I am writing in regards to an apartment we rented in Albuferia, Portugal, to highlight how dangerous and dirty the place was. The oven and stove were unsafe and outdated; it got to the point where we expected to use matches and keep an eye on the oven just in case the gas ignited. The water was unsafe as it was scolding and you could not make it cold; it nearly burnt the skin off my hands. The apartment was filthy and needed a good clean too. When we complained to the host he was very short and abrupt with us, brandishing us as liars as he had stated that he apparently had nearly 5000 people stay there but only 29 positive reviews… so where are the other 4971 reviews? I wish I could leave a review as it was such a horrible experience. We decided to check in to a hotel as we did not want to stay with such horrible amenities or use the apartment of such a horrible host. We cancelled the booking and only got part of our payment back. This host needs to be vetted as he’s clearly not been to see the state of the apartment that he lets out and leaves his poor mother to do the dirty work. I am abhorred by the way that he has treated myself and my mother.
Airbnb (and their host) breached a contract for us to rent for a month. I live in Oakland, CA. My wife was visiting our daughter giving birth in Portland, OR when she had this experience with Airbnb. My wife stayed there one night before needing to leave because of the smell. The contract called for an an incense-free apartment. When my wife got there, she was told another renter had burned incense in the apartment. My wife tried to stay one night but the smell was too strong. Both Airbnb and the host refused a complete refund minus one night’s charge. They both said it wasn’t their fault; they couldn’t fix it, but wanted to keep half our money and rip us off. If they had refunded our money, that would have been the end of it. Now that I have to spend time and worry about chasing after them for not abiding by US laws, I want consequential damages and punitive damages. It is obviously Airbnb’s policy to keep hosts happy even if customers get ripped off.
I booked accommodation in Johannesburg for me, my husband and my son. I asked if it was self catering and they confirmed; nowhere on the listing did it say that I would have to share a kitchen with other guests. When we arrived there, some of the staff and guests were smoking marijuana on the patio. The whole house was filled with smoke. The lady took us to our room through the kitchen, which was filthy, with burned pap on the stove. The room was not ready. There were two mattresses on the floor – no actual bed – with no linen. There were also three other mattresses in the room against the wall. The room was extremely dirty. Our bathroom was dirty. I asked where our kitchen was and the lady said we had to use the big kitchen. In the kitchen there was a lady who had just finished using the shared shower and walked through the kitchen with only her bottom covered; her top was exposed. I immediately phoned the owner and she said she would be there in ten minutes. After 45 minutes, I phoned, and I spoke to her husband. He said I must go and look for other accommodation – he would refund us. We travel every weekend and this was the worst accommodation I have ever seen in my life. I am not happy at all with the way they are sending me messages now and I feel like I want to send the police to that establishment, as I feel that they are taking us for a ride. The pictures on the website are not at all how that establishment looks like and I believe they just want to take people’s money. They refuse to refund us, even though they said they would provide one in full.
I had booked an apartment for my daughter to stay for six nights from February 23rd to March 1st, 2017, with instant confirmation. I had checked with the host if it would be possible for early check-in as she will reach Melbourne, Australia after a long journey. He said he can make her stay in the apartment where he was staying with his brother and sister for two days and then shift to the apartment where I had booked. I queried him on the need to stay elsewhere for two days while I only needed a few hours of early check-in. He said that the apartment was not available until then and the listing had not been updated. I was not comfortable with this arrangement. Airbnb suggests that, in such situations, the host (and not the guest) should cancel the booking. The host had promised me that he will cancel the booking and that I will get a full refund. He did not cancel. He stopped responding to my messages and phone calls. Finally, I could only request a refund of AUD 843 through the Airbnb site (as opposed to the AUD 1,030 I had paid). Since then, I have been following up with the host, who continues to ignore my messages. There is no straightforward way of contacting Airbnb. The balance of AUD 187 should also be refunded to me. In fact, this created a major issue for me to make alternate arrangements for her to stay, while she was still flying, on the way to Melbourne. Thank god I did not let my daughter stay with a stranger (host) who turned out to be so shady.
People should be aware about an Airbnb property called the House in the Woods in Issaquah, WA. Cool home? Yes! Accurate listing? No! The host claimed it as a Business Ready Listing, but according to the Comcast technician, the Internet and Cable Account had not been set up. Airbnb requires hosts to notify guests in a timely manner if any listed amenities are not available. This host did not; he merely gave a partial refund for the inconvenience. The deferred maintenance issues were noted, photographed, and reported, some of which were paramount to our safety. There were dangerous steps leading to the unit, no smoke detector, and possible electrical issues including buzzing switches, flickering lights, numerous junctions boxes in ceilings, and burned out bulbs.
There was a security issue: no way to lock door between units from the upper unit side. The property was located 60 feet from an extremely busy highway; it was very loud hearing tandem dump trucks start rolling by at 3:30 AM. There was no privacy. The previous home owner operated a landscaping company and had several sheds, trailers, vehicles, work equipment, and a large junkyard located directly behind the home. All could easily be viewed from the wraparound deck, master bedroom and master bathroom. Men were on site all day, moving equipment around, working on noisy gas powered tools, and riding around the property on a noisy four wheeler. If we could see them, they could watch us as well. When we returned from an afternoon outing, one of the men appeared to be snooping around the home. He wasn’t doing maintenance, as he had no tools. What was most disturbing is he ran away when he saw my husband approaching the house. He ran towards the highway, up around the house, and back down to the commercial business. It was scary. The host dismissed it as nothing when we notified her.
At 2:30 AM, on the second night of a two-night stay, we realized one of the men was actually living in a red pickup truck located in the workspace behind the home. We became aware of this when the truck’s headlamps shone through the bedroom window each time he started the truck. It is winter; he ran the engine about once an hour, likely to warm himself. There were questions in our minds keeping us from falling asleep afterwards: is the man homeless? Is he a felon? Is he dangerous? Do we call the police? Needless to say, we were very troubled to learn this was not a quiet serene home located in the woods as the host wants people to believe. It was crazy that other reviews describe it this way. It should be named House on the Highway, as the host’s inaccurate description minimizes the truth. We were totally wigged out by the immense lack of privacy, no separation from the commercial business operation, catching a strange man creeping around the house, and finding another man living on property in a pickup truck visible from the bedroom.
Some friends and I rented a place in Kealakekua, Hawaii on the Big Island. The accommodation was up a very long, bad road. We should have been told we needed four wheel drive to get there. We had to crawl in and out at two miles an hour. We could have walked it faster. When we arrived, we were told the accommodation had been double booked. He blamed Airbnb. Alternative housing was substandard at best. When we went to go to the proper place the next day, we drove to one side of the house and were greeted with “f$%# off, this is private property on this side and we will come and get you when the house is cleaned.” We finally got into the place we paid to rent the next night at 8:00 PM. We missed two nights of beautiful sunsets. The host was likely manic, on prescription pain killers, or a coke head. He walked aimlessly every morning talking very loudly and abusively into the phone. The place we rented was misrepresented. The second bedroom was in the car port with the bathroom being a utility shed. He kept all his construction business tools in that car port and we were woken every morning by the sound of folks loading tools and driving their big vehicles past our bedroom. It may seem like a small complaint, but there was no tea kettle in the place, and even more serious, no corkscrew. This was not the greatest way to end a beautiful holiday.
I recently booked a stay for my son at an Airbnb property, and as stated in their refund policy, I am entitled to a refund based on quality standards. The listing was misleading. It did not state that the water was not potable. It did not include that the room lacked the ability to be secured. There were no door locks, and no door between the shared living space and the room. It was dirty and infested with insects, which swarmed when the lights were turned on. The windows were minimally covered, and the coverings that were present were filthy. One window frame was dangerously splintered. The posting also listed internet access, which worked poorly, and only in one location. Half the electrical outlets were not working, necessitating the use of extension cords to power half the room. Many of the lights did not work. There was food in the refrigerator dated from several years ago. The access to the listing was almost impassible. I have pictures and videos to substantiate my claims. I contacted the host, and because my son managed to endure two nights before he lost his resolve, I agreed to pay the host $200, well above the nightly rate, and she accepted. Airbnb refunded me a portion of my deposit, but is attempting to charge me $440 for this nightmare. I have attempted to contact Airbnb, only to be placed on hold for 20 minutes, after which I was hung up on. I have contacted my credit card company and filed a dispute. I will pursue legal action if necessary, but would prefer to resolve this issue civilly. So far, there has been no further response from the host or Airbnb over the charge.
The idea of Airbnb is swell. The implementation is horrible. The infrastructure to their service is non existent. My host confirmed two months in advance of my overseas trip. I checked two days before departure to learn the host had cancelled my lodging without telling me. Airbnb did not alert me either. That is a product of their infrastructure issues. I tried to book with another host who gave me immediate confirmation. I discovered not only was that not a true confirmation, but that host had not owned that property for two years. Again, an infrastructure issue. No one is monitoring the lodgings and the hosts.
In addition, there was no way to write a review on that host because the lodging was cancelled. Now let’s get to customer service. They were useless. All they did was send me emails about dwellings I had already discarded. They would not offer more than a standard $200 to help with my booking which was for two weeks. $200 wouldn’t even cover two days at any of the other residences. I could not afford any of the appropriate last minute lodging and Airbnb would not help. There was one host who had seven seemingly appropriate lodgings. I asked Airbnb support to contact that person to see if any of her lodgings would be available ASAP when I was about to depart. They said they would and two days later, they still had not come through. I was already in the country staying in a hotel.
My third week was to be in another country on the beach. The night before my arrival, the host sent me an email saying the sand fleas were over abundant, to bring bug spray, and don’t lounge on the beach. There was limited and poor wifi, almost no taxi service, and no restaurants in the area. I was supposed to take a taxi from the airport, go to a supermarket, then get to the lodging with all my cooking supplies for four days. I had to cancel but was financially penalized. Airbnb would not intervene or even address the issue. I lost over $500. To make matters worse, any refunds took four different contacts to get the ball rolling.
The company needs to fix their software application to do the checks and balances on hosts and cancellations. The company needs humans to monitor and work with hosts to provide a standard level of service. The company needs to allow disappointed travelers to comment on hosts even if they don’t stay at the lodging. But mostly, Airbnb needs to monitor their hosts constantly and penalize those who damage their brand by misbehaving.
I had a mini break from school and decided to visit my husband in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). For the last four nights of my visit we decided to book an Airbnb close to downtown so that while he’s at work I could easily go shopping as well as easily find a place to eat when needed. He saw a reasonably priced suite, ‘Avala Suite’ and he booked it based on the pictures associated with the ad and recent reviews. Thursday night we checked in at approximately 11:15 PM. The first thing I noticed was the bed didn’t have a frame like it did in the pictures; to me, that was minor and didn’t warrant a complaint. Then my husband went to the kitchen and I decided to checked out the bathroom. To my surprise, the bathroom was completely different from what was posted on his ad. I called my husband’s attention to this and he too was shocked. We revisited the ad, because we both knew that what we were both viewing was not what we saw.
The suite was so stuffy and we noticed the ‘clean’ sheets folded in the linen cupboard had hairs on them and looked like they needed to be washed. We used our own pillow covers and sheets to put on top of what was on the bed and decided to go get Febreeze at the nearest gas station to help with the dusty odour. When we got back to the room we decided to rest and contact Airbnb in the morning. Unfortunately when we woke up and tried to locate the ad, the property was no longer listed on their platform, so we did not have the supporting evidence from the ad. We still sent an email informing them of what we saw in the initial ad and sent pictures of what we are now seeing and explain to them that we cannot access the ad to send a screenshot of what was advertised. To my surprise Airbnb replied saying the bathroom was the same and it was just a cleaning issue. Now I became irritated because I felt like we were being taken for fools.
On Saturday I decided to send an email to Airbnb, still being unable to view any ad from Avala. The email sent is as follows:
According to Airbnb’s Content Policy which clearly states that you do not condone listings and profiles which contains contents that are fraudulent, false, misleading or deceptive. If your company does not support misleading contents, why is it that my husband is clearly being taken for granted after filing a complaint about the host of our reservation posting on his ad being completely different pictures of the bathroom for his suite. It is quite clear that the pictures being advertised are completely different as he posted a bathroom with bluish colour wall tiles and the tiles noted in the bathroom on arrival is of a creamish colour. How can your representative sum this up as a cleaning issue? It is clearly not a cleaning issue; the ad was misleading. Secondly, where is the cleaning issue in the host posting a picture of a wooden trimmed toilet seat compared to the white one we viewed on our arrival? I am only left to sum this issue up as either the representative was not interested in doing their due diligence for a proper investigation to see that the ad for the suite is false and misleading or this host may be making you guys a lot of money. In that case, complaints against him fall on deaf ears. Either way, it is not right to treat customers in this manner. Hosts should not be allowed to falsely advertise their space. It is the pictures shown that help clients select the property that seems suitable for visits. This is not ok Airbnb.
I got no reply. Finally on Sunday, Avala’s platform was back up on the website. I took a screenshot immediately and decided to call again. The representative that I spoke to told me that the case manager that dealt with the matter has summed this up to a cleaning issue and asked what I wanted him to do after I informed him of the situation and letting him know that not only is there is picture of a bathroom that does not exist at all in suite but all of a sudden there is a picture of a clean version of the pictures they sent to us the day before which was not there at all when we viewed the ad. I highlighted to the representative I spoke to on Sunday morning that it is not ok for the company to be saying they don’t condone misleading postings of suites, yet, this matter seems to be falling on deaf ears. He simply stated he would send me an email and a case manager will contact me. Honestly I get the feeling that because this host has numerous suites and possibly makes a ton of money for Airbnb, that the rules do not apply to him about false, misleading advertising. However, as consumers, to book a place to stay for visits we only have the reviews of others to help us determine which place to select and most importantly the actual pictures of where we will be staying. I feel wronged by Airbnb and they don’t seem to care at all. Shame on Airbnb.
I know a listing that must be taken off Airbnb. Customer support has not helped. Fay’s place was a nightmare. It’s unsafe – three dogs, broken guardrails – and has dirty floors, couch, kitchen and bathroom. It is not a private home, but rather a shared upstairs living room. She and others live there with three large dogs separated by a curtain with no door. It is a dirty studio with a view of her garage (guest house conversion) and three large German Shepherds which go outside and inside freely with no separation between them and your private space. Before arriving I contacted her several times with no response. The house was dirty and clearly thrown together at the last minute before we came in. The location would be ok if it was not the worst house on the block and an eyesore. Having three large dogs in the back yard barking at us was not ok and inviting them into the house without consulting us was also not ok because they bark at you aggressively. Also having Fay yell shut the hell up aggressively did not help us feel comfortable in this situation.
Airbnb was not helpful in resolving these issues and did not care about our safety and comfort. Instead they only asked us to take pictures of these issues at night in an unsafe house and conditions. Jolanda, our customer support case manager, answered the phone several times without responding for minutes while we were forced to listen to the room full of side conversations until she decided to answer the phone out loud (clearly someone was in training and rude side conversations dominated the actual support). After getting Jolanda on the phone and explaining these issues she said there was nothing Airbnb could do and they said that they wanted to contact the host and resolve the issue while we were there, without considering our safety and comfort in this terrible situation.
If a listing is unsafe and uncomfortable, then Airbnb should refund the cost of the rental and take the unit off of the market until the issues listed in the reviews have been resolved and reviewed by an Airbnb agent. They did not facilitate finding another location to stay even though they said they would and they would not acknowledge that several others have had these same issues (which we later found in other reviews). Also, after Jolanda said that she would find us a place to stay in 5-10 minutes she did not get back to us at all. So after waiting for 40 minutes I called Airbnb and stayed in contact with their team for over four hours with zero helpful customer support and no access to a customer support manager or supervisor. There is no excuse for this level of service.
Other important notes: if the outside railing of the second floor is rotting and spilling over to the bottom floor then this unit should not be listed as safe. If it is not a private home then it should not be listed as such. If it is not a penthouse then it should not be listed as such. If the host cannot fix these complaints and cannot prepare her home properly then she should not be a host. Also, Airbnb provided zero follow up with me now 15 hours after the event; customer support was rude and provided no conflict resolution for the four hours I was on the phone with them. After traveling with Airbnb for years and having many positive experiences I can only imagine that this was a freak event at a freak location. I would like to hear a response from Fay and Airbnb explaining the resolution to these issues.