Unfairly Blocked my Account After Guest Lied

Airbnb blocked my account. I had a guest back in May and her boyfriend was very disrespectful and immature. I had surveillance cameras; one is on the main hallway that captured him flipping his middle finger and cursing at me.

Up to that point, I had not had any contact with this individual. When I asked the guest why, she apologized and kept saying she liked my place and this was why she rebooked for the third time. They were very loud and dirty. I have another guest in the room across from them who was also complaining so when their stay was over I just let other guests book the room.

Well the problem I have now is that the boyfriend wrote three bad reviews for every time they booked and not only that, he called Airbnb and lied about my listing, saying that I have cameras inside the rooms. Let’s get this clear: I do not have any cameras inside any private areas.

Airbnb blocked all my listings and then contacted me. I assured them that I don’t have cameras.

It’s coming up on almost a month since they blocked me. I only have a couple emails from them telling me to specify where the cameras are—which I did from the very beginning of me creating my account.

Please help me; I need this income. I’m not working due to the pandemic and I invested a lot of money renovating and furnishing the apartment.

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Airbnb Host Review is a Means to Extort Hosts

I can’t convey the degree of muck and disgust added to my life from being an Airbnb host. I have a nice, well-maintained, and spotless home in a nicer part of town. I spent months and thousands preparing my home for hosting, including a local license and expensive changes to meet short-term rental requirements according to local code, along with new furniture and mattresses in guest rooms and other parts of the home, and an expensive internet connection.

One of my first guests left a negative and false review clearly caused by him not reading the details of my ad. Airbnb didn’t care that I told them the review was illogical and clearly based on his not reading the ad. I came to understand that Airbnb’s standard reply is that it shouldn’t matter because good reviews will outweigh the bad ones. My response was that guests are entitled to their opinions, but not fabricated ones or ones based on the guest’s not reading the ad.

Not long after, I contacted Airbnb again when a local couple who had repeatedly rebooked to extend their stay, never telling me but springing it on me knowing that if I knew, I would have prevented their ability to rebook because one member of the duo was extremely difficult. They finally had to leave because other guests booked the room. Angered that it was somehow my fault, they retaliated by leaving a fake review.

On the day they were to leave, one member of the duo left with their vehicle, supposedly coming back at the official check-out time, but when he didn’t show, it was clear he intended to pick up the other guest only when they could check into their next place four hours later. The remaining guest refused to remove all of her belongings from their guest room and bathroom so that I could prepare it for the next guest, leaving me to do it while the guest lounged around and made excuses and ugly, snappy remarks.

Waiting four or more hours against raising an alarm with neighbors by calling the police, I avoided her and made due; when the boyfriend finally came to retrieve his girlfriend, she left screaming that she would cancel her credit card to ensure I wouldn’t receive any additional payment and screaming even more obscenities like some backwoods hobo.

Knowing I could still contact Airbnb to ask for payment for their overstay, the crazy guest used the host review to slur me to help ensure she could get out of any additional payment. She also left dog crap all over my yard, which was so plentiful and dried that it was obvious she had taken it out of the garbage that last day and dropped it all over the yard on top of what was already there, again using the host review to pre-empt any request for payment.

Even though I never bothered asking for additional payment, I spent an entire evening trying to have the fake and filthy review removed and learned that it could take a month for a “team” to make a determination whether to remove the host-harming review. That guests can place fake reviews under a host’s account with no requirements for evidence to back their statements is a clear opportunity for guests to use their reviews for extortion.

The boyfriend, whom I contacted to remove the review — since it was under his name, but under her credit card — claimed he had recently broken up with her due to her outlandish and hateful behavior. He agreed to remove the review stating she had broken into his account and the review wasn’t true and certainly not his own sentiments. In fact, he claimed I was the best host he had experienced, which was why they kept renewing.

I waited for him to remove the review, but it didn’t disappear. When he finally called back, he instead attempted to finagle himself a room long-term and also expressed his desire to get to know me more personally. I refused to respond to what appeared to be extortion (served up thanks to Airbnb’s extortion-assisting host review policy).

After another claim that he couldn’t figure out how to remove the slanderous review, I discovered that my evening of repeated angry calls to Airbnb and refusal to accept that it would take up to a month to have the long, hateful, and fake review deleted was finally removed by Airbnb. That this caused me many hours of my time, had endangered me to an extortion-wielding guest who appeared to be hoping for a room and an intimate relationship in exchange for removing the review, caused extreme stress, as it was my only source of income at that time.

This was the direct result of Airbnb’s flat-out dumb policy of allowing guests to say whatever they want and requiring no evidence to back up their statements. I said nothing about the male guest to Airbnb at his urging and frankly, was concerned that if I had, he knew where I lived.

I would never have been placed in that situation had Airbnb not created such a insanely naïve and business-poor host-review policy. I also don’t believe guests would so easily stoop to take advantage of hosts if not for their awareness of Airbnb’s review policy.

The last guest was the last straw. I had converted to hosting only longer-term guests and received one who initially presented himself as congenial, but then one evening, he apparently needed an adrenaline and sick ego boost so tried to lure me into arguments.

When I refused the repeated bait, he spit out a slur clearly hoping to finally spark a verbal confrontation. I again refused the bait. As he arrogantly walked away, he tried to flip it claiming that my mere physical presence weirded him to make his ugly remark. Weakened by revealing his own ugliness without payoff, he avoided further contact with me and the other guest, who was there as a potential witness and who had pegged him as trouble early on after one conversation with him.

The normal guest urged me to cancel the jerk’s reservation. But since I already knew he was there for a limited time, he was avoiding contact, and there had been no further issues, I hoped there would be calm and chalked it up to his astounding immaturity and emotional problems. He did speak to me a few days later to confirm that he would be leaving in a certain number of days, which were already booked.

Instead, the next day, he left, clearly hoping, as a last manipulative act, to stick me without notice to cause financial harm if I was unable, at the last minute, to find another long-term guest. Since he was obligated to pay for his reservation, I didn’t worry, but contacted Airbnb to advise that he had left so they could remove the blocked out dates and my ad could go live again.

What I discovered was that he had additional filth to serve due to Airbnb’s host review policy: he had contacted Airbnb and plotted to stick me without the additional room income by making a false accusation along the lines of claiming he needed to leave because we had a conversation where I expressed sympathy with (to give an equivalent: the despicable acts of ISIS and the Taliban).

He also fabricated a claim that I had told him my residence had been broken into many times, obviously in hopes it would frighten off potential guests if not permanently damage my business. He also wrote all of this in a review. Airbnb “customer service,” who had read the review to me before it was published, told me that since the review included personal attacks, which they don’t allow, as well as a political type of statement, which their policy didn’t allow, it would “eventually” be removed.

Shortly after, Airbnb sent a follow-up email stating they wouldn’t remove his review because it was his opinion. That Airbnb customer service could make such a statement with no emotion, knowing the ramifications, was unbelievable. My foaming reply was that not only were the statements pure fabricated filth, but bore no resemblance to anything based on reality, and that this obvious psychopath was clearly using Airbnb’s stupid host-review policy in hopes it would cause me financial harm by slandering me and my home to future potential guests.

Even though I had by that time had well over 60 positive reviews, Airbnb again refused to remove it. I was seeking full-time employment so told Airbnb that such disgusting fabricated filth could permanently harm my ability to find employment. Airbnb customer service clearly couldn’t care less.

Such a review also put me in jeopardy of someone who might book to attack me for the fake, filthy statements. Apparently, hosts who receive hideous and false reviews are left with no option but to hire an attorney and wait for the slanderous damage to their livelihoods and reputations so that they can then sue for damages. Preventing such filth in the first place is not part of Airbnb policy.

Weeks after the psycho left, he texted me expressing his delight in harming my Airbnb business (apparently, because he no longer could find my ad, he believed his review had prevented my ability to find another guest; but I had taken down my Airbnb ad and found a guest through another venue).

I contacted Airbnb telling them that their failure to tell him they would remove his false and despicable statements was likely the direct cause of why this hideous scum bag was emboldened and still contacting me. From where I sit, this was caused by Airbnb seeing me as an insignificant gnat not worth their time to protect from emotionally unstable and abusive guests when the ability to protect me as a host is fully within their power.

Airbnb has no business sense in how to create a fair review system that also prevents guests from being able to manipulate the system. I’m not alone in being the target of these evil and psychopathic guests. Other hosts have expressed outrage and disgust at a policy that allows guests to fabricate anything about a host or their home without evidence, which Airbnb euphemistically labels “transparent communication,” leaving the host to endure up to a month of fake reviews, damaging their income in the meantime.

If Airbnb refuses to delete it, it could potentially permanently damage their business and their online reputation. In fact, leaving reviews that spark extreme behavior could leave a host open to receiving guests who specifically book them to retaliate against the host based on the fake review.

What Airbnb tells hosts who complain about personal and business harm from fake reviews is that the good reviews will balance out the bad, as though having false and reputation-killing reviews is acceptable and left fully to the host to hire an attorney to sort out. This allows evil guests to have control over a false narrative of the host, which leaves the host in a situation of either allow the filth to be broadcast on Airbnb’s website or remove the account, no matter the expense, time, and effort spent to become a host.

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Scammer Stayed 24 Nights but only Paid for One

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A guest booked a 30-day stay and claimed to Airbnb that he moved out after one night but actually ended up staying 24 nights. Airbnb mishandled the situation and now refuse to correct their mistake.

We are in one of the ten largest cities in the US. The place is very economic ($400/month, average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom-apartment here is $1350). It’s a shared room (3-4 people per bedroom, 10 people in the apartment) and he complained about cleanliness issues within 24 hours.

I do month-to-month rentals and usually have 100 guests at the same time across several location. Over 1000 guests in the last five years. 80% of our ratings are five stars, 90% are four or five stars. Nobody else in the apartment complained about the cleanliness issue. The guest didn’t have a single review.

Airbnb didn’t reach out to me until 14 days after move-in. I pointed out to Airbnb that the guest still lives there. 20 days after move-in they made the decision to refund him all the money besides the first night, because he told them that he moved out, even though he didn’t move out.

I have been chasing them ever since, telling them that he still lives there but they didn’t do anything about it. Everyone saw him and other Airbnb guests also confirmed to Airbnb that he lives there. They slow-walked the case and never asked me for any photo or video evidence that he still lives there.

After he moved out (after 24 days when an Airbnb rep called him and urged him to move out) they suddenly asked me to provide photo evidence that he actually lived there. Now they won’t issue his payout because they say that without video or photo evidence they cannot issue it.

Airbnb made a wrong decision regarding the cleanliness issue given that there were 20 other Airbnb guests living at this location (spread across multiple units) on the same day as the guest but none of them had any complaints. Furthermore, when they first reached out I told them that the guest still lives there and it took them almost a week to come to a decision. When they made their decision, they forgot that he actually still lives there. Now they don’t acknowledge that mistake.

I have attached the four pictures that were presented as evidence by the guest that there was a cleanliness issue. Those are the only pictures that Airbnb showed him. I would like to take them to arbitration and I am seeking an experienced attorney to represent me. Here is a detailed complaint that I sent to Airbnb.

I am challenging the decision that there was a cleanliness issue. This decision by Airbnb was wrong and is the reason there is a dispute in the first place. There was no cleanliness issue. Here is a list of all the Airbnb guests that stayed at this location on March 9 (the day of move-in); none of these people reported an issue. That’s 20 happy Airbnb guests vs. this guy, who doesn’t have a single Airbnb review.

I included the booking code so you can look up the address. The pictures you sent don’t show any cleanliness issues:

1st picture: burned stove counter. There are ten people living in the apartment and most are cooking. Sometimes they will burn a stove top burner and sometimes they don’t clean up right away. Once a week our cleaners come to make sure everything is spotless. It cannot be 100% clean in a shared room environment. You can expect that at a entire place at move-in but not in a shared space.

2nd picture: dirty toilet seat. There are three bathrooms in each apartment. Ten people use those bathrooms and so they get dirty. Once a week they are cleaned spotless but during the week one toilet can be a bit more dirty. There are two other ones where it’s not like that. Again, this is normal in a place where ten people live together and cleaners come once a week.

3rd picture: a kitchen table that’s not 100% clean when ten people live in an apartment to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. This is normal,

4th picture: a vegetable outside the fridge. There are ten people living there and they are cooking. When you cook sometimes a vegetable falls on the floor. That’s how every kitchen everywhere looks. I am sure that vegetable was picked up minutes after the picture was taken.

We have been around for over five years and have a great system to make sure people that share a space can live in a clean and healthy environment. We encourage all our guests to clean after themselves and have professional cleaners coming once a week to do the heavy lifting. There is absolutely no cleanliness issue and it was a wrong decision by Airbnb.

Whatever case manager made this decision didn’t look at the satisfaction of other guests staying there nor the fact that this is a shared environment. We are proud of the cleanliness we provide and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Neither Airbnb, nor Brian Chesky, nor the guest would be able to provide a cleaner environment in an affordable shared room setting like this one.

The guest moved in on March 9 and it wasn’t until March 22 that I received a message from Airbnb. That’s 14 days after move-in. I wrote back immediately that I didn’t agree to a refund and that as of March 19 he was living in the unit. Airbnb did not ask for video evidence then.

On March 24, Airbnb sent photos (16 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence. On March 25, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (17 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 26, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (18 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 27, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (19 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence).

On March 28, Airbnb made the decision to refund the guest and there was no word about the fact that he still lives there. No question about video evidence or camera. Airbnb also said that they would not get back to me for three days. It seems that Airbnb just gave the refund at the last minute before the work week was over without double checking if the guest still lives there or not. This is negligence on Airbnb’s part and the reason there is a dispute now.

On March 30 (22 days since he moved-in), I pointed out that the guest still lives there. On April 3, there were no questions asked about video or photo evidence. Someone from the safety team contacted me and then called the guest. Only then did he move out. At no point was video or photo evidence requested.

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Guest Dispute Turns Host off Airbnb for Good

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After holding a room for a month, Airbnb guests arrived far after the check in time. They insisted that they did not want to unload anything for one night. The lady sat on the floor talking to my husband, playing with the dog. Unbeknownst to her, we had a guest.

Ten minutes after my husband left, she and her husband ran in and out of the house. Later I got a text saying it wasn’t a good fit. Airbnb said they would review and handle. Crickets. I left the room as occupied. Then another month was deposited in my account. I had strict cancellation policies and long term cancellation policies. It didn’t matter.

The guests sent a picture of a dog hair in the bed, a rat turd in a chair, a snowman in one of the two master closets and a shower that had fresh, hostess-supplied amenities. None of this was mentioned to my husband during the talk. I objected strongly to the dog hair and rat turd.

My guests staying upstairs verified the room. They left sheets and towels on the floor. The drugs she said she had shipped to our house to arrive the day they arrived mysteriously never came.

I have wonderful reviews and, as I said, witnesses. Airbnb gave me 24 hours to respond. One minute after I submitted a partial response, I got a phone call saying they reviewed my response and were siding with the guests and need the money back. I blocked them from my bank account, my phone and email. They can rot.

Airbnb Illogically Refunded the Cancellation Fees

I had a booking from a couple of guests from China back in mid-January. On January 30, they decided to cancel the booking saying: “Sorry, my friend wants to stay at another place. We shall meet next time!” Hence a partial refund was returned.

Then a few weeks later, Airbnb took that partial refund away saying the guest couldn’t travel and qualifies for the full refund because of extenuating circumstances. I do understand that it is unfortunate that the two couldn’t make the trip. However, the point is that the guests cancelled the booking because they chose to stay in another place.

Had they decide to stay in my place and cancel, I would fully respect that. Logically, I should get to keep the cancellation fees.

Am I being irrational? I had months of long messages with Airbnb support and their supervisor, who then abruptly said the decision is final and closed the case without allowing me to ask for the reasoning for their decision. The responses were expectedly slow because of the situation.

What’s interesting is that in the conversation, I asked for the contact for someone beyond the support supervisor level and the supervisor said that there is no one above him/her and closed my case. I went on Twitter about it. They asked me to DM my case.

Within five minutes, I got a response saying that he “thoroughly reviewed” my case and that the decision is final. How can you thoroughly review a case in five minutes including coming up with a response? At this point, I am tempted to just send the CEO a tweet since he stresses that he love feedback.

Solution to Airbnb Guests Damaging Properties

To hosts or those who are thinking of opening their own Airbnb. I have been hosting for over three years with 67 properties, and had over 50,000 guests stay with me. I met many other hosts and the biggest issues they all run into are with negligent guests. In my units alone I have had over 10% (5,000) of my guests violate my house rules.

Airbnb is based on trust. A guest, AKA a stranger, is entering your home and you have no idea who they are or their intentions. When violations occur, you must be able to prove them, and Airbnb always sides with guests. How do you prove smell over the phone? It’s rare, but few times, I was able to prove that a guest violated my house rules, threw a party, and thanks for my live notification system – AKA neighbors – I was able to keep the $250 damage deposit, remove the guest, and reopen my calendar for new bookings. I realized that I just made $600 of a violation.

Three major common and costly issues I face on daily basis along with other hosts:

Indoor cigarette and marijuana smoking – causes smoke to get into the walls and ventilation making it hard to remove. This cost me cancellations or horrible guest reviews.

Theft – There is new scam going around. Airbnb guests used fake IDs to book my unit for three days, and while you are gone they list all your valuables on Craigslist, etc., and basically have a garage sale in your unit without you being aware. By the time my cleaners got to the room, the only thing that was left was the lock and forks. It cost me about $5K to replace everything and a $500 cancellation. Airbnb ignored the claim.

Parties – Some of our properties are in Florida, AKA party towns. We have guests who threw parties, smoked, drank, caused major damages to the furniture and walls, and destroyed neighbors’ pools… the list is long. Which again, cost me time and money and many police reports.

I figured out a way to fix these issues, using technology, by building it myself. I want to protect all 680,000 hosts, and that’s why I have built and developed a patented, smart smoke detector designed to protect and prove violations. It is federally illegal to tamper with, and has a built-in tamper-proof sensor. But it does so much more: it has a real-time notification system that monitors your guests for violations, from the moment the guest enters to the moment they leave.

It’s able to detect and notify live:

• Indoor Smoking (Cigarette and Marijuana Detection)

• Fire and Carbon Monoxide

• Unauthorized Guests

• Break Ins

• Theft

• Excessive noise levels

• Humidity level (Mold Detection)

• Air Quality

• Bluetooth and Z-Wave Compatible with Smart Locks and Security Systems

• Guest Check-In Notification

As as bonus, it also comes with a built-in Property Management System that syncs with Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and many others. This system is non invasive, has no cameras, and even mandatory in some cities. It’s plug and play, all you have to do is swap it with your existing smoke detector. I would love to hear your comments and questions.