Malicious Damage, Drugs, Theft, and a Lot More

We have just had guests who booked our house to set up a $60,000 theft from a nearby property. We met them when they moved in and immediately felt they were suspect. You know how your hair stands on end when you know it’s just not right?

We were straight onto the phone to Airbnb, who assured me they were verified guests. Unbeknownst to me, one hour before my call to Airbnb they had received a report from the house these people had just left where they did $20,000 damage in a drug craze. Never once did they contact me to advise what potentially could happen at my house with these bad guests.

They left us when the police raided the house. The male stole $60,000 worth of jewelry, firearms, and ammunition. He also stole two 10-week-old pups to sell for more drugs, and kept it all at our house. They stole from us, did not follow the house rules, and Airbnb never let us know they had done this at the past two houses.

They have been gone for a week, changed their profile picture, and are no doubt staying at someone else’s house doing damage and stealing property. Airbnb knows the police are involved but have done nothing. It’s a farce.

Now I am trying to get the security bond back. Two calls and one email every day with being told it is being escalated and nobody has contacted us. I posted a review saying I would not have them back, but it has never been published on their profile; other hosts can’t see what they are really like.

Do not ever trust the Airbnb reviews: they are fabricated. If it does not feel right, do not let guests stay. It’s wrong, illegal, and unsafe. What else is Airbnb hiding while they continue to take our money?

Sexual Predators Can Use Airbnb Freely

A local Airbnb was being hosted by sexual predator (now serving multiple years in prison). He lived in the house with guests before his court date, which took two years. He was not allowed to have anyone under 16 at his house. I called Airbnb and let them know that this was occurring and single women might not be comfortable sharing his hot tub and pool if they were aware. They did nothing. Please Google your hosts and guests if you’re sharing a house.

Trapped inside Airbnb Bedroom at Knifepoint

Almost a month ago, my boyfriend and I suffered a terrible experience in an Airbnb. On Sunday, September 1st, at 4:00 AM, while we were sleeping, two men entered our Airbnb. They broke the window lock, opened the window, and managed to open the door and get inside the apartment.

We woke up because of the noises, and when I turned on the light one of the men was at the entrance of our room. With much fear, my boyfriend tried to confront them, but he noticed that the second guy had a knife and that to do anything was too risky.

We shut the room door (that didn’t have a lock) and my boyfriend struggled with one of them to prevent him from entering the room and hurting us or stealing more things. We were inside the room for the duration of the robbery, the longest and most frightening six minutes ever. They stole everything but our phones that we managed to hide under the bed. Suspiciously, only our things were taken.

There was some kind of renovation in front of the apartment, and they saw us go in and out everyday. We are concerned that the information that hosts were in the property was passed to the criminals. I will never forget the face of the man, surprised that we were there. The night before we went partying, so at 4:00 AM we were not home.

To this day, the response from the hosts has been as follows:

• Reimbursement of the Airbnb reservation.

• Reimbursement of taxis and a meal.

I am really angry and wanted to share this situation. I accept any advice you can give to try to get compensation from Airbnb and the hosts.

Airbnb Loses Recording of Guest Threatening Me

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blank blankToday I discovered that a female Airbnb guest had sneaked a male into our home unannounced without paying for him. I discovered this by taking clean towels, toilet paper and water to the room when she left for her “photo shoot”. I was confronted with an unknown man who claimed to be a “boyfriend” although the female guest told me she lived in and had just flown in from LA. The male guest eventually slipped up and said he had just arrived from NYC.

I contacted Airbnb immediately to report the violation of the rules, false booking number of guests and to express that this was a potentially unsafe situation of a guest leaving an unknown unapproved unverified person in my home without so much as even a text message to let me know, let alone not asking permission. While I was on the phone with an Airbnb supervisor who was supposedly recording the event and confirmed she in fact heard the male guest and heard me ask him to leave (I asked the super to stay on the phone with me for safety while I asked him to leave),  the female guest returned, came into my home and started yelling at me that she was a 32-year-old woman, could do as she pleased, and I had no right to go up there or confront her “friend.”

There was no reasoning with these people; that was evident and why I asked the super to contact her and cancel and handle the reservation because I didn’t want nor did I feel it was my place to safely confront guests under these conditions. The super advised me that she was escalating this to the Trust & Safety department immediately. She said she also needed to speak with the guest. I advised her that was fine, but have someone else call and for her to stay on the phone with me for safety and documentation. She hung up.

The guest and the male “friend” started yelling in my home. The female backed me into my home office and blocked the door. I was totally out of composure and had to threaten to call the police. They spilled out into my driveway (I live in an upscale urban neighborhood) and of course the neighbors were not watching. They eventually left but not after the random male invited me to step out of my home to deal with him in my driveway and calling me a racist.

I went back inside and went back to my office to deal with clients and calls. About four hours later when I had a break I contacted Airbnb again because I had not heard from anyone. There was no ticket in my Airbnb mailbox and no return phone call from the company as had been promised. When I called back, the new customer service agent and his super said they “had no record of this event, no notes, no ticket and no recording and would need to call the guest to get her side of the story.”

I lost my grip with them. The guests last words leaving were, “you’ll get yours.” As I’ve reached out and as of the writing of this event six hours later, there has been no follow up. I had one email from a customer service agent that wrote me after the third call. I’ll attach the three replies I’ve sent in and not a one has had a response.

This is not the first issue I’ve had with Airbnb. I’ll post the others now that I know about this site. I’m all in about supporting some serious collective effort among hosts to bring change and safety to both hosts and guests. Airbnb alone does not seem to indicate they have the incentive to do so without some serious movement from those of us who have experienced this sort of stuff.

Airbnb Guest Chases Me into the Basement

A guest decided to throw a raging party in my 90210 property on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Drugs and illegal activity with minors was going on. I contacted the police and they told me the reservation needed to be canceled immediately. Since the reservation was in progress I was unable to cancel it on my end; I had to call Airbnb.

Upon calling Airbnb, they could hear how aggressive the guest was, they could hear that there were over fifty people in a listing that was supposed to have one person, and they could hear the threats and the yelling. However, they requested that I take photographs for documentation. I let the agent on the phone know that me taking photographs of these people conducting illegal activity would not put me in a very safe position.

I locked myself in my apartment and tried to talk to the representative from there. They told me without any photographs, they were unable to help me, even though they were aware of the situation. I once again informed the agent that this would put me in a very dangerous situation.

Having no choice, I went ahead and proceeded to take photos of the party going on. The intoxicated guests were so upset with me, they chased me into a basement. I locked the door of the basement, grabbed my two children at 2:00 AM who were sleeping in bed, and let them out through a window. With nothing in my possession, I took a taxi cab to a motel and stayed the night there with my two children on a school night.

Even though Airbnb promised to compensate me for the hotel room and the taxi ride, they offered it to me in the form of travel credit which expired, because I never travel using Airbnb. My situation was the turning point situation that made Airbnb change their policy to stop requiring photographs of guests as documentation when the situation is dangerous. Bad things happen on Airbnb, and I understand that. It’s the way Airbnb continuously handles this types of situations that is extremely dangerous and upsetting.

I recently had a guest kick down my door after getting drunk. They agreed to pay for about 40% of the damage as that’s what they figured it was worth. Airbnb compensated me nothing and held me responsible for future cancellations since I didn’t have a door. I was told it was my responsibility to make sure that I had a door in working order and would be held responsible for any penalties and cancellations for not being able to host guests because I didn’t have a door.

It’s three months later, and Airbnb still refuses to to explain why they won’t compensate me. Their house guarantee is complete baloney. They’ve lost way more money with the cancellations, because I refuse to continue hosting on this platform until I’m paid back for a guest kicking down my door. There’s no reason why I should not be paid, especially if the guest is agreeing to pay for it.

I highly suggest if you have a guest who is cooperating, take money outside of the Airbnb platform against their policy. They cannot even uphold their own policies there’s no point in cooperating with them whatsoever I sincerely hope this company catches a huge class action lawsuit. I’ve had over 3000 reservations as a host with Airbnb and refused to give them any more business.

What do you have to do to get a refund?

We booked an apartment on a street in Boston where we had lived when we first got married. There were photos of the basement, one bedroom, apartment, and it looked livable. It was close to the college where our grandson was graduating. We kept asking our hostess if there was a place to park. She said yes, but we had no idea where it was. Our hostess told us how to get in and that was the last we heard from her.

The entryway was dirty. We went down the stairs, unlocked the doors, and our adventure began. There was no wifi, we couldn’t contact our hostess to ask for the password, and no electronics worked. There were steep steps leading down into the bathroom and no banister, except for a towel rack that had been pulled out of the wall. The shower had a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling surrounded by wires. The water did not drain.

My husband, who was alarmed, warned me not to touch the light bulb while I was standing in water… sure thing for electrocution. That night the fuses blew and the lights were out for a long time. I tried to use the bathroom in the dark and tripped down the stairs. The exposed pipes dripped something and made puddles on the living room floor. Our room was next to the laundry and garbage room.

We asked the janitor, who was taking out the garbage, where we should park. He pointed to a small area surrounded by garbage cans and behind a giant SUV. We had one hell of a time parking our car. The parking “space” cost us $40 a day. Our hostess had given us a phone number. We tried over and over to call her. Her message service said her messages were full and could not accept messages. I gave up trying to reach her or anyone at the home office.

We went to the graduation and tried to spend as little time as possible in the apartment. When I got home I phoned the home offices, spoke twice to reps, and told them I wanted my money back. I wrote to them and to the hostess explaining why I wanted my money back. They wanted photographs. How do you photograph fuses blowing, water that doesn’t drain, puddles dripping from the exposed pipes, and a parking space that was surrounded by all the garbage cans from the building?

I read the reviews by other renters and they also said, “there is NO WIFI”, “the shower does not drain”, and “fuses blew and the apartment was pitch black.” Three different “committees” turned down our request for a refund. The host won’t reply to our mail. We are seniors. We get the feeling that the people at Airbnb think we are senile. I can assure you we’ve got it together. They keep informing us that we have lost our request for refund. They email us this and we cannot reply because their return email address is not deliverable. What do we do next? Our bill was over $600. The place ruined our vacation.

Airbnb Blocks Legitimate Negative Reviews

I’ve used Airbnb at least 15 times but never again. A host screwed me over (warning: do not stay here). I had never been to New Orleans and was so excited. Six of my girlfriends and I planned a fun weekend getaway. I booked us a house that was listed as “3 miles from French Quarter” on Airbnb and paid over $1000 upfront (included $130 cleaning fee, $113 service fee, and $45 in taxes). I was boarding the plane to NOLA when I got a phone call from two of the girls saying they aren’t staying at the house.

Their Uber driver said it’s a very dangerous part of town and is considered the projects. I Googled it later and found out it was the second largest housing project in the city. There were boarded up houses on the street (something I could not have known). When they arrived at the house, two men drinking from paper bags across the street started catcalling them and made them feel very uncomfortable.

There was only one other review posted before me and the guy said that the neighborhood was “worn down”. I didn’t want to base my stay on one review, but looking back I should have. I immediately contacted the owner and said we did not feel comfortable staying there and we would be staying somewhere else. I ended up paying a fortune for a hotel last minute.

Usually a hotel would make you pay for that first night and give you the rest of the money back. Nope… not this host. She wouldn’t even give me back the $130 cleaning fee. She blamed the boarded up houses on hurricane Katrina which happened 13 years ago. She also had Airbnb block me from leaving a review because I was never inside the house. My friends did not enter the house, just parked the car in the driveway and then left after being harassed. After two months of arguing with Airbnb’s customer support, they blocked me from messaging them and closed the case. I lost over a grand and was blocked from leaving an honest review. Save your time: don’t stay here or use Airbnb.

Airbnb Host Blocks Guest From Leaving

I was a guest at a bed and breakfast in Atlanta, Georgia. My stay started April 4th. The place was in the most dangerous area of Atlanta. I am a travel nurse and needed to find some place quickly, but not knowing Atlanta, I relied on Airbnb’s ratings.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the hosts and they helped me take my things in to my King Suite… so to speak; it was a pull out sofa. The listing stated there were new mattresses but I looked and was laying on two thick foam pieces. The next morning I got up and came out of my room at around 8 AM. No one was to be found, so I just began saying “hello?”

The owner came out and asked if he could help. I told him I wanted to order breakfast. I was starved so I told him what I wanted. I got half what I wanted but was hesitant to ask why. He began to tell me that guests text him what they need instead of coming out of their room. There were no places that delivered there, and he said he was a chef.

I promise you… he was no chef. He took frozen meals, microwaved them, and placed them on a plate. I was the only guest there for the whole month I stayed. The people that had given the reviews actually live there as permanent residents. He has five rooms, so I was a white woman staying with three black men, which really made me uneasy. I am not racist. My daughter has been married to a great black guy for 18 years.

Now the price I paid for this horrible place was $1700. He told me the food was free. In two weeks he knew I was getting a paycheck and asked how much it was. I stated I usually don’t give out that information. There was fresh tea and lemonade on a stand in the kitchen. I got a glass of tea and came out and got a glass of lemonade. After that day, there was nothing sitting out to drink. The trash bags in the guest rooms were grocery bags. The pictures on Airbnb were false and nothing like the nightmare this place was.

When I went in I saw books lying around with titles like Adultery, Illuminati, etc. on the sofa, at the window, and near the flat screen. It reminded me of my grandmother’s house. I would text him at 8:00 AM or so for breakfast, and the response I would always get is: “I’m not quite ready to get up.” I got breakfast at 10:30 AM, and this happened every day. It was always on his terms.

One day when I went to orientation I ate something I picked up going home. I got home and was exhausted, hungry, and trying to find another place to eat. I went to bed early and was extremely hungry the next morning. I texted the host maybe three times and told him I was sorry for the big order but asked if he had French Toast. He said yes. I ordered four pieces of French Toast, two eggs over medium, two slices of bacon, a bagel, and some oatmeal. His reply was: “Listen, even though you are very hungry, I am not about to cook all that. I will do what I can.”

The French Toast was burnt. The eggs were scrambled not over medium. There was no bacon or bagel and the oatmeal was a do-it-yourself packet with hot water. I ask for a refund and he said there are none. I told him about I was angry but nothing changed. I stayed in my room the whole time other than work. No guests were allowed near the fridge. He had a tiny table with four chairs for dining but on Airbnb it looked like everyone was having a great time. I was more and more uneasy and very angry.

I decided to leave on May 3rd. I didn’t tell him until the last minute. He backed up a little and I apologized. However, he also stuck me with a bill for $670. I was in shock. I ask what that was for. He told me it was for extra things I had been eating and Uber rides; he had stated before booking that he gives his guests free Uber rides.

I already paid $1700 for a terrible place. I was dehydrated and hungry all the time. I had relocated from Iowa so my funds were low. I told him before I left that I didn’t have that money. He said you need to leave your things then. I told him no. Then the other two guys came out of their rooms and looked at me. I had found a wonderful place and stated I wanted to leave six days early and to just deduct that from my bill. He really was angry then and he was not aware that the owner of the place I found was related to the Mayor of Atlanta and the Governor.

He stood in front of the door and told me I wasn’t going anywhere, that no one gets away with ripping him off. He said he needed to know where I was going. I told him he didn’t and asked him to let me out. My next host was on her way so my phone was vibrating. Thank god she knew something was wrong and called the police. Then he let me out.

I couldn’t carry everything at once so I had to keep going in and out of the house to put my things in her car. She said she couldn’t come on the property. She already knew that. When I got to her house where I rented a beautiful room, I noticed my computer gone. He had stolen my computer and texted me a trashy message, saying I was pathetic and he would find me. He was pretending to help me with the luggage before I left and took a picture of her tags.

My friend and I were at the police department for an hour. Now I have pressed charges and I want a refund and my computer back. I was exhausted from work, carrying luggage, and filing a report. There were never any other guests. Not one. The picture on Airbnb shows a girl, the host’s girlfriend. I will finish my story here but there was so much more that happened. I hope Airbnb will take this listing off their website as I am filing a lawsuit and they are making false advertisements; people could get raped or killed here.

 

To Effect Change, Just Don’t Use Airbnb

I really think that the best way to effect changes in the Airbnb system is to simply not use Airbnb. Money talks. I will never again stay at an Airbnb property. I discussed my concerns with a live agent from Airbnb and she confirmed that there are no site visits to the properties and no real training is provided for hosts. Not everyone is suited to be a host, plain and simple. Properties need to have standards enforced since some hosts just don’t know how to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment.

My most recent stay was in a very cute converted garage (built around the 1940’s) which I do not believe had any insulation. The space was very hot despite using the fan provided. Many of the electrical outlets were apparently original to the garage and were so worn out that some could barely hold a plug without it falling out; this is a fire hazard because a loose outlet can produce an arc if it can’t make solid contact with the plug. Also, the housekeeping staff heavily oiled all of the varnished wood tables (you don’t oil sealed wood furniture) so that I had sticky oil all over my fingers, laptop and the mouse. There was hair in the shower, and the bath exhaust fan was so filthy that I couldn’t figure out how any air could pass through.

This was my second experience staying at an Airbnb facility; my first experience was better, except that the mattress and box spring were directly on the floor (no bed frame of any kind.) Hosts need to be trained and the lodgings need periodic inspections. Of course Airbnb will never do this because it costs too much.