Racist Host Cancelled Over Holiday Weekend

What was supposed to be a peaceful, relaxing weekend away with some of our closest friends for Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be a nightmare. Our group consisted of a total of six individuals, ethnically diverse (east Indian and Korean) professionals, a mix of women and men. One might wonder why is it important to mention a description of our ethnic background — why does that need to be stated on an Airbnb review?

With everything happening in the United States, racial profiling and discrimination is something I felt free of in Canada, especially in British Columbia where our communities are multicultural. However, we were all victims of discriminatory behaviour by the host.

We booked accommodations at Campbell River about a month prior to our arrival. The intent of our stay was to have a weekend away with our friends and enjoy what we named “friendsgiving.” We were all excited to share a meal around a table, play some board games and enjoy nature. Upon our search we came across a “luxurious log cabin” and the six of us decided the cabin was to our liking and suited our needs and interests for the weekend. We proceeded to book the accommodation, and the host and hostess accepted our payment.

We started planning. We are all honest individuals and have immense respect for others’ homes. We did not want to bring or do anything which was not okay with the host so we took the liberty to be honest and asked the host if it would be okay if we cooked dinner for thanksgiving at the cabin. In addition to this, we asked if it would be okay if we brought our lovely Luna (our dog) with us. The host was quick and kind to reply that the kitchen is fully stocked for cooking purposes and we are more than welcome to host our dinner. However, she was not okay with our pet.

We respected her wishes and decided to let our dog stay with family and were very thankful that she was okay with us using the kitchen. It does state on the listing that the kitchen is available for use and we do have proof of the host’s messages agreeing to the use of the kitchen.

Two days before we were to leave for the weekend, we got a message from the host asking to change our cabin and to consider making changes to our accommodation. They send us pictures of a different cabin, which looks absolutely nothing like the log cabin we had originally booked — not nearly as nice. We kindly asked the host if we could continue to keep our original log cabin accommodation as the entire group is more comfortable with our initial choice. We promised her our dog is not coming with us and that we are all professionals and will leave the place with no damage. The host agreed to allow us to continue our stay at the originally booked log cabin.

All of our ducks were in a row. Ferries from horseshoe bay were booked. It was the day of departure and the six of us make the six-hour commute to Campbell River. During the drive in the morning, we got bombarded with messages from the host saying we could not stay at the log cabin. She was going to cancel our booking unless we agreed to stay at the other cabin.

We took the liberty of calling Airbnb customer support and explained the entire situation to them. They mentioned that the host is in the wrong and should not be changing accommodations without getting approval from the booking customer. The hostess was strong arming us to stay somewhere we didn’t book. Considering we had already commuted almost four hours at this point and it was a long thanksgiving weekend with no other place to stay that could accommodate six people, we had to agree to changing the cabin. However, our condition was that we wanted to see the cabin first upon our arrival.

Once the first half of our group arrived, the host refused to open the gate and let them in. We called her and messaged her to let us in — we paid for the accommodation and travelled a long way to be here. At first, she refused until we called Airbnb and agreed to cancel our original booking and accepted the new cabin. We politely told her that we would like to see the cabin she was recommending before agreeing to her request.

This is where it gets really ugly. When she finally came out to open the gate and take the group to the new cabin, we noticed that the cabin had not been cleaned at all. There was dirt and leaves everywhere, the sheets looked slept in, there were coffee stains on the tables, and a horrible smell. The cabin looked completely lived in and had not been cleaned at all.

Immediately the group refused to stay there — this was not what we paid for and this was not what we travelled six hours to stay at. When asked why we could not stay at the log cabin we originally booked her words to us were: “People like you stayed there last time and the people like you all burned the stovetop.”

At first we were taken aback by the phrase “people like you” and then expressed to her we had no intention of damaging the place. She could take a larger cash deposit from us and hold onto it until our stay was over and return it once she was content that there was indeed no damage.

Her response? “No, I cant trust people like you, you asked about bringing a dog.”

We reassured her there was no dog. We left her back home. She could have checked our car, but she continued to accuse us of lying about hiding the dog. Repeatedly she used the phrase “people like you.” She never once addressed us by our names. She called us violent people when a friend of ours tried to walk towards the other cabin and threatened to call the police.

Eventually we noticed that there was someone already staying at the log cabin we had originally booked. She accepted our payment but gave the accommodation to a family member of hers to stay at for the weekend and was forcing us to stay at another cabin so she wouldn’t have to return our payment. The host then admitted that she gave the log cabin to a family member to stay at and that she forgot to tell us earlier.

We as a group have never been so humiliated, insulted, discriminated, and racially profiled before. We have never had someone threaten to call the police on us, to be treated so inhumanely and to be referred to as “people like you.”

My advice to anyone of ethnic origin or of colour: please save yourself the long journey and headache and do not book accommodations unless you are okay with your weekend being sabotaged. The six of us had to resort to booking a one-bedroom place which slept three people. 600 square feet for the weekend because there was no other place to stay due to the long weekend. We tried to make the most of our weekend, but the horrendous behaviour from the host and hostess was unforgettable.

Accused of Theft and Lying About Smells

blank

My wife and I rented an Airbnb e to celebrate our first anniversary. From day one it smelled like a dog kennel. The second day, we found one bed bug which the co-host implied that we could’ve been responsible for rather than just quietly making things right. She moved us to a different room that was much better, but then the next day, she and her daughter accused us of messing with the way their appliances were plugged in and costing them $95 for an electrical inspection, when we didn’t and had absolutely no reason to.

The host’s daughter did not objectively serve us and was hardly involved as opposed to her mom. We filed a complaint with Airbnb the next day and the hosts kicked us out, though we had not officially told them we were canceling our reservation. They falsely accused us of filing a complaint of theft against them and took pictures of our naturally messy room before we had time to clean it up. They reported us to Airbnb corporate for vandalizing and trashing their place.

Airbnb’s Dishonesty Over COVID-19 Cancellation

In February I booked a house in Manly Sydney for two couples from within Australia and New Zealand. Then came COVID-19 and with border closures flights were cancelled and borders closed.

I contacted the owner and was told cancelling would not be a problem and I would get a refund. I duly did so and it read that I would receive AUD 450.00 which was slightly less than I had paid. Then I received a email from Airbnb informing me that I would get no money as company policy was since I hadn’t paid in full, there would be no refund. I asked about a voucher but the answer was no.

Their blurb said if COVID-19 was the reason for cancelling and a booking had been made prior to shutdown then they would refund but actually that’s a lie. A lot of messaging between myself, the owner and the company was a waste of time. The owner blocked any communication and then Airbnb stated that due to COVID-19, property owners were struggling with their own debt hence the reason for no payment. They too refused to accept any further communication. The host did say that any reimbursement was out of his hands as Airbnb didn’t pay him until the date of the booking.

It is saddening that this company can take money from people and not return it when it’s a genuine reason for cancellation. The airline returned the full cost of tickets without even requesting the same but Airbnb is cheating us of our funds.

Airbnb has lost me as a user and I’ll stay with other honest short-term holiday rental companies that have been reliable in the past. I only used this one as it was exactly what we wanted and located where we wanted but I’ll look elsewhere and trust the company of choice. Use Airbnb at your peril but never again for me.

Airbnb Host Offers no Flexibility During Pandemic

This was the worst Airbnb I have ever stayed at in my life. It was like walking on eggshells. I can’t believe I stayed here and extended my stay. I was manipulated and taken advantage of at the same time as well.

Since I was trying to save money in the middle of the pandemic, I figured I should probably stay in a cheap place with a kitchen. I was hesitant with booking with this host since the kitchen was not allowed. I figured she might be able to make an exception so I decided to message her first.

In our conversation, she told me “light cooking” would be okay. Unfortunately, that was my mistake. “Light cooking” was her way to get me to book the room so that she could make some extra cash during the pandemic. Apparently sautéing was not considered to be “light cooking”. Light cooking to her was considered to be making a sandwich, which is not really cooking at all. Because of this miscommunication, I had to throw away $30 of groceries.

My host also came into my room and moved my stuff around so that she could tidy up one day while I was gone for the afternoon. If I can’t come into your room I would really appreciate it if you didn’t go into the one I paid for when I’m not in the apartment. I mean how do I know if my stuff is safe in the room?

I can also see why previous guests were complaining about the bed. I had to fix the bed frame several times since it’s made out of wood. On her listing, it also says that a laptop friendly space is included. When I was at a desk typing on my laptop I was told to go to my room because “the living room wasn’t an office”.

If you’re a tourist and you’re not in the apartment a lot I can see why you would leave a good review but this was not my experience. I’ll never use Airbnb again.

No Reservation Fee Refund for July Travel

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing events and the related travel restrictions we are unable to travel to Croatia this July. We had paid the large reservation fee at this point.

I spoke to my host to cancel the reservation and discuss refund options. She seemed to sympathise and said she had changed her cancellation policy and hoped I got all my money back. However, when I tried to cancel the booking there was no refund indicated as due.

I contacted my host who basically stalled me. I have tried to go via the resolution centre but cannot as it states I have not paid the full fee. I am prepared to negotiate a fair number with the host but she continues to stall. I am concerned that it now looks like I’m paying a large reservation fee for an apartment that I cannot stay in for no fault of my own.

I cannot take it to resolution as I have not paid a fee. The help centre is absolutely no help at all. I’ve sent multiple messages with no response. Is there anything I can do or have I lost all the money?

Airbnb Refuses to Refund First Responders

We had a group of first responders planning to stay at an Airbnb for three days in April. During this time, the COVID-19 virus had made its way to Southern California. We have been transporting symptomatic patients everyday and many of our paramedics/firefighters have been contracting the virus. This virus has the possibility to be asymptomatic and our fear was coming in contact with civilians that could suffer life-threatening symptoms.

I reached out to the host explaining how it was best if we cancelled. Our host had the ability to give a full refund and said he was on board. Immediately after I canceled, he went back on his word and kept the money.

A few days later, Airbnb released extenuating circumstances for a full refund for customers that fell within certain dates. Although my dates were included, I had already cancelled; they refused the refund. I tried to explain the situation I had with my host.

I received very generic and automated responses from customer support denying any help. I am very disheartened about how Airbnb customer support has handled this situation. This has cost me a lot of money and I don’t see my myself ever using their services again. To all that are reading this: stay safe during this tough time.

Host Tries to Charge Guest $6,000 for Fake Damages

Last November I was traveling with a friend from Tennessee to Delaware. We stopped several places along the way and our first stop was actually in Alabama. We got there and the Airbnb was difficult to find and seemed like it was in a sketchy area. Once we found the place, it wasn’t so bad.

The next morning we wanted to do a load of laundry and there had been a washer and dryer listed for usage. Well, in order to use the washer, I had to get the host’s stuff out and load it into the dryer. I thought I was being helpful anyway.

After a few minutes, my friend and I smelled something burning. I went over there and sure enough there was something wrong with the cord. We were not told that this was the case, but I had to make sure to unplug the dryer. I had to move the dryer to make sure I could unplug it which was difficult since it was hot to the touch.

We opened windows and the door. We even called 911 to get the fire department out even though there wasn’t a fire just yet. We knew we needed to leave, but needed to make sure nothing happened. We stayed until the smoke cleared, but from a distance so we wouldn’t inhale the fumes. We also called the host and told her exactly what happened and she was cordial and okay with us when we were on the phone and thanked us for letting her know.

That night I got a call from the host screaming at me for ruining her stuff and that I had caused significant damage. I let her know it was due to her error in not letting us know the dryer had faulty wiring, but she insisted that it was on us. She went ahead and complained to Airbnb and said we did that as well as stole some stuff. We are not thieves.

We got a call from Airbnb letting us know the complaints and we let them know the real issue. They told us, “Yeah, it is a little ridiculous what she’s saying and it’s way more than could happen in one night.” So they said that we would be okay and that they would eliminate this complaint.

About three days later I got an email trying to charge me $6,000 for the damages. I called about it and once again they apologized and said they would remove the charges. However, a few days later I got an email saying that my account had been disabled due to not following the terms and conditions in accordance with Airbnb policy.

I have since tried and tried to talk to Airbnb and ask why my account was disabled, but they keep emailing me and letting me know to reply to with my Airbnb inbox, which I cannot use since they disabled my account.

blank

Terrible Host with no way to Contact Airbnb

blank

Airbnb hosts accused us bringing extra people and that is not true. We booked for 12 and there were 11 of us. Proof is attached. I’m writing on behalf of members of KC Nippon and myself. I was a world karate champion. We travel a lot and use Airbnb very often. We never had a bad experience like the one in NYC.

I came to NYC for a competition with ten kids. The apartment was not ready when we arrived: the house was dirty and some workers were putting on a bathroom door that was completely missing. The other door was broken and some of the furniture as well.

After two nights, the toilet broke and all the sewage was coming back up. We contacted the super and she promised to fix it. That was very risky for the kids’ health and we had to close that bathroom. We couldn’t use it for the rest of our stay. That caused a lot of delays in our program and a lot of complaints from kids’ parents.

When we complained about it, the host sent threatening SMS messages (see attached photo). She also came the day that we were leaving to check everything, and when we complained she start to be very rude and was yelling at the kids. She is listed as a real estate agent and I’m not even sure can she legally rent apartments on Airbnb in New York State.

When we came back we saw a very impolite message: the agency wanted us to pay them extra money. We booked and pay in advance for 12 persons, but there were only 11 of us. We will not pay anything extra.

At this moment we would like to request a refund for our expenses. The kids’ health was in danger (considering coronavirus and all the unsanitary conditions). My personal opinion is that Airbnb should protect their users from hosts like this.

Bad Airbnb Owner Trying to Scam Guests

My wife and I chose Airbnb to find a location to have our wedding reception. The first day was very busy getting people from the airport, getting and putting up decorations, helping the caterer, and so on. Given that, we noticed but disregarded the broken refrigerator and dirty house and other odds and ends. We took a couple of pictures but carried on getting things done.

The week went by, and we head home. My wife received a message from the owner saying that we damaged many things and needed to pay $300 in repairs. She messaged her back calmly saying that these things were already broken and sent the pictures timedated to her as proof.

She said that her management service is very thorough and accused my wife of lying. She became very hostile when my wife pointed out all the other things that were substandard with a $3000 house rental. She insisted that we were lying and gave my wife a very negative review saying, “It would have been nice for you to be honest about it.”

Now she is publicly calling my wife disrespectful and a liar when we have the proof of her management company’s negligence. To add insult to injury they have deleted my wife’s review of the house while the owner is still allowed to publicly bash and harass us online and on her personal email.

When you “stole” something that was never there

I want to preface this by saying that this is my first time ever booking with Airbnb, and I definitely made some amateur mistakes.

I let my host text me exclusively since they wouldn’t respond through the messenger. I also accidentally signed up for one guest. When you’re searching for a stay, you can choose the option for two guests but I didn’t realize that didn’t transfer over when you booked. I texted my host that I was coming with another person the day before our check in and they replied “excellent” since it was no extra charge (which they denied, because it wasn’t on the messenger. Luckily I had screenshots.)

I believed that people wouldn’t try and scam me without proof or accuse me of stealing something that was never there. I recently got back from a weekend trip with Airbnb and this is my first time booking a reservation myself (yay for adulting).

I thought the host was a tad bit aggressive on the trip, because they were constantly texting me with their personal number and asking what we were doing. I didn’t think much of it and gave them five stars since they claimed they would rate me five stars as well if I did (which is extortion?).

I got home and everything seemed to be fine, but then I got an email that ruined everything. The host is claiming that I walked out with a comforter and a 55-inch TV in broad daylight with no proof other than “it was here before they checked in and gone when they checked out.”

When we got to the apartment there was no TV. The bed was missing a comforter and it wasn’t made. In their defense, we did arrive an hour early (but they told us we could still come in). I didn’t report the unmade bed, because, again, this was my first time renting an Airbnb and I didn’t want to seem rude to someone that was letting me into their home. I also didn’t think it was that a big a deal since we were the ones that arrived early.

With the TV, we assumed that it wasn’t included or being repaired. They gave us a list of amenities to check, and while the TV was pictured on their page when we booked, it wasn’t on the list they sent us when we arrived. We assumed that meant it wasn’t included. We did tell our host about a few other missing items, and even sent pictures telling them that we didn’t want to be charged for things that were missing upon our arrival.

At this point I’ve sent them a receipt of a comforter that we had to buy and a speaker that we purchased for our personal laptop, since we couldn’t watch movies due to no TV being there. I’ve asked that surveillance be checked and for our reports of other missing items to be documented, but the host keeps saying that we need to refund them immediately.

They’ve told us that there is a cleaning person that comes in between us and their other guests, and that’s the only reason that I can think of that might be why the TV and comforter are gone. Maybe another guest took them or they were never there to begin with. The keys for the apartment are also outside in a lockbox that’s on a rail on the street for anyone to access.

They also told us to never contact the front desk for anything as we were not allowed to; we didn’t have a lease in our name. Is that normal for other Airbnbs? I wouldn’t know because this was my first time booking one.

For the first time since we’ve been back, the host used the messenger to claim that we never sent anything to them regarding issues to the apartment or my second guest. They are telling Airbnb that I’m lying about everything, because the communication I’m talking about never happened. I may not have the videos of the apartment, but I do have screenshots and text messages to share, which the host isn’t taking kindly to, saying that my character and responses can’t be trusted since I’m “insane” and a “liar”.

The host has harassed me every other day in private messages for money, I guess Airbnb isn’t moving fast enough for them. People are probably wondering why I’m so worried if I have nothing to hide, but I have an anxiety disorder that’s constant and makes me stress and worry about things that I shouldn’t: “What if they don’t believe me, because my host didn’t update that I had a second guest; what if they assume that the TV being gone is my fault, because they didn’t check that their last guest had it; what if I can’t get another Airbnb because of the review this host left on me.”

It’s a lot to think about. I had to block my host with this final message after they called me insane:

“Everything about this experience has been so stressful. I just wanted to have a good time with my partner and you keep saying that we took your TV with no proof. Your keys for the apartment are outside. Anyone could have gone in and taken your device. Next time get insurance on your items or put something into the booking to protect you from something like this.

I’m really sorry that your TV is gone. I’d be upset if someone took my things, but I’m not the one that did it. Instead of waiting for Airbnb to decide on an outcome, you keep messaging me to pay you for something that you have no proof of me taking because it wasn’t in the apartment to begin with.

We assumed that your listing was inaccurate because of the missing blanket, TV and bracelets. We didn’t report it, because we arrived early and assumed your cleaning person didn’t have time to prepare. And if we reported the pool bracelets not wanting to be charged, why on earth would we take something so expensive as a TV? It doesn’t add up.

This entire time, you’ve been unprofessional. You’ve attacked me. My character. And my honesty. This is the very last time that I will message you directly. If you are so sure that we took your TV, just let things play out the way that they are supposed to and leave me alone. Especially if you have the evidence to back up your claim. I hope you have a great day and that no one else has to go through an experience like this.”

I’m not sure if I ever want to use this service again after this, especially since support won’t do anything about the host harassing me.