Guest Cancels and Leaves, But Still Charged

We booked a week in a property starting July 17, 2021. When we arrived, we found the accommodation to be very unsatisfactory. Initially on inspection we discovered the accommodation only had five beds yet our party consisted of six people. When you’ve paid £2,250 for a week you don’t expect to be offered a camp bed.

When we first arrived, the cleaner was still there mopping the floor. The maintenance chap was also there. Neither were wearing face masks. In the listing advertising the property it stated (and still does) a 100-inch HDTV. However, there was no big TV: it was actually 24 inches.

As we closely inspected the place, we discovered the kitchen area to be unclean, the utensils were very dirty, and there was a used tissue in one of the drawers. The biggest shock was the state of the double oven. On opening the first door we could clearly see it hadn’t been cleaned and was in very poor condition. When opening the second door we discovered someone’s leftover pie. The cleaner quickly snatched it and hid it behind her back. The entire kitchen was in a very poor condition and certainly not what you’d expect for that amount of money. The garden area was untidy, with the grass not cut and loose tiles on the path.

On contacting the host, we found him to be rude, swearing and suggesting we were being unreasonable. We had just completed a six-hour journey to find our booking wasn’t to any satisfactory standard. We very luckily found alternative accommodation 30 minutes away so our stay at the Airbnb lasted only two hours.

On contacting Airbnb that evening telling them about all the problems and supplying photo evidence, at no point were we told to cancel the reservation until three days later, which meant we received £550 out of the £2,250 paid. Unfortunately for us, Airbnb took the host’s side and stood by the decision not to give us a full refund, which astonished us after sending the photo evidence.

A few days later, I decided to request a charge back on my credit card. Within a week we had our money back on our card and felt relieved, until my card company reversed the decision to uphold the chargeback and now I am £1,700 out of pocket for accommodations I couldn’t and didn’t stay at. I’m still contacting Airbnb and the host but not really getting anywhere. I’m desperate for any help or advice on what to do next. I feel I have a very strong case but unsure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

Airbnb Host Lies in Review After Disastrous Stay

We rented a three-bedroom apartment in Split, Croatia on the first floor using Airbnb. The host posted the same listing on Booking.com and Expedia too. At that time I did not know that my dream vacation would turn into a nightmare.

Let me start saying that the host is providing misleading information on the post. As per the description, it should be a deluxe apartment with a nice garden and air-conditioned accommodations. Sounds like a dream. It was a little expensive but the pictures were amazing; you can see a brand-new place with a garden and pool. I thought it was worth it. Such a mistake.

The location was not so good as advertised, but it was fine. The apartment was extremely dirty with hazards inside.
The place was hot, like 100 degrees F hot (+30/+35 Celsius) and all three bedrooms did not have AC. There were two ancient AC units in the living room and dining room. (Why the host has two AC units in one room, I do not know).

Two out of the three bedrooms did not have mosquito screens. As a result, I got a lot of mosquito bites during the night or could have slept in the hot box without the air. My son has asthma and he could not even breathe in the steamy hot bedroom. As result, my kids were sleeping, starting from the second night, on the sofa in the living room.

AC was not only a problem. In the master bedroom, we found blood stains on the mattress cover sheets. Super nasty. I sent pictures to the host in no time. She promised to remove the dirty sheets the next day, but it never happened. Also, all over the apartment were spider webs. Besides that, between window frames, there was a crazy number of dead bugs.

I opened the closet and I found old, dirty shoes. The closet inside was dirty too, and there were stains on the sofa and walls. The moldings on the floor were not fully attached. One of the bedrooms had a bleach stain on the cover. Generally, it was the dirtiest place we stayed in ever.

The washing machine was broken and discharge water was on the floor. I had to clean the water. There were exposed wires at electric outlets near the bed and wires all over the place, which could have caught fire in no time. My favorite example: a lamp in the bathroom had a wire exposed — good luck not getting electrocuted when you turn on the switch.

The pool was not usable. It was closed, and we could not even open it. In the listing’s picture, it clearly shows a beautiful pool. There was no mention on the listing that the pool was not in service, which is very misleading too.

The person who rents this apartment does not take care of the safety conditions. I sent many pictures and messages to the host within 30 minutes after checking in that I was not happy with the condition of the place, but she ignored my concerns. Airbnb asked me why I did not leave and fight later. Really, it is easy to say just go on the street, in another country and find a place to sleep with two kids, when you paid crazy money for this place and do not have a budget to pay another $2,300. Airbnb will not cover the cost.

After we left, the host posted fraudulent claims on Airbnb. The host stated as a fact that I asked for a refund for “the entire stay.” I never did this; I never thought it was an option before the review appeared and I called customer service to find out why the host was claiming this.

The host posted a review on Sept. 17. To create an escalation ticket regarding this fraudulent claim, I have to request a refund according to Airbnb policy. My request was created on Sept. 22. I did not request anything before her response. The refund requested was only for 22% of the total amount as punitive damages for the dirty apartment and false accusations. I was on and off with Airbnb customer service for a week. I had to provide pictures and videos to prove that the place was dirty.

The host also claimed that bloodstains were from me. I did report this issue right away, but no one cared. Actually, customer service said that I must provide proof that I reported stains right away and it was not my fault. I did report it on their website; they were too lazy to check.

A customer service representative said that according to Airbnb policy, hosts can post any false claim because it is only their opinion and does not need further investigation. Really? Hosts can post anything? Any false accusations? Nice to know.

Summarizing all this, Airbnb refused to help me with my concerns and stated that: “While we encourage and expect all community members to post reviews that contain objective and accurate information, Airbnb doesn’t mediate disputes concerning the truth of reviews. We expect the author of the review to stand behind the content of their review.”

Also, I requested Airbnb to check the misleading and false information regarding the apartment descriptions like the AC and pool, but they refused to do it. Every day I requested to talk to a manager, but my request was never satisfied. Airbnb only takes money and does not help with any issues. It’s so sad that people will pay money to this dishonest person and fees to Airbnb.

Lost $1000 to Avoid Sleeping in Filthy Airbnb

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Once you click “book” on Airbnb, your money is gone. Misrepresentation and filth are not enough to get your money back. I booked what was represented as a beautiful waterfront home where I could work for a week. I booked just a couple days in advance.

Upon arrival, it was a rundown cabin, part of a rundown crowded campground. On top of that, the place was filthy with sticky residue on the appliances, light switches and mystery drippings on the walls. The bathroom was disgusting with a moldy shower curtain and orange slick grime that’s hard to see in the pictures. The grounds were a mess with cars, debris and junk.

I texted the owner via the app immediately (because all communications had been through the app). I said the place was not at all what was represented and that I was leaving immediately. She did not respond. I immediately contacted Airbnb via the app as well and they did not respond either.

The next day Airbnb got back to me to say they had to ask the host for the refund. I never heard from the host. Surprise: the host declined. I suggested a 50% refund to settle, which was generous in my opinion. Airbnb said I needed to go back and take pictures (a two-hour drive). I made the trip back to the property and took pictures of a clearly moldy shower curtain, sticky surfaces and junky grounds. The host noticed that I was returning to take pictures, so the property was actually an improvement compared to the views on my original arrival.

Airbnb said the host refused the refund because I didn’t speak to her in person. When did that become a requirement? Then they told me they could not refund the money because I didn’t take the pictures that first day and never explained why they sent me back there. I gave up and posted a negative review on Yelp and cancelled my Airbnb account. I lost over $1,000 to avoid staying in filth. I will never use Airbnb again and frankly think this sort of thing needs to be better regulated.

Months later, a person I suspect to be a friend of the owner tried to comment on my Yelp review but that was rejected. The post was just a bunch of name calling. Now more than nine months later, the owner apparently did some research to find out my profession (attorney) and posted a response to my Yelp review trying to deflect from the photos of the grossness and reality of the junky grounds. I never mentioned my profession.

Another guest recently posted more photos on Yelp of the disgusting level of filth complete with another moldy shower, exploded food left by others in the microwave and more. Airbnb has yet to hold this property owner accountable despite pictures. Even the more positive Yelp reviews from guests expecting a campground experience note the need for better maintenance.

The stalking behavior by the owner in digging around to find out about my profession so many months later is disturbing on a whole different level. And there is yet another Yelp review describing how the host cussed out their group when they complained about the mess.

What does it take for Airbnb to hold a host accountable? I read an article about a Boy Scout troop that booked a place in Florida. When they contacted Airbnb to report that two different listings were using the same information, Airbnb protected the hosts. The Boy Scout troop showed up to literally no place to stay and it made the news. Apparently you need a news story to hold hosts accountable if they are making money for Airbnb.

Don’t trust Airbnb for reviews. When I tried to post my review on Airbnb, it mysteriously went into the cosmos. When the world settles down a little bit, I think we need to look to our legislators and consumer protection laws to make some changes. In the meantime, I suggest using VRBO and VACASA. They cost a little more but they also have higher standards in my experience. Take lots of pictures upon arrival in case you need documentation for any reason and let karma take care of the rest.

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Listing from Hell and the Song that Made it Worse

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I showed up, escaping Hurricane Ida, to an Airbnb in Houston. It’s Labor Day weekend and we had dogs in tow, so the pickings were slim. Still, this looked okay. Four of us were splitting the property; it was 3 bedroom/3 bath, a townhouse, in a nice part of town. I lived up the street when I came here for medical treatment two years ago.

I showed up and there was no key where it was supposed to be. The provided garage door opener didn’t work. The entire place smelled like mothballs and the modem and router were on the floor in the foyer. There were giant stains on the carpet up and down the stairs. It wasn’t clean and hadn’t been vacuumed. The furniture was split and there was just a sofa. No other furniture was provided in the living room. There were large water stains where some of the plaster had fallen from the ceiling in the living room.

There was a pool table (“don’t sit on the pool table” as if it was some heirloom and not a piece of crap from Walmart) but no tables — literally no tables anywhere. There were two stools to use at the counter in the kitchen. No coffee table. No end tables. The third bedroom was also locked from the inside.

The best part was that the host called himself “Premier Lux.” There was a plastic wrapper on the box spring of one of the beds. None of the bedsheets had been changed. You could see the outline where someone had slept in it. I refused to touch any of the linens because this screamed “bedbugs” to me (and I’m far from bug phobic). There was a large cardboard box of dirty laundry in the laundry room.

To recap: it was filthy, I couldn’t lock the front door and one of the bedrooms was mysteriously inaccessible because it was locked from the inside. I kept wondering “who is in there?” The entire place looked like a crew of eight 20-year-old frat boys had just moved out a few days before after a four day bender.

I turned to Airbnb (I am a host in New Orleans, so I know their drill pretty well). To make it “better.” Airbnb put me on hold to get a “Support Ambassador” on the line. So it started. Their horrible Airbnb song — you know the one, in which the waify girl singer that they always play on repeat to make people hang up, saying “Followww me”? Follow her right to the depths of hell.

The support person claimed he had to come back every two minutes to ask me again “may I put you back on hold” and the song started over again from the beginning. You heard that right. He claimed he had to get “permission” to put me on hold again. I’m 57 years old. I’ve never encountered that particular piece of customer service nonsense.

If I had any hair left, I would’ve pulled it out. It took 45 minutes for a “support ambassador” to come on the line. So I listened to the first two minutes of that “song” (it’s really a musical abortion) 22 times. Ultimately Airbnb made it right and refunded all of my money (and added a $200 coupon for next time), but not before adding heavily to my post-hurricane stress and aggravating me beyond measure. When they cancelled the reservation (and refunded my money) it was as if the host had cancelled, so I can’t leave a review. The listing is still there for the next sucker.

Needless to say, the host never responded to my phone calls, Airbnb messages or text messages to his phone. He’s a scuzzball who should be banned from Airbnb, but likely will not. I’m only posting one photo because it was the most bizarre. The huge box of dirty laundry waiting to be washed. That kind of summed the whole place up in a nutshell.

Exposed Jagged Glass, Bloodstained Sheets, Delusional Host

It took weeks to resolve our bad stay with Airbnb and, since it’s not actually resolved in my eyes, I have a tale for the sore-eyed.

My husband and I reserved a stay in a Catskills Airbnb with a hot tub, described as “clean” and “well-kept.” Suffice it to say it was neither: mildewed pillowcases, pillows yellow with the drool of years past, and I found lots of similarly stained sheets in the closet when I tried to change out the dirties (none were clean but all backup bedding had stains, and a lot of blood). The duvet cover had never been washed. My mistake was thinking that the host’s cranky answers to any negative reviews might have had some merit, and there were 180 reviews before my scathing one. Another mistake: not reviewing all of them.

Airbnb immediately refunded the cleaning fee after I send photos of the gross situation. Getting any further with support after that first level is like pulling teeth. I requested a refund of the service fee as well because in my humble opinion the listing should not be active. I researched their hygiene and cleanliness standards; feel free to send your photos in if you have a dirty experience like we did.

We did stay for the three days because the Catskills rental market is hot this year, and not a lot of rentals were available. We also have a dog — how many other rentals were likely to allow pets? Was Airbnb really going to pay for a stay at a swell, canine-accepting place like the Emerson Spa? I didn’t want anyone to crash right into our three-day stay, which we do annually after dropping the kids off at camp. What was the owner going to do, even if I did spend half the time on the phone with Airbnb support, send his crappy cleaning person in to do another bad job, and FedEx us new pillows?

We were worn out from waiting for a response from Airbnb about the host’s responsibility to provide a safe place. I accepted their inadequate offer of a $100 coupon instead of refunding the service fee. At this point it really wasn’t about the money; we didn’t want someone’s innocent six-year old gashing their chubby little finger on the exposed glass as host advertised as “fine for children six and over.”

At one point I had to rethink what other people consider “clean” and “hygienic,” but that morphed into wondering why anyone would think we’d want to shell out $300 a night to sleep on bloodstained sheets? I got my answer when I saw his “review” of us which wasn’t even posted as a review. The host simply responded to my honest review. He sounded positively unhinged.

Airbnb Guest: The Closet is Not a Bathroom

I’m going to share with you our very worst Airbnb experience. We have a suite in our house. It was Valentine’s Day and this couple rented our place.

They showed up and everything was fine. The next morning they messaged, “Can we have a late checkout?” and we said, “Yea, sure. You can check out at 12:00 PM.” because our checkout is normally 11:00 AM and we had more guests coming.

We do all the cleaning ourselves and so we had to get it ready for the next guests. Luckily I was gone to lunch with my sister-in-law and so my husband went in at 12:00 PM.

I received this message from him: “I don’t know what went on!” He sent me a picture of poop on the floor in our Airbnb in the closet. How bizarre — this has never happened.

I was like, “Ok, I can come home… I’ll try and come home.” We have three kids. It’s hard to clean when you have three kids and we were trying to get it ready for the next guests.

I got home and the story got worse. My husband started cleaning more and he found that our guests had pooped in our hamper in the closet. There was a lot of blood and we ended up having to throw away bedding, sheets, our hamper, pillows and towels. It was disgusting and we were shocked.

We messaged our guests. We had taken pictures of everything and she acted shocked too.

She said, “I had no idea that happened. I am so sorry.”

We still said, “We need to charge you.”

We got it all cleaned up, but definitely, hands-down, worst Airbnb experience we had. I don’t think it can get much worse than that. Our guess is that they were super drunk or or using drugs or something and thought, in the middle of the night, that our closet that’s in the bedroom was the bathroom and the hamper was the toilet.

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Host of Dog Beach Penthouse Lies, Making Guests Leave Early

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What can I say? We were told this was a special place: lots of great reviews; $300 a night; accepted small dogs. We arrived and used a Schlage code on a half installed security door. Mind you the lock was not even installed properly. The main doors were open as were all the sliding doors. The main door after entering the security door did not have a lock on it at all so we couldn’t feel safe.

We put one of the ripped chairs under the entry door that didn’t have a lock to help keep us safe when trying to sleep. We could see the door lock installed on the security gate wasn’t installed and there was a gap. You can stick your fingers in the gap and move the lock to open it. It wasn’t installed on an entry wood door. Unsafe and scary, though that’s another issue.

The bed sunk in the middle. All but one of the sliding doors wouldn’t lock. Once inside, the walls were filthy, along with the floors, furniture, bathrooms, vents and stove. There were missing blinds so we couldn’t close them. Faceplates on electrical outlets were missing. They had the cheapest paper towels and toilet paper and bath towels that looked like something I would use on my dog when giving them a bath.

This place was a dump. Probably worse than a Motel 6 at $300 a night. We left the next morning and vacated. We filed a complaint with Airbnb for a full refund for being an unsecured property with no locks to keep safe along with a dirty environment. I’m still waiting. Airbnb doesn’t allow uploads for videos so take a lot of pictures of any issues you might have. Hosts are scamming people. Stick to name brand hotels. Our first and last stay at Airbnb.

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Airbnb House of Horror Contained Blood and Mold

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As a travel nurse housing can be difficult in some areas. I turned to Airbnb which is a last resort for housing. The host only showed four pictures: two of the front of the house and two of the front rooms. When I walked into her house it was a nightmare. There was blood on the fireplace glass, mold on the carpet, open containers in the refrigerator, urine on the bed hidden with a sheet, who knows what in the shower, and these were just a few things.

We booked it out of there. I returned the key to the neighbor I got it from and he looked shocked. I told him that house was nasty and unlivable. We called Airbnb and they were horrified. We called the host twice and emailed three times with no response. We sent her the pictures. A day later she cancelled so I got a full refund and Airbnb refunded me half of the cost for extra expenses that I incurred because of the host. I am still traumatized by the photos. She also didn’t have any reviews since 2018 but I gave her a chance. Big mistake.

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Host Shows Deceiving Pictures of Airbnb Room

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This host’s room at a Hollywood, Florida ocean resort was a complete dump. She posted pictures of the room to be nice and clean. When we got there the room smelled of mildew and an old motel room.

The room isn’t updated. It has a worn out kitchen area, and bathroom. There was a stain on the toilet seat so I knew they didn’t clean the bathroom. The bed cover had a stain on it, and there were dirty utensils. I couldn’t deal with it. Even my ten-year-old didn’t even want to sit on the bed. He told me he was gonna lay on the chairs if we had to still sleep there. Even my mother didn’t like the place.

The hallways were dirty and the carpets too. The people staying there looked sketchy. The lobby ceilings had huge water stains and holes. Airbnb wasn’t really a help by taking down my review which I couldn’t believe. I showed them the pictures compared to the ones she posted and they still didn’t budge and only apologized and gave a refund. I had to pay for one night and the cleaning fee which I felt I shouldn’t have had to pay, especially checking out an hour later.

Airbnb stated I should have called them before checking out and would have gotten my full refund. They don’t state that in their policy at all; they just state to contact the host. From here on, I am not booking hosts with few reviews.

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Do Not Stay at the Lodging from Hell in Ghana

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Airbnb has unethical and deplorable practices. They would do whatever it takes to make sure their “Superhosts” keep their status, even if the reviews are honest. I read an article online about Airbnb removing a guest’s review because he posted an honest review about his stay at a lodging. I posted my review and within two days, it was removed because I was informed by someone at Airbnb that it violated the review policy. Since Airbnb will not allow for my review to be on their website, I will post it here.

I only reserved this place because of the reviews and I would like to say, I absolutely regretted lodging here. The Airbnb is not in a secure location for other travelers, but rather a community of renters. There are no security precautions in place and that is the reason I caught someone looking through my window.

The neighborhood is trashy, unkept, and very noisy with neighbors consistently slamming doors, babies crying, chickens crowing at all hours of the day, as well as other things. There’s no backup generator for the plethora of blackouts that occurred. How can you run an Airbnb business and have no backup electricity?

We had a broken toilet seat for five days and when I reached out to the host, she dragged her feet and responded to messages late. She claimed that 500 MB of data would be given per day, which is inaccurate. She claimed she added 5.13 GB of data and by day 3 it was all gone, which means there is a high likelihood that the data was being pirated.

If you want high water pressure, you have to perpetually go outside to turn on a switch. The beds feel like you’re sleeping on a hard floor and the apartment looks very outdated. The building is not clean: wires hang from the ceilings, and when I would return from my excursions, trash would be left outside my door.

I did not want to leave Ghana, but I was counting down the days to leaving this place. I guarantee that when the owners travel to Ghana, they are not staying in accommodations with these kinds of problems. I would never recommend this place to anyone.

I have posted pictures of what this place truly looks like. Don’t let the nice photos fool you; the bathroom was small and crappy as hell and looked like it was never cleaned before we got there and the furniture was extremely uncomfortable. Don’t let the positive reviews fool you because Airbnb removed the negative reviews, like they did with mine.