Never Allow Friends to Set up your Airbnb Account

My friend set up our account with Airbnb. She made herself the host and me a point of contact. All payments were going to my Paypal account. She was supporting me to get my business up and running. She had absolutely never put any money into the business. I was financing it all on my own.

After a year, the business was not doing well and I found myself in a financial down slope. I told her I no longer needed her help and that we should part our separate ways. I asked her to surrender the account to me or delete the account altogether. I solicited help from another company that had experience in business to help me.

In the meantime, she changed the password on me so I couldn’t go into the account and changed the default payment so all payments would be forwarded to her corporate account; I would not be able to get any payments for guests staying in my house.

I called Airbnb multiple times and had my situation forwarded to a “case manager” that in the end just sent me emails saying how sorry they were but couldn’t do anything for me. I got an attorney involved and worked directly with my “friend” after she took my money. I had to gently remove guests from my house and block them from entering after they would arrive.

Finally she said she shut down the account. I had to file a police report on her, contact the Better Business Bureau about Airbnb, and had a restraining order so she can’t come near my home. I had each incoming guest call Airbnb so they would get a refund but what an inconvenience for everyone.

Charged for Repairs and Unable to Reach Anyone

Airbnb charged my credit card an unrealistic amount and called it a repair. There was a gas leak in the kitchen when we got there. It smelled like dog urine. An overflowing sink was clogged up when we got there. I had to unclog the drain in the shower myself before I could shower in the unclean shower. It was a nasty and disgusting visit and then I got charged for repairs?

Awful experience. When I called to dispute the charge they beat around the bush and said they could not help me. I asked for a supervisor and customer service immediately said all the supervisors were busy. Really? How do they know? They didn’t even try. After 15 minutes on hold to “find a supervisor” the waiting music stopped and Airbnb customer service hung up on me. This is no way to run a business.

Airbnb Room had Bedbugs and I got Fined

I stayed at an Airbnb in New Orleans and woke up to find find dead bedbugs and casings in the box spring. The host responded by wiping away the evidence and threatening to come after me for damages if I told anyone. I sent photos of the bedbugs and audio tape I had taken of her admitting there were no damages.

As part of the claim she ended up filing against me, which included a $75 fee for putting the mattress back on the bed (which I had even offered to do for her), she submitted a clearly falsified letter from a fake exterminator, which Airbnb even admitted to me they knew was fake. Somehow they still charged me $75.

Can you imagine going to a hotel, complaining that you found bedbug remnants, and having them respond by falsifying documents, attacking you, and then fining you? This company has zero customer service.

Sorry we had to break up like this Airbnb…

I was just reading the sad reviews from the property owners. Can I tell you that the same thing happens to renters? I will spare you the details (trust me, you don’t want to hear them), but suffice it to say we had 13 excellent stays on Airbnb before we met the first property owner extortion machine.

We’ve always been model guests, and have always cleaned the premises before leaving – to the point my girlfriend makes fun of me about it. It turns out that in cleaning the kitchen, we “scratched” the stainless steel backsplash. The host demanded (not making this up) $900 for a full replacement of an item that was likely made out of too soft an alloy for the purpose. Go figure.

In true Airbnb fashion, they charged my credit card against my wishes ($500). Let me tell you – I had called my bank a few days before to block Airbnb from doing this because they are notorious for charging renters without consent. My bank (Chase) screwed up and did not block the charges as promised.

Take my advice: if you anticipate a dispute with Airbnb and you don’t want to go chasing your own money, cancel your card after your stay. We will not be returning to Airbnb as we do not feel like we were treated fairly on this one. Sad, because we had such a good run for a while.

Did I mention the undisclosed spy camera at the last place we rented? Apparently Airbnb doesn’t really care about that. If you take your chances, good luck.

Complain to State Attorney General About Airbnb

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Back in December I tried to book a room via Airbnb. The host sent me the offer and asked for payment. Within minutes they retracted their offer and raised the listing price. It was a classic bait and switch.

I reported it to Airbnb and provided the screenshots of the offer and change. The rep went on about fluctuation, pending time, etc. The retraction and change was clear and concise. They did nothing.

I booked a room with a host in Las Vegas. I chose his establishment based on his Superhost status and reviews. The reviews all said the place was clean and so on. One thing to remember is that to some people who might be nasty, this place might have very well been clean. He listed his place as a sanctuary and a private retreat for writers.

I arrived and there was a photoshoot going on and I could hear the music and chatter from the street which was 100 feet away from the front door. Upon checking in, he stated that the photoshoot would be ending within the hour. I decided to take a shower to kill time and found the tub riddled with mildew, some around the sink drain, as well as hair all over the floor.

Long story short, the next day I asked for a partial refund in which he obliged and was apologetic about the situation. Then he later left a scathing and false review to which I rebutted. I gave Airbnb screenshots of our text correspondence and photos of the conditions. As per the usual, they did nothing but dance around the subject, stating that the review could not be taken down because it was his experience with me.

I reminded the rep that the photo evidence I showed proved he was lying about the people making noise being community residents and he, in writing, said they were from a photoshoot. It made no difference.

I was compelled to do further research and found that the host/establishment did not have a business license. The lady at the county clerk’s office advised me to report them to the business licensing department because they were in a zone where it was required. So, I did. I also filed with BBB.

I advise anyone who wants to see results or at the very least put the hosts on notice to research the address with the business license office in their jurisdiction to see if it is required and if so, report them if they do not have one. In Las Vegas a host was fined $72,000 for operating without one.

Also, if they offer food or snacks they must provide a permit for that as well. Airbnb takes no responsibility for anything because they are unregulated. If your room is dirty it’s just your opinion, and no one really cares about that. However, the government absolutely will have no problem launching an investigation against hosts with no business license because they are not paying taxes.

Airbnb should be forced to display that the host’s license has been verified and that they are indeed the owner of the property they host and if not, they should be forced to provide a notarized agreement between the owner and the renter stating they have permission to host on Airbnb.

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Upcharged with an Unadvertised Per Guest Per Night Fee

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Our group of twelve booked a room on short notice, a weekend for $281 per night for an “entire chalet that sleeps 12“. Only after booking did the host advise us of a $50 per person per night fee and suddenly the cost was $700 per night.

I immediately emailed the host and told them that the fees were not specified on the listing and that we would need to cancel. The host was initially very responsive, typically within an hour, but after I told them my concerns they stopped responding.

I reached out to Airbnb with the issue and they stated to wait up to 24 hours to hear from the host. They then cancelled the reservation when the host didn’t respond and only refunded 25% of the cost because of their “strict cancellation policy”. I asked about their 48-hour cancellation guarantee and Airbnb stated that the host’s cancellation policies supersede their own. The hosts have refused to correspond and I’m out $2400 for nothing.

Fraudulent Host Sues Guest for $1800

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at our Airbnb until we received communication from the host wrongfully accusing us of stealing her second-hand sheets. There were far better items to steal if we had been inclined, like the $400 TV to occupy our bored 13-year-old, or the microwave, which would have come in very handy to heat a frozen sausage roll for our screaming and starving 8-year-old, having an emotional meltdown over food at the airport back to Australia from France.

This is how it all started. The apartment looked newly renovated and we did note the tired looking sheets at the time. At first we thought it may be a misunderstanding and the cleaner may have taken them to launder, but as it now turns out, our credit card has been charged. There are many problems with this situation.

To be accused of theft, and then “charged” without sufficient evidence supporting the accusation, highlights one’s true core values and morals in a negative light. After abiding by Airbnb’s terms to resolve the issues, Airbnb has taken the role of “judge, jury, and executioner”, unfairly charging the incorrect credit card in favour of the Host.

This is in breach of their own “Terms of Service”. Airbnb did not charge the credit card on file that was used to make the booking. Instead they chose a different one on file. We used Airbnb for both work and personal use. This was a work trip, and as such we used the work card. This is a definitive breach of their Terms of Service. There is no evidence to suggest we stole the sheets. Airbnb needs evidence before accusing us of theft and charging us.

Other unidentified people had access to the property at the time we were there. They gained access as we were entering the building and did not identify themselves.

The host had accused us of stealing sheets, yet in her claim, she wanted compensation for a brand new unrelated item of significant value. This would suggest she was after money, and not a simple replacement.

As we were attending a surgical conference, there was conference paraphernalia, left in the host’s house. This material may have suggested to a money-hungry host, looking to upgrade their facility at someone else’s cost, that this family could foot the bill for her need for new linen.

The original suggestion of two sheet sets stolen has now been extended to include a whole range of items, not even available to us at the time of our stay. The host originally requested compensation for $1800 to replace two sheet sets. Had we known, I would have driven 120 km to the closest Walmart and back and bought two new sets for $40. The sizes of the sheet sets apparently stolen do not even fit our beds at home. No use to us there.

We had no room in our luggage anyway. I generally overpack (my vanity bag usually takes up most of my carry on anyway). With three kids and their electronic gadgets stuffed toys, and ski gear for five, there was no room in our bags for: a complete set bed €170, depreciated for two years = €136; another complete set €120 depreciated for two years = €96; a third complete set €160 * two years = €128; towels €50 * two years = €30; other towels €28 * two years = €16.80; DH 140, €75 * two years = €45: To 56+56= €112 * two years = €67.20. They’ve even depreciated the secondhand assets.

Apparently, the host has provided “valid documentation supporting the damage and repair cost”. I don’t believe screenshots of luxury branded sheets on online shopping sites is evidence that we stole the inventory list above.

Disgusting host behaviour. Disgusting Airbnb behaviour. This behaviour highlights the ease in which an opportunistic host can profit from guests, for the purpose of updating, renovating, or simply cashing in on the unassuming guest. There are many Airbnb guests who cannot afford to be falsely accused of theft, sued, and then have their moral character questioned. It seems the question of morality lies with the host here. And they get away with it.

Never stay here – it will cost you!

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Fraud Committed by Airbnb Host in Los Angeles

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After using the Airbnb platform twice without issue, I decided to book two nights in a loft in downtown LA for a recent business trip. After confirming the booking, the host requested I send him a copy of my driver’s license outside the platform, which I was hesitant to do. I could tell this frustrated the host so I sent him another picture ID and said I could provide him with my license upon arrival.

Upon arriving I was greeted by a young lady who was not the man I was messaging with on the platform. I also couldn’t help but notice that she seemed nervous. I provided her with my driver’s license and she showed me to the loft.

My stay was uneventful. The place was marginal at best but I was there for business and only needed the bed, bathroom, TV, and fridge. I couldn’t get the shower to produce warm water and the lamp next to the bed was so flimsy I actually spent 20 minutes trying to get it screwed together in a way that gave it some more structural integrity.

Upon checking out I was prompted to provide a review. I gave four stars and left the typed feedback field blank as I’m not the type of person that complains about little things and wasn’t looking to write a bad review.

This is where the hell started. Upon submitting my feedback, I received the host’s review of me and was shocked. The guy had written multiple paragraphs stating that I left the place a mess and damaged the countertops with a knife. The guy even submitted photos of horrible scratch marks. There was no background so it could have been any countertop. I also found it hard to believe that the guy would go as far as damaging his own countertop.

I declined the payment request and a case was opened. I clearly explained the situation to the assigned “Trust & Safety Specialist”. After all, this was about as straight-forward of a fraudulent claim as one could imagine. I never used the kitchen, never mind any knives.

Airbnb told me they had requested additional paperwork from the host and after several days I received a message from Airbnb at 2:00 AM introducing me to a whole new Trust & Safety Specialist and saying that if they didn’t hear back, they would move forward processing the host’s claim. When I called Airbnb the lady tried to get me to admit that I incurred the damage saying, “well you were just doing your thing” to which I responded: “Absolutely not, I didn’t even use the kitchen. I can’t believe you would say that!”

Flash forward to today. I received a message from Airbnb saying I owed $1250 for the damages. I’ve come to realize that Airbnb is unable to maintain the integrity of its platform. This host knew it and took advantage of it. Now here I am left with a completely inaccurate review and a bill for over a grand.

I have never experienced anything like this before. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I refuse to pay a fraudulent claim on principle. I blocked Airbnb from charging my card but have no idea what will happen next other than my making everyone I can aware of this horrible experience and never using Airbnb again. This is literally criminal.