Terrible Airbnb Apartment in San Diego Hillcrest

blankblankblankblank

I’m mainly writing this because I hate to see a lousy host continue to rent out his lousy apartment without making any changes to it. If the host was open to feedback and improvements, then cool. Not the case with this guy it seems. I booked this apartment for myself and two friends for San Diego Comic-Con. I could tell that the owner had raised the price for that week, something I expected anyway. Most of the reviews were fairly positive, but after staying there, I have no idea why they are. I can understand an old place just being old, but this place just felt dirty and lacked basic amenities that it claimed to have in its description. There was no extra toilet paper, not enough towels for the number of guests for which I informed him of, no hand soap, trash beneath the sink, gum in the bathroom sink drain, rug stains, and peeling floor paint.

The worst part of the stay was the handful of large, flying cockroaches that appeared on two of the nights. One of which actually flew into my friend, and another scurried over her foot. The host had left me a short but positive review; however, he countered my negative review for his unit, fabricating or embellishing most of the story. I don’t know if he doesn’t understand that there’s a thing called a paper trail. I’ve uploaded an image of my correspondence with the host regarding the issues that would negate his rebuttal to my negative review of his unit, as well as photographic evidence. To elaborate further on other certain issues he claimed in his counter-review:

  • He claimed that we had a late check in. Our check-in was actually early as my one friend showed up an hour before check-in, and I had cleared this with the host. He did not provide clear directions on how to get the keys (I guess I should’ve repeated my question in my emails), and my friend had tried texting and writing to him with no response. She then had to decipher how to get the keys from previous guest reviews. My own check-in was two days later at night, but that did not require the host’s attention, obviously, since my friends were already there.
  • He mentioned that we did not make any requests for toilet paper or towels. Regarding the toilet paper, this is because my friends had quickly gone out and bought their own (we did not know that the staff in the deli below was affiliated with the apartment in that way). Regarding towels, because the place already felt pretty filthy, we did not trust even using the towels.
  • He mentions that we did not allow them onto the premises to inspect for the cockroaches. In my correspondence with him, I explained that we did not want anyone to enter the premises while we were not present, and at the time we were about to head out for the day. What the host failed to mention is that one of his associates did actually show up to take a look just before we headed out. We let him in of course, and he asked us where the cockroaches were coming from, but how could we know specifically where they came from? They just started flying and scurrying around the place at night. The guy claimed they’d never seen them upstairs before as though it couldn’t be true that they had cockroaches. However, this makes me question the sanitation level of the deli below.

After the inspection, no solution was offered and the guy left. With two nights left of our stay, we were considering finding accommodation elsewhere. However, being Comic-Con week, everything was booked up or overly expensive. I communicated this with the host and suggested a 2-day refund as the unit was not as advertised and we would’ve vacated the unit if we could’ve. He seemed to be open to this discussion. However, his responses were more and more delayed going forward. After our stay ended, he eventually just stopped responding to me. I was also in communication with Airbnb regarding this unit. They offered me a refund on the cleaning fees (I have no idea what the host is spending this money on at all), and after further requests, a credit towards a future stay to offset our costs. Unfortunately I cannot counter the host’s stories on his profile at all. I hope that by posting this story I can deter future guests from staying at this unit, and that Airbnb will better monitor the quality and honesty of host listings. I’ve been using Airbnb for a number of years now with no major issues, and with this listing being the first problematic stay, it already shows me the lack of responsibility that both hosts and Airbnb can potentially have for their clients.

Red Wine Damages in Beautiful Penthouse

We checked in the late morning on April 4th. On April 8th, we checked out early as we all had morning flights. We called the housekeeper to collect the keys from us as the owners were not available. We left everything as we found it but did not take out the rubbish as we weren’t provided with refuse bags or instructions on where it should be left. We personally didn’t think that this was an issue as the property was quite dirty on arrival with sanitary rubbish in the bathroom dustbins, dirt under the beds, old food in the fridge, etc. We left some leftover food and drinks in the fridge and left all the dishes and kitchen clean.

On my return to the office on the 8th I sent a message through Airbnb to the owner, as follows:

Hi Lasse! Thank you very much for having us stay in the penthouse. One of the girls tripped over the sliding door rail when coming in from outside and fell onto the couch with a glass of red wine. Please let us know what the charges are for the cleaning of the couch. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

The accident happened on the evening of April 7th when we were locking up after dinner, before retiring to bed. Our manager entered from the balcony with a glass of wine in her hand, tripped over the rail of the glass sliding door and fell onto the floor and partially over the couch, spilling her wine on the floor and couch. There is a difference in the height from the floor outside to the inside creating a step, which in the dark is difficult to see. The couch is against the glass door so was in the immediate path to the kitchen from the balcony. We immediately offered to pay for cleaning the couch. If it was immediately handed in for cleaning there may have been a chance of removing the stain but the owner decided to wait almost a month before attending to the stain. I followed up via text messages on a couple of occasions and Lasse claimed that he didn’t have time to look into the cleaning of the couch and that he would do it between the times the penthouse was occupied.

It had been two months since we reported the spill on the couch when we were made aware of the fact that the dry cleaning had been unsuccessful and therefore recovering the couch was required at our expense (close to $1000). Whilst I understand that Lasse feels that the replacement of the fabric is required, I don’t understand that he feels that we should be held responsible for the charges. It was an accident and accidents happen. I would have thought that anybody with expensive furniture or appliances carry enough insurance to be covered for any incidents that could potentially damage or destroy their property. I was surprised at the request for the payment in total of the damages. I feel that Lasse only acknowledged the damages five days after I reported it. If something had been done about the spill immediately, the outcome may have been very different. A dispute was supposedly logged with Airbnb who found in favour of the host, leaving us with a massive bill (deducted off my credit card without my permission).

Be careful staying with Airbnb. Their terms clearly state that no matter what you do you are liable. Even if a property causes your death it is still in some way your own fault!

Airbnb has a Good Marketing Team, But…

Having used Airbnb for quite a few occasions traveling, I would like to warn people, as Airbnb promotes itself in a way that is not exactly truthful:

1. Some hosts are in fact sexual predators (I have three personal stories to tell, one of which includes a host who was married). If you are alone, be aware of this and choose a host of your own sex. Also be aware of that people may be renting out for less than altruistic purposes. Narcissists love Airbnb because they feed on positive reviews

2. Airbnb offers no security check up or quality control whatsoever, and will not remove a host even after serious allegations. They will just give you empty words. I have heard this from many sources and lived it myself after a married host made sexual advances at me in my own cottage.

3. Hosts often lie in their descriptions and forget to mention that the rural house is by the autobahn (Editor’s note: motorway or interstate), that they are heavy smokers, that there are no buses, that it is dirty, etc. The photos may not be truthful. Be aware of this!

4. People tend to give overly positive reviews. I also have the suspicion Airbnb removes the negative ones. I went to one place that had a “Superhost” label and it was the filthiest place I have ever seen; the host had no teeth and didn’t bother to wash himself.

Airbnb Hell-sinki Apartment Nightmare

blank

In early June 2016 we chose a apartment in Helsinki for three months and I decided to rent in the Hagaa Area (pictured). Normally, this would come to €130 but because it was a long term arrangement the host offered a discount of €100 and told me she couldn’t make this deal through Airbnb; I should pay cash at arrival. Usually apartments in this area rent at about €1,000 a month: they’re very old and under renovation. Some people even block the entrance; my kids had to leave by the emergency exit, which was surrounded by dangerous equipment and tools.

Anyway, I had to pay €3000 a month plus a €70 cleaning fee. When we arrived, the host told us the renovation had been finished and they would clean up the stairs soon. However, the next day we realized the real situation and complained. The host told us she didn’t know anything about it but cut off the electricity and water for many days following our arrival. When we checked out, she sent us a list of damages and quoted us €1,200 for a small kitchen table and €240 for a cleaning service… I had thoroughly cleaned the apartment before we left. Now she’s threatening to report us to the police and slandering us by saying that I committed a crime by damaging the kitchen table. Be careful from whom you choose to rent. You never know what will happen to you.

Airbnb was no Help with Nasty Host

blankblankblankblankblank

Our host greeted us at the door with an old dog with matted fur; there was no mention of him in the profile. She provided us with one key and said we could make our own copies. Some rooms didn’t have any light bulbs and the host said we could buy some. The bathroom and floors were brown with dirt and dog hair. The smell from the dog was so bad we could not stay in the apartment the first night. We weren’t able to use the intercom because it’s connected to the house phone that the host took with her. We had to go downstairs every time to let my husband in. The host didn’t have a wifi password for us upon arrival. There was no gym. The furniture was broken. The “free parking on premises” was street parking. I contacted the host twice about getting a partial refund and she had no reply to my request. I asked to have one night’s stay and the cleaning fee back. She wouldn’t reply. Airbnb closed my resolution request with no explanation after two months. I’m unable to include a link to her listing because the stink spot is “no longer available.”

LA Urban Bungalow is Anything But Clean

Upon checking into an Airbnb in LA for almost a two-week period, I had to do massive cleaning as there were dried chicken bones left in the refrigerator along with old food and mold! The bedding and towels along with dishes all had to be cleaned and washed, and the trash was full to the top and had to be taken out. This stay was horrendous and all this cleaning took place after I was forced to wait four extra hours from the scheduled check-in time. The host (Phyllis) agreed to reimburse me for a half day’s rental cost. I was told the delay at check-in was due to maid service: apparently she was busy “cleaning” the Airbnb property. This of course was not the case. All dishes were either dirty and sitting in sink or littered with dust and dirty water marks, left to sit on wire shelving. I was forced to go to the store to purchase cleaning supplies, candles, air fresheners, incense, etc. This host never reimbursed me for the half day delay at check-in – which was agreed upon – and then had the audacity to write a slanted negative review, claiming he smelled “smoke” in his freshly de-sterilized “bungalow.” I’m off to get a tetanus shot after this horrible stay.

Negative Review: Host from Venice

We were unlucky during our trip from Zagreb to Venice. We missed our bus due to some administrative fault with the bus company in Venice. We had no choice but to take the next bus which was at 10:00pm that night, so our timing was way off to check in to our Airbnb. We messaged our host about it in advance, telling her that we had no choice but to check in late. She asked us to pay an extra 40 euros for the late check in. Eventually, we paid. So during our stay in Venice, we paid the city tax (3 euros per night), cleaning fees (20 euros in cash), and 40 euros for a late check in. In regards to the cleaning fees, there’s a problem with her listing: she is NOT SUPPOSED to collect cleaning fees in cash, but she did. When I tried to resolve this issue with her, she just brushed me off by saying that the cleaning fees are to be paid to the lady who cleans the apartment.

I’ve submitted a report to Airbnb about this and they are still not getting back to me. Initially, I didn’t want to post this story over here but I’m left with no choice as she left me a negative review (which I couldn’t view until I wrote a review for her). I ended up writing a good review for her but was shocked to find a very negative review! Please, those who are going to Venice: DO NOT RESERVE THIS HOST!

Airbnb Nightmare in Downtown Indianapolis

blankblankblankblankblank

My daughter had a volleyball tournament in downtown Indianapolis in June 2016. The hotel I wanted to stay at, Crowne Plaza, where the team was staying, unfortunately was fully booked at the parent rate and a neighbor mentioned I should check out Airbnb as an option. I was surprised to find an apartment at only $100 a night about 1.5 miles from the convention center. Another mom whose daughter was also in the tournament agreed to split the fee with me and one of us would bunk on the couch since tournament days are often long with minimal time spent in the room.

My first red flag happened the night before check in. The host, Eric, asked me to give him a call when I had a moment to go over check in. At this time he revealed he wanted to be up front (nice of him to be upfront with less than 24 hours to check in…) as he had a small issue that “wasn’t a big deal” but that he wasn’t supposed to be subletting his apartment so if anyone asked who I was, to say I was a family member. That immediately made me uncomfortable as I had booked FOUR NIGHTS at his apartment. If something went wrong, what might happen? The “upfront” comment really pissed me off. There was nothing upfront about it at all. I was told last minute and not given the option if I wanted to be at risk in this way.

I called several hotels immediately but no one had any rooms available. The day of check in I contacted Eric to find out how to retrieve the keys. He had previously told me he’d have the keys available for me to pick up when ready. I wrongly assumed that meant he would leave the keys with a doorman, an apartment manager… but alas, I made an error in using common sense. What Eric sent me to show me how to retrieve the keys was a picture of the front of the apartment building where a red circle was placed on the left side of the photo indicating where I could retrieve the keys… which were hidden under one lonely slate piece of rock that stood out like a sore thumb next to the door.

I was in a rush to get my daughter to the hotel to meet the team so I rushed in, dropped off my bag, and left. I noticed the lock was difficult to handle and saw there was no metal casing where the deadbolt should sit, just wood roughly carved out that left the door closing very loosely. My friend, the mom of my daughter’s teammate, Uber’d back with me to the apartment and I showed her where the keys were left for us. She was shocked. We scurried to the apartment hoping no one was going to stop us on the way and we noticed a cubby door near the front door of the apartment. This was not mentioned in the listing, so we opened it.

The door fell off in our hands but we noticed when looking inside it looked vaguely familiar. No wonder – it led to the closet inside the apartment, which had no lock on the door, and was easily sized for someone to climb through. We pushed a chair up to the closet door for security measures. Two women in a strange city alone with a door someone could crawl through and wind up in the apartment left us feeling vulnerable and worried. Again, I called around to more hotels, and nothing was available. I went to the Airbnb site and couldn’t find an emergency phone number.

We then proceeded to look around the apartment and noticed what a sty the place was. The bathroom was disgusting! I was so grossed out I wouldn’t even brush my teeth that night because I didn’t trust the water flowing through the faucet. The shower was beyond human use but oddly enough the photos in the listing did not depict the nastiness; they were staged in a way to not show it. I had asked the host for a set of sheets for the couch since there were two guests staying. There were no extra set of sheets to be found anywhere, just a lone blanket with holes in it folded up next to a chair and a brand new thin blanket thrown on the couch, but no sheets.

The bathroom had ONE washcloth and three towels. That’s it. There was one roll of toilet paper. The floors were nasty; the edges of the entire place were thick with black grime from years of dirt and lack of scrubbing. I sat on the couch while my friend had an anxiety attack and used her inhaler. When I got up, cat hair was all over my pants (the listing did say he had two cats but I asked him to remove them because of my friend’s allergies – he insisted he cleaned the house the morning of check in for three hours – a total lie) The house smelled, just like the apartment building. I don’t mind old but I do want CLEAN. This place was old, dirty, and disgusting. I wouldn’t judge anyone if that’s what they can afford or for how they want to live but when you open up your place for others to stay at and risk their security, health, and sanity because you want to make a buck (or in this case, $400 bucks), I have a problem.

Did I mention we slept on the couch because we were too scared to sleep in the bedroom with the wonky cubby hole/door thing going on? I kept smelling something seriously rank all night and when light finally hit in the morning, I looked on the side of the couch and there were two wine bottles (which were probably not empty, by the smell). I finally was able to Google Airbnb and find a hidden phone number. I spoke to someone named Buster and uploaded tons of photos of our situation. I felt I should have been refunded the ENTIRE amount we spent. They did cancel our reservation which gave us back two nights and they proceeded to also refund the third night and our service fee.

I will never use Airbnb again. It was so stressful. We got two hours sleep total the entire night leading to the day our daughters played. Luckily my husband is a Platinum Marriott member and they were able to give us a room for the night about 15 minutes away from the convention center at a great rate. I seriously felt like I was walking into the Astoria when we got there. Coincidentally, I got a text from Eric asking “Hi, how is the stay going?” about two hours after the reservation was cancelled. I proceeded to block his number and enjoy the rest of my stay at the Marriott. Never never never again! Too risky and too much work to get a resolution. Buster was nice but I like the option of going to a front desk and speaking with a person for an immediate resolution at a hotel. Too much was left up for Airbnb to agree to despite how wrong the listing was and the security issues we faced.

Airbnb is a Joke – Worst Experience Ever in DC

I’m still trying to get a refund after an apartment host lied about his listing (in Washington, D.C.) I showed up to this piece of garbage apartment after a coast-to-coast flight (arrived at 9pm). The apartment was filthy, gross, and dirty: garbage overflowing in the kitchen and bathroom, bed sheets dirty and thrown on the floor, dirty socks and tennis shoes on the floor next to the bed, a wet dirty towel hanging sideways off the bathroom towel rack, etc. It was actually frightening.

I was shocked and not sure what to do. So I reached out to the so-called “host”… and never heard back. It took him 30+ minutes to finally contact me and proceeded to call me a “liar”, and that his cleaning lady had just cleaned the place. I sent him photos, and said I was leaving. He said he would like to “work it out” and offered me a $50 refund. I told him it was unacceptable and I needed a place to sleep that night. So I left (returned the keys to the doorman of the building). The “host” then texted me and threatened to sue me (he said he was an attorney) if I posted a negative rating on the Airbnb website. Ha! That’s a good one.

An official complaint (with photos and documentation) was filed May 19th, 2016. AMEX did a conference call with myself and Airbnb as well… to no avail. Anyway, there it is straight up. If you like this kind of treatment, then go for it. If you are a professional and expect good customer service from intelligent human beings, then run. Airbnb does not offer this. They hand you ill-trained customer service reps who lie, coddle you with a lot of false language like “Oh, I am so sorry that happened to you!”, and then NEVER DO ANYTHING to resolve the situation.

Airbnb failed to pay over $4000 in cleaning fees

Hi, I have been a host since the first year of airbnb. It has been a positive experience.. until this discovery.The original info sheet from airbnb is not translatable(,so I suspect many have not discovered this.) My friend, a fellow host created a spread sheet for me on last years payouts. Both my friend and I discovered numerous bookings where airbnb failed to collect cleaning fee.. for me a total of $4000. My friend had only a fee, much rarer hosting, and she settled w/ airbnb for half of them as airbnb was so difficult to deal with. I am not willing to do that. I have been trying to find someone at airbnb who is in charge of payouts. I want someone higher up. does anyone know who that would be? Thanks, Joyce Garrity host of the orange house, the down home, urban cottage, seattle