Airbnb Left My Family in the Desert without Air Conditioning

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My brother, sister and I booked a luxury property through Airbnb for Father’s Day Weekend. The booking was made in May 2021 for a stay from June 18-20, 2021. The day before the trip, I learned that the owners fired the property manager who accepted the booking and the new property management company had no record of my booking.

A few hours before the trip, I was contacted by a representative asking me for my personal information so she could make a reservation and grant me access to the property. Although reluctant, I acquiesced. When we arrived at the property, it was 115 degrees outside and 90 degrees inside the property. There were huge lizards over the entry door, spiders and bugs throughout the property due to a cracked foundation, inadequate seals around the windows and doors and no working wifi.

After a couple of hours of trying to restore the wifi, I called property management and my sister attempted to reach someone at Airbnb. I started receiving text messages from one of the representatives who walked me through everything we already tried. After five hours in the extreme heat, they sent out a technician. The technician was able to restore the wifi, but could not get the air conditioning to work.

Airbnb provided no valuable assistance by phone. We made the difficult decision to stay overnight, because it was pitch black in the desert. I came from Moreno Valley, my sister from Los Angeles and my brother from Big Bear. We spent most of the night outside, unable to sleep well due to the overwhelming heat, an influx of spiders and the smoke detector going off at 3:00 AM. We got up at 6:00 AM, called The Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage who generously accommodated all of us with an early check in and attempted to salvage our trip.

I have spent the last month attempting to get resolution. As of today, Airbnb and the property owners are withholding my money for the first night’s stay. They did not provide the accommodations that were advertised, but are charging me for what was the worst travel experience of my life. The property management company is refusing to take any responsibility even though they accepted the booking, were responsible for managing the property, provided failed technical support and left my family in an extremely unsafe situation.

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Airbnb Had Bedbugs, Awful Host and Airbnb Wouldn’t Refund Me

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I scheduled a stay at Kalkoen Farm in Hahira, Georgia for my sister and I to spend the weekend together and catch up from June 11-13. The first night I went into the bedroom and when I turned the comforter back, I saw a lot of ants on a corner of the comforter. I couldn’t see what was attracting them and it was late so I went into the third bedroom (a bunk bed) deciding I’d deal with it the next day.

The next morning I decided I’d just wash the sheets (not everyone washes comforters so maybe there was something spilled that I couldn’t see). When I pulled off the sheets I saw a small something moving along the mattress pad. I called my sister in.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Yup. A bedbug.

We further investigated and saw a few dead ones. My sister got a zip lock bag and put the live bedbug in it. We then looked at her bed and the bunk bed. Her bed looked ok; the bunk bed had a few dead bugs on the mattress pad but we couldn’t tell if they were bed bugs (very small). My sis pulled a wash rag out from a bin under the sink and there were multiple live bed bugs on the towel.

At that point I booked a hotel and we got the hell out of there. I reached out to the host to tell him we found bed bugs in his place and that I got a hotel. His response was: “do you have photos?” Yes, I did and shared with him. I attempted to work it out with him — I only asked for a refund for the second night that I couldn’t stay in the place. We went back and forth and he said he would refund me. Then I stopped hearing from him.

I reached out to Airbnb’s resolution center, shared photos, and explained what happened. I had to wait for 72 hours for the host to respond. He didn’t. Airbnb reached out to me to tell me that they couldn’t refund me because I didn’t contact them immediately after the incident. They asked the host if he’d be willing to refund me and the host told them no.

At that point I wrote a review saying that the house had bedbugs and the host refused to refund me my second night. Airbnb took down my review. So, I am out the cost of the Airbnb and the hotel. I’ve since canceled my Airbnb account and will never use them again. Kalkoen Farm is still up on Airbnb and who knows who else has been exposed to bedbugs. I guess I should thank the ants because had it not been for them, I would have slept in that bed with bedbugs.

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Airbnb Host Warns of No Air Conditioning During Heat Wave

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I had planned on having a fun, relaxing weekend for my husband and booked a cute cabin in Flagstaff, AZ for Father’s Day weekend. It was listed that there was no AC but that it is cool in Flagstaff and not needed. Based on the reviews, I didn’t think twice honestly.

I booked his airfare (I was going to drive to Scottsdale to stay with family with our two boys) to meet us in Scottsdale and researched hikes in Sedona. Upon checking in to the cabin, it was cute and had everything we thought we’d need for the weekend. It was 86 degrees F upon check in, but noticed that the host had left the largest window opened and it was 101 degrees outside. I was a little annoyed but figured once we left the windows open all night and immediately closed them upon waking up that it would in fact stay cool as the host left his “stay cool tips.”

Well, the joke was on us. It finally got to 71 degrees F at 4:00 AM. We couldn’t sleep comfortably at all. The kids tossed and turned (ages 1.5 and 8) and it wasn’t until 4:00 AM that I was able to finally fall asleep for two hours. We got up around 6:00, closed the windows and headed for Sedona. After hiking for a few hours we headed back to the cabin. It was 86 degrees F in there, again.

I reached out to the host while nursing a migraine and dealing with three very very grumpy and miserable boys. He basically told me that it was a heat wave and outside his control. Which yes, I understand he could not control the weather, but I mean come over and check out how hot it is. Bring over fans or a portable AC (we paid him enough), get us a cheap hotel with AC, give us a partial refund… anything. He could not have cared less honestly.

I ended up having to take a cool bath with our baby to just calm him (and myself) down. My husband had started packing because we couldn’t imagine staying another night like we already had. I messaged the host again to let him know it was now 93 degrees F and there was no way we could stand another night there with it being that hot. I asked for a partial refund (we checked out with 24 hours of check in) and was told no, that his cancellation policy said no refunds.

I can’t imagine treating anyone like that but especially knowing how hot it truly was. To expect us and kids to stay in that is infuriating. It was mostly disappointing that someone could be that selfish and cruel. After reaching out to Airbnb, I was ghosted for two weeks. I decided to just call and was told “unfortunately the host said he won’t issue a refund.” I explained the situation to the gal and she was very nice but not very helpful. I was told she was going to reach out to the host and see if he’d change his mind basically. I told her it was unlikely and asked if I’m basically out all the money even though we checked out within 24 hours and she said I could escalate it to some Airbnb team and go from there.

Well, now I’m being offered a $100 coupon. All I want is my partial refund for the night we couldn’t stay. We didn’t even ask for a refund for the night from hell. I can’t believe the host and Airbnb just wouldn’t do the right thing.

Airbnb Stole My Refund — No Results for a Month

This matter is super easy, for a normal company. Of course for the spawn of hell, Airbnb, it is impossible.

I checked into an Airbnb. The apartment had construction in progress that was not disclosed. I immediately cancelled with the host in line with their cancellation policy. We stayed two nights and the host agreed to refund the rest. Airbnb confirmed on June 2 that the refund was paid.

It is now 32 days later and there has been no refund. Airbnb has taken the money from the host and this refund has now been misappropriated by Airbnb. Never in my life have I dealt with a more incompetent and horrifically inept service team than at Airbnb. They lie and lie without taking any action to resolve anything. I have escalated this over five times and very single time the consultant says they don’t know where the refund is, then transfers me to an “expert” who I assume is the same person with a different persona. Then after that they suddenly never respond again.

Airbnb has already agreed to the refund? So why not pay it? What is Airbnb hiding? All I want us to know where my refund is and then for Airbnb to make immediate payment. Airbnb is hands down the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of using. I will pay more to stay directly with hotels in future in order to receive actual service.

Airbnb Guests Wanted Champagne Holiday on Beer Budget

This guest and their family arrived very late and then proceeded to cook outside of the designated hours. They booked for three people and four people arrived. Just about every rule was broken by the family. There was not supposed to be eating in the bedrooms; the extra guest did so. We have a policy of no air conditioning on in the daytime and these are specifically written in a set of do’s and don’ts in each room. The option is to pay additional money during the daytime if air conditioning is required. We did not charge despite the violations.

What alarmed us most was the number of cartons of beers that were brought into the property, filling my spare fridge completely. I could tell we were in for a champagne holiday on a beer budget. We are a no-smoking home. The guest’s parents said they only smoke a couple a day, so I allowed them to smoke on the deck. Biggest mistake ever because a couple means two packs a day where they are from and I spent days trying to rid the house of the awful smell.

The rental was for two rooms, a bathroom, and toilet. They received use of the kitchen and other areas at our discretion. The problem was the guest’s party considered the whole house their domain: like I said, champagne holiday on a beer budget. This culminated on the next to last night when the guests decided to turn my entertainment deck area into their very own ‘footie pub.’ This started at 5:00 PM and went on well past midnight. No consideration was given as to whether I wanted to use the deck or watch anything myself. They were watching footie and b*** the rest was the attitude. By now they must have thought they owned the deck.

There I was thinking my home had been invaded; these people are unreal. They went out the following day and upon their return, they expected a repeat performance of Footie Pub 2. I told them that the deck was for my and our family friends’ exclusive use that night. This outraged them and they said “but you haven’t booked the deck!”

I almost fell over laughing and informed them that I don’t book any areas of my home ever and that as guests they fit in around what we are doing, not vice versa. Undeterred, a contingent of them marched out onto the deck and sparked up the ciggies and glared at me. They then asked that I watch something different outside so that they could watch their footie inside in the lounge. I said they had individual TV’s in their rooms they could use to watch there.

This did not fit the Footie Pub 2 mentalities of booze and ciggies. Realising they were on a losing wicket they staged a walkout (just like small children stomping their feet) at 10:00 PM at night with the mum staying on to say “if you had just let us watch our Footie and use the deck then things would have been fine. Things have been great up until now.” Well of course they had been great because they had full use of the house for a third of what they would have paid for a full house.

I am starting to think the expectations of some Airbnb guests have moved beyond a sharing experience and wanting a full-service hotel or apartment. If you want exclusive time and space then book with the corresponding prices would be my suggestion. I hope people don’t make the same mistake of allowing these people into their home. I tripled my prices and we have a nicer quality of guest staying now.

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Horrible Host + Horrible Customer Service = Airbnb Nightmare

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My husband and I checked into our Venice beach studio late for a five-night stay. Exhausted, I fell into bed, but thought “This looks like a 3-star place, not 4.82.” The photos showed a bright and sunny room, but the reality was tired and sad: old bathroom and kitchen, tiny room sparsely furnished. We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside, so I didn’t think much of it.

The next morning my husband called “first shower,” but quickly retreated. The bathtub was covered in dried human feces. I immediately called the host and told her we were checking out and wanted a full refund. She agreed and we left immediately and checked into a much more expensive hotel. I tried to call Airbnb, but after a half an hour wait I was cut off.

That afternoon, as instructed by my host who said she could not issue a refund until I had cancelled the reservation, I cancelled online. The next day I filed a formal request for a refund with Airbnb’s resolution center. My host had 72 hours to respond and despite my repeated requests, she was radio silent. Finally, my host wrote that she had spoken to Airbnb and was under no obligation to give me a refund, but “out of the goodness of my heart” would refund less than half of our $1,226.

Then I entered Airbnb Hell. I filed a complaint with Airbnb, twice, and only got the response “Here are some articles that might help you.” I wrote to Brian Chesky and several people high up in Airbnb. No response. I DM’d Airbnb through Instagram and got an immediate response: “We are going to assign you a Support Ambassador, a specialist assigned to your case.” For eight days I awaited word from my Support Ambassador (and yes, I kept DMing Airbnb through Instagram and kept getting reassuring responses that they were very concerned about my case).

Eventually, a canned response came from my Support Ambassador which said, in essence, “Sorry. Not our problem.” In the meantime my host was again running the clock and although I did not post a damning review of her studio (or any review), she slammed me with one implying that I had caused the plumbing problem, that I had harassed her, didn’t wait for the problem to be resolved before leaving, and that she had issued us a full refund. Her last ageist jab was: “Cranky old lady. Don’t host her.”

This cranky old lady is also an experienced travel writer. Airbnb says the first thing when there’s a problem is to contact the host. Done. Then Airbnb. Done through the Resolution Center. Bad experiences can happen. Airbnb can be a crapshoot. But why won’t I use them again? Because they take no responsibility, despite their exorbitant fees, for their product. Brian Chesky was just listed as one of the wealthiest people in America. Let the attached photos speak for themselves.

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Nightmare at Mexico Airbnb Makes Us Leave Early

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A misrepresented listing led us to find serious issues with listing in Cholula Puebla, Mexico: three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, three-story house, two years old. It was not only dirty but there was no PPE or COVID-19 sanitizing protocols or cleaning supplies even though the host is a dentist. The host said they only cleaned once a month; there were no cleaning supplies at all, so guess we missed that window, right?

We walked all over the house. There was no gas or internet. We were told to wait for the gas truck and cable company to do installs, while the hosts left. The workmen took 7.5 hrs to finish (no PPE while going up and down the three floors) you can see the installation on the photos I will include. The gas people finally showed up and the pilot was lit, immediately there was a strong gas odor. The host said it was nothing and “just leave the boiler door open” except that the gas leak was very strong all over especially in the kitchen. I should say the boiler temperature never increased from the pilot level so the gas couldn’t get worse which meant no hot water.

We called the host several times about the gas leak, and they finally said a plumber would arrive right away. They never did. I opened the rear sliding door only to be met with all types of flies and mosquitoes. We had to keep it closed. I should add the home was very hot, with no window coverings. We were told the internet would work the following day but it only worked on the first floor due to the installation plus this was an old issue they were aware of.

We gave them benefit of the doubt but couldn’t sleep due to the gas situation and being bit by fleas or bedbugs as soon as we lay on top of the bed. Add to this house wasn’t as advertised — new, modern house completely outfitted — the living room furniture was badly stained, dirty and full of dust plus broken (they were same style as listing but different fabric), and the same for the dining room and kitchen.

The upper floors were stifling hot so they had small fans everywhere. Everything had serious calcium deposits which affected the use of any water, the microwave was dirty and greasy, and everything was old and mistreated. There wasn’t one pan for cooking, just old beat up pots but no spoons, spatulas, coffeemaker, blender, even where you drain dishes didn’t have base on it so couldn’t be used.

They say they’re set up for long-term stays? Definitely not. They also gave us limits for utility use: 500 MX for gas, 500 MX every two months, (roughly $25). You pay for anything over. The host made a abig deal of utility conservation yet with a gas leak, only multiple ceiling lights, no small table lamps available so you’d use much more electricity, plus a very hot house requiring fans everywhere gives the reason for their utility limits.

We left the very next day after seeing had odor was worse, there was no plumber and the internet was still not working properly. We notified Airbnb about getting a refund. It’s been over a week and even though they replied, there has been no resolution yet.

Airbnb Host Tries Bait and Switch Over Memorial Day Weekend

This is the letter I wrote to Airbnb about my experience:

I am writing to tell you about my horrible Airbnb experience in the hopes of getting some resolution. My family and I have used Airbnb several times and never had a bad experience before now. We are so devastated by what has happened to us that we will never use Airbnb or VRBO again.

I have reached out to customer service three times with no result. I get the impression that I am calling a call center in another country and that the people that are answering the phone are just telling me that my issue is being investigated with no result. I have reached out to the Better Business Bureau, the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the Virginia Beach Housing Authority. I will be seeking the advice of my attorney. I have also discussed the situation with my bank’s fraud department and they are conducting their own investigation.

We booked a condo on May 13, 2021. We planned to take our 16-year-old daughter to Virginia Beach to see the beach, aquarium, and Norfolk Botanical Gardens. As we were leaving around 8:00 AM on May 28 I looked at the listing to see what the check-in procedure was and it said there was a lockbox. I messaged the host on the Airbnb app and she asked me to let her know when we were an hour away.

I messaged her again at noon to tell her we were an hour away. She said the house wasn’t ready and check in was at 3:00 PM. I told her no problem, I was just letting her know when we would be arriving in the area. Then she called my cell phone and said something about how she was waiting for a delivery but she would try to get the house ready for an early check in.

We arrived at the condo at 2:30 PM. We called the host and let her know. She sounded flustered and said that the toilets were broken at the condo and that she was waiting for a couch to be delivered. She told us she wanted us to stay at her other property, that it was brand new and we would be the first guests. She gave us the address. It was 15 minutes away.

When we arrived we were shocked and disturbed. The apartment was in an unsafe looking neighborhood in what looked like Section 8 housing. When we walked into the apartment it was hot, there were boxes of her personal belongings in the middle of the floor, the furniture was unplaced and still had tags on it. There was only one bed and only one bedroom was furnished. There was no TV.

She offered to blow up an air mattress for us. She said that she was waiting for a bed and mattress to be delivered. She called the delivery company and put them on speaker phone. They told her they didn’t know when they would arrive. She instructed us not to tell people that this was an Airbnb and to tell people that we were her friends. We told her that we were going to get a cold drink and called Airbnb and spoke to a young lady and told her what was going on. She said someone would email us.

We went back and told the host we were uncomfortable and asked her to cancel. She said she didn’t know how and suggested that we call and lie and say that we were cancelling due to COVID. At one point she handed me her phone and asked me to help her figure out how to cancel. When I cancelled the trip on her account it said that the trip had been referred to a support team. She then said that the toilets were fixed and that we could go back to the original condo if we wanted to. We didn’t believe her and didn’t feel safe interacting with her anymore.

We left and as it was a holiday weekend it took us two hours to find a hotel. I called Airbnb again that night and spoke to a young man who informed me that he may not be able to help me because we didn’t take pictures, but that he would try to help me. He said he would contact me with updates. I never heard from him again. I called and spoke to someone the next day and she said that she would investigate and update me. I have not heard from anyone.

I am a social worker in private practice and my husband is a mechanic. We cannot afford to lose $828. This has been an incredibly upsetting experience for us, particularly as the whole thing happened in front of our 16-year-old daughter. This trip was a treat for her as she has been cooped up in the house for a year doing online learning. I am appalled at the customer service I have received from Airbnb. I implore you to help us resolve this issue.

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Honeymoon Ruined Thanks to Airbnb and Croatia Host

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We had an awful experience with Airbnb, and would not recommend it to friends. The short story is we booked a month for our honeymoon and had to leave two weeks early because the conditions were unacceptable.

The air quality was so bad, that our brand new white foam pillow we bought that first week looked like a yellow cigarette bud when we left. The place was very dirty, having paw marks in the dust under the bed along with random socks and other trash, and even a black hand mark on the mattress. The bed was broken and never fixed even until the day we left. Even after bringing up all these issues, the host would not even refund the unused two weeks.

I traveled 14 hours from the United States to Croatia for our honeymoon. From the moment I got into the apartment, it smelt bad. I thought it was because it was poorly ventilated and the host had a weird smelling fragrance in the house, I had to ventilate it and buy things that made it smell fresh (I should not have to do this). When done, I had to go to the Airport to pick up my wife, since we came on different flights, and arrived to the apartment late.

We were both very tired and jetlagged, waking up late and missed the very narrow 24-hour window that Airbnb has to report any problems. We would later find out that this is the policy that Airbnb uses to wash their hands of any problems and not help you in anything whatsoever, even when we checked in a day later and had photographic proof of the issues.

We thought we were just experiencing jetlag, and that the pillows were uncomfortable, so we bought a nice memory foam pillow, but after a few days we noticed that it was the bed that was sinking. We had back and neck problems because of this through our whole stay: having to sleep on the couch as an alternative, then placing mattress and sleeping on the floor.

We contacted the host but they said everything would be addressed “tomorrow,” which could sometimes take more than two days and even then I just got excuses that the bed was just soft, and got a thin bed cover to fix the issue. Nothing really began to be fixed until I checked the bed, and noticed the the middle legs were broken, and sent the pictures through Airbnb. By then it took another four days, and two more attempts to fix it. We were also waking up congested and our nasal passages full of mucus. We would snore during the night and we did not normally snore.

Only when we had been out walking for hours and came back, did we realize our clothes stank, but that trash was so engrained in our noses we could not tell. After leaving to another apartment we realized all our clothes stank like cigarettes, even the ones in our luggage that we had never used or taken out. We had to rewash everything and our brand new $100 pillow we just bought not only stank, but was yellow on the end that the pillow cover did not reach all the way.

This might not be an issue for you but we also had to call the host because two out of two bulbs were out in the bathroom. We moved the couch so we could set it up to sleep and found an unknown civilization of dust bunnies which we had to clean. Because of this we tried to peacefully ask Airbnb to refund the unused two weeks as they had pictures of these issues and proof we had already rebooked. In any situation, this is a terrible experience. Specially when you are in a foreign country and are dependent on intermediaries.

The host refused, and Airbnb washed their hands of any wrongdoing because we “failed” to report things within 24 hours of our booking. We booked for the 22nd and did not check in until the 23rd. Then all of this happened. You judge what is correct and what you want to gamble on, but I would definitely not recommend this stay. Be an Angry American and complain about everything you see and smell the first 24 hours to Airbnb. If not, this garbage could happen to you.

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Host Called Cops On Us But They Hate Her Too

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We rented an Airbnb called the “streamside forest peaceful” in Salida, Colorado from a host for $1,900 for five nights. Even with some bad reviews about her being nasty, spying on people, not refunding damage deposits, and a mouse problem, we were desperate so I reluctantly booked it.

After I booked it she sent a lengthy contract with crazy details. Others had complained about this as well. I have never seen a contract sent after the booking. Anyways, we got to the tiny trail of a road behind a cow gate and it looked sketchy. The contract said a 4×4 was recommended but that she maintains the drive. In 19 years of going to Colorado we have never taken a 4×4. Two years ago we had five feet of snow that week and still only used front wheel drive. We were in a front wheel drive Buick Enclave.

We started up the slight incline and it was sheer ice and clumped up snow that hadn’t been cared for at all. I have attached a picture. The car immediately started spinning out and turning sideways in the road. My husband had everyone get out thinking that may help. The kids went in the house which was dangerous even walking to, and we continued to try to get the car to either go up or down. No luck. We got a shovel and that was a joke.

After pushing and accelerating, it backed up a bit but then got stuck again. At that point we called the host. She offered no solution and told my husband the contract said we should have 4×4 and she was not responsible for his inability to drive. What a joke. He was a police officer and drove in every condition as well as driving every year to Colorado with no problems.

My husband told the host we needed to call a tow truck. She offered no assistance and he said we needed to cancel because we couldn’t get to her house. Even if we got towed to the drive, we would be stuck all week. She then hung up on him. I called her back and she didn’t answer.

I cancelled the reservation even though it was obviously past the refund date, thinking Airbnb would consider it extenuating circumstances and we would still get a refund. Then she messaged me and told me to leave the property or she would call the police. We left having no place to go, exhausted from driving 13 hours. It took all of us pushing the car to get it back to the end of the trail to the cow gate.

We were parked on the side of the road when the police came up to talk to us about the “trespassing report.” The policeman said: “Oh, we know her! She is always calling the police about stuff. Her neighbors hate her and we can’t stand her.”

We had a good laugh about what a miserable person she is and they went on their way. After that I messaged three other hosts looking for a new place to see if we would have the same driveway problem and all three said they maintain the property and it was all clear, like it should be. We rented a new place from VRBO. The host was so gracious and the road and drive completely clear.

Now the fight with Airbnb started. They completely leave it up to the host whether they refund you or not. Do you think she would refund us? — she got to keep every dime. I’m sorry the host is such a greedy miserable person that wouldn’t refund a family on vacation.