Airbnb in Miami Beach not what I expected

I booked a seven-night stay at an Airbnb in Miami Beach in May. The place looked nothing like the pictures: the hotel was rundown and old; there were garbage bins at the front and back of the building; they had smelly elevators and smelly hallways. My mom found bugs in the kitchen, and people were doing marijuana at the pool. The customer service sucked.

I contacted the host right away and told her my concerns. She decided to stop replying to me and I didn’t hear back from her. I contacted Airbnb for help. They were terrible at handling this case. It took over a month. I had to keep calling them. No case manager called me back and when I got a hold of one he was nasty, rude, and unprofessional; he even lied to me on the phone about a conversation we had before.

This whole experience was really bad, from the terrible host to the terrible Airbnb service. Don’t ever book from here. The host may give you a description of the place and when you show up it may not be it and no one holds them account. Do not book with Airbnb. I expected average. This was a Motel 9 experience: below average and I never got any of my money back.

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Airbnb Customer Service is Complete Trash

To start off, this was a last minute booking. My friends and I were on a road trip to Asheville, NC when we suddenly found ourselves off course by four hours. We decided to get a room and figure it out in the morning. I booked this lovely place. I know, it’s cheap, but we were just wanting a place to shower/crash after a night out.

We were still about a little over an hour away from the address after I booked it, and didn’t think much of the host not saying anything, as my booking had already been confirmed. Once we arrived, it was clear he had no intention of returning any of my messages or answering his phone.

I immediately tried contacting Airbnb, but their phone lines were down, and couldn’t be bothered to reply to any of the messages I sent them through the app. Incredibly annoyed, and in desperate need of a drink, I canceled my booking and requested a refund. The next day the host ignored my request, but luckily the phone lines were back up.

The first customer service rep was very friendly, and helpful. She promised to contact the host, and that if he decided to continue being a horrible person, Airbnb would provide me with a refund. The next day, around the time she promised, she contacted me to let me know that the full refund was coming through, and it should take about five business days for me to receive it. I was thrilled to have that burden completely lifted from me. I thanked her for her time and everything else she did for me.

I wish this story ended there. Fast forward five business days, and the refund still wasn’t in. I didn’t worry too much about it, thinking it was probably just a little late, thinking surely Airbnb done their part. I checked the app, and I had a message from the host declaring he had denied my refund. Okay, that’s what horrible people do, so let’s find out more. I clicked “view details” under the canceled reservation bar, and it brought to a page that read this:

“Your refund is on its way. We issued a refund of $0.00. While this refund is immediate on our part, you might not see the money reflected in your VISA account until five business days later. Please contact your payment provider for additional information.”

I immediately called customer support again. The representative  apologized and explained that this was a small clerical error, but she had no authority to do anything about it, and that a case manager would have to review it, and get back to me by the end of the day. This never happened.

After a full 24 hours went by, I decided to try and send a message asking for an update. No reply. I called again and explained to a third person why I deserved a refund, and wouldn’t you know, out of pure coincidence a case manager magically replied to my written message, so the rep hung up. This is what I read:

“I finally received a response from your Host, on the reservation in question. However, your Host said that he’s not aware of your refund. Did your Host agree for you to receive a full refund after you cancelled your reservation with him? Awaiting your response. Regards. “

I know it’s not her fault, but I’ve never hated a faceless stranger more in my life. I quickly typed out, and explained to the fourth person why I deserved a refund that had already been promised to me.

“Thank you for letting me know of that information. Let me review the previous tickets on your account and on your Host end for me to confirm everything and also to help me fully understand why you’re requesting for a full refund. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”

Internally I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I still haven’t heard anything else from them.

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Steal our Money, Cancel our Reservation, Then Ignore us

Last night my family had the beginning of the Airbnb experience from hell, which we are in the middle of. We had a 30-hour journey from Chicago to Bali, for the first time with our baby who is nine months old, and we had planned to stay in Airbnb accommodations.

We booked nearly a year in advance but yesterday we got an email that our reservation in Ubud had been cancelled due to me not updating the payment information. I was alarmed, as I had updated my payment information last week on my account.

I called Airbnb, and they told me there was a glitch in the system and gave me incorrect information. I can just simply “make an inquiry to the host and have the host send me a special offer.” This is incorrect, as due to the glitch in Airbnb’s system, it looks as though I am the one who cancelled the reservation and there is no ability to just make an inquiry.

Airbnb customer service was condescending to me and was eager to get me off the phone without helping at all. They told me there was no way to reinstate the booking. I called back and spoke to another equally unsympathetic and unknowledgeable associate who gave me further incorrect information and told me that “all we can do is wait now.”

I then asked to speak to the manager who was completely unhelpful, had the delusional idea that the host (who has a strict cancellation policy) would completely refund the money to us and then allow us to rebook (no host in their right mind would do that). He promised me he would get this resolved, fix this for us and absolutely nothing has been done and no follow up whatsoever.

Airbnb has completely screwed us. We trusted that the money we paid would be used for our accommodation, but they left us in the horrible situation of taking our money, cancelling our reservation, and we are about to get on a long haul flight with 30 hours of travel with a baby. The host in Ubud has our money and we do not know where we can stay.

We have spent over three hours on the phone with rude, unhelpful associates who forget about the BS that Airbnb has left on our doorstep and expect us to deal with, when we should be packing and being excited to go on holiday. We are going to a foreign country with a baby and no accommodation, due to a “glitch” in the system.

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Airbnb: Worst Customer Service Ever

We booked a 10-bedroom home and paid our deposit. The leasing agency the host employs then called us to pay our rental insurance and pet fees… okay, no problem. I asked her to put the charges on Airbnb like the site says you should and they refused, stating they would need a credit card or my checking account number to pay the fees. They also requested I sign up on another site so we could communicate via their property management site. I refused as well, due to Airbnb’s strict policies about communication. I cannot trust this company and requested a refund. Each person I have spoken with has been horrible. No resolution or communication, just passing the ball to someone else. The worst customer service.

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Awful Airbnb Experience, Terrible Customer Service

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I recently had a nightmare experience dealing with a unresponsive host and entirely unhelpful Airbnb customer service. I booked a four-night stay at an apparent Airbnb in Cincinnati (here is the link to the listing – be aware this host has a number of listings) which advertised free parking on site

When we arrived, my friend had to go up to the unit to check in to get the fob for the garage so we could park; I was circling the block when he said the code to get in the unit was wrong. I tried to call the host and her phone went to voicemail after one ring. I messaged her on the app and didn’t get a quick response, so I called the emergency number which was a third-party answering service that could not figure out why we couldn’t get in.

The lady at the answering service finally said to try a shot in the dark with using a different code and it worked. This was worrisome because obviously the codes are constantly reused so the unit could potentially be accessed by any past guests. My friend then said there was no key fob for the garage so I finally found a street spot and parked and went up to help look for it.

This is when I realized the lack of garage fob was the least of our worries. The place was absolutely trashed. I would guess there was a bachelor party or something before us and it had not been cleaned at all. The floor was sticky, there was liquid running down the walls, there were multiple holes in the wall, none of the lamps had light bulbs, there were wooden chairs stacked against the wall but no table to go with them, there were crusty nasty stains on the carpet, hair all over the “clean” towels, no sheets on the bed and nasty white stains on the couch.

Since I still hadn’t heard back from the host, I called Airbnb and said we could not stay there. This is where the hours-long saga of us trying to find a place to sleep began. Meanwhile, this was at 9:00 PM and I didn’t find a bed – finally at a hotel – which I paid for out of pocket – until after 2:00 AM. I sat on hold with Airbnb for a while when they told me they needed to give the host a chance to respond before moving forward.

Two hours later, Airbnb finally called me back just to say they couldn’t get in touch with the host and there was nothing they could do yet, but they assured me they would fix this for me. The host finally reached out hours later to let me know she had another unit we could stay in. We went to look at it and it also was not clean, was unlocked, had a huge glass door that was open – again scarily insecure – smelled like weed, and had dirty towels on the floor (including one balled up against the door to keep the smoke smell out of the hallway).

Since it was around 11:00 PM we were desperate and said if it was cleaned we could stay there. The host said she would try to get a cleaner out there to get it ready. An hour later I still had not heard back from the host so I reached out and all she said was she had not heard back from the cleaner. Then all she said was she could not accommodate us.

This was about 12:30 at night now and we were just stranded: nowhere to sleep and no help from the host or Airbnb. I started looking for hotels. Meanwhile I had been talking to Airbnb through the app which was not helpful. The first person I talked to ended her shift and didn’t bother to pass this case on to anyone. I had to call back, sit on hold for over an hour again, and start the whole process over.

Needless to say I was frustrated at this point. After hours on the phone with Airbnb, no help from them or the host, we went to three hotels before I could find a room and finally had a place to sleep at 2:30 AM – already having paid almost $1000 for a room I couldn’t sleep in. I then had to shell out another almost $300 for a room. Airbnb promised me they would reimburse me $200 for the room and give me a $150 credit towards another booking, neither of which I have seen – shocking.

I have also been continually reaching out on the app messenger with no reply for days now. I am appalled at the fact that the host was at fault for having a place unfit for humans to stay and yet I am the one that has paid for it through hours of my vacation and money out of my pocket. I have never dealt with a company that cared about their customers less than Airbnb.

The host has never reached out to explain or help or apologize and couldn’t have cared less. Not to mention I had told her I was pregnant before we left and she couldn’t have cared less about being stranded with no options besides sitting at a bar – the only place open – until I found a place to sleep. I included pictures of the apartment as well as screenshots from the Airbnb messenger showing the payments I was promised that have not been received.

Airbnb puts Owners on Timeout due to Guest Scam

I have been using Airbnb as an owner for the past year or so. All of my reviews have been excellent except for two. One complained about the furniture, comparing it to a college dorm after she left, but never to me during her stay. Then I had another two guests after her who loved the place and wanted to use it again in the future.

Then a scammer reserved my home for four nights. He asked me to let him check in earlier than 3:00 PM. I told him 12:00 PM would be ok. Then I did not hear from him again. At 7:00 AM, the day after his check in, I got a message he had sent me at 4:00 AM saying that he just got there and found a roach. Therefore, he could not stay there and wanted his money back.

This was a scam because the previous guest never saw a roach and I use a professional bug company to spray the home inside and out. Airbnb had two different staff members ask me to tell them what happened. I did. They asked me if I was willing to refund the money. I said no, because it was a lie. I personally went to the home the day I received the message and did not find any bugs. The Airbnb person said okay, and closed the ticket.

A week later, another guest checked in and had no issues. I also got a guest request for a two-month reservation. After I pre-approved the guest, Airbnb sent me an email stating that they had suspended my listing for one week.

I immediately called them up to find out the reason why. The agent said she could not help me but would refer me to a supervisor who will call me at some point in the future. She had no idea when. I asked her what will happen with the prea-pproval and the guest trying to book my home for two months. She said I will not be able to communicate with her until Airbnb decides to relist my house.

Really? I did nothing wrong. I want to see what kind of hosting business will Airbnb have without any hosts! Please do not use this company to list your properties. Go to VRBO.