Breach of Contract: Airbnb Location Changed After Arrival

The host changed the location after we arrived from the Bay Area to Boston. I stood on a street corner with my son and a pile of bags for 15 minutes waiting for the host before checking my phone and finding a message to meet him one block away. The host walked us another block away from the nice brownstones to dilapidated student housing. It was 9:30 at night because our flight was late. There was a hole through the subfloor in the kitchen, holes in the walls, a filthy bathroom, disgusting sheets, and only one bed. We got out as fast as we could the next morning. The host started harassing me. Airbnb assured me I’d done everything I could, multiple times. After three weeks and five rounds with the resolution case manager, the best Airbnb could do was to refund half of the remaining five days plus fees and a lecture from the Customer Experience Manager about how I wasn’t compliant with “the Airbnb family”. Here’s more if you want pictures and details.

Airbnb Deletes Honest but Negative Reviews

I found out that Airbnb will side with its so called Superhosts over the guests in a dispute. There are fewer places to stay and millions of potential customers. Airbnb needs hosts more than they need the six disgusted guests, apparently. They lost all six highly paid customers on the first night. At approximately 2:00 AM on our first night after dinner and just a couple drinks (the host claims we were very drunk and very noisy – couldn’t be further from the truth), we returned to the beautiful but very dirty condo in Mexico City. One bed had multiple different hairs in it (never had been washed after last occupants?) My female friend refused to sleep in it and chose the sofa. The male had no option, so he slept on top of sheets. Our other couple fell asleep in second room only to find that the pillow “design” he thought it was the night before turned out to be someone else’s blood.

Both couples fled to nearest hotel. Fortunately my husband’s and my room was fine. I was too scared to look closer. I contacted the host, only to be told that it was impossible that this had happened; we must have done it. I’m sure we dirtied a perfectly nice apartment after we had already paid just to then go pay a lot more at a hotel. She must’ve accused me at least 15 times of lying. I stayed because we had invested so much already. I complained many times to the deaf ears of the Superhost and figured I would take it up with Airbnb upon our return. I had pictures and testimonies.

To no avail, Airbnb simply said it was her word against mine and they could not decide in my favor. Once my review was up and for all to see (she must have stopped getting calls on it) they informed me they were taking it down because I dared mention to said Superhost that I did not wish to leave a bad review (they considered that a threat). All I asked was for said Superhost to please help satisfy my request. My request was a refund of $150.00 against the $600+ I paid. I had been honest and told her of a third couple joining us. Now I see I should’ve never admitted that and I would never been charged for the third couple. After all was said and done, they paid me just $75.00 and took down my very honest review.

Airbnb Definitely Not As Advertised, Many Faults

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We got to our Airbnb around 6:00 PM. By 10:00 PM, we advised the host that we needed to change locations because my son was having an allergy attack. The host met us the following day but simply said that we were the only guests who complained. I hope my story will warn future guests.

The host had a very strict policy with keeping his place clean and charged 10% more than the rental fee for cleaning. The host claimed that his place could accommodate up to four people, that it had internet, a TV, a hair dryer, a washer, and heating. The photo of the place shows it is well lit. However, upon arriving to his pad, we saw cockroaches and tiny bugs in the toilet. The cabinet which held his tiny 3-kg washer smelled like cockroaches were living there. The place was really dark because of busted bulbs along the hallway, the common area, and bedroom. The internet signal kept dropping every hour and the TV was not working.

The portable heater, which could only heat a very tiny room, would suddenly stop working. When we opened the drawer of cutlery it was a mess. His dishwasher was filled with tableware which had not been cleaned well. Some food particles were still on the washed dishes . The host had a strict policy of guests tidying up upon leaving the place because he wanted to keep it clean.

His kitchen sink was almost as wide as a pencil; it was actually a small bar sink. The sink in his bathroom was not much better. The floor needed scrubbing since we could feel the stickiness while walking. The drainage would back up when we took a bath.

Finally the place was really like a dungeon because it was a bit too dark. Even in the daytime it was really very dark. Because he had limited bulbs installed, it was not sufficient to light the room. I guess I would not feel bad if he only charged AUD 100/night for his place because it was really shabby. However he charged me a total of AUD 244/night. We moved out the following day even if the host offered to replace the busted light bulbs and probably send someone to fix drainage. I will attach photos to prove my claims. Hope this will help future guests to be careful. Thank you.

Airbnb Nightmare with Lying Host in Virginia Beach

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We rented a private room in an apartment in Virginia Beach for three nights for the weekend of July 4th. The apartment was listed as non-smoking, but in reality there was a strong, pungent cigarette odor that was pervasive; you could smell it in the sheets, the towels, and even stuck to my clothing. The apartment was also not very clean. There was a piece of toilet paper on the bedroom carpet. There was a ring of worn-in grime around the toilet bowl, dishes in the kitchen sink, and hair on the bathroom sink; our host did not even bother to clean the apartment before we arrived.

My boyfriend was allergic to cats and the host did not specify that a cat lived there. We filed a complaint with Airbnb. They reached out to the host, who claimed that he never smoked inside the apartment, that he cleaned it before he left, and that the grime around the toilet bowl was not actually dirt, but a stain leftover from a remodeling project. Basically the host just gave Airbnb outrageous lies.

We cut our stay short and stayed two nights instead of three. The host initially offered to refund us for two nights, but reneged and then offered to refund us for only one night. Airbnb offered to refund us one night to make up for the inconvenience. While the refund from Airbnb went through, we are still waiting for the refund from our host… who knows when that will ever arrive.

Airbnb is essentially only an advertising platform for people renting out their spaces. Their conflict resolution center has no power to compel hosts to issue refunds or resolve issues. There is no quality assurance and no inspections of properties. Airbnb’s policy states that if you contact them within 24 hours of check-in and report issues with a listing related to cleanliness and misrepresentation, they will refund you or find alternate accommodation. In this case, we followed the rules but they seemed to take the host’s side over ours and made every effort to give our host the benefit of the doubt, despite all the photographic evidence that we submitted.

Accurate Listing of Property, Inaccurate Description of Host

My wife and I went to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Portland, OR and wanted to spend a month there with our small dog. First, I want to say that the house listing and description were spot-on accurate. The house was exactly as described, the host allowed pets, and the wireless and cable TV were provided as per her listing. The neighborhood was perfect, so what could go wrong, right?

We arrived after a two-day drive from Phoenix and Jeannie was there to greet us. We had rented the entire house, which Jeannie assured us in numerous texts and emails would be ours. She even provided gluten-free muffins for me, knowing I had an allergy. Unfortunately, the bottom floor was occupied by a friend of hers with an extremely aggressive dog that tried to attack my dog, and was not particularly friendly to my wife or me. Since the laundry was downstairs, this could prove to be a problem.

The basement apartment was accessible by a different entrance, but there was no lock on the door between that stairway and the kitchen. Our host told us we could install one if we wanted. Jeannie was also living in her garage at the time. My definition of “entire house” does not include sharing with two other people. I raised the issue with her, and she claimed she never promised us complete privacy. I showed her the emails, and she says I misread them. There was also some renovation scheduled so she could “legalize” the basement apartment. She did tell me an electrician was coming, but an electrician and renovation are two different stories.

My son met us at the house with his wife and spoke with our host as well. She basically propositioned him in front of his wife, explaining she was a teacher who lead a boring life. My wife was very uncomfortable, which Jeannie picked up on. She texted me and I suggested we meet face to face rather than text. When I went to meet with her, she was wearing a wide mesh top with nothing underneath. I am not comfortable speaking with a woman who is not my wife who is also basically topless. That was the end for me. I called Airbnb, who listened, and were merely sympathetic until I got to the topless conversation. That was over the line for them. They told me to pack and leave immediately, which we did.

They tried to find other listings and offered me three other options, which were all three times what I was paying now (so not affordable). We finished the week in a Residence Inn and drove home. I eventually got half my money refunded (a very expensive single-night stay) and the reservation was listed as cancelled so I couldn’t leave a review. I am amazed that Airbnb lets this listing remain up. You will see another complaint very similar to mine which remains on the site. At the time, my son was the executive chef at a popular restaurant in the Alberta Arts district. His sous chef, who is a 6’2″ tall transsexual with head to toe tattoos remarked to our son that even by Portland standards “that woman is bats$*t crazy!” Guess it wasn’t just us.

Finding Nearby Parking Can Be Airbnb Nightmare

I had a terrible day and ended up spending extra 360 dollars staying in a hotel. My host gave me deceptive information. Right after I made the reservation, I double checked with the host to see if there was parking available near the apartment. He told me that guests park on the street, and it is safe to do so. However, after I drove all the way from Rochester, NY to this place, the streets were all packed, and there was no way I could find a parking spot. I called the host several times and messaged him as well. He didn’t reply until I contacted Airbnb and they made several attempts to reach him. This time, he told me that in his message yesterday he meant guests usually park on the street; it was my business to find a parking spot, and I needed to drive around. I’ve spoken with different customer specialists for more than an hour on the phone while sitting in the car. I was told nothing about if I will be fully refunded. Nor did anyone book an alternative place for me to stay.

Host Needs to Work on Definition of Full Loft

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Our Airbnb property was advertised as a “full loft” with “dedicated parking behind the building”, which is why we chose it. We arrived in Montreal and drove right by the property twice, because it’s a poorly-marked, hard-to-find doorway between two other buildings. Behind the building there were no markings about where to park and/or that there was a safe, dedicated area for guest’s vehicles. Our email from the host suggested we park across the street on the public road. Due to the French signage and parking permit issues, I did not want to do that for fear my car would be towed.

After hauling our luggage up a narrow, tall flight of stairs, we were confronted by a narrow hallway that smelled like cat urine. There may have been a “full loft” up here at one time, but what we saw were three doorways with numbers on them. Behind our doorway there was a room that was, perhaps, 10’ x 10’ with one tiny, skinny window above eye level and a skylight. In the original listing photograph that accompanied our original reservation confirmation email, there had been a real bed with end tables; the actual bed in the room we got was a pull-out couch with a two-inch thin mattress.

There was no kitchen, only a small counter and bar fridge. No table on which to eat breakfast. The bathroom was so small, if one person was on the toilet and the other opened the door, it would have hit them in the knees and the head. The room was like a student residence, not a “full loft.” My suspicion is that this property had once been a “full loft” but, in order to pack in the people like sardines to make more money, it had been divided up with thin walls (that also needed some fresh paint). We had planned to cook and have friends over during our stay, but it was so small and embarrassing, we left within the hour and found a hotel instead.

We contacted the host immediately: he defended the property and said we hadn’t looked at the photographs closely enough. He said he would contact Airbnb to see about a refund, which I assume was a stalling tactic since the Airbnb site clearly states that refunds are up to the discretion of the host. We also got the impression that the host listed hasn’t even seen the spaces on his profile and is only managing them through text messaging and emails. We have taken a screenshot from our original reservation confirmation, along with a screen shot of the follow up emails. As you can see, at first glance, both spaces shown are similar (barnboard on wall, deer art above bed) but that’s where the similarities end. We booked this space based on the first photos from the original listing and the original reservation confirmation. I don’t know if the host was trying to pull a “bait and switch”, but to us this is misleading and why we are asking for a refund.

Horrible Experience and Resolution for Hong Kong Airbnb

I tried to open a resolution case on the Airbnb website. It was really challenging so I’m just writing this long email to Airbnb. I think the part of my user experience differed from that four years ago. I started using Airbnb back when you could reach a live person about your problems; nowadays, it trys to automate everything.

My latest stay was in Beijing from April 13-16, 2017 in what was advertised as a modern, quiet, and relaxing apartment near the CBD. The resolution center kept asking me to “request money” from this stay which I didn’t have a problem with.

However, I am writing about my stay in Hong Kong, during which time I was overseas so it was difficult to call Airbnb. I was contacted by a local Airbnb resolution center specialist but it was handled really poorly. The room itself was horrible. It looked nothing like the pictures. In fact, I have pictures to prove what the actual living conditions were (will reply to any email with the pictures).

I landed in Hong Kong on April 6th. I was pretty jet lagged so just booked a place and fell asleep. The second day while I was in the city touring around, the owner moved my luggage into a different room. It was slightly bigger; however, there was a sewage problem with the bathroom (not to mention the fact she moved my stuff and suitcase and entered my room without permission). I was pretty upset, but still jetlagged. I decided to just go to bed.

In the middle of the night, I woke up from the unbearable odor from the bathroom. It was so strong and the room was tiny, with no window for ventilation. I was very upset and called Airbnb for help. Someone picked up the call and promised he would “call me back soon.” He asked me to “find a cafeteria or some place, wait for his call, and try to book a hotel: Airbnb would reimburse me.”

It was 2:00 AM at the time, and I had to leave and try to find another hotel. Nothing online allowed same-night bookings (in fact, I accidentally booked something for April 9th and was charged on booking.com even though I was supposed to fly out of Hong Kong the afternoon of the 9th). Finally it was 3:30 AM. I took an Uber and found a hotel to sleep in. The whole experience was horrible.

The next morning, someone from the local Hong Kong team finally contacted me, I couldn’t talk to her for long because I needed to check out of that hotel and try to catch my flight. I told her I would “reach out and resolve this once I can settle down.” She went ahead and cancelled my resolution case. Right now, I am asking for a formal resolution process to start. Due to the unresponsiveness of Airbnb as well as false advertisement of this “hostel” trying to be a house, I lost my valuable travel time in Hong Kong, spent money on Uber both ways, booked a hotel at 3:30 AM, and had to spend 30 minutes on international calling. Overall, my experience of Airbnb in Asia was just a much lower standard when compared to that in the US.

Host Refused Refund for Poorly Maintained Property

We booked a trip for ten nights in Barbados for my family of four. Upon arrival at the property, we heard hysterical dogs barking. The neighbor had a dog pen less than 30 yards from the house we were renting. The pen had about five dogs which spent every waking moment inside. When the host came about twenty minutes later to greet us, we expressed concern as we had a one-year-old who doesn’t do very well sleeping in new places, especially if dogs were barking aside. He told us that they would calm down. I wasn’t looking forward to our son and the rest of us being woken up at 1:00 AM to those dogs carrying on next door.

When we got settled into our tropical vacation cottage, we came to realize the place was filthy. Every piece of furniture was stained, and the floor hadn’t had a good mopping in weeks. I have pictures of our black feet. The kitchen was disgusting. One of the policies of Airbnb is that the properties must be clean, a policy they don’t care much about. There are even other reviews of the property (which we came across after the fact) pointing out how unclean this property is. The next day we asked to leave. We told the host about our issues. He said he had a little apartment in town that we could use, but the neighbors are less than desirable and it’s very tight quarters. He told us to think about it and contact him later.

We decided that we weren’t going to spend our 11-day vacation in some little dumpy apartment. We needed to be refunded and move on to another property through someone else. He told us via email that he wasn’t going to refund us anything. Airbnb asks that you place complaints within 24 hours; ours was placed 27 hours after check in. Keep in mind we’re in a foreign country trying to find a place to stay on very slow internet with two children. By 2:00 PM on the second day we found and paid for another property using Homeaway.com and then left. After returning home, we contacted Airbnb again for a refund, supplying a detailed account of our experience and about a dozen photos of the filth. After going through the process, which took three weeks, we were told that because we didn’t contact them within the 24-hour period there was nothing they could do, but they would refund us one night’s stay. We paid for ten.

We tried numerous times to contact Airbnb after this despicable explanation and were completely ignored. We never heard from them again. We were out $1200. Then we decided that since neither the host nor Airbnb were going to do anything for us after a three-week runaround, that it was time to leave a review. But no, you only have two weeks to do that. That’s right: if you don’t leave a review within two weeks of your check out date, your window closes. We got completely screwed out of $1200 and couldn’t even leave a review. This was the last time we’ll ever use this horrible, disgusting company again. What a horrible disappointment. Beware folks!

Valuables Stolen at Barcelona Airbnb, No Resolution

My daughter and her friend checked into their Airbnb in Barcelona on May 13th, 2017. They went out for the night and came back to find all their valuables gone: two Macbooks, two GoPros, one gold bracelet, and my daughter’s baby blanket that always travels with her. They called the police who came to the apartment. They called Airbnb who told them to go to a hotel, but it was the grand prix that weekend and they had trouble finding one at 2:00 AM. The girls filed a police report and stayed in a hotel for the next four nights because they were afraid to stay in an Airbnb at that point. Airbnb was very supportive at first and offered to help. The apartment host changed his name and picture the next morning for the same place but my daughter could not review on it because they did not stay there. Airbnb has done nothing about that. We have been trying to contact Airbnb for the past nine days. I have called five different times and spoke to five different people all with a promise to call me back about our claims. To this date, nobody has returned my calls. I waited on the phone today for over an hour to talk to a manager and was then finally cut off with no call back (they took my number). When I called again, they would not transfer me to a manager and I had to start all over. I am unable to contact them through the website. I only have a few standard questions but there is nobody to contact. This is pretty frustrating and for such a big company, you would think they would have amazing customer service. Shame on them!