Bad Experience Using Airbnb for the First Time

On August 28th, 2016, I paid the total amount for a two-bedroom condo with three beds in Chicago in full (which hotels never require). When my family arrived, there were only two beds, so that meant that three adult women all over 5’9″ had to share a queen bed. What a mess. With no permission or explanation beforehand, my host gave our room away to someone else. Even though I paid in full it didn’t belong to me. You see, the Cubs had won the World Series, and she most likely had made more renting out the larger unit. I texted her and asked her what had happened. She replied, “Oh, there is a queen mattress in the closet.” What an insult. I had no idea they could even do this. I was floored. Even though I had 24 hours for a cancellation, everything downtown was taken. Where would we go? I informed her there would have to be some sort of refund, and she said she would get back to me. In the end, I got $400.00 credited back to me, but only after I asked for it. The large queen mattress was put in the living and kitchen area, which limited our use of these rooms. It’s so unfair that they have my money, and I can say nothing. I will never book with Airbnb again. I’m sticking to hotels, where my stays have never gone wrong.

Host Lies About What Happened During Our Stay

I made a booking to stay at Surry Hill (Sydney) where Debbie was my host. However, in her review to me, she totally lied about what happened and blamed us for all the unpleasantness:

1. She sent me three messages through Airbnb, with general information about her place and how to get there. This was great, but later on during the message exchange, her information conflicted with that of previous messages, so I had to ask again to verify her information. In her review to me, she said that I did not read her email at all.

2. My reaction when she told me there was no lift or Internet in the house was “Ahh??” If that’s considered rude, I wonder what’s the definition of “surprise”? At the time my husband and I made that booking, we both saw the “elevator in the building” option available, but not Internet. However, when we checked again after moving in, that option was gone.

3. When we arrived, we noticed the house was clean, but the detergent she used left a strong odour in the house. We immediately opened all windows to air the unit out, because this is quite normal. After that, when we came back from dinner, the smell was not completely gone; there was still a strong smell near the bathroom, and in the kitchen. We texted the host to ask, but didn’t receive a reply. So we searched the house and noticed that the smell was coming from the dirty toilet, behind the toilet bowl, and from her spices in the kitchen. I spent an hour cleaning up the toilet, while my husband cleaned up the kitchen at the same time.

4. Our second night, when we came back, we heard a very loud humming sound all around the house. We called the host immediately. After three calls, there was no answer. So we went out to check the source of this sound, and noticed it happened to fill the whole block. Ten minutes later, when we already decided to use ear plugs to sleep, she finally called us and offered to help, saying that she’d contact management to settle it. I’m not sure what she did, but around an hour later, the whole block was in a blackout, and the humming sound only stop around 1:00 AM (one hour after the blackout), when my mother in law already passed her bedtime.

5. The next day, Debbie texted me to mention that the previous guest gave her an extremely high five-star rating, and mentioned that we could move out to the hotel across the road; she would give us the refund for the night we haven’t stayed. Although it appeared to be a fair offer, I found it ridiculous she mentioned other guests gave her five stars, which was no use to solve our problem, and also it’s not really fair as we all know how expensive hotels would be for an immediate booking. Therefore we did not take that offer, to save us time and hassle from the move.

6. On our last day, we cleaned the house as our general practice using Airbnb, but I made the mistake of forgetting the rubbish in the hall. I texted the hosts immediately because I already left the keys in the unit; I couldn’t access it to remove the rubbish. Both replied nicely that it was not a problem, which turned out to be a lie. She mentioned in her review as if I purposely left the rubbish in the hall.

I still gave her a good review because I thought it was my mistake forgetting the rubbish in the hall, but I regret my kindness now. The way she replied privately to me and publicly in the review gave me impression she’s a liar. This was my second try with Airbnb. Although the first try was wonderful, this second try really dissuaded me from using Airbnb again, and if there’s another host like that, I’d prefer to go back to traditional hotels.

Airbnb Rip Off Report: Zero Customer Service

I recently went on holiday to Italy and booked several places via Airbnb. With the exception of one, the properties were misrepresented and not as they appeared in the advertisements and photos. One apartment rental we booked in Omegna, (Lake Orta) in Italy was so bad we could not stay there; it was an absolute disgrace compared to the description and photos. I tried to contact Airbnb about any problem but it’s impossible. I tried to cancel online as soon as we arrived but all I got was one night’s refund; I lost the other two nights’ fees, an Airbnb fee, and a cleaning fee, and then had to rent a hotel room. The company obviously never checks if the place being advertised fits the description. All links online lead back to the owner so it’s impossible to get in touch with them to resolve a problem. They obviously don’t care about guests as long as they get their commission. I will never use Airbnb again.

Landlord Tried to Rip me off, Airbnb Supported the Hosts

I stayed six nights in a studio in Paris; everything went well. I was there on business and just rented the studio for a shower and some sleep, nothing else. As the landlord was travelling at that time, I took the keys from an Indian restaurant, and left the keys in his mailbox; we did not even met. I checked out and headed to the airport. At the airport, I received a text from her, asking about a 10 cm/4 inch scratch on the wall. I answered that the spot was there when I checked in and I was not the cause of this incident. Later, she reported and opened a case through Airbnb, asking for a refund of €130 to paint the wall. The studio was about 30×322 square meters and that amount required for payment would cover almost the whole house. She tried to rip me off.

I responded with the truth, saying that I had no part of making the scratch. Airbnb went through this request and charged me €38 for only the materials she requested. The required material was reported as 10 L of paint and a long list of materials attached to it… though the 10-cm scratch was up for debate. Airbnb acted as a judge, never listened to the guest, and was only keen on fulfilling the request coming from the landlord. I strongly advise you… you have to be very careful while making reservations, and checking in and out. Some things might happening after check out that are not your responsibility.

Airbnb might be rich from supporting this landlord’s scam but I am not that much of an idiot. They claim that there is an insurance policy for the premises in the event of damage: it never worked, a complete lie. Airbnb is too risky to anyone if your landlord has some strange kind of attitude. That’s not worth it. Open your eyes and consider some other options for accommodation.