Out of Pocket Thousands Doing What Airbnb Told Me

I had my first group of guests cause damage in early June. I contacted Airbnb; they seemed great and told me to send photos with quotes for repairs. They approved my claim, asked for a link to the items that were damaged, and told me they would cover the costs to replace the damaged items – I just had to cover them first.

They haven’t covered the costs of the item I sent them the links for. This had taken some time to get here and so I waited to hear back. I got an email that simply said I had 48 hours to accept the first amount offered or my case would be closed. I called straight away and spoke to someone in guest services who told me not to worry; the case can’t be closed until the items being covered are sorted out.

I told him I had been given 48 hours. I had been patient in getting a response but I could not wait anymore; I needed to speak to someone straightaway. I was told my case was made urgent and someone would contact me in 24 hours. He calmed me down and put my mind at ease, even said maybe the lady in charge of my case might not be the right person to look after me. I waited and after 24 hours called again, as the 48 hours was disappearing and I was worried about it even thought I had been assured.

Again I was told the same thing and I was also told to write back saying I was not accepting that amount as it didn’t cover all the damaged items and that someone would call me in 24 hours. I waited and called again. This time I was told that after my first conversation my case had been transferred to someone else and that I needed to wait for them to call me. He did say someone might not be able to call in 24 hours as this had not been happening, but a new person would call me; I shouldn’t worry.

That night I got an email from the first person telling me I didn’t take the money in the first 48 hours and now my case was closed. I am no longer getting any compensation for not following their guidelines. I wrote back saying I was told my case was with someone else and that my advice was that the items being covered would be sorted and to wait, which is what I did. So because I followed advice from his colleague and they didn’t contact me within the 24 hours and ignored my email about forgetting some items they asked for links to, I am now out of pocket more than $3000.

I called again. I was so upset and was told that they did not have my case and a new person would be in touch. Again I have had emails from the first person saying they had to follow the guidelines and they weren’t there at the booking – they can only go off the evidence.

This doesn’t make sense I showed the same evidence of damage to the BBQ as I did for the lights, just a photo. If it’s good for one it should be for both. If I hadn’t been told to wait the 48 hours wouldn’t have passed and I wouldn’t be out the full cost of the damage. All I did was follow the advice I was given by Airbnb. Because I did what I was told and waited when I should have been pushing, I am no longer getting any reimbursement. At the same time I am being told that someone else is in charge if my case and they will contact me and sort this out.

I’m in tears with no idea what is going on and waiting yet again as I don’t know what else I should be doing. If the staff in different departments aren’t sure of other departments’ procedures and the consequences are thousands of dollars, they shouldn’t tell you to wait. All I can do right now is wait and hope someone does actually have my case and they are sorting it out. Otherwise I have been misinformed and due to that, out of pocket thousands.

All you can do is take advice from the people you can talk to. If they work for Airbnb, how can that advice lead to me being out of pocket? If this is true, it’s a great scam. “Yes, we will cover you, forget a few items, so you contact the only department that you can speak to…”

They tell you not to worry, so you don’t and wait. This puts you outside the claim timeframe and bam – you don’t get any reimbursement. It’s a great scam if this is how they keep their host guarantee costs down. I’m so disappointed and hoping the first person I spoke to that got my claim sent to someone else has been trained correctly. Please let the person who I have been told has my case contact me soon and put my mind at peace. Up until this point Airbnb has been great, but this stress is just not worth it. Even if I turn out to be okay, all the emails from Airbnb have put me at my breaking point.

Peruvian Penthouse Sheet Stain Mystery

Bring your own pipe wrench and king-size sheets if you holiday with Airbnb. My recent vacation in Peru began with four chilly days in a flat in Cuzco with no central heat. Not to worry: on the 34-degree nights, there was a small space heater in each bedroom that you could carry to the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms, there was an unfortunate seepage from the bottom of one toilet (if you have a toilet leak, this is definitely not the end to have it come out of).

Then there was the shower. On a cold Cuzco morning, I’m sure there is nothing like a hot shower to get you going. I wouldn’t know. My shower emitted a stream of hot water for the first one and a half minutes. After that you had to brace for a blast so cold it puckered you at both ends. If you’re hearty enough to tough it out you get rewarded with one cycle of lukewarm water for rinsing your bits and then you are on your own. This was The Good Place.

Next stop was the “penthouse” in Miraflores. This deluxe apartment had seen better days and the master suite won the award. Upon arrival, I set up my toiletries in the bathroom and went to wash my hands. No running water. I flushed the toilet. The tank did not refill. The water to the entire bathroom had to be manually switched on because the vanity plumbing was broken and constantly ran. So every shower, hand wash and toilet flush involved a two-step process. Plumbing was definitely not the priority because nearly every faucet in the house was loose. There was also another toilet leak on the first floor. What’s up with me and the toilets on this trip? This flat was the gift that kept on giving.

Upon my return home, I was greeted with a complaint from the owner with pictures of blue-stained sheets and an accusation that I must have worn wet jeans and sat on the bed and transferred dye. Since nobody on this site knows me, I feel compelled to let you know that I am that guy who leaves a note when I back into a parked car. I am also the type of guy who makes sure that he wears dry blue jeans. It’s kind of a thing for me. I am also not a Smurf.

Needless to say, I vehemently denied her crazy accusations, and let her know that there is no logical way that I could have put a stain on her sheets. I suggested that she speak with her cleaning crew, recommended washing whites with whites, and pointed out that the running water issue might be one to prioritize. This made her mad. After a few more exchanges I rejected her demand of $60 for a sheet.

By rejecting her damage claim, I went into Airbnb’s kangaroo court. What happens is that you get an opportunity to send Airbnb a private message to explain your situation anytime you electronically reject a claim. I told them that this was either a scam or a laundry mishap that I was wrongly blamed for. I gave them my cellphone number for them to reach out and offered up my traveling companions as witnesses.

Their response: A form-letterish email stating that they had reviewed the case and were siding with the owner since she reported the incident with a photo before renting to another party. You mean to tell me that is the standard of proof? Seriously? What about the cleaners? What about the owner herself trying to make an extra buck with a blue sheet scam? Who knows if that photo is even of a sheet that was in the house I stayed in?

Apparently that didn’t matter because Airbnb had already billed my credit card for $60. They made it very clear that I had already agreed to this in the fine print as a security deposit. I guess it is back to the Marriott for me. Airbnb and its total disregard for the customer has given me the blues. Literally.

Airbnb’s Unfair Resolution Centre Believes Hosts

I have been a Superhost for five years, and Airbnb has been great in the past. When guests have asked for refunds, I have done my best to be fair. When the dryer broke while gests were staying, I replaced it; I know amenities have a shelf life. It was my understanding that we are part of a nice, fair community.

However, I went to Nice for two days. I’m a single mum and needed a short break away. The second night we couldn’t pull the sofabed out; something was wrong with it. We got home and the host wanted us to buy a new one for €1,200. I am not strong enough to bend metal and damage a sofa, so how is it that Airbnb customer service has given me robotic, copy and pasted emails that day stating I must pay?

There has been no explanation, no kindness… they just took money from my account and have threatened me with ‘removal from the community’. I feel wrongly accused and let down. I still have many Airbnb guests booked for the next few months, and am trying to give them a good travel experience. I can’t believe how cold and unjust customer service has been this time. They won’t answer any of my questions. I don’t know what to do.

Thought I was Protected by the Airbnb Guarantee…

I’m a seasoned host on both Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO. I have never any real issues with guests until my experience in May. Little did I know a band was staying in my home after some show gigs in the Raleigh NC area. There was everything from cannabis left in potted plants to cigarette butts, empty beer cans in the yard, etc. I was not happy with the findings but thought my $300 dollar security deposit would easily cover the damages and excess cleaning charges. Four weeks later and I am still waiting on compensation for my damage claim. This was my first claim involving an Airbnb guest and I am now aware the Airbnb site provides little protection for a host. My customer service experience with Homeaway/VRBO has never been this poorly executed. I was told my claim/concern has been escalated and that was three weeks ago. I have been calling every week and the Airbnb agent just verifies ‘someone’ is working on it. Long story short, I am no longer hosting on Airbnb. Anyone considering hosting on Airbnb: don’t blindly think you will actually get paid out of the security deposit you post. You have no control over it.

Account Cancelled After Guest Makes False Claims

I have been an Airbnb Host for about five years. My reviews were mostly five stars. Even when they were less they were always good to outstanding reviews. I made Superhost twice. About two months ago I was warned that my listing was not conforming to discrimination rules. I was not permitted to limit single women to a maximum of three nights (or lose my girlfriend). I was not permitted to limit people who were heavily medicated or using drugs. I was not permitted to state that my place was not a good fit for handicapped people. I fixed all that and then they reactivated my listing. I was also warned that if I had one more violation that I would be barred from using Airbnb and never be able to reactivate or list again. I booked several guest and had five-star reviews from all in the next two months.

Then I booked three guests, two of which I had booked at an earlier date for three or four nights and had given them a very good review, stating they were trustworthy and clean. The three guests were booked for four nights. They did smoke (often in their car). They tried to hook up the living room TV with the HDMI for a PlayStation. Before I went out for the evening I noted that they left the TV on with unknown source. I turned it off for them and went out for the evening. The next morning the TV was in internet mode. The guest had tried to pull the TV off the wall which is not possible because of the custom mounting. The cables for the sound bar and TV were in wrong places. Of course the TV and sound bar would not work. I could not find the controllers and so pulled the power plug to turn it off until I could get help to remove the TV, check it out, and cable it properly and then do the required setups. After two hours it was working fine.

The guests violated house rules by not closing their window and turning off their intake fan in the daytime. They could have been violating the no-smoking house rule. On the third day I was out and about most of the day and returned to find the house unlocked. A short while later, the guest returned and parked in my neighbor’s parking space. I called them to move the car. I was then confronted with one of the guests. He said that my place was full of rodents and insects. I said that was impossible unless they brought them.

He then screamed racial slurs at me. I asked them to leave and he stated that they were on the way out. I called the police who arrived shortly after they left. The officer and I checked the room for rodents. There was something on the sink and a few leaves and sticky spots on the floor. Nothing had been stolen. I noticed that a computer desk caster was broken and called the next day to make a claim.

Airbnb told me that the guest had submitted images of rodents and insects everywhere. I wanted to see the pictures since I said they had to be planted by the guests. I lived here since 2004 and my sister was here ten years before that. There was never a single mouse. Insects were not welcome and well under control. I noted that several extra washcloths were used. Probably to catch all the mice and remove them from the house. They were all gone.

I purchased glue traps and other traps to make sure since I had a guest coming in two days. That guest was an Airbnb host. I told her about the three guests and the rodent pictures. She had never placed a claim with Airbnb. I tried to place a claim and had pictures taken of the broken desk; they kept up a non-response procedure.

They refunded one day’s stay to the guest. I questioned that and then the fee was restored since the first Airbnb person had not consulted with me. A second Airbnb person had overruled the first since they had not followed Airbnb procedures. Then the broken desk claim still needed to be processed. That became impossible, since about five days after the guest left, my account was cancelled.

I was able to book one guest on another site. He emailed me to say his stay had been cancelled. I had not recorded the contact information of the other guests – my mistake. At one time in the past Airbnb had cancelled one of my guest for some issue. When he showed up, he wanted his money back and called his friend for help. The friend burst out laughing.

However, if I had not been home, that guest who had the keypad code could have been in my house. Then what? My general feeling with Airbnb over the years is that they tend to keep changing their rules. Sometimes, I feel that they tend to be very nasty. I have listed my place on VBRO and had my first booking within five days. It seems like most of the places are higher priced. Not so with Airbnb.

Generally, hosts should not expect too much from Airbnb if you ever have to file a claim. Airbnb prevents you from writing a bad review for a guest when your account is cancelled. The fraudulent guest at my place had three okay reviews and one was from me. Any guest can do the same fraud or similar schemes. They do it against many companies. It’s a lot to consider if you host. I think the best thing is to raise your prices high enough for any strangers that you are willing to host. Don’t expect Airbnb, who got too big too fast, to really care about losing you as a host.

There’s a Reason Everyone Should be Present at Checkout

Well, this was first experience with Airbnb, and it’s already a nightmare. Long story short: I booked an apartment in Bucharest for three days. I paid, contacted the host, and was told to speak to a cleaning lady who deals with everything. The booking was made for three nights but as I finished what I came for, I informed the host and his cleaning lady that I would be leaving after only one night; I didn’t need a refund or anything. I was asked to leave the keys in the post office box as nobody would be there for the checkout. It seemed strange but I did just that. Two days later, I was informed by Airbnb that the host was asking for 1000 euros for a broken TV. I felt like I was about to faint as I left the TV in perfect condition. Someone must have broken it after my checkout and passed the blame onto me. If they would have been there for checkout I wouldn’t have had to go through all this. Please let me know what I should do and if I should go ahead and get legal help, maybe even ask for compensation.

Airbnb is a Total Sham when it comes to Damages

I had a reservation which Airbnb failed to collect payment on and still allowed these guests to check into my place. I called and sent a message to Airbnb. I was told numerous times that everything was okay and that I should not eject these people.

On the second day of the stay, I discovered that my books had been torn and thrown all over the the apartment. Food and drinks had been spilled everywhere and the apartment was filled with the smell of poop and urine. I had no choice but to remove them to prevent them from further damaging my place. Feeling bad for her and her two small children, I paid for a hotel night for them.

I came back to the apartment to find that she had allowed her mentally handicapped child to poop and pee on my carpet, and bed. It took my cleaning crew of two people six hours at $25 an hour to clean the apartment. Stanley Steamer came in the next day and charged me $169 after I could not get that smell out of my carpet with my home steamer. My books can not be replaced as they were my culinary school books. The bed, which was purchased in February when we had an interior designer design the apartment for us, had to be hauled away because the smell was so bad.

I submitted a claim for $1500 for replacement of the bed, and absorbed all the other costs as I plan to write it off as the cost of business on my taxes. After two weeks of back and forth – submitting pictures, quotes, etc. – Airbnb responded with “Congratulations! We have approved the coverage of your damages: $183”

What a joke. Their statement for that was that the damages did not affect the functionality of the mattress. Are you freaking kidding me? My apartment cost us $90,000 to complete because we will have my mother-in-law eventually coming to live with us. I thought in the meantime we would use Airbnb. People are paying $100 a night for my apartment, and Airbnb doesn’t think that the smell of poop and urine affects the functionality of the mattress. What a bunch of idiots. Who is going to pay $100 a night to sleep on a bed that smells like that? What kind of reviews do you think I am going to get and how will that affect my listing?

The bottom line is Airbnb doesn’t give a rat’s ass about damages to their hosts’ property. After I complete my current booking with Airbnb I will be taking my listing elsewhere.

Dishonest Host Takes Advantage of Airbnb and Decent People

I booked a room in Clearwater, Florida for a month with the most evil, manipulative and dishonest woman I have meet in my life. I do not recommend this room to anybody; it was a nightmare. The air conditioning didn’t work right, my room in the afternoon was so hot that I had to stay out, the ceiling fan didn’t work, and the glass lamp felt off, so I couldn’t even use it.

The host was expecting to get a new roof during my stay, and moved me to a room in her house as her convenience – another problem. She knew of all this but did not tell me at the time of my booking. The ceiling in the bedroom was all damaged, with open holes; it was disgusting. The door didn’t close properly, so anybody could get in or out of my bedroom without my permission.

The host couldn’t care less about my concerns. One day I came back to my bedroom. The door was open and the smell of fish was so strong that even my clean shirts smelled bad. She didn’t have the decency of closing my bedroom door when she was cooking. From the first day I got there I told her my concerns about the heat in the bedroom; she told me that the air conditioning was off, and added that the cleaning lady left it off and that was the reason for the bedroom to be so hot – another lie. Day after day, she manipulated the air conditioning; one day it was okay, and the next it was off, really making it a hot room.

The worst thing was her intrusive and imposing behavior. She kept inviting me to drink beer, and I kept telling her that I don’t drink. She ignored my words, and every day kept inviting me out to go dancing and do other activities. I told her I wasn’t interested, but she would not stop pressuring me. I started to feel intimidated by her abusive behavior.

Another concern was she had a obsessive compulsive control issue; everywhere you looked was a little piece of paper telling you what you can do or not do in the house. There were paper posts all over the house which made me feel like I was in a military camp: so many rules. She also told me things that I was not interested in hearing, bad mouthing all the guests that gave her bad reviews in the past (she is always the victim).

The garden was a mess. There was no way anybody could sit and relax on that patio. They had chairs that didn’t work. She even told me to be careful about the rats, and the coyotes. How could you live or enjoy a whole month in a place like this?

At the time I didn’t know one could call Airbnb and make a complaint, and I am sure many new Airbnb users had similar experiences but are not familiar with all the rules. I also tried to sit and read in the living room when my bedroom was too hot, but it was not a very cozy place. The whole house was full of objects and boxes that the host used to sell online. She was also trying to sell me a bicycle. I even hurt my knee one night when I needed to go to the kitchen by hitting the same bike she was trying to sell me: she left it next to the kitchen sink, and she keep bringing up the idea of how nice it would be for me to have a bicycle.

After seven day of broken promises, she didn’t fix anything and kept up her abusive behavior. I dint know what else could I do; I was in her house. I told her again about the air conditioning. I was so tired of this situation and I decided to leave. She begged me not to call or report her to Airbnb and “promised” to pay me back the other three weeks I hadn’t stayed. I believed her. I thought there was a bit of decency in this woman; I even felt sorry for her.

A few hours later, somebody from Airbnb call me and promised to resolve the situation. I was surprised because I hadn’t reported her. The host called them. She went about her manipulative ways, called Airbnb, and told them that I had decided to leave. She knew that I was new in this kind of situation and took advantage of the opportunity. Airbnb told me that without any pictures, written complaints, or any proof, they couldn’t help me. I paid $1,250 for a whole month’s rental and stayed only one week. The hostess never paid me back the money she promised. She is a scam artist, and now I know better. I just hope that my terrible experience with Airbnb prevents other decent people like me from been used and robbed.

Domestic Violence Nightmare at my Home

I have been a host on Airbnb since 2009. I had guests stay at my place at the end of March 2018. During that visit, the police were called by a neighbor at 3:00 in the morning due to a domestic dispute. In fact, the police had to break down my front door to get in. The incident was pretty serious.

I received a copy of the police report. There were physical marks on her and apparently he had his foot to her throat to the point where she could not breathe. I had to have my entire front door and frame work replaced. Additionally, as a result I was forced to cancel all future Airbnb guests who were confirmed as my HOA was so freaked out by the entire incident that we can no longer do rentals under 30 days.

All in all I have approximately $10,000 in damages that has not yet been addressed by Airbnb, despite the fact I have submitted all invoices, photographs and police report. They are also aware that I had to cancel already existing reservations (which I relied upon as supplemental income.) Not one person from Airbnb has called me to let me know my case is being handled. What is really sad is that I went to the guests who destroyed my place and violated my living space to ask them to pay for the damage to my home and also the loss of income. They pretty much told me to F off and that they were “trying to heal” from the incident. Wow.