Deceptive Airbnb Listing and Shady Host Practices


I stayed at an Airbnb hosted by a Superhost. She had all five-star ratings (I later found out why) and was very responsive by text. The location was excellent: in Arlington, VA very close to Washington DC.

The apartment was large, as advertised, but that was the only true thing. The ad listed “central AC.” There was a large ceiling unit in the living room. It had two settings: off or frigid. The furniture was Walmart quality and on its last legs. The “fully stocked” kitchen was a joke. I had to buy several things in order to make anything more complicated than toast. The bathroom was tiny and there was no fan.

The real issue was that on our last night there we talked to another tenant who told us that there was mold in the building’s pipes and that you have to sign a waiver to rent there. We felt this should have been disclosed. Apparently the water is not safe to drink. When I posted an honest review, giving 3.5 generous stars with a pro/con list that was very kind, the host lost it and convinced Airbnb to take it down. Apparently, if the host removes their review the guest’s is removed as well and there is no recourse.

In addition, we realized we had left my husbands medication behind and asked to pay shipping for it to be returned. We were told she would only return it for an additional $150. I will never use Airbnb again, since you cannot trust any review posted.

Accused of Breaking Host’s Things Without Any Proof


I stayed at a complex called Platinum Suites one night through Airbnb. After my stay, I was accused of damaging one air conditioner – there are three AC units. From the start of my stay, I only turned on two units; the other was not turned on because it seemed to be broken.

Shortly after check out, the host filed a claim saying I had damaged the air conditioner. How could I have reached an air conditioner mounted high on the ceiling, when the stairs were not available? I’ve contacted the Airbnb resolution center; they said they have documentation, but when I asked what was the evidence that I damaged anything, they could not answer. Please be careful when staying at an Airbnb, or wherever you stay. You should first video the contents of the room so you are not accused of damaging the property of people. Airbnb has no proof I did anything but still made a statement as they liked it to appear. It is unfortunate. Even though this apartment was in good location – nice scenery, nice swimming pool – I stayed somewhere else.


Airbnb Scams Guests and Apparently Hosts

We have had three terrible experiences using Airbnb. After reading this blog from both guests and hosts, it appears Airbnb doesn’t discriminate on whose money they steal. We have been told to lie and say we had not rented the property through Airbnb, that we were friends with someone in the complex (they provided a name). Then when we left an unfavorable review because of some issues with the apartment, the true host posted that we threatened him; we never even dealt with him in person. The second time, when we received the itinerary my husband Googled the address to find it did not exist; there was only a commercial building at that address. We contacted Airbnb and they told us to cancel. We received $74 of the $447 as a refund. Because we had already planned that trip, we looked for another apartment, which we found and booked. Upon arriving, we found that the apartment was not quite as it was described in the posting. After our stay, we once again left an unfavorable review on some of the noise issues, but again, nothing that prevented us from staying. After we posted our review, we received a message through Airbnb from the host that the couch smelled of urine and requested we pay an additional $275 for cleaning. Of course we denied it. We have all the text messages and emails to support our claims. Something needs to be done to stop Airbnb from their unethical business practices. They are stealing from hard-working middle class people. We are willing to help any way we can.

Fearing Bad Reviews, Airbnb Host Accuses Guests


A couple of my friends and I traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia during early monsoon season in June. I decided to go for my first Airbnb experience and to be safe, I chose a superhost thinking that will be the safest option. What was in store during this off-peak season at ‘My Home‘ (name of the superhost’s house) was a super warm experience, literally. As the temperature was high and with a little bit of rain, it was difficult to sleep at night as it was very hot (35 degrees Celsius) and humid with only a tiny fan available (if you can call it that) to circulate the air.

On top of this, there were lizards and insects coming out of the wooden roof from small crevices. As my partner is afraid of lizards, we changed rooms with my single friend living in the other room. It worked for five minutes before a lizard came out of the ceiling and my partner was paranoid it might fall on us. At the same time, a small bee started hitting the light on our mobile phone, in the dark; she thought it was the lizard and started screaming. After I calmed her down, we decided to go to a hotel the next day as the place was booked for two nights.

The next day, we left the place after coming back from sightseeing as the hosts were asleep and my friend staying in the other room was there to explain why we left. The French couple were fine the entire length of the trip and, expecting a bad review, ended up writing a nasty review that we left like thieves and gave a fake note to the driver they hired for us. We did not ask for a refund nor did we create a fuss. I ended up giving a nice short review that they guided us well, but as for the review they wrote accusing us of being thieves and cheats… it made us realise the lengths people go to discredit guests from whom they expect bad reviews. I wrote to her to explain and make amends to the wonderful driver who took us around and her replies can be seen here and here. I realised that people can be racist to people they think won’t fight back. How can such people masquerade as superhosts is a mystery.

Coachella Disaster: Airbnb Cancelled after Check-In


I had a terrible experience with this host.  I’m the type of guy that prepares for everything. After this experience I realize I cannot place any amount of responsibility for the success of my vacation in the hands of strangers with no track record. I will be using reputable hotel chains for the rest of my life. At least they have process and procedure in place and aren’t flaky Airbnb NOOB hosts that can’t get their stuff together! I actually had a hotel booked ready to go… but no…

“Why don’t we try an Airbnb?” they said. “It would be roomier,” they said.

“YES! Great idea!” NOT! We planned to check in to our accommodations that Thursday and got the Airbnb booked and confirmed with the host on Tuesday. Somewhat short notice but as a guest I had expected that this room would have been ready to be used if those dates were listed as available. Everything started off smoothly: after the confirmation and payment I reached out to the host via text and they replied stating they would call me that evening. No call came that evening. The next day was Wednesday, one day prior to check in. I again reached out to the host via text and Airbnb but never got a response. A host going dark within 24 hours of check in is not good. The check in day arrives and I’m getting nervous. I already cancelled my hotel plans so that I wouldn’t get charged so now I have NOTHING to fall back on.

The first thing I do that morning at 8:00 AM is contact Airbnb stating I haven’t heard from this host. They say they will contact them and get back to me asap. They call me back around 9:00 AM saying they spoke with the host and the host was having issues getting a cleaning crew to prepare the condo. I said I didn’t plan to check in until 10:00 PM anyways so that should give them time. The Airbnb rep told me to contact the host directly to complete the booking. I said, “OK, I’ll call them after I get off work.”

So I texted and messaged the host throughout the day stating I would call around 5:00 PM. At 5:00 PM I called (straight to voicemail) and texted the host asking to make arrangements. I finally get a text back at 6:00 PM saying they couldn’t have the condo cleaned in time for my arrival which would have been 7 HOURS AFTER CHECK IN, at 10:00 PM! Are you kidding me? Please get your life together! You have a responsibility when you placed that listing! So two hours after I was supposed to check in I’m screwed and back to square one, trying to find accommodation for the vacation! I was supposed to have left already! Unreal! I couldn’t imagine myself in this situation in a million years.

To top it all off, Airbnb didn’t have this flagged as urgent in their system so I never got a call back from them even though the host notified Airbnb at 12:00 PM that they would have to cancel. Thanks for letting me know Airbnb! And thank you, host, for not letting me know that very important and pertinent information. FLAKE! I didn’t even get a cancellation notice in my inbox until 6:00 PM, three hours after check in! One Airbnb agent was able to restore quite a bit of faith by getting me a FULL refund and getting one night at a nearby hotel. Although I appreciate the gesture, it still required us to check out the next day and check in to another hotel for the remainder of our vacation causing us to lose half a day at the Coachella Music Festival due to the hotel’s 3:00 PM check-in rule. And with the prices having skyrocketed I actually ended up paying MORE for my trip. Not to mention that when I checked into the “Free Night Hotel” booked by Airbnb I had to put down a credit card for incidentals…. Guess whose credit card got charged at checkout for the “free night”? You guessed it! MY AMEX. Not the credit card put down by Airbnb when THEY booked the complimentary night for me. So now I have to fight Hilton’s accounting department on that one. What a joyous experience this has been! As I mentioned at the beginning: experience, process, and procedure will now win out in favor of any cost savings or added benefits that can be brought by using Airbnb.

Problems with Airbnb’s website – Glitches and lying rep

Has anyone experienced glitches on the Airbnb website? First of all, I have had at least 2 guests tell me they gave me all 5 star ratings. However, Airbnb’s system did not register the rating as all 5 stars. One ABB rep told me he was going to contact the guests to see what they intended to give me, and he would change it. However, then he told me yes the guest intended to give you 5 stars, but he did not so we can’t change it, which I knew was a lie because they have changed ratings that were wrong because of glitches in the past. I myself have had trouble getting the the curser to hit the right star and even went to the library to make sure the person got what they deserved which was all 5s. I do not know if everyone else will go to that trouble or notice that it is not falling on the correct star…. After he changed what he had told me to no we cannot change it I said can you at least tell me what the guest said and he said no, because of privacy reasons. So, I contacted the guest and it turns out the ABB rep never contacted him, and now I presume the other guests as well. After the ABB rep told me he would contact the guy and change the rating to what he intended, I told the guy that this ABB rep would contact him and change it to what you intended to give me and he was happy about that. Now, he is really annoyed with ABB because he knows how hard I worked to make everything great for them. Also, after this guy left me a review, at first the ABB system said he gave me all 4’s and one 5. Then the next day, it said he gave me all 5s and one 4. So, I asked ABB about this and to date, no response. The only response is that their is not a known glitch with their system. I also asked them if they could just tell me how many total reviews I got since 10/1/14 till now, and how many were 5 stars, and they will not give me this info so I can do a simple mathematical problem and see what my SH percentage in the review section will be. I think they do not know. In the past the reps would give me these numbers. Now, it is top secret so I figure they do not want to admit that there is a problem with their system. Since they are so full of transparency and honesty, I do not know why they either cannot give me the numbers so I can do my own division or tell me there is a problem with the system right now. Either of those answers would be fine with me, but the way they have been acting is just wrong, and weird. The way I found out the guest even gave me all 5s was because of the system telling me different things from one day to the next. I kept in touch with the guest of record’s friend and I finally asked him what was wrong and he said nothing. I suspected something was wrong with the system because another guest gave me all 5 stars and it did not register that way, and a rep with a brain contacted him and changed it. That is why it is hilarious that this other guy is lying to me and telling me it cannot be remedied. One hand does not know what the other hand is doing over there. Before that I gave the guy a list of other guests who had told me they would give all 5 stars and did not. Up until I started communicating with the guests post stay, I thought the other guests had lied to me so I would give them all 5 stars, because I could not think of any other reason why that would happen or why someone would volunteer that they were giving me all 5 stars when they did not intend to do so. Another reason I would like to do my own math is that everytime someone gives me an all 5 star review it goes up by 1%, and when it is not a 5 star review is goes down by 2%. My knowledge of math leads me to believe that this is not correct and if I had the numbers, I could do my own math. It all seems really fishy. Since that time, I have gotten 2 all 5 star reviews. I also have screen shots of these and it is still stuck at 78% and it has been a least 10 days since the 2nd 5 star review is posted. I am starting to wonder if they are doing this because I told them about everything I think is wrong with their system including allowing criminals to rent your space, and not having your back when they tell you that they do. BTW, I asked roomorama if the same exact scenario would occur and I had written and audio prove if they would review everything and they said yes. I took screen shoots of the conversation just in case. I do not know if I can trust them either. So, if anyone knows anything, pls let me know. Oh and another rep lied to me as well. Several guests have become so irate at the ID verification system taking so long that they almost did not book. One told me she lost money on the exchange rate because of ABB’s incompetence and they will not take responsibility for her loss. Anyway, one lady was irate with them because she really wanted to book my place and while she was submitting to the long ID verification system she kept getting messages telling her to look for a different place. The ABB rep told me that was for people who did not want to verify their IDs, but this lady proved to me that she was getting those messages while trying to get ID verified for my place. Then she proved to me that after she was verified she got a message saying she could now rent my place or another place. What? Thanks Airbnb! Anyway, she became so irate she found my listing on another site and paid more money to rent through them, and in my opinion this lady is not the type to easily part with her money. So, that tells you how mad she was with ABB. BTW, this other site lets you communicate freely with the guests without blocking out parts of your conversation. For example, if you say google earth, they will not block it out. Anyhow, I cut and pasted the translations of the messages this lady told me she was getting from ABB to look for another place even after she booked, and some other complaints refuting what the guy had said and he told me he would not communicate with me anymore and now if I email ABB my messages are blocked. LOL! The other issue is that I have my calendar synced with VRBO and other sites and one day I was bombarded with booking requests for days that are blocked with VRBO people. So, I had to spend about an hour declining and apologizing to people. I feel I have to be nice to them even though it is ABBs screw up because they may want to book again someday. Plus they all seemed desperate for a place, and I felt badly for them. So, anyway, I sent screen shots of all of this to the guy that lied about contacting my guests before I knew he had lied to me, and no response. I sent them because he told me there were no known glitches with their site. Oh really, then why do they have a page asking white hackers not to discloses the glitches without contacting them first. Oh alrighty then! I have also asked maybe times to different people why the suggested prices ABB gives are so much lower than other predictive pricing website. No answer…. Someone at price labs told me it was so the investors will see your place booked every night. Since, they will not respond to the question, I guess I have to option but to believe price labs. Another predictive pricing website shows how you can charge more, be booked less nights, and make more money. I do not understand ABB’s logic.

Airbnb – YOU SUCK

I’ve spent the last day and a half watching a friend deal with Airbnb’s inept customer support team after her AirBnb host backed out of her month long rental 45 minutes after she was supposed to meet him. I’ve listened  to misinformation and baldface lies from the Airbnb CS team. Their solution was to charge her twice for two alternative rentals. The hosts were non responsive and $3,000 later ($1400 overdrawn) they pretty much washed their hands of the situation and left my friend homeless and broke for the next month. I’m curious as to who designed their Customer Service policy? Satan? Ebenezer Scrooge? Leaving people broke with no place to stay is bullshit. Lying to your customers and telling them that “you don’t have a manager” is absurd. What do they put in the water at their office? Every CS rep has the same apathetic monotone and a propensity for telling insane lies. I’ve personally never had any issues with my past stays, but watching my friend go through this has disgusted me. Airbnb is an international company with deep pockets. Websites like this wouldn’t exist if they showed some empathy and provided reasonable solutions and prompt resolutions to their guests. Dicks.