they used apartment 2-3 hours, showered and then say that they are not satisfied and wanted bigger apartment. We could not offer them it for 35$ and we refunded them all funds. They leave our apartment after 3 hours of use and leave it messy.”

Essentially a flat-out lie from the host. However I hadn’t told them I’d taken a video before we left (decide for yourself how “messy” we left it). We never had a choice of apartment (I’ll take what I booked, please), I had complained immediately, we hadn’t used the shower, was there less than two hours and that time was spent frantically on the Internet and calling to sort out accommodation at 7:00 PM in an unfamiliar country.

I tried to link the YouTube video in my Airbnb response but Airbnb blocked it. Hopefully this can come up if anyone searches for this place in the future. At least I’m telling myself that for the satisfaction – screw this host. Not really Airbnb hell, but liars should always be called out if you have evidence to refute.