Problems at Paris Airbnb Make Guests Leave Early

Three years ago, I spent several weeks carefully reviewing Paris Airbnb apartments to rent for ten days. After some back and forth with a few hosts, I settled with one and booked it four months in advance. The host was a Superhost with more than 100 raving reviews. The cost was a little over $2,000 for a one-bedroom studio in the Marais.

I exchanged several conversations back and forth with the host inside the Airbnb platform to confirm things that were important to me, including a working kitchen with adequate cooking utensils. When we met the host outside the apartment, the first thing he told us was to not mention we were renting. If anyone asked we were to say we were relatives of… and he gave a name, which was not his.

Inside, we quickly realized there was no real kitchen to speak of, not even a knife to slice an apple. There was also no natural light; the windows were masked with film since they overlooked other apartments across a tiny, debris-strewn courtyard. There was one dirty-looking bed sheet, ancient pillows, and two small, worn towels in the tiny bathroom.

After two days there, we realized we couldn’t stay and made arrangements with someone we knew to rent another apartment. We complained to Airbnb but never got through to an actual person and never got our money back. To this day that host continues to receive raving reviews. That’s why I will never use Airbnb again. I don’t understand how a host like this could be a Superhost and receive rave reviews. The game is rigged as far as I’m concerned.

Airbnb for Business Trip, Never Again

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I often choose Airbnb for both personal and business trips, having faced a range of experiences. But this last trip called for an end to the use of Airbnb for business trips for me.

I booked two nights in Paris, in a small apartment next to my meeting location. The check-in scheduled at 3:00 PM went okay (the sitter texted me the code to enter the building and left the key under the mat). On the mat were also a used coffee pod and pieces from the wrapping from an ice cream cone that I decided to pick up and put in the garbage inside.

The surprise was when I entered the apartment… I have seen accommodations from sparkling clean to a bit dirty but this was a nightmare. Some of the highlights: the rest of the ice cream paper was inside on the floor, next to an overflowing garbage can. Dirty dishes were in the sink, etc.

I went to the bedroom to drop my bag and realized the bed (which seemed to have been made) had dust everywhere on it and several large stains (of what I think was blood). There was also a cigarette butt on the floor of the bedroom.

The bathroom next door had a disposable razor on the floor, a full garbage can with what looked like blood from used tampons dripping on its inside, a very dirty (grey) towel (that used to be white) on the floor. It was the same story everywhere, including Chinese food in the microwave that smelled very bad – it could have been there for days. The same food was also on parts of the inner sides of the microwave. There was old food in the fridge, a dirty toilet, etc. I don’t think that my own apartment ever been that dirty, even as a student.

It was clear I could not sleep there so I contacted the Airbnb sitter, who quickly apologized and said the cleaning people have probably not cleaned the place yet. I was actually okay with it (it happens) and said I was going out so the cleaning people could do it then. I came back over an hour later, and nothing. I texted again the sitter, asked if he could follow-up with the cleaning people, etc.

I also decided to send a formal message (not only SMS) to the host to describe this, and to contact Airbnb customer service. The customer service was fairly quick to respond and said they would help. Their help was basically to try to negotiate with the host that things got cleaned. After that, I kept chasing customer service for actual action until they just stopped following up.

In short, they have done nothing for me that helped. The cleaning person came around 6:00 PM (three hours after the check-in; there was nobody staying the night before, by the way), and did the bulk of it but still left the apartment in a state that is worse than any Airbnb apartment I had stayed in before (full garbage left, dirt and waste under the bed and in every corner, microwave not cleaned, etc).

However, I had clean bedsheets and towels and decided to stay as it was 8:00 PM in Paris and moving anywhere would both cost me a lot of money and also be hard to arrange. Generally, the sitter was responsive but blamed the cleaning company.

I never met or heard from the host (something more and more worrying in the Airbnb system). Airbnb customer service did not look for another accommodation (something I asked at first) and never offered any compensation. They never responded to my last messages. This impacted the only half-day of non-business time I had in Paris.

So this is it for me. No more business trips on Airbnb. Between difficult check-in, last-minute cancellations risks and this latest experience, I’ll get back to hotels for that.

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Dirty Airbnb Hell in St. Petersburg, Florida

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We stayed at this Florida home for Christmas 2018. We walked in and the house seemed grand.

When unloading our kitchen items, we discovered that the countertops had not been cleaned and there was food and crumbs everywhere. The kitchen floor was disgusting. It had clearly not been washed in months (or more). There was even a condom on the kitchen floor.

After going upstairs, we noticed that there was only a bed in each bedroom: no dresser, night table, nothing. We were forced to put our luggage on the floor. Upon inspection of the bathrooms, there was hair everywhere, toothpaste on the sink, piss on the toilets, and even a fake fingernail lying about. It was so gross.

We were forced to go to the store and buy cleaning supplies and clean before we even felt comfortable staying there. With that done, we inspected the beds. The sheets had clearly not been washed as there were pubes and other hair on the sheets. It’s sickening just writing this.

All of the sheets and comforters had to be washed before even using them. The sheets were about the thickness of Kleenex and the “comforters” were basically disgusting scratchy blankets. For all of this, the host thought that $100 was fair compensation for my purchases and trouble.

The house was billed as having a heated pool. The pool was in no way heated and when asked about this, the host stated that the pump had to run the next day to heat it. What a joke – that is not how a pool is heated. I have noticed that this amenity is no longer listed.

There isn’t even any furniture to sit outside on. Another joke. Upon inspection of the piece of furniture, the living area had a nasty sectional couch. Well wouldn’t you know, numerous condoms were underneath the cushions – this was bad.

We left a few hanging clothes behind that the host promised to send me. He kept making excuses why he couldn’t send them, then finally stopped responding all together. Airbnb won’t even respond to me.

Guests Damage Stove and Leave Place Filthy

I hosted a couple last summer. I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling but then decided to host them because they assured me it was just a vacation to see a concert and they were quiet and respectful. Well, that was a complete lie. It was evident upon my arrival when the guests checked out very early and ignored my messages when I asked them what time they would be checking out so I could meet them for my keys.

I decided to go over myself to see what was going on. They had checked out early clearly to evade me. I could not believe the mess and disgusting smells they left behind. They damaged my stove, which is a vintage gas stove. I messaged them confronting the violations of my rules. There was no answer; all I could do was warn others and leave a bad review.

I contacted Airbnb with a lot of photos they said I need to provide more information and invoices. I told them I cannot afford to fix my stove. I tried to get a quote but it was very difficult finding a vintage stove repair company and expensive. I kept up with Airbnb but they decided to ignore me. I told them I contacted the guest directly and they kept ignoring me.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help. Airbnb needs to toughen up on guests violating house rules and damaging property. This is, after all, our home. We choose to share it with others.

Worst Airbnb Host Ever in Chula Vista

I will never use Airbnb again. I rented an RV and then a room from a host in Chula Vista, California. Everything seemed fine at first. The RV had plumbing issues and the shower water was scalding hot for about two minutes and then went ice cold. Needless to say, I took very quick showers and lost many layers of skin. It seemed like a nice place for my dog, so I dealt with it.

I later moved into the house (he rented out rooms as well) and stayed in a sunroom with no privacy; I had to hide behind a crappy old piano to get ready for work in the morning. He did eventually build makeshift walls so it was okay. Emphasis on “okay”.

Fast forward a month later and a border patrol officer moves into one of the other rooms. He was disgusting and lazy; he would ask for rides to work and even had to nerve to ask the host to use his credit card to rent a car.

The bathroom was disgusting. It was like he was a porcupine with his pubic hair and would go in there and just release all of his “quills”. The hosts would get loud and drunk almost every night and leave food, pots and pans with food in them on the stove and all over the counters. For quite a while they wouldn’t even let me do laundry.

The icing on the cake was that they used my birthday as an excuse to throw a party that I neither wanted nor attended. I left so I wouldn’t have to deal with their drunk friends and neighbors. I returned the next evening and the host’s girlfriend (who lived there as well) accused me of having an affair with her fat, nasty boyfriend.

I told them the next day I was moving out and they continued making it more and more uncomfortable. The host used my Postmates account to order alcohol and never paid me back. When I told them I was moving out they increased my “rent”. There was no heat in my room, which is illegal in California.

I contacted Airbnb to complain and all they would do was refund me $150. The host also showed up at my work two weeks after I moved out to harass me. I had to tell him that if he ever showed up again I would contact the police and file charges. He said “it was the only way I knew how to get a hold of you”… he had my phone number. The most horrible experience of my life.

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Moldy, Smelly and Rude Host. What more could you ask for?

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We rented a property in Redington Shores for two weeks. We were prepared for the old, outdated, small space as that was what was shown in the pictures.; our expectations were not high.

What we were not prepared for was an air conditioner that sounded like a jet engine taking off that emitted a nauseating smell that resembled urine. Also, the teeny tiny shower that had mold around the entire floor edge. We tried to sleep through the night but at 2:00 AM we turned off the air conditioner in the hopes of the smell going away and quieting the noise.

In the morning we called our host. She was indignant that we could even begin to have an issue with her property. She told us that all air conditioners make noise and it was impossible that it smelled anything like urine (we have lived in multiple homes with window air conditioners and none sounded like this).

Then she informed us that there was no mold in the shower.We offered to send pictures but she declined. We have attached them here. We also sent them to Airbnb. We told her the kitchen light seemed to have an issue. When you turned the light on, it flickered but then went out. We were concerned there was a short in the wiring. She questioned how we were turning it on. We are not PhD’s but we are educated adults who know how to turn on a light. She then informed us it didn’t matter because there was a lamp nearby.

She was the opposite of what we would consider a host; she was rude and basically called us liars. She said we were not there to critique her property. Since she was so uncooperative, we decided to check out of her property. She then lied in her review and said we had already checked out of the property when we called her.

We contacted Airbnb and they were totally unhelpful, saying that we did not have any documentation of the conversation. I guess that was our mistake in calling her rather than texting. We put our review out there and her response was very sarcastic. She has multiple properties in this building.

Friends of our had rented the space next to ours for the second week. We called and told them to cancel. Although we could not go into the space, the blinds were all broken. The pictures on the website showed a nice area in the rear of the house with an umbrella table and chairs. There was nothing there except broken furniture.

Now there are similar reviews to ours in other posts on her property. I would think Airbnb would be more interested in their customers. I actually responded to our representative from Airbnb and heard nothing back. Although we requested our money back since the place was unlivable, we were given our $90 cleaning fee. It was more an insult than a consolation.

I’m not sure if this link will work but this is the place we had rented. Here are her other places on the same site. I wish I had known about this website earlier.

Avoid Bait-and-Switch Airbnb Hosts in Paris

The following is the story of the last 20 hours. On April 1st, I received an email that my Airbnb flat wasn’t accessible 10 minutes before arriving on site. Since I was travelling, I only noticed when I arrived.

I was offered a different flat in exchange which was 7 km from the original one (I had my reasons to choose the area and good luck travelling through Paris during rush hour). I took it and spent the night there.

The morning of April 2nd we had an appointment at the original flat at 9:30. I was there; nobody came. After 45 minutes in the rain, a delivery service delivered some badges and a key. I entered the building as described in the access instructions, but there was no door that matched the description or the key.

After another endless back-and-forth via mail there was no conclusion because I realized that the person who claimed to be the owner didn’t actually know the premises at all. I went to the gardienne of the residence and with her help we found that the studio was in a completely different location, obviously without a lift as described in the access instructions.

While going to the studio with the gardienne we stumbled upon the owner who claimed not to know anything about the rental, and that he delegated everything to an agency. This meant that the person I was talking to and who claimed to be the owner was not. He didn’t tell me his name, even after I asked. In any case, the “real” owner rejected any responsibility, which I found outrageous, considering he was the owner.

When entering the location, I found a tiny room without daylight, dirty cupboards as if just installed, and so small that opening the only sofa for sleeping meant not having space left to move anymore. I felt very uneasy because of this unprofessional treatment. I lost an entire day because of these people’s inability to get organized, a day that I had planned to meet people that were only available this day.

I came here for business and instead of taking care of my business I had to chase down access to a studio, because nobody at Airbnb even knew where it was. When I saw the dirt on the cupboard I had had enough and booked a hotel nearby.

Alas, I didn’t take photos and I’m bracing for a long email exchange with Airbnb. There was another commentator who mentioned it looked like a cash cow and they weren’t concerned with the guests. That’s exactly my impression with this host.

Charged for Repairs and Unable to Reach Anyone

Airbnb charged my credit card an unrealistic amount and called it a repair. There was a gas leak in the kitchen when we got there. It smelled like dog urine. An overflowing sink was clogged up when we got there. I had to unclog the drain in the shower myself before I could shower in the unclean shower. It was a nasty and disgusting visit and then I got charged for repairs?

Awful experience. When I called to dispute the charge they beat around the bush and said they could not help me. I asked for a supervisor and customer service immediately said all the supervisors were busy. Really? How do they know? They didn’t even try. After 15 minutes on hold to “find a supervisor” the waiting music stopped and Airbnb customer service hung up on me. This is no way to run a business.

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The Type of Cleanliness Airbnb Endorses

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I took my husband mountain bike riding in Rotorua for his birthday. We booked an apartment in downtown Rotorua. We arrived at our accommodation and the apartment was filthy.

The toilet had poo on the seat and lid, and the shower had scum all over the screen and tiles. There were dirty marks on the floor, the microwave door was filthy, the button to open the microwave had a big dirty mark, and there were dirty sheets shoved in the wardrobes.

I called the host back, showed him the issues and said this wasn’t acceptable. He tried to tell me the apartment was clean. I then showed him the poo on the toilet seat and lid. He got a wet cloth – no detergent or disinfectant – and tried to wipe the poo off. The apartment had clearly not be cleaned. He didn’t offer to clean nor have the apartment cleaned.

I took this up with Airbnb and first they rejected my refund because they deemed this as a cancellation, even though we had been in the apartment with the host. The next excuse was the host tried to rectify the situation. Finally, Airbnb advised they deemed this as low severity. Their policy clearly states the premises need to be clean and sanitary. Please see the photos which Airbnb endorsed in their guest policy.

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Duped by Host, Airbnb Refused a Refund

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I booked a place in New Jersey for spring break based on reviews I read. I payed full price with a one-time payment of $811.03 for five nights. It was my first time ever using Airbnb. I stated that to my host and he used it against me.

The communication was good until I got to the place and saw the mess. The smell gave me allergies right away The floor was very sticky; the maid was still working on it but couldn’t clean it. The futon in the living room was broken, and the dishes were dirty.

I texted my host about it and he didn’t reply at all. I went to a hotel and the next morning he texted me asking me how my night was. I was so surprised. I told him that I didn’t spend the night and that I texted him the day before and was sure his assistant and maid told him that I had left. I didn’t understand his message. He didn’t reply. I asked for a refund and he declined, saying that he was never informed of the issues.

I immediately got Airbnb involved. They never reached out to me until I called their customer service line one week later. The first representative told that they were sorry, they were very busy and that they would refund me and even probably for the money I spent for the hotel. He told me he was going to make my case a priority and a case manager was going to reach out to me.

The next day a case manager emailed me introducing herself. She emailed me back, saying that the host said I checked in early and that’s why I found the place like that. I showed her that I was on time. She emailed me back now saying that I should have canceled the reservation and gotten Airbnb involved as soon as I noticed the issues. All she could do was refund me for one night and the cleaning fee.

I found it very disrespectful the way they treated my case because it was one excuse after another. Their representative on the phone told me that I had 72 hours after the issue to get Airbnb involved; I did it less than 48 hours after the issue. Now the case manager is telling me that I should have gotten Airbnb involved in the next 24 hours after the issue.

They are all from the same corporation but they have different stories to use to not refund your money. I thought Airbnb was a serious company but apparently not. Something needs to be done to shut that company down.