The Grouchy Airbnb Host that Stole Christmas

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I booked a room from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4. I had just moved back to Colorado springs and was attempting to get re-established. Upon checking in, it seemed a bit of a strange set up. There was the main area with the living room, the kitchen, and the den. Up the narrow staircase there were four rooms and a small bathroom. Each room was numbered on the door.

As I came to find out, the host, his wife, and three young daughters all live in the basement level of the apartment, when they are not all occupying the common areas with cooking or meals or remote learning. So I wouldn’t call them common areas — they are his family’s area and you can use them if you want though it seems to be frowned upon as I was the only guest that seemed to be using the dining room or den.

There was a girl living in one room who seemed to be a permanent resident as she had plants growing in her windowsill. She was never there and kept her dog locked up 20 hours a day. The dog barked and banged on the door viciously every time I went up or downstairs.

There was a backyard area but it was cumbersome to get to via a side gate and completely covered in dog feces. The lower patio area was strewn with kids’ tents, old rusty chairs and other debris. When I first arrived I brought poo bags but after seeing the crap covered yard and no one else making an effort (he has a dog too) I said, “why bother?”

I tried to make the best of it, but it was awkward as other guests were either not there most of the time, or hid in their rooms, taking meals in their rooms. They expect you to do your dishes right away, but of course being a family of five they leave the sink full quite often. You are provided your own mini fridge which is nice.

Another thing is you are always being watched on camera. There are cameras everywhere in the “common” areas on the main floor. I was really craving a soda which I don’t normally drink. I drank a Pepsi out of a 12 pack on top of another guest’s fridge, with the full intention of replacing it. I know probably shouldn’t have but hardly a cardinal sin.

Less than a minute later, the host came running up the stairs and started checking things. He obviously saw what happened, and was down in the basement spying on his guests. He finally brought it up and I said I was sorry. I bought the other guest a liter to replace the can and still she left a note on her fridge saying to “stay out of her stuff” Even though she herself had commandeered one of my tupperware containers.

I worked late sometimes doing Doordash and had to let my dogs out when I got home, sometimes at like 1:00, 2:00 AM or later. I started getting messages via the app that I was being too loud and waking him up outside of his hours. He works from home so he’s always there, watching. His poor kids are forced to live down in the small basement area in a single bedroom. I only know the layout of the basement level because he allowed me to do laundry once with very restricted hours because his washer and dryer are also down there. When I saw it, it was in complete squalor: dirty blankets and dishes.

Like I said, I tried to make the best of it and be a good guest. Then the real trouble started. I need to mention that I was in the hospital in Texas for two weeks prior to returning to Colorado and had emergency knee surgery due to certain complications. I discussed some of the details with the host in casual conversation at about day 20. He then began asking me questions about whether I still had an “active infection” and telling me to wash my hands.

Apparently he suddenly became very concerned; it became very awkward quickly. Soon thereafter I suffered a severe ankle sprain and was completely bedridden for the next two days. I was in a lot of pain, and when I hobbled to the bathroom or to take my dogs down to potty, I’m sure made a lot of noise. One time when I was stumbling around the kitchen at night trying to make some food I heard him yell from the basement “you’re making too much noise.” No offer to help — both he and his wife were aware of my condition and just watched me suffer.

I will say in all fairness the hosts did take my dogs out for me like three times, once brought me water, and she bright me an ice pack. On Christmas Eve I got an appointment to see the doctor on short notice for a cancellation. I had less than 90 minutes to get there. I asked the hosts if they could take me to the doctor for like $10, and they said they were busy. I tried to get ready as best I could and struggled to take a bath and get dressed.

I hobbled to my car with no help and tried to make it in time. I didn’t make it. I was really upset. I then got my Christmas dinner from Boston Market and ate alone in my car at the park. When I got home that night there was no close parking by the house. My ankle was throbbing, my wrists tired from using the crutches. I just wanted to get to bed.

I parked behind his SUV and sent him a text letting him know the situation. Very coldly he texted back he needed to be able to move his vehicle “at any moment.” I asked if maybe he could park my car up the street I got no response.

I woke up Christmas Day. My foot was somewhat better, and I managed to make it to the grocery store. I used the handicapped cart to get my groceries which was embarrassing. I came home, put my groceries away, and was not in a great mood. I told the host something to the effect that, well in 100 years we’ll all be dead and no one will remember this anyway. She very sarcastically said “well have a wonderful day” and went down to the basement.

About 30 minutes later I got a call from Airbnb stating very matter of factly that I had violated the terms of service and my reservation had been cancelled. Dumbfounded, I asked what that meant. They told me I needed to leave to property immediately. I tried to talk to the host, but it became quickly obvious this was a premeditated decision to get rid of me, with my busted ankle on Christmas Day.

I had to pack all my things. The host carried my bags down and I loaded up my car. Airbnb did put me in a hotel last night, for one night, but I was unable to book anything else due to the ongoing “investigation.” I used my mother’s credit card to book the room so the refund is going to her card and will not do me any good. I am currently broke as I hadn’t worked and literally spent my last $25 on groceries an hour before I was tossed to the curb.

I am writing this from my hotel bed. My ankle is bruised and swollen still, I’m hobbling along the best I can with no help and all the walking and moving from yesterday has not helped my condition. I am currently 50 minutes from being homeless, as checkout is at noon. I have $3 in my account and as of now cannot book another Airbnb using my mother’s card. Being this close to New Years there are ever decreasing options every time I look. If they decide to ban me, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Long story short, do not ever, ever stay at this house in Colorado Springs, lest you meet a similar fate.

Darling Harbour Penthouse Airbnb Nightmare

We had two families (six people) staying in a penthouse suite in Darling Harbour, Sydney to celebrate the wife’s 52nd birthday properly. We were travelling six hours to get to the property. After checking in, we decided to go out for dinner, and headed back to apartment at 11:00 PM.

We found that the lift was broken and non operational, so we called the host (no answer). We tried to use the fire stairs to get to the 6th floor with no luck as it was locked from the other side. We tried a couple of locksmiths, but because it was a fire door they couldn’t touch it. We called all the emergency numbers and the host again (no answer).

We then called called Airbnb and explained the situation. We also explained that in the property was heart medication and medical equipment that we needed access to. Airbnb then advised us they would contact the host. At 11:34 PM Airbnb advised us they could not contact the host and they would keep trying. We again explained we needed access to meds/equipment and advised us to find a coffee shop while we waited, saying someone would contact us soon.

At 1:25 AM, there was still no reply from Airbnb or the host so we had to find alternative accommodation with only the clothes on our back and no access to our meds/medical equipment. After finding some emergency accommodation for the night, the next morning I received a call from host apologising after reading my messages and stating that he was asleep. This was a complete joke; we had vital medication/equipment that we could not access, we had absolutely no help from the host, and we had no help from Airbnb.

We are out out pocket with additional expenses from finding emergency accommodation, and its been two weeks since anyone has got back to us from Airbnb after promising we would get a call. All this can be verified as we have transcripts of our conversation, even a message from host telling us how much of a disaster it was for him.

China Coronavirus Farce = Flight Cancelled, No Refund

I live in Shanghai, China and made a booking last year for a place in Manila, Philippines which was fully paid for at the start of January. About ten days ago, in mid-January, 2020 the Coronavirus ‘lock down’ in China occurred. As a result of this, the flight that I booked from Shanghai to Manila was cancelled four hours before departure, meaning it would have been impossible to arrive at the property.

Whilst the host has on the face of it seemed very understanding about this, I have been advised to “cancel at my end” and “don’t worry as I (the host) will refund the money”. This sounds dubious and is a bit concerning if the host actually has access to the payment details I used to book the place. If I trust this so-called advice and proceed to cancel, it states that I am due to be refunded nothing and I know which outcome I think will be more likely to happen.

Airbnb, despite saying they will ‘usually respond within 24 hours’, so far have not. This was my first ever booking with Airbnb and it has not exactly filled me with confidence to ever use it again. If you, like me are also in China at the moment during this Coronavirus paranoia trip and have booked overseas accommodation, it might be a good idea to change it in case the same thing happens to you.

I Swear Airbnb is Just Ignoring My Messages

Back in June, I booked an Airbnb for work for around $300 total for the weekend. Due to an abrupt illness, I had to cancel. I missed the refund cutoff by one day. I emailed the host my explanation and they did not give me a refund, so I escalated the issue to Airbnb where I had to provide documentation of the illness. I sent them all of my patient intake forms from the doctor with all of my information, the doctor’s information, and my diagnosis.

The response from Airbnb was that this was not enough information to prove I visited the doctor and that my case was being closed. What? I didn’t even get an explanation as to how that was not sufficient. I responded by asking what else I could provide then, and they stated that a signature from the doctor was needed but that they would still be closing my case because it can’t be opened for more than a few days; I should reply when I get the paperwork.

Fast forward a week letter, I obtain an itemized bill from my doctor showing my diagnosis codes, the day I was treated, and all of the doctor’s information. I emailed this back to the Airbnb thread email and was given an automated response that my email was received. Fast forward two weeks later, and there has been no response at all from Airbnb. On my account, the case shows that it is in progress so it will not let me contact Airbnb again to see what is happening. I swear they’re just ignoring me.

Barcelona High Rise Not Accessible to Handicapped

I booked a room in Barcelona through Airbnb in February, but by the time I traveled in late May, I had developed back and leg problems (sciatica). A couple days before arriving, it occurred to me that I didn’t know whether I would need to climb steps or if there was an elevator.

I contacted the host, who was willing to be helpful, but he was on the third floor without an elevator. I was able to see the building from the outside and could determine I would not be able to climb the stairs, or if I got up there, I would not get back down. The host declined to refund me because I cancelled too late (which I get), and he was generous in offering the same reservation for a future time (I will not get to go back to Barcelona to claim the offer).

At the time of booking, my fee went from the posted $47.00 per night to $125.00 because there was a big music festival in town that weekend. I hoped he would be able to book guests in, but he chose not to open up to a new Airbnb booking. My total fee was $420.00. So far I have received a refund of $18.96.

I contacted Airbnb to request a full refund. I had a case worker who asked for a doctor’s letter by June 14th. On June 10th (I had not yet received the doctor’s letter) I got this email message:

“Thank you for providing me the details. Please feel free to contact us when you have the letter from the doctor and we’ll be happy to analyse it in order to help you. You don’t have a time frame to provide this documentation. However, I’m forced to close this consult for the time being. It will re-open once you provide the doctor’s letter. Keep in mind that the letter is the only way we can help you. Please contact us when you need to. We’ll be glad to help you.”

The next day I sent the doctor’s letter. My case worker had disappeared. All I got were automatic responses saying they received my request. I have complied. Since I have a medical reason for the cancellation, I expect Airbnb to honor my refund request or least to acknowledge and act on it now that the documentation is in place. I have used Airbnb other places and had good experiences. Of course, it just takes one bad meal to keep me out of a restaurant.