Bedbug Nightmare Endures Long After Airbnb Stay

I checked into an Airbnb sponsored accommodation in the Daytona Beach area. The next morning after I showered, I noticed several sizable red spots on each of my front shoulders. I took my hand mirror and noticed that more of the same were on my back upper arms, and a trail of red discs led up my neck into my hairline.

My plan for the day was to meet with my friend for an early lunch and to do a bit of shopping. When I picked her up, I showed her my arms and also the picture I had taken of my back while still in the cottage. She said she hoped they were only flea bites but I should check for bedbugs. She explained how that should be done. I cut our shopping trip short, because it seemed as if more bites were appearing. I went back to the cottage and asked the host’s mother, the person who showed me around and got me settled into the cottage the night before, if she could tell me what she thought the bite marks were. She said she had lived in Florida for only two years and didn’t have a clue.

I went to Urgent Care, and the doctor, without examining my body, said they were bug bites, not specifying which bugs. I returned to the cottage and wanted to satisfy my mind to stay another night, but decided to check the mattress and box springs as my friend had suggested. At the outer corner of the head of the bed, I pulled the piping/cording around the box springs and a full-grown bedbug and a cluster of eggs and nymphs fell onto the top of my shoe. I went back around to the front and summoned the host’s mother to show her she had an infestation. Since I had disturbed them earlier, she didn’t see any. I didn’t stay around for her to check other areas of the bed. I was almost running to get out of there. She said she would refund my money, her portion. I needed to contact Airbnb about their share.

I contacted Airbnb and the first Customer Care agent said he needed proof, so I spent the next four hours trying to send the picture back to the email address he had used. It kept bouncing back. I finally found a place to send the picture after going to Airbnb’s Help Center. He did refund the total $175 I had paid for a three-night stay.

Before I returned home, I went to the dollar store, bought bedbug spray, and let off bombs in my car. I did not bring my soft side bags with my clothes and medicines in immediately, but I did wear the shoes in that I had on when I examined the box springs at Heidi’s. Since I had never experienced anything like this, I thought after the bombing, my belongings could be brought back into my house. I immediately started washing my clothes, but it was soon very evident I had some hitch hikers.

I then went to the hardware store, bought the most powerful kit they had, and started using it. I also turned the furnace on and a small electric heater, hoping to eradicate them with heat. After doing this from August 9-13 with still bites each morning, I called a professional company. I wanted them to come the next day, but it took extensive preparation, and since I had to do it all myself, I did not have them come until a few days later. By the time they arrived, I had thrown out nearly all my clothes, bedding, beds, and any soft items that could easily provide a nesting place for the bugs or their eggs. The professional returned three times to do both the car and the house.

Each morning I still woke up with pinpricks somewhere on my body. After the first time, I returned from the car with bites on both sides of my back just below my arms. My sister sent me over $200 of a spray, which I used over all the surfaces. I washed all my linens every day, sometimes twice a day in the laundry solution. There were still pinpricks. I have followed all the suggestions I could find. I went and bought a steamer and shop vac and steamed each inch of my bedroom floor up to the baseboards. I finally bought ten pounds of diatomaceous powder and spread it throughout the house. It looks like it’s a bombed-out shelter in a war zone.

To keep this from impacting my health further by inhaling fumes and dust, I asked my sister to come get me. She called me when she was about 30 minutes away from my house. At that time I took a shower, stood in the middle of the living room and waited for her to come to the door to hand me a change of clothes. She gave me the clothes, and I handed her a plastic bag with my medicine in it. I told her to wait for me in the car. I quickly put on the clothes and left with another bag containing the rest of the spray which I used on myself before and after I got into her car.

I anticipate being many miles away from my home for at least four months because I read that a bedbug cannot live longer without a blood meal. Since I was their host, I hope they will starve. As for Airbnb, they are full of hot air. They want the public to think they are concerned and responsive to a guest’s problem, but they’re not. They had the gall to send me pictures of someone’s lovely vacation to comment on. I did. I told them about my not so lovely one. The thread had over a hundred responses. Several were from Airbnb personnel who monitor the information. Each one continued to publicly post that they wanted me to contact a Case Manager. Each time I did, it was the same smoke-blowing.

Their final compensation offer was to wash the clothes I had in their Airbnb. At that point I said, “What clothes?” Airbnb wants to wash my clothes. I have thrown away most of my possessions. I can’t use my car or stay in my home, interact with my friends, participate in my social activities, or have a normal life and they offer that as a solution. Folks beware. Yes, this could have happened at a hotel, but at least there are inspectors and regulatory agents for them. With Airbnb, you’re on your own.

Airbnb is a Useless Service that Holds Money Indefinitely

We booked three weeks’ accommodation in December 2016 for December 2017. At the time of booking there was a large variety of options to book from at varying prices. We needed to book in a particular resort because we were going to be holidaying with friends (they booked with a different agent).

Last week, nine months after booking, we received an email from Airbnb saying our host had cancelled our booking. For nine months, Airbnb held our money interest free. They appeared to think I should be grateful that they returned our money. At this point there is only one house available in this resort for five times the price. Everything else has been booked long ago. Airbnb just couldn’t care. I emailed them and spoke to them but they were not prepared to listen or help. They claim the host can cancel whenever they want with no compensation offered. Had we decided to cancel as guests we would have had to forfeit 50% of our money. I will never ever use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Party House Keeps Getting Worse for Neighbors

Our next door neighbor has turned his entire property (large house and guest house) into Airbnb rentals. He does not live on site. There have been multiple loud rave-like parties and there doesn’t seem there is anything we can do. We always call him personally and he refuses to take any responsibility. He says it’s Airbnb’s fault because they get the renters. He says to call Airbnb (haha, a lot of good that does) and then he says to call the police, which we do. They have come out so many times and there’s not a lot they can do either because the owner isn’t on site.

The latest rave resulted in a near riot in front of the house when drunken partygoers screamed and fought in the front yard when the police came for the third time that day. The party had started before 1:00 PM and this was at 1:00 AM. The whole day, disgusting foul music was pouring into our back yard. We couldn’t use our yard at all. There was screaming, fighting, and lots of free flowing alcohol. This was the worst that it has gotten but there have been plenty more events like this. He has been getting $1000 per event beyond the rental fee. These people did not tell him that they were having a party so he was mad also but still, he just told us to call the police. In the past, he actually had the nerve to ask me to go and quiet the partiers.

This last weekend, he sent his 70 year old mother over and she was afraid to introduce herself to the police. Then when I called him; he called his mother a coward. We are at the end of our rope and don’t know what to do. He has now posted “no events” on his Airbnb website but that isn’t going to help if the renters lie to him. Besides rave-type parties, we have had to endure a drug intervention with a poor addicted woman screaming and shrieking as she was detoxing. I did find an online form to complain to Airbnb as a neighbor. We’ll see how that goes. Not betting it does a thing.

Horrendous Experience in Barcelona Airbnb Boat

This review is intended to dissuade anyone from utilizing Airbnb due to the misrepresentation of their listings. I have already tried to resolve this in a reasonable manner with Airbnb customer service only to be ignored for the past few weeks. I booked a property via Airbnb for a boat in Barcelona only to be told on arrival by the host that the boat has failed a safety inspection and is not even in the water. Apart from anything, this property is still listed as available on the website which is unethical and a complete misrepresentation.

Following this, after waiting half a day of a four-day trip, Airbnb assigned us another property. We went to this accommodation to find it damp, with no air conditioning or natural light. It was not listed this way on the website, so we informed both the host and Airbnb that these conditions didn’t meet suitable standards and we would not remain on the property. We then had to book another hotel and received no help or compensation from Airbnb. The only refund I have received is a £42 late check-out fee. This is completely unacceptable, and Airbnb has refused to pass on the details for the correct way to escalate this within the organisation. When a company of this size acts as though they are too big and too powerful to care about individual customers, it is important people know about the poor service. This is especially true considering it is no cheaper than a high standard hotel that upholds their standards and policies.

Host Switched Addresses: No Refund Given

Our party of eight had booked this 5-bedroom in Manhattan for our family vacation. Approaching our departure date, we discovered that the host been cancelling on people very close to their arrival or directing people to an address different than the one that we had booked through Airbnb, with one bedroom fewer and bunk beds. We were traveling all the way from Denmark and naturally we would have liked everything to go smoothly upon our arrival. So we began to worry. Three days prior to our departure, we got a message from the host with a different address, four blocks away from the original. In light of several prior reviews stating the same thing happened to them, we contacted Airbnb in the hope of getting a return. The host has a strict cancellation policy, so we could’t just cancel ourselves, as then we would lose all the money for the booking.

This is when we really experienced the fear and horror of trying to get proper customer support from Airbnb. It was nearly impossible to get someone on the line who was able to help us and we called Airbnb back repeatedly the following days (getting six different representatives). They kept promising a certain group called “The Trip Team” would call us back and that our case was marked as urgent as possible. That call never happened and every time we called back to follow up, we had to start all over with someone new. We were also told that if The Trip Team did not call back, we could call and ask for the emergency hotline. However, after calling and asking for this emergency hotline, we were told it did not exist.

The supporters gave very vague messages and empty words of comfort back (such as a generic “I can understand how frustrating this must be to you, but rest assured, we will find a solution” about 100 times or so…), but they did advise us not to contact the host any further – they were going to take care of that – and asked us to look for another listing in New York, which Airbnb could offer us instead. They also told us that if we could not find another suitable listing, we could get our money back. Since none of the available listings could host all of our family together, we thus opted for the refund. Over the phone, Airbnb agreed to the refund and we asked for it in writing.

Less than a day before our departure, we got the following in writing: “After speaking with her [referring to the host], that’s the only time we can apply a cancellation on this particular reservation. Your host payout is already frozen so rest assured your funds are safe with us.” At least this meant our money wouldn’t be transferred to the host, so Airbnb could honor their promise of a return, right!? While not exactly as concrete as what they’d promised over the phone, this is the last communication we managed to get from Airbnb prior to our departure and we had clearly made them aware that we might not be reachable via email. At least Airbnb and the host had a US number they could reach us at after our arrival in the US. And we clearly and in good faith stated our intend of having Airbnb cancel the reservation with a full refund. Hence we “rest assured” that there was nothing more that we could do.

Meanwhile we had booked a hotel in New York, certain that the Airbnb deal was off and it was only a formality to get our money back. Airbnb even acknowledged that we could book a hotel by compensating us with a tiny amount of $162 for the first night, i.e. at this point they even acknowledge that there is a problem. What a terrible thing to go through right before leaving on vacation! But it didn’t stop here…

After checking the email connected to Airbnb several days later, we were shocked to learn, that despite Airbnb’s promise of the opposite, the money had been transferred to the host and on Airbnb’s site it looks as if we made a cancellation. Consequently, our family paid approximately $3000, which has already been distributed between the host and Airbnb!! At the time of writing, we have tried all that we can with Airbnb to get them to honor their agreement and return the money, but to no avail. They only evasively answer and insist that we had simply misunderstood the host. Yet we have in writing that the host changed the address prior to our arrival and in light of the other reviews stating the same, we cannot accept Airbnb’s unfair ruling in this matter.

Furthermore, we have been acting all in good faith and based on the advice from Airbnb support and been promised a refund, in addition to being told explicitly in writing to “rest assured” that the money was frozen… only to find out later that Airbnb went ahead and completed the transfer. In any simple matters of trade, the buyer cannot be required to pay for something, which is not what was agreed upon in the first place. This matter is no different! Rest assured, Airbnb, that we will continue fighting this until we get our money back. Meanwhile we hope that this posting helps others learn how few options they have of getting a return (if any?), if they have booked one place through Airbnb and learn in advance that upon arrival the host directs them to a different place. And how terribly Airbnb treats guests in such matters. It is pretty obvious that there is a severe conflict of interest, when, by siding with the host, Airbnb earns money, and in case they side with the guests, they don’t. So before you go out and book your vacation through Airbnb, have this very costly and horrifying experience in mind!

Last, but not least, avoid booking a “Huge UWS 5 Bedroom by Super Host” in New York from this host (Kyleen Taylor). And yes, she’s still a Super Host, despite her cancellations and scam! If it helps others, the original address of this listing is “168 W 78th St, New York, NY 10024, USA” and the address the host gave us three days before was “78 W 82nd Street”.

Guests cook pot butter – Stench lingers a week later!

New Years Eve we had guests arrive with a late night check in at 2 am… They were supposed to spend the next few days skiing…but instead they stayed inside and cooked pot butter! They invited 6 other guest who joined in the partying and at 3 AM we had several strangers smoking a huge bong, noisy, stinky mess! They left without one word. My beautiful guest house was trashed. Food, garbage, wet towels, pillows, blankets and 3 day old dirty dishes left for me to clean up. I was horrified by the level of mess left behind, but the worst part is the stench of the marijuana butter/oils they made and used to make brownies and cookies. Its been 4 days, windows open and the smell is just as bad. Several bottles of FreBreeze and its still beyond stinky and I cannot host other guests until the smell is gone. The carpet is new and they must have spilled this pot oil all around. My husband is beyond angry, disappointed and upset….I’m kicking myself for signing up for this airbnb…so NOT worth this heartache…our beautiful guest house was trashed…I don’t get why someone would destroy a beautiful home. Why not go to some cheap hotel in trashy area and do this type of crap?

If you have a serious problem, Airbnb is nowhere to be found

New host. Had several reservations booked. Became concerned when I didn’t hear back from my correspondence with guests. Had one guest who became pushy and passive aggressive before her rental dates. Informed Airbnb. Customer service was good at mediating and said they’d protect me. To call them if I had a problem with guest. Guest was not a good communicator and had no graciousness at all. Wanted me to let someone into the unit before her, that had not made the reservation. I wasn’t comfortable with it. Airbnb had every excuse for the guest and said I should let other members of the group in that didn’t make the reservation. Ended up cancelling reservation. Reached out via text message to next guests cell phone, only to find out she never received my emails through their site. Tried to talk to Airbnb and some dope named Lyle senior case manager decided it was all my fault and I’d pay a penalty for it. Tried to call with new information that guests don’t receive email, got tossed around. Got contacted via email from Lyle even though I asked to go above him. Was told their community relations dept would call me back. They never did. Called them a day later. They disconnected me. Called again. They had no record of the day before a conversation and reiterated that the decision by Kyle was final. They never let me talk to anyone higher. I dumped their service, app, my reservations… Everything. They couldn’t care less.

I was gang-raped in Budapest – and Airbnb ignored me, then insulted me

I was in Budapest on Memorial Day weekend. Checked into an Airbnb rental at 7 pm and the host, Gabor, told me that I could call or text him anytime with any questions. Despite it being a Saturday night, I immediately began working on a report titled Women, Business, and the Law. At 9 pm, I realized that I hadn’t eaten since 8 am. So I texted and called Gabor, asking for the location of the nearest convenience store. I received no response. At midnight, I did the same—and again, had no response. Finally, at 2 am, I stopped working and left the unit. It had been 16 hours since I’d eaten. Immediately, I realized that I’d left the key to the apartment inside. What to do? No one was working at the front desk. Airbnb wasn’t answering. The US Embassy wasn’t answering. So I wandered Budapest, doing my best to avoid the drunken crowds. Took photos. Called my best friend from high school, Michele (in Texas, where it was a reasonable hour). But after an hour, she had to go feed her kids. Around 6 am, I came around a corner and saw a woman being harassed by a group of men at a major intersection. I won’t abide seeing a woman in distress, so I told them to stop. They said, “make us—either with force or money.” I said, “I’m not an idiot…I didn’t bring much money, knowing that I’d be among large groups and I’m clearly not Hungarian.” They said, “Oh, so you must be American—so get money.” I said, “I brought one credit card, and I don’t know the PIN for it. I don’t take money out on credit cards.” That made them angry. So, I’m told, they hit me in the back of the head with a steel pipe. Dragged me into an alley. And 4 to 6 men raped me. The next thing that I remember, I was awakened on a gurney in a hospital covered in blood, with most of my clothes cut off and an orderly screaming in my face that I was a “disgusting American maggot f***ot who deserved what happened and probably liked it.” He also said I had to leave the hospital immediately. Even though I was in shock and completely confused, I managed to ask, “What happened to me?” He said, “You know what happened—and you wanted it.” So I got up, found the doctor and asked if I really had to leave. He said, “My god no! We still need to do a CT scan, blood work, and more invasive tests. We thought you might be dead. You have to stay here at least 12-14 more hours.” I asked again, “What happened to me? Please tell me.” He said, “You really have no idea? Even through the pain medication?” And then I realized. So I left the hospital; I couldn’t wait through that. So I tried to talk to the police, to file a report. They laughed at me and said, F you, American f***ot. I got to a hostel, but Airbnb still wouldn’t answer. I still couldn’t contact the Airbnb host or get back into the unit. Then I had to call my mother and tell her what had happened to the youngest of her five sons. Then the US Embassy, who provided advice on getting a locksmith for the Airbnb unit and a replacement phone (mine had obviously been stolen during the attack). A couple days later, I left Budapest for Prague. Airbnb wouldn’t help me there either. I had to walk everywhere because I had no currency—including to a clinic to get post-HIV and STD exposure medications. The meds made me incredibly sick. I lost 40 pounds. Finally, in Berlin, Airbnb started calling me incessantly. Trying to seem like they were my friends. I said, I’m not talking to you. Everything has to be by email. Because you failed me as a company and as human beings. This will all be documented. So they called my mother—without my knowledge or permission. My mother, who has been dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s. And told her that I’m “unbalanced.” My mother told them (politely) that she didn’t have a word to say to them. My parents both worked for the US government and don’t like attention. Then Airbnb changed their rules and said I could no longer contact them or their Legal Department. I lived in San Francisco for 17 years, before I moved back to Charlottesville, VA, in August 2014 to help my mother deal with my father. I’ve been in one relationship for 24 years. I work for international organizations, foreign governments, NGOs, and charities. I do anything I possibly can to help make the world a better place. Airbnb does not. It placed profits before people long ago. Proposition F in San Francisco MUST fail. I apologize for the length of this post. Thank you. Paul Holtz President Next Partners nextpartners.net

airbnb scam, airbnb hosting

MAJOR AIRBNB FLAW EVERY HOST SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

I’ve been an Airbnb Host for over a year without significant problems, but this experience showed me that I’ve really just been lucky not having a nightmare hosting experience before now!

Long story short, I had a guest book one of my rooms for a 3 months stay, just like I’ve done many times before.  I received my first payment from Airbnb as usual… but then when the second monthly payment was due, I received a crazy email message from Airbnb saying that they couldn’t process the payment from the guest!  What’s even crazier, they didn’t cancel the reservation until 7 days AFTER the last date had passed that the guest had actually paid for, meaning that I was going to lose at least a full 7 days of rental income and presumably I no longer had any form of security deposit to protect me… ALL WHILE THE NON-PAYING GUEST WAS STILL LIVING IN MY HOUSE!!!

What sort of idiotic policy is that?  Airbnb waited until the last minute to charge the guest, then waited an additional 7 days before cancelling the reservation with a message (attached) that basically said “sorry, but we’re not going to pay you anything else, beginning 7 days ago.  Good luck getting rid of this leech of a guest!”  Why wouldn’t Airbnb charge the guest sooner, so if there was a problem I could cancel the reservation and kick out the guest before their paid time expired?

I wrote back to Airbnb asking them to clarify the situation… but they never responded!  I emailed them asking if they could use the $400 Security Deposit (my standard deposit) that they should have previously collected to at least pay me for the 7 days the guest had already stayed without paying before the reservation was finally cancelled… no response from airbnb after several days.

What a total scam airbnb has become!  I thought it was a brilliant concept, and it is, but the execution abysmal and the policies lack any sense of foresight or basic protection of their CORE value, their HOSTS, it’s truly shocking to me that no competitor has destroyed them by now!  It’s like comparing Facebook to Myspace.  Myspace was “great” until Facebook came along and showed everyone just how horrible Myspace actually was!  Who will be the new “facebook” of home rentals and put Airbnb out of business?

PLEASE share this story with any current Airbnb Hosts you know so perhaps they can save themselves from this type of horrible situation dealing with such a stupid and irrational company.

 

airbnb scam, airbnb hosting

How to scam airbnb! Guest doesn’t pay, and airbnb waits 7 days before cancelling reservation. Host is left holding the bag and takes a total loss!

 

airbnb ran away and hid behind it's horrible policy

No response from airbnb! Host lost money because guest didn’t pay, even though EVERYTHING was handled through the Airbnb system!

Airbnb thinks a crappy appartment is suitable for rent

We arrived in Roma at the beginning of August after renting an Airbnb apartment called “Slice of Heaven” (https://fr.airbnb.ca/rooms/7335934). The apartment was so crappy that we made the decision not to stay. We took pictures of the main defects, stopped the leaking air conditioning and left. We left because: – The air conditioning was not working properly. The host explained that it was due to the extreme heat. As a consequence it was dribbling and two cups were put on the floor to receive the leaks. We were asked to make sure that these recipients stay on the floor to avoid damages. – The walls were damaged on several places, not only due to previous dribbling of the air conditioning, but also caused by previous patches of painting on many parts of the walls and the ceiling. – The ceiling of the bathroom and of the master bedroom had obvious traces of moisture. – There were oil spots on the floor of the terrace. – The speakers shown on the Airbnb website pictures did not work. When we asked the host about them, he told us that they were broken and that he should get rid of them. When asked to review the case, Airbnb told us that we were wrong to leave, and made us pay for one night. After I insisted, they refunded us entirely with Airbnb coupons. Airbnb thus thinks that an apartment with moisture and leaking air-conditioning is suitable for rent. More generally, once a reservation based on the nice Airbnb pictures is done, there is nothing guests can do, even if the pictures are a fraud. The pictures we took in the appartment and the pictures advertised on Airbnb website have nothing in common. We wrote a very negative comment to the host. After one week, the comment had disappeared because Airbnb removed it. It is clear that Airbnb does not care about what kind of apartment guests are actually renting.