French Airbnb Features Fake Seaside View

I had stayed with a friend outside of La Rochelle for a few days. Not having a car, when this friend went away it seemed wiser to rent a place in the city to be able to get around, take a boat, etc, more easily. I rented an Airbnb for a Sunday and Monday.

After accepting my reservation, and after I had paid, the host never gave me the address. This was a bad sign. The place was in an industrial area, not a residential area. She had probably rented an old boat sales place (looked like a car sales place) and transformed the downstairs kitchen into a catering place where she prepared food she delivered to clients, and the upstairs had a kitchen living area for her, her bedroom, a bathroom and a few small bedrooms.

The outer wall was floor to ceiling windows (since it was a showroom-type place) with a very tiny slit for an opening. Outside in the evening it was a pleasant 65° F: nice for sleeping. However, inside it was about 85°. It was impossible to have darkness as the shades didn’t reach all the way down to the floor, and if one opened the shades, one’s whole bedroom was broadly visible from the street. There was no lock on the bedroom nor bathroom door.

The pictures were ten pictures of the pretty living room with pictures of boats just out the window and the accommodation appeared to be close to the sea – surely we had a seaside view? No, it was an industrial boat repair area, with noisy boat repairs going on all day Sunday.

Though the pictures of the living room and view were promoted, the host said this was for her and she didn’t want me to come into the living room much or to use the kitchen much. She did allow me to put half a cucumber and a piece of cheese in the fridge but didn’t want me to use the kitchen or electric kettle. I had to walk half a mile down to a park every time I wanted to eat as I couldn’t eat in the apartment. There was no restaurant nearby.

The listing said it was quiet, but in fact on a Sunday night at midnight there were many cars passing all night just in front. I recorded this on video and sent it to Airbnb. They said I could be refunded the second night. The lady kept yelling and yelling and pointing to her good reviews. I booked a small room in a very cute hotel for a similar price, thank goodness: ten times better.

By accident I had left my phone charger, personal journal, and a philosophy magazine at the place. The lady read my personal journal and made critical personal comments. She would not fix a time to give me my charger and journal back. I had to spend some hours contacting Airbnb. She told people at Airbnb that she would be there to give me my stuff but didn’t answer the door. I had to go around back to see that she was already there, and call Airbnb so that they would call her and she would finally give me my stuff.

While on the phone with Airbnb, they gave me a 50-euro credit for the bad experience. I wanted to note this on my review, but they said I was not allowed to. I wrote a poor review (just facts) while she wrote a very insulting one, and slightly xenophobic. She got a few more good reviews and then her listing disappeared.

Many of her reviews seemed to be from other hosts and seemed to be arrangements between hosts, to give one another good reviews. There were lots of reviews from people who had only given one review and were hosts and to whom she had also given a review as a guest (very reciprocal reviews).

Good riddance to this lady. Glad to see her place with the “boat views” (AKA boat repair shop views) is off the map. Airbnb should have cancelled her listing immediately and allowed me to post that they had refunded me the second night and given me credit for the first. Thank goodness I found a very cute hotel to have a nice last night.

My Wife Hosted our Home. Didn’t Tell Me

Back in 2016 my wife told me about Airbnb and said she would like to host our house. Nothing else was said until she was very adamant that we take off just to get away one weekend. When complications came up, she was forced to admit she had rented out our house “just to try it”. Well I was upset that she would do such a thing without telling me. We had a pretty serious discussion about my opinion, and her honesty.

Fast forward to 2017. She wanted to go on an extended weekend trip and I just could not because of work. Well she played hurt, then angry. On Friday she said, “Well, let’s just stay at a local motel.”

I thought that was pretty odd and she gave all kinds of excuses to be out of the house. Finally she admitted she had booked our house for the weekend. I was furious she did this again. This time I asked her to let me have access to her account and I found three more bookings in the next two months.

I wrote Airbnb explaining the situation and they said they couldn’t help me because I wasn’t on the account. “It’s a problem between you and your wife,” they said.

“True,” I said, “But I own the home!”

When I asked if it would be their problem if I turned the guests away, they still said nothing. They would not get involved. After a heated argument and with guests arriving in the morning, I submitted to moving out for the weekend if she closed her account with Airbnb and cancelled all of her booked guests. She did and promised me she would always talk to me before making any decisions like that.

Fast forward to this weekend. Same story. “Let’s get away for the week” prefaced by furious house cleaning. I came to find out that she had not deleted her account and in fact booked our house for the weekend… and every weekend during the months of June and July and one in August. My whole summer is booked with me away from our lake home.

I am stunned. I am calling Airbnb on Monday but I can guess their answer. My options? Refuse to let the guests in or maybe try and contact them and give them warning? Airbnb won’t get involved.

Airbnb Bait and Switch, Fake Reviews

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We had a lot of problems with an Airbnb house in Houston. When I kindly told the host to fix the following problems he got extremely aggressive.

A few days before arrival, the host has switched the property. The property I initially booked is no longer listed on Airbnb. I paid more than double the price, as the host was asking for the new listing. The new listing said that it was located in a historic, quiet neighborhood. However, it was located in a run-down neighborhood.

The other neighbor had three big dogs (five feet away from the bedroom) which barked all day and night. We were always waking up and it felt very uncomfortable.

The TV did not work. When we arrived, the Internet TV had no power cable and it was not installed with the router. The stove and oven did not work either, because the gas meter was locked by the gas company. After two days, we had no more access to the laundry room.

As of April 1st, 2018, Texas law dictates that any residential and commercial structures with both sleeping areas and gas or fuel-burning appliances must install and properly maintain carbon monoxide alarms. However, there was only a cheap smoke detector, no carbon monoxide and no fire extinguisher. The host was very reluctant to solve these problems.

Without getting a review from me, the host was giving me a totally bad review, without reason. However, in the last email to me he wrote: “It was a pleasure hosting you! We will be certain to leave a great five-star review for your stay. If you ever come back, please let us know and give us the chance to accommodate you again. A five-star review for us as hosts is very important for our business. Please don’t forget to give us that.”

After checking the reviews of the listing, I discovered they were all fake.

Airbnb Room had Bedbugs and I got Fined

I stayed at an Airbnb in New Orleans and woke up to find find dead bedbugs and casings in the box spring. The host responded by wiping away the evidence and threatening to come after me for damages if I told anyone. I sent photos of the bedbugs and audio tape I had taken of her admitting there were no damages.

As part of the claim she ended up filing against me, which included a $75 fee for putting the mattress back on the bed (which I had even offered to do for her), she submitted a clearly falsified letter from a fake exterminator, which Airbnb even admitted to me they knew was fake. Somehow they still charged me $75.

Can you imagine going to a hotel, complaining that you found bedbug remnants, and having them respond by falsifying documents, attacking you, and then fining you? This company has zero customer service.

New Airbnb Policy: Believe Hosts’ Lies

I booked an Airbnb recently that claimed to have air conditioning. I showed up to the place, and inside it’s hot, steamy, and muggy. I called the host to ask how to turn the air conditioning on. His reply to me was that it was broken and to crack a window. I told him I was going to contact Airbnb for a refund.

The agent explained to me she had to verify with the host what I was claiming was true. She called the host and called me back letting me know that the host does not turn the air conditioning on until summertime… all the while it is 80 degrees. I asked if Airbnb condones posting amenities that are not available. Turns out, according to this agent, they do.

She completely sided with the host. By that logic, any host can post whatever amenity they want then claim the amenity isn’t available during whatever season you’re booking their place and let you know after you have paid and arrived.

Sorry we had to break up like this Airbnb…

I was just reading the sad reviews from the property owners. Can I tell you that the same thing happens to renters? I will spare you the details (trust me, you don’t want to hear them), but suffice it to say we had 13 excellent stays on Airbnb before we met the first property owner extortion machine.

We’ve always been model guests, and have always cleaned the premises before leaving – to the point my girlfriend makes fun of me about it. It turns out that in cleaning the kitchen, we “scratched” the stainless steel backsplash. The host demanded (not making this up) $900 for a full replacement of an item that was likely made out of too soft an alloy for the purpose. Go figure.

In true Airbnb fashion, they charged my credit card against my wishes ($500). Let me tell you – I had called my bank a few days before to block Airbnb from doing this because they are notorious for charging renters without consent. My bank (Chase) screwed up and did not block the charges as promised.

Take my advice: if you anticipate a dispute with Airbnb and you don’t want to go chasing your own money, cancel your card after your stay. We will not be returning to Airbnb as we do not feel like we were treated fairly on this one. Sad, because we had such a good run for a while.

Did I mention the undisclosed spy camera at the last place we rented? Apparently Airbnb doesn’t really care about that. If you take your chances, good luck.

Fraudulent Host Sues Guest for $1800

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at our Airbnb until we received communication from the host wrongfully accusing us of stealing her second-hand sheets. There were far better items to steal if we had been inclined, like the $400 TV to occupy our bored 13-year-old, or the microwave, which would have come in very handy to heat a frozen sausage roll for our screaming and starving 8-year-old, having an emotional meltdown over food at the airport back to Australia from France.

This is how it all started. The apartment looked newly renovated and we did note the tired looking sheets at the time. At first we thought it may be a misunderstanding and the cleaner may have taken them to launder, but as it now turns out, our credit card has been charged. There are many problems with this situation.

To be accused of theft, and then “charged” without sufficient evidence supporting the accusation, highlights one’s true core values and morals in a negative light. After abiding by Airbnb’s terms to resolve the issues, Airbnb has taken the role of “judge, jury, and executioner”, unfairly charging the incorrect credit card in favour of the Host.

This is in breach of their own “Terms of Service”. Airbnb did not charge the credit card on file that was used to make the booking. Instead they chose a different one on file. We used Airbnb for both work and personal use. This was a work trip, and as such we used the work card. This is a definitive breach of their Terms of Service. There is no evidence to suggest we stole the sheets. Airbnb needs evidence before accusing us of theft and charging us.

Other unidentified people had access to the property at the time we were there. They gained access as we were entering the building and did not identify themselves.

The host had accused us of stealing sheets, yet in her claim, she wanted compensation for a brand new unrelated item of significant value. This would suggest she was after money, and not a simple replacement.

As we were attending a surgical conference, there was conference paraphernalia, left in the host’s house. This material may have suggested to a money-hungry host, looking to upgrade their facility at someone else’s cost, that this family could foot the bill for her need for new linen.

The original suggestion of two sheet sets stolen has now been extended to include a whole range of items, not even available to us at the time of our stay. The host originally requested compensation for $1800 to replace two sheet sets. Had we known, I would have driven 120 km to the closest Walmart and back and bought two new sets for $40. The sizes of the sheet sets apparently stolen do not even fit our beds at home. No use to us there.

We had no room in our luggage anyway. I generally overpack (my vanity bag usually takes up most of my carry on anyway). With three kids and their electronic gadgets stuffed toys, and ski gear for five, there was no room in our bags for: a complete set bed €170, depreciated for two years = €136; another complete set €120 depreciated for two years = €96; a third complete set €160 * two years = €128; towels €50 * two years = €30; other towels €28 * two years = €16.80; DH 140, €75 * two years = €45: To 56+56= €112 * two years = €67.20. They’ve even depreciated the secondhand assets.

Apparently, the host has provided “valid documentation supporting the damage and repair cost”. I don’t believe screenshots of luxury branded sheets on online shopping sites is evidence that we stole the inventory list above.

Disgusting host behaviour. Disgusting Airbnb behaviour. This behaviour highlights the ease in which an opportunistic host can profit from guests, for the purpose of updating, renovating, or simply cashing in on the unassuming guest. There are many Airbnb guests who cannot afford to be falsely accused of theft, sued, and then have their moral character questioned. It seems the question of morality lies with the host here. And they get away with it.

Never stay here – it will cost you!

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Fraud Committed by Airbnb Host in Los Angeles

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After using the Airbnb platform twice without issue, I decided to book two nights in a loft in downtown LA for a recent business trip. After confirming the booking, the host requested I send him a copy of my driver’s license outside the platform, which I was hesitant to do. I could tell this frustrated the host so I sent him another picture ID and said I could provide him with my license upon arrival.

Upon arriving I was greeted by a young lady who was not the man I was messaging with on the platform. I also couldn’t help but notice that she seemed nervous. I provided her with my driver’s license and she showed me to the loft.

My stay was uneventful. The place was marginal at best but I was there for business and only needed the bed, bathroom, TV, and fridge. I couldn’t get the shower to produce warm water and the lamp next to the bed was so flimsy I actually spent 20 minutes trying to get it screwed together in a way that gave it some more structural integrity.

Upon checking out I was prompted to provide a review. I gave four stars and left the typed feedback field blank as I’m not the type of person that complains about little things and wasn’t looking to write a bad review.

This is where the hell started. Upon submitting my feedback, I received the host’s review of me and was shocked. The guy had written multiple paragraphs stating that I left the place a mess and damaged the countertops with a knife. The guy even submitted photos of horrible scratch marks. There was no background so it could have been any countertop. I also found it hard to believe that the guy would go as far as damaging his own countertop.

I declined the payment request and a case was opened. I clearly explained the situation to the assigned “Trust & Safety Specialist”. After all, this was about as straight-forward of a fraudulent claim as one could imagine. I never used the kitchen, never mind any knives.

Airbnb told me they had requested additional paperwork from the host and after several days I received a message from Airbnb at 2:00 AM introducing me to a whole new Trust & Safety Specialist and saying that if they didn’t hear back, they would move forward processing the host’s claim. When I called Airbnb the lady tried to get me to admit that I incurred the damage saying, “well you were just doing your thing” to which I responded: “Absolutely not, I didn’t even use the kitchen. I can’t believe you would say that!”

Flash forward to today. I received a message from Airbnb saying I owed $1250 for the damages. I’ve come to realize that Airbnb is unable to maintain the integrity of its platform. This host knew it and took advantage of it. Now here I am left with a completely inaccurate review and a bill for over a grand.

I have never experienced anything like this before. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I refuse to pay a fraudulent claim on principle. I blocked Airbnb from charging my card but have no idea what will happen next other than my making everyone I can aware of this horrible experience and never using Airbnb again. This is literally criminal.

Don’t Fall for Airbnb Listings like this House

There were three big issues and a whole lot of headache for nothing in return. We were deceived by Airbnb. A weekend ruined due to this host, her husband, and Airbnb.

A hot tub was listed as part of the home. Five beds for eight people were in the listing. Free wifi was to be included. The supposed “hot tub” is not a hot tub but a container that one would have to actually put water in it and see if it would even get “hot”.

When someone advertises for a hot tub it should be that, and ready to use. Especially because I asked the host prior to booking if she had certain hours on when it is open – is it a community pool/hot tub? She said it was at the house so I could use it any time. Is it not suspicious now looking back that there is hidden fine print that one needs to pay them to use it each time?

If I specifically tell her this is a main amenity I was looking forward to, why would she hide this information? Why would she wait until I arrived to find the tiny one-person plastic/inflatable kiddie pool tub that did not even have water in it, let alone ice? The host said “Well, you know it is cold outside so how do you expect us to keep the hot tub warm?”

Should I send photos of what a hot tub is in the winter? I was just in Washington State with snow outside and 20 degrees with a real hot tub we used outside. It’s not rocket science. Do not advertise for things you do not actually have . Just like if a hotel says there is a pool would they tell customers to go fill up a pool with water? Who the heck in their mind would think this is acceptable, to go skiing all day and then have to do work to put water in a tub outside and see if it would even heat up?

The host is not that bright or they hid this information from me to find out when I arrived. It gets better. As stated above, there were holes all over the walls, and sockets hanging out, like where the TV and electronics were plugged in. Not safe. A fire could have started any time. This is right next to a fireplace. Are they trying to set up a situation for an accidental fire and then take the insurance? I wouldn’t put it past them.

We were so disappointed, but in addition, all of the furniture in the house – especially the living room and dining room – was patio furniture, cheap and wobbly patio furniture. How does anyone feel comfortable with that?

The description had said “five beds” for up to eight people. Before arriving that week, I told the host “I noticed the five beds, and eight people however I only originally planned for five people. Do you mind if I bring one more? There should be plenty of room, right?”

She actually responded saying, “There will be a $20 per person charge if there are more than six people.” Really? I am so glad nobody else came because in reality there were only three beds. The host said there was a futon in the living room. The futon which is the couch we sat on is supposed to just count as two other beds? Where is the fifth bed?

“Well, there is an air mattress that someone would have to blow up.” How do you list five beds but only have three? I am so so glad I did not invite more people. Nobody would have been comfortable sleeping on that futon of wood slats that hardly even passed as a couch, as it was an outdoor style temporary usable chair.

This one takes the cake: The TV is totally internet run. The internet and wifi were not working. We were out in the sticks so we hardly got our own phones to work at all. Without the free wifi/internet as advertised we would not have had anything to do. Not even basic TV channels. There were no board games or cards, nothing.

The place was much smaller than advertised. There were many locks on the kitchen cabinets like they were using most of that for storage. I didn’t even bother to check out if there were pots/pans/dishes so probably plan to bring your own things to cook with. The basement was locked.

Essentially guests would have the three bedrooms, and one open living room with kitchen attached. That is all. Meanwhile it was advertised as the “entire house”.

The host messaged me the wrong address, so it took longer than expected to even find the home. We found this gem of disappointment. I called the host right away. He told me after five minutes of talking and saying he was going to call the cable company to see if the internet could be fixed, that if I was unhappy he would call Airbnb for a refund. I said to refund me now and we would leave.

He told me multiple times that he was on the phone with them and trying to get me a refund/cancellation. He asked if I was leaving the property. It was a decision not so easily made because we just went skiing all day; we were all sweaty and tired. Nobody had changed or showered.

Home was three hours away in the snow that night. We tried to use our phones to find nearby hotels but no wifi was working. Since the host said he would just give me a refund we sucked it up and drove home in the snow, after only 40 minutes of being there on my anniversary celebration weekend. Our weekend was done at that point. Ruined. The snow was heavy; it was not an easy drive.

To make things even worse, the host told Airbnb (I found this out after I got home) that he did not promise me a refund. Well I have all the text messages and witnesses to this fact. I have video of the disappointments. I tried to contact Airbnb many times using many routes. I only got to speak to a live person once. That person said a case manager already looked at the case and said it was closed, that I should not get my money back.

I did not even get to talk to these people. I messaged and emailed Airbnb several times telling them to call me. Why are they not allowing me to talk and state what happened? I have evidence and witnesses. They are not giving me the time of day at all.

So beware folks. This house is a total scam. Nobody would be happy here for $250 a night. The title of the property also listed “free skiing and horse back riding”, yet the host also tried to tell me she charges $50 more if we wanted to use their community hill to ski. What? How does that make any sense? It says right in the title: “free”.

I challenged that before we arrived and only then did she say she would make an exception. I should have known it was a red flag. She is just trying to take money from people. I say “she” because the host is listed as a woman’s name but it was only the husband I spoke with on the phone when we arrived.

Lastly, she asked me if they could allow a realtor to show the home while we were there and it would have been during the time we paid to be there. Who has the nerve to even do that? It’s not like we were booked to stay there for a week. Who would want to buy this place anyway? A lot of work to do and definitely not in shape to be renting out on Airbnb.

The company needs to have reviewers of these places and listen to customers. I am never using Airbnb again. So upset. I have used it five times without issues.

These hosts are not good people and have no integrity. How could they try to keep my money when we left the place after shortly arriving? They made an agreement with me to give a refund, and then did the opposite. They ruined my weekend and what was supposed to be a memorable time with my loved ones. Despicable people.

Getting Evicted While Staying at Airbnb

This is my recent nightmare. I woke up around 11:00 AM to the maintenance man knocking on my unit stating he was looking for a water leak. He then informed me that the unit I was in was up for eviction.

I contacted Airbnb and then the host. I explained to Airbnb that I was pregnant and management was only giving me twenty minutes to vacate the premises. Airbnb asked me to work it out with the host. I called my husband because I was having a panic attack.

When the host arrived she went to the leasing office because she has three other units for rent and wanted to move us to another illegal unit. From noon to 10:00 PM I was in my car and on the phone with Airbnb. During this chaos I was humiliated by the manager who insulted me and belittled me in front of other tenants and the host.

The manager told my wife she had five minutes to vacate the premises or the sheriff would be escorting her out without being at fault. The host lied to her and pretty much stole my money and anyone before me because she knew she was being evicted.

Airbnb didn’t accommodate me or give me the sense they were here to help me. I felt alone and kept hoping Airbnb would find me a replacement house for the time being. Keep in mind I’m pregnant and with all the stress, sitting in the car for almost 11 hours with nowhere to go, Airbnb reps telling me they had to go home (sounds nice to say “I’m going home”), and the next agent helping me until she also had to go home, this left me with no choice but to pay for a hotel with my property in the car.

I was very disappointed that Airbnb was concerned about me wanting to get money back. I clearly told them I didn’t want my money back; I just needed a place to rest as I was extremely tired and depressed at this point.

The house I picked was a little more expensive. I paid the difference and still had nowhere to go. Not only did Airbnb not want to work with me but their only concern was how they didn’t go out of their way to really get us into anything that was not in our budget, considering I got evicted and humiliated and they just put me in a house.

Airbnb finally put someone on the line who was helpful but she had no authorization to make any major decisions. She gave us a $29 dollar credit then a $59 one for the only two days the host was refunding after Airbnb knew she was getting evicted and running her listing illegally.

My husband went to the leasing office and recorded the host telling the manager, who was her cousin, what was not true and also discussed our situation. The manager told the host that was not allowed. The host told the manager everything was okay. It wasn’t, because the manager came back to the apartment and told her she had to leave now.

That host is a fraud and Airbnb knows it. I’m going to small claims court and suing them for pain and suffering along with fraud. All I ask for is for Airbnb to take responsibility. As it is, Airbnb is advertising the homes and not really checking if the place is legal to use as an Airbnb. I blame Airbnb for everything that happened to my wife yesterday knowing she was stressed and could have affected the baby.