My First Airbnb Experience: A Mentally Unstable Host

I’m an incurable optimist, so I’ll start this write-up with the prelude that I’ve been treated incredibly well by so many people here in London. I’ve been treated to a free meal, drinks, bus rides and a gym visit; people have consistently lavished me with admiration and kindness here. Everybody except for my Airbnb host, that is. I had to submit a more concise version of this review through the website, but I had so much more to say about the nightmare than 500 words. This is the unedited version.

There should be a 0 stars option. When I stayed with the host, he must have gone off his meds. From the start, he overstepped his bounds and was obnoxious. By the end of my stay, it was obvious that he’s mentally unstable. I witnessed him being a decent person to the gay couple who left the day after I arrived, so I know he can sometimes be personable. I booked because he had good reviews. He’s chatty, and so appears friendly on first meeting, but I think maybe he’s bipolar and I got the unhinged version. Even his chattiness is telling and catty though: often it’s negative put downs of his previous and pending renters (mostly women), which tells me more about him than it does about them. Maybe if you’re a gay couple, he’d treat you well. However, my experience was atrocious and the host went out of his way to inconvenience me.

First, after my booking, he asked me to bring a “small” parcel to him from my country to avoid duty fees. I agreed to his request but the package turned out not to be small and was the size of half my carry-on suitcase. It was fragile as well, and I was liable for its protection. He was not empathetic to what an imposition that was, having the nerve to tell me how much luggage he brings on a trip as a justification that I should have the space to spare. As lip service to putting me out like that, he promised to make me a meal during my stay but of course that didn’t happen. In the flat on the morning after my first night there, the host asked me if I needed the shower as he wanted to do household washing in the tub. I said I didn’t need it then, but that I would after I came back from the gym later in the afternoon. A few hours later (after the other renters had checked out and I was left alone with him), the host had continued to commandeer the bathtub and wouldn’t allow me to have a shower after I’d returned from the gym. He wanted me to wait for an hour and 45 minutes. It was really inconvenient, as I had a scheduled event I wanted to go to.

He then argued that I was miffed I couldn’t access the shower when I needed it because I wasn’t familiar enough with the principals of Airbnb. We ended up bickering about it. “This is not a hotel, this is my house,” he said, as if expecting to get to the shower when I’m paying him for the rental is some diva-like demand, even after giving him several hours notice that I’d be showering in the afternoon. I ended up having to leave without one as I was running very late and he still hadn’t made the shower available. If showers are only allowed in the morning, then the ad should state as much. Coincidentally, at that event I went to, I met a lady who also did Airbnb hosting, so naturally I talked to her about what I’d been experiencing with the host where I was staying. She assured me that his behavior is very atypical and she suggested that I cancel. I actually didn’t have to, though, because the situation got even worse.

I got back late that night. Shortly thereafter I got to hear him having loud sex in the room next door. The next morning, I was rudely awakened by him, yelling and accusing me of putting a pink dye (as some kind of sabotage to a duvet) into his dryer, which I never touched. Truth be told, I wasn’t even aware of where the dryer was (nor do I travel with pink dye). He raged that he’d contacted Airbnb about this fabricated act and that I would have to leave the rental immediately, even though I had another night left on my stay and two nights booked on future reservations later in my trip. It seemed a ruse to get the rental cancelled so that I wouldn’t have a chance to poorly review him for the previous grievances. “Wow” is all have have to say; it was completely crazy and unethical. So of course I had no problem leaving his vortex of insanity.

The stress of packing up to leave unexpectedly and finding a new place to stay on the fly was not something I bargained for; it was actually the opposite of why I booked an Airbnb in the first place. To top it all off, he spent the next couple of hours yelling at me through the door (whilst I packed and tried to sort things out with Airbnb customer service over the phone), threatening to call the police on me if I didn’t get out faster. He has the lack of empathy and calculation of a sociopath. I’m not sure he has the ability to cognitively understand the ways he inconvenienced me; he’s unstable. It was a horrible nightmare of a first experience with Airbnb. As he’s shown no qualms about making things up about me, I expect him to continue his lies on his review of me, potentially jeopardizing my stay with other hosts in the future. But it may not matter as he’s soured me on room rental through the site, so much so that I write this from a hotel; I’d prefer not to be suddenly thrust into living with a obnoxious and crazy stranger who I would not have otherwise chosen. But for their part, I will say Airbnb customer service was gracious and empathetic about his treatment of me, and they took my side, giving me a partial refund on the nights I already spent there, and a full refund (despite the host’s strict cancellation policy) for the remaining bookings with him. The long and short of it is: save yourself the hassle and steer clear of this nutjob.

Slandered and Threatened at Airbnb in Mexico

I am now rounding out my sixth week at an Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am in total shock over how I have been treated and if the advice I’m about to give saves even one person the psychological pain I have suffered, it will have been worth it. Somewhere within the Airbnb contract, it says that a host ask a guest to leave for any reason. That, in and of itself, is insanity. And in the state of Guanajuato, it is completely untrue. In my case, the “hostess” saw me smoking a cigarette in her “casita”. That was a no-no. I apologized but her response was, “I am changing the locks and will throw all your belongings onto the street.” My response was to call my Mexican attorney. Yes, I have one. He advised me to tell her to back all the way off. Which, I did. Instead of her backing off I starting receiving daily Airbnb emails from her and from Airbnb itself. Her emails included the following flowery phrases she used to describe me: “pissed off addict”, “worst person I have ever met”, “you are beneath me”, “unethical”, “shame on you” and endless references to this one cigarette. She repeatedly told me to “GET OUT”. So after more than five weeks into this drama, I asked my lawyer to write her a letter.

Here is the real deal about renting in Mexico, through Airbnb or just directly with a landlord. Harassment of a tenant in Mexico is a criminal offense. Any attempt to evict a tenant outside the court is a criminal offense. Airbnb has no jurisdiction here and therefore, the tenant holds all the cards. Did I want to leave? Of course. But nothing was available that was not quadruple what I had already paid the hostess so I had to stay put. Do not knuckle under if you find yourself in a similar situation. You are being abused, you are the victim. There is nothing Airbnb can do to remove you. In fact, if any attempt had been made to remove me, that person would be subject to arrest. I hope this helps someone.

Villa Bali Cliff Kuta South – Experience Review

blankblankblankblankblank

I suggest anyone considering Airbnb in Bali be very careful with this property and the host. The villa had two living room doors per room which did not isolate us from the outside wild garden area. Two palm-sized spiders came through closed doors or the roof on our second night. Tropical spiders may be very poisoning and dangerous to your health. It was obviously not safe to sleep inside. A big frog came in too. After this, we started to study our living conditions more closely. We found red ants living in the antique furniture. There were big piles of chips attracting them, insect excrement on the mirror frame, and a spiderweb underneath the bed. Obviously there hadn’t been any major cleaning in a while.

The host was kind and nice but only before we started to talk about issues with the property. Both evenings that we were at the villa we smelled alcohol on his breath. When we started talking about issues, he promised to find a solution and asked us to wait, which at the end turned out to be a play for time. He simply waited until Airbnb transferred our payment to his account and stopped responding after that. We should have immediately called Airbnb, which I now suggest everyone do if they see a problem.

When we decided to leave early, our host offered us a 50% refund for remaining days but under the condition that we write a good review. Nice of him, isn’t it? He wrote this in the Airbnb app chat so we can share to confirm. I don’t know if you need to believe all the positive reviews of his villa. Our goal is to provide information and not to judge.

The following day after we discovered the spiders we moved to a hotel. Our host knew that problem with the doors exist, confirmed by his responses in our chat. You surely won’t see it in the pictures here but plaster comes loose from the celling in different areas. The good news is that we have house pictures and videos (sent to Airbnb too). We would be happy to share with readers too, to know what you pay for. To excuse himself, our host guessed in the app chat that we simply wanted a party area of Bali. We moved to Nusa Dua, which is similarly not a party area. Right now the question of reimbursement is still open and under the Airbnb team’s review. We hope that they can help. Sadly, we sense that we won’t even receive a full refund for the remaining days we were out of the villa. Hours of wasted holiday time. Please feel free to contact us via cyrilreview@gmail.com. Here is a link to more pictures.

Post-Traumatic Airbnb in Dogs’ Bedroom

We booked with Airbnb for a family business trip at a farm. The pictures online looked charming and cozy. We pulled up the driveway to see three vicious looking pit bulls surrounding our vehicle barking incessantly. The owner was nowhere in sight and two of our children were so petrified of the dogs they refused to leave the vehicle. After we pealed them off the seats and as we met the host, on our way to the house ,she announced that the cold water wasn’t working properly. We walked in the door and were slapped in the face by this potpourri odor, filling the house like a pungent fart. We started to walk through the house and noticed cell phones propped up on their window ledges. One pit bull started barking as it followed us through the house. As we went up the stairs the dog upchucked. The stairs were steep, uneven, winding, and had no handrails; it felt like we were going up into an attic.

We stood outside the bedroom doors as the host was talking. Meanwhile the dog started barking again, upchucking yet again on the floor. As we entered the room the host mentioned that the overhead light was broken and that we had to stand on the futon bed to screw the bulb in and out to get any light. None of this is a joke. They said that they had a TV, but it wasn’t set up, just connected to a DVD player; they don’t believe in watching television. They listed they had an iron, but they have no ironing board (they don’t iron clothes) and the only place to iron was on their kitchen table being used as a poker table that night. They agreed our family of seven could stay when they had four in their own family and only one shower available for 11 people. The master bedroom had no door knob, and there were no blinds or shades for the windows. Next we noticed the window wide open in the bedroom when it was 30 degrees outside. There were no sheets on the bed as she was still drying them.

She proceeded to tell us that there is no landline phone and if we need to call from our cells, we must prop them up on the window ledge and place on speaker phone. Nice private calls; there must have been a trick to it as we never figured it out. By the way, they never lock their doors… ever. At that point we began to think we were either going to be the next episode of Criminal minds or that John Quiñones would jump out announcing “What Would You Do?” and we’d all have a great laugh.

That didn’t happen. Instead we tried to remain positive until we shut the window to attempt to MacGyver a phone call. It was then that it all started coming clear to us why exactly there was this strong odor of potpourri wafting through the air. I sat on the bed, and instantly smelled the noxious – and I mean noxious – odor of dog breath. I seriously think the dogs took residence upon the bed we were about to sleep. I looked at my husband and he said, “Grab your stuff everyone, we’re getting out of here!” We shoved our stuff in our pillow cases and ran for the car. Thank God there was a Holiday Inn down the road. We literally hugged the bed in appreciation of getting out of that situation alive. When we originally pulled in, we saw they had a bonfire going. We now wonder if they were burning the bones of their last Airbnb guests and if the dog was throwing up his victim meal from the night before…

Lawyerly Defense in Mexico: Host Plot Foiled

My Airbnb rental was reserved for 45 days in central Mexico. I’m still here. But I’m only here because of the intervention of a Mexican lawyer. My host complained when my flight was late. We got past that. My host has a rescue dog (one of the three on the property) and she asked me to photograph the dog. I’m a professional photographer and I said I would. The host said he/she was leaving for Thanksgiving to the US. The host said, “Can you take care of the rescue dog in your apartment while I am gone?” I said, “Okay.” I didn’t want to do it, but being an idiot, I said, “Okay.”

As we marched up to her departure date my host said, “I will be leaving the rescue dog with you for a few minutes every day until I leave so that you can get to know him.” I responded, “No. I know him well enough already and please tell me what I can do about the heat here as there is none.” To her credit a portable heater was brought in. She said when the tank is exhausted call this number and order another. You will pay for it.” I was losing my sense of humor by now. The issue of water came up because in central Mexico one must have bottled water. There was water – again to her credit – when I arrived. As it ran out I asked about more. She said, “I have more bottles here. You can pay me for one.” I didn’t complain.

Then I, who had not smoked for years, smoked. And the host saw me smoke. One instance and boom. She called Airbnb and said, “I want her out.” She emailed me and wrote, “Get out. I’m putting your things on the sidewalk and I am changing the locks.”

I called my lawyer here in central Mexico. Here’s the fun part. I used to live in central Mexico. Yes, I have a lawyer here. And Mexican law is this: someone rents you a place? You can’t be evicted without a court case, period. Forget Airbnb. You have rights in Mexico. So I emailed the host this information and she folded. As it turned out, she doesn’t own the place. She rents it. She sublet it to me. I don’t care. She’s continuing to abuse me verbally and Airbnb, who said it would help me, hasn’t. No shock there either. Airbnb will listen to your complaint and that will make you feel so much better. But it will do nothing for you. I’m not moving until I have to go back to the US. Of course, my time in this place is ruined and a nightmare. But at least I get to tell you that if you are in Guanajuato, Mexico and this happens to you, stay put and find a lawyer. One hour’s consultation and your mind will be at ease. Airbnb is a joke.

Extortion and Invasion of Privacy: Illegal NYC Airbnb

I had a really unpleasant New York City host somewhere in the financial district. Superficially everything was nice until a few hours after we met. Here is how the interaction went:

Host: When will you be arriving?

Me: I will actually be in the city a few days before so I can arrive whenever is convenient for you to give me the key.

Host: Anytime after 2:00 PM on this end works.

Me: Okay I will be there around or before 3:00 PM then. Does that work?

Host: Okay.

(24 hours before said time)

Host: I cannot be here to check you in. You have to use the temporary key from the doorman. The permanent key is in your room. The temporary key must be returned very soon after checkout.

Me: Okay. When do I have to return this key?

Host: As soon as possible.

Me: Okay.

(Arrive at apartment at 1:54 PM. Remember: anytime after 2:00 PM is ok; check out the temporary key for which my ID is retained. I go upstairs to said apartment)

Host: Oh, I didn’t think you’d be here for a few more hours; the room’s not ready.

(One hour is not a few more hours, and I was within her “acceptable window”. This host clearly does not read her messages.)

Me: Okay, I will just leave the luggage here next to the shoes, no need to hurry for the room. I’m leaving probably till evening.

She shows me the room. I thank her, pet her dog (which is actually not allowed to live in that building), take the permanent key, and return the temporary key. Upon return of the temporary key I again have my state ID on my person. Six hours later I got a few messages from this host that she will be posting an $100 charge to my account because I did not return the temporary key.

Me: Of course i returned it. Is it true that the doorman holds your ID for that key? Okay. Then how would I have my ID otherwise?

(Host continues accusing me in a couple more messages that the key is signed out to me)

Me: Okay, it is the doorman’s responsibility to find it because I returned it but nevertheless I will go see for myself that what you say is true.

I return to the building from an inconvenient distance away, and it turns out the doorman did have the key. The mistake was on their part as the key was stuck in the crack of the machine that reads the key. The host apologized. I calmly went to shower so my muscles would be relaxed before the New York City Marathon. The host’s roommate came back to the apartment with a bunch of drunk friends. One of the male friends barged in on me while I was getting out of the shower. At least I had some tiny clothes on. I made small talk with the drunk people for a little bit then went to bed, at 2:45 AM (technically 3:45 AM because of daylight savings time). The host barged through the apartment in loud heels, slammed a couple doors, then stormed out.

Well, goodbye sleep. This was going to be an interesting marathon. About 3:10 PM after the marathon:

Host: Your checkout is by 7:00 AM please leave the key on the desk. You can leave the luggage in the common area if you want and get it later by using the temporary key.

Me: No, thanks. I don’t want another $100 temporary key incident.

(I didn’t see anything disrespectful here – I was just protecting my wallet from her)

I vacated the apartment at about 12:30 AM and took a picture of the state of the room I was in, with the key on the desk and a time stamp. I brought a friend to help me with the luggage and to make sure I got uptown at 120th Street safely. He also saw the key on the desk and we checked the apartment ten times to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. That whole piece of time was about 10-15 minutes. Maybe this host had work or something, but being reminded that I had to check out only 14 fours after a marathon is brutal. So I just preferred to forfeit this unpleasant experience and sleep uptown on the floor of a friend who was not evicting me.

The next morning when I woke up I saw a message that she did not find the key on the desk but that she is willing to not charge me the $150 it costs her to change her locks due to the trouble with the temporary key. I called Airbnb to complain and I said I will be requesting a $40 refund (from the $130/night it cost me) because I did not end up spending the night there. I also told the host that giving everyone access to the temporary key is a pretty bad security problem in her building. I obviously did not take her key. It’s of no benefit to me to keep a key from a place I would hate to live in, when I live about 2000 miles away anyway. I just needed a place close to the Staten Island Ferry for the marathon.

I proceeded to ask for a refund. The reservation was over; I had written the Airbnb review anyway so I was frank with this person. The Airbnb Resolution Center allows you to upload pictures so I showed her where the key was when I left.

Me: As you can see the key was left right there on the desk where I mentioned to you on the phone. You’re not accepting evidence by any other means, so I am sending it to the Airbnb Resolution Center. Accusing someone of theft is not only impolite but unprofessional as this is a business that you are running from this apartment. If you were the owner of the hotel, you would not be accusing your guests twice in 48 hours for items missing from the room before putting any effort into finding them. For example: at least double checking with the doorman that the key wasn’t lost by their own fault. The refund would be for the 17% of the total reservation time (from 2:00 PM Saturday to 7:00 AM Monday) that I did not spend in this rental. As I said before, it seems like your temporary key checkout is a security problem in the building so you should focus on that instead of throwing tantrums so you can charge your guests extra money. Feel free to cross reference the time at which I left your address with security footage. Also, I brought a friend over to help me with my luggage and so that I would get to 120th St safely at 1:00 AM. Therefore I also have one witness that the key was left in the right place. The very last thing I want to draw your attention to is that I left the door to my room closed on Sunday morning at 6:30 AM, and found it open at 4:30 PM, so someone went into my room while I was away. Have you even checked with your roommate to see that he didn’t stow the keys away somewhere? I am going to guess you have not.

Host: Hi, As I mentioned before, the key was not left on the desk. I apologized for the mishap with the temporary key, even after you arrived two hours prior (actually one hour and still in the time window she said was ok) to the time you said you would without asking. I did reach out to the doormen before contacting you. They were the ones that told me it was checked out under your name. When you spoke with them, they told you that the key was stuck in the reader and it did not register that you returned it. When you informed me of this I apologized and thanked you for letting me know of the mishap. You, however, were very disrespectful. As you can see from my house rules, you are not allowed to bring anyone into my apartment without announcing them to me and I charge a $20 fee (so by this logic should I charge her an $200 fee for her unannounced friends who saw me naked?) I do not appreciate that you brought someone to my home without asking prior. You can also see that my cancelation policy is strict. You cannot get a refund for leaving the reservation early. Therefore, I am not accepting this $45 refund. I was willing to waive the $150 fee and I might be willing to waive the $20 for the unannounced guest, so long as you do not contact me again. If I do hear from you again, I will be pressing charges and contacting my lawyer. You were the only person that had access to the temporary key and my apartment without me being there. There is video evidence of that as well as a record in the system of everyone with temporary key access. Due to this negative experience, I have removed my listings. Thank you.

She has not removed her listings and I will gladly privately share the link with you. In short: her drunk friends see me almost naked but I should get charged money for bringing someone to help me with the luggage through the subway at 1:00 AM, a time at which I’m leaving because of her irrational behavior? I was repeatedly accused of theft in my 48 hours of interaction with this psycho and threatened with an illogical lawsuit, but I’m disrespectful? Also she technically is renting two properties from what I can see in her Airbnb listings, so she can’t live in both of them at once. One of her Airbnb rentals is illegal by New York City law. I guess she forgot I can use this to get her an $1000 fine, right? NYC says rental types like Airbnb are legal as long as the host lives in the apartment during the guest’s stay. Here are all the messages I exchanged with her.

Thrown Out Before Christmas: Australian Airbnb Nightmare

During our most recent Airbnb stay, the electricity kept cutting out, the wifi wasn’t working, and after spending 3500 euro we needed to pay to use the washing machine and dryer. I simply told my host my concerns and he told me to get out of house ASAP, just like that. This was booked months in advance and was to be our home for six weeks, through Christmas, and that was it; he just wanted us out. I contacted Airbnb thinking they would be helpful in booking me in a new apartment but no… they just told me that if our host wants us gone, we need to leave and that’s all there is to it. I asked for a manager and the customer service representative said she was in charge of the case and hung up. Later, she sent me an email in reply to my request for assistance on rebooking and a refund for the money we spent on washing clothes. I couldn’t believe they would leave three young girls with no friends or family – we were moving across the world – alone and homeless on the street; all I received were smug answers to my questions. I couldn’t believe I was being treated this way, first by a host and then by customer service. To speak to me like that while I was homeless and out of pocket as they charged me a higher nightly rate instead of the discounted monthly rate was unbelievable. There I was on the side of the road with two suitcases, little money, no home for Christmas, and being spoken to like I was nothing more than dirt.

To all Airbnb users visiting Melbourne, do not book with a host named Frank. His property name is “Spacious, Bright & Charming home.” If you run into trouble and need help he will have no problem just kicking you out. I can’t believe this is just allowed to happen. I’ve had great experiences with Airbnb but I’m still in disbelief.

Creepy Experience with Airbnb in NYC

I am just sharing a very bad experience with Airbnb that I had a couple of nights ago. I booked for a friend who is out of the country with a host in Hamilton Heights, New York. First of all, her listing says that it is a quiet and spacious place. The sleeping area was just part of the living room, with a couch, separated by a curtain. The day after my friend arrived, the host’s mother slept in the living room, snoring all night, and making my friend very uncomfortable. The room didn’t have any blinds so my friend needed to sleep with pillows to cover herself from the light. In addition, she asked my friend not to speak one night at 9:00 PM when she received a call, because her mother was sleeping in the living room. Apart from that, the host’s boyfriend was living in her room. So in a very small apartment there were four people.

The third night, my friend went out to smoke a cigarette and when she returned (around 12:00 AM) the door was locked from the inside. She tried to enter, but she couldn’t open the door. After that she knocked on the door without any answer from the inside. She knocked several times. She was able to call me from outside, because she is from a foreign country and didn’t have internet. So she called me through Facebook. I heard how she knocked on the door without any response. She spent the night in my home, but she was very scared without any money, ID, clothes, and unable to speak the language.

The next morning I went back with her, and there was the host, telling me “that she should have rung the bell, and that they didn’t hear the door because they used earplugs.” Of course, my friend took her things and we ran from that kind of host. I then called Airbnb customer service and I requested a refund. They only refunded me one night, and I lost $430 dollars, which covered the rest of the stay. She said that my guest should have read the lock instructions (she never saw any lock instructions, nor this is explained on the listing). Also the customer representative said that my friend should have rung the bell. What is the difference between a bell and knocking on the door at 1:00 AM in a small apartment? It makes no sense.

I was treated badly. I feel robbed and disappointed with this company. This host charged me $40/night for this horrific experience.  I will never book through Airbnb again.

Absolutely Insane Email Harassment from Airbnb Host

Never have I been more wrong judging a book by it’s cover. Here’s the scoop: this past weekend, my friend and I were outside Philly for a Harry Potter festival. She was covering the festival for work (she’s a reporter) and I was there because… Harry Potter. We booked a room in a house with a private entrance and shared bathroom. Most of the reviews were positive, but one raised a few red flags, complaining of overwhelming animal urine smells and poor cleanliness. I chose to disregard this, thinking it could not be that bad. Was I ever wrong!

The room itself was fine, relatively clean with a comfortable bed, but the hallway and stairs smelled like the pound. The floor was covered in dust and dirt; this was not the best for two people with allergies and asthma. We were using our inhalers constantly. I had emailed the host the day before our stay to inform them that due to my work schedule, I would be late and the other member of our party would be arriving first. I asked a number of check in questions and others related to parking, the area, and transportation. I received no response, which was disappointing and a little frustrating.

When we settled into the room, we noticed the window was braced open with an odd screen. The host told my friend that they had just removed the AC unit; when we tried to close the window, we could not. The host had given us no contact information and was very explicit about not entering or disturbing the family rooms on the first floor, so we emailed again asking about the screen; there was no response. In addition, the room was not as described or depicted. It looked like the wall of shelves and the desk were covered with sheets and being used as storage. That night, we went out to interview the festival hosts and coordinators as well as attendees, had a quick beer, came home at midnight, and immediately went to bed.

In the morning, we saw that the door stopper for our room was not actually brown, but orange and so coated in animal hair and dirt that the color was virtually unrecognizable. We were disgusted, but just left for the festival and were out all day. We returned by 8:00 PM and decided to stay in, watching Netflix on a tablet and drinking two beer bottles each, which we immediately put in the trash can (this is an important detail). We were freezing all night, because we could not get the window closed and the single quilt on the bed was not warm enough; we had to sleep in layers of clothes. The next morning, we packed all of our items, made the bed, collected all garbage to put in the trash, and even wiped down all surfaces with lysol spray; we’re neat freaks and whenever we stay somewhere other than home, we like to leave no trace.

Our hosts posted the following review:

Rebecca was great to host. She left the room spotless. We would welcome her back any time. Cheers!

My review was polite. I did not want to bring up any of my major concerns on the public review in case it impacted their business. They seemed like a nice younger couple renting out rooms in their townhouse for some extra cash.

The room itself was exactly what we paid for/expected, with a surprisingly comfortable bed. The location was great, and our room was very neat. The only issue we had was with the condition of the hallway stairs we used to get to our room. They were a little grimy and as someone with chronic dust allergies, it was rough. Despite this, check in was easy and the room was just fine.

I also sent a private message telling them I had three main concerns I did not want to air publicly:

1. They had not responded to my message.

2. The dirt, grime, smell, and dust. I know older buildings get dusty but as someone with allergies/asthma, the hallway should have been a little cleaner.

3. The open window. We could not get it to close, they had never responded to an email, and we were really quite cold.

As someone who frequently uses Airbnb, I expected the usual response of thank you for your concerns, I’m sorry to hear that, we are fixing it, etc. Instead, we received this crazy email:

SUBJECT LINE: You never sent a message! You tried to burn our house down! You are a loud drunk! You left the window open while the heat was on! What is your problem?

“You are an idiot. I have absolutely no email from you. The last time I heard from you was the day you reserved the listing. Did you take the screen out of the window to close it? I was pretty upset that we were running the heat and you were so rude to leave the window open. We are very responsive. Didn’t you notice that when you tried to burn the house down with the curling iron, we immediately unplugged it and turned the light off? Thanks for leaving a room full of booze bottles and food and trash. The stairs and hallway were mopped. You guys drug in all of the dirt from outside. Way to bang the doors all night. It sounds like you need to work on some respect yourself!!!!!!”

Needless to say, I was shocked. I responded with the following:

Your response is shocking, unprofessional, immature, and absolutely not what I expect from someone offering hospitality. Please see below- it is a screenshot of the email sent to you on 10/20/2016- note the time stamp (here I inserted a screen shot of the emails sent) I will be forwarding this correspondence to Airbnb as well. We tried to close the window multiple times- seeing as neither of us owns this home or is familiar to the peculiarities of your windows, we didn’t dare presume to remove a screen. I can only assume based on your response we would have received another nasty email about removing it. For future reference, if the screen can be removed, please inform guests- good ones will not rip things out of your window without permission. The room was completely clear and we have pictures to prove it. As a precaution, I always take a picture of an Airbnb room when I leave. We made sure the (4) empty beer bottles and all trash were put in bags, which is again proven by picture. There was minimal cleaning for you- we made sure of it! I find it shocking that you would make such false accusations, but then again, you probably did not realize we actually protected ourselves. Regarding a “curling iron”- we did not bring one. Neither of us used a curling iron. Perhaps you had another guest who used it? If you find yourself unsure, please see all of the photographs from Friday and Saturday depicting us with straight hair. We drug in no dirt- I was hesitant regarding the cleanliness, as I had read a previous review that discussed the smell and dust. I was trying to be helpful, not attack you. I understand older houses get a lot of buildup, but I also have numerous snapchats of the hair, dust, and dirt in the hallway and stairs, as well as the horrific buildup on the door liner for our bedroom. Frankly, your response seems like one to come from a defensive teenager. I’m sorry you feel like you need to respond to an honest review with such vitriol, and I hope in the future you can take a minute and find a calm, rational place to respond to guests. I’ll end with best of luck, because based on your attitude, you need it.

P.S. Opening a professional correspondence in the hospitality industry with “You are an idiot” is perhaps a little unwise.

I know it was snotty, but frankly I was pissed. This was completely insane, and as someone with a lot of experience in the hospitality industry, I was horrified. I got no further response, and made a report on Airbnb. No one responded to me, so I made a second, more detailed report and called the number someone thankfully posted online. I was told my case was being sent to the correct department and offered a refund. I didn’t really want one. I just wanted this handled so this couple does not flip out on anyone else in response to an honest discussion of their filthy house. I was told I would receive an email, but got nothing. The next day I called again and am currently waiting for that response. My haunting concern is the comment we “left booze bottles all over”; we drank four 12-oz bottles of beer in the room, and all four went into the trash before we left. Either they went into the room when we were not home and looked through the trash after we left, or just tend to make up baseless accusations. I’m not sure which one terrifies me more.

Anyway, watch out for Sarah and Charles Adams in the West Mt. Airy part of Philadelphia. It turns out they could rival Donald Trump when it comes to shooting off ill advised, combative messages. Thanks for listening.

Airbnb Nightmare: Dead Bugs and Crazy Host

blankblankblankblankblank

All seemed fine until we arrived at our destination in Ocean City, NJ . The pictures showed this wonderful view of the ocean. They showed a pristine sitting area and kitchenette. Well, our first clues that this image might be different were the filthy walkways to the unit. The second clue: a dirty door. Then we opened the door and were stunned to find a carpet with so much filth it could not have been vacuumed. I went to the bedroom to turn on the light and the light fixture fell apart; the cord had been cut. Next, the cups in the cupboard had a brown goo on them. The stove had food crusted over and nothing short of filth. I contacted the host who responded “Well, I will get back to you.”

The next day I left for my morning walk, and grabbed the keys provided by the host from a lockbox. The key did not work, and she accused me of switching keys. When the host showed up at the door, I showed her the dead insects in the fridge and the filth on the carpets and table. She told me this is normal. Then told us to vacate the premises. We did, since she looked very unstable. We called Airbnb and they recommended for our safety we leave. This was at 1:00 in the afternoon. By 8:00 PM that night she posted a review that claims I damaged the wall and screamed at her. Then she said Airbnb recommended she ask us to leave. I did get a two-night refund but still had to pay a cleaning fee. Then Airbnb told me to contact the host about getting an additional refund for the cleaning.

Beware of using Airbnb; they obviously do not screen the hosts. I am attaching a few photos of what was in the fridge and on the stove. Yes, there were dead insects in the fridge.