Odd Airbnb Host and Bad Room Causes us to Leave

My mother and I wanted to stay in NJ close to NYC for a weekend. We booked a single room only to have it changed to another location at the last minute. We accepted just to not cause trouble.

We arrived at the time that we and the host agreed on and lo and behold, she wasn’t there. We waited an hour in the New York summer outside of the building only for a completely different person to arrive because apparently the host was out of town but didn’t tell us until that day.

We finally got in and the place smelled like cheap perfume or some garbage air freshener. We soon found out that there were four other people in this one apartment and only one bathroom. The kitchen was so cluttered that they stored the pots and pans inside the oven. They obviously hadn’t cleaned out the fridge; it had leftovers from the last guests and expired juice.

The bathroom had tiles falling down from the ceiling and I almost fell in the tub because the mat they put in was so slippery. Our bed was just awful; the sheets were mismatched and hideous (I know, small complaint, but it sucked). The room was obviously not up to code, no smoke detectors, and probably overall the listing was illegal in the first place.

I felt unsafe, it was hot, the host barely spoke english, and the other residents in the apartment locked the deadbolt, leaving us locked out until they finally heard us knocking. Just so disorganized, dysfunctional and messy. I’m paying for a hotel or a hostel in the city next time because this blew so badly.

Playa del Carmen Airbnb Misrepresentation

My kids and I stayed in this unit for only one night and left early the next morning – less than 12 hours. We were in Playa del Carmen before heading to Cozumel to get married and then left immediately for our honeymoon.

Upon return to the country from our honeymoon, I attempted to write a review on both properties we stayed at, but apparently there is only a 14-day window to review properties. I had missed that window given I was on my honeymoon. It is imperative that future guests are aware of the status of this unit and that the host is notified that their advertising and preparation is inaccurate, inadequate and unsanitary.

Here are some of the issues. We arrived at the unit late at night to find that we were given an inaccurate entrance code on the security gate and the front door. We had to contact the host who showed up 30 minutes later to let us in and verified that he had provided the wrong code. We were let into the unit, dropped our bags, used the bathroom and discovered that there was no soap or toilet paper.

We are a family of seven and I had to go feed everybody after a full day of travel before returning to go to bed. I texted the host to let him know there was no shampoo, soap, or toilet paper and while we were at dinner, he dropped some off at the front door. We returned to the unit close to midnight and found the sheets on one of the beds was dirty, with hair and grime on a pillow.

We rented the unit because it could sleep all of us yet there was no bedding for the fifth bed. I gave up my bedding in order for my daughter to sleep on the pull out futon. Furthermore, the unit had not been cleaned much, if at all. There was a half drunk bottle of vodka sitting at the bar, the kitchen area was extremely poorly equipped and dirty, and the smell in the unit was terrible.

Host Enters at Night, Scaring Family with Small Children

I am utterly lost as to what to do as I cannot get hold of anyone from Airbnb. Through Twitter they keep saying a case manager will get back to me, but no one ever does.

We booked a two-week stay at an apartment advertised as having two double and one single bedrooms plus an air mattress in living room. We arrived at night after a tiring 12-hour journey with our young children. It turned out that there was just one double bedroom and a small toddler bed available to us as the usual resident had hoarded so much stuff the other bedroom was completely inaccessible; it was a store room and there was no air mattress. It was already past our kids’ bedtime however, so we thought we should just get them to bed and see what we could do in the morning.

The apartment was utterly filthy: thick, black mold in the shower cubicle, by the windows and bed, blobs of something and pubes on the bathroom floor, the linen didn’t feel or smell fresh, piles and piles of stuff everywhere so we couldn’t unpack our suitcases, filthy kitchen facilities and caked-on food. As there wasn’t room as advertised, we had to make a makeshift bed on the floor for one of us.

We took photos straightaway, called Airbnb, and asked to move. They said that we had to give the host a chance to rectify it out of courtesy. I contacted him and he said that it was too late for him to come and clean. I said that we could go on a day trip and be out the whole day for him to clean but he declined, saying he was busy. I then suggested that if he was away, perhaps he could send a cleaner. He said no, but that we could clean it ourselves.

In between communications, I caught a severe bug and was taken to A&E. It was the biggest national holiday in the country so finding elsewhere that day was proving impossible and I wouldn’t have been well enough to move. Despite the host knowing this, he suggested I clean it. I had to clean some areas in the kitchen so that we could eat, but obviously wouldn’t scrub someone’s house on my only annual holiday and also when I was severely ill.

We asked for help from Airbnb who said on the phone and confirmed by email that as per their policy, they have asked the host to come and clean and that he will need to refund us for the nights affected and the paid period starts from when he has done so. That day we also found what looked like vermin feces in the kitchen and thought that was it – we had to get out.

The only Airbnb with enough room was one far more expensive and Airbnb did not help us with what would happen with the extra cost as it was over our budget. During calling Airbnb for advice, someone else snapped up the other apartment and I continued asking for Airbnb to help. The host was meant to come and clean the afternoon the next day, but instead, to our huge fright, he used his keys and barged in at night.

He was intoxicated, very tall and large, and had to be stopped from walking in closer to me and the children. He proceeded to shout, get aggressive to my husband, and said he wanted us out. He was angry about Airbnb’s instructions to him and our complaint. I was so frightened I called the police and would have been able to do nothing to him had my husband not been in as he was so large.

I called Airbnb’s security number, and all they did was take my number and ensured someone would ring me asap. I kept ringing and only got through some ten hours later; they still did nothing. The police came and so frightened he would return, I found the cheaper of only two available hotels. We packed, cleaned as not to affect our rating whilst the other watched the door, lifted our little ones into the car and moved to a hotel just before midnight.

We were traumatized and for a long time afterwards I had to still keep double checking the doors were locked at home. To this day, I check on our children at night to ensure they are okay and still there. The children were very unsettled and we had tears in our eyes by the time we went to the hotel. We did not want to move them again so incurred the unexpected cost of the hotel and had to get food out which was really expensive compared to cooking at home. Our son had also been struck by the bug so was laid out in the hotel room.

I spent rest of the holiday trying to sort out the situation with Airbnb and we feel like we had no holiday; we came back more worn out than when we left. The host also contacted me outside Airbnb messaging saying gross things like I have worn his partners underwear and shared my contact details with someone else to harass me to click “cancel” myself, which I didn’t as I assumed it would affect refunds.

Airbnb did not follow through on their email and I did not receive a full refund for the affected nights. I took the matter up with my bank, who made a decision that it was not as advertised and not fit for our purposes after reviewing my photo evidence and police report; they returned my money. However, the host left me a bad review to say he would not recommend our family to any host, which is unfair as despite all that happened, we left the apartment far cleaner than we found it and broke no rules.

Despite police involvement and misleading advertising and harassing messages, Airbnb is not banning him. I truly hope other travelers are safe in his rentals. We had to fork out for an unexpected hotel bill and all stay in one room for the remainder of our stay despite our whole holiday being ruined and us being left traumatized by the utterly frightening incident of a large man entering at night when we were putting our little ones to bed.

Airbnb closed my case, and the host continues hosting. They promised through Twitter to contact me but didn’t. I am still so shaken up. Had he come an hour earlier, I would have been upstairs in the shower with the children closest to the stairs and my husband out. He was in such a mood he would not have turned away. My son still has the infection he acquired whilst there, so it was the worst holiday we have ever endured.

What do I do about these issues I still have? Airbnb is impossible to get an answer from. All I get at best is that someone will get back to me, but they never do. I want to do my bit to keep other travelers safe out there, particularly people with children.

Airbnb: Pathetic Service and Fraudulent Hosts

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It’s very painful to think that I booked this Airbnb after reading what services we can get here. Kitchen service was not there as it was written but I thought there must have been at least basic amenities like a kettle, milk pouches, tea bags, etc. I checked in at 12:00 PM but the caretaker was not present; he said he would come in the evening at 6:00 PM.

When he came, he provided me a fridge which was so dirty and unhygienic. Upon asking about basic amenities like a lawn chair and table to sit outside the host rudely said he couldn’t provide anything as this hotel was about to shut down.

My first day’s stay was gone to waste due to the caretaker and basic amenities being unavailable. We could not go anywhere else because this was a hill station and after 8:00 PM we couldn’t go for food outside. If I wanted to cook in the kitchen there were nothing like a pressure cooker, etc. What could we eat in just a pan and bowl?

I don’t want stay here tomorrow and today’s stay was forced on us. I’m requesting a full refund from Airbnb because my holidays are ruined now and I am going back to Delhi again tomorrow morning.

Airbnb Defends Hosts who are out of Town

It was a disgusting, dirty and stinky apartment. Someone’s sheet was in the toilet. Airbnb took the host’s side, who insisted that the apartment was clean, although he was out of town.

First of all, I read all the reviews carefully before booking. The reason was that I decided to show Prague to my mom who is 70 years old and who has never been there. It was her biggest dream. I shared this with the host because it was really important for me.

We arrived at the apartment at 6:00 PM as agreed upon by the host. The host at the very last moment informed me that he was out of town, and his mom would meet us.

When we arrived, the place was a total mess, as if some company partied there and it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time: dirty bed linens on the beds, trash everywhere, sheets in the toilet, and the smell of urine as if someone left a cat locked alone in the apartment for a week. The smell was so bad that we left the place immediately.

The host’s mom started to clean it and in two and something hours informed us that everything was set up and we could come back. It was already after 8:00 PM. We were exhausted after our long trip to Prague, so we already booked a hotel nearby to get some rest and take a shower, and informed Airbnb support about the case.

When we came back just to get our bags, we found out that one bed was made with fresh bed linens (the dirty ones were although left in the bathroom), but another bed was made with the dirty bed linens left after previous guests. It was just made to look a little nicer. Someone still slept on this bed linens I was supposed to sleep on that night.

The trash bins were still full of trash left after previous guests. In the bathroom there was used toilet paper left in the trash bins; it smelled terribly as it was probably there for a long time. The showers were left unclean. Trash was still everywhere on the floor. The smell of urine was still so strong that it was impossible to stay more than a minute.

We left the apartment and contacted the host immediately. He told us that he was out of town and that he would deal with that once he was back. I asked him when he was back. The next day I asked him again. He never told me when he was coming back to town.

We contacted Airbnb support. It took me 50 minutes of waiting on the line. After I explained the situation, I was told that Airbnb would contact the host and call me back. No one called this day. They only contacted me the next evening, almost 24 hours later, to tell me that they cancelled my reservation according to the host’s cancellation policy (the first night I didn’t spent in the apartment was non-refundable, for the next three days I got only a 50% refund). I paid 250 EUR for five minutes of urine smell and shitty toilets.

After I shared the photos with Airbnb support, they told me that they couldn’t offer me a full refund because the host’s mom tried to clean the apartment. Yes, she tried. However, it was not cleaned properly, and the host violated check-in policy and ruined my mom’s first expression of Prague, her biggest dream.

I tried to talk to the host. I explained to him what happened. I showed him pictures, but he accused me of making a mess and breaking stuff in the apartment and refused to discuss anything at all. I’m not that surprised by the host’s actions, but I’m really surprised by Airbnb support’s apathy. Some guy from support is telling me that he decided not to refund me because the host’s mother tried to clean the place. Tried, but failed. I have photos of the apartment after that so-called cleaning.

Airbnb in Two Words? Frustrating and Inconvenient

First of all, Airbnb’s payment policy works against the customer since you have to pay in advance without having the opportunity to look at the property. My son reserved a property in Tokyo months in advance, just to find at arrival that the place was filthy, and did not offer the number of accommodations advertised on the website.

When finally reaching Airbnb for a refund, they said that by company policy the host had to have a chance to try to solve the problem, all the while not offering another place to stay. Service carriers make communication very complicated, our family is in complete distress, and travelers face the utmost uncertainty on where to stay next. All in all, an unacceptable inconvenience for all.

Forced out of Airbnb Cabin in the Woods

I live in Atlanta and had guests coming in from Bangkok to visit, so I wanted to show them a good time. I took three days off work in the middle of the week, as weekends are almost always booked up, and grabbed a really great looking cabin up in the Smoky Mountains. It had a hot tub, wifi, and best of all an air conditioner because summers up here get really humid and sweaty. I also took note that the place had no cell service – which is common up in the mountains – but with internet it should have been okay.

We arrived in the afternoon and stopped to buy $150 worth of BBQ fixings and snacks. Nice little town: the country folks are fun to people watch. Then we made the trek in to the scary dirt roads of North Carolina and found our way to the cabin.

The first thing wrong was that there was a guy parked in the driveway in a beat up old truck. We got out and started unpacking (strangers don’t scare me) and when finished, we walked over and asked if we could assist him with something. The young man said he was the pool guy, and got out and put some chemicals in the pool. Then he turned on the BBQ to high, heated it up to 400 degrees, and scrubbed the grill.

Meanwhile I was inside the living room looking at the huge muddy mess on the floor. It looked like somebody with hiking boots just tracked mud back and forth all over the living room. On the wall there was a thermostat, and under it was quite a large pile of drywall dust on the table. The table was also muddy. What the hell went on in here?

Outside, the pool guy turned off the grill and put the cover immediately back on. A 400 degree grill… yeah. As he drove off I watched from the window as the cover began to melt. “What sort of brain dead…” went through my head as I went outside and pulled it off. Too late – he melted a couple holes in it.

I went back inside and pondered the meaning of a $100 cleaning fee while I was on my knees with paper towels cleaning mud off everything. There was no mop I could find. The sun was heating up the place pretty good so I turned on the AC. The temperature inside went from 75 to 80. What? Why was the AC making it hotter?

Meanwhile, my friends were watching wrestling with a TV sound bar that was broken, and we decided just to watch TV with the speakers while I sent a message to the owner on Airbnb that the AC was not working. Remember there was no cell service here, which the host pointed out on the listing.

“Oh yeah. We had some messages about that. Lightning struck it and it’s dead,” replied the host.

“You did not think to inform me of that?” I asked, feeling a little bit like this vacation was getting to be a bit more stress than I had hoped for.

“Property management called you and left a voicemail,” he said.

He called my cell phone, at a cabin where it is documented that cell services don’t exist. To this point we’ve only ever interacted over email or messages on Airbnb anyway. What the hell?

“Somebody will be there tomorrow to fix it,” he told me. I thought only of the fact that more strangers would be walking around tracking mud all over my rental, interrupting my attempt to show foreign guests how great our mountain forests are.

Now, I’m a fully functional independent adult. Some problems happen, I deal and move on. I’m upset that my trip to The Cabin In The Woods has turned into a stress issue, but I pour myself a drink, sit on the sofa, watch Mystery Science Theater, and calm down.

At 9:30 PM there was a knock at the door. I thought it was the host, or a manager who had come to see what was going on. It was very much not. A family of four Chinese tourists stood outside looking puzzled. Maybe they were just admiring the man in his underwear sweating inside the cabin watching loud television… but no. They had rented the cabin too. She pulled out her phone and showed me. Yup, correct dates and address. In fact it was the same form I had. We share. She looked horrified, so I got dressed.

Now we had a real problem. I messaged the host on Airbnb and got no reply. I did some math; they outnumbered me, I only lived three hours away, so I decided to be the gentleman and give them the cabin. We packed up and left.

Before I lost wifi (and all connectivity for the next two hours) I saw a message from the host that said “Are you sure?” and I reply “I am leaving. I want a full refund.” and started my long midnight drive back to Atlanta.  The Chinese tourists were exceptionally gracious, nice, and we all had a laugh about how insane the situation was. I hope they enjoyed their sweltering humid dirt cabin.

Once I had cell reception I called Airbnb and got their less than helpful call center. He asked me to authenticate. I did so. Then he asked for my credit card number. Not kidding. They record their calls; this seriously happened. I swore at him and hung up. There is zero chance he needed that. I arrived home to an email stating “Thanks for reporting your issue, we’ll look in to it.”

I spent the last hour on the phone with them trying to explain what happened: that I never got to use the place, that I had to clean it, and it was misrepresented in the posting. They said they will look in to it.

I know these things take time so I’ll give them two business days before I call American Express and just report the charge as fraud. Let them fight it out with Airbnb. I feel like this whole disaster was just a series of unfortunate events. If phones had worked I might have been able to work out a new place before I spent hours in the car driving home.

The host for sure dropped the ball on informing me of their issues and double booking a rental (what an idiot). Airbnb just seemed disinterested and clinical about it but if I were a huge corporation I would be too. What they do in the next 72 hours will tell. Lesson learned though. I will never book anything through this site again. I will use direct rentals only.

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Disgusting Suite, Silence on Refund from Airbnb

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We arrived at the Airbnb in Tel Aviv at 5:45 PM, tired after a long day of traveling. The earliest check-in was at 3:00 PM, but the suite had not been turned over. It was very unclean and there wasn’t even toilet paper or unused linens. We had to book a last minute hotel so we could rest.

The next thing I did was contact the host and request a refund. He said “okay” but it’s been more than 48 hours and my credit card had been charged nearly $900 (before the money I had to spend on alternate accommodations) and I haven’t heard anything back.

I also contacted Airbnb via chat about the issue right away. They responded at first but then said they’d have to get back to me. No help. I waited more than 48 hours. No response, so I messaged for an update.

It’s now been about 60 hours and there’s been no refund and no response from either Airbnb or the host. They charged me before I checked in so they should refund me immediately. Now I’ve been on hold trying to talk to someone for almost 25 minutes. No response. I have been a long time client of Airbnb since 2011 but I’ve changed my mind about them. It isn’t what it used to be.

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Los Angeles Airbnb Nightmare Forces Guest Out

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I booked a trip in Los Angeles and when I arrived the Airbnb was not as it was on the site. First off, there were homeless people hanging out on the staircase; I had to ask if I could pass to go up the stairs. They obviously slept there. The whole staircase stunk of urine.

Going into the apartment was a shock as the place was so dirty and dusty; they even left us a present in the toilet: a nice big poo. There were stains on all the furniture and thick dust everywhere. In addition, we could not use the aircon as the plug socket was off the wall. The host said it worked.

I drove six hours to come here. I had to spend another $300 on another hotel. I stayed in the property thirty minutes before leaving and opened a case straight away on the 29th of last month. I asked for a refund. Every time I messaged Airbnb they kept fobbing me off.

It’s been two weeks now and I’m still waiting for a refund. They keep passing my claim around in order not to pay it I’m guessing. I’ve also read other stories of similar experiences in which they keep passing the claim around in order not to pay it. I paid $300 for two nights yet I didn’t stay here. I provided pictures and they still don’t want to help me. I will never book through Airbnb again.

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Left Airbnb Early to Escape Disgusting Property

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When arriving at our accommodation after a very long flight, we saw the property hadn’t been cleaned. We contacted the host by telephone and he sent the cleaner in. She told us that it would only take her a half hour to clean.

When we came back all she had done was put some clean towels and made the mattress that was on the floor (no actual bed). We had to book into a hotel for our last few days of our trip at an extra cost to ourselves. We would have checked out sooner but we couldn’t find a place to stay at short notice.

This decision was due to the lack of cleanliness and mice infestation. There were mouse droppings and urine on the kitchen work surfaces and floor every day. The last straw was the appearance of some kind of cockroach which we had to kill. We were unable to sit on the sofa due to it not being fit.

The tap in the kitchen leaks water every time you turn it on, most of the lights don’t have bulbs that work, the toilet seat is old and dirty with the lacquer peeling off, the fridge has brown ice forming thick at the top (unfit for use), there are mouse traps that are not even in use making them pointless, the carpets are frayed and dirty, and the paintwork is dirty. We don’t want to touch the handrails which are wobbly and dangerous, and the bed advertised is not a bed; it’s a mattress on the floor. There was no mention of restricted headroom in the bedroom. The soap was dirty and used. There was a smell of gas. I have taken photos that I have attached. The property was dirty, tatty, tired and it smelt. As for the dishwasher, it was filthy with a moldy plate in it.

We found it really difficult to contact Airbnb whilst in NYC and their terms for resolution were that you had to complain within 24 hours of arrival. They also state that you must not contact the host directly with any problems and it must go thorough Airbnb, which is easier said than done. Of the £1026.00 that we paid Airbnb offered us:

I’m your case manager from Airbnb, I hope you are doing fine. Thanks for contacting us regarding your reservation. I’m sorry to see the condition of the accommodation you stayed at. I have gone over your refund request, and even though not all conditions have been met according to our Guest refund policy, I do think it is fair that you receive a refund after seeing the pictures that you made. After considering, I have refunded you one night and 50% of the cleaning fee, for a total of £167.19. This amount has been sent to your card and you will receive a confirmation email about this shortly. Please let me know if you have any further questions for me. Wishing you a nice day.