Scammed in Lima: Abandoned by Airbnb

I booked a one-month reservation in Lima, Peru, and paid over $1,250 for a listing that purported to be a luxury apartment in an upscale neighborhood. Upon my arrival, it was a lower income neighborhood and clearly not the type of place you would feel comfortable walking around at night.

Upon my arrival to the apartment I thought I had the wrong apartment number as I overheard several people inside. I also observed a large bag of trash outside of the front door. I rang the doorbell and was met by two women with the dress profiles of streetwalkers, and some unknown male, all who were inside of the apartment drinking beer. I could immediately smell marijuana in the air. I also noticed a stained carpet and sofa, in addition to a stove with the remnants of grease along with a nearby unconsumed line of cocaine.

I immediately walked back toward the door and made my exit. I had a beer can thrown at me as I made my way to the elevator and down the long shoddy corridor toward the exit. While I waited for an Uber, the three individuals made a hasty effort to leave the property. One unknown women began firing off an assortment of profanity laced insults, in addition to telling me I should “go and die.”

I have now been stranded in a hotel for the past three nights with no material support or compensation from Airbnb. My account has been deactivated. Airbnb is a scam company that should be avoided at all costs. Brain Chesky and his rich friends are nothing more than white collared corporate scumbags and criminals hiding behind their corporate lawyers, or SFLAW located in San Francisco, while they enrich themselves at the expense of the victims that get defrauded every year by using this sham and disgustingly corrupt and incompetent short-term rental service. Beware of Airbnb.

Airbnb Fraud Lets Unsuspecting Guests Access Our Home

My husband and I own a house out of state that has been vacant and on the market for over a year. The other night our neighbors contacted us to notify us there were multiple cars and motorcycles parked in our driveway with a party going on inside. After an investigation by the police, we found out our house had been listed on Airbnb by a host. We have never rented our home nor given any individual permission to list our home for rent.

There were pictures attached to the Airbnb posting from Zillow as well as cell phone pictures taken from outside our home looking through windows/glass doors to the inside as well as pictures taken from inside of our home. The renters showed the police their rental confirmation. The police were relatively uninterested because they said this happens all the time, that fake listings are put up and people show up and can’t get in. But in this case, these people had been given instructions to access our home.

We have contacted Airbnb through several methods and been told that this will be addressed by the appropriate team. We’ve asked the call center operator to speak with a supervisor and she hung up. Three days later and Airbnb still hasn’t taken down the listing or returned our phone calls. There is clearly no sense of urgency on the part of Airbnb in assisting us with finding the person who is still out there who knows how to access our home.

Airbnb Host Fraud Lets Strangers into our Home

My husband and I own a house out of state that has been vacant and on the market for over a year. Last night our neighbors contacted us to notify us there were multiple cars and motorcycles parked in our driveway with a party going on inside. After investigation by the police we found out our house had been listed on Airbnb by an unknown host. We have never rented our home nor given any individual permission to list our home for rent.

There were pictures attached to the Airbnb posting from Zillow as well as cell phone pictures taken from outside our home looking through windows and glass doors to the inside as well as pictures taken from inside of our home. The renters showed the police their rental confirmation. The police were relatively uninterested because they said this happens all the time, that fake listings are put up and people show up and can’t get in. In this case, these people had been given instructions to access our home.

We have contacted Airbnb through several methods and been told that this will be addressed by the appropriate team. We’ve asked the call center operator to speak with a supervisor and she hung up. There is clearly no sense of urgency on the part of Airbnb in assisting us with finding the person who is still out there who knows how to access our home.

Someone is Renting my Home on Airbnb and it Does Nothing

There’s this listing on Airbnb for a property of mine. Wait a minute, I am not renting this property. The host is someone else and they don’t have my consent. I have contacted Airbnb support and they told me to write a letter explaining the case and scan it.

At first I was a bit mad. Am I a scribe? What century is this? But did it anyway. Then the operator told me: “Didn’t I tell you? You need to address it to the host.”

I was a bit madder. I told them to just take down the listing and I’d be happy. I can prove it’s my place; it’s easy. Airbnb said they do not validate any document, and the host declared he has full rights on the property by marking a checkbox. For real: two different operators told me this with the same copy and pasted text, so it’s procedural. If only I knew, I would not have bothered to buy a house.

So there I am standing, a bit mad, and I tell them to at least protect the customers. Whoever reserves this place is basically being scammed and, in the best case, losing time. Then they got mad. Two different operators on two different days were very rude and said that I was not collaborating and the case was closed.

There’s currently a listing on Airbnb for a property of mine, and I’m not renting it out. I’m about to call the police, but at this point I’m not sure who is to blame.

No Key? Just Open the Door with a Knife!

I booked a whole apartment for a COVID-safe stay for work at the beginning of 2021. The host told me to contact her through her private telephone number so all communication was done through Whatsapp messages (she refused to pick up her phone and didn’t answer her Airbnb messages until I’d Whatsapped her).

I arrived at the address and the key wasn’t there (but three other useless keys were). She refused to believe that I was using the keys properly until I showed her a video of me trying to open the door. She then sent a cleaning lady who couldn’t open the door with the keys either. Then the cleaning lady borrowed a butter knife from someone in the other apartment and tried to force open the door, telling me that this has happened before.

I messaged the host (who still would not answer her phone even though she was calling the cleaning lady) and she said go to Airbnb for a refund. Airbnb said there was no aggravation to the case, and that I wasn’t entitled to a refund even though their website clearly states guests should be refunded when there is no access to the listing. The case went into mediation and the host said it wasn’t that alarming.

This is so ridiculous, I can’t believe it. It’s such a scam. Do not go to this listing. The host also refuses to let my review go up by not reviewing me in return (How could she? I have never stepped foot into the apartment).

 

Airbnb Might Seize my Payouts Should I Die of COVID

Airbnb has blocked my access to my payout and transaction history for eight months, and they refuse to explain their so-called “security reasons” for removing my accounts. Perhaps they’ve taken this illegal action during the pandemic in the hopes that they can seize my payouts if I die of COVID.

Finally, on Dec. 7, Airbnb gave me access to my account. However, the transactions of those not paid, i.e. the payouts I was supposed to receive were still blocked. The last time Airbnb showed me those transactions, my payouts were $19,000 — an inaccurate, low amount. Now that amount has dropped to $14,000.

I have made numerous requests by phone and email for my money, which I was saving for my sons’ college tuition. Airbnb’s unprofessional and illegal actions have disrupted my filing my taxes, getting my stimulus pay and filing for unemployment, and has contributed to my depression.

Airbnb Review Rejected After Negative Experience

I found out the hard way that Airbnb does not post negative reviews. I had a horrible experience in Almaden California where my coworker and I had an Airbnb for two weeks.

The place had roaches. There were noisy construction workers that got up at 4:00 AM and tromped on wooden floors waking us every morning. There were disgusting cigarette butts, construction materials and litter outside the unit – all these items were not reflected in the photos.

The host was also hostile. Not only did she not respond to problems but she refused to do anything about them or even communicate. It was a horrible experience and when I posted the information it never appeared on Airbnb. This is fraud and highly unfair to potential guests.

Airbnb Allows, Maybe Even Assists, in Fraud

I booked a place via Airbnb to stay at Shawnee Village Resort. I booked through Airbnb instead of via Craigslist, because I felt Airbnb would reduce my risks and provide assurances against anything irregular such as fraud. Even though I could have booked a lake front home near the Shawnee Village Resort for the same amount of money, I just felt uneasy booking with someone on Craigslist — does the house even exist? What guarantees do I have that they won’t pull a fast one and take my money or ruin my weekend? Booking through Craigslist, I have nothing to support me.

S0, I booked this two-bedroom place for three nights in order to get away for the long weekend. I booked it on Oct. 1 and it was confirmed for Oct. 9-12 by the host via Airbnb the same afternoon. Then on Oct. 8, he contacted me and said that “due to COVID restrictions” he was unable to provide us the first night and our RSVP needed to be amended to arrive on Saturday, so only giving us Oct. 10-12. That is not a long weekend get away.

He said that I could phone the resort and enquire about the COVID restrictions, which I did. I spoke with the property manager, who told me that no new restrictions have been put in place; they are operating under the same rules as when they reopened in July. She also told me that they have been “booked to capacity (which was limited to 75% since July) for this long weekend for more than two weeks.”

My point is, the host advertised and accepted a reservation from me for a property that he did not have at his disposal. It wasn’t available to be rented on Friday night, and instead of telling me that on Oct. 1 or any day in the last week (when I may have had better options) he waited until the last minute, knowing that I would be stuck and have no choice but to accept the shortened stay. He screwed me.

As if that’s not bad enough, Airbnb has done nothing to make this right by me. In trying to get a hold of anyone, their answers were late and didn’t even provide an answer as satisfactory as the solution (a discount) that I had already worked out with the host on my own.

What exactly am I paying Airbnb for? I would have been better booking on Craigslist. I hope they make some attempt to correct this. The host advertising a property that is not available is fraud. Airbnb enables him in committing that fraud.

Fraudulent Post on Airbnb… No Resolution Obviously

I reserved this apartment in Switzerland from a posting on the Airbnb site, and had contact with the host a few times. All seemed well until I made a payment through an external link (though the Airbnb posting indicated this was the way to go), which turned out to be fraudulent (as well as the posting). The address I was given once I made the payment (which is customary practice) did not exist but it was too late at that point anyway.

Over 1200 euros later, I reached out to Airbnb and — surprise — they couldn’t help me and were quick to deny any responsibility to do anything even if the ad was on their website with all the Airbnb logos. I proceeded to file a police report and contest the transaction, but they all say it’s Airbnb’s responsibility — which it is. We all know that Airbnb has the absolute worst customer service on god’s green earth, so I guess I’ll be boycotting them from now on. It’s just too bad they just dismiss clients like that without any recourse.

Airbnb Complicit with Hosts on Bait and Switch Fraud

These are the facts regarding two identical occurrences over a 10-month period where Airbnb was complicit with hosts in a fraudulent bait and switch business practice. The first instance cost me $2,000, and the second instance cost me an additional $600. If you are a lawyer reading this and are interested in a lawsuit against Airbnb, class action or otherwise, please contact me.

I’ve spent hours upon hours communicating with the overseas customer support center. On the first occurrence Airbnb admitted to their wrongdoing. On the second, no admission. I have pages upon pages of these communications and the lackluster efforts of Airbnb customer support.

First I made a booking and sent payment to Airbnb. A receipt of the transaction was provided to me. Then the host cancelled with no explanation given. Eventually a refund of payment was issued by Airbnb. Immediately after the cancellation, for the exact time period of the booking, the host raised rates, and was allowed by Airbnb to book new guests at the raised rates.

I was told by Airbnb customer support to find a new Airbnb to book, as there was “nothing they can do.” Airbnb and the host both financially profit more from the new bookings at the higher rates, after my cancellation. Per Airbnb’s policy regarding host cancellations per the company’s website, the following actions did not occur.

A. The host’s calendar will become blocked and they won’t be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of the cancelled reservation.

B. If the host cancels before the day of check-in, an automated review will be posted to your listing’s profile. These reviews cannot be removed.

C. “Superhost” status was maintained, although neither listing met the 1% cancellation rate threshold at the time.

D. In neither instance was an Instabook used, which gives the host wiggle room to avoid penalty under an “uncomfortable with reservation” loophole.

So to summarize, Airbnb and the host both benefitted financially at my expense due to the host’s post-cancellation rate increases for the same exact time period. To me, this is a clear cut bait and switch fraudulent business practice. It was communicated to me but Airbnb customer support found another Airbnb reservation, the host’s “Superhost” status was not revoked, and in my opinion this is a complete fraud of a designation. The automated message in the host’s reviews detailing the cancellation was never posted to warn future guests of the risk they are taking with a particular host. So the reviews you read are not inclusive of cancellations, and in my opinion, fraudulent.