I usually have pretty decent luck with Airbnb but not this time. As guests, we understand that things and issues can happen all the time. When things happen, hosts should respond promptly and try to resolve the issue as best they can. However, this is not what we’ve experienced; our host is not helpful and ignoring us when we seek solutions, even if the damaged amenity is the bedding.
In short, this is what happened. We found the air mattress at our Airbnb damaged so we notified the host immediately for a solution because we wanted to sleep comfortably on something, not on the hard floor during winter. The host acknowledged the issue, then ignored us.
We contacted Airbnb customer service regarding this issue, the host being very unresponsive when we, the guests, were trying to communicate. The issue turned into a claim and guests are eligible to request a refund from the host. Our host was not happy about the settlement of the claim and wrote a crazy review accusing us.
In a more detailed fashion, this is what happened. We booked this Airbnb for our ski trip. Although it is a studio, the listing said it can fit six people. We were a group of five so we thought it would be fine. Users on Airbnb might notice that the housing price varies by the dateby a lot; the place usually is around $170ish per night and due to the holiday season, we paid almost $500/night.
The night when we arrived at the studio, we found out there was a hole in the air mattress and immediately notified the host to see if there was any way she could fix it. The host replied: “Oh no! There’s a leak in the air mattress? I’m so sorry I don’t have another. How else can I fix this?” We were very surprised that the host was not aware of the damage to the air mattress.
Most hosts check the key amenities after the previous guests check out and before new guests check in. There are also dishes in the dishwasher that we were not sure were clean or dirty from the previous guests. I guess she didn’t check carefully before we arrived. We were also surprised that she didn’t have a spare air mattress and was asking the guests for a solution. We were already pretty tired from skiing all day and really needed comfortable sleep to recover.
We then messaged her: “I guess we need to figure out ourselves how to squeeze five people in one bed and sofa? We are also going to stay tomorrow night. Anyway, can you fix it tomorrow so everyone can have a comfortable sleep?” The host didn’t reply to us the entire night, and the last message we sent her was only around 9:00 PM.
This is the first time we experienced this. Our past Airbnb hosts have all been very responsive and able to fix issues very quickly. We weren’t sure if she was going to help us to resolve the issue so we reached out to Airbnb customer service about the situation with a picture of the hole in the mattress. They provided us with a couple options but none that could help us the first night. We squeezed three people in one bed and two people on the sofa. It was really really uncomfortable. Customer service also mentioned they were going to reach out to the host regarding this matter.
Finally, the host replied to us the second morning saying she was really sorry about the air mattress and she had another mattress at another rental she could bring over around noon - 1:00 PM. I then gave my friend’s contact information to her since she would be staying at the Airbnb the entire day and the rest of us would be out.
Around 5:00 PM we went back to Airbnb and my friend told me the host hadn’t showed up yet. I then checked my message inbox and ddn’t see anything about rescheduling the time or a delay. A couple minutes later, I got her message saying she would be there in 30 minutes. About an hour later, she still hadn’t show up. I messaged her asking when she would be there and she replied: “On my way up.”
About five minutes later, she finally showed up with air mattress. Because of the lateness, I thought she lived pretty far from there and it took time for her to get to our place because of the snow. I asked her: do you live in town? She pointed at a house right outside the window saying: I live right there. I was pretty shocked at that moment . Why did she ignore us the first night and take so long to get our place if she lives next door?
Another issue came up when the host was trying to set up the air mattress for us and she realized that she didn’t have the air pump; we couldn’t use it. She then went back to her place and found a cot and asking us if that was okay. I said yes because it was better than nothing.
I also want to note the sofa bed and cot were not comfortable at all; we kept rolling and sinking to the center since none of them have support from the bottom. The only comfortable bedding is the bed. I talked with Airbnb customer service again regarding the second night situation updates and they suggested I initiate a conversation with the host to request a refund regarding our first night’s experience. They can start there once I’ve initiated the conversation.
Based on Airbnb’s refund policy, if key amenities are missing or damaged, the guest is eligible for the refund from the host. We then sent the host a request for a possible refund due to missing/damaged amenities. Of course the host didn’t reply to us at all so we had to reach out to customer service again. Reaching out to Airbnb customer service is a very painful experience; once your claim gets assigned to a case manager, you can only work with them on your case. There is no way you can directly contact them. The only way is to write an in-app message and hope they see it and get back to you.
My experience of getting a response from a case manager on this case has never been shorter than one day. After a couple days of waiting and calling the Airbnb customer service number to ask them leave a note to my case manager for an update, my case manager finally got back to me, saying that he was unable to reach out to the host and they want to talk to the host in order to make a fair assessment about the claim.
Two more days later, and my case manager said he was able to speak with my host and sent me this message : “The host was a bit surprised about my request, and she also mentioned that there were scratches on the pots/pans.” The host probably thought that she could not get away from the refund so she started making things up.
First of all, based on Airbnb’s refund policy , if key amenities are missing or damage during our stay, guests are eligible to request a refund. She shouldn’t be surprised at all because we were missing one bed on our first night’s stay. Second, the scratches on the pots and pans were already there when we got there. It is ridiculous to claim they were made by us.
I asked Airbnb customer service if she wanted to report the scratches on the pots and pans against us, she should provide before and after pictures with a timestamp matching our stay (we were pretty sure such photos didn’t exists because they weren’t made by us). After more waiting, an Airbnb case manager replied that they haven’t heard anything back from the host in regards to the pot/pan scratches and were able to settle my claim about the damage amenities.
The settlement result was we received a refund of our first night’s stay. A couple hours after I got the news from the case manager that the claim was settled, the host left this crazy review accusing us of everything. She didn’t respond to customer service in a timely manner but she wrote bad reviews promptly. She just relentlessly made things up… such a crazy and ridiculous host.
In the review she wrote we:
- Trashed her place. The fact she rented it out to another group right after we left probably meant we didn’t trash it enough.
- Abused her kindness. Hmmmm, if lying and slow replies are considered kindness then I think we did abuse it.
- We lied about our dog being potty trained, if our dog pooping outside is considered as lying about potty training. We didn’t even talk to her about anything in regards to dog potty training because our dog was well trained a couple years ago.
- We filed a complaint against her because we didn’t know how to use the pull-out bed. I need to be honest about this one; we didn’t know how to use the pull-out sofa when we first arrived, but that was not the reason we filed a complaint against her. Though the pull-out sofa was very uncomfortable, the claim was about the air mattress leaking (damage/missing amenities). We were unable to sleep on it.
- I think she forgot to mention about the scratches on the pots/pans which she mentioned to customer service. I think she needs to add that to the review just to keep her lie consistent.