I wish I would have read this before reserving!

Wow! I paid for a full month and was going to spend three months with a host on air Bnb.  When my daughter and I arrived, the place was freezing even with the fireplace going. This is in 38 degree weather! My daughter and I could not even take our jackets off! Plus the place was grossly misrepresented in the pictures! I told the host and told him we could not live in that environment. I was still charged for three days, cleaning and a service fee totaling $500!  Then I was told that usually the whole amount is kept!

I couldn’t even post a review! You only see the good reviews! Bastards! Fakes!

The place is in Phoenicia NY.

Read this BEFORE you pay on Airbnb!

I was looking for accommodation via Airbnb so I completed all the verification steps as requested including email verification as well as mobile phone verification, I then got the ”pay now” message, and I paid.  I then was allowed to book a place and I have done so. Then AFTER I booked the place and AFTER I paid for the place, surprisingly I got a ”just one more” verification process is required, a Drivers Licence – message. I followed instructions, tried to upload a pic of my Drivers Licence but couldn’t, I tried (as per instructions on the screen) to place in front of the Web cam and again could not do so – for four (4) hours. So basically I lost my money.

I googled the review section of Airbnb and looks like losing money and time and being ”transferred” to another agent/department and other horror stories from Airbnb is common. With me it is only money gone to the garbage bin, oh and half a day attempting to upload a picture of the Driver’s Licence.  I am not against the DL verification, I am against asking for it AFTER the payment is done – this is where I lost my money, if the verification request had been BEFORE the payment, I would never have paid – oh and there is nobody to talk to, nobody to contact.  Smart Airbnb, tricked me into this sh@#t/  So after posting this, they suddenly got back to me with ”regarding your offline ID, our system was unable to accept it because the image you uploaded was a mirror image of the ID” Well, first of all you are missing my point, why the payment was made BEFORE completion of the verification process, payment should be the very LAST thing to do. Hasn’t your Web Master heard the term ”process flow”??  Deliberately and intentionally placing additional processes and verifications especially those that not possible to fulfill AFTER payment is done clearly indicates to me that those verification steps are there to avoid providing the services – just grab the money and run. So I was robed inside my own house in broad day light!

In regard to the process itself, well the web message was to ”place the ID in FRONT of the web cam” – and you DELIBERATELY asked me to create a mirror image – which your web ”can’t read” – in one word it’s called a ”scam”! There was NO mention or error displayed at the time stating that the problem was ”MIRROR” imaging, the only message coming up was to place the Drivers Licence in front of the Web Cam and take a shot – which I did for 4 hours continuously. SCAM SCAM SCAM!

I don’t think the Australian Government should permit this sort of Internet Scam to operate and a draft letter to key parliament members is now finished and is about to be sent – I will be requesting to outlaw Airbnb – DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS WITH AIRBNB – THEY COULD BE FORCED TO CLOSE ANY TIME NOW!!!!!!

Drunk Guest Scares Female Host -No Support from Airbnb!

The night before carnival, I was supposed to host a guest from New Zealand. On the photo he seemed friendly and well-traveled but he didn’t have any sense of direction and ended up in different parts of town even though I always give very precise directions from the airport and the main station to my guests. So he started sending me messages saying he’s upset, confused and lost, and that I should pick him up. By that time it was around 10 pm. As a solo-female host I did not consider this a serious option for security reasons and I told him to take a taxi. He also called me several times and spoke to me very unclearly and sounded a bit aggressive in his voice.
Luckily I was with an English friend who also listened to the guest’s tone of voice, his mumbling words and confirmed that the guest must have been drunk or on drugs to speak that way. When he made me talk to a German bartender, I told her that I felt uncomfortable hosting this guest and asked her if my reservations had any grounds or not. She confirmed and said she would not host him! So I cancelled the reservation on the airbnb site, on the phone with airbnb, and then as demanded by airbnb, in a descriptive email. This took several hours.

The next day I got an email from airbnb saying that they were not going to “punish” me this time and that they of course cannot pay me for this booking. To the second part, I can agree even if this guest caused quite a bit of trouble for me, to the first part, however, I don’t agree at all and would expect a different reaction than that!

So now I’m hesitant about future bookings through airbnb because I feel unsafe and abandoned if something bad happens!

Another Bad Airbnb Experience… 2 for 2

After confirming my reservation for a house in New Jersey through Airbnb, the host said she “Is not current on updating her website”, and double booked the home she rents. Airbnb took the $560.00 from my Amex after the host canceled my reservation. I had to dispute it with Amex because Airbnb takes five days to refund money they should never have received in the first place. This is my second time dealing with Airbnb and my last. The first was just as bad. They are dishonest and impossible to contact. Stay away from this company! If you have a problem, report them to the BBB, Consumer Affairs, and the FCC….I am.

Airbnb is a nightmare when something goes wrong!

Being a host on Airbnb since 2013 with 4 houses (I have only received 2 confirmed bookings via Airbnb since I started – all my other bookings have come from other sites that look much more sufficient, honest and effective), I unluckily went on to book a flat in Paris for a month through airbnb. After a very long search around the site I managed to book a property and fully paid for it in one go as was the owner’s policy. This was done in early October for a check in on the 19th of December 2015. One day later the host came back to me asking for more money (137 eur) with the excuse that she had not considered the Airbnb commission. I refused to pay extra money so the host threatened me with a cancellation of my booking. I didn’t really believe her (it was a young girl from Morocco who apparently had not a clue of respecting my trust) – being a host myself, I have never cancelled any booking from my side. I was surprised to receive the host’s cancellation 2 days later! Airbnb hastenned to propose me other apartments more expensive and promised me a bonus of 49 eur on my behalf. I finally booked another property which cost me an extra 88 eur charged on my c.c plus the 49 eur of the bonus. You will not believe what happens since then! I receive every single week (since october 2015 and till now) an e-mail from AIRBNB that I owe them 49 eur and this is under the reference of the cancelled reservation by the host. I have sent them copies of the invoices paid with 0 balance due again and again explaining the facts to them and asking them why they keep on annoying me, but no reply from them! They keep on sending me this stupid outstanding bill and I have found no way to stop them. I had to change my c.c used by them as I am afraid that they would charge me and now they send me messaging “problem with payment” all the time! I have searched everywhere to find a real telephone number to call them from Greece but I got one in USA which will cost me a fortune. After so much trouble faced being a guest, I seriously think I will also stop collaborating with them as a host – I really feel pity for AIRBNB guests trying to deal with it. Also, the host who cancelled my reservation does not have the automatic review mentioning the cancellation – normally this should appear at the host’s profile reviews, no?  How else will future guests know what this host did?

Terrible Airbnb Experience

I think www.airbnb.com is full of property owners who try to make money without paying tax, it is all a scam, or else plenty are breaking rules to sublet their properties. My experience with ww.airbnb.com in Lima was awful.

The first time I stayed at a, Airbnb property in LA, it was wonderful. The host was nice, the property was first class. So, I thought I will do it again when I visited Lima. I actually stayed in the new Lima Hilton Miraflores for the first 2 nights, after travelling through different places in Peru, my other half booked a property in Miraflores, thinking the best way to learn about a country is by living like the local.

Boy did we make a mistake? The property was not big, but it has 3 bedrooms, one double room facing the main street and two twin-bedded room at the back. There are only two of us. The rate was US$110 each night. We walked in, it looked fine. Barely 5 minutes later, the owner’s estate friend rang the doorbell. I only noticed later on that there is a CCTV looking gaget next to the door, though I am not sure it is for show or it is used to monitor house guests. This person does not speak English or French, only Spanish. I noticed that it was quite cool and damp in the place, so I asked for a heater. That is when the trouble starts. The owner was contacted, first she said it is a health and safety concern, then she said she will ask her friend to look for one, but then no one ever come back with one. One has to understand, even though it says 18 degree C, which is 64 F, it could still be chilly, because of the humidities in this country. While we are back and forth by email trying to resolve this issue. The owner sent an email to the www.airbnb.com’s customer service, and sent us a reply saying that heating was not one of the amenities. I was shocked, hot water and bedding are not listed as amenities, but do vacation rental provide them? Because it is such simple run of the mill things travellers expected. So we ended up sleeping in long sleeve T shirts, 5 layers of blankets, because her place does not have any thick blankets.

Then there was not enough hot water to run for a hot bath, there is enough hot water only to run for a luke warm bath. I notified the owner, but nothing was done.

www.airbnb.com’s customer service is despicable, there was no more reply.

A House Manual was only emailed to the house guests after one booked the place, i.e. after you have paid for your accommodation. This particular owner is on the unreasonable side, there are so many rules, and she emphasizes that they have to be followed — Am I living in a boarding school?? Then another ridiculas one is that one person can only do 1 laundry each week!!

Our of the 3 bedrooms, the one with the double bed next to the balcony at the front is very noisy, you can hear all the cars honking and nearby hostels and restaurants’ people coming out late at night…….

I will NEVER USE www.airbnb.com again!

Beware, since all guests are pre-paid, it is unlikely you can back out once you paid. Plus www.airbnb.com was not helpful in resolving issue.

Tropical cozy villa was a tropical cozy dump

The only good thing about this villa is its location (provided you like noise and feeling unsafe given it’s located down a dark alley with no security).
I booked Villa Rumah Damai for the month of July, having had a number of emails back and forth with the owner’s wife on the Airbnb website. After the owner assured me that it was an ‘amazing’ villa to take my toddler and confirming that aside from a staircase and stairs to the pool that it was ‘family friendly’, the beautiful photos of the villa had me sold so I stupidly paid the owners directly – as per their suggestion – therefore losing any (non-existent) rights I would’ve had on Airbnb(no doubt a ploy used by the owners to ensure they can keep your money no matter what).
Upon moving into the villa after the villa manager was an hour late collecting us (leaving us waiting in the humidity with no contact or explanation) it was evident just how old the villa was. I was shown around and everything in the website photos that appears ‘white’ – linen, mosquito nets, day bed etc – is actually a dull, dusty grey. The photos are incredibly deceptive, so don’t be fooled! It soon became VERY clear that the owners keep this villa in a state so it’s barely rentable and that’s it. The kitchen tap wasn’t just dripping, it was streaming water. A number of light bulbs were blown. The fridge freezer was frozen over. The lock on the upstairs bedroom broken (and I specifically asked about lockable bedrooms PRIOR to booking the villa of which I was assured that “all bedrooms have lockable doors”). There was no advertised wifi (told by the villa manager to ‘use next door’s’ which involved standing in a corner, holding phones up to the ceiling). The toaster was DOA and the kettle looked circa 1974 given the build up of calcium inside and the foul, floaty white particles in the consequent boiled water. The real kicker occurred after a night of rain when the pool flooded and filled with dirt. This wouldn’t have been a problem if the pool filter was working, but of course, it too was broken. The pool was unusable for 6 days with maintenance people appearing in the backyard at all hours (they had been given a key without my knowledge and appeared one morning, banging around at 07:30!) coming to ‘look’ at the pool. And more often than not, that’s exactly what they did. They would ‘look’ at the pool and then leave. Honestly, this villa was a disaster. I sent ‘nice’ text messages to the villa manager outlining what needed to be fixed (after 4 days of darkness in the upstairs bathroom due to no lightbulbs, I went out and bought lightbulbs myself) then escalated it to emails to the owner’s wife who was – conveniently – traveling. I booked the villa for 28 nights, but after just 12 nights of disruption (maintenance people coming and going, villa manager coming and going, us being asked to be there to let the internet people in, the villa being a filthy, dysfunctional dump etc) disappointment and despair overtook the situation (not to mention having a pool we could not use and no internet) I simply had to move out. Oops, I neglected to mention the giant knife left outside my bedroom door where I was sleeping alone with my 18-month old toddler – of course I freaked out when I found it the next morning given it wasn’t there the night before, but the useless nanny confessed that she left the knife there for the gardener!!! Seriously, what kind of nanny leaves a giant knife where a toddler can get it? Then we discovered the final insult. $320 had been stolen out from under our noses. I personally had IDR 2,200,000 stolen from the safe in the downstairs bedroom and my friend another US$100 from her bag in the upstairs bedroom. Both thefts occurred when we were in the villa and it was being cleaned. We – I had a friend over from Australia visiting us – waited until bank statements and money exchange receipts had been checked before we made such serious accusations, and when we were absolutely sure we’d been robbed, we informed the owner via email. In the email I stated that given the top bedroom had a broken lock, the owners were liable for the theft, to which I received the reply: “I’m afraid the lost [sic] of your money caused by broken lock isn’t relevant either. You mentioned yourself that it happened when the cleaning is being done — meaning the room has to be unlocked, correct? So I don’t see the correlation between two” . This pretty much sums up the attitude of the owners. Out to make a quick buck. I also went to the Balinese police to lodge a report, however, in true Bali style, when everything was said and done, the police were asking more in bribes that we’d actually had stolen!
I had noticed when providing the nanny/cook with money for groceries (she was thrown into the rental deal for free, not that we ever wanted her), that small amounts – $5 here, $2 there – would be unaccounted for in receipts, and I paid the villa manager IDR 60,000 to purchase an Indonesian SIM card for me. When I didn’t return the SIM card with the phone handset she’d lent me – after all, I’d purchased the SIM so it was mine – she slipped up and asked for the SIM, telling me that it was a SIM she’d had for years and lends to all her guests. All these little amounts of money added up and no matter If it’s one dollar or the three-hundred and twenty dollars, it’s NOT their money to take. I have the right to give MY money to whom I choose.
I informed the owner’s wife that I would be leaving the villa 16 nights early based on all the reasons above – stressing the point that the ‘broken’ pool was completely unacceptable given that every time it rained, it became unusable plus reiterating all the other faults and flaws with the dump-of-a-villa – and requested a refund for the nights we did not stay there. The owner’s wife then proceeded to direct me to the cancellation policy of the Airbnb website that I DID NOT book through! So, they kept my money for the nights we did not stay and sent ridiculous emails with ridiculous explanations as to why it was so poorly maintained, going as far as to tell me that my expectations were too high and that I should be grateful for the great monthly rate they gave me ($4,000, originally advertised as $2,500 but they conveniently did a ‘bait-and-switch’ scam on me) So, I ended up having to rent another villa as I had more friends flying out from Australia and this meant I was paying double rent for 16 nights. Not. Happy. About. That.
When I left Indonesia, I sent a pleasant email to Airbnb telling them all that had happened. I admitted that I had been foolish to pay the owners directly, I said that I understood and accept that all my rights in regard to payment/refund were null and void given I had paid the owners directly, I clearly stated that I was not ‘after them’ for a refund, but that I simply wanted them to consider the facts:
– that the villa is an old dump and nothing like the photos they use to advertise it (deception on the host’s part)
– that they are using the Airbnb website to attract business but then taking transactions off of the site (highlighting the fact that Airbnb lose their 18% commission on bookings)
– that they ‘bait-and switch’ by luring renters in with a cheaper rental rate than they actually charge
And all the twit ‘Helen’ on the Airbnb team could focus on was the fact that I (stupidly) took the payment transaction off the Airbnb site:
“Unfortunately the reservation was taken off-site. This is not allowed per our Terms of Service. We can not do anything about payments not made through our secured payment system”
I kept replying and reiterating that I knew they couldn’t do anything about the lost payment and that they should remove the listing given it’s nothing like what is promised on the listing, they (Airbnb) are losing money in commissions/fees via these hosts as they make people pay offline and the hosts are ‘baiting-and-switching’ rental prices. No response from these Airbnb idiots. Oh, but they managed to send through a questionnaire on their ‘service. Ha. What a joke. Just like Airbnb is a joke. Honestly people, DO NOT USE Airbnb. Pay the extra to a property management company/agent who actually has to work for their commission/fees.


-Editor’s Note: The story above was written about this airbnb listing www.airbnb.com/rooms/1025330.  Thank you for sharing your experience!