Desperate Situation After Airbnb Refuses to Answer

I made a reservation on Airbnb for seven weeks in Paris as I was doing an internship there. On our arrival, we noticed that the apartment was a bit dirty and very stinky (cigarettes) and noisy (neighbors). Tired from our travels, we did’t want to make a fuss so we cleaned a bit by ourselves. When we got home at 9:30 PM after a long walk we realized there was no cover for the two-person bed as written on the description. We had to buy one (70€) for our first night. We tried to contact the host but there was no reply that day.

We contacted Airbnb the next morning. They tried to contact our host but he made no effort to find a solution or give us a refund; he denied the facts. There was no hairdryer as described too. On the eighth day, we discovered something else: cockroaches. We couldn’t stay there anymore and made a reclamation on the Airbnb website. They told us we could cancel our reservation and make another reservation. They also promised us we would get a full refund for the nights we didn’t spend there (1000€). That’s what I did; I made a reservation for another apartment (2500€) but my refund was only 39€. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Since then I have been trying to reach them by phone and messaging to get my money back but there has been no answer. I’m quite desperate…

Airbnb Guests Can Lie About Noise, Damages

Out of 30+ rentals I have had two issues with guests. The first issue was when a guest did some minor damage to the property and left an extraordinary mess for me to clean up and organize professionals to come to the house with cleaning equipment. For the extra four hours of work, I decided to charge $65. If this was a regular rental situation that money would have come out of the security deposit, no questions asked. Airbnb decided to modify the contract and I ended up getting $5, plus $165 which was reimbursed against the receipts of repairs made supported by pictures of damages.

The second guest had sent Airbnb eight videos about “my house” because they were complaining about a train noise and not being able to sleep. They also claimed the train went by every 30 minutes during the night (easy to check, not true). Three of those videos were not from my house. Out of the remaining five, one was at night time and the rest were during the day with the windows open because you could hear birds and the neighbor’s dog. Out of 30+ guests nobody has ever complained about the train before.

Airbnb decided to give the guests a refund against the contract when they would have only been entitled to 50%. If they would have spent any time checking the facts or called me prior to making a decision the facts could have been set straight. Airbnb is habitually taking money out of hosts’ pockets and expects them to work for free based on the decisions of some teenager in a call center. The first guest was a first time Airbnb user and the second guest had two prior reviews.

Waking up with Ants and Insults in the Room

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I had a terrible experience with my stay. We saw condiments and a drink left in the fridge and thought nothing of it. I saw two ants in the room upon arrival and thought it wouldn’t be a problem. We had left to explore the city of San Juan and then arrived back to the Airbnb at night and went to sleep. In the morning, the hotel room had ants all over the bed and night stand. We woke up in the morning with ants all over us. Then we knew something was up when there was mold on the shower curtain, the bed sheets had stains and someone had left their bathing suit on the balcony.

We were about to leave the hotel room in the morning and a man was trying to enter the room saying that he was housekeeping, even though he didn’t have any cleaning supplies. The area of old San Juan has not recovered at all. We hardly saw any guests or people in the area. The closest beach was closed due to the Hilton Caribe reconstruction. The nightlife in old San Juan is a 40-minute walk so nothing is really walkable distance like the post had said. I explained my situation to the host and the host immediately became aggressive. Then resorted to name calling. They called me a millennial. I thought it was pretty funny at first but it was pretty rude.

Charged for Airbnb with Cockroaches with no Overnight Stay

On February 20th, I booked a stay in Fuerteventura, Costa Calma, for February 21st-28th for €360.50. Immediately after booking it, I changed the dates to the 24th-28th (for €206.47) on Airbnb and informed the host via Whatsapp (on the number listed in the Airbnb profile). Apparently this person is the housekeeper and Airbnb manager for this apartment. She told me it was absolutely no problem to change the dates. She told me she accepted it, but I could not see it reflected on my Airbnb page.

She told me that was not a problem – that sometimes it would take longer for Airbnb to accept it, but she assured me she would speak to them if necessary as she had agreed to the change. Additionally, she messaged me via Airbnb (and it shows publically on their profile as well) that they charge a €150 deposit and €70 cleaning fee (by cash, outside of Airbnb). I agreed to this.

She came to my hotel to hand me the key on the 23rd so that I could have the freedom to arrive when I wanted. I gave her the deposit and cleaning fee, and she gave me the key. We had a good talk. I only entered the apartment on Monday the 26th. She was informed about my plans and I had no problem to have it “reserved” since Saturday, should I want to arrive earlier. It took me an hour to find the exact house because she forgot to inform me of the right apartment number.

When I entered, I ran to the toilet and noticed that the bed was not made at all, and there was some linen in a bag… strange. I went back to the living room and to my disgust, I found four dead cockroaches. I was travelling with my dog, so I was afraid she would eat them; to me that looked like an infestation. If there were four dead ones in plain sight, how many more were around?

I left the place and immediately contacted Airbnb. They told me to book another place and not to worry. They did tell me that they are not responsible for any money given outside of their platform (even though I have proof I gave it to them – it openly states it on their profile and they requested it to me via Airbnb messenger). They told me that they had to contact the host directly, because none of the things that were agreed upon are actually viewed by Airbnb as enough proof, since I dealt with the housekeeper and Airbnb manager, instead of the real owner. The only number on that profile did not connect me to the owner.

The housekeeper and Airbnb manager agreed to deposit the €220 back to my account and to pay for me to send back the key to her. She also agreed to a refund by the owner. However, when I requested if the transfer could be made together via Airbnb, she then told me how unfair it was all, due to my changes and how she brought me the key, etc. How she would only make the deposit after Airbnb had resolved the case.

Airbnb has now told me that I’m only entitled to a €90 refund. Note that the owner has not yet agreed to the changes of my booking (a refund of €154.03) and Airbnb says she has to accept it, otherwise they can’t do anything about it. They also say they also can’t do anything about the bank transfer that the housekeeper and Airbnb manager said she was going to take.

According to Airbnb’s logic, I only had 24 hours to report any issues with the apartment. So because I didn’t arrive on Saturday and on Monday instead and found 50 roaches there, I am not entitled to a refund. Also, according to their logic, even if they have proof of everything, they can’t ask the owner to refund me the money for the initial changes. Nor they can ask them to proceed with the transfer back for the deposit and cleaning fee.

Airbnb wanted me to pay €360 (a full week’s rent) + €220 (deposit and cleaning fees for roaches and an unmade bed – €90 (refund for two nights) = €490.50 total for a place infested with cockroaches where I never stayed. I have all the proof necessary with them agreeing to the changes and refunds. Now Airbnb does not want to cooperate into helping me get anything.

I would like Airbnb to tell the owner to accept the initial changes so that I could at least get my initial refund of €154.03 (I have plenty of voice messages and screenshots from the housekeeper and Airbnb manager, saying these changes were accepted by the owner and that the apartment was fully managed by her). I would like Airbnb to cooperate and ensure that the transfer of €220 is made to my account with the deposit and “cleaning fee”. There is also enough proof from the housekeeper and the owner stating this money will be returned to me. Please help me fix this. I don’t want to go to the police or my lawyer.

Airbnb Nightmare Host Goes to Extremes for Cash

Just prior to my departure from Canada to the UK, the host cancelled the booking we had made ten months prior. Airbnb sent a few recommendations, and we selected one. The pictures on the Airbnb website showed a spacious environment, in which the French Door from the kitchen was open and I assumed led to a garden. I assumed it was a terrace house since that is the style of house I had originally booked.

The property was actually a former counsel flat. The French Doors opened onto a tiny deck measuring approximately two feet by two feet, a far cry from a private garden. The entranceway to the property was littered with garbage and the stairway smelt of urine. A large sign was posted outside the entrance way stating that the authorities were aware of all the violence in this building and surrounding grounds and will be increasing their surveillance of the area. I felt played. I was so terribly mislead. The homeowner told me the doors to the flat needed to be locked at all times due to the high crime rate in the building. Happy holidays.

Do not take Airbnb property recommendations. Do not rent properties that do not show the outside of the building from both the front and back. To protect yourself from bad hosts, I would strongly recommend you take pictures of the inside and outside of the property on arrival and again when you leave, so the condition in which you left a property can not be debated.

The second location I had the displeasure of staying at was in Somerset. The posting made it sound that the house was located in the townsite of Shepton Mallet, but it was in the district of Shepton Mallet, a 15-minute drive to the townsite and any amenities. The pictures on the Airbnb website made the dwelling look much larger than it was and showed lovely white leather furniture. In reality, the inside of the home looked more like a charity shop with all mismatched furniture. The pictures of the outside of the chapel style home showed a lovely manicured lawn, with a fence since the home was supposed to be dog-friendly. We chose this rental primary based on that picture. The garden actually belonged to the neighbour.

On the day of our arrival, we were treated to an extensive electronic rule book and all the additional fees, such as utilities, that could be added after our stay. All additional charges were at the discretion of the host after our departure. Before we left the home my daughter and I tidied up, mopped the floors, put away all the dishes, following the host’s instructions to the letter. The house lacked basic cleaning supplies, and the electronic rule book had stated if there were no cleaning supplies, it was up the guest to buy them.

After our departure, the host fined us for the recycling bin being full and then gave us a bad review for having a full recycling box. Looking for additional funds, they searched the contents of our sealed garbage bags. Potato chip packages were deemed party food, and were written into the review as evidence we were “extreme partiers.” Again, potato chip packages that were pilfered from trash bags. The dog’s adsorbent mats, which we had brought in case the dog had an accident and to protect the host’s home, were found in the garbage and we were billed for them.

These people dug though our garbage to find things to bill for. I find it sickening that the host went through our sealed garbage bags and wrote about us based on the contents. I felt violated. Once again, I felt like I had been played as a fool and was angry that I had spent so much time cleaning up the place and leaving it in much better condition than I found it. I am appalled that this type of host is allowed to continue with Airbnb; she is dishonest, a cheat, and vulgar. All I can assume based on her behaviour she must have a severe mental disorder that has been left untreated.

Ask your host for the square footage of the dwelling, since photographs can be very deceptive and misrepresent the size of the dwelling. Ask your host if the photos of the property are an accurate depiction, and when they were taken. Ask your host if there are additional fees that do not appear on the website. Ask your host about the rules for pets. Do not put dog mats in the property’s garbage bin. It can not be understated how much you need to protect yourself from dishonest hosts, by taking picture of the property on arrival and on departure, and time stamp them.

Both Host and Airbnb won’t Accept Negative Review

Here is a review I posted on an Airbnb host’s site. It was posted for one day and then Airbnb removed it from the post. I contacted Airbnb support and went back and forth many times and they refused to put the review back on the host’s rental site.

You will see in my review that I not only complained about the rental but also provided some positive feedback. It seems to me that the host and Airbnb don’t want negative reviews so they removed it. When I told the host I was posting a negative review, he threatened that if I did he would post something negative about me. I didn’t care about the negative feedback I would receive as I felt it was important to share my experience with others who may rent this house.

We also had five couples in the rental (all over 60) so I can’t imagine what he could have said about us. We were there less than 24 hours and took great care of the house. Since Airbnb wouldn’t post my review on their site I am now hoping to share it here:

Beware of this host. First let me say that we have rented many homes through VRBO and most recently Airbnb for over 15 years. This will be my first negative review I’ve written so I put a lot of thought into this post. Our first interaction with the host was amazing. She was quick to respond to all of my questions and allowed us to rent for only one night on a busy NYE stay – although at a premium rate of $1,600 per night (I believe the normal nightly rate is $500). We had five couples to share the cost so we felt the price was worth us spending a night in a nice house.

Now to the reason I’m writing a negative review. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the pool had not been cleaned; it was dirty and had leaves on the bottom of the pool. I contacted the host and she offered to come over and sweep it for us. We declined as it was starting to get dark and cool for the evening. Again, the host quickly responded to my question so communication was good. As the evening progressed we discovered many other issues. By this time of night it was getting late on NYE so we decided it was too late to call her. A list of issues we found that I want to share with potential renters:

1. When one of the guests went to prepare for bed she pulled back the top sheet and there was not a fitted sheet – only the mattress pad, which had many stains on it and was covered with hair. She found the fitted sheet wound up in a ball in the closet; it was wet so she couldn’t put it on the bed. She had to move all of her stuff to another bedroom which also had bedding issues (holes in the shams and stained sheets).

2. An ice cube fell on the floor so we grabbed a paper towel to wipe it up. The paper towel was black from the dirt on the floor. We tried wiping other areas in the kitchen and saw how dirty the floor was. We decided that we wouldn’t go barefoot in the house. In fact, by the bar area our shoes would squeak from the stickiness on the floor.

3. The fireplace didn’t work – or if it did we couldn’t find the instructions on how to use it.

4. One of the bathrooms had a hole in the drywall, the tub faucet was broken and the sink handle fell off when we turned it.

5. The ice dispenser didn’t work – we had to open freezer to get ice out of the bucket.

For $1,600 we expected a lot more from this rental. It didn’t have to be perfect as we understand many renters come and go through these houses, but clean and in working order was not too high of an expectation.

The next day I contacted the host and she said she was mortified about the linens and would repair all of the items I listed. Although too late for our stay, I hope it is better for the next renter. Her reasoning that things were not taken care of was that no one had ever told her about anything wrong in the house. I understand that others wrote good reviews so she wasn’t aware of any issues which is why I’m writing this review so the next potential renter can be informed.

All in all, the host was good to work with. We just felt that for the amount we paid to rent the house we deserved so much more.

Airbnb has no Standards for Hosts and their Homes

This was my second time going through a dirty Airbnb experience. I guess one time wasn’t enough for me to learn the lesson. In the heat of the moment I have decided to go to Honolulu for quick getaway. I was on a budget and decided to go with Airbnb instead of a hotel. I had booked a condo that got my attention with its very colorful wall paintings and warm atmosphere (how far that was from the truth).

Upon arriving, I first noticed that the place had nothing to do with the pictures. The colorful wall was gone; it looked very empty and out of order. That turned on my warning signs. It didn’t take too long for me to spot the filth in the place: cabinets, walls, mirrors, windows… you name it. The only thing I could say that truly felt clean were the bed sheets. I am a very clean and detail oriented person and very sensitive to dirty environments.

However, that was not the end. The place felt like someone donated already “used to the limits” stuff and placed it in there for the guests, including towels, pans, and furniture. The wallpaper was coming off and the toilet was scratched and stained indicating the long years of use.

I contacted the host and he did agree to refund the money. The problem was that I didn’t know the rules and the process of getting a refund. I filed a complaint with Airbnb, attaching pictures. The next day I got a notification that the host was refunding my money. So I was very satisfied, and moved on with my vacation.

The day after that I saw there was a message from Airbnb. I opened it and noticed that I had to accept the refund. So I pressed the button, and because it was one day too late they couldn’t process the refund. I called Airbnb and they said they had not received any complaint from me (I am very sure they did but had a reason to pretend not to), and promised to fix the refund.

They halfway did: instead of $300 I got $178 out of the $502 I originally paid. I am not that mad with happened to the money but mostly that those stressful situations even occur. There is a lack of competence on the part of Airbnb in any apartment’s quality control. There is a 50/50 chance you will come a across great place or hellish crib. It is messing up our vacations and plans we make. We lose money and get more stressed than relaxed.

It looks as if everyone who has an empty corner in their house think he/she can be a host. The truth is to be a host is a bit more difficult than just putting a blanket on a mattress. It involves time and dedication. I personally believe that we should not put the total blame on the hosts but mostly on Airbnb for not putting any restrictions and control on the hosts to follow and to apply in their apartments.

Stay away from Airbnb Properties Managed by Oasis

Do not book any Chicago property managed by Oasis unless you want to be nauseated by smoke. Even the host smelled of smoke when he greeted us in the lobby. I’m still waiting for them to refund three nights because they admitted it had smoke odors even though they advertised it as non-smoking. We had to get a hotel.

After conversations with Oasis staff, they offered to refund one night while they “deep cleaned”. (After we left for a hotel, I received an email at 11:00 PM that we could come back the next day to “check it out” as it had now been deep cleaned). By now we had checked in and unpacked at a new hotel. We were traveling on business with meetings all day and it wasn’t possible for us to check out of the hotel and go inspect the apartment (smoke odors don’t typically go away that quickly).

As a side note, they advertised their property as able to sleep three people; we assumed the sofa would be a place to sleep but there was no bedding provided for it except a blanket that was in the closet. I was very disappointed and hope they will do the right thing and refund our $600+. We have been trying every angle to get in touch with someone but they have gone silent.

I am a rental property owner and list my property on Airbnb, and we have used the service traveling internationally. This is the first bad experience. Oasis (the supposedly global property management company) presents themselves as only representing highest quality properties and that was certainly not the case. On top of it, they have completely refused to reply or deal with me to bring this situation to a satisfactory close. Even the partial refund they offered has not been granted. Thankfully American Express also has my back and is working through the situation.

Filth and Infestations at New York Airbnb Home

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No more Airbnb-hosted homes for us. Although there are good clean places out there, we’ve had two ghastly experiences in two months. Airbnb refuses to post honest reviews, only five-star reviews. Avoid this Airbnb in Wynantskill, NY at all costs. We found the bedroom and bathroom filthy and extremely bug infested.

Food scraps, hair, bugs, and dirt were on both the floors and walls. Grime was on the door handles, toothpaste was splattered on the sink, counter, and bathroom mirror, and stains were on the carpet. The pillow cases and bed sheets were terribly stained and even had holes worn through them. The bath towels and washcloths were also badly stained. They looked as though they had been rags taken from a trash can. The place had the odor of a men’s locker room. I wouldn’t let my dog stay in such a filthy place.

Had it not been late and storming when we arrived, we would have never stayed. As it was, we found some Lysol cleaner and wiped down the tub and other bathroom fixtures. Then we went about trying to kill as many of the bugs on the walls, curtains, floor, and bed as we could. The host was not there. Her father let us in. He said that his daughter was renting out the bedroom just long enough to pay for her new Jeep. This is our second bad experience with renting through Airbnb in two months. When we spoke to their representatives the last time, we got nowhere. Never again.

Airbnb Experience Different for Older Guests

We experienced our first Airbnb in the US this past week. How we came to be there is that my husband’s nephew stayed at this same place. He is 30. Our tastes in accommodations and his are dramatically different. In his review he gave them seven stars.

Anyway, he said they would give us a deal if we went directly to the hosts. We weren’t sure but that may have been a bad sight. The rate on the advertised room was $35 a night. Even with cleaning costs, that was still overcharging for seven days; we paid $400.

On arrival we met them. They seemed like an okay but aloof couple. After three days our towels start to smell. We texted a request for fresh ones. The host replied Airbnb required us to provide one set… Later on in the day I got a text from her about which towels I wanted replaced. I replied the ones in the bath which was exactly what I got: one damn towel. My husband missed out.

The host advertised on their page that they had European and American coffee pots. She never said or showed how to make espresso. When I asked for the American coffee pot what I got was a pot that was full of mold; it looked like it hadn’t ever been cleaned. It was disgusting.

They advertised they had a balcony. It was there all right… if you could forage through the crap laying all over it. Cigarette butts overflowing in the ashtray, and glasses and cups had been sitting there for days. As far as cleanliness, there were always dishes in the sink and a pot of food on the stove.

This takes the cake. They had a shoe rack outside the hallway and asked us to remove our shoes… no joke. I know there are better places out there and I will give Airbnb one more chance but this was an eyeopener. There was a TV in our room; however, it didn’t work. There were no mirrors and the pillows were as flat as pancakes.

They advertised they were students as their occupation line… this is their way of making a living? I’m not sure. They seem to be living in the bedroom opposite ours. The host mentioned she has a degree in international business and the husband in entrepreneurship. I think they missed a class or two in hospitality. The bottom line is don’t expect a 30-something to know what your expectations are. He tried to do well and we appreciated it. However, it was a lesson learned by us. Too bad, so sad.