Birthday Ruined Because of Airbnb’s Latitude to Hosts

In the hopes of making my 35th birthday one to remember, I booked a top-floor penthouse in Atlanta, for July 8-10. That same day, I reached out to the host to confirm my reservation and ask him if there was any other information he felt I needed to know. He never replied. Red flag#1.

Considering he may have been busy, I didn’t press him for a reply. On July 8, my birthday and the day I reserved to check in, he finally sent me a message. However, his message wasn’t in response to my June 19 message; it was to inform me that I could no longer check-in at 3:00 PM, but instead, check-in was now 6:30 PM.

I asked him to explain the change, and he responded that “they” wouldn’t allow him to do so until 6:00 PM because of issues with the building. Red flag #2.

“What issues?” I asked.

He wouldn’t elaborate. I asked him if I would receive a discount since by having to check-in 3.5 hours later than I expected. I was missing a day on top of having a dinner reservation at 8:00 PM. He changed the subject and told me that his nightly rate had changed since I booked the penthouse. The price had gone up from $85 per night to $96 per night, plus there was now a $45 cleaning fee.

What got to me the most was his following statement. He told me that I could always cancel if I disagreed with his last-minute changes. So, after he told me that, I went to customer service about the unfortunate situation I had to deal with. I kid you not; customer service gave me the runaround for eight hours straight. Then, I would be transferred to someone who would better handle my situation, and that person wouldn’t answer.

Finally, around 8:00 PM, I spoke to someone and got a refund, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that my birthday was ruined because of this host’s inability to communicate. I tried to find another place to stay from the list of places emailed to me, but it was too late.

Airbnb Host Tries Bait and Switch Over Memorial Day Weekend

This is the letter I wrote to Airbnb about my experience:

I am writing to tell you about my horrible Airbnb experience in the hopes of getting some resolution. My family and I have used Airbnb several times and never had a bad experience before now. We are so devastated by what has happened to us that we will never use Airbnb or VRBO again.

I have reached out to customer service three times with no result. I get the impression that I am calling a call center in another country and that the people that are answering the phone are just telling me that my issue is being investigated with no result. I have reached out to the Better Business Bureau, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the Virginia Beach Housing Authority. I will be seeking the advice of my attorney. I have also discussed the situation with my bank’s fraud department and they are conducting their own investigation.

We booked a condo on May 13, 2021. We planned to take our 16-year-old daughter to Virginia Beach to see the beach, aquarium, and Norfolk Botanical Gardens. As we were leaving around 8:00 AM on May 28 I looked at the listing to see what the check-in procedure was and it said there was a lockbox. I messaged the host on the Airbnb app and she asked me to let her know when we were an hour away.

I messaged her again at noon to tell her we were an hour away. She said the house wasn’t ready and check in was at 3:00 PM. I told her no problem, I was just letting her know when we would be arriving in the area. Then she called my cell phone and said something about how she was waiting for a delivery but she would try to get the house ready for an early check in.

We arrived at the condo at 2:30 PM. We called the host and let her know. She sounded flustered and said that the toilets were broken at the condo and that she was waiting for a couch to be delivered. She told us she wanted us to stay at her other property, that it was brand new and we would be the first guests. She gave us the address. It was 15 minutes away.

When we arrived we were shocked and disturbed. The apartment was in an unsafe looking neighborhood in what looked like Section 8 housing. When we walked into the apartment it was hot, there were boxes of her personal belongings in the middle of the floor, the furniture was unplaced and still had tags on it. There was only one bed and only one bedroom was furnished. There was no TV.

She offered to blow up an air mattress for us. She said that she was waiting for a bed and mattress to be delivered. She called the delivery company and put them on speaker phone. They told her they didn’t know when they would arrive. She instructed us not to tell people that this was an Airbnb and to tell people that we were her friends. We told her that we were going to get a cold drink and called Airbnb and spoke to a young lady and told her what was going on. She said someone would email us.

We went back and told the host we were uncomfortable and asked her to cancel. She said she didn’t know how and suggested that we call and lie and say that we were cancelling due to COVID. At one point she handed me her phone and asked me to help her figure out how to cancel. When I cancelled the trip on her account it said that the trip had been referred to a support team. She then said that the toilets were fixed and that we could go back to the original condo if we wanted to. We didn’t believe her and didn’t feel safe interacting with her anymore.

We left and as it was a holiday weekend it took us two hours to find a hotel. I called Airbnb again that night and spoke to a young man who informed me that he may not be able to help me because we didn’t take pictures, but that he would try to help me. He said he would contact me with updates. I never heard from him again. I called and spoke to someone the next day and she said that she would investigate and update me. I have not heard from anyone.

I am a social worker in private practice and my husband is a mechanic. We cannot afford to lose $828. This has been an incredibly upsetting experience for us, particularly as the whole thing happened in front of our 16-year-old daughter. This trip was a treat for her as she has been cooped up in the house for a year doing online learning. I am appalled at the customer service I have received from Airbnb. I implore you to help us resolve this issue.

The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

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I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there were four rooms and a small bathroom. Each room was numbered on the door.

As I came to find out, the host, his wife, and three young daughters all live in the basement level of the apartment, when they are not all occupying the common areas with cooking or meals or remote learning. So I wouldn’t call them common areas — they are his family’s area and you can use them if you want though it seems to be frowned upon as I was the only guest that seemed to be using the dining room or den.

There was a girl living in one room who seemed to be a permanent resident as she had plants growing in her windowsill. She was never there and kept her dog locked up 20 hours a day. The dog barked and banged on the door viciously every time I went up or downstairs.

There was a backyard area but it was cumbersome to get to via a side gate and completely covered in dog feces. The lower patio area was strewn with kids’ tents, old rusty chairs and other debris. When I first arrived I brought poo bags but after seeing the crap covered yard and no one else making an effort (he has a dog too) I said, “why bother?”

I tried to make the best of it, but it was awkward as other guests were either not there most of the time, or hid in their rooms, taking meals in their rooms. They expect you to do your dishes right away, but of course being a family of five they leave the sink full quite often. You are provided your own mini fridge which is nice.

Another thing is you are always being watched on camera. There are cameras everywhere in the “common” areas on the main floor. I was really craving a soda which I don’t normally drink. I drank a Pepsi out of a 12 pack on top of another guest’s fridge, with the full intention of replacing it. I know probably shouldn’t have but hardly a cardinal sin.

Less than a minute later, the host came running up the stairs and started checking things. He obviously saw what happened, and was down in the basement spying on his guests. He finally brought it up and I said I was sorry. I bought the other guest a liter to replace the can and still she left a note on her fridge saying to “stay out of her stuff” Even though she herself had commandeered one of my tupperware containers.

I worked late sometimes doing Doordash and had to let my dogs out when I got home, sometimes at like 1:00, 2:00 AM or later. I started getting messages via the app that I was being too loud and waking him up outside of his hours. He works from home so he’s always there, watching. His poor kids are forced to live down in the small basement area in a single bedroom. I only know the layout of the basement level because he allowed me to do laundry once with very restricted hours because his washer and dryer are also down there. When I saw it, it was in complete squalor: dirty blankets and dishes.

Like I said, I tried to make the best of it and be a good guest. Then the real trouble started. I need to mention that I was in the hospital in Texas for two weeks prior to returning to Colorado and had emergency knee surgery due to certain complications. I discussed some of the details with the host in casual conversation at about day 20. He then began asking me questions about whether I still had an “active infection” and telling me to wash my hands.

Apparently he suddenly became very concerned; it became very awkward quickly. Soon thereafter I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was completely bedridden for the next two days. I was in a lot of pain, and when I hobbled to the bathroom or to take my dogs down to potty, I’m sure made a lot of noise. One time when I was stumbling around the kitchen at night trying to make some food I heard him yell from the basement “you’re making too much noise.” No offer to help — both he and his wife were aware of my condition and just watched me suffer.

I will say in all fairness the hosts did take my dogs out for me like three times, once brought me water, and she bright me an ice pack. On Christmas Eve I got an appointment to see the doctor on short notice for a cancellation. I had less than 90 minutes to get there. I asked the hosts if they could take me to the doctor for like $10, and they said they were busy. I tried to get ready as best I could and struggled to take a bath and get dressed.

I hobbled to my car with no help and tried to make it in time. I didn’t make it. I was really upset. I then got my Christmas dinner from Boston Market and ate alone in my car at the park. When I got home that night there was no close parking by the house. My ankle was throbbing, my wrists tired from using the crutches. I just wanted to get to bed.

I parked behind his SUV and sent him a text letting him know the situation. Very coldly he texted back he needed to be able to move his vehicle “at any moment.” I asked if maybe he could park my car up the street I got no response.

I woke up Christmas Day. My foot was somewhat better, and I managed to make it to the grocery store. I used the handicapped cart to get my groceries which was embarrassing. I came home, put my groceries away, and was not in a great mood. I told the host something to the effect that, well in 100 years we’ll all be dead and no one will remember this anyway. She very sarcastically said “well have a wonderful day” and went down to the basement.

About 30 minutes later I got a call from Airbnb stating very matter of factly that I had violated the terms of service and my reservation had been cancelled. Dumbfounded, I asked what that meant. They told me I needed to leave to property immediately. I tried to talk to the host, but it became quickly obvious this was a premeditated decision to get rid of me, with my busted ankle on Christmas Day.

I had to pack all my things. The host carried my bags down and I loaded up my car. Airbnb did put me in a hotel last night, for one night, but I was unable to book anything else due to the ongoing “investigation.” I used my mother’s credit card to book the room so the refund is going to her card and will not do me any good. I am currently broke as I hadn’t worked and literally spent my last $25 on groceries an hour before I was tossed to the curb.

I am writing this from my hotel bed. My ankle is bruised and swollen still, I’m hobbling along the best I can with no help and all the walking and moving from yesterday has not helped my condition. I am currently 50 minutes from being homeless, as checkout is at noon. I have $3 in my account and as of now cannot book another Airbnb using my mother’s card. Being this close to New Years there are ever decreasing options every time I look. If they decide to ban me, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Long story short, do not ever, ever stay at this house in Colorado Springs, lest you meet a similar fate.

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Thanksgiving Not Happening at This Airbnb

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I’m grateful to find this site to post on and I hope that it is read and saves others from being put in an unsafe environment.

I made my reservation in Austin, Texas for my family to spend Thanksgiving together. The host’s home sleeps 16, has a pool, and is in walking distance to great restaurants and shops downtown. He just left out that the home is surrounded by homeless people, tents, trash and the walk might be one of a life time. This is devastating to see and a horrible situation for many reasons. I don’t think it’s right be able to have an Airbnb surrounded by this issue without stating it somehow.

I recently moved to Austin and was going to be downtown. I was excited to look up the address disclosed after I reserved it, to check it out. When I was getting close I’m not sure if my eyes or mouth were opened bigger from the shock of what I was going into. The pictures were taken in the daytime (couldn’t imagine it at night) I also felt horrible taking these pictures; they aren’t great because I was driving by but explain why I cancelled with no refund.

The host kept $1,000 with over three months’ notice for canceling because I didn’t want my family to be uncomfortable and be safe surrounded by the homeless situation. All I could think about was my nieces and nephews and putting them in such a devastating environment for the holidays. Great way to introduce them to my new hometown Austin so they look forward to visiting Aunt Angela never again.

Airbnb Allows Fraudulent Host to Rent out Property

I had the pleasure of dealing with Airbnb; what a horrible business. I will never use them or suggest anything but staying away from them. I had hired a property manager who did not manage the property and basically disappeared: no communication, the cleaners did not know when to clean, and I was scheduling myself out of desperation during Christmas.

I could see three reservations that were on the calendar for after Christmas and New Year’s. Finally I got a text from the manager to enter information for a co-host on Airbnb so I could see the reservation information. That was the last communication I got. The guest came and went, damage was done, submitted pictures to her… crickets.

I called Airbnb as no money had been deposited into my account. They said I wasn’t the host so I couldn’t input the bank information. I sent the bank information to the manager… crickets. I called Airbnb; they assured me I would be paid, so I let the next guest stay… no money.

Finally after five more phone calls, I cancelled the last reservations. Airbnb didn’t care that the guests’ vacations would be ruined, not their concern. That’s why you shouldn’t do business with these people. They refused to provide me any way to get my money except to confront the person… unbelievable. If I could sue them I would. They are worse then any criminals I have ever dealt with.

Living Beneath an Airbnb for Three Long Years Sucks

We live beneath an Airbnb in our condo building. While some of the guests are actually okay, the ones that are not ruin it. After almost four years I have had enough. The owner of the condo lives in a totally different city and is never there, so they don’t have to put up with the parties, the toddlers running laps for hours on end, and who the hell knows what else is going up there.

Does anyone have any tips on how to handle this crap? I have gone up, banged on doors and told them to keep the noise down, and put notes on the outside of the door so that not only they see them, but everyone on that floor knows what’s going on. I’ve texted the owner and her reply is “call the cops.” I’ve just looked on Airbnb and she is booked up for December, so Christmas hell is just beginning.

Watching the Boston Marathon… from Salem?

In October of 2018, I booked an apartment in Cambridge for the weekend of the Boston Marathon in April of 2019. As I was preparing to fly to Boston, I realized that I had not heard from my host. I sent an email and then a text message the next day.

On April 11th, before I was to fly to Boston on the 12th, I unearthed a telephone number for Airbnb, called and asked for help. They contacted the host and told me that the listing had been withdrawn. I was in total freakout. They gave me a $60 credit to help find another listing.

Seriously? Everything in Boston had been booked for weeks or months. I posted something on the Airbnb Facebook page and their customer service was calling me with new listings and higher credits. Well, all of the listings were for “Boston” but were actually in towns like Salem, miles away from public transit and Boston proper. It was like planning to stay in NYC and being offered lodging in Connecticut.

Finally, one of the reps who called got it: that location was critical and that Boston lodging had been booked for months. I was lucky enough to stay with the daughter of a friend of a friend. I will never again use Airbnb when I have to have guaranteed lodging.

Airbnb Already Ruined Christmas, Waiting for Payout

I spent a lot of money redecorating a room in my home to have a new listing. A guest rented my place under false pretenses. I had to ask Airbnb to move them. When I did, I had the right to kick them out and keep the money but I did not.

I told Airbnb the woman could keep her next two future payments for the month of December and part of January. So, the agreement was that she would move out on November 30th and we would be done with each other. The last payment I received was on October 29th for the month of November. After all of this was arranged and decided in early November, I moved on.

December rolled around and two charges totaling nearly 1400 were removed from my payout. It said they were for “adjustments”. This happened late in the evening of the 23rd/early morning of the 24th/Christmas Eve. I had three guests at the time but for some reason the payment was late and not in full. I only received $136 for three guests?

I still had presents to pick up and had to travel out of state. I was depending on those funds to get me through the end of the month. I contacted Airbnb and they said the removal of funds was for the woman who moved out on November 30th.

I spent my Christmas Eve contacting family to help me financially to get to my destination and pick up the rest of my gifts – humiliating to say the least. I spend hours on the phone with Airbnb, and twice was told I would get called back immediately because they agreed with me, but only a supervisor could return the funds. Each time I did not get called back.

On Christmas Day I was contacted by Airbnb. A guest in my home had complaints and wanted to cancel and leave. He also wanted to talk to me in person. I then had to travel back home to NYC on Christmas Day to handle it.

Dealing with this literally ruined my holiday. I spent hours on the phone being put on hold and transferred instead of spending times with the kids. I had to leave the festivities and go home, only to have the guest tell me he was leaving because there was now room in his friend’s hotel. This is after him requesting the three most expensive nights of the year in NYC at a discount and after demanding I return home from out of state, to tell me he is leaving because he doesn’t want to pay.

The Airbnb supervisor told me they would fix the situation and call me in a few days. They were clearly working on Christmas, but made no attempt to fix the situation. A few days later they did not call during our scheduled time. I then spent over an hour on hold and then an hour and a half on the phone with people getting redirected.

I got another guy on the phone who agreed I should not have had the 1400 removed because I never received money for December and January from the woman. I have contacted Airbnb through Facebook and sent them all of my information twice. I have phoned people every other day. I have written within their app to customer service. Every single time they say they are still investigating. It is now 21 days later and they have admitted several times I am right but they claim to be investigating further and have not paid me out.

This is not the first time Airbnb has made “adjustments” and removed money from a listing for a previous one. I have also had guests come and ruin furniture, linens, and property only to receive nothing for damages in return. I provided photographic proof of a guest who wrote in sharpie on my walls, furniture and bed spreads. The same guest also caused a flood and damage to the basement apartment that are yet to be fixed.

I filed two complaints with Airbnb, provided proof, and they did not bother to contact me. Because of all this, I am constantly earning hand to mouth with Airbnb. At this rate, I am not really making a profit because I have not made back the money from fixing up the room and I have not made back the money from all the damage a guest caused in the other. Airbnb takes security deposits but what do they do with them?

Can Misogynist Feedback Be Deleted?

I am an Italian host. You might wonder why I an not reaching out the Italian Airbnb website. I tried but I wasn’t very lucky. I am reaching to the US Airbnb site for two reasons: I have lived for some time in the US and there I got to know the US culture better. And so (second reason) I know people there take discrimination and bias seriously. Honestly after the #metoo movement and all its consequences I would expect some awareness here in Italy too, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case.

I had a problem with a guest who came to my place for New Year’s Eve. Since I was away for those days I thought it would have been nice to let someone get the chance to stay in my place and, at the same time, get a little extra money. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out as expected. I was unlucky to host a guest who had never used Airbnb before, expected my house to be a hotel, and expected me to be the hotel manager.

When he booked I asked him an approximate check in time. He didn’t answer for ten days and the night before check in he told me that since he already paid for the whole sojourn, he would expect me to be at his complete disposal. As I said, it was New Year’s Eve so I had plans with some friends. I told him that if he would have answered before I would have time to arrange a proper check in.

Anyway I did my best and told him my mum’s address to get the key. He did the check in alone. I left some post-its with important stuff and told him that for any questions he could Whatsapp me. Usually when I check someone in I give more details about where some helpful stuff is but I thought that since he would be staying just a few days we could just communicate via phone.

I checked on him a few times and he always said that everything was okay. He even asked me for the wifi password which is written in the house rules, proving that he had no idea how Airbnb works: he never even read my house rules.

After check out I got a surprise: some misogynist private feedback and a terrible public review. For example, he complained that there wasn’t enough toilet paper and no Schuko adapter but both were in the house. Why hadn’t he asked me for supplies? Just so he could write there weren’t any.

On the one hand I believe some people should just keep booking hotels and, as you can imagine, it is frustrating to deal with people that are not informed to be in the Airbnb community. If things would have been like this I could have let it go, but I am deeply concerned about the direction this world is going. Since I do not like it, I have sworn to myself to always try my best to make this world a better place.

This implies that I cannot let any sort of sexist comment go that attacks based on gender. In the private feedback, this guest insulted me because on my fridge I have a little plate saying “rompicoglioni della vagina!” which was given to me during a theater show of the vagina monologues (a very important show that started off Broadway and initialized the v-day movement).

He complained about the fact that I had my vagina ring (closed in its box of course) in the fridge: the vagina ring is medicinal for me and has to be in the fridge (between 2 to 6 Celsius degree) to be effective. I was told to put it in there by a gynecologist.

Last but not least, I had two used pads in the rubbish bin and of course he complained, claiming my house was dirty. In Reggio Emilia, both the recycling and generic waste (where the pads where) are collected door to door once a week; I really had no other options.

In conclusion, I feel like I am paying with my reputation, the fact that I am a feminist woman. This is wrong and should be stopped by whoever has the power to set a good example, Airbnb. Moreover, I wonder if there are any grounds to sue. Any help would be appreciated.

Airbnb Didn’t Exercise the Host Insurance Policy

We had a bad experience with our Airbnb case manager. Our Airbnb guest used an iron on the sofa bed and burned it. We contacted the guest, and they denied causing the damage. They said they didn’t do it. We contacted Airbnb to exercise the host insurance policy. Airbnb asked for some documents like an “invoice or offer of the repair, age of the damaged item, photos, etc.”

We provided all the information. After a few days, they asked for a “repair offer letter” showing the stamp of the company. It was Ramadan season in Turkey, and I told them that, during Ramadan, documents are always delayed. 31 days after the damage occurred, I received the letter and forwarded it to Airbnb team. They said, according to the policy, all documents should be received within 30 days. I told them I sent them everything they needed, and the only thing delayed was a “stamp on an already sent letter”.

They didn’t accept it. They didn’t pay for the damage. I sent them the letter before the 30th day, and this was the only additional document they asked for. I even told them about the delay in advance, and they ignored it.