I am not a host or a guest. A week ago Friday we had a lady show up at our home saying she booked our property and wanted to get into our home. After a lengthy discussion with this lady, we looked at the Airbnb listing and it was indeed my address. However, nothing matched my home’s description. There were lots of misspelled words, and the “host” spoke about Satan. The whole post was a sham. We both contacted Airbnb several times to take down the post. We explained to them how it’s a safety issue and eventually someone will come knocking that paid for the house and wants in and won’t be as nice as this lady was. Airbnb has not given this guest her money back, nor have they taken down the fake listing. I’ve made several phone calls within a week to this place, as well as emailing and calling them out on Facebook. Nothing is being done. This is so ridiculous that I have to check online everyday to see if my home has been booked and if an unwanted person will be arriving. Why can’t they just take it down?
On May 24th, I stayed for one night at a flat in Barcelona, and it was an absolute disaster. That night, things were very loud. Despite going to bed at 10:30 PM I wasn’t able to fall asleep until 3:30 AM when the party outside my window finally died down. These conditions were not conveyed to me ahead of time. I calmly approached my host about this the next morning at 8:40 AM. Rather than trying to resolve or talk through the issue, she canceled my reservation and demanded I leave the flat by 12:00 PM. I received a refund at 9:30 AM after which I frantically tried to contact Airbnb for support while I searched the website for alternatives. I couldn’t get ahold of anyone from their support team, and the website yielded “zero available rentals during my preferred time frame.”
By 9:40 AM, my host became hostile. By 9:55 AM, she was back at the flat demanding I leave immediately. She threatened me by saying: “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Don’t make me call someone to remove you.” I tried to reason with her; I was afraid and alone, and I felt it best that I leave immediately. I hailed a taxi to a nearby hotel where I shelled out 500 euros per night for the remainder of my trip (2500 euros total). This was five times what I had budgeted for the trip – the host’s flat was only 80 euros/night. Seven days later, I still have not heard back from Airbnb support on this issue, despite sending the desperate email attached. I am massively disappointed with their vetting process for hosts, and for their lack of customer support in resolving the issue and making me feel like a valued customer. I have three upcoming trips planned with Airbnb over the next six weeks, and I’m tempted to cancel them all.
I booked a stay in Bozeman, Montana with what turned out to be an unusual host named Stacey. When I showed up at the place, I noticed there were extremist political signs all over the front yard and in the windows. Venturing inside, I found much more. I texted her that her place was just too weird for me. She would not provide a refund. She seemed a little strange, so I expected that. What I didn’t expect was the runaround and no support from Airbnb. I did not feel safe at this host’s house, I spent no more than five minutes there, and Airbnb would not refund anything. To add insult to injury, they wasted a huge amount of my time on numerous emails back and forth for nothing. They would not even allow me to post a bad review on this crazy host’s listing to warn others about her. Airbnb Hell, please take my $5 donation to fight Airbnb.
We booked a house in Tuscany through Airbnb last week. Unfortunately, we couldn’t even check in because the driveway road (a treacherous footpath) was so dangerous we were afraid we would destroy our rental car or get into an accident. This left us stranded at 1:00 AM, forcing us to find a random hotel 30 minutes away after driving for nearly three hours. We called Airbnb Customer Service immediately to file the report and even spent part of the next day capturing pictures of the road on foot. Despite all of this, Airbnb refuses to refund us, won’t reopen our claim, and wouldn’t even let me speak to a supervisor. I was a loyal Airbnb customer for four years but I will never use them again. Never.
We had a very terrible experience when traveling with Airbnb in Japan. My wife and I booked a room on Airbnb in Tokyo. Unfortunately, we encountered a very rude and aggressive host. His room was very dirty, and lacked essentials. We tried to contact the host, and hoped he could do something to resolve the problem. The host said: “How much did you pay? Just 3000 yen. You want 30000 yen worth of service? That’s impossible.”
Even worse, the host became very aggressive, trying to force us to move out of his room at midnight after he knew we reported the problems to Airbnb: “If you think my room has problems, I don’t think you should stay there tonight. Move out… You’re staying in my room, right? Well, I have the right to refuse your stay. Are we clear?”
We felt very scared because we did not know what this aggressive host would do. We had no choice but to leave that room as soon as possible. We tried to contact Airbnb but no one came to help us. There was only a phone number. What was worse, we were not able to contact Airbnb using this number but had to wait until Airbnb called us back. After more than an hour, there was still no solution from Airbnb. They just asked us to wait until the next day to contact the host for a resolution.
We felt so scared and hopeless that we had to move out of that room. We walked around the streets all night, feeling cold and hopeless, with no solution coming from Airbnb. What else could we do but wait for Airbnb’s call? Around 7:00 AM the next day, we finally received a call back from Airbnb. The agent asked us to find another room on Airbnb, and promised this problem would be resolved by 11:00 AM. However, we did not get any call or email by 11:00 AM. After a long night, we felt very exhausted and sleepy. We did not have any energy to wait for Airbnb’s solution. We were exhausted dealing with Airbnb, so we found one of the cheapest hotels in Tokyo and booked a room.
The email from Airbnb arrived at around 2:00 PM, but there was nothing meaningful:
“How are you? This is XXX, one of the Case Managers, and XXX’s colleague. My sincere apologies for what happened. I can only imagine your frustration about it. My colleague XXX will be in touch with you in regards to the refund/compensation request.”
Around 11:40 PM, we got Airbnb’s email and agent XXX told us our payment had been refunded. That was it. No compensation at all. We tried to contact him about the hotel bills and our homeless night. Airbnb closed my case again and again. We just wanted to share this story with someone who has used or will travel using Airbnb. It is really a huge risk traveling with Airbnb when you encounter the kind of host I mentioned. Airbnb can’t do anything for you. Nobody comes, there is no solution, and there’s no compensation even you are in danger. You have to wait for their call or email during their business hours. We wondered what the service fee charged by Airbnb is used for, as there’s no supervision of the host, and customer service did nothing helpful.
Today, the Airbnb agent’s attitude made us very mad. We never saw a big company bully their customers like Airbnb. What Airbnb promised was nothing; they could go back on their word whenever they wanted. Their arrogant attitude left us no choice but to share our story with the public. We are puny to Airbnb but we believe there are some people who have experienced the same situation as us.
This was my first trip to California. I have wanted to visit since I was a child, so for over 40 years. Now with the whole family – my wife and three teen daughters – it was about to come true. I was initially going to use VRBO which I have used with great success in the past but found what I thought was a great deal on Airbnb. Since I heard all the buzz about Airbnb, I thought I would give it a shot. What could the risk be with Airbnb behind me? Ha ha…
The fact that the apartment was in Downtown LA was some concern to me but not having been to California and in the excitement of the moment, I neglected to research just how much traffic there really is in the area; I will accept responsibility for that. Prior to booking I did repeatedly ask the host about the safety of the apartment and the surrounding area and was met with the response: “It will fit you perfectly.” Upon arrival, the initial impression of the complex was acceptable with a nice looking pool, architecture and grounds. However, once we began the ascent into the facility I began to have that sickening feeling when something just isn’t right. Musty odors and the smell of drugs were present as we walked the halls to the apartment. Once we entered I immediately tried to remain calm,though I was not pleased with the condition of the beige carpet, paint peeling off the walls, and a refrigerator containing old food.
Needless to say, below is what I wrote to our host and a representative after I decided to leave the following day. Yes, we stayed the first night as we were all exhausted after the seven-hour flight and fighting traffic to the apartment.
After some careful deliberation, we have decided not to stay in your rental due to the reasons listed below. As a result I would appreciate a refund for the balance of the days we will not be staying as even a cleaning will not make up for the fact that my daughters are uncomfortable with the environment and I don’t wish to subject them to the marijuana odors that waft through the halls or patio doors. I would appreciate your cooperation and will leave the keys with the concierge.
– Dirty, not cleaned well or recently
– Carpets are dark with dirt blotches and contained some sticky substances. I was afraid to remove my shoes.
– Old food in refrigerator and cupboards
– Smells of pot were frequent and loud neighbors stomping and slamming doors
– Unsafe surroundings not as described. My daughters were harassed outside the apartment even by pool area
– Sirens going several times throughout the night
– Dining seats are all stained, not appealing to enjoy a meal
– Food spillage down the kitchen cabinets and stove top dirty, making it unappealing to cook.
Following the above message to the host, I received a message from Nick at Airbnb who indicated that I had not followed Airbnb policy (when in fact I did, other than waiting around for the host to provide a resolution… with only five days available and the severity of the situation, this was not possible) and that I could open a refund request in the resolution center, which I had already done.
My response to Nick:
My first email was to Mike the Airbnb host, and I then opened a case with Airbnb within the 24-hour period as per the guidelines. Mike has rejected my refund request, following which I selected the option to involve Airbnb. As to finding a remedy, this situation was not able to be remedied in a timely manner as we are only in California for five days and it would be unreasonable to believe the apartment carpets and seating could be shampooed and other areas brought up to a clean standard in a reasonable time frame. Please review the pictures, as I am not sure anyone could clean what should have been done before even stepping foot in the facility. I was not about to put my family through this type of situation any longer than was necessary especially for Mike to come by to talk. The only resolution suitable would be a refund as these are distrustful and manipulative tactics simply to rent out his location. In addition, the safety factor is completely beyond the host’s means to correct, along with the elements of drug use; they are out of his control. My primary concern at this point is to ensure my family has a safe clean location to spend the rest of the short vacation in the time we have left. Had the host represented the location as not suitable for families this issue could have been avoided. I even questioned the safety of the location and was met with: “It will fit you perfectly.” I have used VRBO and hotels without issue in the past so this was a very stressful situation and caused me to seriously not trust Airbnb fpr future bookings, especially if there will be no support or protection for guests. Perhaps the host should have been more thoroughly vetted, as I would be shocked if any family would find this location acceptable. I have initiated the process to involve Airbnb and get a full refund.
Thank you for your patience while I reviewed your case. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns and perspective on this experience. Based on the information provided, I have decided that any refund will have to come directly from Mike based on our refund policy which you can read upon within the previous email. Thank you again for your understanding and for your valued time and contribution.
So even after providing pictures as to the poor cleanliness of the apartment and the fact that my daughters were harassed – two conditions specified by Airbnb as reasonable – our request for a refund was still rejected. This issue is current as of April 26th, 2017 and I am still trying to fight it. Although with no response to my emails and no contact information for Airbnb as they don’t clearly list any means of reaching a representative or manager, it is tough. I do appreciate the contact information for Airbnb found on this site.
After complaining to my host that the swimming pool, described as “private” in the listing, was being used by their grown children and their friends (five kids between the age of 10 and 20 throwing a ball back-and-forth in a ten-meter long pool is not exactly my definition of “private”), our host screamed at us to “get the f*** out of there” and ended up hitting my husband in the throat. We had to call the cops to be able to get out of there as the owner was blocking our car.
Airbnb’s reaction? I’m still waiting. It’s been three weeks. I had paid in advance for three nights, and spent only one there. I think it’s fair to ask to be reimbursed considering that we were forcibly kicked out, but apparently Airbnb considers it a sound business practice for hosts to pocket money in advance and then kick people out. Their lack of a reaction suggests so at least. In contrast: our host asked us for money, but did not have any grounds to do so. This complain was managed within days. So… what’s more important to Airbnb, people’s safety or money?
We asked for an early check in and our host said it would be fine at least three days before check in. As we were driving she asked for an estimate as to what time we’d arrive because her previous guests asked for a late check out. We arrived about an hour before check in to drop our luggage and leave. That’s when we heard a key enter the lock to the outer door and a man walked in, said “sorry,” and disappeared. We were scared as he opened the door with a key and then was gone when we went out to ask him who he was. So we immediately left and called Airbnb to say we were uncomfortable and wanted to leave with our money back. They said they had to speak with the host and figure out the whole story. At that point we had been driving around for about an hour in another country with all of our stuff in the car, having nowhere to go. They called back saying they were having trouble getting in touch with her and that we should try to go grab something to eat. As we’re eating (now about two hours after the incident) the customer service representative called saying that it was “probably” just the cleaning guy and that we shouldn’t worry and to just go back to the place. No one could tell us definitively that it was a cleaning guy, but it probably was. For all we knew it could’ve been the previous guest who still had a copy of the key and could come in at any time during our three-day stay.
After being hung up on twice and being on hold for about two hours they also said they couldn’t give us a refund; only the host could. We tried to get in touch with her and she said to “go ahead and cancel” to which I replied: “Will we get our money back?” She didn’t reply for another five hours. Airbnb refused to help us, saying they needed to protect their host and they couldn’t take her money as it couldn’t be proven we were in any immediate danger. No one cared that we were not safe and felt uncomfortable and had to barricade the door with the couch just to feel safe; they had to protect their host. To top it all off, after we returned home the host sent an email requesting money saying we checked in early and wasted her time because she was on the phone with Airbnb for 39 minutes. She wasted the entire first day of our vacation and she wants to be compensated. Absolutely the worst customer service I have ever dealt with.
Unfortunately, my experience at Liz’s place has to be added to the list of Airbnb horror stories. First of all, her profile photo was fake, and not a picture of her. That should have been my first warning sign when I checked in. I arrived at her apartment to find it in a state of disrepair. The doorknob to my bedroom was missing; she said a previous Airbnb guest had broken it (scary sign number two). The linens and bed were soiled, and had not been washed from a previous guest’s use. The bedroom was covered with dust. When I tried to shower my first evening in the apartment, the loose glass shower door fell to the floor, nearly shattering and injuring me. Because of the broken shower, I was unable to bathe or shower for the duration of my stay. During the course of my stay, Liz began asking me for cash for various things in her apartment she said were broken (that were already broken when I arrived). One night, she arrived at the apartment drunk at about 2:00 AM, waking me and behaving in a threatening and scary manner. I promptly checked into a hotel the next morning. On top of this, every review I have attempted to write about this experience has been deleted entirely and censored by Airbnb, so that other guests cannot be warned.
The listing shows some nice bungalow with a hammock overlooking the beach. What the pictures don’t show are two vicious pitbulls ten feet to the right of your patio that are poorly tied up, with no fence between you and them. We returned the final evening to find the dogs had gotten free. Luckily, a neighbor had warned us as we approached that they might have broken free. Fortunately, I also had a rake in my hand as my friend struggled to open the front door. The dogs attacked and I fended them off with a rake. This wasn’t just barking, but a full-on attack. They ran up on my legs so fast I couldn’t believe it. If we had come home after drinking or unaware this would have been a complete nightmare. We were so shaken up we left and booked a hotel. I’m 47 and a big guy. A smaller person or a family with a child could have been seriously injured or killed. I guess next time I book a place I’ll inquire if there any dogs around, assuming I use Airbnb again at all. I tried to reach out to customer service that night to find another place – was on hold for 1.5 hours – and never reached them. Airbnb should implement a “safety survey” for hosts that need to be asked things like “Do you have dogs? Or are there any potential dogs in your vicinity that guests may be exposed to?”