Mentally Unbalanced Host Does Everything To Stop Me

It started off as a decent listing on Airbnb with two good reviews. Since it was in the middle of downtown Toronto, a high-end neighborhood, I decided to book for 15 days.

The photos represented a photoshopped version of the real space, and the information about cleanliness was far from accurate. On the first night (check-in at 5:00-6:00 PM), the host arrived and immediately started talking about her interview and her concerns about not getting a job. I thought the condo was hers and she would have a room instead I found only one room and she says she sleeps on the couch.

She jumped right into a sexual harassment case she experienced at her university and I quote: “My professor tried to have sex with me in exchange of ideas.” She proceeded by stating, “This triggered bad memories of my father touching me…”

In one sitting, she also stated that this case at the university ended with her at the mental hospital. She said she was dumb because she was not that smart in school and had trouble with the English language when they moved from China (when she was in high school until she reached university).

She went on to mention that she was afraid that if she did get this government job, since the majority of employees in that department are men, she believed that they would think that it was “okay to have an orgy with her…”

She then mentioned that she attempted to take her own life a few times, and put out her wrists and showed me. I told her that government jobs are far from a certainty for having such things happening.

After trying to console her and encourage her to use good words, she stated that she got this interview because her other professor sent a recommendation and if it was not for her, she would not have gotten interviewed. Once again, I tried to help her by encouraging her and stated that the economy was not going well and that people in the city of Toronto are complaining about the rent hike, especially those with children and parents to take care of.

She stated that they shouldn’t have gotten married and had kids, instead they should’ve taken OSAP, studied, and ultimately focused on their careers. Obviously I disagreed and said that her comment was absurd. I mentioned that there are many like me who graduated with two degrees yet finding a decent paying job is difficult, especially as an immigrant. She disagreed and said everyone with a degree gets interviewed and gets a good job. Since she raised her voice and tried to force her opinions on me, I left the common area and went to my room.

Moving on, I started to find that the bathroom and other spaces were dirty. I looked for cleaning supplies but couldn’t find anything except dish soap. Hair was everywhere and even the toilet seat was dirty. The shower was so small. The water pressure is high, but the downside is that the water doesn’t drain and starts to rise. Hair and other things start floating… totally gross.

I asked her about cleaning supplies, and she told me to use the wet cloth. I tried to explain about different types of cleaning detergents, but it seemed she did not understand. Hygiene is extremely important, especially when sharing a space.

The next day, I contacted Airbnb and told them the whole story. I shared photos and explained in detail the mental issues that this host has and how it was definitely not safe for me. They told me that they would review the photos and then issue a refund for the rest of the time I booked.

After a few hours, they said that the apartment was not that dirty and therefore no refunds will be provided unless they inform the host about all the reasons why I am uncomfortable staying there. I suggested not to tell her all the reasons as I was afraid that since she was in a mental hospital and tried to take her own life, she might try to hurt me as well. I emphasized that the place was not clean but most importantly, it was not safe to spend 15 days with someone who is obviously mentally ill and does not have any friends.

On the third day, I spent the entire day out. The host messaged me every hour. At 11:00 PM, she sent her last text saying “it’s almost midnight, where are you?”

Airbnb informed her that I had to leave due to an emergency, so when I arrived, in a very condescending way she said that she did not believe me and would not issue a refund. We got into a heated argument and at the end of it she agreed that if I found someone else to take over the rest of the days she would issue the refund.

The next day I found a new guest who was interested, but she asked if the host was the owner of the condo. If she was not, she would ask me for a document that showed that the host had a lease and that she would not get kicked out if the condo management found out about her using Airbnb. The host confirmed to me that she only rents from the condo owner and since she cannot find a job due to her sexual harassment lawsuit, she makes money by renting the condo through Airbnb, which pays all her bills.

She continued to say that the lady who booked a two-month stay (before I booked) had cancelled early. She does not issue refunds because she uses the money to pay her rent and bills. After a few hours, she came into the room and interrogated me about the new guest. I informed her that I was not feeling well and that we had to wait until she sent a request on Airbnb to book.

She refused to listen and instead came in the room three times while I was trying to rest and refused to leave. She insisted that I was rude because I was not giving her my full attention and eye contact. I told her that I was not well enough to give her all my time and that she should leave because I wanted to rest. She refused to leave, so I raised my voice and freaked out, telling her to leave and to close the door.

She came back again and told me that she was not going to issue a refund if the next guest booked because now she was afraid I would inform condo management, which would result in her getting kicked out. She insisted that I tell her when I will be leaving the condo and when my flight will be. She also told me to turn the volume down (I was listening to a lecture on YouTube at low volume, but she wanted complete silence and insisted it was music). She finally left.

I then informed Airbnb that I would be leaving and my friend would come help me with my bags since I am afraid she will physically hurt me. My friend arrived around 11:00 PM. We got the bags out, when the host got up and followed us to the room and then to the door. She asked my friend if she would be spending the night and she replied by saying, “No, we are only getting the bags out.”

The host followed us to the door and said, “What’s this? You didn’t tell me of your plans. Where are you going? You can’t do this.”

I told her that I was uncomfortable staying there and thus I was going to stay at my friend’s for a couple of nights. She asked for the key but I repeated: “I will come back after a few days as I need a safe and sane space.”

Airbnb contacted me the following day after speaking to her, and they asked me to free up the dates I had booked and to return the key. I told them that I would only accept that if she sent me the refund, but somehow they kept insisting I free up the dates for other guests to book.

I finally agreed after a day, but it turned out that they were siding with her in order for her to get the keys back and to have the space all to herself while enjoying a free $700 + Airbnb fees. In addition, she filed a complaint to charge me an additional $300 for key replacement. I finally returned the keys and asked her to confirm with Airbnb.

Once I left the public place where we met, she followed me. She tried to take my photo and then kept asking when I would be flying. I told her that it did not concern her and to stop that behavior. In the end, the other guest sent a request to book but she rejected it because she wanted the guest to give up her ID. The new guest told her that she would only show her in person, but she declined.

Airbnb refuses to assist, stating it is the host’s choice to do as she pleases. They had already promised that they would assist in helping book the new guest I found and then help her issue a refund. The hosts now says that she will not issue a refund if the new guest cancels within 48 hours.

I informed Airbnb that this was a trend and it is unfair to bill people just to chase them away and keep their money. The host switched to contacting me via Airbnb to inform me that she rejected the new guest’s request. She said she would charge me for the stress I caused her if I reported her to the building management. I then told her that I will report her to the condo management and the police since she is trying to get more money from my card.

I am truly fed up and will not use Airbnb anymore. I am sick of the threats and attempts to extract more funds from me. How do I get my peace of mind back? How do I get a refund? How do I get Airbnb to ensure that the guests are protected from such fraud and aggressive psychotic behavior?

Stay Away from Airbnb Properties in Niagara

Niagara is not where you want to book an Airbnb to take your family to relax on vacation. I have seen combat videos from Kandahar that were filmed in better neighborhoods. The house was listed as “excellent” and I couldn’t get my husband and children to leave the car. There were burned out buildings and boarded up houses all along the street and the only indication that anyone lived in this neighborhood were the blue recycling bins randomly scattered about. I think they might roll the sidewalks up at night to stop them from being stolen.

Now, I have an adventurous personality and out of curiosity, I entered the residence with a flashlight because I couldn’t see the keypad on the doors; there was no hallway light. The good news was there was power and heat, though the derelict furnace that had been replaced was sitting in the downstairs hallway. The living area was cleaned, but really shabby and not in any kind of a “shabby chic” way. The spray painted clawfoot tub installed crookedly on the rotted sloping floor was the bathroom.

The rest of it was furnished like a college student’s apartment: mismatched single curtain panels stretched across the painted shut windows, old mattresses on metal bed frames, and a slouchy futon. We immediately left and contacted the host to tell her we were not staying the night. I could tell she’d had this conversation before. Her very best defense was that “many people” had stayed there and had never had a problem in this neighborhood. It was my choice to leave and she was not giving me my money back.

Of course she wasn’t; I’m sure it was my $200 she’d spent to furnish the place. I later looked up the address on Trulia and learned she bought that dump for $15k just recently. Since May of this year there have been six assaults, five shootings and a robbery in that very same blighted neighborhood. I should have looked for blood stains on the floor.

That’s right: she bought a whole duplex for $15,000. You’d think this would have tipped off Airbnb. Isn’t this their business? They don’t have some algorithm to compare and evaluate real estate listings? God bless the Canadian border agent that took pity on our shocked faces as we crossed the Rainbow Bridge twenty minutes after we had just left. He was empathetic and understanding and more than willing to help provide a safe passage into Canada for a family of Americans seeking refuge from what I have since come to learn is the most dangerous city per capita in the State of New York.

Airbnb has so far been pretty responsive to my complaint and they refunded me about $30 thus far. I wanted $200 to cover the cost of the hotel room I had to rent at the last minute but I’ll settle for them pulling all the listings in that zip code because it’s just not a safe place for anyone to visit after dark or leave their vehicle unattended. I would not be the least bit surprised if the police were afraid to patrol there.

Airbnb Nightmare after International Trip

blankblank

We decided to book an Airbnb property  as part of my partner’s 40th birthday trip to New York. From booking all the way through to leaving the UK for the USA, the owner’s communication was just as you would expect from who we thought was a good host: at first, responsive, informative, and helpful. Unfortunately, we soon learned that this was as good as things would get; his manner soon turned into being patronising and condescending when issues arose once we arrived (this is evident in his responses to negative reviews), even at one point via Airbnb text message, referring to my partner and I as squatters.

We arrived at the property at approximately 15:30, and we were disturbed and extremely disappointed by what we were greeted with. The Airbnb photos were of the property, but they were very old. The outside of the property was unwelcoming and off-putting, with overgrown weeds and litter strewn on the driveway. Security was a concern, as the front door was only secured via a single deadbolt, due to the whole mechanism for the door handle being totally removed.

Entering the property, we were immediately struck by how tired, dark, and filthy the property was. It seemed like the property hadn’t been properly cleaned or repaired in years: lights that didn’t work or were missing; dirty grubby walls and doors; ceiling fans caked in dust and dirt; a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned since the last occupant, complete with an unflushed toilet featuring a toilet seat caked in what looked like mould/urine; the heating was turned off and could only be controlled by the owner, who refused to turn this on despite calls and messages; the bedding was dirty and beyond worn, and was only good for throwing out; the ironing board was covered in stains. I could go on; the flat was just dirty and a dive.

We refused to stay there and booked a hotel for the night following 10 hours of waiting for a response from Airbnb for a resolution. Booking this flat resulted in us losing two days of our holiday (waiting for correspondence from both the host and Airbnb), being pushed beyond the breaking point trying to resolve the matter, and leaving me short of £497 (a combination of hotel fees, phone call costs, and transport). Airbnb did give me a full refund of my booking and payment for one night’s hotel stay.

Is a Kitchen a Kitchen without a Sink or Stove?

blankblank

This is most of the message to our “host” after fleeing an Airbnb… I tried to be polite. Airbnb support was no support at all. They left me hanging and kept referring to their TOS (which is very lengthly; kind of unreal, really) instead of just walking me through it. They sided with the host.

“You advertised your “entire apt” as having a kitchen. A kitchen would include a kitchen sink (and some kind of stove, but I will concentrate on the sink as that was my main concern). Saying that you have a kitchen would be like saying you have a bathroom and then when the guests show up, it has no toilet.

I know that you mentioned in your listing that there was a fridge and microwave; you even picture the toaster and a kettle but you fail to mention that you do not have a kitchen sink. With all the explaining you do on your post, why would you fail to point that out? It is very deceptive.

A kitchen means that you have a sink to wash food, hands and dishes. It seems that you expect guests to use the bathroom sink, which is gross and unsanitary, but not even feasible as it is a small sink and very slow moving drain. Using the same analogy as above, it would be like describing the bathroom as a “nice bathroom with walk in shower and hold bar, pretty red rugs and a small sink to brush your teeth” and then when the guests show up they find out there is no toilet.

It is a given that a kitchen has a sink. It goes without saying. It is listed as an amenity on the front page and comes up in the search as such. It also comes up as an “entire apt”. It goes without saying that it would have a door to it, such as the door into your quarters. A shared entrance does not explain the situation. Again, with all the words and long explanations, this is something that would need to be clearly stated.

Having a lockable door to an “entire apt” goes without saying. Just like the one you have to your quarters. Guests would be out in the open just coming out of the bathroom (which is too small to get dressed in). This is not private or secure. It took me trying to make a can of soup for it to really sink in.

We realized how unsafe we felt and that it was not a livable situation. I texted you a polite message as it was in the middle of the night, to which you did not respond. We called an Uber and left immediately. I did not hear from you until much later.

Other facts: The walkway is not well-lit as advertised (it was so dark I could not see the items we dropped). Flushing the toilet directions should also be in your explanation as you expect your guests to use very little toilet paper and keep flushing and flushing. There is obviously a problem with the plumbing as evidenced by this and the slow moving drain.

You asked us to be discreet (very strange). The boiler would not turn on; there was no heat. There was a stain on the heated mattress pad that you didn’t know how to wash (meaning the bedding was unclean). The ceilings were low with no noise protection at all.

You mention in your ad that we would hear footsteps as you got ready for work, but that is an understatement as we could hear your TV. It sounds like elephants are tromping on above your head. The ten steps into the “lower level” are very steep and narrow, which definitely should be noted in your ad since you go to the trouble of saying you have the bar in the shower. For someone with a minor injury, how would you expect them to go down those steep stairs? This is a bit deceiving. The single bed was just a cot with no room to get in and out comfortably.

Please refund the full amount less one night and the cleaning fee. The condition of your “entire apt” caused us to cancel our trip and return home as we had counted on these lodgings. This will be the last attempt to settle this with you amicably. I will take further action if necessary.”

Obviously, she is not refunding our money (about $2000 for a month’s rental). Even though I pointed all of this out to Airbnb support, they have sided with the host, ignoring this falls under travel issues per their TOS.

Here is the link to the advertised “entire apt”.  ‘The photos I took were not good (I admit it) but you can see beyond the table the supposed kitchen area in which there is no sink or stove. She admitted she had to take the kitchen out due to complaints from neighbors. How can you take a picture of something that is not there anyway? The cot was right up beside the bed, with no way to get in or out of it other than crawling from the bottom. I thought the cots she mentioned in the description must be extra as it listed a double and single bed in her ad.

Death Threats From Other Airbnb Tenants

blank

Emails between Airbnb customer support and myself:

“Hello, I was not able to stay here as the other boy living in the apartment harassed and abused me. It was so scary. I had to flee at 6:00 AM, taking my wet clothes out of the washing machine. I was going to call the police but I just wanted to get out. The host offered me alternative arrangements but it was so traumatic and awful I just want a refund. So bad. Worst Airbnb experience. I can provide more details of the harassment. The boy took a video of me and laughed as I was crying and begging him to leave me alone. I can easily get a police report if you need it.”

We are very much concerned about your current situation and we want to verify if you are now safe. We also want to know if you were able to find a secure place. Please let us know how we can help so we can call this to the attention of the other department.

“Yes. I left immediately and am staying in a hotel. The host was extremely apologetic (obviously) but the situation was really scary. The power in the unit had gone out when I got home from work and so I couldn’t have a shower; my washing hadn’t finished and there was no air conditioning. When I asked the boy if he knew where the fuse box was he became irate that I had used his washing powder (which I didn’t realise wasn’t communal) and was also very angry that I had gotten home so late and that I needed to leave so early in the morning (I work very long hours). The whole situation was a bit of a nightmare to be honest, definitely out of character for an Airbnb experience. I am completely fine now, just a little rattled and in need of finishing my washing.”

Thank you for confirming that you are now on a secured location. We really value our guest’s security and you were right in highlighting this concern. In relation to your recent reservation, I understand that you paid a total of $465.32 for four nights, but due to what happened, you were not able to fully utilize the reservation. I have escalated this concern to our of our case managers. Kindly expect a communication from them anytime from now. I am really sorry that you have experienced this; I know that this is not normally how things go with bookings. In case there is anything else I can assist you with, I’m entirely at your disposal.”

A short time later…

“Thanks for reaching out. I’m happy to help. We’re very sorry about your experience. We’re glad you feel safe now and that you’ve found an alternative place to continue your trip. I’ll talk to the host about your refund for the nights not stayed. I may also need to alter the check out date.

“I think I should be refunded for the whole time as I was put in a completely unreasonable position. I also don’t think this a good place for people to stay. The boy who lives there is aggressive and even after I locked myself in my room crying on the phone to my husband he stood outside banging on the door abusing me. He smoked inside. The power didn’t work. It was pretty much a bust. A total refund is basically the minimum I would expect. Thanks.”

I understand. I’ll inform the host. To set your expectations, though, in our refund policy, the guest is entitled to a maximum of 50% if they stayed despite the issue. This is to be fair to the host as the listing was used. We are generally in a much stronger position to assist any of our guests when we’re contacted within 24 hours of check-in so we could have helped you in arranging for a transfer to another suitable listing. I’ll talk to the host about the full refund. She is yet to respond.

Also, we need documentation for us to establish the issues so we can adjust the payment to the host accordingly. She agreed to refund you the last two nights. And she said the boy was disturbed by the noise late last night. Please send if you were able to take photos of the other issues. Once we establish a hosting violation, we can work out the additional refund. But as a courtesy from us, I’ve issued a discount coupon to help in your next payment should you book with us again.

“I feel as though as I should be extremely explicit about what occurred. It was my understanding, maybe misunderstanding, that I would be staying with my host and not an overseas student. When I first went to the house to get my key it was not what I was expecting at all and I was very apprehensive. However, I was on my dinner break with a taxi waiting downstairs so I chose not to bring it up. I also chose not to stay at the apartment and crashed on a friend’s couch instead as the apartment was a bit dirty and smelly. This meant last night was my first night in the apartment.

I arrived there at midnight. I did not make any noise but the boy (who I had never met) had his bedroom door open which opened onto the hallway. I apologised and closed his sliding door. I appreciate he probably wasn’t expecting me given we had never met and I hadn’t been there the night before. The house smelled intensely of smoke and there were empty bottles on the table and bench.

I put in a load of washing and while I was reading in bed the power went out. It was very late (2:00 AM) so I just went to sleep. In the morning when I woke up (6:00 AM) the power was still out, my washing was sitting in a pool of water trapped in the washing machine and the bathroom was too dark to have a shower. I messaged the host about the power and she told me to wake the boy, whom I assumed was her son, and ask him to check the fuse box. I knocked on his door and went in. I asked him about the power. He said “what the f#$k is wrong with you?”

I apologised and left the room. I messaged the host again. She messaged me back to ask what time I had to be at work. The boy got up and came to my room. He was shouting and getting too close to me. He kept saying “what the f#$k is wrong with you!?” and being aggressive. I was sort of flabbergasted and I asked him to leave my room. I also remember telling him to leave me alone. He left my room and I shut and locked the door.

I messaged the host to say the boy had been very rude to me. I got dressed for work and as I was doing my make up (by torchlight) he began banging on my door and shouting things like “what have you done to the power”, “you have ruined the house” and “how do you live?” – those sort of nonsensical things.

I opened the door to ask him to stop and also because I thought I could calm him down by explaining the power situation. Instead he stopped me from leaving the room, moved forward towards me, raised his fists. He laughed when I flinched. I thought he would punch me. I wanted to deescalate but I couldn’t work out what was happening. He said he wanted to kill me and some other threats I didn’t really understand.

I was very scared and I ducked down beside the bed. He left the room and went onto the balcony. I shut and locked the door again and sent the host a message saying “I am extremely scared for my safety. Please help.”

She replied saying the boy would not hurt me. It is sort of difficult to explain the way a woman feels when confronted with a violent man. We’ve been calling him “the boy” but he was in fact a strong young man. I thought he could do anything and I could not do anything. I began to cry. I called my husband to ask him what to do but he didn’t answer. I decided to just leave for work. I got completely ready and tired to leave even though I didn’t start work until 8:00.

The boy would not let me out the front door. He was mocking me for crying. He threw somethings at me. He took a video of me on his phone as I begged him to leave me alone. He got mad at me about the washing detergent, demanded I pay for it, held the box up to my face with his other hand behind my head. Pushing them together. Mock rubbing my face in it. He wasn’t aggressive, but more menacing and frightening.

My husband called me back distressed by the panicked voicemail I had left. He instructed me to pack my things and leave and if he wouldn’t let me leave to call the police. I told the boy I would call the police if he didn’t stop. He mocked me for over reacting but also seemed a bit nervous. He said a few more awful hurtful things. I was crying a lot by then. The power came back on. The boy got in the shower.

I quickly packed while he was in the shower. I put my wet clothes in a bin bag. I left my toiletries in the bathroom and my phone charger. As soon as the shower went off I ran out the door. I stayed on the phone with my husband until I was in the lift and it cut out. The left items are worth about $50. I had to get a taxi which cost $30. I was too upset to work today, which cost me $350. I had to go to the laundromat, which cost $6.

If you think what happened to me deserves a partial refund you have a very strange idea of customer service. While the host was not malicious she was culpable, neglectful and opportunistic. This is not a safe place for women or anyone really to stay. For documentation, you could check the hotel’s security tape of me running and crying for my life. You could ask the front desk who saw me terrified. I have the messages with the host which I sent you. I have the voicemail to my husband. I offered to get a police report. I’m still considering pressing charges.”

Again, we’re very sorry for what happened. Due to lack of documentation, we are unable to chase a full refund from the guest and also to be fair to her, you’ve stayed for two nights hence she has to be paid. If you were able to get a police report, we’d like to check this so we can also see if the listing is safe for future guests. It would be a great help from you. For the missing items, kindly open a resolutions tool for the host. 

“I can’t help but feel you’re not taking my report of physical and emotional abuse seriously. I don’t care about the money. I’m worried other single women will be harassed. I don’t feel like this is the political climate to ignore women’s reports of abuse.”

I hope you can believe me when I say safety precedes everything. The reason why we cannot chase the full refund from the host was because you stayed for two nights. The first and foremost best and first responders to an emergency are the police and I do hope you were able to report this to them. I also hope you understand our position to maintain our objectivity and our need for documentation.

“And I hope you appreciate that by putting the onus on me to prove what happened to me you have already made a decision to prioritize property over people. Is the host being asked to provide evidence I was safe? It seems clear that you care about your bottom line but I wonder how it might affect the bottom line if people no longer believed solo female travellers were safe in Airbnbs.”

That is exactly the reason why we ask if there is documentation you can provide that the property is not safe so we can present this to the host. I already mentioned the boy to the host and the host said he might have been disturbed with the noise about 1:00 AM when you got home. This was between the two tenants, you and the boy mentioned, so we are trying to establish the safety concern you raised to us. Were you able to take photos of the empty bottles you saw? Also, the host said the power was cut for a few minutes only. We are a third-party website not present during the reservation and we need to be objective in making our decisions. I may believe you, I truly do, but we need proof. Please advice if you are able to send that to us.

Terrible host didn’t bring the keys and closed her phone

This Airbnb host didn’t tell me anything and had no information. All I got was the address and that the host also had some positive feedback (probably from her friends and colleagues). Immediately after I made the booking, she started to be rude. I tried to ask her how to arrive but got no instructions from her; I had to search by myself.

The apartment was also expensive, a similar price to 3-4 star hotels – I would have expected more customer service skills. Then when I was looking for the apartment, I had to call and ask which street it was. The host didn’t know any shops or banks near the apartment even though she said she was “living there”. Then suddenly the host told me she was in another country or place for a work and the keys were in the bike shed.

That’s when I knew things were not as they should be. She told me I had to look for the keys in a bike shed in some box that I didn’t see there. I had to ask for the door codes multiple times. If she had any advice for me, she wouldn’t share it. She expected everyone to have an iPhone or similar smartphone to use Whatsapp. I believe I’m not the only one who doesn’t have Whatsapp for messages. It was possible to send information through Airbnb but she played phone games and didn’t want to.

In the evening, I found the apartment (but no keys in the bike shed). She sent one message with a smile emoticon: that she was not available in the evening for 2-3 hours. Then she turned off her phone.

What a rude and impolite person; she just wanted money. The host knew I was coming and at what time but she decided to hide and turn off her phone. There were a lot of people coming and going in her building and I could not wait in the corridor for 2-3 hours until she would open her phone, assuming she would.

I would never have booked a place on Airbnb if I had known the host would ignore her phone and that she wouldn’t bring the keys. I also think a bike shed is not a safe place to keep any important things such as keys. It would be easy and simple to ask a friend to bring the keys; it would take about 5-20 minutes, which apparently she didn’t have.

This happened in Sweden. I don’t know if I’ll get any refund or not but the host has already tried to get more money: 180 euro because I cancelled the reservation. I had to go to a hostel because I didn’t have the keys.

Airbnb House Nightmare, Just Wanted a Clean, Quiet Place

blankblankblankblankblank

Our experience was horrible at an Airbnb in New Orleans. We paid the place five months prior to our convention and was expecting to have a great place to stay as advertised.

As soon as we arrived at the place, we knew it was unacceptable. From the posting, it says eight people could stay in four bedrooms. However, there were only three bedrooms. The previous guest wrote all over the wall, making the place filthy… and the notes were inappropriate. The washroom was filthy and disgusting. Mold was everywhere and the floor was so dirty. The neighborhood was unsafe; people were looking at us and checking the car park in front of the place. There was one comment that if we stayed a bit longer, we would get robbed. It was a serious situation. Neighbors were screaming and yelling in the middle of the night.

The same day we called Airbnb, complained, sent pictures of the place, explained our situation, and asked for a full refund. Instead they helped us to relocate to a better place. Again I had to call multiple times to be relocated. It took our Airbnb representative 17 hours to figure out how to transfer the funds to the new place. We had to pay the difference on the top of the original charge. Now, we are in the process of calling them to get that refund.

On the same day, Airbnb only gave us $500 to cover the costs and our credit card still got charged. If someone could help me: what else should I do to get compensated for this trouble? Our first day in New Orleans was a nightmare. We don’t know how we can get compensated for this matter. We all lost sleep and didn’t get enough rest; that ruined the first day of our convention.

Airbnb Host Lost My Cat After Payment Problems

I was staying at an Airbnb for a couple weeks with my two cats. I have only ever had positive experiences. My host was a little… unique, but nice. Last night she drunkenly stopped by and in her intoxicated state mentioned something about a problem with my card? I didn’t know what she meant. Then my nightmare began.

I tried logging into Airbnb, and couldn’t. It wouldn’t say why. I sent a message and they said it would be reviewed. Then I found the email I used and checked it and they had sent me an email a couple hours earlier saying they thought the charges were fraudulent and refunded them. I Googled a support number and called, explained the situation was urgent and I needed to make sure my host was paid. They said they would call back in 48 hours.

I was in a separate house and my host was gone all night. I couldn’t get ahold of her. I had to leave eventually and when I came back she had evicted me, thrown all my things out, taken some of my things, was cussing me out, and, lost one of my cats. She knew I had two cats and she let one out. She didn’t care. I was trying to pay her in cash or work something out since I don’t know what happened with the Airbnb payment and I wanted to make sure she was paid.

I found out my beloved cat was set free, and she didn’t care. She didn’t listen. She threatened to stab me and have me arrested for grand larceny. She told me I had five minutes to get out. Amidst all the crazy cussing, the insults, and the name calling I could barely process I may never see my beloved pet cat ever again. I can assure you, we will never be using Airbnb again after this. I will tell every person I know of what my experience has been like the past couple of weeks.

I keep trying to figure out what I did wrong. I called, I tried desperately to contact people, and I offered to pay cash. That was before she evicted us. We wanted to make sure our host was paid. Nothing helped. I may have lost my beloved pet forever because of this. Why anyone would think it was okay under any circumstances to let someone’s pet out loose like that? I will never know.

She could have put him in his carrier, but she didn’t. She didn’t care I lost my pet in an area we had never been to before and I don’t know anyone. I never knew Airbnb had horror stories, until today and I found this site. I will never forgive myself for this. She seemed fine with letting me work on it to figure it out and that’s what I desperately tried to do. She was completely unavailable to contact and Airbnb was also impossible itself to contact. We will never use Airbnb again. I will tell everyone I can to never trust them ever again.

Undisclosed Noise, Refused to Adjust Cancellation Policy

I rented an apartment in Dusseldorf, Germany for ten days to visit my seven-year-old daughter. The place seemed to be as advertised. Then it got dark and the thumping bass started. It turns out the apartment is directly across the street from a nightclub. The nightclub played thumping bass that emanated through the entire apartment until 3:30 AM. This was unexpected because it was not disclosed in the listing and in the US you usually don’t see nightclubs in residential areas (zoning).

The next day I canceled the rest of my stay and booked a hotel. I had to pay a premium for the hotel because I was booking last minute. The landlord sent me a message asking me why I canceled. I explained the thumping bass until 3:30 AM situation and suggested they modify the listing to clearly state there is a nightclub across the street and it can be quite loud.

I asked for a refund, agreeing to pay for the night I stayed in the apartment plus cleaning fees. The landlord refused to give any refund. He did, however, modify the listing to note it can get loud due to the “pulsating life in the old town.”

When Airbnb looked into the issue they said the listing states that it can get loud. I explained this was not noted in the original listing and that I had communicated to the landlord that I would be staying there with my seven-year-old daughter. I sent Airbnb the email correspondence with the landlord where I specifically mentioned he should disclose the loud noise in the listing. He thanked me for the feedback. I explained to Airbnb that the listing was modified after I booked my trip.

Airbnb replied they acted fairly and are not going to refund any money. This is outright fraud. Airbnb’s business model is flawed and it is time for congress to setup up and defend consumer rights. If this were a hotel I would have been treated completely differently, but because of the decentralized nature of Airbnb they seem to be able to get away with acting unethically and stealing people’s money.

Please Avoid Airbnb’s Customer Service

I really want to tell someone about my horrible experience with Airbnb. I will never use their services anymore. It is so much better to stay in a hotel and avoid all your frustration rather than dealing with Airbnb. I reserved a luxury two bedroom townhouse in Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. After we checked in, we found the house was old with lead paint everywhere in the house, dirty (my kids’s feet immediately turned black), rusty (the kitchen pot, the bath tub were all rusty), and filled with cheap supplies (kitchen utensils, bedroom sheets, etc).

We requested to move out. I was offered for an alternative and I was told that I had to wait for 4-5 days to know whether it would be available. I stayed for four nights and was then showed an apartment by the host which was nice. However, I was told that the apartment would not be available for eight days. That meant I had to stay in that dirty place for eight more days. I reached an agreement with the host to discontinue the rent and moved out. The host refunded me the money I asked for.

However, some genius at Airbnb decided that I should not be refunded for the whole trip. Their calculation was like this: my entire trip cost $3100 (36 nights); I paid $2700 upfront. I requested $2300 refund based on my payment ($2700 minus the cost for the four nights I stayed). The host immediately refunded me the money. However, Airbnb decided that my cost was $3100 and I only paid $2700, so I owed them $400. They refunded me $1900 ($2300-$400). What a math genius. How did I owe them money for things never even happened?

One month later, they sent me a bill to remind me to check out the apartment and to pay them the remaining $400 balance ($3100-$2700). They had no records to show that I checked out one month earlier. I’ve called them three times so far. Every time I get the same answer. The customer service representative (he or she) would explain to me why they held the $400 from me the same way every time and they had no intention to listen and accept my explanation.

They would say that they had to talk to a case manager who would be available to talk to them but not to me directly. They would then tell me that I had to wait for a case manager to contact me. I would then receive an email from Airbnb to say “case closed”. I’ve spent more than five hours of my precious time to call them so far and there has been no resolution yet. This is really a great way for Airbnb to make money. I have no idea when I can get my money back. When you book on Airbnb, you will have no idea what you get yourself into. For me it has been a nightmare and horrible experience. The worst part of Airbnb is the customer service.