AirBnB customer service does not protect its customers. My story is not the first nor will it be the last.
I stayed in an unacceptable hosting environment (there was no heat in sub-zero temperatures, in one of the coldest nights in history according to weather.com) and while AirBnB kindly refunded me, they also asked me to post a review of the host to “keep AirBnB honest.” I would post the host’s name, but this woman has acted like such a psycho that I’m scared of any retaliation.
I hesitated, as last time I posted a less-than-favorable review, the host retaliated and posted completely false and damaging things on my profile. I was able to get it removed by removing my original review, and I see the host continues to do the same things to anyone who makes any kind of complaint on her property. She writes slanderous and horrible things about ANYONE who writes anything even slightly negative– for example, one woman literally wrote a super nice review and then just said “I didn’t realize there’d be someone sleeping in the living room…” and the girl WENT OFF on her. So AirBnB won’t take any action against a host who does this REPEATEDLY.
Anyway, back to my current situation. The host seemed relatively nice/stable so I posted a fair but honest review of my experience. The host went nuts, calling me (as well as my friend who stayed with me) twice a day, harassing us to take the review down, and when I asked her to stop calling me, she sent me multiple messages via AirBnB, and even after AirBnB asked her to stop calling me, she continued to harass me.
She then went the extra mile and wrote a false, damaging, and defaming review on my profile. I contacted AirBnB and asked them to take action, or at least to remove the review on my page.
A customer service representative named “Frankie G.” responded in a fairly sarcastic way, saying that while they were removing parts of MY review because it referenced some of the actions of the AirBnB staff (such as the fact that they gave me a refund), they would not remove any parts of the host’s review. He even said “It looks like your response clears things up.” Uh, I still don’t want a slanderous review on my profile! Frankie G. informed me they were they taking no further action about the fact that this woman was harassing me– so I’m guessing she will have free reign in the future to harass customers who don’t completely agree with the substandard conditions of her property. They ended the email with a snarky “I’m sure you’ll get great reviews in the future” and basically put the blame on my friend and I.
The fact that I am being harassed because I posted a fair and balanced review outlining the facts of a host that offered an unacceptable hosting situation and AirBnB chooses to protect the host tells you all you need to know. Sure, if you are in a good situation with AirBnB, you’ll be fine, but the minute you need protection, you are screwed. Don’t bother. It is not worth the headache or money saved. I strongly recommend against using this service and will be sure to let everyone I know how unsafe this service is. You are putting yourself at a GREAT risk if you use this service.
Hosts who behave like this should have action taken against them, if they are not removed completely, then they should at least have some kind of suspension period. But no, AirBnB is happy to let erratic and unstable hosts continue to harass and bully anyone who doesn’t toe the line.