Don’t Expect Any Host Support — it is Airbnb Hell

I am a property owner that has had listings with Airbnb for six years, with reviews that have been 4 or 5 stars 100% of the time. Even so, Airbnb chose to support a terrible guest who had been listed with them for two years (and had no reviews) over me. Not only did they support her, but they were rude and threatening to me.

The guest did a same day instant booking at 10:00 AM and then late in the afternoon sent an image text that was blank. I sent a text telling her that there wasn’t an image, and around 7:00 that evening she said it was her service dog information. They had already checked in.

We have a strict no animals policy. Our cabins are new, and we want to keep them dander free for the comfort of guests with allergies. Furthermore, our area had lodging options that accepted animals, so they didn’t need to ignore our no animal policy in order to find lodging. The guest also never provided any evidence that her dog was actually a service dog. I believe this is a scam she has been pulling wherever she travels.

After they checked out, I found short black hairs everywhere. I had to wash all of the fabric, including the curtains. I also vacuumed the floor twice and then mopped it. I finally thought I had gotten all of the hair out of the cabin, but when I opened the fridge there were short black hairs on the shelves inside.

I posted a review of her stay with information about the condition of the cabin and a private remark that we were disappointed that they wouldn’t respect our wish to keep our new cabins dander and animal hair free. The guest complained to Airbnb about my review (which I had posted to protect other hosts from her). They removed my review and sent me a threatening email that they could remove my account for being discriminatory. I asked Airbnb to explain what was discriminating about my review and they did not respond.

We are removing our listings from Airbnb and hope that other hosts will learn from our mistake and choose somewhere else to list their property. I would love advice on finding listing agents that have the backs of property owners.

Just as a side note, I understand that the ADA has tried to provide protection to those with disabilities, and I would totally support someone with a disability who needed a service animal. However, I don’t believe this guest or her husband have a disability. They were simply taking advantage of a system set up to protect those with real needs.

Airbnb Listing was Nothing like the Description

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My wife and I were in Mansfield, Victoria and we needed a place to stay for my mother’s funeral. We searched and found a place with great pictures that showed it being neat and tidy with positive reviews. We booked it and arrived at the agreed time, then immediately noticed that the place did not resemble the photos: the garden was neglected, the grass overgrown, there were weeds all over the flower beds, etc. This was an extremely neglected property.

My wife stayed in the car and I knocked on the door to meet the host. Several dogs were barking and jumped all over me. The host arrived and the dogs continued to jump as I walked into the house. The foul stench from the five other dogs in the house was overwhelming and once again the property did not resemble the photos; the host had not cleaned and it was very untidy.

After viewing the messy kitchen I was taken over the long grass to the self contained studio. I was horrified when I entered; she had made one bed and the other was a bare mattress with a pile of crumpled sheets on top. There were no pictures of the interior on the website and I understood why. The two beds were pushed into the corners of the room. In between the beds there was a space of one meter and a large 1.5-meter high weaving loom occupied it. What could we possibly want to use this for, I asked myself?

There was a large clothes stand storing random items occupying the rest of the space. I was speechless; this was a storage shed and she was renting it out. Worse still, the corrugated tin roof was exposed on the inside, radiating heat like you wouldn’t believe. No wonder there were two oversized pedestal fans randomly placed inside, because there were no fly screens on the windows. She generously supplied insect repellent just in case we needed to open the windows and let in the cool air.

There was no fridge, running water, kettle, microwave, TV, Internet, or bath towels – just some beds and some useless junk. I noticed that there were no outside lights and the main house with a toilet and running water was some 100 meters away. There was no path leading to the main house and the grass was quite overgrown, with plenty of places for the Australian insects and reptiles to hide out of sight when it got dark.

We both like to shower at night before bed and I knew my wife was not going to handle this. I took it up with the host who explained that there were torches in case we needed to visit the main house during the night. My wife and I stayed for ten minutes before we walked back to the house and told her that it was not acceptable. We asked for a refund and she refused and became quite hostile at that point. She told us that this is the country and that’s how people live here. Worse still, I received a message later to say that she had contacted the police and they are looking for us. She also posted a review of us to say that we damaged the property.

Airbnb Guests Who Keep Demanding More Test My Patience

What a disappointment to ever engage with Airbnb. We thought it be a good idea to try them as a hosting platform on advice from friends. Having already had a good response and very pleasant guests from another travel accommodation site, this was our first time experience with guests from Airbnb.

It started with all sorts of demands and requests prior to the confirmed booking of three guests that turned out to be five adults, four children, and a dog. I guess I should have been suspicious when this guy started sending me at least one Whatsapp a day (not using the Airbnb app) asking obvious questions about the house and its facilities. It got to the point where I thought he would ask if we provided toilet paper. One less ridiculous question was whether he could bring his dog – we do not accept pets, so I categorically declined.

After having the whole house booked out three times during the holiday season for between fourteen and fifteen people with hardly a minute of trouble or concern, I was surprised how many questions a single small family could come up with… including changing the booking from two nights to four and finally to six. The last question was a request of an earlier check-in, which was difficult as we had a full house just the night before, but we obliged nevertheless knowing that they only needed the rooms upstairs.

Upstairs is the original house with more than enough beds. There are two queen size bedrooms, one of which is an ensuite with a bath and shower and one room for their kids with four beds plus an additional bathroom with a shower. In addition, the full amenities of the house were available as advertised: full kitchen (stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and eight place settings), an inside dining area and outside barbecue area that is protected with sliding doors for all weather conditions and has another large table.

Downstairs there is a washing machine in a stand-alone laundry area, and a lovely secure garden complete with a splash pool and deck. Double automatic garage, security system, the works. I think it is fair therefore that my house is advertised with a base rate for four people and additional guests need to pay extra for us to open the downstairs rooms and bathrooms.

Imagine my surprise when this guy arrives (with his additional guests) and not only expects us to accommodate the additional people free of charge, but demands that we open the rooms downstairs for them (despite there being more than enough room for them upstairs). I have to say though, his wife deserves an Oscar, maybe an Emmy award, for the performance she put on. The whole nine yards: she first started insulting me as I tried to negotiate with her husband to find a compromise and then when that didn’t work, she cried, yelled, and screamed at her husband to leave, “these people are greedy and selfish…”

By this time I was thinking, “Yes! Please leave!” I don’t know why I rented the place for three people. After having a full house literally the whole season, I thought, “Shame, they are a small family and trying to save money, so it went”. I’m a sucker; they clearly had a hidden agenda from the beginning. No sooner had they moved in after we had agreed (after a rather heated discussion and his insisting that his right was to have all the rooms – 15 beds – available to him for a three person booking), that they needed to pay for the extra adults, the second vehicle already arrived.

I took deep breaths as I walked back down to my house thinking we had an understanding, and maybe now they could just enjoy the house and leave us in peace… what was I thinking?

At 9:30 PM, one of the vehicles drove past our house hooting, one of the men shouting obscenities out the window at us (my family) sitting on our patio also trying to enjoy our holiday. At 10:08, the two women rang our doorbell in a clearly inebriated state and request salt, only to disappear by the time my wife took the salt to the door. Besides leaving me with nappies in the splash pool and window frames and furniture that were used as ashtrays, there was furniture moved from upstairs into the garage, just to name a few broken house rules aside from the dog that they brought anyway.

It all comes with a price. However, there has not been a cent from Airbnb up to now, 14 days after their arrival and after our fruitless attempts to get payment sorted via customer service and the helpline. I only charged them the minimum rate. I could have let the place out many times over for a great number of people and with secure payments, if I had never let Airbnb make this booking three months ago.

Airbnb does not respond to any of my SMS’s on their helpline anymore. The last message I got stated payment had been made, which is a lie. I want to remove my property from this terrible “service” provider but I guess if I do so, I will have absolutely no chance of receiving my payment. If you use Airbnb, be prepared to use the counting method to maintain your temper and sanity… at the very least it’s a good lesson on self control.

Airbnb Hosts Shouldn’t Skip Important Details

I found a place on Airbnb, booked it, and started my conversation with the host. I found out that the host had two dogs that have roaming rights over the grounds. This was not mentioned in the listing. It’s probably not a big deal to most folks, but I’m a dog breeder, with an unspayed female bitch. Where I go, my beloved dog goes. As my dog is more than a pet, her welfare is of utmost importance to me. Given the presence of canine influenza and other male dogs, and the fact that nothing was mentioned in the listing, I choose to find another place. However, the strict cancellation fee states I only get half of my funds back. What a crock… I have placed a complaint and asked for help from Airbnb. They had to think about it and will let me know in due course if I’m able to get any more of my funds back. No time frame was provided when they may let me know. I had booked the place at 10:00 AM, found out about the dogs, and contacted Airbnb at 5:00 PM the same day. This is probably my first and last time using this company.

Airbnb Host Left us on the Side of the Road at Midnight

We stayed at The Art Shack in Salt Ash, Australia between April 28-30. Our main purpose of this stay was accommodation for the Groovin the Moo festival. On arrival, the state of the house was disgusting, with the kitchen bench scattered with old food and surrounded by flies. On Saturday night we returned from the festival on a bus at 11:30 PM. We informed our host, Deborah, that we would be home around 12:00 AM, and also informed her when we had gotten on the bus. She had told us that she had not locked away her German Shepard guard dog and it would be unsafe to enter the property without her being there. At 10:30 PM she told us in a text that she was out to dinner and she would be home around 12:00 AM, so we patiently waited in the Caltex service station across the road because it was nine degrees and we had casual day wear clothing on.

At 11:45 PM we called Deborah and informed her we were across the road at the service station waiting, as the dog was patrolling the yard and there was no way past him. At 11:55 PM she texted us and said she was “coming” and would be there in thirty minutes. At midnight, the service station shut down and the employee told us we had to leave, so we went back outside into the cold and tried to huddle up on the side of Nelsons Road, a 90-kph zone. At this point we were exhausted, afraid and freezing. By 12:45 AM there was no sign of Deborah, so we called her again. We asked where they were because we were afraid and cold. She told us they hadn’t left yet, as the guy she was seeing was playing the pokies and drunk and she was afraid to ask him to go.

She told one of our friends to put the phone on speaker and hold it up to the dog, but the dog went berserk and tried to bite us through the gate. At this point she told us she would be asking him to leave or leaving herself right now to let us in, and she would call us back in a couple of minutes. Nine minutes later we hadn’t heard back, so I called again. She told me that she was definitely on her way home, however she needed to stop for petrol, but she was coming as quick as she could. While talking to her, I could hear the man she was with talking about how stupid we were for not being able to get past the dog. At 1:06 AM she called us and told us that her house mate was at home the whole time, and that she could get the dog away for us and we could go through the front door, and the call ended. Five minutes later we saw her housemate Kathy open the front door, she came out and started leading the dog inside, taking him around to the back room. She then came and gave us the all clear to come inside, and had a giggle about what had happened.

Once we were finally in our room and in bed, I was so cold that I was having trouble breathing. We heard Deborah and the guy come home at around 1:25 AM. We could overhear him with a raised voice continuing on about the situation, and Deborah tying to calm him down. We felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsafe going to sleep. Before we slept we received a message from Deborah saying “So sorry, sleep in till late AM.”

We ended up leaving as soon as we woke up and started our eight-hour drive home completely sleep deprived. While on the way home we took a closer look at the reviews and saw this is not the first time this has happened. A  couple had been kicked out by a drunk host at 12:00 AM onto the side of the road and left with nowhere to go. The fact that Airbnb allows people to host in an environment such as this, let alone with a vicious dog on site, is insane. I’m glad that we are older and it wasn’t a family with young children as I don’t know how they would have held up in the cold.

Costa Rica Airbnb Yard Shared with Pitbulls

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The listing shows some nice bungalow with a hammock overlooking the beach. What the pictures don’t show are two vicious pitbulls ten feet to the right of your patio that are poorly tied up, with no fence between you and them. We returned the final evening to find the dogs had gotten free. Luckily, a neighbor had warned us as we approached that they might have broken free. Fortunately, I also had a rake in my hand as my friend struggled to open the front door. The dogs attacked and I fended them off with a rake. This wasn’t just barking, but a full-on attack. They ran up on my legs so fast I couldn’t believe it. If we had come home after drinking or unaware this would have been a complete nightmare. We were so shaken up we left and booked a hotel. I’m 47 and a big guy. A smaller person or a family with a child could have been seriously injured or killed. I guess next time I book a place I’ll inquire if there any dogs around, assuming I use Airbnb again at all. I tried to reach out to customer service that night to find another place – was on hold for 1.5 hours – and never reached them. Airbnb should implement a “safety survey” for hosts that need to be asked things like “Do you have dogs? Or are there any potential dogs in your vicinity that guests may be exposed to?”