Abusive Host Convinces Guests to Leave Early

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Do not stay here. We were delayed so we didn’t need access earlier than the 3:00 PM check in time. The host is an appalling communicator. On the day before the booking I sent two messages four hours apart requesting clarification of address and check in procedure. I told the host that we would not have wifi while in transit on the day of arrival. The host sent a reply overnight. He agreed to allow us to store our luggage if we arrived early.

Unfortunately, we were unavoidably delayed so we didn’t need access to the apartment earlier than the check in time. He claimed that this inconvenienced him, and it went downhill from there. In his message, written in perfect English, he sent an incorrect address – wrong house number, wrong floor, wrong apartment number and wrong access code. The building couldn’t be located using Airbnb maps’ link on the listing, so we had to guess the house number from the photo on the listing.

Our friend arrived in Madrid three hours before us. We had planned to meet at the apartment, but he couldn’t get in because of the wrong information, nor could he contact the host for clarification; I was the only guest who had access to the Airbnb messaging system. He had travelled from the US and had to wait outside the apartment with his luggage until we finally arrived. On arrival, my daughter and I tried to open the apartment using the instructions provided then had to find wifi in the local area to locate our friend and get the correct address from the host.

The host and his sister came to let us in. They both entered the apartment and demanded that I speak in Spanish (“you’re in Spain, speak Spanish”), even though he had listed that he speaks English, and all previous communication was in English. He had a heated discussion in Spanish with our NYC friend and the host then ordered us to leave (in English). I refused to leave as I’d paid for the accommodation. I told him that if he provides a full refund we would leave, but he refused to accept that.

He then came within 10 cm of me, pointing in my face and shouting abuse. I told him several times to back off. At that point we realised that this was getting very serious and that we needed to comply or alternatively to call police to intervene. He did not apologise for his poor communication, instead he claimed he had been an exemplary host by offering for us to store our luggage. We thanked him for that and he and his sister left. His sister spoke English, but she did not intervene on our behalf. Instead she allowed her brother to abuse us. I was very shaken and concerned for our safety. We vacated the premises very early the next day, to avoid any further abuse.

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Had to call the police to get insane Airbnb host out of rental

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This is a very important story because the person involved has been sharing fake information around social media about my boyfriend and me. Basically my boyfriend and I are moving to Lisbon. He’s Brazilian and I’m French.

We booked an Airbnb for ten days so we could visit and find an apartment. Before we arrived we had communicated with the host in English, but when we arrived and she found out my boyfriend speaks Portuguese, she completely ignored me and did a 30-minute speech on transport (though my boyfriend told her several times we would find our way with Google).

The apartment was kind of alright. There were a few problems like the shower being cold and the wifi not working but I started getting bitten by something on the bed at night. The next night I got bitten again and my boyfriend messaged the host to tell her about it. We were getting ready, as we had loads of administrative meetings during the day. I got out of my shower, my boyfriend was taking his and as I was dressing up the bell of the apartment rang and someone banged on the window.

Surprised and undressed, I quickly put a towel around me and opened the door. It was the host who had already unlocked the entrance door and was waiting in front of ours. She had not sent a message, or called to tell us she was coming. I asked her nicely to wait two minutes so I could put some clothes on and tell my boyfriend to get out since she still refused to speak English to me.

When we opened the door she was in a fury, shouting because we had made her wait outside (I don’t think it was rude of me to ask her to wait two minutes to put clothes on). She ran to the kitchen to look at the boiler and said we had touched it and this was the reason why the showers were cold. We obviously had not touched her boiler and the showers were getting cold for the second person.

She also went into the bedroom and took pictures of my suitcase and blamed us for being the cause of the bedbugs. Obviously she was not going to take responsibility for any of the problems in her apartment. We had a busy day planned, so we asked her to leave because we did not feel confortable leaving our belongings (two Macbooks, a PS4, etc.) with her. She replied that she would not leave because she owned the place.

We told her we were renting the place and she was not allowed to do this. She said the laws in Portugal were not the same as those in Brazil or France and she was allowed to do whatever she wanted. We told her we would call the police and ask Airbnb to pay us back if she did not leave. She started looking at something in her purse and said things like “You have no idea who I am; don’t you think I know what Brazilians like you are coming to do here?”

She was being weird about not speaking English and this comment just confirmed how racist she was and implying we were some sort of illegal refugees. Once the police answered and were on their way she finally decided to leave the apartment and camp in front. After a long time and a lost afternoon, the police arrived and said they were not able to do anything since she was not inside. She tried to talk to them about water and bedbugs but the police left due to the lack of criminal offence from us.

We packed our stuff and left quickly since we were so stressed and afraid she would come back. She came unannounced and is now posting about my boyfriend and me on social media, saying we are scammers and we were only trying to get a free trip. She referred to me as a small blond who only speaks English. Another sign of her racism.

My only question: why make money off tourists if you don’t like them? She also kept making Airbnb call us, saying we had not dropped off the keys in the letter box. Airbnb told us to do so from her instructions. What I think is that this lady has issues, cannot deal with being wrong, will do anything to impose her version of events, and go to crazy lengths to make sure people will believe her.

TL;DR The host of my Airbnb came unannounced due to some problems we messaged her about. We had a busy day so we asked her to leave but she shouted that it was her place and she did not have to leave. After ten minutes of arguments we called the police so she left. Now she has been sharing fake information about my boyfriend and me on social media. She acted insane; she kept shouting, blaming us for the problems in the apartment, and refusing to leave the place we paid for. Now she’s posting about us being scammers in Lisbon.

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How Does Airbnb Handle Accusations of Racism?

I had traumatising and frustrating experiences with Airbnb. I had been a successful guest many times then a host started persecuting me. She had mental health issues. Dealing with Airbnb’s overseas call centre led to extreme frustration and going around in circles with promises to escalate my calls, but ending up circling back to the same useless agent refusing to address the bizarre and inappropriate behaviour and actions. The host started leaving parcels at my door and ringing me after I had left, and it was all super scary and odd. Airbnb showed zero interest.

My second issue was as a host I complained about extremely poor customer service with Airbnb. Rather than actually investigate my complaint, I received an email from Airbnb accusing me of racism. It took twenty emails for them to even begin to provide information on this accusation.

This was my very first potential hosting experience. A prospective guest only wrote to me in a Chinese script and in very incomprehensible and confusing English. Airbnb said they would translate, and did nothing. I was falsely accused of saying if someone comes to Australia they need to speak English. I was also accused of expressing frustration about an agent. None of the language was racist; I complained about the ignorance, aggression, and stupidity of the agent. If I’m complaining about the agent that is different from abusing an agent.

Thirdly, the comment that I said that someone needs to speak English in an English-speaking country is absolute rubbish. Airbnb repeatedly said “it’s an international platform”, I had no right to expect English correspondence or communication, and I was going to lose my Superhost privileges. It was then that I said that if someone is staying with a host in their private residence in Australia then they need to write to the host in English. I was receiving correspondence in a Chinese script and in incoherent English that made no sense. This was vital information such as when they would arrive, who was staying, etc. I said I should not be penalised as a host if I have not received any comprehensive communication.

What I said was not racist. I said I would host the guest when Airbnb finally agreed to provide translation, which they never did. I only finally refused the guest when they rang me and made loud strange noises and hung up – and it was a third party booking.

Airbnb offered to terminate their stay as they broke the rules then turned around and accused me of racism. My housemates are Taiwanese. One of them speaks minimal English but his partner speaks well enough so there are no issues communicating – so to accuse me of racism is completely bizarre. Airbnb has proven that nothing I said is racist.

This is on top of glitches fixing my DOB on the app. I still can’t do it, which has resulted in the miscalculation of my payout from a guest, issues uploading pictures, and issues getting a photographer. Airbnb insists that I haven’t verified my email despite having had an active guest account for years. My complaints against Airbnb remain uninvestigated.

I spoke to an Airbnb representative from the USA office. He refused to try to pronounce my name correctly. I asked him to try again as it’s six letters and two syllables; I shouldn’t have to repeat my name to people who insist on not even reading it. This led to a huge exhausting stand off whereby he repeatedly refused to give it a go. I said he was able to employ his reading skills in any name even a “foreign” one, which he twisted into me saying he couldn’t read.

I ended up speaking to his supervisor about the experience of being accused of racism. She was extremely cold hearted, aggressive, and just a very deeply unpleasant person. She spoke over me in a monotone the whole time. She told me that the email that was sent to me was a warning based on a customer report. She told me that the terms and conditions meant that any customer could make any allegation and Airbnb would back them up and send out warnings. I said to her that every correspondence and interaction I’ve had with the customer has been through the Airbnb messenger platform so they can have a look at that and advise whether I have actually been racist or not. She told me it doesn’t matter – if the customer feels that I have been racist, it doesn’t matter if the messages back that up or not.

She continued to speak over me repeatedly when I asked her why I did not receive this explanation from Airbnb earlier. She refused to answer and just cited fine print in terms and conditions. She was cold and aggressive, just spoke over me, and dominated the whole conversation. When I asked her why this was not investigated by looking at the messages she said it doesn’t matter what the messages say – if the customer says you’re being racist, we will send you out a warning. I said I never once spoke to the customer or even met her. Therefore the customer could only have been basing allegations based on what I wrote; why didn’t Airbnb investigate that?

She kept going around in circles, telling me that Airbnb can send out official warnings no matter what the investigation says and then she circled around and said that it had been investigated. That’s why I wasn’t kicked off the site. I asked why I didn’t receive an email saying that to me and retracting the warning. She refused to answer the question but would just aggressively change the subject and speak over me.

I asked her to put in a racist complaint against the customer then – she said she “didn’t have a problem doing that” but she didn’t say that she would. I don’t believe she would’ve done that. I then asked her to put in a racist complaint against her and the other representation to whom I had spoken, and she said that she would put something on my file. I said “no, I want you guys to be sent an official warning based on my feelings just as you sent me an official warning. I want the official warning to be on your file the way you have an official warning on my file.”

She just spoke over me and started throwing terms and conditions at me. She was very aggressive, very dominating, and domineering in the conversation. She spoke over me the whole time in a cold, almost sociopathic monotone. When I asked her to get a supervisor to call me she point-blank refused to guarantee that and said she would ask her to try to call me – but I don’t believe she will. There has been no response from the founders or the supposed customer service chief.

One Discrepancy in my Airbnb Ad Cost me a lot of Money

This past weekend, three lads from London were supposed to stay at my apartment, as I was out of town. After one day, however, I received an email from their agent at Trip Advisor, speaking on behalf of these men who stated they had left my apartment.

The reason? I had -unintentionally- misqualified my couch, classifying it as a “bed sofa” when the correct phrasing should – as I’ve come to learn now – have been a “sofa”. Airbnb agreed with their complaint, and imposed a penalty on me: the young lads would get all of their money back plus a restitution of their hotel expenses (except for the one night they did stay). This implied that I was left with nothing but a bad review and no revenue from renting out my apartment for the other two nights.

To make it very clear: I have one king-size bed, which is for two guests. My second bedding option for any third guest is my sofa, which is perfect for sleeping and measures the exact same as a normal person-sized mattress. It’s not a matter of me not being transparent or being dishonest by not offering three beds or sleeping options. I have three bedding options. I just ticked one box wrong in my ad (clicking “sofa bed” instead of “sofa”), without being aware of this immense aberration. As I’ve come to learn from Airbnb, a sofa bed is one that you pull out and a sofa is not (my couch is not a pullout).

This is according to Airbnb regulations which are nowhere to be found on the site. Even the manager I talked to acknowledged that that is something at Airbnb that ought to be changed. Still, Airbnb lets me ‘bleed’ anyways, instead of taking part of the responsibility (e.g. have me cover a part of the cost, instead of 100%). How should I have known this difference? English is not even my first language and I’m not a bedding expert.

The penalty is disproportional in my view, since I will not receive any money for the two nights they had booked, plus I am certain I will get a bad review. I have no doubt about that. I have never heard any Airbnb guest or other guest sleeping on my sofa complain about my couch. It’s truly a comfy couch, as is the rest of my house. I daresay that about my apartment because I spent months renovating my home and decorating it (one of my hobbies). My home truly is my sanctuary.

In fact, one reason I bought this couch recently is because it’s a perfect couch for sleepovers, which happen literally every week in my apartment. A good friend of mine sleeps on it every week, and believe me, he’s someone who is tall with a poor back and not afraid to tell me when my couch is not comfy. I know it’s not about my couch not being comfortable; it’s just petty people who have a working knowledge of Airbnb regulations (they’ll receive full restitution for the hotel they stayed at instead).

I just can’t believe anyone would go to these measures, all just because there is one wrong qualification in my ad. It’s not like they couldn’t sleep in my house (or had to sleep with their legs pulled up or whatever). The guest who had booked with me didn’t even consult me about my misqualification, but went straight for the official institutions – Airbnb and Trip Advisor – as if I were some scammer. I feel severely mistreated, both by these guests as well as by Airbnb and am seriously considering withdrawing from Airbnb altogether.

Multicultural Hosts Slammed with Xenophobic Claims

This is a long story, one too long for me to live all over again as it still is stressful and leaves me anxious. However, I just discovered Airbnb Hell, so I decided to share my story and hopefully help future hosts. My wife and I have been hosts on Airbnb for a year. During the past year we had more than 250 guests from all parts of the world, from all “races”, backgrounds, sexual preferences, genders… you get my point. We are artists who love to meet different people, with different habits. It’s inspiring to us; that’s one of the reasons we started this whole Airbnb thing. We have a wall full of letter already, with love letters from most of the guests who came here. This wall is in the dinning room for everyone to see we are proud of being good hosts and making people feel comfortable in our home, that we insist guests look at it as their home while they stay with us.

My solution for hosts with problematic guests is: accept a guest, wait a couple of hours, and then phone Airbnb to evict the said guest for breaking house rules. We got a reservation from a non-English speaking guest. For that reason it was imposssible to communicate that this is a home, not some hostel. When you can’t communicate with your guest, or when your other guests (we list two rooms) can’t communicate between themselves, the system doesn’t work.

It says in our “rules” that we really want the guests to have a *basic* knowledge of English, French, Italian or Spanish (none of these languages are even our first language). The guest made a reservation, and send a message with really broken english that made no sense at all. It looked more like a Korean-to-English Google translate job. We had to decline the reservation (this was like two months before the actual arrival, so there was plenty of time to find another place) The guest got very offended and called Airbnb. They gave us a penalty and then slammed us with their “inclusion policy”.

I wrote this enormous email, asking for them to see our previous reservations and feedback (we never had anything lower than four stars). I also said that with our history of good hosting with no prejudice at all to creed, color, race, gender was never a issue, sending us that inclusion policy was a bit pretentious, as we just want to have good communication in our house. We also said that if we can’t communicate with a guest we can’t explain the house rules, and it would be worse to have a guest here that would break a rule; then Airbnb would have to find him another place. For us, as decent open-minded humans, we would have felt really bad to kick another human out just because of that. Because if you don’t understand English, how can I explain anything to you?

Airbnb policy says I cannot discriminate and should use tools to communicate with my guest when they are impaired in any way: deaf, blind. This was not the case. The person was not impared at all.

This is where the fun starts. We got a reply from Airbnb support saying: “We are deeply distrubed that a host of ours find our inclusion policy pretentious.” It’s cleary writen in the email “I find the action of you sending me this policy a bit pretentious.” I never said the policy itself was pretentious. Even with my history of bookings, that makes no sense for me to say. They insisted I found it pretentious, gave me a penalty for it, blocked the dates the guest wanted, and didn’t let me book them to another person.

The next time a guest comes claiming he “can’t communicate” you accept him, and then you try and explain the rules to him. When he can’t understand them, you just call Airbnb. It’s not a very humane thing to do, but it’s basicly how Airbnb works. If the guest was here and I had done that I would have been paid. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have received a penalty or had my dates blocked.