On a snowy Christmas morning in the Rockies everyone was staying in a poorly maintained house we rented due to a malfunctioning alarm system that flashed lights without stopping on the first floor of the house after beeping without interruption for several hours Christmas Eve afternoon (a missing sensor on an exterior door would not allow us to turn off the system). Adding to this awful situation we were told we could not adjust the heat in the house, as it was remotely controlled by the owner in Boston. Cabinet doors were torn off of the cabinets. The house was very sparsely furnished and in very poor repair. A king bed was not properly put together; nails were used instead of screws and in the middle of all the chaos it broke and the mattress fell to the floor. There was a large stinking pile of garbage in the kitchen. The house had two doors to the outside, and two were broken and unusable. We had complained about all this to the property manager who said she contacted the owner. This turned out to be a lie. She was unresponsive and lied when she did respond. Faced with this charming situation, we packed and departed the house about 6:30 AM on Christmas morning in a snowstorm. The owner in Boston responded with a blanket denial of all issues. We are in the process of a well documented dispute with Airbnb.
I arrived at my rental in Cork, Ireland only to be told there was no running hot water in the kitchen and not to leave the heat on because if it ran out of gas and the hosts weren’t home we would have no heat. The only source of hot water in the kitchen was a kettle to boil water in. The house was three stories high so you had to go to at least the second story to wash your hands in warm water. I expressed concern to the host and got a hostile response; we left feeling threatened.
The host called me to ask why we left the keys. I again tried to explain, but he hung up on me. I called Airbnb and was told someone would call me back. No one did. I called the next day and was told someone would call me back… no one did. What Airbnb did do was cancel my reservation and refuse to issue a refund because according to them I didn’t convince the host to make the repairs on the spot. Repairs that would require plumbing and electrical work. Airbnb also said they don’t think not having hot water in the kitchen is a problem. Buried in the reviews of the house, I found another person who commented on the lack of hot water among other things. The response from the host was an announcement that no one uses the kitchen anyway. Since they were saving the planet, they didn’t think it was necessary.
They avoid responsibility for any problems and blame the guest instead. This is exactly what we experienced from the obnoxious young man with dreadlocks who showed us the place. I don’t use boiling water from a kettle to wash my hands or do dishes because boiling water burns and is a safety hazard. No heat in Ireland…. sure, that’s not a problem at all. Trying to work out problems in a rental with a very large and angry man behind two locked doors far from the street is not something I’m going to attempt. We had to scramble to find a hotel. Airbnb customer service is abysmal and their lack of concern for safety is a dealbreaker. I’ve had problems with them before but never anything like this. I’ll never use Airbnb again.