Airbnb will suffer… in this life or the next

I have not been paid as a host for the last two months. Despite calling about three times a week to their customer service, there has been no resolution nor are they making any effort to come to one. The amount owed is more than £1000. Airbnb is simply not interested. Customer service opens a case then does nothing to resolve the issues. They even find excuses for why the payment has not been sent then once the issue has been solved they find something else. I think Airbnb policies are truly evil, misleading and thoroughly dishonest. The people that devise this evil will be brought to account for their actions… in this life or the next.

Cleaner Mattresses at the Tip than this Airbnb

My friend and I booked a “Cosy Mid Terrace House” in Bangor, North Wales. We were attending a five-day yoga course which commenced on the evening of Thursday, September 26th a short drive away. We checked in at the house where there was a key box; anytime after 4:00 PM was supposed to be okay.

We arrived at 3:45 PM and entered the house. On first inspection, it looked a little grimy and uncared for, but it was only five nights. However, on further inspection, we found that the kitchen surfaces were very greasy and there was mould in the fridge, the carpet into the sitting room was frayed and coming away under the door strip causing a trip hazard.

On venturing upstairs, again everything was tatty. The shower was full of black mildew. But the worst thing of all was where I was supposed to sleep for those five nights. Firstly, I could feel the mattress springs through the duvet that was on top of the bed but what really finished things off was when the bedding was pulled back, the mattress was covered in various stains. I have seen better mattresses than this at my local tip.

We contacted the owner to advise her we were not happy and would have to seek alternative accommodation. She gave us a spiel about running late as a single mum she had to collect the children from school and was on her way over. We told her not to rush as there was no way we would be able to stay and started to tell her all the things that were wrong, whereupon she hung up.

As the course was starting at 4:00 PM, there was little time to find alternative accommodation and we ended up sharing a very small twin room in a hotel not too far away who could luckily fit us in as most places we tried were fully booked over the weekend. I requested a refund from the host via the Airbnb site – which she, of course, refused – so I waited the 72 hours and asked Airbnb to intervene.

I have since then been corresponding via email with an incompetent “Senior Case Manager” who has become quite threatening in her gobbledygook English stating that I must accept her offer of a “coupon” to be used on a future booking within eight hours – four hours at one point – and now 24 hours. I feel that as they have offered a “coupon” for the full amount that they must believe our story with photos provided, but as we do not know when or if we will be booking through Airbnb again, this is simply not good enough.

I am awaiting her response as to how long the “coupon” is valid for (probably 24 hours). Despite my requests for her to escalate this case on two occasions she continues to email me in English that is barely recognisable as the language I was brought up with, totally ignoring my requests and just threatening me with more deadlines. It is interesting to note that the “Cosy Mid Terrace House” is no longer listed in the site but if ever it should reappear I do not recommend booking it or the host’s cleaning skills.

Free Cancellation in 48 Hours that Doesn’t Exist

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I looked for a month’s rental through Airbnb and I found one that I wanted. I read the cancellation policy carefully, stating that it could be cancelled within 48 hours for a full refund. I clicked first because I didn’t want to miss the rare room and figured if in two days I found it was something I didn’t like, e.g. the exact location, I could cancel.

It was a lot of money – 3000+ USD – and I suddenly thought that maybe it was better to find a way to be able to escape the long-term cancellation policy. I just cancelled it within hours. The refund was kind of a process but something they didn’t mention in the cancellation policy was that my payment method would be charged on March 26th for 600 USD. This amount was never mentioned.

I wanted to make sure before rebooking but it seemed like Airbnb just ignored me. That made me scared to proceed to any other booking; I was afraid of the fraudulent listings. Agoda and Expedia have never had this policy and the 30-day fine for advance notice was quite unfair. I then tried to figure it out by separating the booking into two periods. It’s more difficult but it should be more flexible.

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Canceled our Upcoming Reservation and Closed our Account

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Today, I would like to tell you my story to you. If someone can help, please contact me. We have done everything we could… even contacting Airbnb directors:

I am addressing this to all of you because I do not know who I can talk to about a really problematic situation with Airbnb support. We were Superhosts and proud of it. We have built a super relationship with more than 300 Airbnb guests around the world and many of them are still in contact with us.

Last Friday, we managed to address a false allegation that a guest had made against us. Subsequently, the security department has taken a dislike to us, cancelling our upcoming reservation (without informing us) and closed our accounts. We were Superhosts for several years. We have hosted more than 100 families around the world in our family house and private house. We were selected as one of the five families to make a promotional video for Airbnb in October 2019 and now, our account is closed. No reply, no callback… nothing.

A guest invited additional people without paying, unplugged the security cameras for the hidden extra guest, stole product, and made a defamatory review about us. If someone has already managed to reactivate his account. contact me. The guest review was deleted and a few hours after that they closed our account.

I’d like to point out that in July 2019 we had a similar issue with another guest. It escalated to the resolution center again and was resolved in our favor. The agent also pointed out that we should add a substantial penalty for guests who would tamper with the camera to act as a deterrent to hide or unplug the cameras. I’d also like to mention that the listing clearly indicates that we have cameras outside and inside. You can also see them in the profile pictures.

The camera outside focuses on the backyard and films the patio door and side door. The second camera is located in the kitchen and points at the side door as well and observes the activity in the kitchen. The third camera is installed in the living room and focuses on the living room to look at the front door. Basically, they are there to watch the ins and outs in the house and, as an added bonus, we feel a little secure to know that the stove won’t be left on by accident or water running in the sink.

To access the bathroom, you need to go in the corridor and then turn left to the bathroom. The cameras have no way to see into the bathroom and I’d like to add that they are not able to film in the bedrooms. You could strip naked out of the bathroom and walk to the master bedroom (located in the same corridor) without the crossing any cameras.

For sure, if a guest would have waltzed naked in the kitchen or living room, the camera would register it. This does not necessarily mean we would watch the footage, since we don’t have enough time in a day to observe 24 hours multiplied by three (three cameras recording 24 hours a day). The cameras are only accessed if damage happen, there’s a door alert, or whenever my neighbor reports that there are more guests than reported.

Now for this guest’s group we have three claims. The first is the easiest one: the $2 for a chocolate bar. In a discussion with the guest, we’ve mentioned and sent the price list for a little pilot project we have started: a mini convenience store in one of the kitchen cabinets. The goal was to sell snacks, dried pasta or canned goods to prevent a trip back to the supermarket. Some guests do not have a car or simply don’t feel like going out.

The markup on these items is about 25%… enough to cover stolen/damaged/expired merchandise. We see it as a service and not revenue. The guest’s daughter took a chocolate bar, as he admitted in communications. We simply want the $2 for the goods as it was explained when they arrived. It was never complimentary, and they knew it. Also, we couldn’t care less if Air Canada gives them away. Try that lame excuse at the supermarket to see if they’ll give them away since you’ve purchase $100 worth of meat… you’ll see.

The second claim is for the extra guest. We live near the house, but not next to it. My neighbors, ones I’ve known for 34 years and the second for 30+ years, kept an eye on the property for me. One has the key and helps with the garbage, pool and all. One of them reported to me that the guest’s group was six people. Their reservation was for five though.

The guest also proved this himself in writing by agreeing they lied to us, tried to cheat the Airbnb system, and did in fact invite an extra guest. We don’t care that they are trying to get away with only one night of extra guests instead of two (at that point, I would have been surprised he didn’t). So far, the guest proved that he was willing to lie to steal money from us, whether it was for the chocolate bar or the extra guest. My neighbor hasn’t lie to me in 30+ years… the guest did twice in a weekend. So this is why we are claiming an extra $40 (2 x $20).

The third claim is for the camera unplugging. $250 is the fee to tamper and/or unplug a camera as mentioned on the profile and added following an Airbnb agent’s suggestion. Again, something they proved they did in writing. This one is pretty obvious to me. They did it. They are guilty. The will pay the penalty fee. I want to point also that my husband had to realign the cameras after their stay since they had directed the camera “off track” as well.

After what was demonstrated above, it’s now striking why they did so. The camera clearly was an obstacle in getting the extra guest in, combined with the chocolate bar petty theft. Note that the penalty isn’t per day or per minute… it’s per offense. Since they have unhooked two cameras, we could have counted two offenses resulting in a $500 claim, but we found that $250 would be enough of a penalty.

I think this explains the reason we made these claims and clearly demonstrated that they are justified. If anything was left out, feel free to reach out to us. Thank you everybody for your support and help.

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Airbnb Inefficiency for Explanation on House Rules

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Airbnb does a great job helping guests with their suitable short-term accommodation, and hosts with extra income for accommodating guests. I have had great stays all this time, until I met this host who first of all posted confusing house rules, then ignored my messages when I tried to confirm if she was going to charge for any extras. Airbnb did not have any answers.

Why were there such misguiding house rules on the listing? Why was my host ignoring my messages especially where I asked if there was any extra payment she was going to charge me? Airbnb’s support team put my call on hold for 1.15 hrs and my feelings turned negative after observing a “no intentions to help” attitude from the first supervisor I was brought onto the call with.

In addition, they had no clue about the rules in the listing and they could not provide any explanations. They let my money go to the host even when I informed them about my discomfort within 48 hours of my booking. The host has kept the amount in full ($302.61 when the normal cost on other days are much cheaper) even when I did not visit her place, and kept on informing her that Airbnb has suggested I not cancel the trip because of her strict cancellation policy.

I’ve had very good experiences in past with nice hosts, but this was one terrible experience due to a very inconsiderate and selfish business. I want nobody else to suffer like I did. Please be extra careful with this listing, house rules, cancellation policy and double check with the host before booking.

Customer service was not helpful at all especially when it comes to accepting their own flaws and working on them. The only way to file a complaint is through a feedback form which again goes to the same people who give the same response: whether I get a full refund or not is at the host’s discretion.

Airbnb Experience Before Even Checking in

We have an upcoming booking through Airbnb here in South Africa. Our initial deposit was processed successfully in May this year and the remaining fees are supposed to be processed on the 13th of September 2019. Since May 2019, the visa card that was loaded as the payment method has since been replaced with another card.

I have been struggling for a week now to change the card number that has been saved as our payment method. The customer service consultant could not sort out the issue and eventually raised it with the web development department. I now get daily “updates” that she is still waiting for feedback from the web development team.

Earlier this week I asked to be provided/assisted with making the payment through an alternative method like EFT or PayPal as these options are not given when I want to change the payment method. Each time I indicate to the customer service consultant that I am unable to add a different payment method, the response is that they understand my frustration, but I should rather try a different payment method.

Is that not what I indicated I am unable to do? We have been going round and round in circles for a week now and the payment is due within the next two days. This is the first time that I used Airbnb and I am not sure that I will again if this is the experience prior to even checking in.

Airbnb Customer Disservice Leads to Threats

I actually have never had any problems with Airbnb. I’ve been a host for a couple of years, and thus far, I’ve had great guests, and great experiences. I just had a guest who wrecked something so I mentioned it in the review. She was shocked and went above and beyond to remedy the situation (her husband had used our white towels to clean his muddy shoes, but she ordered a new towel set from Amazon and had it sent to us).

Because she did this, I wanted to go and either delete the review or mention that she fixed the problem… just to be fair. So this is all great, but then I landed on a customer service guy who was the antithesis of anything customer service oriented. Here is our conversation. Remember, this is a customer service / resolution representative.

“It appears what I have told you so far hasn’t made it to you. So here it is again – shorthand. I’d like to change a review I made of a guest, as they left a significant mess but they remedied the situation and I don’t think it’s fair to leave that review up about them without also sharing the actual outcome, as she went above and beyond expectations to fix the problem.”

“Unfortunately, I’m unable to resolve your case so I’m forwarding you to a team that can better assist you. While response times may vary, we do our best to respond within 24 hours. Thank you for your patience.”

“Will they call me or how does it work? I’m not waiting on here for 24 hours am I? Are you still there? Hello? Anybody out there?”

“Relax, my colleague said within 24 hours and it’s been three minutes. I’m from Airbnb’s resolutions team, please let me have a look right now.”

“I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to wait here for 24 hours or what. Thank you for your kind communication and your efforts to help.”

“Wow. FYI the difference between 9:34 and 9:40 is six minutes, not three.”

“Relax? This communication is definitely going to head office.”

“So you are already threatening me? That’s not very nice of you.”

“I have just been assigned to your case. It’s not a threat. I’m telling you about accountability. I’m trying to do a good thing on here, and you’re telling me to relax? That’s very resolutiony of you. You were assigned to my case and came on and told me to relax? For real? You’re acting like you’re an anonymous Twitter user, and you’re not. You’re representing a company that is global, and makes a lot of money. I will absolutely be sending this communication for accountability. You hold your hosts and your guests accountable for their behaviour, so I think it’s only fair to do the same with the so called ‘customer service’ representatives.”

I particularly like how he says “You’re already threatening me?” showing us all that he perceives that gets threatened regularly and it’s just a matter of time. I’m guessing if one pulls up his other communications, there will be a lot of anger and animosity. This is not a guy who should be representing any company in a customer service way, and he might want to go back to his Twitter troll ways.

The great thing is that he’s not anonymous, and we do know where he works and who he’s representing with his toxic aggression. I will also be sending a hard copy of this communication to the address Airbnb Hell has supplied. Just because. If we’re all held accountable for our behaviour, so too should the jerks representing Airbnb.

Host Guarantee Means Nothing to Airbnb

I will be talking about the devastating and very much time consuming that I have been through since August 1st until today. Almost 40 tiring days have passed with no result but that feeling of being very much ignored with many saved responses by the case manager from the resolution center remain.

I had a guest who robbed my apartment, taking an expensive Canon camera 50mm f/1.2 lens and an ironing machine. I overlooked the ironing machine and the fact that she had left permanent stains on the bed cover which I bought new right and I considered them collateral damage after the one-month reservation.

However, the 50mm lens was $1,472. Thus I have reported this incident to Airbnb support center on the phone and by messaging from August 1st until the 10th. I talked with tens of agents and case managers and I sent them all the photos and documents that they needed. They told me they would contact me soon.

Anyway, this was a lie from all of them and my first experience with such an incident. On the 11th of August I called again and a case manager told me that I had to request a refund from the guest who robbed my property. I have done so and she denied it, so I got the resolution center involved.

They automatically send you an email that it should take seven days to have your case resolved. It took until today, which is 25 days. This required all the patience that I had. I sent all the documents that they requested with every tiny detail and I waited and waited. Then they requested a police report which was a very strange thing to ask for after 25 days (I had four guests in my apartment since then). Why didn’t they request it when I called, messaged, and reported this incident?

I managed to go the police station and told them every tiny detail. They gave me the police report. By the end of that day I thought Airbnb would honor their Host Guarantee. I then resent all the photos, conversations, and documents.

Since then the case manager took five days to respond to my emails. He emailed me very strangely as if he knew nothing about my case. He said – and I’m quoting from his mail – “Thanks for your response. In order for an incident to be eligible for Airbnb assistance, the reported damages must have been caused by a guest or an invitee of the guest. You are free to pursue reimbursement from your guest directly. However, per this requirement, this case is not eligible for reimbursement. You may review the Host Guarantee terms here. If you have other questions about the Host Guarantee and what is covered feel free to respond.”

As if I didn’t involve them after I requested the refund from the guest directly. I emailed him back and he didn’t answer of course. Then I called Airbnb and after a very long conversation – thirty minutes – in which I had to tell the whole story from the first detail, I requested that they change the case manager who is investigating my case. He responded shortly by email: “After a thorough review, we have decided to uphold our original decision. We determined that a payout could not be processed in this instance. We consider this decision final.”

I will unfortunately be un-listing my Airbnb apartment. Although I met with many great guests, I would never have done this if I hadn’t been that ignored.