Disgusting Suite, Silence on Refund from Airbnb

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We arrived at the Airbnb in Tel Aviv at 5:45 PM, tired after a long day of traveling. The earliest check-in was at 3:00 PM, but the suite had not been turned over. It was very unclean and there wasn’t even toilet paper or unused linens. We had to book a last minute hotel so we could rest.

The next thing I did was contact the host and request a refund. He said “okay” but it’s been more than 48 hours and my credit card had been charged nearly $900 (before the money I had to spend on alternate accommodations) and I haven’t heard anything back.

I also contacted Airbnb via chat about the issue right away. They responded at first but then said they’d have to get back to me. No help. I waited more than 48 hours. No response, so I messaged for an update.

It’s now been about 60 hours and there’s been no refund and no response from either Airbnb or the host. They charged me before I checked in so they should refund me immediately. Now I’ve been on hold trying to talk to someone for almost 25 minutes. No response. I have been a long time client of Airbnb since 2011 but I’ve changed my mind about them. It isn’t what it used to be.

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Los Angeles Airbnb Nightmare Forces Guest Out

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I booked a trip in Los Angeles and when I arrived the Airbnb was not as it was on the site. First off, there were homeless people hanging out on the staircase; I had to ask if I could pass to go up the stairs. They obviously slept there. The whole staircase stunk of urine.

Going into the apartment was a shock as the place was so dirty and dusty; they even left us a present in the toilet: a nice big poo. There were stains on all the furniture and thick dust everywhere. In addition, we could not use the aircon as the plug socket was off the wall. The host said it worked.

I drove six hours to come here. I had to spend another $300 on another hotel. I stayed in the property thirty minutes before leaving and opened a case straight away on the 29th of last month. I asked for a refund. Every time I messaged Airbnb they kept fobbing me off.

It’s been two weeks now and I’m still waiting for a refund. They keep passing my claim around in order not to pay it I’m guessing. I’ve also read other stories of similar experiences in which they keep passing the claim around in order not to pay it. I paid $300 for two nights yet I didn’t stay here. I provided pictures and they still don’t want to help me. I will never book through Airbnb again.

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Left Airbnb Early to Escape Disgusting Property

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When arriving at our accommodation after a very long flight, we saw the property hadn’t been cleaned. We contacted the host by telephone and he sent the cleaner in. She told us that it would only take her a half hour to clean.

When we came back all she had done was put some clean towels and made the mattress that was on the floor (no actual bed). We had to book into a hotel for our last few days of our trip at an extra cost to ourselves. We would have checked out sooner but we couldn’t find a place to stay at short notice.

This decision was due to the lack of cleanliness and mice infestation. There were mouse droppings and urine on the kitchen work surfaces and floor every day. The last straw was the appearance of some kind of cockroach which we had to kill. We were unable to sit on the sofa due to it not being fit.

The tap in the kitchen leaks water every time you turn it on, most of the lights don’t have bulbs that work, the toilet seat is old and dirty with the lacquer peeling off, the fridge has brown ice forming thick at the top (unfit for use), there are mouse traps that are not even in use making them pointless, the carpets are frayed and dirty, and the paintwork is dirty. We don’t want to touch the handrails which are wobbly and dangerous, and the bed advertised is not a bed; it’s a mattress on the floor. There was no mention of restricted headroom in the bedroom. The soap was dirty and used. There was a smell of gas. I have taken photos that I have attached. The property was dirty, tatty, tired and it smelt. As for the dishwasher, it was filthy with a moldy plate in it.

We found it really difficult to contact Airbnb whilst in NYC and their terms for resolution were that you had to complain within 24 hours of arrival. They also state that you must not contact the host directly with any problems and it must go thorough Airbnb, which is easier said than done. Of the £1026.00 that we paid Airbnb offered us:

I’m your case manager from Airbnb, I hope you are doing fine. Thanks for contacting us regarding your reservation. I’m sorry to see the condition of the accommodation you stayed at. I have gone over your refund request, and even though not all conditions have been met according to our Guest refund policy, I do think it is fair that you receive a refund after seeing the pictures that you made. After considering, I have refunded you one night and 50% of the cleaning fee, for a total of £167.19. This amount has been sent to your card and you will receive a confirmation email about this shortly. Please let me know if you have any further questions for me. Wishing you a nice day.

My Experience with Airbnb? Deplorable

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I have been dealing with this Airbnb situation over the past two weeks. I have spoken with about ten call staff and five different supervisors/managers, each of whom has said that they would call me back, but there has been no follow through.

I have been on hold for 30 minutes at a time waiting to be transferred to a supervisor. I have had my calls disconnected (dropped) four times after waiting at length for a supervisor to come on the phone and, when calls were dropped, I received no callback. This situation has been frustrating to say the least.

My reservation was from May 4 to May 13 in West Hollywood. I sent Airbnb a number of pictures that I took of the rental.

Please note, there was mold and mildew all over the bathrooms and kitchen (I am an infectious disease epidemiologist by training and it was definitely a health hazard; the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and Housing Safety should be notified). The walls and paint were cracked and chipping throughout the house. The floors were dirty. There was rotten food in the kitchen sink and on the countertops. There was mold growing all over the AC unit.

Throughout the home was a thick coat of dust across most surfaces. The place was filthy. Even more alarming, there were electrical wires hanging out from the baseboards – a huge violation with the Los Angeles building and safety authority.

We walked into this rental, and spent ten minutes looking around and taking pictures. I immediately called Airbnb and spoke with a representative and was transferred to a supervisor. The gentleman asked me to email him pictures of the house, so I sent the pictures to him. He told me and my friend that was with me (on speaker phone), verbatim: “These pictures are enough to justify a full refund since the place is definitely a health risk and is absolutely not in the condition of what was advertised.”

As you can see from the pictures, there was mold, mildew and rotting food. All very concerning for me, since I had recently had major surgery the week before. After the Airbnb supervisor told me that he would ensure that I receive a full refund for every dollar spent (my friends heard him tell me this on speaker phone), we locked the house, put the key back in the lockbox, and checked into the Andaz Hotel (also in West Hollywood), which cost me double the price of this Airbnb rental.

Unfortunately I had no other options, as all the listings that I would have considered staying at from Airbnb were no longer available and booked by other guests. As such, I have had to pay over $4,000 in hotel fees for this time period. I also had to pay $100 in cab expenses getting to the Airbnb rental and then to the Andaz Hotel. This has caused me considerable loss, both in terms of actual cash, but also in terms of time spent dealing with the situation (an estimated five hours of time lost).

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Infestation = $9 Refund on a $750 Charge

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My current Airbnb is not at all as described: there has been a carpenter ant infestation for the past week and a half where there are literally hundreds of them in the kitchen on the floor, shelves, and cabinets. I have been unable to cook because of it. In addition, there are cockroaches in the hallway and stairs.

The house is very dirty and under maintained overall. Many of the photos do not match the description. For example, there is supposed to be a “garden” in the yard but it is overrun with old chairs, wood planks, construction material, and leaf debris. The pool is empty, the “library” is a shelf with books covered in dust with broken glass on the floor (no joke), and the stove does not work as it was promised to be fixed on day two of my stay.

My host claims fees such as laundry or A/C are separate but in the description they were said to be included. I disputed this to Airbnb and I was switched to three different case managers in the process. They refused to give me a refund, and I left my Airbnb early (more like as soon as I possibly could). My Airbnb was $17/night. I left a full four days early and got back nine dollars in total.

The reason they dismissed my case is because the host provided “alternate photos” of dishes being left out, claiming this to be the cause for the hundreds of ants and cockroaches. My roommate and I never cooked in the kitchen because of the bugs; we wasted so much money on eating out because it was too disgusting to cook in there.

The son who lived in the house and used our kitchen always left dishes out – they were not ours. A few dishes does not result in the infestation of hundreds of vermin: only months of neglect, water damage, unfixed holes and leaks, and vile conditions will result in this. Absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been in touch with Airbnb and they immediately sided with the host.

Problems at Paris Airbnb Make Guests Leave Early

Three years ago, I spent several weeks carefully reviewing Paris Airbnb apartments to rent for ten days. After some back and forth with a few hosts, I settled with one and booked it four months in advance. The host was a Superhost with more than 100 raving reviews. The cost was a little over $2,000 for a one-bedroom studio in the Marais.

I exchanged several conversations back and forth with the host inside the Airbnb platform to confirm things that were important to me, including a working kitchen with adequate cooking utensils. When we met the host outside the apartment, the first thing he told us was to not mention we were renting. If anyone asked we were to say we were relatives of… and he gave a name, which was not his.

Inside, we quickly realized there was no real kitchen to speak of, not even a knife to slice an apple. There was also no natural light; the windows were masked with film since they overlooked other apartments across a tiny, debris-strewn courtyard. There was one dirty-looking bed sheet, ancient pillows, and two small, worn towels in the tiny bathroom.

After two days there, we realized we couldn’t stay and made arrangements with someone we knew to rent another apartment. We complained to Airbnb but never got through to an actual person and never got our money back. To this day that host continues to receive raving reviews. That’s why I will never use Airbnb again. I don’t understand how a host like this could be a Superhost and receive rave reviews. The game is rigged as far as I’m concerned.

Worst Airbnb Host Ever in Chula Vista

I will never use Airbnb again. I rented an RV and then a room from a host in Chula Vista, California. Everything seemed fine at first. The RV had plumbing issues and the shower water was scalding hot for about two minutes and then went ice cold. Needless to say, I took very quick showers and lost many layers of skin. It seemed like a nice place for my dog, so I dealt with it.

I later moved into the house (he rented out rooms as well) and stayed in a sunroom with no privacy; I had to hide behind a crappy old piano to get ready for work in the morning. He did eventually build makeshift walls so it was okay. Emphasis on “okay”.

Fast forward a month later and a border patrol officer moves into one of the other rooms. He was disgusting and lazy; he would ask for rides to work and even had to nerve to ask the host to use his credit card to rent a car.

The bathroom was disgusting. It was like he was a porcupine with his pubic hair and would go in there and just release all of his “quills”. The hosts would get loud and drunk almost every night and leave food, pots and pans with food in them on the stove and all over the counters. For quite a while they wouldn’t even let me do laundry.

The icing on the cake was that they used my birthday as an excuse to throw a party that I neither wanted nor attended. I left so I wouldn’t have to deal with their drunk friends and neighbors. I returned the next evening and the host’s girlfriend (who lived there as well) accused me of having an affair with her fat, nasty boyfriend.

I told them the next day I was moving out and they continued making it more and more uncomfortable. The host used my Postmates account to order alcohol and never paid me back. When I told them I was moving out they increased my “rent”. There was no heat in my room, which is illegal in California.

I contacted Airbnb to complain and all they would do was refund me $150. The host also showed up at my work two weeks after I moved out to harass me. I had to tell him that if he ever showed up again I would contact the police and file charges. He said “it was the only way I knew how to get a hold of you”… he had my phone number. The most horrible experience of my life.

Excessive Temperature Enough Reason to Leave Early?

I’d like to share my complaint regarding my Airbnb reservation in Vancouver the week before last. Here is the full letter I wrote to Airbnb after I moved out of the condo and moved into a hotel.

In the end, the result was I got less than a $400 refund from the host and Airbnb out of my full payment of $860. I had booked Airbnb several times. My last experience was really the worst. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

To whom it may concern, I want to report a Travel Issue regarding my reservation. In general, the hosts of the apartment misrepresented the condition of this place, which is unfit for anybody to live in, and they refused to solve the issue in good faith. To sum up the problems and the damages:

1. They did not mention the hot temperature in the listing even though they knew it.

2. They did not mention the loud noises and the lights causing distractions, especially for young kids.

3. They didn’t want to take responsibility when questions were put forth, only some ostensible and ineffective means.

4. This was a family trip with good expectations. Now, my family, including my cold-catching wife and two-year-old son, had their feelings hurt and wasted almost a full day of energy dealing with misdirection and the aftermath of moving to a hotel at midnight while coping with a three-hour timezone difference.

5. The extra money I had to spend on the hotel. Here is what happened. We arrived at the apartment at around 5:00 PM on March 21st. When we entered, a heat wave welcomed us. The room temperature must have reached 30 C (86 F), while the outside temperature was about 15 C (59 F).

The noise from the street was pouring into the rooms through the non-sound-proof single-layer glass windows. There were three windows in the living room. Only two of them had the parts that allowed them to be opened, which was totally not helpful for getting more cool air to lower the temperature.

At first, we thought that the heat was caused by the sunset. My wife, who had a cold then, opened the windows to get more air in, which made the noise even worse. We even turned on the fan in the living room, not improving the temperature at all – the fan is an important detail; let me get back to it later.

We hoped the heat would dial down when night fell. I went out to do some shopping, and my wife tried to tuck my two-year-old son in. When I was at Safeway, I got a message from my wife saying that it was still sweltering, and the noise, plus the light from the street, were so severe that they made my son too excited. This can be found in my wife’s message history, in case you need any of it.

I rushed back to the apartment. The most obvious feeling was: it was cool outside, but the hallway of the apartment building felt hotter. The space in the apartment even hotter. The worst part was in the two bedrooms and the living room. The temperature might not have been as high as it was at sunset, but it was still making me want to run out of the building after staying more than five minutes.

By then, my son was still awake, and he kept getting distracted by the lights and the noise from the streets. The curtains of the windows did not help at all because they were too small and too thin; one layer of the curtains was red, which made the light coming through them even brighter.

Around 10:30 PM, while trying to comfort my son to get him to sleep, I contacted the host, with good intentions, asking the possibility of switching to another place. The answer was no. They offered to talk to me the next day morning. By then, the heat in the two bedrooms made it impossible for us to sleep, and we had flown more than five hours from Toronto.

All of us were exhausted. We really need to have a good sleep, especially my son. In Toronto, he usually goes to sleep around 9:00 PM. Now it was almost 2:00 AM, and he was still pretty hyped due to the light and noise, and couldn’t help but go to the window every three minutes.

I decided to move the family to a hotel. It was clear that none of us would get any sleep in the apartment. I told the host our decision, and we agreed to meet at 10:00 AM the next morning.

When we were trying to get my son to the car and stripped him to the car seat, he was really upset and struggled a lot because he was so exhausted, but you can’t expect a two-year-old toddler to understand this. It took us about 40 minutes to get him bundled. Even on our way to the hotel, he was still crying and twisting. My wife used a lot of strength to keep him in the car seat.

Before we arrived at the hotel, he finally settled down and fell asleep. We checked into the hotel about midnight, while my wife was holding my poor son and wrapped him in the blanket to keep the light from awakening him. This was all because of the unmentioned conditions of the apartment: the heat, the light, and the noise.

At 10:00 AM this morning, after five hours of sleep, I drove to the place to meet the hosts. One of them showed up, moving in an old A/C unit. I tried to reason with him in good faith, but he started emphasizing three things in an icy voice and with a poker face:

1. No refund whatsoever.

2. All your opinions can be feedback for Airbnb, I’ve got nothing to say.

3. We’ve done everything we can. The fans we have here are the proof. We know this place is hot.

Please take the last point into account; he knew the problem with the heat but didn’t mention it in the listing at all, except for a ridiculous claim: room-darkening shades, which did not help with darkening but lighting.

Seeing that there would be no agreement, I left the apartment and got back to the hotel. My family was trying to recuperate by resting today. After my son finally was able to go to sleep at about 8:30 PM, I sat down to contact Airbnb to report this Travel Issue and ask for a refund.

Per my understanding, the money was not the biggest problem. The reservation cost about CAD860. I had to pay almost CAD1500 for the rest of our stay in the hotel, which I believe is not unreasonable if they are required to pay for part of it. The biggest problem is that they refuse to acknowledge the problem.

Even worse, since spring and summer are coming, more people will be duped into booking this place and regret it. It is easy money for the hosts. I’ve summarized the problems at the beginning, and I’m pretty sure you can see our communication in the messages. It’s a shame that I can’t provide any proof for the heat wave. If I could, I would.

Avoid Bait-and-Switch Airbnb Hosts in Paris

The following is the story of the last 20 hours. On April 1st, I received an email that my Airbnb flat wasn’t accessible 10 minutes before arriving on site. Since I was travelling, I only noticed when I arrived.

I was offered a different flat in exchange which was 7 km from the original one (I had my reasons to choose the area and good luck travelling through Paris during rush hour). I took it and spent the night there.

The morning of April 2nd we had an appointment at the original flat at 9:30. I was there; nobody came. After 45 minutes in the rain, a delivery service delivered some badges and a key. I entered the building as described in the access instructions, but there was no door that matched the description or the key.

After another endless back-and-forth via mail there was no conclusion because I realized that the person who claimed to be the owner didn’t actually know the premises at all. I went to the gardienne of the residence and with her help we found that the studio was in a completely different location, obviously without a lift as described in the access instructions.

While going to the studio with the gardienne we stumbled upon the owner who claimed not to know anything about the rental, and that he delegated everything to an agency. This meant that the person I was talking to and who claimed to be the owner was not. He didn’t tell me his name, even after I asked. In any case, the “real” owner rejected any responsibility, which I found outrageous, considering he was the owner.

When entering the location, I found a tiny room without daylight, dirty cupboards as if just installed, and so small that opening the only sofa for sleeping meant not having space left to move anymore. I felt very uneasy because of this unprofessional treatment. I lost an entire day because of these people’s inability to get organized, a day that I had planned to meet people that were only available this day.

I came here for business and instead of taking care of my business I had to chase down access to a studio, because nobody at Airbnb even knew where it was. When I saw the dirt on the cupboard I had had enough and booked a hotel nearby.

Alas, I didn’t take photos and I’m bracing for a long email exchange with Airbnb. There was another commentator who mentioned it looked like a cash cow and they weren’t concerned with the guests. That’s exactly my impression with this host.

Worst Airbnb Experience Ever, Rust Smell

My destination was Acadia National Park. Everything was booked nearby so we decided to book an Airbnb outside of Acadia, and in Sullivan. The house was on a street in a rural to suburban area. In rural areas, I expect and know that rust might be in the pipes, but I also was banking on the fact that it would go away after a few minutes. I was so wrong.

I was in a group of four. The first person went into the shower for twenty minutes, and the smell of rust didn’t dissipate in the hot water. The second person went in and tried the cold water shower, only to end up with the same rust smell. No matter how long the shower water was running, the rust smell was so bad I couldn’t stay another night. I can’t even document the smell of rusting pipes or the water tank for Airbnb.