Complaint about Host and Apartment in Portugal

I am writing in regards to an apartment we rented in Albuferia, Portugal, to highlight how dangerous and dirty the place was. The oven and stove were unsafe and outdated; it got to the point where we expected to use matches and keep an eye on the oven just in case the gas ignited. The water was unsafe as it was scolding and you could not make it cold; it nearly burnt the skin off my hands. The apartment was filthy and needed a good clean too. When we complained to the host he was very short and abrupt with us, brandishing us as liars as he had stated that he apparently had nearly 5000 people stay there but only 29 positive reviews… so where are the other 4971 reviews? I wish I could leave a review as it was such a horrible experience. We decided to check in to a hotel as we did not want to stay with such horrible amenities or use the apartment of such a horrible host. We cancelled the booking and only got part of our payment back. This host needs to be vetted as he’s clearly not been to see the state of the apartment that he lets out and leaves his poor mother to do the dirty work. I am abhorred by the way that he has treated myself and my mother.

Airbnb Breach of Contract During Month-Long Stay

Airbnb (and their host) breached a contract for us to rent for a month. I live in Oakland, CA. My wife was visiting our daughter giving birth in Portland, OR when she had this experience with Airbnb. My wife stayed there one night before needing to leave because of the smell. The contract called for an an incense-free apartment. When my wife got there, she was told another renter had burned incense in the apartment. My wife tried to stay one night but the smell was too strong. Both Airbnb and the host refused a complete refund minus one night’s charge. They both said it wasn’t their fault; they couldn’t fix it, but wanted to keep half our money and rip us off. If they had refunded our money, that would have been the end of it. Now that I have to spend time and worry about chasing after them for not abiding by US laws, I want consequential damages and punitive damages. It is obviously Airbnb’s policy to keep hosts happy even if customers get ripped off.

Arrogant and Opaque Conflict Resolution – Host Extortion

I went to visit my daughter in Seattle, planning to stay for a week. The apartment, given that it was the host’s primary residence, was pleasant. However, after five days the host called my daughter on the phone and informed her (not me) that I was to vacate the apartment immediately. He claimed that if I didn’t his landlord was going to evict him and charge him $600. My daughter was distraught; she took one of my checks and gave it to the host. The host gave me about twenty minutes to pack up and leave. The only review of the host stated he’d abruptly cancelled the reservation of two young women who just happened to be counting on staying in his apartment when I was requesting a reservation. I doubt that was a coincidence.

Of course, Airbnb would have liked to have washed their hands of the whole matter. I persisted as best I could and the host offered a small settlement. Airbnb claimed they’d tried to reach me; they tried exactly once. After that, they screened my calls. In the end, being the clever person I am now and then, I had my bank cancel the check due to fraud. I also immediately cancelled the credit card Airbnb had on file. Once they have your card they can do anything they like. In the end I guess I prevailed. The $600 was returned, the security deposit was returned, and I still received the settlement.

Now they send an email a day over a bill for $19. I go to their help section and tell them I’ll send them a check. I just put one in the mail. The point is that their customer service is dreadful. It’s all skewed towards the hosts. How many young people get caught up in this kind of nonsense? They’ve gotten too big, too fast. I do give Airbnb some credit. The host has lost his privileges after extorting cash from my distraught daughter. No cash should ever change hands directly between host and guest.

 

Airbnb Nightmare in Tokyo: Hotel was Necessary

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We booked a place in Tokyo only to arrive after 4:00 PM to a dirty room with soiled sheets, pubes all over the bathroom, scum on all the mirrors, dirty glasses and stovetop, and reversed sheets to try and hide the stains. We couldn’t stay there. We tried to contact hosts as we were tired and just wanted to shower and rest but didn’t receive any replies. We had to find a hotel. We found a reasonably affordable one, a little more expensive than the Airbnb but we weren’t going to look or travel far as we had already had enough. Finally, the hosts contacted us after a few hours when we were already in a hotel, saying they were sorry: the place had been cleaned but the quality was not so good. They didn’t check. After a while they offered a refund, minus the cleaning fee. They had to be kidding. There was no offer to cover the extra expense of our simple hotel costs. I’m hoping Airbnb can help us out?

Host Asks me to Leave Early, Stabs me in the Back

I would like to briefly highlight one issue here. When I reported to my host that some things were not good at her apartment, the very next day she asked me to leave, which was alarming to me. She agreed to refund me the pending payment for one night which had not yet gone through and also the Airbnb service charges. Upon asking why she was doing this she said she was getting a potential long-term client from February 1st and after that her offer changed into request mode. When I found that she was requesting me to leave so she would not incur a loss by losing a long-term client, I agreed on one condition: that I wouldn’t pay more for one night’s rate at her property at another place.

The next day upon searching jointly we found a place next to her apartment which had a bit of a high rate. I negotiated further with that host and brought down the rate further. Later she jumped into my negotiation and tried to spoil it. Earlier she asked me to leave on Friday January 27th, so I negotiated with the guy accordingly. Later she confused him and said that I would come to his apartment on Monday January 30th, without even informing me. That guy shouted at me but somehow I managed to control the situation. Afterward, I told my host very clearly that I didn’t want to leave the apartment because of how she wasted my time but I would on humanitarian grounds, her having a potential long-term client.

The last evening at her place I was informed that the apartment where she was transferring me was asking for a R1000 security deposit. I told Annette that I helped her but didn’t means that she could force me into paying R1000 extra. I am comfortable blocking payment to a big company like Airbnb but I wouldn’t try to do so to a random person. I also asked her that in case that guy wouldn’t pay me back my R1000 for whatever reason, then she had to take responsibility if I didn’t do anything wrong… which she denied. Finally she showed her true colors and said that she didn’t ask me to leave; it was me who wanted to leave. When I told her that I have everything in writing as well as her call recording too then she got afraid and backpedaled, saying that I was threatening her. She made a Whatsapp call (because they can’t be recorded) and said so many things to me, including:

1. If she reports me to Airbnb then they will charge 300USD to my account.

2. As I have no reviews on Airbnb then my case is weak.

3. I wrote so many messages to her, she got fed up (I can show who has written more messages, me or her).

4. I bring negative energy to her flat and she wanted me to leave.

I told my host that if she filed a complaint with Airbnb then I would do the same, with all the messages and voice recordings, letting Airbnb decide who is right or wrong. Then she got offended.

This was my first time booking through Airbnb and I landed in a heap of trouble by helping my host on humanitarian grounds. I have documentation of our exchange of messages and voice recordings, which can provide a clear picture as to who is right and wrong. My only mistake is I helped that lady without informing Airbnb because my parents always taught me to help everyone until my last breath. My last concern is that I am leaving her apartment on Monday January 30th and I told her (through Airbnb message and Whatsapp) that I wanted a thorough check of everything and needed a clear signal from her that everything was in order before I left. I am afraid now because if she can change her statement in front of me (when I have all the proof), someone who helped her, then god knows what will happen when I turn my back.

Unsanitary Airbnb Stay in Anaheim, California

I am not sure who to reach out regarding my recent Airbnb stay in Anaheim. I am conflicted between leaving a negative review for my host or contacting Airbnb. Christine was responsive and genuinely a nice person when I meet her but the place that she hosted was not sanitary. She met with me and gave a quick tour of the studio. Upon entering, the studio had a pungent smell – hence the multiple candles and air fresheners in the room. The place looked clean but upon settling in, we found the bed was covered in white dog hair. We know it was dog hair because she drove away with her boyfriend and a small white dog. Luckily, my fiancé and I are not allergic to dogs. We found dog hair on top of the comforter and inside the bed under the sheets. We thought a quick fluff would do the trick but the bed was disgusting. As we removed the bed sheets, the mattress was yellow and brown and had nail polish on it. We found a fake purple press-on nail. The towels provided were gross. She said they were clean but they left purple lint on us as we dried off. The other towel was folded nicely on the counter; we turned it over to find crusted white stuff throughout the towel. We had to use our shirts to dry off. We checked in at midnight so we couldn’t find another place on short notice. Instead, we placed pillows on the floor to sleep. The next day, we ended up crashing at a friend’s house. I do not want to leave a negative review for the host, as she was super nice, but the place she listed was not Airbnb quality.

Hour of Hell: Quick Glimpse at Potential Nightmare

This is the review I left on the host’s page:

I stayed for an hour. When I met Jason to pick up the key, which he was in a hurry to do so he could go watch a football game, he invited me and my under-21 kids to come back and “kick it” with him. He talked and talked about his job and how he broke his hand punching the wall. The bathroom had cockroaches as did the room I was going to stay in. The room is right next to the street so you hear all cars and anyone walking by. Around 8:00, in he came with a friend laughing, talking and turning the TV on very loudly. There is no trash can in the bedroom which I feel is needed. The entire home is very dirty with paint peeling, dirt and dust. My hour here was a nightmare!

This is the host’s reply…

First of all, I want to say that I take great care and effort in hosting Airbnb travelers in Charleston. This review is a slander in order to get a refund where this traveler ended up staying with one of their kids attending CoFC. I offered a complimentary bottle of champagne of which I do to some guests upon their arrival. The distortion of relayed information on how I broke my hand unloading my DJ equipment off a stage the night prior is in no ways hitting a wall, first and foremost. I have never even seen a cockroach on my property and considering the traffic my house sees with guests it gets cleaned daily. No trashcan in the bedroom is a first for a complaint [for this property] which has almost 50 great reviews… The timelines don’t even match up with an hour there when her check in was earlier and I never even saw her after check in. I really hope this isn’t a common practice with this Airbnber with her check ins abroad as it is wrong to a host to do such practices and falsify information. I took the high road and decided not to even leave a review for this Airbnber.

As of November 2016, I have sent numerous requests to the “Resolution Center” to no avail. I am now in contact with our company’s legal department.

Airbnb Party House Open for Business

So a few weeks ago I made a reservation in Oistins, Barbados for an employee of mine. I was staying nearby (at a resort). We checked in with the host and even though it was smaller than expected, had no air conditioning, and shared a bathroom between three guests, we decided it could work. Upon unloading the car we realized we had forgotten to ask the host about the wifi password. I stepped out onto the back deck to find the host rolling up a joint in front of the other two female guests. Being that this was a business trip and that I was putting my own employee in this situation made me very uncomfortable. I discussed what I had just seen with my employee, and she assured me that as long as the other guests were civil it wouldn’t be an issue. As long as no males were on the property she felt relatively safe and secure locked in her room. She had a working phone, a way to call me if she felt the need. So the next morning I went to pick up my employee and you could just tell it had been a long night. The other guests stayed up until 5:00 AM partying, yelling at each other, banging on the windows, having guys over, drinking, eventually vomiting, and dry heaving until sunrise. It was not the sort of environment you would want to be in professionally. When you have to be up early and on camera all day, this room obviously wasn’t going to work out.

I called the host, explained the situation, and told him I was going to have to move my employee to ensure she was rested and ready to go to work. He understood but was apparently more concerned with the other guests? If I’m renting out rooms from my house I want to take care of the people that take care of my place. That was not the case here. So we agreed that he would refund half of the reservation and since that moment I haven’t been able to get in touch with the host. I told him if he executed the refund process quickly I wouldn’t make a big deal, wouldn’t contact Airbnb, and wouldn’t leave a nasty review even though he was owed one for sure. A week went by and still nothing, so I escalated the refund to Airbnb management. They said they would be in touch. A few days later (on Christmas morning at 10:00 AM) I finally received an email from Airbnb saying the case was resolved, and my request for a refund had been denied. They couldn’t reach the host to verify my cancellation so they dismissed my claim. Long story short? Airbnb doesn’t care. They only care about making money, so guests should document everything. I told the customer service representative it would have been dangerous and ignorant of me to take a picture of my host smoking a joint on the deck. This was unbelievably bad customer service; to call it so would be a joke. Do yourself a favor: buck up and pay for a hotel to take the stress out of your next stay.

Sometimes, All That Matters at Airbnb is Wifi

Let’s start a hashtag #airdoesntcare (I just did on Twitter). Beware Airbnb. My host lied on his listing about several things but the Internet was the biggest problem for us. We are a party of four business associates in Costa Rica on business and have already been here a month. We moved to this place on December 13th and immediately realized the host and his property caretaker had lied about the Internet connectivity (among other things). The caretaker also lied about speaking English. We told him the night we arrived that we would leave. We stayed two days while looking for a new place. Our booking was for 32 days. Airbnb refunded me less than $250 and refused to escalate our case, regardless of the extensive and very specific email trail of problems and obvious lies documented.

Here is one of the first emails:

Your listing says you have Internet and wifi. Internet means you are supposed to have a working router. There was no router at all, and you would have known that. But we came prepared for the internet challenges in CR. We all have Kolbi chips in our phones but could only get service if we stood in your yard. Even that didn’t work all the time; the service went in and out. We also bought a Claro “hotspot” box to use in Costa Rica a month ago. That usually works when the Kolbi doesn’t but it did not work at your place. We had no service at all. We were depending on your Internet availability which you listed on your Airbnb profile. Also, when we first met Jacinto your caretaker, he said he didn’t speak English. My son speaks a little Spanish so he tried to communicate. Jacinto pretended not to understand but conveyed to us through mostly hand gestures that there was no Internet available. He pointed all around the neighborhood, indicating there was just bad service in the area. In fact, there was no router at all in the house.

Then today Jacinto called me and spoke perfect English (what a miracle – the guy must be a genius!) and said that we could use the neighbor’s wifi, providing the login name and password. This is not acceptable for business people. Even that option didn’t work; the neighbor probably changed the password. Why did you lie to us? We had to make plans last night to find a new place. Sorry, but we cannot stay there. We are working here. I had to move to a hotel last night because I had meetings all day today via Skype. I can’t sit in the middle of your yard getting some sporadic wifi signal. I am still in the hotel tonight. But it is very expensive here – during the very high season – and I have to move tomorrow because they are booked up. This problem has cost me and my group a lot of time and money. I rented your house based on what you said in the listing and we don’t like being told one thing and then – after we move in – being told something else. You also said in the listing that the neighborhood was quiet. The boys were there and told me it was very loud last night – some sort of major appliance tear-down situation with a truck arriving at 6:00 AM dumping dozens of refrigerators and washing machines in the yard next door for them to dismantle. Are you kidding me? If I would have been told this, I would have cancelled the reservation.

The bottom line is you shouldn’t trust hosts or Airbnb to make things right. Rent with them and you take your chances.

Canadian Nightmare: Complaints Treated as Joke

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This is an ongoing story. We received no help from our hosts, Alex and Julie, who treated our complaints as a joke, and no help from Airbnb who made it very difficult to make contact. We arrived at the apartment in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood during a snow storm. The apartment was obviously not ready to receive guests: no wardrobe space (closets full of Alex and Julie’s clothes, no provision for our clothing), no drawer space in the dressers (again full of Alex and Julie’s personal belongings), no space for our effects in the bathroom as the shelves and cabinets were full of toiletries belonging to the hosts. No allowance at all was made to receive guests. After everything we had heard about Airbnb we wondered if we were even supposed to be in the apartment. We took photos of the bathroom, the wardrobes, and the filthy oven in the kitchen and posted them. We contacted Alex and Julie about the problems with the apartment and our complaints were treated as a joke. We left the apartment early the next morning, leaving the keys in the mailbox. Airbnb has thanked us for our feedback.