AirBnS: Enough is Enough for this Airbnb Host

I’m an Airbnb host. I used to be proud to announce being an Airbnb host to my friends and family like many others out there until I received every host’s worst nightmare. On March 12th, 2018 I returned to my Bronx home from the result of a guest cancellation at my home. I returned home only to find 80% of my furniture and personal belongings outside sitting in my driveway. This was without a doubt a callous and direct message to me personally from the guest claiming personal justice for his stay being cancelled prematurely.

I’m left suffering from the irresponsible and immature actions of an Airbnb guest. Without any exaggeration, I literally did everything personally within my power outlined within Airbnb’s resolution center to have this issue resolved within the quickest possible timeframe. Unfortunately, even with me taking immediate action to resolve the manner civilly, Airbnb still has failed to successfully come to a realistic resolution and compensate me for personal damages caused by the guest.

Upon doing my due diligence and conducting a thorough investigation of my own, I’ve come to the unfortunate realization that there are countless other hosts worldwide facing this same exact Airbnb “resolution center” nightmare. Airbnb should be ashamed to know that they currently have over 100 open and unresolved host claim cases failing to communicate with hosts (and that’s me being considerate by using a figure as low as 100).

Airbnb prides itself on having morality, empathy and open lines of communication between company, host, and guest. These lines of morality have clearly been compromised greatly, judging from the extensive amount of cases that I’ve recently come across online from performing a simple Google search, looking for people going through similar “resolution center” issues such as myself.

The ultimate conclusion and reality to this revolving door of a “resolution center” is this: everyone who currently has an open Airbnb resolution case will be waiting indefinitely unless immediate action is taken against Airbnb, a company who preys upon unsuspecting hosts such as myself willing to compromise the safety of my home and countless others. Airbnb has clearly broken their own host guarantee rules; this calls for a class action lawsuit.

Unethical Practices Towards Airbnb Hosts and Guests

Airbnb does everything they can to misguide you as a host. Their policies are not clear. They tell you their assurance protects guests in your home but they don’t tell you that they protect items missing or damaged. When you come back and file a claim, if it’s not within 14 days of the checkout or before someone else checks in, they don’t cover it.

What’s the point? I have missing technology someone stole from my home, bleached towels and sheets that someone ruined worth over $1000, and nothing is recoverable. Airbnb doesn’t give a crap about you as a host or you as a guest. They are especially dishonest and unethical to hosts. Here is an email I got recently:

“Please be advised that, per our Terms of Service, Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination with regard to these disputes. We are unable to reconsider the decision made in this case we’ve issued our final decision and will uphold it accordingly. As further communication will not change the outcome of this case, we must respectfully disengage from further discussion.”

Airbnb is more concerned with getting you to just roll over and get over their BS than actually helping you resolve the issue. Does this seem fair to you? If you are looking to host your place with Airbnb, don’t. If you are a guest with Airbnb, be kind to the home owners and don’t expect a hotel experience. If you want a hotel for ten guests, go rent five rooms and pay what that is worth instead of giving hosts crap.

Extremely Bad Airbnb Host Protection Experience

I wanted to share my extremely bad experience related to Airbnb. I just recently started hosting and had my first bad guest. The guest stayed for two nights, she violated multiple housing rules (that they were supposed to agree to and comply) and damaged my property. After the guest left, I noticed the damage they caused to the bedding and found out from neighbors that the guests didn’t comply with my house rules. I didn’t know how exactly I was supposed to ask for so-called host protection and it was not properly explained on the website, so I asked Airbnb support how I was supposed to file a claim for damage to items in my apartment.

I had to wait for almost three days before getting a reply, even though they promised to reply within 24 hours. When I finally got a reply explaining the procedure, I opened the claim. Here I must mention that guest checked out on March 18th and the claim was opened on March 21st. I couldn’t open it earlier, because I didn’t know how. My claim for a refund of the damaged items was immediately rejected by the guest (didn’t expect anything out of that, but this is procedure), so I escalated it to the host protection request.

Little did I know my request got denied on March 23rd (the same month, I must mention) because I didn’t submit it within 14 days. Ridiculous, you would say? No, not for Airbnb. Apparently, I had 14 days to submit a complaint and I didn’t follow this timeline, when there were just five days that passed between the guest leaving and the answer to my request for host protection being received. I have contacted Airbnb to inquire why they gave me such a ridiculous answer that didn’t make any sense.

After two days of silence, I received a message saying they declined my host protection request because my next guest had already checked in and I had to submit requests only between the check-out of one guest and the check-in of another. Here comes the interesting part: the guest who caused the damage checked out at 11:00 AM on March 18th, but next guest checked in at 11:30 on March 18th. As per Airbnb policy, I had precisely thirty whole minutes to:

• Discover the damage

• Document all the damage

• Find similar items online or buy new items that needed to be repaired or replaced

• Submit a claim via Airbnb

• …apparently also have time for cleaning and greeting the new guest

Who they think I am, Barry Allen? Airbnb rejected my host protection claim on bogus reasons like these. They left me to pick up the bill, they made up ridiculous excuses not to assist me in any way and this is how their host protection works.

As an employee of quite a powerful Belgian law firm, we already had to deal with multiple complaints against Airbnb showing total disrespect for personal belongings or damages caused by guests towards the hosts. It doesn’t matter how severe the damage is and what kind of proof you have, Airbnb will always find the way to dismiss your claim and to not give you deserved and promised protection.

What is interesting is that once hosts start to file complaints, lawsuits and go to the press, Airbnb immediately settles cases, pays the demanded compensation and then begs them not to leak the story to the press any further. Anyway, if you have problems with Airbnb, my advice is complain, complain, complain. The best way is to complain to the California Better Business Bureau, then your complaint will be published in multiple places and will be forwarded directly to Airbnb headquarters. They will have to read and act on it. To lodge a complaint, you don’t have to be in the US; it’s enough that business office is there. We have to force them to respect hosts’ and guests’ rights and stop treating us like cows to be milked.

Airbnb Guests Can Lie About Noise, Damages

Out of 30+ rentals I have had two issues with guests. The first issue was when a guest did some minor damage to the property and left an extraordinary mess for me to clean up and organize professionals to come to the house with cleaning equipment. For the extra four hours of work, I decided to charge $65. If this was a regular rental situation that money would have come out of the security deposit, no questions asked. Airbnb decided to modify the contract and I ended up getting $5, plus $165 which was reimbursed against the receipts of repairs made supported by pictures of damages.

The second guest had sent Airbnb eight videos about “my house” because they were complaining about a train noise and not being able to sleep. They also claimed the train went by every 30 minutes during the night (easy to check, not true). Three of those videos were not from my house. Out of the remaining five, one was at night time and the rest were during the day with the windows open because you could hear birds and the neighbor’s dog. Out of 30+ guests nobody has ever complained about the train before.

Airbnb decided to give the guests a refund against the contract when they would have only been entitled to 50%. If they would have spent any time checking the facts or called me prior to making a decision the facts could have been set straight. Airbnb is habitually taking money out of hosts’ pockets and expects them to work for free based on the decisions of some teenager in a call center. The first guest was a first time Airbnb user and the second guest had two prior reviews.

The Worst Customer Service I Have Ever Seen

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During this winter vocation, I traveled with my friend to Munich, Germany. We lodged at a German’s flat. It was a wonderful trip and the host was a nice guy. Actually I think it was a wonderful experience there. However, several days after we left, we received a message from that host, who informed us that the glass desk in his living room had been broken. He suspected we did it, which was ridiculous. Why he didn’t he talk to us while we were there, instead of several days after we left?

If we considered this issue important, I thought it would be better to connect with the police at first time. Well, after discussing it with my friend, we thought that the less trouble, the better. We are international students and aren’t willing to get stuck in any trouble. We decided to agree with the host and pay him back 80 euro as a solution to terminate this problem. At that moment, the Airbnb nightmare began.

The Airbnb charged the fees twice, a total of 160 euro. We connected with customer service several times. They made a promise to us that they would return the fees to another credit card which I have saved on my Airbnb Account, but not the card which I used to make the payment before… how absurd they are. Once I connected with them, instead of solving the problems for us, they always said that the fees had been transferred onto the credit card, and we should ask our bank for help.

The bank clerk told me if they had transferred the money into my account, I would have already received it. However, at this moment, I still haven’t received it. What makes me anger is once you connect with Airbnb, customer service doesn’t always reply to you or, if they do, it takes several days. In 21st century, this is the most “wonderful” service I have ever seen.

A Holiday from Hell Thanks to Flooded Apartment

We arrived in Palma to find our apartment had been flooded. Our host took us to another that had been hurriedly evacuated by a Roma family (at least that’s how it looked). Our dealings with our Eastern European host were through a go-between who was simply charming and promised the Earth, but delivered nothing. We were promised we would eventually be settled in our booked apartment but it was never going to happen.

On our third day, water poured out from our shower and flooded the place, so we were moved to a hotel for one night. At first the go-between, who was on a sympathy kick, told us how lucky we were and he was paying for the hotel out of his own pocket. Fawlty Towers would have been an improvement.

Despite being asked to provide three rooms, the owner waited until we arrived before frantically searching for bed linen. We were asked to wait with our cases half way up an unlit staircase while he went looking. After twenty minutes or so there was a frantic knocking on the front door – the police. They had come to arrest a guy in the room opposite the one I was destined for. There weren’t three rooms, only two.

At this we told the go-between to forget it. He finally put us in a hostel. It was clean and modern and had ensuites so we were okay with this. But we had no idea where we were staying the following night as he had confessed our originally booked apartment was nowhere near habitable, the cost of the hostel was twice that of Fawlty Towers, and he wasn’t sure he’d get back what he’d already paid.

We had already started negotiating with Airbnb by email and phone (they hate you using the phone and hide contact numbers). They had only two responses to urgent messages: Airbnb didn’t believe we weren’t in the booked apartment so we had to send photos to prove it. Of course, by then we were in the hostel. Luckily I had taken a couple of pics to send to my wife so we retrieved those and sent them to Airbnb.

They then agreed on a partial refund but debited us the full cost of the first night, despite the fact that our original contract had not been honoured. We had already booked a new apartment so the refund was good news but still cost us. Then as we were (mid-afternoon) on our way to the new place the phone rang and it was the go-between, saying the leak had been repaired and we could go back to our revolting apartment. We told him where he could shove it.

The new apartment was lovely, modern and clean. However it turned out this apartment was next to a drug dealer’s home. Although the block had a entry lock I think they disabled it at night. We had paper-thin walls, and comings and goings all night long. This ended at 5:00 AM on our last night with a couple of guys hammering on the door and kicking it trying to attract attention. I’m not sure anyone was even in. I got out of bed and went to our door to suggest they stop (unpleasant confrontation in the extreme) but parted telling them I was calling the police. They left. The end of a lovely holiday.

Can a Shower Create a Huge Crack and Cause a Water Leak?

Before explaining my situation detail, I should first explain the terrible negligence at work in Airbnb customer service. My dispute was on the mediating system. Since I’m Korean and can’t speak English fluently, I just sent in my complain, explaining that I was innocent, and provided proof, as well as an explanation in Korean so the Korean Airbnb customer center could advise me. Suddenly Airbnb wasn’t reading my emails, didn’t exert any effort into reading the Korean complaints, and just sent me a formal message translated into Google (“I understand this is not the outcome you were hoping for”, something like this) and blocked my email.

Who can call Airbnb an international service? Couldn’t they connect me to someone who can speak both Korean and English so that they fully understand and listen to both parties more carefully and considerately? Why should I send and receive an English mail to prove I’m innocent though It’s not my mother language? There are two million Korean users per year through Airbnb. As a system goes, guests are always relatively helpless when something goes wrong. Hosts are locals; they already know everything. They have a huge advantage in disputes and I am being handicapped. Anyway, I think they are not able to read Korean and it seems there is nobody who speaks Korean who can help them. I sent an English complaint to them. It would be better than using Google Translate; I don’t know whether they read my email though.

I planned to stay in a Manchester, UK Airbnb from 1/31-2/4. My room was on the second floor and there was another guest next to my room. The bathroom was next to my room and there was a kitchen and the host’s private room on the first floor. The morning of February 1st, I took a shower. After a hour, the host came upstairs and shouted at me that water was leaking and dripping down through the 1st floor ceiling due to not using the shower curtain. While she was scolding me, she was very mad and used violent and racist words, e.g. “What a Chinese!”, “Do Chinese use bathrooms like this?”… she didn’t even know where I was from. I used the shower curtain and I told her that I used it on that day in clear English.

I checked out right after that problem occurred because I felt so bad and uncomfortable with her attitude and the whole situation. A few days after leaving, the host requested 300 pounds for damages. I disputed it.

I’m innocent and this request was unfair. If the house was originally in perfect condition and had no problems, the shower could not be leaking. Generally, it is likely that water is bound to be splattered on the bathroom floor while taking a shower. Even if there is a little more water than usual, water leaking through the ceiling is nonsense. How can just water splattered from the shower make a huge crack and cause the ceiling to leak? If that’s the case, then how can British people clean the bathroom and use the water properly in the bathroom?

I didn’t pour water on the floor. I just took a shower in the bath using a shower curtain. Also, there was a huge crack on the ceiling and the host blamed me and pressured me into thinking that I made that crack. Not only was water leaking but there was also a huge crack on the ceiling? Do you really think this is a normal situation?

As you can see on the pictures I attached, the crack is so wide that no one could think that it was made by the shower. I cannot help but only understand that the house originally had a crack and the problem was old. If I jumped on the floor, would they have accused me of destroying the house? This didn’t make sense at all. Taking a shower is an everyday act everybody in the world does.

If there was a possibility that the water could be leaking, or the house was weak or had a crack, the host had to notify me to be careful using the bathroom. As I’ve written, two million Koreans use Airbnb and even people from 191 different countries are using the service. In Asia there is a drain hole on the bathroom floor, so the water can go through it. If there was a risk that a leak could cause 300-pound repairs and make a host so angry, she should have notified me in advance, considering the cultural differences. I have not been provided any notice or anything from Airbnb or directly from her.

There is no definite causality. There was another guest in the house and only god knows when he used the bathroom and how used it. Therefore there is no sufficient cause that the leak was caused by my shower or anything else. These are main reasons that vindicate me and show why this case is so abnormal and unfair. I felt so bad and uncomfortable that she scolded, punished and pressed me but I couldn’t properly act because that was my first trip, my first time using Airbnb, and I’m not good at English.

I expected a clever solution from Airbnb customer service but they didn’t seem to take the guests’ side, just acted mechanically, like an answering robot. It’s such a shame. A huge crack due to shower water… let’s be honest. I attached a picture of the crack and hope you guys can give me any advice.

Football Game Turned Disastrous for Host

What was supposed to be a routine family stay for one night with two adults and two children turned into a nightmare for me, the host. The guest booked was coming from out of town for the evening to attend a Monday night football game. He was supposed to be leaving early the next morning.

First of all, they could not follow check-in instructions and attempted to get in the wrong door, resulting in an angry phone call to me complaining that they could not get in. I realized they were at the wrong door and instructed them how to get in – no big deal really. The next day I went to change the bedding, towels, etc, and the first thing I noticed was water dripping off the counter in the kitchen, running into a cabinet and onto the floor. The entire counter was flooded and the coffee maker was plugged in and immersed in water. It was a Kuerig and was totally flooded with water. It was ruined and had tripped the circuit breaker.

Next I found all the bedding piled in the center of the bed. I removed it to find a peed up blanket, comforter, sheets, and mattress pad; even the mattress was soaked. I decided to tour the entire house at that point and found surprises in every room. My entire home had been ransacked and searched –
every room, every drawer, every cabinet and closet.

The heat upstairs was left on at nearly 80 degrees. An unfinished attic space was entered, ransacked, and the lights were left on. This was a room no one should have any reason to go into (I have now locked that room down). I went to get the vacuum out of the utility room, and it was broken. It looked like it was ridden as a toy – not used, but just abused. The plastic parts could not be repaired and it was now junk.

I opened the blinds on the patio door and noticed my awning was half extended. It wouldn’t operate anymore. The remote for it had been hanging on the wall behind a TV and it was laying on the counter. It was cold and dark out when the guest arrived and there would have been no reason to even use the awning. It appears to be ruined.

All the while, I have been trying to get an estimate to Airbnb for a resolution. I began taking pictures and documenting. Everything pointed to my final conclusion that the parents arrived with fast food and several canned and bottled alcoholic beverages, left their 12- and 6-year-olds unattended in my home, and headed for the game. What could possibly go wrong with that? Who takes their young children to a strange city, in a strange home, and leaves them alone?

All of the damages were done by the children, unknown to the parents. They later said they didn’t even know about a vacuum cleaner or an awning. Of course they didn’t – they weren’t even there. After finding several used K-cup pods, I also concluded that the kids had several cups of coffee before they broke it. Kids jacked up on coffee and left alone in a home…

I was emailed by Airbnb yesterday denying my claim in full even after providing proof, pictures, receipts, and the like. I have been in contact with them multiple times, the whole time thinking they would settle for something with their host guarantee. I originally asked for $2,500 and got nothing? It is evident that Airbnb will not honor their host guarantee even with unrefutable proof of loss. I am now working out of Airbnb Hell and looking for other options for my house so this doesn’t happen again.

Deceptive Profile Led to Being Charged for Damage

This is regarding the Airbnb apartment listed at this link. The profile is deceptive, making the property look big enough for four people without any clutter. Due to this deception, I booked this place, but it was hell to stay there and inevitably my son broke an exposed light bulb by his bed. I would have been happy to pay for that lightbulb, but I was charged an unreasonable amount of money.

The host also made a questionable claim that we spilled something on one of his cheap kitchen chairs. The host asked for $118 for damages that were at most approximately $8. It went to Airbnb mediation and they basically split the difference, charging me $68. It’s still extremely unreasonable for $8 worth of damage. Because this dispute was “mediated” by Airbnb I had no recourse. They took the money out of my account and I could not object. All Airbnb customers are vulnerable to this type of mistreatment.

Furthermore, before this verdict was handed down, I posted this review to protest the awful place:

“I was deceived by the 5-star reviews when I booked this [property]. I wish I had read the written reviews more carefully. Most mention negatives even when they gave five stars. This place was horrible. First, when I showed the address to Israelis they all told me that it is a dangerous neighborhood full of drugs, prostitution, crime, and gangs. There is graffiti, dog poop everywhere you walk, and trash blocking the sidewalks.

Second, the apartment was tiny. Profile pictures are deceptive, taken from angles that make it appear larger, and crammed with more furniture than shown in the photos and lots of junk everywhere. There was an exposed lightbulb next to the bench that served as my son’s bed. Inevitably my son bumped it and then the host tried to charge us a crazy amount for his damaged exposed lightbulb (more below).

There are no closets or drawers to put things. The only place to keep things is in your suitcase, but no floor space. So you need to hop over your suitcases whenever you cross the floor. When we complained, he said to put everything on a tiny box that already had his own junk on it. There is no parking since open spots are immediately filled in this dangerous, overcrowded neighborhood. When you try to stop in front, other cars start honking immediately.

We had to hike in and lug our stuff from a long way away. The profile mentions the climb, but fails to say that the staircase is very narrow, dirty and dark with weird wires and pipes sticking out. Dog poop on the floor. The shower is unusable because the water is always cold and splashes everywhere.

Worst of all, the host is a first class jerk. He falsely accused us of breaking “house rules” when we are very conscientious and followed the rules scrupulously. He falsely accused us of taking his remote control that we left in his apartment and tried to extort an exorbitant amount of money from us for a spill on a chair that I doubt was ours and his broken exposed lightbulb next to the bench my poor son had to sleep on. Read the other reviews before booking and don’t rely on the stars.”

Everything I wrote was true and no one disputed the facts. Nevertheless. Airbnb removed my review and wouldn’t allow me to post another one, so other people could be warned about how awful this place was. I suspect that this host’s good reviews are likely the result of all negative reviews getting purged. This brings into question the integrity of all Airbnb reviews, not just the integrity of those at this particular place.

Airbnb Guests Cause over $10k in Damage, Still Refunded

The only reason I’m reaching out is that I would like to make sure I explore all avenues at Airbnb available to me before I obtain counsel and have to go that route. This guest contacted us and requested our home for one month for himself and his two colleagues for a work trip. We let the guest know that we actually would not have the house ready in time for his original request which was November 8th because we would not be finished remodeling the kitchen. We were remodeling the entire house and putting in new furniture (of which we have all receipts). He wrote back and said he really wanted to stay at our house, requesting from November 15th on. We agreed to this and the booking went through.

What ensued was much worse and different. A woman came to the house with the guest to whom he referred as his ‘daughter’ but he had told me two work colleagues. We came to learn that this was someone he was having sexual relations with (she stayed at another host’s house and told her he paid for their Airbnb’s all the time and that she had ‘snagged her a good one’). Besides this third party booking that occurre, the number of people that moved in were not three but eleven. Seven Children from teenagers (2) down to toddlers (5). Several were babies not much older than two.

We continued to call Airbnb and let them know that there were all these people living in our house. Our case manager told me we didn’t have any ‘proof’ but my gardener had seen all the children, I had seen them, I recorded audio of them playing, and my friend who came to watch the property (there are two houses on the lot as there are two subdivided lots on the property) had seen them. He told me they would be refunded if we decided to cancel on them because we didn’t have the proof to say they were violating the agreement even though an entirely different set of people were living in the house then who booked and more than we agreed to.

From November 19th-26th we went out of town for Thanksgiving and my friend kept an eye on the property. She said they had kids there staying overnight the entire time. When I got back on the evening of the 26th I heard the children. The next day I heard them in the morning. I also saw different men coming and going and none of them were the official guests.

On the 28th I saw a review posted on their account which wasn’t there before from a Superhost. She stated all of the things I was telling Airbnb – there were people who were not the guest staying at the listing, it was a 3rd party booking, and they brought several children. She also said they moved her stuff all over the place and trashed her guesthouse.

I called Airbnb immediately. The representative looked at the review. He realized something was wrong and said I could cancel the reservation (penalty free and not refund the guest, as it was apparent the guest had violated the agreement in every way). He canceled the reservation. The guest would not leave for eight hours. I called Airbnb several times. They told me to call the police but we could have had a scene on our street.

I went to the house twice to ask the guest to leave and she did not. She also refused my cleaning service woman. I was on the phone with her and could hear her refusing her access to parts of the house. We learned later she was keeping five children in one of the bedrooms we could access. Finally at 8:30 PM I went into the house and told her I wasn’t leaving and she had to go. The house was completely trashed. Our description is on their review page but there was not a surface on the house that didn’t have food, poop, urine, weed, juice, or some unknown sticky substance on it.

Short list of broken items:

– Faucet broken and it was brand new and newly installed
– Mattress, covered in urine and poop
– The floors were scratched up badly because she dragged wooden pallets from outside into the house and across the floor and moved all of our furniture around.
– All the linens were covered in severe urine stains and poop
– Poop on our leather sofa
– Floors covered in poop and trash
– Weed butts
– Dirty diapers on the floor
– New stone counters covered in dirt and muck. juice stains, food stains
– Robes missing, linens missing, pillows smelled of urine and had to be replaced.
– Rugs were rolled up and thrown out by the trash

We submitted damage claims totally over $7000 and then it was $2400 for the extra persons fee for 12 days (eight people over the reservation). Since that submission, no one from Airbnb has spoken to me or returned my calls. I get nothing but the run around from every person I talk to when I call. I submitted all receipts and repair bids; I could not get any real response except today when Airbnb refunded the guest the entire amount. They paid $2997 out of my future payout and will not respond to me, my calls, or anything I say.

At this point the guest does not have rights to that and forewent rights when they broke our agreement. For Airbnb to reimburse them for even the nights they did stay is unfathomable for me. We cannot get any response other than being shoved off so have to resort to legal action and speaking to members of the press (of which I thankfully know several). I am writing because I hope you read your email or your assistant scans them and sees this is a serious issue.

There are several hosts like me that have experienced vandalism at the hands of these guests and nothing is being done. We are hoping for a real response and that Airbnb delivers on the promise given to us as I cried uncontrollably over the phone to Airbnb about how bad this was. Their promise was that Airbnb would take care of us and would not leave us high and dry and here we are – high and dry.