Host Robs Customers and is Supported by Airbnb

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I checked into a condo in downtown Aspen, where you would anticipate a nice stay if you have even half a brain. I checked in to see the condo had a tiny mini fridge and for some reason a giant ice box freezer on the floor. The freezer portion of the fridge was completely frosted over. The fridge continued to freeze all of my groceries so I contacted the host asking for help.

The host dismissed me and told me they’ve had other guests with no complaints. Apparently appliances only break on their perceived timelines. After two days of trying to get help from the host, I reached out to Airbnb. This was too late since I didn’t contact them within 24 hours. They suggested I check out and request a partial refund. I checked out well before check out time so the host could have rebooked if they would have liked. The host assured me they would give me a refund for the nights the condo was booked by new guests (as shown in their message attached).

The host laughed at me, made fun of me, called me names and berated me for days. No refund was issued. Airbnb told me there was nothing they could do even though the host assured I was due a refund. During a conversation with an Airbnb support ambassador, I explained what happened and asked them if they would be okay with paying someone $2,000 when there was no working refrigerator and they checked out only after a couple of days of a weeklong stay. They respond that would absolutely not be okay and my request was reasonable.

Airbnb staff agreed this was unacceptable only to then state that Airbnb would not do anything to help. I’ve never experienced customer service like this and hope people are aware of how Airbnb treats paying customers.

Roach Hell at Scorching Airbnb in Utah

I originally booked with this hostess for two weeks for a ballet summer intensive. My wife and I have booked with Airbnb before with no problems.

It first started when we approached the door. She told us to go through the purple door with a keypad, so I approached it. She yelled at us saying it was the wrong door (she has two purple doors, on the same porch, both with keypads). Then she let us in. I apologized for my mistake and introduced my wife and myself.

Then hell began. When we got to the room, we were exhausted so we fell asleep. As I did, I saw our first live roach come from out under the wall. During the night, the hostess turned off the AC. Even though she advertised her property as having central cooling, she doesn’t use it.

My wife threw up from heat exhaustion. We worked with Airbnb and the hostess and what she recommended was a small portable unit, but the door to our bedroom and bathroom had to be kept open. As we installed it, she told me my wife “looked like she would beat her up.” I’m not sure what my wife could’ve done besides being a woman of color who is queer. We laughed about it. Not much you can do about “small comments.”

Once it cooled down in the room, we left to get dinner. The hostess turned off our AC unit, which we wanted to run for an hour while out because it was July in Utah and it had been off. I asked her repeatedly about the rules with the AC, but she never told me a limit or her wants. Just kept turning it off when she knew we left.

The third night, around 8:00 PM, we were greeted by roaches. Eight total throughout the night, one baby the next morning. We sent in evidence to Airbnb, including videos, of finding the roaches under the bed. Airbnb cancelled the rest of our stay and refunded us for the nights we didn’t stay.

I’m not sure I can provide evidence for this, but my wife thinks we were being watched with cameras. She works in security and tech and feels as if we stayed we would’ve seen the hostess was watching us.

In addition to the roaches, a strange man came into the house, got something out of the kitchen (which we were told we could use in the listing but turns out we couldn’t) and left. He didn’t announce himself or say who he was. We met the other guest and she did not have a male friend with her.

After all of this, the hostess left me a bad review as a guest blaming the roaches on us leaving food out and our “dirtiness” (we didn’t). She insisted the other guests hadn’t seen any roaches.

I caution any guest wanting to reserve here. She’s dangerous but had good reviews and was a great gas lighter. I could tell in the process this wasn’t the first time she treated a guest like this. She was smart enough to not get texts or messages — always insisted we talk on the phone or in person, but claimed we were “unsafe” and she was the victim. Because I insisted on messaging.

It’s not her first time manipulating a guest and I fear this will happen to others. I hope there are not cameras inside the room… especially for people who fit demographics similar to my wife and I. I was fine with the roaches and it being cancelled but being told it was my fault and that my wife seemed aggressive… I can tell she has done this before.

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Not so Charming Airbnb Bungalow Disaster

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Let me start by saying I had been a Superhost for two years when this incident happened. I had never been given a bad review, either from guests or from the hosts of places I’ve stayed in over the years. I am neat to a fault, and take pride in leaving a place in better shape than when I arrived. I even make the beds before check out at hotels and straighten the towels. Excessive, yes, but that’s who I am.

A few months ago I traveled to LA to meet up with a best friend who came down from San Francisco for the week. I had booked a bungalow in West Hollywood that looked cute and clean in the photos. Unfortunately, I didn’t look at the reviews at this time and there were a few that talked about the shortcomings of this property, always with a snide response from the owner.

The owner and his property manager seemed attentive at first. When we arrived we realized there were no hand towels or washcloths in the bathroom, so I walked over to Target and bought some. When I told the property manager, he was apologetic and offered to reimburse us. I told him it wasn’t necessary and not a big deal.

The beds seemed clean and comfortable and there was air conditioning, though the window units and their filters were caked with dust and rattled. I removed the filters and washed them to improve the functionality of the AC, as the units were old and struggling. Still, this seemed reasonable and we were fine with the place.

A few days in, my friend went to take the trash out to the bins in the front yard/courtyard. She realized that all the giant-sized garbage cans were full, as well as the recycle bins, and a few were overflowing with pizza boxes on top.

At this point we realized we had a problem because we couldn’t take our garbage out. Again, I reached out to the property manager (at this point the owner had stopped responding to any emails or texts) and explained to him the issue. He was apologetic and said he would contact the housekeepers.

When we heard back from the property manager, he claimed that the owner was out of the country and unreachable — is that even a thing these days? — and that he was out of town on business. The housekeepers were too busy to come take care of the garbage, so there was nothing he could do. We put our garbage next to the bin at his approval.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed cooking and had stocked up at the grocery store. We soon realized that there were no food storage containers in the apartment, so we would put our leftovers into bowls with saran wrap or a plate on top (this will come in to play later). There were several important kitchen items missing (too many to name), which was inconvenient but we dealt with it.

As one of the other reviews said, the dryer was being held together with tape and it took effort to close it just right so it would work. At least half the lights in the apartment had burnt out bulbs; we were both trying to work during the week, so that was difficult. There was no caulking in the shower (which will also come into play later). Still, we were willing to stay and make the best of it.

As you can imagine, the day after we left our garbage next to the bin outside we discovered that a critter had gotten into it. My friend let me know and I went outside to check it out. At this point we were losing patience, and it was also becoming very uncomfortable. I came back inside to talk with her about the garbage situation, and looked down to see a cockroach the size of a lighter on the floor. It was broad daylight.

Well, that was it. We only had two nights left on our reservation but I couldn’t imagine going to sleep knowing that the place was infested with cockroaches (apparently if cockroaches come out of the walls in broad daylight it is indicative of a much bigger infestation within the walls and floors). The research I did told me that where there’s moisture, there are cockroaches. Cut back to the uncaulked shower. My guess is that the bathroom walls and floors were full of moisture.

Whatever the reason, we were ready to go, so we got to work preparing the place to leave. We read and reread the guidelines and did everything on their list. Remember how I said there were no food storage containers? Well, there were several dishes in the refrigerator holding our leftovers. Ordinarily we could put the leftovers in the trash and put the dishes in the dishwasher, but we couldn’t take the trash out.

This posed a problem so I reached out to the property manager once again and explained the situation. He told me, in writing, to leave everything in the refrigerator so as not to fill up the garbage can with food in the kitchen. That’s what we did. Everything else was spotless. We left the sheets and towels where we were asked to, we put all the other dishes in the dishwasher and ran it. Swept the floor, wiped the countertops, straightened the couch pillows. You get the gist.

At this point we were apprehensive about putting more garbage out by the overflowing bins (out of courtesy), so we made one fatal mistake: we left a small bag of non-perishable garbage just inside the front door. To be conscientious, we turned off the air conditioners as not to waste their money air conditioning a place that would be vacant.

Unfortunately, it was this decision that gave the owner and property manager what they saw as a reason to fight me on my claims. It was extremely hot during the day, and by the time the house cleaners got there, the garbage that was inside created an odor. This is when the owner began to chime in again, only to shame us by dramatically going on about the “stench“ in the house and how upset the house cleaners were when they got there. He began making false claims and that’s when I discontinued communication with him and the property manager and tried to go through Airbnb.

Honestly? It was my experience with Airbnb that had me the most upset. I called every day for seven days. Each time, I spoke with someone who was in another country and working from home. I could hear babies crying and dogs barking in the background for every employee. I explained my story and sent all of the photos to one representative. He explained to me that he would contact the host and hear his side and then make a decision. That was the last I heard from him. I couldn’t get him to answer any of my emails after that.

As it turns out, there is not an option to speak to a supervisor at Airbnb. When you speak with one of the people who answer the phone, they explain to you that they will email the supervisor and have them call you. I was told this seven times and never received a call back. Not one. The owner leaned in heavily with his lies, saying that we left the place in disarray and it had a stench. He ended up agreeing to reimburse us for one night, removing over $100 for a deep cleaning fee. I had to pay for a hotel for the last two nights in addition to one night at the bungalow. It cost me over $1,000.

I couldn’t believe that this major business wouldn’t respond to one of their Superhosts and offer me a reimbursement (a drop in the bucket for them). I had photo evidence and screenshots of my text messaging with the property manager and owner — what more could they possibly need? My guess is that they didn’t even consider it – I’m sure it never even crossed the desk (or computer) of a supervisor. I felt ignored and completely invisible around this issue, but there was absolutely nothing I could do.

I was afraid to leave a bad review because honestly I felt traumatized by the vindictiveness and cruelty of the owner and property manager. I regret this, but it’s too late.

I withdrew my home as an Airbnb destination and closed down my account. I ended up finding a review that someone left about the owner as a guest. It was awful, and I believed every word. He is an opportunist with several properties on Airbnb that I am sure are as neglected as the one we stayed in. He paints a picture of the apartment as a cozy home but it’s a money making scheme and he won’t hesitate to screw you, along with the powers that be at Airbnb.

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Brought Bed Bugs Home from Airbnb Stay

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We had a wonderful four days in North Wales this summer. I wouldn’t want to complain only if we had been smart enough to spot what was happening during our stay and not after.

I noticed some weird itchy bites on my body after the first night of our stay. Having no experience from the past with bed bugs, I had no idea it could be that. I was sure they were the little flies that you see near mountains. I noticed a couple more bites as days passed but still had no idea. It took us about a couple weeks after our return to realise we have brought home bed bugs. The itchy bites continued to appear and once we realised what an actual nightmare it had been, we found signs on our sheets and even one tiny bed bug on our sofa bed.

Unfortunately, we were unlucky and stupid enough to not spot this during our stay, and we had no evidence or proof that the Airbnb home was infested. We have coped with this fact, but I knew I must warn the host and make sure they take immediate action, so no other guests experience this.

I messaged the host nicely (and privately), without mentioning a refund or blaming them for having us in her nasty infested house. No, I was nice and kind. I explained what happened and suggested that she inspects her house and stop letting people in until it had been professionally cleaned.

The host’s reaction was a complete shock to me. She denied that what I was saying was even possible, accused me of lying, and ultimately threatened to have me removed from the platform. She said that she had inspected the house by herself and an independent third party company and it had been confirmed that her house was bug free. Then she said she would keep an eye on her furniture and if the infestation appeared it would have been me who brought the bugs into her house.

I would never have imagined I’d find myself in such a nasty situation. We have thrown away a few months old sofa, duvets, blankets, pillows, etc, and we can’t be sure our home is bug free as apparently they are a nightmare to get rid of. After all that, the host didn’t even think to show some respect and assure us that the action would be taken. We didn’t even try to get some money back, as we had no proof, but I needed to make sure she would take action. She didn’t; she insulted us instead.

Airbnb is involved but it is day four now without any single response from them. I guess it’s a lovely tool to use when you love travel, but only if you don’t need their support. My advice to Airbnb users: please be cautious. Because you are not aware of certain things doesn’t mean you are safe from their effects. Check sofas, beds and mattresses for any signs of bed bugs before you even take your shoes off at a hotel or Airbnb home.

Basically, Airbnb Thinks I’m a Liar for my Claims

I reserved an RV that was shown to be self-contained for a two-week stay while I was between homes. When I arrived to check in, I found the following: the couch pictured in the posting had been removed; the bathroom pictured in the posting had no water (no sink or shower), and the toilet contained dry brown material that emitted a foul odor; the kitchen faucet had no running water; the kitchen stove was not supplied with propane and did not function.

The property manager stated she was aware there was no working shower or toilet, and there is no propane connection for the stove. She went to the main house briefly to ask about the water in general, and confirmed there is no running water. The host was not present, but I contacted her immediately to inform her that none of the advertised amenities were working, and I requested a full refund. She responded “the amenities work”, said I would not receive a refund, and “god bless”.

I contacted Airbnb, and spent two weeks back and forth with “ambassadors”, and at the end of it all was told I didn’t request the refund quickly enough, and since I had no video evidence to prove the amenities don’t work, they will not issue a refund. Then said “have a lovely day”. I have repeatedly asked to have my case sent to a supervisor, and they just move it on to the next “ambassador”. I’m out over $400.

Hosts Can Cancel up to 48 Hours Prior to your Reservation

I booked an Airbnb in Montana on July 10, 2020 for my son’s wedding for the following year on July 10, 2021. It’s a big home with four bedrooms, four beds and three baths, sleeps 10 plus room enough for two RVs in the driveway. After establishing right away that the RV spaces did not have electricity availability, I booked the reservation.

Almost a year went by, but when I contacted the host to see how big her driveway is because we have a huge 45-foot diesel pusher RV that we just needed to park there and not actually stay in while we were there, she freaked out and said the HOA had changed the rules since she did not have a dedicated RV pad; she no longer could have RVs in her driveway. I quickly looked up the ad she had running for future bookings, and she still advertised RV availability in two different places.

This was strange, but I messaged her back and said that it was okay, we could easily store our RV somewhere else but that I still needed the reservation because the wedding was three weeks away and I had family coming in to stay with me and there were no hotel rooms available. She said she was concerned that I would still bring my RV because she had no way of verifying that I would not bring it even though I assured her I had other options to store it elsewhere. I even proposed she contact someone in town to do a drive by to verify there was no RV there during our stay.

Well, she promptly told me she had already cancelled my reservation and that there was nothing I could do about it because she has the right to cancel for whatever reason if she feels her home would be in jeopardy. Now, my original price for her home was around $250 per night for five nights which came to roughly $2,000, which was affordable for me. When I looked for a replacement home, the three homes left were approximately $1,100 per night, $1,600 per night and $2,200 per night.

I quickly booked the home for $1,100 per night which made my cost go from $2,000 to almost $7,000 for five nights. But what was I supposed to do? It’s my son’s wedding and I was responsible for housing the people coming to the wedding. When I messaged Evelyn to say it was completely unfair to cancel my reservation, her response was, “You have an RV” and in another response she indicated that we could all fit in my RV and so she saw no reason for my panic.

Panicked didn’t even cover the half of it. She completely destroyed my savings. I did everything right and booked a year in advance so I wouldn’t have to worry about housing for the wedding, and now she has placed me in financial difficulties and extreme emotional distress. I did what everyone in this situation would do; I contacted Airbnb customer support.

I spoke with four or five different support people, each time telling my story and each time they gave me different answers. One even said it wasn’t the RV issue, that the host double booked the home for that time period and made approximately $100 per night more, which only came out to her making about $500 more; however, it cost me $5,000 more to have to book a more expensive home. Support said it was also their “policy” (that they couldn’t show me anywhere on their site) that a host can cancel up to 48 hours prior to your reservation for any reason.

Their reason is that within 48 hours it’s too hard to book another home, but prior to that you are responsible for booking your own replacement home, even if the host lied as she did in my case. She still advertises RV spaces in her driveway so I just have to assume she lied to me and just wanted an out to make more money on a new booking. To tell me that it’s all okay because we can all just cram into my RV for the wedding?

Support also told me that in order for them to help me, I had to go ahead and book the replacement home and then it would go on their books and they could see that replacement home in order to help me out. Once I booked the replacement home, the next support person said that I booked the replacement home when I should have let them handle it and there was nothing they could do for me because I already booked the replacement home. How confusing is that? I did exactly what they said to do only to have them say I did the wrong thing. This is their job and they are supposed to give me, their client, the right information on how to deal with these types of situations.

When I asked support to look over the whole messaging between the host and myself, I asked them what I did wrong and what they would have done differently if they were in my shoes. Each time the support person said I did everything right and that it was just an unfortunate situation. Yeah, a $5,000 unfortunate situation for me that put me into complete hell with panic attacks and migraines nightly right before my son’s wedding.

What exactly is the punishment for a host canceling the reservation with little time left to rebook on the guest’s part? I was told the host gets fined $100 and gets a bad mark on their file for two weeks. If they don’t abuse another guest then it comes off after that time. In my case, the host lied to me (or lied to Airbnb) and the support person told me that the bad mark had already been removed after a few days.

I am now pursuing arbitration against Airbnb and a small claims court action against the host. Any advice anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated. I am a single mom and stage three cancer survivor who is not going to let this go as I did nothing wrong.

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.

The Big Lie Airbnb Hosts are Allowed to Push

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me on Airbnb. In fact, I quit using Airbnb a few years ago, because of this BS and other nonsense. However, recently out of desperation (no hotels available) I booked a room for two nights at a “charming” home in Prescott, Arizona. I got a notification that my requested reservation was not accepted. That’s okay: her house, her choice. Then the host sent me a message telling me that it was already booked.

I’m a former Airbnb host. If a space is booked, it doesn’t show up in the listings. That’s how this whole thing works. That’s how reservation systems work. I think hosts should be able to deny requests at any time for any reason. It’s their house. What I don’t like is being lied to. All this host had to do was deny the request. It would’ve been inconvenient, but now its inconvenient and insulting. It’s also happened with confirmed reservations.

I once got a message from a host telling me to cancel my reservation with them because the city they were in (Las Vegas) no longer allowed Airbnb. I wasn’t going to cancel it and eat the service charge. She finally cancelled it and she got dinged. Which she deserved because she freaking lied. Airbnbs are alive and well in Sin City. Twice in the Bay Area I had reservations either cancelled or denied with little warning.

There’s too much drama making lodging plans at Airbnbs. I’m just always waiting for them to pull the rug out. Which, admittedly, it’s their house so its their right. But it’s a crappy way to do business. I have never in all my years of staying in hotels have had to deal with this BS. I make a reservation at a hotel. I show up. I pay. I have a place to stay.

Who needs the Airbnb cloak and dagger mystery theater, “will they/won’t they” drama? I’m over it.

Airbnb Hosts in Spokane Were Scammers

The story I am about to tell is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I traveled 2500 miles and thought I found a perfect Airbnb. Upon meeting the host and his wife I felt good about the decision to pay upfront and thought the place was beautiful — this was only a first impression, though.

I went about my business and upon returning home I noticed my curtains were opened. I then quickly checked my belongings only to find a few prescription pills missing and then a credit card. I decided to hold off and sleep on it before making any accusations. Much to my surprise, the host told me he had to ask a young women to move out early because she was smoking. I said I have never smoked and hadn’t smelt anything although her room was directly across from mine.

Near the end of the week I was trying to reach out to the host and he was not responding. I received a response indicating I needed to look at my Airbnb message board and found a message telling me to “revert.” I didn’t know what that meant so I messaged back inquiring and was told I had violated the host’s smoking policy…. but I don’t smoke.

Then I received a message from the host that said if I initiated a cancellation then he wouldn’t wouldn’t have to and doing so would get me refunded for the days I didn’t use. I immediately called Airbnb and they said quite the contrary: it is the host that has to initiate cancellations and if their reasons are baseless and unproven you get your unused days refunded. So basically the host was baiting me with falsehoods so that I would initiate a cancellation and be liable for his losses.

There is a point when you know that a person is trying to run a scam. I eventually was able to get my refund but wanted to also let everybody planning to visit Spoken to stay away from hosts like this one.

Airbnb Superhost Extorted Me for a Good Review.

I encountered a very calculating and dishonest host. She will go to great lengths to make sure your negative review never sees the light of day.

I left my stay early due to the pool being frigid and unheated. I mistakenly assumed since the pool was the front featured amenity, it would be heated. I fully accept that mistake. In my previous experiences with pools, hosts have specified if the pool wasn’t heated and would offer to do so with an extra charge. When I asked the host about the pool, however, she launched into a rant about how it was too expensive to heat her pool, offered no solution, and if I wanted to swim I should go to the civic center or the Marriott.

Once she learned that my husband and I checked into a nearby hotel and left early, she acted contrite and said she would like to offer a “small refund.” I told her that would be appreciated. Next, she told me that her reviews were “very important to her,” and that she would send the refund after we both completed our respective reviews. Believing she was in good faith trying to rectify the situation, I gladly accepted.

As it turned out, her plan was to trick me into giving a positive review and once they were completed, she abandoned the refund. Reviews are permanent and cannot be revised. Therefore, I had to contact Airbnb to have my review removed and report the issue. If you take a minute to scroll through and find the few people who gave her a bad review, you’ll see that she responds in a rage, seemingly losing her ability to proofread and use correct grammar.

My only intention with this response was to make people aware of the kind of person they’ll be dealing with, because I’m sure she has done the same thing to others in the past and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again in the future. I have repeatedly tried to rectify this with Airbnb and get my real review shown and they won’t listen. They also state that there isn’t enough evidence, when it is all clearly in the Airbnb messaging system if they cared enough to read it.