Host Didn’t Deliver on Property and Refuses Refund

It was my first time booking a place on Airbnb and I thought everything was so simple and easy. I made a reservation for seven nights over Christmas. The reservation was confirmed by Airbnb and I was sent contact information for the host. On the day of arrival I still hadn’t heard from my host so I tried to contact him without any luck. I finally got through to his phone and his first words were that I couldn’t have made a reservation because the room was already booked for three months, something that was apparently Airbnb’s fault, not his. Anyway, he wasn’t even in the same city but said to give him some time (this was after 4:00 PM local time on the day I was to check in) and he’d make something work. He called me back about an hour later and said that the room was available and that as long as I got to the house by 6:00 PM someone with a key would meet me there. Perfect, I thought.

I arrived at the property by 5:30 PM and the people there (there were two students) had no clue what I was talking about. Obviously, the host hadn’t contacted them. The house was dirty and the room for rent was barren; the bed wasn’t even made up. I told the host, over text, that I wasn’t impressed but I would still take the room if they could get it ready for a guest. The host decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and suggested I find somewhere else. I thought, “Could I find something at the last minute on the night i want to check in?” I did, but my problems with the host continued to grow. I asked for a refund and the idiot just repeated what his policy said, even though he never even delivered on his accommodation promise (availability and readiness for use). I’ve submitted a complaint and now have to wait for the host to get back to me before Airbnb will step in. There’s got to be more protection for guests when hosts misrepresent themselves and their property. I want all of my money back and this idiot to be blacklisted by Airbnb so no one else has the pleasure of dealing with such a corrupt person.

Sometimes, All That Matters at Airbnb is Wifi

Let’s start a hashtag #airdoesntcare (I just did on Twitter). Beware Airbnb. My host lied on his listing about several things but the Internet was the biggest problem for us. We are a party of four business associates in Costa Rica on business and have already been here a month. We moved to this place on December 13th and immediately realized the host and his property caretaker had lied about the Internet connectivity (among other things). The caretaker also lied about speaking English. We told him the night we arrived that we would leave. We stayed two days while looking for a new place. Our booking was for 32 days. Airbnb refunded me less than $250 and refused to escalate our case, regardless of the extensive and very specific email trail of problems and obvious lies documented.

Here is one of the first emails:

Your listing says you have Internet and wifi. Internet means you are supposed to have a working router. There was no router at all, and you would have known that. But we came prepared for the internet challenges in CR. We all have Kolbi chips in our phones but could only get service if we stood in your yard. Even that didn’t work all the time; the service went in and out. We also bought a Claro “hotspot” box to use in Costa Rica a month ago. That usually works when the Kolbi doesn’t but it did not work at your place. We had no service at all. We were depending on your Internet availability which you listed on your Airbnb profile. Also, when we first met Jacinto your caretaker, he said he didn’t speak English. My son speaks a little Spanish so he tried to communicate. Jacinto pretended not to understand but conveyed to us through mostly hand gestures that there was no Internet available. He pointed all around the neighborhood, indicating there was just bad service in the area. In fact, there was no router at all in the house.

Then today Jacinto called me and spoke perfect English (what a miracle – the guy must be a genius!) and said that we could use the neighbor’s wifi, providing the login name and password. This is not acceptable for business people. Even that option didn’t work; the neighbor probably changed the password. Why did you lie to us? We had to make plans last night to find a new place. Sorry, but we cannot stay there. We are working here. I had to move to a hotel last night because I had meetings all day today via Skype. I can’t sit in the middle of your yard getting some sporadic wifi signal. I am still in the hotel tonight. But it is very expensive here – during the very high season – and I have to move tomorrow because they are booked up. This problem has cost me and my group a lot of time and money. I rented your house based on what you said in the listing and we don’t like being told one thing and then – after we move in – being told something else. You also said in the listing that the neighborhood was quiet. The boys were there and told me it was very loud last night – some sort of major appliance tear-down situation with a truck arriving at 6:00 AM dumping dozens of refrigerators and washing machines in the yard next door for them to dismantle. Are you kidding me? If I would have been told this, I would have cancelled the reservation.

The bottom line is you shouldn’t trust hosts or Airbnb to make things right. Rent with them and you take your chances.

Little White Lies Lead to Big Bad Airbnb

I booked my very first (and very last) Airbnb reservation in October 2016 and have had one problem after another with it. When I was first charged, the Airbnb system calculated the total amount and applied it to my credit card. Soon after that I was contacted by the host, John, and was told that the amount was not enough since there would be three adults staying in two rooms. I pointed out to him that I paid the amount that I was given as per Airbnb’s calculations, that I had entered all information correctly, and if there was a mistake in his listing then it was his mistake, not mine. He kept coming back and saying that it hadn’t been listed correctly and he was losing money over it. I finally agreed to pay him an additional $135 for the 7-night stay and that I would give it to him in cash when I arrived on December 3rd. I didn’t know at the time that this isn’t allowed by Airbnb. He contacted them and tried unsuccessfully to fix his listing.

Four days before my sons and I were expected to arrive he texted me and said that Airbnb needed to speak to me; he gave me a phone number to call. I spoke to a representative and was told John wanted an extra $135 and an additional $100 cleaning fee. I declined, saying I had made a deal with him for $135 and was not going to pay another $100 to clean one bedroom. He finally accepted that and I thought we were good to go. My sons and I arrived at the property around 7:00 PM on the 3rd and were greeted by John and another man by the name of Tom. So far so good. The next morning we also met another man by the name of Emilio. It shouldn’t have been a problem but I had been told that my sons and I were going to be the only guests during our stay; it turned out the other two people were long-term guests.

In all fairness, the home was as described in the listing, and fairly clean. John even gave us a healthy fresh continental breakfast each morning. However, when I booked he told me we would have a queen bed and a king with ensuite bath. What we ended up with was two queen beds, one per room. Of course my sons were adamant about not sharing a bed with their mother or each other. Two grown men will not share a queen bed, brothers or not. So my oldest son, who is 46, ended up sleeping on the floor with a comforter and a pillow. On the third morning my youngest who was using the bed came to me and showed me a bug he had found on the comforter that my oldest had used on the floor the night before and had thrown back up on the bed. It was a live bed bug!

I took the bug and showed it to the host and he acted and stated that he was totally shocked that we had found a bug. After getting down on hands and knees and searching both rooms we found solid indications that there was a bed bug problem in the house that had been previously treated. So we went to talk to John and his response was to suggest that my sons and I had brought them in on our suitcases. My oldest son pointed out that since there were so many dead bugs in the rooms around the baseboards it was impossible for them to “fall” out of our suitcases and stick themselves to the baseboards. John then proceeded to blame the bed bugs on his previous guests. The gall of the man knew no bounds.

It later came out in conversations that included Tom, that the house had indeed been treated for the bugs and that Terminex had said the infestation was under control. This had happened two days before we arrived. John had never said one word to me in all of our conversations in the previous month about having bugs in his home. This was the biggest lie of omission of all. Just an aside: we also found other irregularities during our bug hunt. There was marijuana in one of the drawers in one bedroom and a container on the dresser that contained multiple brands of a large number of condoms. We spent the remainder of our day spraying our suitcases with spray that Terminex had left at the house and several hours washing and drying our entire vacation wardrobe.

In the small amount of fairness that I feel I can give, John did contact Airbnb and they refunded every dollar I had been charged. John paid a local resort for accommodations for the remainder of our stay. The downside to all of this is that Airbnb listed the reservation as cancelled by me. Hence I have no way to leave a review of my experience. I would have been fair about it, most likely would not have mentioned all the times John lied, and definitely would have given him credit for paying for our hotel. I don’t feel it is fair that Airbnb didn’t give me the opportunity to leave any kind of review at all. I guess that’s their attempt to protect their business name. I will never use them again as I feel they have no oversight on the condition of their guests’ homes or rooms and really don’t seem to care.

Airbnb Hoarders: No Room for Anything

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We arrived at the apartment in Montreal at four o’clock in the afternoon, as had been arranged. We had trudged through a snowstorm and were looking forward to what was described in reviews as a clean and comfortable apartment. What we found was that absolutely no provision had been made for guests. In fact, we thought at one point that perhaps a mistake had been made. There were boots and shoes everywhere, with no room for our own. The wardrobes were full of the young woman’s clothes with no space (no hangers) for our things. Every surface in the apartment was covered with the owner’s trinkets. The medicine cabinet in the bathroom was overflowing with no possibility of putting anything of ours away. We had to remove items that were left on the toilet seat and on the toilet tank just to be able to accommodate a few of our own items. We’ve never liked the habit of Airbnb guests (or hosts) leaving opened containers of food in cupboards and fridges. In this case, the fridge, freezer, and cupboards were full. The bottles of liquour in the cupboard might have been for us to use but we weren’t sure that we were supposed to partake. Personal items were left in the apartment with no appearance of expecting guests. The money left on top of one of the dressers wasn’t even tempting – just one more example of the negligence of the hosts. If someone shows up at the door tonight offering to remove dresses, shoes, lipstick, booze, frozen bagels, etc, I don’t think I’ll want to speak to them.

Distributor Kept us Awake in this Loud NYC Airbnb

This was my first experience with Airbnb, traveling with my sisters and daughter to New York City. We thought renting an Airbnb so everyone could have their own rooms would be a great idea. The host would not give us the exact address until three days prior to our stay, yet her refund policy was strict: no refund for a cancellation within seven days of a stay. The reviews on this Airbnb were all positive and there was no mention of noise from a water bottle distributor under the apartment windows… until two months prior to my stay. I have stayed in many cities (none using Airbnb) and know that they can be noisy, but all four of us felt like we were sleeping on the streets that night. To top it off, the water bottle distributor began operations at 4:00 AM, with fork lifts going forward and backwards (including beeping) from then throughout the morning. No one in my party received more than a few hours of sleep that night. So as not to ruin our entire vacation we contacted the host and said we could not stay because of the noise, which was not mentioned anywhere in her post. The host would not negotiate any refund whatsoever. In order to save our vacation and get some sleep we were forced to vacate and move to a hotel for the remaining three nights of our New York trip. My next step was to contact Airbnb. They took my comments and I sent some photos of the window air conditioner that had openings to the outdoors and the street view of the water bottling company next door. After a brief review of the situation, Airbnb denied my request for three nights’ reimbursement. In a hotel one has the ability to change rooms if one isn’t satisfactory. There is no such option with an Airbnb. I will never use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Hosts in Cuba Can’t be Trusted

First, the place was advertised as “Casa Jesus & Maria” and it looks and operates as a hostel (a bad one). I booked the place about three weeks in advance for two days and had been in contact with the host almost every week. The last message was exchanged only two days prior to our arrival and, at that moment, we were told that the room we were supposed to stay had been under construction for over a month. We arrived in Cuba at around 11:30 at night (the host was informed about this a week earlier) and were greeted by Jesus and Maria. We were promptly informed that they did not have a room for us. Maria ushered us in and, as if to prove her point, showed us a room with a scaffold inside and no furniture and claimed that the only reason why the room was not ready was due to heavy rain.

My friend and I were puzzled since it clearly looked like the room had been under construction for a while and they probably rented the room to us without it being ready. Worst of all, they probably knew very well that it was not going to be ready more than a day before our arrival and never told us about it. Maria informed us that she had arranged for us to stay somewhere else and that she was going to call the person to come pick us up. It was after midnight and we were stranded at some stranger’s place in Havana, without any local currency, and thinking that these people are really trying to screw us. Maria spent over 40 minutes on the phone, trying to find us another place since her arrangements did not follow through. They barely looked us in the eye while we were there and did not speak to us at all.

Finally, someone knocked at the door and we were escorted to another place by Ana. Ana’s place was definitely not in good shape and it was completely different from what we had signed up for. We were taken upstairs through these very narrow steps (our carry-ons barely fit) and shown an area with a queen bed and a bathroom without a door. The room was as big as the bed, the bathroom had no hot water, and the shared bathroom downstairs did not have a toilet seat. After we finally got ready to go to bed, about 2:30 AM, the bed broke. We had to move the mattress by ourselves since Ana was nowhere to be found. I had an asthma attack because the mattress was extremely dusty.

We woke up the next day and went back to our first host to try to give them a second chance; they had told us that they would have another room ready. Of course the room was not ready and we finally lost our cool. I told Maria that what they were doing to us was not fair and I wanted my money back. I did not raise my voice and spoke to her calmly. Maria got extremely upset and told me that if I wanted my money back I had to deal with Airbnb. We took off and, unfortunately, spent almost the whole day trying to find another place to stay. I speak fluent Spanish and all I could think of when all this was going on was: what if we did not speak the language? We would be even more desperate.

I called Airbnb and spoke with Kendra in customer service. She said that I was going to get a refund and that the incident was going to be “investigated”, that the host was going to be told to “honor the ads.” I was really expecting a little bit more of sympathy from Airbnb since this experience basically destroyed our vacation; we had only planned to stay in Havana for two days. I understand that Airbnb has little control over how hosts act but I was truly expecting more concern from the operator. I do not want anybody to go through what we have been through, especially if they do not speak the language. Now the host is threatening me with Airbnb messages. Needless to say, I had to dispute the charges with my credit card. I closed my account and will never use this service again.

Incredible Experiences and Even Wrong Country Listed

I have had multiple experiences using Airbnb for many years. I found an apartment and the owner promised there would be a real bed. After arrival, I noticed he didn’t have any bed; he just lied. There was some fruit box bed. The owner actually made a bed from some wood box. Crazy. He was not even poor. Another time in another Airbnb I noticed the owner was very particular about what I should not do in the apartment and came to the flat everyday to check on me. Then she asked me to write down “I will take care of this flat the entire period of my stay” and the like. She wanted to punish guests by charging them if something happened; if there was a fire or anything renters must pay her. Incredible. Now I found an Airbnb flat and the owner had listed a different location. Luckily, I didn’t pay her. She even lied about the country and Airbnb still hasn’t deleted her listings. I couldn’t even find an email for Airbnb to contact them.

Deceitful Host and Disappointment from Airbnb

I would like to share the details surrounding my nightmare situation with the host I dealt with in trying to secure accommodations for my trip to Lebanon and my absolute disappointment in Airbnb’s corporate office with their position on siding with this host, despite his clearly deceitful behaviour. When I was planning my trip to Lebanon, I found accommodation in an area in which I was interested. During my search, there were some factors that were absolutely non-negotiable, which I made abundantly clear throughout my entire correspondence with the host.

For my trip, I was travelling with my elderly father who has limited mobility. I required a unit that was fully accessible without having to climb stairs. Another option I was willing to accept was a unit that was accessible using an elevator. Months before my trip, I found a unit that I was interested in and the host had provided written guarantees that while the unit was not on the ground floor (3rd floor), it was accessible by using a fully serviceable elevator. Given the information provided by the host, I decided to secure the accommodation and, as such, I immediately paid the funds required.

However, weeks after having paid, the host contacted me through Airbnb’s messaging platform and informed me that the unit in question was, in fact, on the 4th floor, instead of the 3rd floor, as confirmed before sending my payment. Given the new information provided, I asked the host to confirm that the elevator would be fully serviceable to the unit. He responded and confirmed that it would, for sure. With everything seemingly assured, my father and I made our way to Lebanon. Once we arrived to the unit, we were greeted by the host’s brother who informed us that while there was an elevator in the unit, it was, in fact, not serviceable for an indeterminate period of time. This was simply an unacceptable situation, given my father’s elderly age and limited mobility. As such, I was forced to find alternative accommodations in the middle of the night in a foreign country. You can imagine how difficult that is!

After having read and understood Airbnb’s policies, I made sure I sent an email to Airbnb to inform them of my situation, in order to receive a full refund, seeing that I never even stayed a minute at the unit. I contacted the host as well (using WhatsApp) and received written confirmation that he would agree to a full refund for the amount I paid in securing the unit. When I returned to Canada, I tried to contact the host in order to move forward with the full refund. However, he refused to reply to any of my emails or messages. After weeks had gone by trying to contact the host, I contacted Airbnb in order to facilitate the full refund that I was absolutely entitled to, given that I had not even stayed at the unit, due to false guarantees provided by the host. When I finally got a hold of someone, I was informed that they refused to authenticate the host’s written confirmation that I would be granted a full refund because the confirmation was not given through Airbnb’s messaging platform. Instead of taking the time to satisfy an unhappy customer, they decided not to consider my situation.

After trying to get a full refund for weeks, my only recourse was to write a stinging review of the host. While I was unable to get a full refund for my nightmare situation, the least I could do is prevent this host from trying to deceive others in the future and prevent him from being able to advertise his unit on Airbnb. Though I was very honest with my criticism, I remained absolutely professional and respectful of Airbnb’s policies. However, Airbnb decided to remove my post for absolutely no reason. This showed me that they would rather side with the host than show any concern for my situation, even though I provided countless evidence demonstrating how awful my situation was. With everything that had happened throughout this entire experience, this upset me the most because Airbnb took away the only thing I could do in my situation. After having gone through this nightmare, I will never use Airbnb again. I think people should be highly concerned about what can happen if things don’t go their way using Airbnb. People should not have confidence that Airbnb will accommodate them when things don’t go as planned.

Scamming Slumlord in China Protected by Airbnb

I booked an Airbnb unit in China, a simple one-bedroom entire home/apt. When I showed up, I had (surprise) eight roommates, no lock on my bedroom door, and cockroaches and trash everywhere. The house was maintained like the worst college dorm you could imagine. I left immediately and Airbnb refused to refund me because I didn’t call them in the first 24 hours (try traveling to mainland china and using your mobile phone). Their slumlord host (who has my bad review and several other bad reviews in Chinese) is able to keep scamming unlucky Airbnb customers and Airbnb keeps their fees and listings. Translate reviews. Don’t trust Airbnb.

Post-Traumatic Airbnb in Dogs’ Bedroom

We booked with Airbnb for a family business trip at a farm. The pictures online looked charming and cozy. We pulled up the driveway to see three vicious looking pit bulls surrounding our vehicle barking incessantly. The owner was nowhere in sight and two of our children were so petrified of the dogs they refused to leave the vehicle. After we pealed them off the seats and as we met the host, on our way to the house ,she announced that the cold water wasn’t working properly. We walked in the door and were slapped in the face by this potpourri odor, filling the house like a pungent fart. We started to walk through the house and noticed cell phones propped up on their window ledges. One pit bull started barking as it followed us through the house. As we went up the stairs the dog upchucked. The stairs were steep, uneven, winding, and had no handrails; it felt like we were going up into an attic.

We stood outside the bedroom doors as the host was talking. Meanwhile the dog started barking again, upchucking yet again on the floor. As we entered the room the host mentioned that the overhead light was broken and that we had to stand on the futon bed to screw the bulb in and out to get any light. None of this is a joke. They said that they had a TV, but it wasn’t set up, just connected to a DVD player; they don’t believe in watching television. They listed they had an iron, but they have no ironing board (they don’t iron clothes) and the only place to iron was on their kitchen table being used as a poker table that night. They agreed our family of seven could stay when they had four in their own family and only one shower available for 11 people. The master bedroom had no door knob, and there were no blinds or shades for the windows. Next we noticed the window wide open in the bedroom when it was 30 degrees outside. There were no sheets on the bed as she was still drying them.

She proceeded to tell us that there is no landline phone and if we need to call from our cells, we must prop them up on the window ledge and place on speaker phone. Nice private calls; there must have been a trick to it as we never figured it out. By the way, they never lock their doors… ever. At that point we began to think we were either going to be the next episode of Criminal minds or that John Quiñones would jump out announcing “What Would You Do?” and we’d all have a great laugh.

That didn’t happen. Instead we tried to remain positive until we shut the window to attempt to MacGyver a phone call. It was then that it all started coming clear to us why exactly there was this strong odor of potpourri wafting through the air. I sat on the bed, and instantly smelled the noxious – and I mean noxious – odor of dog breath. I seriously think the dogs took residence upon the bed we were about to sleep. I looked at my husband and he said, “Grab your stuff everyone, we’re getting out of here!” We shoved our stuff in our pillow cases and ran for the car. Thank God there was a Holiday Inn down the road. We literally hugged the bed in appreciation of getting out of that situation alive. When we originally pulled in, we saw they had a bonfire going. We now wonder if they were burning the bones of their last Airbnb guests and if the dog was throwing up his victim meal from the night before…