Super Entitled Host Convinces Guests to Leave

My wife and I booked a place for a week plus that was described as “usually booked” (probably a trick of the website). The place looked great in the photos, in Islington, London. When we arrived, the place was hotter than Hades, not aired out, and not well cleaned (even though of course we had paid for cleaning). There were two rolls of toilet paper for a week but it gets worse.

The couches in the living room were lumpy and basically unusable; one reason we booked the place was it had advertised a washer/dryer behind a door which was locked. Although the agent kept insisting the door could not lock, after we went back and forth a couple times, she sent someone over to check – guess what? It was locked. So one of the main reasons for booking was gone. The agent did offer to let us have cleaning at a dry cleaners’ done for free.

On the second to last night we were there the owner tried to have the agent make us to be there at a certain time to let a gardener in before other guests arrived the following weekend. We said no. Finally, having been totally fed up I asked for one night’s rental back as a refund which we received. The host was either new, uncaring or both.

Mice Infestation and Airbnb Host’s Response

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Our recent family trip was the worst Airbnb experience ever. Our trip was originally suppose to be for nine nights and we ended up leaving early due to mice. We didn’t discover the mice until our fifth night. On our fifth night at the cabin my mom slept on the pull out couch and woke up to one mouse on her leg, and another one near her head. The mattress topper for the sofa bed was all chewed up by the mice and soiled in mouse droppings. We immediately called the host in the morning to inform him about the mice. We then discovered mouse droppings all around the house. The mice droppings were in cupboards, on the kitchen counter, floors, and the toaster.

We have two young children (3.5 years old and 16 months) who were playing and crawling on the ground. I was constantly stressed and on high alert cleaning the floors because of the mice. The host responded by giving us a bottle of wine and referred to it as a “token gesture”… more like a slap in the face to us. He also set mouse traps. Airbnb asked us if we would let the host try to resolve the issue but what the host did by giving us a bottle of wine and setting a few mouse traps was anything but a solution.

The next morning my two children were watching TV on the couch and we discovered a mouse trap was missing from where the host had originally placed it. We discovered the mouse trap between the sofa arm and cushion with the mouse stuck in it… and alive. We sent a photo to the host and told him that we were leaving because there was clearly a mice infestation and it wasn’t be solved nor was it going to get solved. As the guests we should not have to stay in an accommodation that has an issue with mice, and it was wrong for the host to think he tried everything he could and refuse to issue us a refund.

How is this customer service? How the hell is he a Superhost? I am so upset that our family vacation was turned completely upside down especially because we booked it all the way back in February 2018. What’s worse is Airbnb failed to respond, and the customer service was so poor. I have to repeat my story again and again because whoever is on the phone doesn’t have authority to resolve it, and when they say they will call me back they never do. It’s a nightmare that doesn’t end with the trip – it’s ongoing and I will make sure I tell my friends my experience because I will not be using Airbnb again.

Airbnb Room in Seattle is Anything but Clean

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I planned a trip with my daughter and two grandchildren to visit the Seattle Zoo. I went on Airbnb and found a listing advertised as a cozy and clean room in Lynnwood. The communication with the host was very poor. On all occasions, communication stopped between us and the host because the host stopped responding.

First we sent the host a message on Airbnb after completing the booking to confirm that it would be suitable to stay with four people in the room as it was only advertised for three; the host never responded with an answer. Second, the host never messaged us with check in information. We arrived after the scheduled check in time posted on the Airbnb listing not knowing if anyone would be there to meet us, or if we should have been provided with a code for a lockbox for a key to gain entry.

Third, after arriving we went out to dinner to discuss how we felt about the place. We then texted the host to see if she would consider giving us a refund so we could stay somewhere else where we felt more comfortable with two small children. After a couple of texts back and forth the host stopped responding again. With it getting late and needing to get the kids to bed we decided to leave and stay somewhere else that we thought would be a safer and more suitable environment.

The host proceeded to clean the bathroom after we arrived and showed us our room. This should have been completed before we arrived. We used the bathroom right after she cleaned it, and it was still dirty. There was hair and dust on the floor, mold on the tub and a good amount of dust on the cabinets. In the corners of the bathroom floor there was visible dirt buildup. When we mentioned this to the host in our text message she responded with “You only need to share the bathroom with two girls and both are working the whole day. They work in the medical field and are very clean.”

She never addressed the fact that the bathroom was still dirty after she cleaned it when we arrived or making any effort to make it right. When I contacted Airbnb about a refund they said that she was very clear about everything on her site and offered me a $50 discount on my next booking with Airbnb. I have attached photos and also have copies of the texts we sent our host.

The Tale of an Awful Hostess who Held me Hostage

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TL;DR: Airbnb hostess agrees to let me change a three-month reservation to one month, then goes back on her word and verbally/financially holds me hostage until Airbnb got involved. Also unreasonably bitchy about stuff. Gather round, and let me tell you a fairytale-like story that quickly became hellish…

Once, in a neighbourhood called Butte aux Cailles in Paris, there was an apartment listed on a place called Airbnb. A young student from the faraway land of North America decided to book this apartment for three months while she was working in France. Even though the student didn’t have much money, she thought that the neighbourhood and the experience would make it worth it (big mistake, she later learned, as she paid about 1000 euros per month for a room, which is way overpriced for what 99% of rooms in Paris are worth).

Anyways, in this apartment lived a woman who the student had figured would be a nice and agreeable person. The tales from others on Airbnb had claimed that she was, however – this young student would later learn – really, for lack of a better term, a “nasty and unreasonable bitch”.

So, what are the problems, you ask? Well, dear reader, let me list them out (and at this point I will just break immersion since writing in the third person is tiresome, and straight up tell you what happened).

Week 1 [~May 3rd]: Host complains about “turning on the water taps too hard and running the shower too hard.”

“Well, if I’m paying 1000 euros just for a room, you really shouldn’t complain too much about me turning on the tap because it’s a little sensitive,” I think, but I shrug and say “alright.”

Week 1 [~May 4th]: The host’s friend was staying over on the couch. She’s nice, although there isn’t much space in the apartment so a curtain is drawn up between the living room and the entrance to my room.

Week 1 [~ May 7th]: I told the host that I was planning on moving out to the dorms after the end of May. She was understanding and sympathetic at the time, and offered to help me find a room with her friend. Unfortunately, it’s too far from where I work, so I declined. However, she said that she would call Airbnb to waive the normal 30-day fee for modifying the reservation.

Week 2 [~May 14th]: I came home at around 11:30 PM and went to my room. The next minute, the host sent a text message complaining about the noise I made when opening the door (she had told me on the first day that the door is tricky, and obviously turning the lock would make unavoidable noise). I had not known beforehand that her friend had been staying over the last two nights, and I told her that: “I would appreciate it if you tell me that you have guests staying the night. It would be unreasonable to expect that I should be completely quiet if I don’t know that someone is already asleep when I come home (via text).”

I believed it to be a reasonable request to ask from her, as I was happy to accommodate if I had known that her friend was staying. On most nights, the street below where her house is often very loud due to the many pubs, with the noise going into late hours of the night (2-3:00 AM).

Week 2 [May 14th night]: The host flips out. She said that “it is quite normal to make less noise in the apartment, because I also live in this apartment, as does my friend and my daughter [which is false, only the host lives there].”

Then she complained to me about the unwashed dishes (I left a cup in there once) and the hygenic pads in the trash (where do pads go, in your bed?), and kept telling me to “respect the rules of the contract.” All I asked her was just to give me a headsup if her friend was staying over.

Week 3 [May 15th]: I told the host that I would be moving June 1st (as discussed with her over a week ago). She flipped out a second time, and told me that I could not leave until after the end of June. In her words: “she has a contract for her daughter’s (university) room until the end of June.”

While this was the case when I originally booked, we had agreed in Week 1 that I would check out at the end of May. I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable being held verbally and financially hostage like this. I was super stressed to return to the apartment, or even leave my room.

Week 3 [May 16th]: I saw her in the morning and she asked me to explain “What was the problem? I don’t understand what was the problem.” This culminates in a terse argument between us. I sent a plea for help to Airbnb support.

Week 3 [May 17th]: Airbnb was surprisingly super helpful. They called me telling me to cancel the agreement, and refunded me for the nights not spent, while also nullifying the 30-day penalty. A colleague let me stay in his house shared with six others until the end of May, which turned out to be a 350 square meter apartment in Paris. By Parisian standards, this was pretty much a castle.

Anyways, to wrap up my long-winded story, avoid this host at all costs. She made me so nervous and agitated being around her because I felt like I had to constantly tiptoe around her or get bitched at. And that was just the icing on the cake compared to her outright lying to me, and not letting me leave in May instead of July – even after we agreed multiple times that I could check out early.

At least I know that long term rentals on Airbnb are awful. Unfortunately I forgot to leave a review on her listing and profile because of a bunch of other stuff was going on at the time, and then I missed the 14-day time limit. This story did actually happen though; take a look at these pictures.

Family Vacation Ruined Over Airbnb Cockroaches

I had never stayed in an Airbnb before. My sister and I planned a trip to the Smoky Mountains together. She got a cabin through Airbnb and I stayed in a hotel in Pigeon Forge. We got to enjoy one family day together. The second night they were in their cabin they came in to find roaches everywhere. If they didn’t have young children sleeping they would have just left that night. They got up in the morning, packed everything up, and drove back home, which is an 8+ hour drive.

They only got refunded two of their nights and still got charged for cleaning. They were told that they use pest control but can’t control those this time of year; that is unacceptable. Now they are home and don’t even want to take their bags inside because they are afraid they brought them home. Their vacation was ruined and our family vacation was ruined. I will know to not use Airbnb if this is how problems like this are handled.

Five-Star Accommodation in Italy Not as Expected

This is in reference to a farmhouse in Osmate, Italy reserved via Airbnb. We were a group of eight adults (four couples) who wanted to tour the Northern Italy lake area after a seven-day cruise which ended in Venice. We reserved a villa which received a 5-star rating on Airbnb – the pictures looked good and the reviews were excellent. We reached the “villa” at around 9:00 PM on a Friday night.

The person who opened the property for us was a friend of the owner. Our first shock was when we tried to reach the entrance to the property; the second shock occurred when we tried to get our car into the property’s parking lot; and our third and worst shock of all was the “villa” itself.

The owner advertises private parking. She doesn’t advertise that it’s nearly impossible to navigate a jeep in the extremely narrow alleyways to get to the property’s parking. At the entrance to the property, we were greeted by all kinds of leftover building materials. The area looks like a storehouse / garbage dump.

The first thing that struck us when we entered the house was the strong odor of mildew. There was mildew on the walls which is probably what was causing the very unpleasant odor.

The property’s lighting (and lighting fixtures) was extremely frugal – everything was so dark and depressing. The property did not look clean. Airbnb advertised two living rooms on the property. We only saw one living room with two couches covered with two different colored blankets and we were told that this is how we should sit. I assume they were covering up some very old couches.

The owner advertised 14 steps on the stairs. However, two of the bedrooms are situated on the second floor (17 steps) and the other two bedrooms are on the third floor (an additional 14 or 15 steps), a total of 31/32 steps to reach two of the four bedrooms. When I told the owner that the steps are a very serious problem for us, she offered this solution: bring the two beds down to the living room and have one of the couples sleep there. I asked her “what about privacy?” She couldn’t answer.

The beds in the bedrooms were like beds in very cheap motels: sloppy sheets, low beds with a metal frame. I’m not sure how much weight each bed can hold. The ceiling of the two bedrooms on the third floor is slanted so that when you go into the bedrooms, you need to bend down in order to avoid getting hit on the head.

The owner advertised four bedrooms and four baths. She doesn’t advertise that the fourth bath is two floors down from the bedroom and that this bath is more like a laundry room than a bath.

They advertise BBQ facilities, which are a joke. The grill (if you can call it that) was filthy and so old that you couldn’t call it even a simple, normal grill. We didn’t see the advertised ping-pong table anywhere.

The actual condition of the property and the surrounding area is much worse than what you see in the online pictures. Nowhere is it advertised that the building has three floors (without an elevator) and that two of the bedrooms are located on the third floor. After seeing the property, there was no way that we could have stayed there for even one night.

We decided to try to find four hotel rooms somewhere nearby. You can imagine how difficult it was to drive around in a foreign country, in an unfamiliar area, at 10:00 at night trying to find a hotel with four available rooms. We were tired and hungry and after driving in from Venice and touring some of the surrounding area (we drove nearly 400 kilometers on this day), the only thing we craved was reaching the property, taking a shower and going to sleep. You can imagine the aggravation we felt at seeing this terrible house. After several inquiries at local restaurants, we finally found a hotel that had four rooms available; this is where we stayed for the duration of our trip.

It seems to me that Airbnb does not visit the properties that they advertise. Because if they did, there’s no way that they would have advertised this on their website as a 5-star property, if at all. In view of all of the above, and in view of the aggravation that was caused us, we demanded a complete refund of all the money we paid (over $1,400 for four nights). The owner was willing to refund us the cleaning fee and Airbnb the service charge (100 Euros + $150).

I did not accept their offer. I was told by the Airbnb representative that they transfer payment to the owner only 24 hours after the guests check-in. The representative asked me why I didn’t notify them that we were not staying there. I did notify them the next morning (within the 24-hours from check-in time) but someone at Airbnb screwed up and did not handle our case properly. Besides, the owner informed Airbnb that same evening (while we were still there) that we decided to not stay at the villa.

I contacted the Airbnb office in Ireland and spoke to someone who promised to send my complaint to management, marked urgent, but I am still waiting to receive a reply. This is the second time I have made a reservation via Airbnb and both times, the advertising on their website did not reflect the actual condition of the property.

Kaneohe Frat House Leaves Older Guests in the Wind

Camping on the beach would have been much better than staying in this Airbnb hovel. Do not believe everything you read. The pictures were misleading. It was advertised as a shared, private room that sleeps four. We had three adults over 50. We were shown the property by a fourth guest, presumably sharing the second room with the co-host who was not there; she was out somewhere getting an inflatable mattress for us. All five of us (we didn’t know if any other surprise guests would turn up) were supposed to use the one, only bathroom (pictured) on the premises.

As far as I can remember our “private” room may not have even had a door. The premises, I hesitate to even call it an apartment, was a mess. You would think the hosts would straighten things out, but why? They already got their money. We cancelled on the spot, and the host told us she called Airbnb to arrange a refund. Thinking it was a full refund, I called Airbnb about it and was told the hosts only agreed to refund for the taxes, cleaning (What cleaning? It was not cleaned before us), and for the already acquired air mattress. This gives new meaning to “Air” bnb. To top things off, the host called me a liar for me telling Airbnb she promised a full refund. Yes, I cancelled. I suggested a 50% refund. There was no reply. I never met the real hosts. Airbnb does not vet its hosts or properties. Let the buyer beware.

Airbnb Employees were my Worst Guests

My bosses owned a five-bedroom house in San Francisco that was soon to be vacant so we came to an agreement that I would live there for free and host on Airbnb, and they would keep the money as rent. They stood to make a couple thousand more a month than if they just rented it out long term.

Everything was going great and I was bringing in on average $12,000/month. For the most part, I screened my guests and they were all great. I had a request from an Airbnb employee in Portland to book all my extra rooms as she and her coworkers had to come to San Francisco for a conference. I figured they were Airbnb employees so they wouldn’t do anything crazy; I booked the stay.

I let the contact person know that the day they were to arrive I would actually be in Napa Valley checking on some properties up there for my bosses, but I would be back the next day. It clearly stated that this was a shared house and that I, the host, live onsite. I arrived at the house in the afternoon of their second day and met the group of girls staying. We chatted a bit as they were getting ready for dinner and I said I was just dropping off my bags and then heading out to meet my friend for a drink. After a couple drinks and catching up with my firmed I returned home and went to bed. The group was still out to dinner.

At 3:00 AM I was woken up by a guy and two girls demanding that I leave. They said they rented the entire house, I was not supposed to be there, and I had to get out. I was disoriented after being woken up from a sound sleep and a bit confused. When I realized what was going on I told them that it clearly states on my listing that I as the host live on site. The kept demanding that I leave immediately. I told them I wasn’t going anywhere. They wouldn’t leave me alone. After arguing for what seemed like an hour, they finally left my room.

The next day when I woke up they were all gone and left with three nights still on their booking. I called Airbnb, explained what had happened, and told them that if they requested a refund that I would not allow it. I also requested that someone from the Portland office call me to discuss their employee’s behavior. The supervisor called back and assured me that these employees would be dealt with.

Airbnb Nightmare: Threatened with Forcible Eviction

I had an Airbnb reservation for a basement (entire unit) from April 20th until May 27th. On April 22nd around 9:00 PM, the landlord decided that she wanted to cancel the reservation (because I was using the heater that was in the unit). Immediately, Airbnb contacted me, and told me I should leave the unit as soon as possible or the police would force me out. I had to rush to find a place so I wouldn’t spend the night in the streets.

We (my husband was with me at that time) visited this unit on April 4th to make sure everything was alright before reserving it; I was going to live there for 37 nights and I didn’t want to have any surprises. Everything looked okay. We also asked about the heating in the unit, and the landlords said that there was no problem as there was a wall heating unit in the living room. Even when I checked in on April 20th, the landlord explained to me how to operate the heating unit.

On April 22nd, I wanted to take a shower but when I opened the faucet, some brown waste came from the tap and filled the bathroom floor. It looked like sewage waste to me, therefore I messaged the host and asked her to take a look. When she came down and checked, she said that the house has a reliable sewage system and this should have come from the city water supply.

Then she came to the living room and asked me why I had the wall heating system on. I said that because I felt cold (the temperature was 2-3 C outside). She said I didn’t have the right to turn on the heating because the electricity bill would be high. I said I told her that I wanted to turn the heating system on. She left. The second time she came to clean up the waste in the bathroom, she told me that I couldn’t stay there anymore and I had to leave the unit. I said to discuss her issues with Airbnb.

Later, an Airbnb representative contacted me and told me that she had cancelled the reservation and I should leave the unit as soon as possible. I told her that I would find a unit tomorrow and will leave (I was very worried about my health with the sewage issue), but she said that I had to do it tonight or the landlord could call the police, and they would force me to leave. Mind you that this was 9:00 PM on a Sunday. I finally found a hotel at 10:00 PM and left the unit. I had to pay a high price for the unit because I was reserving at the last minute. This event has caused me so much stress that I couldn’t work for several days, and even remembering those events causes me trouble.

The next day, I sent a message to Airbnb and asked how they could force someone to leave the unit or threaten them with the police. This is totally unacceptable. If I have a reservation, I can’t cancel it without paying a high cancellation fee, but Airbnb can tell the clients to leave at 9:00 PM on a Sunday night or threaten them if they want to. The unit has serious sewage issues. It will threaten the health of anyone who wants to live there.

The following are the first messages that were exchanged between me and the Airbnb representative that night. She first called me but I couldn’t hear her, so she messaged me on the Airbnb website.

Agent:”I do apologize if you could not hear me. Your reservation with [host] is ending early. Please leave the listing as soon as possible. I have sent you an email that gives you the option to rebook or receive a full refund. Please let me know if you need rebooking assistance.”

Me: “Hi, I will think and let you know tonight. Thanks.”

Agent: “I have just tried giving you another call but was unable to reach you. Please let me know what time you can get out of the listing. If you don’t leave she has the authority to call the cops.”

Agent: “Are you leaving the listing now?”

Uninhabitable Accommodation Means Airbnb Refuses Refund

We booked a room through Airbnb and when we arrived we found the room to be completely uninhabitable. The most pressing issue was the temperature; the room was freezing, with no heating provided. It was 7 degrees Celsius outside, and the external walls were paper thin. There was condensation on the windows and walls. Furthermore, the toilet was broken; the cistern was permanently discharging, with the constant noise of running water and making it impossible to flush. There were other issues too, including excessive noise from above.

We notified the hosts, who agreed with our assessment that the room was uninhabitable, and we had no option other than to leave and seek alternative accommodation (at 10:00 PM). Airbnb does not have a contact number, leaving us with no one to call and having to fend for ourselves. Given that the host completely agreed with us, we thought that we’d at least be able to get a full refund for the room – how wrong we were.

Airbnb will not refund their service fees, their cleaning fees, or their processing fees, so in total are only prepared to refund about 75% of the price we paid, despite the room being completely uninhabitable, the host agreeing with us, and us not having spent a single night there. Airbnb does not have a contact number, so I have been left communicating via their online message system (taking a day for them to reply between messages) with someone who doesn’t have a good grasp of the English language and is making unreasonable requests (they want photo evidence that it was cold – how exactly do they expect me to do that, unless of course they expect their guests to carry a thermometer with them).

Given this, we immediately looked into cancelling our other Airbnb bookings for this trip. Given the experience we’ve just had we didn’t want to risk it. All the bookings were listed as free cancellation, and we are within the cancellation window. However, Airbnb’s policy is to never refund their service fee, even when a room is cancelled or there is a problem. They don’t care what you do, because they get paid anyway.

I have no worries about getting my money back – it was paid using Amex and their customer service is exceptional. They’ll provide the refund immediately and claim it back from Airbnb. I’m sure that our experience here is a one off, and the vast majority of stays go without issue. However, if something does go wrong, Airbnb will leave you on your own to deal with it, will make any attempt to get a resolution exceedingly difficult and will refuse to provide a full refund. You have been warned.