Never Allow Friends to Set up your Airbnb Account

My friend set up our account with Airbnb. She made herself the host and me a point of contact. All payments were going to my Paypal account. She was supporting me to get my business up and running. She had absolutely never put any money into the business. I was financing it all on my own.

After a year, the business was not doing well and I found myself in a financial down slope. I told her I no longer needed her help and that we should part our separate ways. I asked her to surrender the account to me or delete the account altogether. I solicited help from another company that had experience in business to help me.

In the meantime, she changed the password on me so I couldn’t go into the account and changed the default payment so all payments would be forwarded to her corporate account; I would not be able to get any payments for guests staying in my house.

I called Airbnb multiple times and had my situation forwarded to a “case manager” that in the end just sent me emails saying how sorry they were but couldn’t do anything for me. I got an attorney involved and worked directly with my “friend” after she took my money. I had to gently remove guests from my house and block them from entering after they would arrive.

Finally she said she shut down the account. I had to file a police report on her, contact the Better Business Bureau about Airbnb, and had a restraining order so she can’t come near my home. I had each incoming guest call Airbnb so they would get a refund but what an inconvenience for everyone.

Property Listed on Airbnb without Knowledge of Owner

I recently found out, as the owner of a building, that the first floor (two bedrooms with bathroom) and the second floor (condominium with two bedrooms) in Cebu City are being listed for rent by a certain Airbnb host.

I have informed Airbnb about it and asked them:

1. To remove my property from the website

2. To cancel all reservations

3. To provide the total amount already paid out in order to be able to claim it back

4. To have the exact name and coordinates of this so-called host

I know someone is squatting in the house and there is already a case in court in order to recuperate my building and personal belongings. After one week, the support service decided to pass my case on to a special service; they closed the file and said all communication would now be done by email. I received an email that I had to send a scanned letter with my complaints and location, and that they would pass it on to the host.

Three days later, after not seeing any reaction, they replied to my email stating that I had to contact the host myself. I answered that this was impossible as I did not have the location of the host.

These are my complaints now:

1. Even there is proof that she cannot put those rooms up for rent as she is not the owner, Airbnb still has them on their website.

2. There is no location listed for this host

3. Nobody contacted my lawyers even though this is a case in court and they should be willing to provide any information

4. Airbnb support refuses to give me the name of the person who is in charge of my complaint and gives no real answers.

5. There has been no reaction at all to the fact that it is against the rules that a property is being rented without the authorization of the landlord.

The only thing I can say that it would be better to have no support staff than having one that is not even capable of giving answers. At least you could expect that they should take immediate action against violation of the rules. Regards and I hope somebody with authorization at Airbnb is looking into my complaint.

Airbnb Provides Noisy and Unruly Neighbours

For nearly two years, my life has been completely disrupted by an Airbnb next to my apartment. This is a mirror image of my apartment, and while I live alone, mostly, up to 14 people have been accommodated next door. The floors of this place are tiled, so all sound is amplified.

I have listened to countless nights trying to sleep, through drunken, drugged behaviour, people roaring and screaming, night and early morning. Nothing has been done to address my objections and my life has suffered greatly. The owners of the apartment are registered in Belize and the entire operation is shrouded in secrecy.

This is definitely a tax evasion, and possibly a money laundering operation. My apartment block is a small residential one with medium to long-term sublets. The people at Airbnb are completely disregarding the laws in the pursuit of profit, and ruining my home life.

Problems at Paris Airbnb Make Guests Leave Early

Three years ago, I spent several weeks carefully reviewing Paris Airbnb apartments to rent for ten days. After some back and forth with a few hosts, I settled with one and booked it four months in advance. The host was a Superhost with more than 100 raving reviews. The cost was a little over $2,000 for a one-bedroom studio in the Marais.

I exchanged several conversations back and forth with the host inside the Airbnb platform to confirm things that were important to me, including a working kitchen with adequate cooking utensils. When we met the host outside the apartment, the first thing he told us was to not mention we were renting. If anyone asked we were to say we were relatives of… and he gave a name, which was not his.

Inside, we quickly realized there was no real kitchen to speak of, not even a knife to slice an apple. There was also no natural light; the windows were masked with film since they overlooked other apartments across a tiny, debris-strewn courtyard. There was one dirty-looking bed sheet, ancient pillows, and two small, worn towels in the tiny bathroom.

After two days there, we realized we couldn’t stay and made arrangements with someone we knew to rent another apartment. We complained to Airbnb but never got through to an actual person and never got our money back. To this day that host continues to receive raving reviews. That’s why I will never use Airbnb again. I don’t understand how a host like this could be a Superhost and receive rave reviews. The game is rigged as far as I’m concerned.

Airbnb Allows Fake Account to Let Felon Host

I was preparing for an extended work assignment in a northern state. After viewing several places, I came across an Airbnb that was in my price and location. I messaged the host and introduced myself to “Debbie”. She said that her retired brother and daughter lived in the home and she was traveling for work. Good enough.

I made the 12 hour drive and finally arrived at the house. I was greeted by a woman – not “Debbie” – and was shown around. There were more people than I thought staying there. The following week I met the homeowner. I inquire as to who “Debbie” was and he changed the subject rather quickly. I began to become suspicious as to what was really going on after he said that all communication could go through him via text.

I compared the number that I was given to me by Debbie and it was the owner’s. I decided to Google him and get more information. I found that Debbie had passed away the previous year and that he was a convicted felon (burglary). Apparently either she made the account for him or he used her information to open an account. I would have confronted him but quickly found out that he was currently doing a short stay in the local lockup for another DUI.

I packed my things and hit the door running. Nothing felt right about the stay there and situations like this are how people end up in an ice bath, missing a kidney. I’m currently in the process of trying to get some sort of refund from Airbnb and he should be out of jail at the end of this week. It should be an interesting conversation if he tries to contact me.

When an Airbnb Host is not an Airbnb Host

About two weeks ago we were paid a visit by a gentleman knocking on our door asking for “Richard”. My wife answered and told him there was no “Richard at this address”. The man seemed confused. He was sure he had the correct address and rechecked his Airbnb app. His intentions were to stay at our home for three nights.

“Sorry, we don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He then showed us photos of our house. Surprise, surprise… we had all been scammed. Whoever had set up the fictitious Airbnb account had swiped photos of our home off of VRBO and populated them into the made-up account. Fortunately, the potential lodger had a daughter in town and was going to flop on her couch.

He did call “Richard” on the supplied phone number but the person on the other line hung up abruptly. We obviously encouraged him to call Airbnb to straighten things out. We also notified Airbnb. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears.

We thankfully got some of the information from the poor guy who was left stranded: his confirmation number, etc. We decided to research the information we saw online. The host’s photo had been swiped off a site for cochlear implants, and the cell number belonged to a guy in upstate Wisconsin.

We blocked our caller ID and spoke with him. He said he had been getting calls for the last couple of days and stopped answering the phone. I was sort of surprised that he picked up our call. My wife still thinks he may have been the perpetrator but he sounded somewhat surprised.

Meanwhile, the associates at Airbnb kept telling us someone would call us back… crickets, nada, zip. We called again the next day and the next day after that. No returned calls. All we ever heard was that they would mark our ticket as “URGENT” and call us back… yeah, right.

We also tried contacting Airbnb via their website. There was some back and forth which ended up as a short thread that was eventually moved to email. Once it got moved, the Airbnb contact names would change with every explanation.

A couple of days went by and lo and behold what do you think happened? That’s right, we got another visitor, a couple actually. They too had been bamboozled by this scam but did they get a call from Airbnb with a heads-up? Apparently not.

We continued our calls for the next several days. I also CC’d two Airbnb executives in my emails along with the various associates they assigned to us. Still, no courtesy call or explanation. They’re up for an IPO I hear. I wish them luck. With this type of non-customer service, I will not be indulging in any of their stock. I also canceled my Airbnb account. Has this happened to any other poor souls out there?