Has Airbnb Gotten Too Big to Care?

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This is a recent story of how Airbnb has gotten too big to care. We have been hosts and guests since 2010 with 213 five-star reviews. We recently had a guest who booked our home through Airbnb for three adults. He never showed up, but 15 other people did. We found out through his secretary that he regularly books Airbnb’s for his crews who are working on homes in our area damaged by Hurricane Sally in September 2020.

I went to the house and found our entire carport was filled with construction materials. Trucks, trailers, generators, and vans were parked around the house and when I went to the back of the house to see what was going on, all but one of the persons ran into the house and shut the door. The other stayed on the deck smoking (prohibited by our rules) and drinking.

Our house was a wreck when we finally got them to leave. They had trashed the house, stolen many items, knocked holes in the walls, broken glasses, clogged the plumbing and literally destroyed our kitchen. I immediately called Airbnb and was told to document all vehicles and construction materials by photo. I did this and sent it directly to Airbnb.

From that point, Airbnb began to ignore my messages and calls. The only way they corresponded was to message and ask for more documentation. I kept being pushed off to yet another ambassador/supervisor all to no avail because no one could (or would) help. Although I did everything Airbnb asked me to do and provided all documentation requested, they called today to let me know they were not going to ask the guest to pay for the additional guests because he didn’t want to pay it.

Okay, so now we get to go to the department store with the intent of buying three items, end up purchasing 15 but then saying we will only pay for three because that’s how many we wanted in the first place? How many customer service persons would let me out of the store with 15 items when I only paid for 3? None. Yet Airbnb has told the guest he only has to pay for the three guests he reserved, even though 15 stayed.

I have been a loyal client of Airbnb since 2010 and this guest just joined during 2020 so he could send his work crews to stay near the hurricane disaster sites without having to pay for hotel fees. His secretary was foolish enough to share this information with me via telephone. Unbelievable. I have filed a complaint with the BBB, sent emails to the CEO, CFO and CSO of Airbnb, and am sending this information on the “real” Airbnb through all the social media resources available to me.

Airbnb Protects Neither the Hosts, Guests, nor Community

Due to my experiences as a host, it is my opinion Airbnb is very derelict in creating a safe platform. I recently had a guest get booked without my usual radar. He arrived with four guests instead of two and lied about the extra people not actually staying. He broke rules about staying up later and partying outside until 5:00 AM.

On the day of checkout, he wouldn’t leave — he finally did 1.5 hours late. I called Airbnb about the checkout as my cleaning people needed to get in and clean. They didn’t respond to my call until three hours later. As I watched all four of them finally check out, the booking individual took a gun out of the trunk of the car and aimed it towards my property. I have pictures of him doing this.

When I finally spoke with Airbnb about this, their agent who handles misconduct cases like this took my information. I basically requested that the platform remove this individual from the platform so that other hosts would not have to deal with his dangerous antics. This employee assured me he would protect my identity in this situation and process my complaint. Bear in mind he had a picture of this individual with the gun. He did not need testimony from this person as he had a picture, dated and time stamped. This agent of Airbnb assured me he would protect my identity.

Within hours of expressing my concern about this experience I received an angry text from this guest stating he was angry I told Airbnb about his actions with the gun, an offense that is illegal on so many levels. In my opinion Airbnb has now created a direct grudge with this individual against me and my family. He knows where I live and the activities of this property. This agent assured me that he did not reveal my name when he questioned this individual, which is all he is required to do. Well, this person had only ever booked once with Airbnb and that was with me.

This has unnecessarily created a very dangerous situation for me and I have because of this, I left the platform. I do not recommend it.

Someone is Renting my Home on Airbnb and it Does Nothing

There’s this listing on Airbnb for a property of mine. Wait a minute, I am not renting this property. The host is someone else and they don’t have my consent. I have contacted Airbnb support and they told me to write a letter explaining the case and scan it.

At first I was a bit mad. Am I a scribe? What century is this? But did it anyway. Then the operator told me: “Didn’t I tell you? You need to address it to the host.”

I was a bit madder. I told them to just take down the listing and I’d be happy. I can prove it’s my place; it’s easy. Airbnb said they do not validate any document, and the host declared he has full rights on the property by marking a checkbox. For real: two different operators told me this with the same copy and pasted text, so it’s procedural. If only I knew, I would not have bothered to buy a house.

So there I am standing, a bit mad, and I tell them to at least protect the customers. Whoever reserves this place is basically being scammed and, in the best case, losing time. Then they got mad. Two different operators on two different days were very rude and said that I was not collaborating and the case was closed.

There’s currently a listing on Airbnb for a property of mine, and I’m not renting it out. I’m about to call the police, but at this point I’m not sure who is to blame.

Host Left Me Waiting Outside Until I Cancelled

A terrible host left without leaving me a key. I had to cancel after waiting many hours until the evening. Airbnb support workers couldn’t understand I had to cancel because the host decided to turn off her/his phone and didn’t plan to arrive to bring the key. The host’s behaviour has been terribly rude. The host decided to play games by leaving me outside in the cold and thought he/she would still get the payment.

I had to write too many times to support. I also called and did everything I could until days later I finally got a refund. It was very difficult to get help and some of the support workers didn’t believe anything I told them. Some of the workers wanted to let the host keep the payment. I didn’t get any help to find other accommodations; I had to do all the searching by myself.

After all of this Airbnb still let the fake host keep the apartments visible on Airbnb. The host didn’t have a real name, only a nickname and no surname visible on the receipt. After that it is very difficult to believe anything on Airbnb. They want to see guests’ full names and passports but for them it is enough if a host has only a nickname. It was not a Superhost. Airbnb also decided not to accept a review of this behaviour so new guests can’t know what that host will do to them. It is very unfair guests have to keep all this information to themselves but they let hosts lie and scam others. They support liars. Moreover, they lie by supporting them.

Airbnb’s Attempts at Customer Service are Laughable

Months ago Airbnb removed security deposits from our listings claiming that we didn’t need them because they had insurance that protected their hosts. Three different claims have resulted in absolutely nothing beyond wasting about 20 hours of my time. They are always waiting for another department to get it done and claim because they are a global company, things take a lot of time.

Hosts no longer have any control over anything. If you are pet friendly, you are inviting Noah’s Ark as they have no provision to limit breeds, age, quantity or anything. People actually think it’s okay to bring their nine cats and six puppies. If the tenant stays beyond their reservation and you ned the sheriff to remove them, good luck getting the extra days’ payment. It’s either their resolution, mediation or some other department that’s handling it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only answer is to add another 10% to my nightly rates on their site and make sure there’s a better deal for them on VRBO. VRBO isn’t perfect either but at least you’ve got a chance. Now that Airbnb is a public company we should all should all show up at shareholder meetings or call ins just to tell them how bad they really are.

Airbnb’s Cancellation Policy Leaves Guest Out $1.6K

I am planning on relocating to San Miguel de Allende so I booked a one week stay in a darling casita in January. When I realized the pandemic wouldn’t allow me to travel in January, I changed my reservation for the entire month of April. Now it looks like April is too soon to travel also so I wanted to cancel until we get the all-clear travel advisory.

I was told that I could cancel for a full refund up to 24 hours before my reservation. Now Airbnb is withholding all my money for the first 30 days (my entire reservation) and only refunding me $25 out of almost $1,600. This company sucks and I will never use them again. I will post warnings to others wherever I can. This company needs to be replaced with one that actually has customer service.

Hosting is Always a Nightmare with Airbnb

As a property manager I use many OTA (online travel agent) platforms. The most difficult to deal with is Airbnb. Their lack of customer service makes it impossible to resolve issues in a timely fashion, if at all. The last issue I had was a staff member accidentally putting a refund request through to the wrong guest. Ten seconds after this was done, we contacted Airbnb and explained we had two guests with the same name and they had granted a refund to the wrong guest.

The outcome was the guest who stayed did not choose to give back the refund so Airbnb closed the issue. The complaint that we had was that Airbnb took weeks to refund the guest. During peak COVID time when we were busy refunding guests they took so long to refund people who desperately needed their money that we had to consistently follow up with them and force them to refund them.

We have had to give many apologies to guests waiting long periods to be refunded, yet they refused to intercept the request to cancel with their accounts department. Instead they refunded a guest who did stay, who did have a good time and who was happy with our service. I think that in this age of choice, whether we be a host or a guest, there are so many more ethical businesses out there to deal with. This company is a disgrace to the original concept of Airbnb. This company should be investigated for its disturbing way of dealing with both hosts’ and guests’ needs.

Airbnb Unable to Accommodate Non-Smartphone User

We added a new gite (vacation home) to our existing Airbnb account. I reached the end of the process but was then thwarted by the verification process. I scanned and attached a passport (which I had not been asked to do on my first gite and although a message is now there the posting is still active without it) and then it said to take a selfie and post that. I do not have a phone that takes photos, it just texts and calls — I know, very old fashioned but it’s all I want or need. I have photos on the computer but there was no way to upload them.

I managed, eventually, to have a live chat, but it became obvious that the rep was a computer as she did not address my problem, just gave me company rules and regulations. I went onto chat again and (maybe) got a person. She also quoted rules and regulations to me. I explained that, in these hard COVID times maybe they had to be a little flexible, that they had my passport and surely an uploaded photo of me would be enough. Each time she responded she told me to use a certain ‘app’ or to do something only possible with a smart phone. Each time I explained I didn’t have one and had no ability on my computer to take photos.

This went on for a while and I tried to keep my temper in check. Eventually she said I could complain via a feedback form. I pointed out that these are not responded to individually and she said that despite that Airbnb would keep in mind what I had said — a big help. I sent three more messages asking for a supervisor or an email address where I could contact someone more senior. Eventually she said she would pass my messages on. I am going to lie down in a dark room now. My new gite is not published and, frankly, I am looking at other sites. This is just too bad.

Reservation Cancelled for No Reasonable Reason

I made an Airbnb reservation at certain price for five days. The same day I made the reservation I contacted the host with some doubts and she asked me for an increase per night on my reservation and an increase of days; if I didn’t agree, she asked me to cancel my reservation. I didn’t cancel, so she did.

It’s been disappointing that I can’t complain on a review for this specific host because the booking is cancelled. The cancellation policy for hosts is ridiculous; it’s so significant that they can cancel whenever they want, assuming no consequences. On the other hand, customer service does nothing. They even responded offering a discount on another reservation (which I don’t have). They don’t know even what they’re taking about.

I hope that Airbnb’s headquarters cares about its clients (as customers service clearly doesn’t) and I get at least the simple request I’m making: to be able to write a review on the person who did this to me, as I actually had an experience with the host, even if the reservation got cancelled. I have all the WhatsApp conversations with her asking me to pay more and increase the dates.

Take care of your clients. I’m now afraid of using Airbnb as hosts can cancel on me whenever they want. I hope I finally find someone who can actually hear me.