Feeling Like I’m on Candid Camera with Airbnb

I can’t imagine any experience with Airbnb customer service as frightful and frustrating as this ongoing experience. Had I not found this site I would have thought I was crazy. Get ready for a ride.

My husband and I are seniors (so they tell us). We got to Orange County on February 1st for a month’s stay while we visited our new grandson. Our son made our arrangement with an Airbnb host.

When we arrived we found this one-bedroom apartment. The major problem was that the bedroom had no closet nor did it have a dresser. My husband and I looked at each other perplexed with the same question: where would we put a month’s worth of clothes? Lay them out on the floor?

There was a tiny hall closet that could have possibly held a weekend’s amount of clothing with a portable hanging shelf which would hold the same. We were screwed. We immediately called our son who contacted Airbnb and the host to inform them we were not staying and we left within ten minutes.

Now the story gets good. The host offered to return half of our $3100, but by the time my son got back to her she rescinded the offer. Here’s where the story kicks in and the ride starts.

Airbnb told us to contact the host, which we did. This was her response:

“Hello, please stop the nonsense and willing harassment of me. This is my last communication with you. If you have further questions, please contact the rightful party.”

What? We were told to contact her… was she not the rightful party?

“I have nothing else to do with this. And nothing you’ve said has relevance or truth to it besides greed and entitlement.”

Are you kidding? What does that mean? It cost us a hotel room for days and then we needed to find a place for the month. I texted the host that there was no way that apartment could be rented for a month with no place for clothing. No response.

To make a long story short, we have, since February 1, spoken to nine different people at Airbnb who keep telling us our case had been handed over to a different case manager. It is now in the hands of a senior case “do nothing” manager with always promises to have someone contact me and tales of a procedure to follow.

One of the agents actually told us that in the amenities a closet was not mentioned. Since when is a closet an amenity? A hair dryer is an amenity.

Now get ready for the best part. We found out that the apartment complex does not allow their renters to sublet or rent through Airbnb. You’d think this meant gotcha. No. One agent told me that if they called this complex and that was the case then they could retrieve our money. No one has called them. So here I am, doubling up on my blood pressure pills, calling daily, and getting the same script from a different person.

Airbnb Closing my Account after Fake Review

“In my experience communication with the host tends to be limited.”

What do other hosts think about? Would you allow someone into your house who doesn’t communicate? Even Airbnb encourages hosts to prepare a set of questions for the guest asking about their arrival time, reason for visiting, number of guests, luggage, house rules, etc. I literally copied and pasted the questions from the Airbnb site, but this guest used it against me.

I moved to a freshly renovated luxury apartment a month before this guest’s arrival and asked him to take care of it like his own home. I mentioned I had a guest who painted her hair black in my brand new white bathroom – leaving black stains – and told the guest I’m not into drama. This means if he doesn’t feel comfortable with my cleanliness he’s free to book other accommodations.

I spent too much money on this apartment and couldn’t afford further damages in my first month. I’d rather cancel and was open about it. I was sure I was polite and professional with my communications, therefore I didn’t understand this guest’s aggression towards me and it really upset me.

“Upon arrival in the city I reached out to the host to arrange a meet (something I’ve never had to do with any other host)”

Let me specify ‘the meet’ in the apartment. The correct term would be “meet and greet.” What do you think, hosts? Is it bad thing to meet your guest in person? Even Airbnb commercials shows hosts and guests meeting. Again, I didn’t understand my mistake.

“She provided me with a different address to the apartment.”

My building has two entrances: the north and south side. You are allowed to put only one address on the listing. Therefore I always ask my guests which side they’re coming from to give them a better address. I even send the map to Airbnb team showing it was the same place. This was ignored.

“I think she could tell by my facial expression, I knew something was not accurate.”

Well, what a politically correct way to cover the fact he looked at me with disgust, assuming I’m Russian upon first meeting face to face. I felt horrible and very uncomfortable, but couldn’t identify the feeling. I was thinking the guest thought I was from a third-world country and he was concern about the cleanliness.

I reassured him everything was clean and showed multiple cleaning supplies. I encouraged him to feel free to use them during his stay – whenever he wants. He attacked me again, saying I asked him to clean.

The apartment was sparkling clean; I put a lot of effort and heart in my new home. I’d never expect someone would want to clean it. Therefore I admit I left only one (thick ) roll of paper towels alongside several different types of clothes, but I didn’t expect guests would want to clean the whole apartment.

I felt like he wanted to clean after me… clean out my presence. If he asked about paper towels, I would have simply bought them, but he didn’t.

Finally, he complained about the ‘sparsely’ furnished apartment. Before I moved in, I checked approximately thirty luxury apartments with a real estate agent. I took pictures of furnished model apartments, I was collecting catalogs with recent home decor trends.

My style would have been named ‘urban minimalistic’ by an agent, but not the guest, who used it as another occasion to attack me, suggesting I was poor minded, maybe even mentally challenged (as he mentioned in further conversations due to my origin) and couldn’t afford furniture? Obviously he didn’t expect I would know any trends; he prejudged me and my place. This was a disgusting experience, but that was just the beginning.

Innkeeper Finds Faults with the Review Process

We own a beautiful inn in Britsih Columbia, Canada that is rated five stars across all the board and is also a winner of awards. We placed our inn on Airbnb to attract millennials to our island and show them nature and the wonders of a protected environment. We have been on Airbnb for three years.

We had an emergency and had to cancel one reservation which the guest took very well and very kindly. This was our first cancellation on Airbnb. The next thing we know, we saw that the guest’s review had been posted on the page like a ‘wall of shame’. Shame on Airbnb. This is disgusting.

We will be removing our inn from Airbnb as we are appalled. We also use Expedia and Booking.com – professional, supportive organizations. I do understand this process for hosts that constantly cancel but not Superhosts with one cancellation in three years and excellent reviews. Airbnb should remember that they don’t catch flies with vinegar. They have too much money and swollen heads.

Airbnb Host Blocks Guest From Leaving

I was a guest at a bed and breakfast in Atlanta, Georgia. My stay started April 4th. The place was in the most dangerous area of Atlanta. I am a travel nurse and needed to find some place quickly, but not knowing Atlanta, I relied on Airbnb’s ratings.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the hosts and they helped me take my things in to my King Suite… so to speak; it was a pull out sofa. The listing stated there were new mattresses but I looked and was laying on two thick foam pieces. The next morning I got up and came out of my room at around 8 AM. No one was to be found, so I just began saying “hello?”

The owner came out and asked if he could help. I told him I wanted to order breakfast. I was starved so I told him what I wanted. I got half what I wanted but was hesitant to ask why. He began to tell me that guests text him what they need instead of coming out of their room. There were no places that delivered there, and he said he was a chef.

I promise you… he was no chef. He took frozen meals, microwaved them, and placed them on a plate. I was the only guest there for the whole month I stayed. The people that had given the reviews actually live there as permanent residents. He has five rooms, so I was a white woman staying with three black men, which really made me uneasy. I am not racist. My daughter has been married to a great black guy for 18 years.

Now the price I paid for this horrible place was $1700. He told me the food was free. In two weeks he knew I was getting a paycheck and asked how much it was. I stated I usually don’t give out that information. There was fresh tea and lemonade on a stand in the kitchen. I got a glass of tea and came out and got a glass of lemonade. After that day, there was nothing sitting out to drink. The trash bags in the guest rooms were grocery bags. The pictures on Airbnb were false and nothing like the nightmare this place was.

When I went in I saw books lying around with titles like Adultery, Illuminati, etc. on the sofa, at the window, and near the flat screen. It reminded me of my grandmother’s house. I would text him at 8:00 AM or so for breakfast, and the response I would always get is: “I’m not quite ready to get up.” I got breakfast at 10:30 AM, and this happened every day. It was always on his terms.

One day when I went to orientation I ate something I picked up going home. I got home and was exhausted, hungry, and trying to find another place to eat. I went to bed early and was extremely hungry the next morning. I texted the host maybe three times and told him I was sorry for the big order but asked if he had French Toast. He said yes. I ordered four pieces of French Toast, two eggs over medium, two slices of bacon, a bagel, and some oatmeal. His reply was: “Listen, even though you are very hungry, I am not about to cook all that. I will do what I can.”

The French Toast was burnt. The eggs were scrambled not over medium. There was no bacon or bagel and the oatmeal was a do-it-yourself packet with hot water. I ask for a refund and he said there are none. I told him about I was angry but nothing changed. I stayed in my room the whole time other than work. No guests were allowed near the fridge. He had a tiny table with four chairs for dining but on Airbnb it looked like everyone was having a great time. I was more and more uneasy and very angry.

I decided to leave on May 3rd. I didn’t tell him until the last minute. He backed up a little and I apologized. However, he also stuck me with a bill for $670. I was in shock. I ask what that was for. He told me it was for extra things I had been eating and Uber rides; he had stated before booking that he gives his guests free Uber rides.

I already paid $1700 for a terrible place. I was dehydrated and hungry all the time. I had relocated from Iowa so my funds were low. I told him before I left that I didn’t have that money. He said you need to leave your things then. I told him no. Then the other two guys came out of their rooms and looked at me. I had found a wonderful place and stated I wanted to leave six days early and to just deduct that from my bill. He really was angry then and he was not aware that the owner of the place I found was related to the Mayor of Atlanta and the Governor.

He stood in front of the door and told me I wasn’t going anywhere, that no one gets away with ripping him off. He said he needed to know where I was going. I told him he didn’t and asked him to let me out. My next host was on her way so my phone was vibrating. Thank god she knew something was wrong and called the police. Then he let me out.

I couldn’t carry everything at once so I had to keep going in and out of the house to put my things in her car. She said she couldn’t come on the property. She already knew that. When I got to her house where I rented a beautiful room, I noticed my computer gone. He had stolen my computer and texted me a trashy message, saying I was pathetic and he would find me. He was pretending to help me with the luggage before I left and took a picture of her tags.

My friend and I were at the police department for an hour. Now I have pressed charges and I want a refund and my computer back. I was exhausted from work, carrying luggage, and filing a report. There were never any other guests. Not one. The picture on Airbnb shows a girl, the host’s girlfriend. I will finish my story here but there was so much more that happened. I hope Airbnb will take this listing off their website as I am filing a lawsuit and they are making false advertisements; people could get raped or killed here.