Dirty, Disgusting Airbnb Makes Guests Second-Guess Stay

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What can I say? Something that should have been a lovely experience turned into a rather unpleasant one. We had seen an Airbnb listing and loved the photos of the fantastic views which persuaded us to book this cottage.
Upon arrival, there was the owner’s car parked on a small driveway so we were unable to park two cars on it and had to leave one of them outside in a narrow lane.

The cottage was unlocked so we were able to walk inside. We then entered and decided to have a look around.
The first thing we spotted was the unclean cooker. The door was covered in fat stains. When we opened the door and looked inside the cooker, this was even worse; it was caked in grime. The baking trays were also filthy. We cannot imagine the last time that this had been cleaned and we proceeded to clean it ourselves so that it would be okay to cook in.

There were cobwebs everywhere: on the walls, furniture and plants. A mountain of rubbish behind the sofa. Stained sheets on both beds which looked like nobody had bothered to change from the previous customers. A stack of bricks on one corner of one of the beds to replace a broken leg. A tea towel hanging on the cooker door which was black with dirt. The owner’s clothes left in the wardrobes and drawers with nowhere to hang our own clothes. Dirty dishes in the sink that had been left there. A filthy toaster. A filthy microwave. Outside in the outhouse there was the washing machine and fridge freezer, plastered in dirt.

We then called customer service at Airbnb to report the property. The girl on the end of the phone said we could stay in a hotel for the night if we wanted to leave and then find us another property the next day and that we would be contacted within two hours with an update. Two hours passed without a call (time now 10:30 PM) so we messaged customer service to be told that another member of the team would be in contact soon.

We heard nothing, so we had to stay at the property overnight. My partner didn’t sleep at all and at 5:15 AM I once again contacted customer services when we eventually were told we could have a full refund. That night we booked a hotel which we had to pay for out of our own money as it would take a few more days for the refund to appear in our account.

This whole episode has been a nightmare from beginning to end. Properties in this condition should not be allowed to feature on the Airbnb listings. The host’s excuse that there must have been a mix up with her cleaner just doesn’t cut it for us. This property had not been cleaned in months and we have the photos to prove it.

It has left us feeling disgusted and very angry, as this should have been a great experience spending time away, only for it to be ruined with state of the property and lack of contact from Airbnb. We will definitely think twice before booking again.

No Help, No Refund in an Airbnb Emergency

My son and girlfriend rented a room in Ft. Lauderdale. The room was not as presented, but they tried to deal with it. They were supposed to have a double bedroom and no used condoms on the floor.

While there, my son was robbed, threatened to be shot, and left the property. They tried to reach Airbnb since arriving at this unit over the room situation and could not get through to a person. Police were called to the hotel after the incident. The hotel clerk told my son and his girlfriend they needed to leave before something happened. Again, there was no help from Airbnb.

They left their unit at 1:00 AM and had nowhere to go. Their money was tied up in this unit and they would not give their money back but promised to get it to them. We got a frantic phone call at 2:00 AM that our kids were on the streets. Still nothing from Airbnb. We got on the phone and still nothing. I bet if it was their kids something would have been done.

I posted this and suddenly I got a call. The kids and I had tried to get in touch with them for weeks after this happened and got a total run around. They actually put me through the whole process three more times: telling the same story, promises to do something, promises to call back. But, they did send me an email asking me to state it all over again, and then after I did, they told me “because of my lack of response they are ending the dispute.”

Are you freakin kidding me? Every time you call they mention how the calls are being recorded. Check your recordings and email history. I have called at least 15 times. The problem is, they know that this happened to young adults juggling jobs and school and they could wear them down. I won’t be worn down.

How can a company allow this? They know it happened — there are police reports. They removed this stay from their listings and they think telling me that it has been handled internally helps those kids and future kids in any way? They deserve their money back at a place they couldn’t even stay.

Poorly Cleaned Crack Den Passes for an Airbnb Listing?

Without going into the minutiae, the property was not as advertised (graphically or descriptively) on the web page through deceptive and misleading photography and unbelievably optimistic interpretation of the property condition, style and “vibe”. It was so incredibly dirty that it would not be addressed by an additional visit by a cleaner in the duration of the stay and very distressed throughout with burns on curtains, water marks on soft furnishings, dozens of scuff marks on floors and walls, chipped enamel, raised floor tiles, dirty, thread bare “linen”.

It was also potentially unsafe. The appearance and demeanor of the host’s assistant was not inviting at all: scruffy denim, no teeth, fell out of a scruffy white van on arrival and could barely walk straight or string a sentence together gave us the distinct feeling that he was a drug addict.

Based on this, we immediately complained to Airbnb, hastily took photos (because of safety issues) and left the property as advised by Airbnb. The host reached out to us within the hour and offered a further cleaning of the property. We declined as we had no intention of returning to the property as this was not the main issue. The host subsequently offered us another apartment in the same building. We declined this offer as we felt that any customer good faith had be irrevocably destroyed. In the meantime we started a full refund request from Airbnb.

Over the next several days we struggled greatly to deal with the process with many response delays, misinformation and lies from the various Airbnb Ambassadors. Eventually Airbnb summarily rejected our complaint but offered us a $500 good will gesture refund. We rejected this outright with the intention of reclaiming all our money.

Illegal Airbnb Cost Me More Than $1000

Lesson learned: do not book an airbnb with a host who tells you to not tell anyone in their community that you are an Airbnb guest. I needed a pet-friendly Airbnb for two weeks because my house tested positive for black mold. I found a private room in an apartment. One of the house rules was not to mention that I was an Airbnb guest to anyone, but I didn’t really think anything of it at first.

I told the guard at the gate that I was an Airbnb guest, and he let me in. Apparently he was new and he did not know that the complex did not allow Airbnb guests. The host repeatedly told me to not tell anyone in the community, including maintenance or security that I was an Airbnb guest. I had already done that, and became nervous after the first night. I realized that what she was doing was illegal and that I could be kicked out.

She also didn’t like it when I asked her for her last name or to see her driver’s license, even though she asked for mine. She used a fake name on Airbnb. She was super shady and I could not trust her, so I packed up my things and left. I’m out over $1,000 and am staying in an expensive hotel. Airbnb has been dragging their heels and I can’t even get a straight answer on if I’m getting a refund.

I will take her to small claims court if she doesn’t give me my money back, or if Airbnb does not resolve this. It’s looking like the latter because they have taken over four days to resolve this and have not reached out to me.

Scammed in Lima: Abandoned by Airbnb

I booked a one-month reservation in Lima, Peru, and paid over $1,250 for a listing that purported to be a luxury apartment in an upscale neighborhood. Upon my arrival, it was a lower income neighborhood and clearly not the type of place you would feel comfortable walking around at night.

Upon my arrival to the apartment I thought I had the wrong apartment number as I overheard several people inside. I also observed a large bag of trash outside of the front door. I rang the doorbell and was met by two women with the dress profiles of streetwalkers, and some unknown male, all who were inside of the apartment drinking beer. I could immediately smell marijuana in the air. I also noticed a stained carpet and sofa, in addition to a stove with the remnants of grease along with a nearby unconsumed line of cocaine.

I immediately walked back toward the door and made my exit. I had a beer can thrown at me as I made my way to the elevator and down the long shoddy corridor toward the exit. While I waited for an Uber, the three individuals made a hasty effort to leave the property. One unknown women began firing off an assortment of profanity laced insults, in addition to telling me I should “go and die.”

I have now been stranded in a hotel for the past three nights with no material support or compensation from Airbnb. My account has been deactivated. Airbnb is a scam company that should be avoided at all costs. Brain Chesky and his rich friends are nothing more than white collared corporate scumbags and criminals hiding behind their corporate lawyers, or SFLAW located in San Francisco, while they enrich themselves at the expense of the victims that get defrauded every year by using this sham and disgustingly corrupt and incompetent short-term rental service. Beware of Airbnb.

Held Hostage and Extorted on an Airbnb Boat Rental

We booked a sail boat on Airbnb with the promise of sailing. The listing was named “Sail the Eagon” and promised a trip to different beaches. We booked two nights.

Once we sailed into the ocean the host asked me for an extra €200. What for? He stopped the boat and explained the €400 I paid was for accommodation only (a four-star hotel in Kas was €70 a night) and sailing cost extra. That was why he kept asking if we would be staying more nights. From there he went on about how he is in trouble financially and needed the money. I didn’t like him being this strict when asking for either money or agreeing to book an extra night so he could pay some of his debts.

He made it pretty clear we would not be sailing back unless he got the €200 extra that he asked for as Airbnb wouldn’t pay him for a few weeks. I eventually gave him the €200 so we could be taken back (it was me, my wife, and two-year-old child he was blackmailing), where we left immediately despite the days booked and paid for and stayed in the €70 four-star hotel in town instead.

I contacted Airbnb the next day. First they said the host has agreed to refund the €200 of the €600 if I removed my bad review. I then said I would rather lose the money so others are warned. A week later they emailed me to say my review has been removed for violating guidelines I can’t get them to point out. Anything to protect their scamming money mules. Airbnb could not care less about the customers. It looks like the hosts are their priority as this is where they get their “fee” from.

Retired Public School Teacher Staying in Costa Rica

Our first stay in Costa Rica we used Airbnb for a stay that should have lasted three weeks. Because of problems with the host and his large dog, the host agreed to let us leave early. After we left he did not return our messages and eventually sent an email saying that he had decided to keep the $1,000 payment to teach us a lesson.

We contacted Airbnb but they closed our case due to not being able to reach the host in Costa Rica. The reason the place wasn’t working out was because his large German Shepard was free to roam around during our stay (including in our small pool) keeping our dogs from being able to leave the house freely. The dog also jumped up on my wife standing up trying to keep our dog away from the other dog. The dog was able to push his muddy paws on my wife’s face.

The last straw was when the host cut down a large tree outside our window and then started burning construction trash. The smoke and toxic fumes filled our rental. We told the host but he did not stop. We yelled that we needed to leave asap and he agreed. We stayed up till very late repacking all our stuff and cleaning the unit (three bedrooms, two story) only to be ripped off by this man. Another issue is that early on he told us that he was heavily armed on his site which now we believe to be a threat. We reported each of these issues individually to Airbnb and they have yet to respond to them.

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Anyone Can Walk in, No Soundproofing

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I booked an Airbnb for two nights and I should have known I was going to have an issue when the host never responded to my inquiry about early check in. Later I messaged them again and she seemed really confused and didn’t get back to me with any firm information until 12:30 the afternoon of check in, well after I had made alternate plans.

I arrived at the Airbnb and, even though she knew my ETA, I had to figure out which “guest suite” was mine, where to park (I was immediately boxed in by other renters), and how to get in without any instructions. The real issues came when I opened what appeared to be a closet in one of the bedrooms and walked right in to the next unit over. The door between units was not properly secured and, while there was a way for the other unit to lock me out, the people renting next door could easily access my unit/belongings.

I immediately called Airbnb about this issue but received little to no help, unsurprisingly. Also, the door between units was so thin and ill fitting, you could literally hear conversations at normal volumes in the next unit from two rooms away in ours. I left the next morning after sending Airbnb and the host detailed messages as to why the situation was unacceptable. However, the host quickly stopped responding to my messages, refused my later request for a partial refund, and lied to the incompetent Airbnb staff.

Basically, she got away with scamming me and I hope it was worth the scathing review I posted for her property. So, beware of this host and any of her slummy listings. She uses the same profile pic for everything and (ironically) works as a realtor but yet somehow claims to be ignorant of soundproofing and security issues. Avoid this like the plague.

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Lost $1000 to Avoid Sleeping in Filthy Airbnb

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Once you click “book” on Airbnb, your money is gone. Misrepresentation and filth are not enough to get your money back. I booked what was represented as a beautiful waterfront home where I could work for a week. I booked just a couple days in advance.

Upon arrival, it was a rundown cabin, part of a rundown crowded campground. On top of that, the place was filthy with sticky residue on the appliances, light switches and mystery drippings on the walls. The bathroom was disgusting with a moldy shower curtain and orange slick grime that’s hard to see in the pictures. The grounds were a mess with cars, debris and junk.

I texted the owner via the app immediately (because all communications had been through the app). I said the place was not at all what was represented and that I was leaving immediately. She did not respond. I immediately contacted Airbnb via the app as well and they did not respond either.

The next day Airbnb got back to me to say they had to ask the host for the refund. I never heard from the host. Surprise: the host declined. I suggested a 50% refund to settle, which was generous in my opinion. Airbnb said I needed to go back and take pictures (a two-hour drive). I made the trip back to the property and took pictures of a clearly moldy shower curtain, sticky surfaces and junky grounds. The host noticed that I was returning to take pictures, so the property was actually an improvement compared to the views on my original arrival.

Airbnb said the host refused the refund because I didn’t speak to her in person. When did that become a requirement? Then they told me they could not refund the money because I didn’t take the pictures that first day and never explained why they sent me back there. I gave up and posted a negative review on Yelp and cancelled my Airbnb account. I lost over $1,000 to avoid staying in filth. I will never use Airbnb again and frankly think this sort of thing needs to be better regulated.

Months later, a person I suspect to be a friend of the owner tried to comment on my Yelp review but that was rejected. The post was just a bunch of name calling. Now more than nine months later, the owner apparently did some research to find out my profession (attorney) and posted a response to my Yelp review trying to deflect from the photos of the grossness and reality of the junky grounds. I never mentioned my profession.

Another guest recently posted more photos on Yelp of the disgusting level of filth complete with another moldy shower, exploded food left by others in the microwave and more. Airbnb has yet to hold this property owner accountable despite pictures. Even the more positive Yelp reviews from guests expecting a campground experience note the need for better maintenance.

The stalking behavior by the owner in digging around to find out about my profession so many months later is disturbing on a whole different level. And there is yet another Yelp review describing how the host cussed out their group when they complained about the mess.

What does it take for Airbnb to hold a host accountable? I read an article about a Boy Scout troop that booked a place in Florida. When they contacted Airbnb to report that two different listings were using the same information, Airbnb protected the hosts. The Boy Scout troop showed up to literally no place to stay and it made the news. Apparently you need a news story to hold hosts accountable if they are making money for Airbnb.

Don’t trust Airbnb for reviews. When I tried to post my review on Airbnb, it mysteriously went into the cosmos. When the world settles down a little bit, I think we need to look to our legislators and consumer protection laws to make some changes. In the meantime, I suggest using VRBO and VACASA. They cost a little more but they also have higher standards in my experience. Take lots of pictures upon arrival in case you need documentation for any reason and let karma take care of the rest.

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Host Robs Customers and is Supported by Airbnb

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I checked into a condo in downtown Aspen, where you would anticipate a nice stay if you have even half a brain. I checked in to see the condo had a tiny mini fridge and for some reason a giant ice box freezer on the floor. The freezer portion of the fridge was completely frosted over. The fridge continued to freeze all of my groceries so I contacted the host asking for help.

The host dismissed me and told me they’ve had other guests with no complaints. Apparently appliances only break on their perceived timelines. After two days of trying to get help from the host, I reached out to Airbnb. This was too late since I didn’t contact them within 24 hours. They suggested I check out and request a partial refund. I checked out well before check out time so the host could have rebooked if they would have liked. The host assured me they would give me a refund for the nights the condo was booked by new guests (as shown in their message attached).

The host laughed at me, made fun of me, called me names and berated me for days. No refund was issued. Airbnb told me there was nothing they could do even though the host assured I was due a refund. During a conversation with an Airbnb support ambassador, I explained what happened and asked them if they would be okay with paying someone $2,000 when there was no working refrigerator and they checked out only after a couple of days of a weeklong stay. They respond that would absolutely not be okay and my request was reasonable.

Airbnb staff agreed this was unacceptable only to then state that Airbnb would not do anything to help. I’ve never experienced customer service like this and hope people are aware of how Airbnb treats paying customers.