The Type of Cleanliness Airbnb Endorses

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I took my husband mountain bike riding in Rotorua for his birthday. We booked an apartment in downtown Rotorua. We arrived at our accommodation and the apartment was filthy.

The toilet had poo on the seat and lid, and the shower had scum all over the screen and tiles. There were dirty marks on the floor, the microwave door was filthy, the button to open the microwave had a big dirty mark, and there were dirty sheets shoved in the wardrobes.

I called the host back, showed him the issues and said this wasn’t acceptable. He tried to tell me the apartment was clean. I then showed him the poo on the toilet seat and lid. He got a wet cloth – no detergent or disinfectant – and tried to wipe the poo off. The apartment had clearly not be cleaned. He didn’t offer to clean nor have the apartment cleaned.

I took this up with Airbnb and first they rejected my refund because they deemed this as a cancellation, even though we had been in the apartment with the host. The next excuse was the host tried to rectify the situation. Finally, Airbnb advised they deemed this as low severity. Their policy clearly states the premises need to be clean and sanitary. Please see the photos which Airbnb endorsed in their guest policy.

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Duped by Host, Airbnb Refused a Refund

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I booked a place in New Jersey for spring break based on reviews I read. I payed full price with a one-time payment of $811.03 for five nights. It was my first time ever using Airbnb. I stated that to my host and he used it against me.

The communication was good until I got to the place and saw the mess. The smell gave me allergies right away The floor was very sticky; the maid was still working on it but couldn’t clean it. The futon in the living room was broken, and the dishes were dirty.

I texted my host about it and he didn’t reply at all. I went to a hotel and the next morning he texted me asking me how my night was. I was so surprised. I told him that I didn’t spend the night and that I texted him the day before and was sure his assistant and maid told him that I had left. I didn’t understand his message. He didn’t reply. I asked for a refund and he declined, saying that he was never informed of the issues.

I immediately got Airbnb involved. They never reached out to me until I called their customer service line one week later. The first representative told that they were sorry, they were very busy and that they would refund me and even probably for the money I spent for the hotel. He told me he was going to make my case a priority and a case manager was going to reach out to me.

The next day a case manager emailed me introducing herself. She emailed me back, saying that the host said I checked in early and that’s why I found the place like that. I showed her that I was on time. She emailed me back now saying that I should have canceled the reservation and gotten Airbnb involved as soon as I noticed the issues. All she could do was refund me for one night and the cleaning fee.

I found it very disrespectful the way they treated my case because it was one excuse after another. Their representative on the phone told me that I had 72 hours after the issue to get Airbnb involved; I did it less than 48 hours after the issue. Now the case manager is telling me that I should have gotten Airbnb involved in the next 24 hours after the issue.

They are all from the same corporation but they have different stories to use to not refund your money. I thought Airbnb was a serious company but apparently not. Something needs to be done to shut that company down.

How to Move on a Problem Airbnb Guest?

Someone please help me with some advice as how to address a guest who has kept the bedroom really dirty. He is a long-term tenant and the bedroom looks totally trashed. Fortunately he’s often out so he doesn’t use the kitchen very much.

He has told me he has never cooked in his life so when he cooks something he has burnt my frying pan and the things he’s washed are all grimy and oily feeling when I pick them up.

The bedroom is the main problem. It has been a month since he changed the sheets, doona cover, and pillow cases from his bed. It’s problematic in the hot Sydney summer. He’s also had a bad cold.

When I asked him to please change his sheets after a month, he agreed reluctantly and put the fresh sheets I’d given him over the bed. I noticed last week they had been pushed down and the mattress protector has also been pushed off; he’s sleeping on the bare mattress.

The room already smells really bad with empty biscuit and chip packets and a used jar of Nutella sitting open next to his bed. I know this because when he goes out he leaves his door open and I can smell the stench from the room.

I’ve had a similar problem in the past with a guest not changing their sheets during their stay in my spare room. After they left the sheets, doona, and pillows smelled of rancid sweat. The smell stayed on even after washing and I ended up having to throw it all out and buy a new set of everything.

I have even had problems with him using the bathroom. He left a soaking wet bathmat where he’s said he soaked the floor and had to mop up… so he used the mat, then left it scrunched in the corner. I’ve been repeatedly hanging the mat up to dry. When he couldn’t see where it was he used my personal hand towel to wipe the floor and then hung it back on the railing soaked and dirty.

I’ve tried talking to him but he’s often out. When I try to raise something he always says “yes” but keeps on with the same behavior. I feel like I’m living with a 15-year-old teenage son. Not a young man in his mid 20s. I get the distinct impression he has never had to clean up after himself. They are not necessarily big things but a series of little things that are incredibly frustrating.

I’ve tried ringing Airbnb and the assistant at the call center in the Philippines says I can’t do anything about it. They have discouraged me when I said I was considering asking him to leave. The latest is that he doesn’t flush the toilet properly after doing a number two. They discouraged me from asking him to leave, saying it would be negatively assessed by the organisation if I did so. They said if there is any damage to my property that I could only send them photos after he has vacated and then I’d have to submit a claim to their resolution center. I have another three weeks of this guest and I feel stuck. Any suggestions?

Cleaning Deposit Requested at Check-in

We booked an apartment near Benidorm as a base for climbing. The communication from the Ukrainian owner was minimal but we arrived successfully. On arrival, the cleaner tried to get 200 euros in cash from us as a ‘deposit’. I knew this was not part of the Airbnb rules, so I refused. This was accepted and we got on with our holiday.

We cleaned up at the end as always despite already being charged €50 to clean. I have a full set of photos to prove that we left the apartment clean and tidy as normal. I left a nice review despite this and the fact that the apartment wasn’t particularly clean when we arrived. There were a few other issues but I don’t like to be unkind in my reviews and bother hosts if all is generally fine.
The host’s review for us said: ‘they left the apartment in a terrible state’. I asked them why and the only factor to seemingly justify this, which was reported from her cleaner, as the host is in the Ukraine, was that we had left some small secure rubbish bags and that there were two small white marks on a towel.
I can’t explain these as we didn’t use bleach but could have been residue from the washing machine, but we certainly didn’t see this while in the apartment. We left the rubbish bags as we were leaving very early and it would have taken the cleaner a few minutes to take these out (all paid by myself anyway).
I don’t know whether this is a way for them trying to make a claim against me and I know I wouldn’t have got my €200 back had I given it to her. I have had excellent reviews prior to this. I would avoid this listing.

Dishes and Dirty Diapers Filled this Seattle Airbnb

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. I booked a second floor apartment with a nice view of Seattle. The host switched us to the floor below because the nicer property wasn’t available. In exchange, he gave me a $30 refund (…so generous). All of the dishes were filthy with crusty food on them, even the wine glasses they had on display on the counter. My girlfriend went to look outside and saw a dirty diaper on the patio. When we ran the dishwasher, water immediately started pouring out of the bottom.

The best part is I tried to just leave them an honest review, highlighting the positives and the negatives, and they called me a liar. They said I stayed on the second floor and there was no patio. Therefore, there couldn’t have been a diaper (they didn’t mention that they downgraded us to the dungeon below it) and in general said I was cranky. I’m sorry for being unhappy about an uninhabitable filthy property at midnight after a five-hour flight. The smoke detector wasn’t even functioning.

When I contacted Airbnb support, someone who hardly understands the language I wrote in wanted me to send him videos of the property. I got there at midnight and it was filthy… I was so embarrassed in front of my girlfriend I started cleaning immediately. I guess that was my mistake; I should have documented it. Airbnb doesn’t hold hosts accountable. I’ve spent five grand through them in the past four months. I have requested my cleaning fee back for this location and am not expecting it. I’m also not planning any more Airbnb trips.

Airbnb Bat Hell in Malaysia – Why is it still listed?

I booked and prepaid in full for a house near Terengganu, Malaysia for our main family vacation in July. Before doing so I checked out reviews which were positive. I also kept in contact with the owner through Airbnb’s website. We had a long-haul flight from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur followed by a domestic flight to Terengannu. Our party consisted of three adults plus our six-year-old twins.

We were met by my friend who lives locally and drove a hire-car to the house. An old lady who spoke no English met us and we had some trouble opening the door which should have tipped us off that no one had entered in quite a while – certainly not to clean. The house looked like the photos on Airbnb but, within a few minutes we noticed a bat flying in the entrance hall. Then another bat appeared and another… and another. Three things I know about bats: they like unoccupied buildings; they are nocturnal; they live in colonies.

By now my young girls and wife were screaming so I got them into a bedroom while I dealt with the bats. This entailed killing them one by one. It was obvious we could not stay there. The bedsheets had not been laundered in months and my wife found a rodent’s decomposing body under a bed. Clearly, no one had entered this house in months as they would have known about the bat infestation.

The owner came but said she could only reimburse me at the end of the month. In that event, it would be two months before I was repaid. Now we had to find a hotel suitable for a family which of course turned out to be expensive. For the next month we had to move every few days and lacked a set base. On return to Abu Dhabi I contacted customer service and eventually got my money back; however, there was no compensation for my extra expense and inconvenience.

The worst thing is that this property is still on Airbnb’s site along with my negative review. What does a host have to do to be deleted from their site? I challenged Airbnb about this so they know the story with this house and owner – a perfect illustration of how they value hosts more than guests. The property is still on their site. The key lesson I learned is never ever to use Airbnb again but to use booking.com when you can pay on arrival. If booking a place near Terengannu take great care.

Airbnb Nightmare at Hong Kong Property

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I stayed at an apartment building in Hong Kong called The Sparkle in the Cheung Sha Wan area in Hong Kong through Airbnb. Pictures of the apartment showed an upscale, clean apartment in Hong Kong with a list of basic amenities. Problems started appearing the second I checked in. The apartment was clearly not cleaned and had tons of dust, debris, hair all over the floor and surface areas of the apartment.

Small shards of glass were found throughout the apartment. I notified the host and he claimed he sent someone twice to the apartment during my stay to vacuum/clean but I was still able to find glass on the floor throughout my entire stay. I was cut twice by glass and was forced to wear shoes inside the apartment during the entire stay.

Cockroaches were in the kitchen and other bugs were found in the bathroom. I notified the host and he had to bomb the apartment during my stay. After he bombed the living area and kitchen I turned on the ventilation system in the kitchen and a very loud grinding sound came from the system; I had to turn it off immediately.

The washing machine broke the first time I used it and the host waited almost a whole week before he sent someone to fix it. The kitchen door handle kept falling off of the door and the knob in the shower fell off the first time I used it. The place was overall very dirty and not maintained, in clear violation of Airbnb safety and cleanliness policies.

When I spoke to Airbnb, the first couple of representatives and case managers didn’t seem to care at all. I eventually spoke to a case manager who basically lied to me by promising a full refund of the Airbnb service fee and 50% of the host fees. After speaking with him several times I asked him if I needed to file a refund/claim through the Airbnb platform and he told me no and that he would refund it automatically at the end of my stay.

After the trip ended, I expected a refund of what was promised to me – which didn’t happen – and got the runaround talking with different representaives and case managers. I probably spoke to about five representatives after my return inquiring about my refund and all of them basically didn’t care and were flat out rude except for one who was very nice, respectful and understanding. She had asked me to file a refund claim through the system which is currently still being processed.

This is my first experience through Airbnb and unless they give what was promised to me by their case manager and an apology, it will definitely be my last. I will not be recommending Airbnb to anyone and will be sharing my horror story with anyone who considers a stay through Airbnb. What I did expect was courtesy, understanding, fulfillment in terms of promises, and working with the host or guest through problems. So far, Airbnb as a company has not only proven that it does not care about guests who stay at the homes on their platform but also make false promises to their customers.

Hell’s Kitchen, Airbnb Nightmare Apartment in NYC

I just got back from four days in NYC. I rented an Airbnb from two guys who had an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen (okay, should have given me a clue). Upon arrival everything seemed okay; there were no dirty dishes in the sink, and the toilet looked clean enough. THe tub was stained, but acceptable (not taking any bubble baths in it anyway, so sufficient for showering).

However, upon closer inspection, I came to discover that the whole place was filthy. Dirty dishes were left in dishwasher (no dishwasher fluid to clean them with either). The couch was stained, and there were stained, dirty duvets and sheets. Sheets were crumpled and did not appear to even be clean. Baseball-size balls of hair and dust were around the entire apartment, especially on the baseboards and beds. There was a repulsive oven (it set off smoke alarm when we tried to use it) complete with an old hard, burned French fry, and a dirty refrigerator.

The list went on and on. We stayed in a tent in the Sahara Desert once that was cleaner than this place. I immediately texted the owner (he didn’t respond to us, so called another guy in charge) that a cleaning crew needed to be called. Of course, we were assured that one would be there first thing in the morning. We used the towels – that did seem clean – to cover the pillows and ourselves so we could sleep. Suffice it to say that the “cleaning crew is coming” lie was told to us for three days.

The final night the guy texted us at 9:38 PM wanting to send a cleaning crew. In retrospect we should have said yes, as my guess is he was bluffing then too, but trying to cover his #$%. By that time we had bought new sheets after hiking over two miles to BBB and back. Finding this was no easy task in NYC. Quite pricey too, as there’s no Walmart in NYC.

When I got my invitation to post my review, I was loaded. Like I said in my review, I’ve seen animal cages that were cleaner than this apartment. Every night when we returned to the apartment because we’d left for the day – so this magical cleaning crew could appear while we were gone sightseeing for the day, as we had been told over and over by the host – only brought more disappointment, frustration and a string of phone calls to the host and Airbnb. We came to believe that the elusive “cleaning crew” must have lived in the land of the unicorns and lost their metro passes because they never came.

I just got a review from the host. I use that term loosely, as it implies that these guys did something to treat us as guests. He slammed us (me) with a vicious lie saying that we put our used linens and towels in the bathtub (no exit instructions so we called Airbnb and told them what we were going to do; they okayed it. What do you do with dirty linens and towels anyway? This is what we do at a hotel) and urinated on them. What kind of sicko mind can even come up with a defense that gross? Of course you can’t photograph this and he knew that we were staying with a child – pretty low buddy, blame the kid. Little does he know that this child is not a “child,” but a mini-adult who definitely does not wet the bed if that was his implication.

Anyway, I was pretty much pleased with Airbnb for giving us a full refund and eventually resolving our complaint, but it did take five different reps and a lot of phone calls. I also had a lot of pictures (that I really don’t want to post in case I need them for further action) and evidence to present. Even though I probably won’t use Airbnb again, I can say that I’m overall satisfied with Airbnb. It still makes me mad that these guys are out there, ruining other people’s vacations.

Even after this review, they can just list under other names and open new accounts? And the reviews? These guys were Superhosts with 21 positive reviews. It’s not like I didn’t do my due diligence. Buyer beware. All I can say is the next time I’m in New Orleans I’m buying two voodoo dolls.

Blood and Feces in Bed: Airbnb Still Running the Gamut

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I am a point of contact for my neighbor’s property. He has been stranded in Puerto Rico for the past six months and needed an intervention on his home to generate income. One of the first guests to stay from Airbnb was from LA. After multiple requests to check in early and check out late, I explained to her we had guests checking out on her check in day and guests checking in on her checking out day. Despite illicit check out instructions with emphasis on punctuality, she took it upon herself to check out four hours late. The guests scheduled to check in had to be diverted to another property.

To add insult to injury, upon entering the property it was immediately evident that she had not bothered to lock any of the doors, failed to turn off any of the lights or AC, left all the windows open and garbage, cigarette butts (the property was listed as non-smoking) and refuse all over the house, lawn, landscaping, etc. There was human feces, human blood and food left in beds, bath towels had been used to mop the floor, and cough syrup/alcohol bottles were everywhere.

When she was confronted with the damages, she didn’t even deny she had done them. She stated:

“Not locking the doors and the smoking rules I do take responsibility for. I should’ve remembered to lock up. As far as the mess, you already said you had a cleaning crew coming so why would I take it upon myself to clean the house when the rate includes a cleaning service? Unfortunately being a female at times comes with unexpected surprises like a period. So I’m sorry that it happened but also can’t control Mother Nature.

You also did not have any paper towels in the house so when we did spill we had to use the towels there to clean up. The cleaning crew never came to knock on the door or came up. If they had come then we would’ve left immediately. Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave right at 11:00 AM. The car we parked we did move. We were told to park closest to the trash cans so we did. We were told that having the truck there would not be an issue. I did not check this thread for instructions on self check out. I feel the morning we were leaving is a little late to do that; I wouldn’t have thought to look here on how to check out. Usually hosts are a little more prompt with that information. I apologize for not locking up and forgetting to turn off the A/C.”

True to form, Airbnb diverted my calls to their call center mill abroad where ineptitude seems to be bred in a flurry. A “trust and safety” bot, ignoring dates, photos, and previous conversations with other agents responded:

“I’ve been notified of your recent call. I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for. I want to reiterate that this decision was made after careful review of all documentation and communication from both parties, and is in alignment with our policies and procedures. Please be advised that, per our Terms of Service, Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with regard to these disputes.

We are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case — we’ve issued our final decision and will uphold it accordingly. As further communication will not change the outcome of this case, we must respectfully disengage from further discussion.”

Zero regard for facts, evidence or just simple common sense.

Cancelled Less than 24 Hours before my 30th Birthday

To start, I want to say that I normally love Airbnb. I have rented with them for years and years and never had an issue. Until now. I was so excited to celebrate my 30th birthday in Palm Desert when I learnt that the host cancelled less than 24 hours before we were supposed to arrive. The host initially offered absolutely no explanation but later told us that the city of Palm Desert would not let her rent the place out any more and she had to cancel all future reservations as patrol officers were writing citations for her guests.

I understand she had to cancel all future reservations. However, every other guest had at least a week to find new accommodation whereas we were struggling to find a place for the very next day. As such, I spent the majority of my Sunday in California trying to find a new place that looked like it would be enjoyable for the group, missing out on the activities we had planned for that day.

It was totally unacceptable that Airbnb wasn’t willing to help at all. We booked this reservation in November for my 30th birthday trip. The cancellation was so last minute that hotels in the area were already sold out and many of the other Airbnbs were taken. Making matters worse, the group had already flown from across the country (from New York and Boston) and internationally (four from Canada and another one from Australia) leaving us no option but to take another Airbnb that was less than desirable.

The house we originally booked was well decorated, homey and simply adorable. The house we settled for was gaudy, cold and tasteless. In addition, there were a number of rules when checking in that made it difficult for our group to access the house, including threats that we might get turned away at the gate upon arrival if we mentioned we were renting the house instead of friends of the owner.

When we arrived, the backyard was an absolute mess, as was the pool. I took many pictures of this but Airbnb reps didn’t seem to care. It took many calls to get the owner to send someone to clean the pool (which was un-swimmable for the first full day of our stay) and clear all the debris. When they did, it was a few hours of noise and a terrible smell of gas from the air blower they were using. Lastly, there was constant construction at the house next door to us, making it difficult to have a conversation outside.

To me, it’s crazy that Airbnb isn’t willing to help at all or offer a future credit to try to make it up to me. It was as if I booked at the Four Seasons and ended up at a motel down the street for an additional charge. I was charged an extra $380 for the extra cost of the new house, which was one of the only ones we could find in the area. I was told that would be covered. I am an avid Airbnb user and am always willing to spread the word about the company in a positive way, but really think this is insane.