Asking for a $60 Fee just to Clean the Dishes?

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I was staying at an Airbnb in New Zealand. The place was good and the host seemed very nice. The problems started to occur when we checked out. We ran out of time (we were travelling far away that day) so we didn’t wash the dishes for our breakfast. It was kind of messy in the kitchen but we didn’t break anything and we reported the right number of people for check in.

After we left, the host got angry and wanted me to pay $60. I just don’t get it: in the house rules, they stated the fees only applied when we smoked, not for the dishes. I’m confused: can someone tell me what should I do? Other Airbnb properties seemed fine when we left the house with dishes unwashed. Should I reject or accept the request? Please help me understand.

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Let me teach you about Airbnb’s fees

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I have reported this issue to Airbnb. It involves booking issues. A courteous young man tried to help. Unfortunately, he works for a company that has no control or, evidently, no interest in the legitimacy of its listed rental properties.

My friends and I are planning a trip to Spain and Morocco. We are trying to pay ahead and have all issues resolved before our departure date. We have, so far, had very little trouble with booking in Spain. The only issue is that when searching for a property you enter the number of guests and the number of nights requested. Then a list of available properties appears, and you choose a property and book it.

At that time most properties either give you the option of either a partial or a full payment. We always chose the full payment option. As to the number of nights, that isn’t exactly the information the computer needs; it needs the day of arrival and day of departure, not the number of nights. It took us a while and several mistakes to figure this out. A clue from Airbnb would have been helpful.

Other than the number of nights issue, Spain, so far, has been relatively smooth sailing. I say relatively because here comes the headache… Morocco.

As with Spain, we entered the dates and number of guests and a list of available properties appeared. We read the comments, compared prices, and chose a place that was listed at $87/night. As with our other bookings , when a partial or full payment was given, we would chose the full payment option. Our total appeared on the screen as $524.22. Okay, fine, we say. Joke was soon to be on us.

The next email from this property was about a new charge of $976, with add-ons of a cleaning fee of $39.84 (reasonable) and a service fee of $111.60. A charge of $137.54/night was being charged per guest. Whatever happened to the $87 originally quoted in the initial property description?

After making an inquiry as to the change, a new total cost was emailed to us. This time the total was in Euros – €725.00 – with a cleaning fee of €35 and a service charge of of €27.13 deducted from the total. So, when you look at a property, after having submitted all the necessary information, and you receive a list of available properties that meet your criteria, and they advertise a price, beware. Once they have your credit card, it’s open season for bait-and-switch scams, and Airbnb can but won’t do anything about it. Buyer beware.

Don’t Fall for Airbnb Listings like this House

There were three big issues and a whole lot of headache for nothing in return. We were deceived by Airbnb. A weekend ruined due to this host, her husband, and Airbnb.

A hot tub was listed as part of the home. Five beds for eight people were in the listing. Free wifi was to be included. The supposed “hot tub” is not a hot tub but a container that one would have to actually put water in it and see if it would even get “hot”.

When someone advertises for a hot tub it should be that, and ready to use. Especially because I asked the host prior to booking if she had certain hours on when it is open – is it a community pool/hot tub? She said it was at the house so I could use it any time. Is it not suspicious now looking back that there is hidden fine print that one needs to pay them to use it each time?

If I specifically tell her this is a main amenity I was looking forward to, why would she hide this information? Why would she wait until I arrived to find the tiny one-person plastic/inflatable kiddie pool tub that did not even have water in it, let alone ice? The host said “Well, you know it is cold outside so how do you expect us to keep the hot tub warm?”

Should I send photos of what a hot tub is in the winter? I was just in Washington State with snow outside and 20 degrees with a real hot tub we used outside. It’s not rocket science. Do not advertise for things you do not actually have . Just like if a hotel says there is a pool would they tell customers to go fill up a pool with water? Who the heck in their mind would think this is acceptable, to go skiing all day and then have to do work to put water in a tub outside and see if it would even heat up?

The host is not that bright or they hid this information from me to find out when I arrived. It gets better. As stated above, there were holes all over the walls, and sockets hanging out, like where the TV and electronics were plugged in. Not safe. A fire could have started any time. This is right next to a fireplace. Are they trying to set up a situation for an accidental fire and then take the insurance? I wouldn’t put it past them.

We were so disappointed, but in addition, all of the furniture in the house – especially the living room and dining room – was patio furniture, cheap and wobbly patio furniture. How does anyone feel comfortable with that?

The description had said “five beds” for up to eight people. Before arriving that week, I told the host “I noticed the five beds, and eight people however I only originally planned for five people. Do you mind if I bring one more? There should be plenty of room, right?”

She actually responded saying, “There will be a $20 per person charge if there are more than six people.” Really? I am so glad nobody else came because in reality there were only three beds. The host said there was a futon in the living room. The futon which is the couch we sat on is supposed to just count as two other beds? Where is the fifth bed?

“Well, there is an air mattress that someone would have to blow up.” How do you list five beds but only have three? I am so so glad I did not invite more people. Nobody would have been comfortable sleeping on that futon of wood slats that hardly even passed as a couch, as it was an outdoor style temporary usable chair.

This one takes the cake: The TV is totally internet run. The internet and wifi were not working. We were out in the sticks so we hardly got our own phones to work at all. Without the free wifi/internet as advertised we would not have had anything to do. Not even basic TV channels. There were no board games or cards, nothing.

The place was much smaller than advertised. There were many locks on the kitchen cabinets like they were using most of that for storage. I didn’t even bother to check out if there were pots/pans/dishes so probably plan to bring your own things to cook with. The basement was locked.

Essentially guests would have the three bedrooms, and one open living room with kitchen attached. That is all. Meanwhile it was advertised as the “entire house”.

The host messaged me the wrong address, so it took longer than expected to even find the home. We found this gem of disappointment. I called the host right away. He told me after five minutes of talking and saying he was going to call the cable company to see if the internet could be fixed, that if I was unhappy he would call Airbnb for a refund. I said to refund me now and we would leave.

He told me multiple times that he was on the phone with them and trying to get me a refund/cancellation. He asked if I was leaving the property. It was a decision not so easily made because we just went skiing all day; we were all sweaty and tired. Nobody had changed or showered.

Home was three hours away in the snow that night. We tried to use our phones to find nearby hotels but no wifi was working. Since the host said he would just give me a refund we sucked it up and drove home in the snow, after only 40 minutes of being there on my anniversary celebration weekend. Our weekend was done at that point. Ruined. The snow was heavy; it was not an easy drive.

To make things even worse, the host told Airbnb (I found this out after I got home) that he did not promise me a refund. Well I have all the text messages and witnesses to this fact. I have video of the disappointments. I tried to contact Airbnb many times using many routes. I only got to speak to a live person once. That person said a case manager already looked at the case and said it was closed, that I should not get my money back.

I did not even get to talk to these people. I messaged and emailed Airbnb several times telling them to call me. Why are they not allowing me to talk and state what happened? I have evidence and witnesses. They are not giving me the time of day at all.

So beware folks. This house is a total scam. Nobody would be happy here for $250 a night. The title of the property also listed “free skiing and horse back riding”, yet the host also tried to tell me she charges $50 more if we wanted to use their community hill to ski. What? How does that make any sense? It says right in the title: “free”.

I challenged that before we arrived and only then did she say she would make an exception. I should have known it was a red flag. She is just trying to take money from people. I say “she” because the host is listed as a woman’s name but it was only the husband I spoke with on the phone when we arrived.

Lastly, she asked me if they could allow a realtor to show the home while we were there and it would have been during the time we paid to be there. Who has the nerve to even do that? It’s not like we were booked to stay there for a week. Who would want to buy this place anyway? A lot of work to do and definitely not in shape to be renting out on Airbnb.

The company needs to have reviewers of these places and listen to customers. I am never using Airbnb again. So upset. I have used it five times without issues.

These hosts are not good people and have no integrity. How could they try to keep my money when we left the place after shortly arriving? They made an agreement with me to give a refund, and then did the opposite. They ruined my weekend and what was supposed to be a memorable time with my loved ones. Despicable people.

Terrible Airbnb in Queens Expected Babysitter

I had an unfortunate stay with a host who was so nagging and rude. She rarely left the place, and just followed me, criticizing and nitpicking over everything. She also forced me to pay $60 to replace a single sheet. Does that sound right to you?

I didn’t have time to go through the Resolution Center, as I was traveling. This was very inconvenient, as I am not wealthy. It seems like the host just wanted to make money, charging for ridiculous little things. The best day of my stay was the day I wasn’t there. She then claimed I “kept to myself.” Well, would you want to hang out with such a negative nagging person?

I didn’t think I was staying there to babysit her. The host is very insecure. I think she was mad because I offered her some of my yogurt, and then she said she couldn’t have it because of her diet. I did not know about her diet. In general, she seemed like a very touchy person, who thought she could take advantage of me.

Last minute demand for more cash or we cancel your reservation

I reserved a two bedroom condo in the Grand Venetian in Puerto Vallarta. The “Superhosts” were based out of Oregon. I booked the condo in January 2018 for a stay in December, nearly one year in advance. I left a deposit of $1600. This holiday was planned with other families who were staying in the same complex.

On September 29th, I was contacted by the hosts and was told that I would need to pay an additional $2500 if I wanted to keep the reservation. They confirmed that they quoted me the wrong price in January – they made a mistake – and the owner of the condo was requesting more money. I naturally told them that they needed to eat this cost because it was their mistake.

I advised the hosts that I could not find similar accommodations so close to Christmas. The hosts did not care and advised they had the right to cancel pursuant to Airbnb rules. After lengthy discussions with Airbnb, Airbnb cancelled the reservation. Read the fine print: if an owner wishes to act dishonorably they can simply wait until the 11th hour to threaten cancellation of your reservation by demanding more money. During Christmas this could be ruinous.

Because of these hosts and Airbnb, I had to reserve another condo at a higher rate for from the original resort and away from our friends. You are better off booking through HomeAway or with a hotel. Do not book any accommodation managed by these hosts. Their word and agreement is worthless.

Attempted False Charges after Nightmare Stay

We rented an Airbnb in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in December. Immediately after the payment, Airbnb notified us that the owner wanted an additional $600 in addition to the posted cost. We refused to pay. After checking out, the owner claimed we stole six forks that cost $15 each and demanded payment for that and an extra cleaning charge on top of the $125 we had already paid.

The property needed no more than the usual cleaning that one would expect. For ten days we had no clean towels or sheets and the temperature dropped to the 40s for three nights. There was no heat. The owner said she would do something about it, but did not. A portable space heater would have been sufficient.

The advertisement on Airbnb stated that the place had cable TV and wifi. The TV was hooked up to an antenna and reception constantly broke up which made it virtually impossible to watch a program or a football game. The wifi was also intermittent.

No one puts $15 forks in a rental unit when they can be bought very cheaply at Walmart. We refused to pay the additional charges; however, Airbnb has your credit card and can make charges if they agree with the owner. In this case, the owner did not respond to our complaints about the charges when we refused to pay and Airbnb did not charge us.

One night we stayed in a hotel which cost less and was much nicer. We will not use Airbnb again as they apparently have no quality control and accept owners’ descriptions of their properties even if they are false.