Fraud Committed by Airbnb Host in Los Angeles

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After using the Airbnb platform twice without issue, I decided to book two nights in a loft in downtown LA for a recent business trip. After confirming the booking, the host requested I send him a copy of my driver’s license outside the platform, which I was hesitant to do. I could tell this frustrated the host so I sent him another picture ID and said I could provide him with my license upon arrival.

Upon arriving I was greeted by a young lady who was not the man I was messaging with on the platform. I also couldn’t help but notice that she seemed nervous. I provided her with my driver’s license and she showed me to the loft.

My stay was uneventful. The place was marginal at best but I was there for business and only needed the bed, bathroom, TV, and fridge. I couldn’t get the shower to produce warm water and the lamp next to the bed was so flimsy I actually spent 20 minutes trying to get it screwed together in a way that gave it some more structural integrity.

Upon checking out I was prompted to provide a review. I gave four stars and left the typed feedback field blank as I’m not the type of person that complains about little things and wasn’t looking to write a bad review.

This is where the hell started. Upon submitting my feedback, I received the host’s review of me and was shocked. The guy had written multiple paragraphs stating that I left the place a mess and damaged the countertops with a knife. The guy even submitted photos of horrible scratch marks. There was no background so it could have been any countertop. I also found it hard to believe that the guy would go as far as damaging his own countertop.

I declined the payment request and a case was opened. I clearly explained the situation to the assigned “Trust & Safety Specialist”. After all, this was about as straight-forward of a fraudulent claim as one could imagine. I never used the kitchen, never mind any knives.

Airbnb told me they had requested additional paperwork from the host and after several days I received a message from Airbnb at 2:00 AM introducing me to a whole new Trust & Safety Specialist and saying that if they didn’t hear back, they would move forward processing the host’s claim. When I called Airbnb the lady tried to get me to admit that I incurred the damage saying, “well you were just doing your thing” to which I responded: “Absolutely not, I didn’t even use the kitchen. I can’t believe you would say that!”

Flash forward to today. I received a message from Airbnb saying I owed $1250 for the damages. I’ve come to realize that Airbnb is unable to maintain the integrity of its platform. This host knew it and took advantage of it. Now here I am left with a completely inaccurate review and a bill for over a grand.

I have never experienced anything like this before. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I refuse to pay a fraudulent claim on principle. I blocked Airbnb from charging my card but have no idea what will happen next other than my making everyone I can aware of this horrible experience and never using Airbnb again. This is literally criminal.

Airbnb’s Negligence Damages Equipment

My wife and several of our friends recommended that I stay at an Airbnb for my trip to Barcelona. The apartment was exactly as advertised, and the host was very responsive to my inquiries. That is until a storm came.

I went to a museum and when I came back to the apartment, the entire dining room area was drenched, as if someone had opened a faucet from above. The table was drenched, the carpet underneath was drenched, and my photography equipment on top of the table was damaged.

I tried contacting the host and Airbnb. The host was nowhere to be found, and Airbnb refused to put me in another place. Apparently, there were no other apartments available in all of Barcelona, so I was forced to stay in this apartment and even clean the mess.

This was a month ago. I have been calling Airbnb for a month now, and I get the exact same response: “My apologies, sir… this should have never happened sir… this should have been resolved within 48 hours sir… you have all the right to be angry sir… I can see that Airbnb is negligent on this matter sir…”

Every time, they say that this issue has not been picked up by a case manager yet and that they are going to expedite this because the last rep I talked to didn’t escalate this. They repeat this every single time I call. I don’t know what to do. My equipment is valued at over 5000 dollars, and I am also asking for a full refund of my stay. I don’t know where to get help on this. If anyone has suggestions, please help.

Airbnb Guest Left the Bedroom in a Oily Mess

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A guest stayed for several months, then left without saying goodbye without paying for four nights. Inside the drawers remains an oily substance. I sent a message to the Airbnb resolution center, and this is what they wrote:

“I have taken a look through the details you have provided and I should explain that, in the case of the bedroom furniture, it appears that the damage can be remedied without the need to replace everything. Generally speaking, unless items are damaged beyond repair or beyond use, replacement cost will not be provided.

In addition, when replacement cost is approved the amounts involved are subject to deductions for both depreciation and residual value. Airbnb will always pay for the lesser cost of repair or replacement so please explore that possibility. On all items please provide invoices,estimates, or receipts covering the cost of repair (or replacement if appropriate). All documents should appear on company letterhead and Word/Excel documents are not accepted.

Please submit the requested documentation by November 10th. If you need more time to gather it, please communicate how much time you think you might need.”

Thanks for you answer, but please allow me to insist about the permanent damage to the bedroom. It cost us $3,200 five years ago, before we went into business with Airbnb. We have been trying to clean off this oily substance from all the bedroom furniture, including the bed, mattress, sheets, towels, mattress cover, night stand, dresser and chest, without success. All the furniture is still stained and seems impossible to be cleaned. On the dresser, the guest burned or melted some plastic that we tried to remove, resulting in some permanent damage. The carpet may be cleaned but we’re without hope the stains will go away. The guest also broke a lamp.

Airbnb Didn’t Exercise the Host Insurance Policy

We had a bad experience with our Airbnb case manager. Our Airbnb guest used an iron on the sofa bed and burned it. We contacted the guest, and they denied causing the damage. They said they didn’t do it. We contacted Airbnb to exercise the host insurance policy. Airbnb asked for some documents like an “invoice or offer of the repair, age of the damaged item, photos, etc.”

We provided all the information. After a few days, they asked for a “repair offer letter” showing the stamp of the company. It was Ramadan season in Turkey, and I told them that, during Ramadan, documents are always delayed. 31 days after the damage occurred, I received the letter and forwarded it to Airbnb team. They said, according to the policy, all documents should be received within 30 days. I told them I sent them everything they needed, and the only thing delayed was a “stamp on an already sent letter”.

They didn’t accept it. They didn’t pay for the damage. I sent them the letter before the 30th day, and this was the only additional document they asked for. I even told them about the delay in advance, and they ignored it.

Hosts Be Warned About Airbnb When Guests Cause Damage

A warning for all owners who may rent out vacation homes through Airbnb. We own a couple of villas on the island of Aruba. For almost ten years we have rented out to vacationers and 99% of the rentals have been great: satisfied and happy vacationers.

In August this year, our luck changed. We rented to a Dutch family who totally disrespected our house. The reservation was made through Airbnb, who stated that they had verified the renter. All seemed well. The first day they moved in the complaints started, from stupid comments like “we don’t like the taste of the water in the swimming pool” to “we don’t think cooking with gas is safe.” Then they broke a toilet. This was followed by drapes being pulled down. “The fridge makes a noise and we can’t sleep.”

Each and every time we were advised of any issue we had our property manager involved and he visited the house within an hour. On several occasions, he had to tell the renter to stop having their kids jumping on the furniture and dropping food on the expensive furniture. In addition, they did not know how to light the BBQ and demanded the property manager go and light it.

The renter was moving to the island to take a position with a bank. They had already rented a long-term house and it seems the house became available sooner than they planned. We were sympathetic and refunded some money to them as a goodwill gesture. We found out that they did not pay the rent… it was their employer, yet they pocketed the money.

They walked out early and left the house in a disgusting condition: unflushed feces in toilets, open food on counters, wet towels on beds and furnishings, broken artifacts and glass ornaments, caked on filth and food on the outside patio. I could go on, but I think this describes it somewhat.

After they left, neither our administration manager nor the property manager could believe the mess the house was left in. For example, in July we had the furniture professionally recovered at a cost of thousands. The kids jumped all over it and ground in food, spilled greasy food on it, and pushed dirty muddy footprints into it. We photographed and video recorded all this along with reports from both the property manager and admin lady and forwarded everything to Airbnb. They recorded everything.

Then the bizarre happened. The wife made a complaint to Airbnb who issued her a refund. Subsequently, Airbnb agreed with us and decided to partially cover the costs for cleaning and repairs. The amount they agreed on they did not send us as they had refunded money to the renter. They did not contact us before refunding money to the renter.

Airbnb admitted that someone in the organization made a mistake. We have been calling 2-3 times a week and so far have been unable to get any resolution. We will probably be forced to go through a legal route at this point. In reviewing other owners’ entries in an Airbnb blog, it seems we are not alone in having this experience.

Owners are warned: don’t expect Airbnb to be on your side if things go wrong. We also found out after the renter left that illegal drugs were used in their house during their stay. We have a witness. Airbnb admits that this alone contravenes their policy. That should be enough to bring this to a conclusion, but it hasn’t.

Airbnb Host Attempts Extortion Over Damages

My story is a classic case of an extortion attempt by a host. I have stayed at several Airbnbs in four different countries, and have had unique and enjoyable experiences each time. Because of my past success in being connected to great hosts and accommodations through the website, I decided to use book an Airbnb for three months while I began my new job after college, before moving into a place longer term.

My first impression of the place was that it seemed nice enough. I simply wanted my own quiet room to sleep in with functional appliances and plumbing while I worked my full-time job over the summer, and it initially seemed on par with my requirements. Sure, the wallpaper was peeling off the bedroom walls and there was a board covering a hole in the wall at the foot of my bed with a rusty nail sticking out of it, but I felt that it wasn’t a big deal so long as I didn’t stab myself with the nail as I slept.

Unfortunately, as time went on, I uncovered a number of issues with the place that made my stay unenjoyable. The washing machine didn’t work for two out of the three months I stayed there, leaving me no choice but to walk a mile to and from the laundromat each weekend. Furthermore, the place wasn’t nearly as quiet as I’d hoped, with neighbors blasting music into late hours of the night.

Other issues included A/C that was kept at too high a temperature in the humid summer months near DC, a shower that would rapidly switch from hot to cold without touching the dial, and water pressure troubles in the shower that would essentially render the showerhead to a drip while trying to bathe. All of this was tolerable as I was not trying to complain to her too much as I desired to be left a good review following my stay.

About halfway through my stay, something happened that left me unable to remain silent any longer. The scam this host was trying to pull off on me centered around a restroom that is shared among two guests in the upstairs hallway. For the first month or so, this restroom was shared between myself and a girl staying in the room next door. I had no issue sharing the restroom with her, as she kept the restroom tidy. She moved out for a short time before a new guest moved in, and in that hiatus I had the bathroom to myself.

However, I was unaware that she had moved out at the time, and thought nothing of it when I heard activity from the restroom, as I thought it was just her. Since the bathroom was in the hallway, it was fully accessible to anybody in the home. I woke one morning to an email from my host saying there had been a leak in my bathroom, and when I went downstairs, it was clear the leak had spread downstairs and caused drywall and ceiling damage below.

I assumed there had been an issue with the pipes, but later in the day, my host told me I was responsible for the damage. When I asked the host what transpired, she claimed that I pulled up the sink plug, ran the sink, and left the sink to overflow and flood.

First and foremost, I didn’t ever touch the sink plug and there was no reason I could conceive of that would cause me to even need to do so. Second, leaving the sink on full blast and walking away in conjunction with the pulling of the plug is as improbable as it is false. What was most frustrating about this conversation with my host was that there was no discussion about the events – she simply told me to my face that she would give me the invoice.

I tried to explain to her that I was not responsible and there must be an alternate explanation, but she wouldn’t listen. She believed it was impossible that there was either another guest using the restroom (which I certainly heard) or a plumbing issue (which I experienced with the water temperature and pressure in the shower). Just because I was the only one supposed to be using the restroom doesn’t mean that I was. The myriad of prior plumbing issues makes her story suspect as well.

Time elapsed and toward the tail end of my stay, I didn’t hear anything more about the incident from her, though I did see some contractors repair the damage. I contacted Airbnb and explained my story, and they were understanding. However, since I didn’t hear anything else from her, they weren’t able to help unless she took action.

Two days before my reservation concluded, I received a request for money from her with for nearly $2000 with pictures of the damage and an invoice that she typed up herself. I promptly declined the request, explaining once more that I wasn’t responsible for the damage, and that I didn’t appreciate her extortion efforts. She then involved Airbnb, and that is where we currently stand.

In the images she provided, there is one that is clearly staged where the sink plug is up and the water is running, but you can clearly see the water is only half full in the sink (being optimistic here), and anybody taking the picture could have easily stopped it from overflowing. Additionally, there is a picture of the overflowing sink with the plug down, which is illogical because in a functional sink, the water would have just drained downward.

Moreover, while she told me she wouldn’t charge for anything beyond to the damages, she listed “oversight” from herself as a $250 charge. Not only is she using me as the scapegoat, but she is trying to profit from repairing damages that I didn’t cause.

I am remaining optimistic due to her poor evidence and fictional charges on the invoice, and am hoping the truth prevails here. If anybody has had a similar experience, I would encourage you to share it, as knowledge about how to handle these situations is one of the best tools of preventing hosts from taking advantage of their guests in the future.

Hosts Beware: The Host Guarantee is a Crock

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911 to all hosts: a must read. I had a $42,000 claim due to damages to my newly renovated $400,000 home. These Airbnb guests were the first people in the home since its purchase. They carved into furniture; two large dogs were brought into the home destroying furniture, carpets doors, paint, and more. Upon discovering this, I had the guests removed. I immediately filed a claim with Airbnb and their $1,000,000 guarantee. I was told that the insurance team would be in touch within three days.

After five days with no answer, I began calling and emailing, again with no response. When I called, they told me that they had everything they needed and they don’t know why there is a delay. Still, there is no substance to their promises or guarantees. This went on for three months. I had to pay out of pocket to repair and replace everything in the entire house that I had only finished remodeling and furnishing a month before.

After three months I received an email stating I had 72 hours to respond or the offer will be withdrawn. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was forced to accept a disrespectful amount to cover at least some of my losses. I have since watched Airbnb Nightmares on Netflix and have learned Airbnb has a history of not paying its hosts for damages by the guests. We are business partners and I have been a Superhost for over 2 1/2 years. Why would they not compensate me for these damages? Hosts beware.

 

*****Update 10/17/2018******

Boynton homeowner takes on Airbnb over damage

Huge Damages to Property After Guests’ Stay

Airbnb “vetted” a group of people to stay in our home for one month. When their stay was over, the cleaning people refused to clean after them. I went in to clean. I found bags of drugs (pot, etc.), broken lamps, broken bar stools, and broken chairs at the dining table. The furniture had been moved around and was broken (bed frame, book shelves). There were four 55-gallon trash bags full of liquor bottles and beer bottles in the house. The refrigerator had not been emptied. It was stuffed full which had to be thrown away by me. The inside lamps had been taken outside and plugged in. They were damaged from the rain, and could have caused a fire.

Airbnb’s response was that we would have to buy new stuff and turn in the receipt in 14 days, or we could not be reimbursed for our damages. How do you replace a bar stool in a matching set? How do you match a chair in a matching set, if it’s no longer made? I truly hope Airbnb reads this post. My lake home is special to me, and I just wanted to share it with others so they could have a positive experience.

These people (and many others who weren’t as bad) were not vetted. Animals would have been preferable to these “things” in my home. Also, Airbnb won’t allow you to charge an upfront deposit fee to take care of damages. Airbnb and I are about to be done. I hope Airbnb loses many customers, and I highly caution anyone thinking about doing this to consider other options. I’m about to. Thank you for allowing me to vent.

No Better Way to Put it: Airbnb Guest Smelled

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I had a guy book for a week in my very nice home since my kids are off in college now. He claimed he worked in accounting at Powell’s Books and was needing a place while he looked for an apartment. From the second he stepped into my home, I knew something was wrong. He was twitchy, awkward, and filthy, smelling of vomit and feces. He had horrible shoes, filthy clothes, no socks, and a trashed suitcase he drug over my good wood floors.

I left the house and called Airbnb. They said that I would be penalized if I cancelled the reservation and they were reaching out to this guy. He promised he’d get to the laundry. I had a sleepless night with the stench in my very clean house. The next day he never left. The stench got worse and worse and he clearly had no job. I left for two hours in the evening and when I returned my bathroom was flooded; glass was all over the floor.

I marched into the room and almost choked. I told him to get out. I called Airbnb and they treated it like it was nothing. I got him out at 1:00 AM and stayed up all night hauling out fouled mattresses and bedding, cleaning up glass and feces. I am on day three with Airbnb and have spoken to no fewer than eight people. They are still not helping me.

Airbnb Host Guarantee is Airbnb Host Fraud

We have a brand new house that we have listed on Airbnb and we recently had a bad guest. We made a claim using the host guarantee. To be honest the Airbnb Host Guarantee isn’t worth the toilet paper it’s appears to have been written while Chesky was sitting on the can. It’s a huge scam and needs to be the subject of a consumer fraud class action suit.

For $1,800 in damages that this guest caused, they offered us $251. After doing some research, we found they offer everyone about $250 no matter how much damage the guest causes. That has to amount to billions that hosts have lost around the world.

We have an almost new house, six months old at the time the guest stayed there. The lit hookah coals on our new glass stove top permanently disfigured the top. That part alone without installation is over $200. The installation is over $200. A new stove is $700. They offered us $130 for that.

Our house rules clearly stated there was a $300 fine for smoking in the house. When they left the house they left all of the windows open, the air conditioning on, and the vent fans on because of the smell. This guest also disconnected and removed all of the smoke detectors. He used the toaster oven as a step stool to do this. He took the batteries out of the detectors and didn’t put them back in. They were all going off because of this.

They didn’t pay us the fine, for putting the smoke detectors back in or replacing the smoke detector batteries. All of which cost a lot of time, which is money. The brand new toaster oven which cost over $50 to replace plus a trip to the house? For that they offered us $20. What kind of crapola is this? It goes on from there. In short the host guarantee is the host ripoff. Calling it a guarantee is a fraud.