My family and I have been loyal Airbnb customers for years, but a recent experience with Airbnb disappointed us badly. I would like to share this experience with you guys so that in the future, no more Airbnb users will have to go through anything similar.
On June 27th, my parents and I were expecting to stay at an Airbnb in Alameda. I had lived in the Bay Area for years so I am familiar with the surroundings. I was so confident and joyful when I got the chance to stay by the Alameda waterfront. However, it was truly a “surprise.”
The check-in was smooth – hard to deny that fact. However, we found many notes that said “please do not open” and “no shoes in the house.” This was okay because we should respect the hosts’ desires as well as ours. It turned out the hosts were trashing our desires while demanding we respect hers.
When my mother went to boil water in the kitchen, she could not find any kettle but discovered a messy kitchen with cabinets full of open food and “who knows what.” There was one flip-flop in the kitchen drawer. The kitchen looked like someone just rushed out after living there for years. After that, my mother used a glass pan/pot to boil water since there was no kettle. A few minutes later, the glass just exploded. There was glass in my mother’s hands when she tried to move it to some other place.
We were already not so pleasant at this point. However, we thought this could be just bad luck. My mom and I tried to take showers in our separate two bathrooms which we found disgusting. Outside of my bathroom, there were screws that I believe were used to replace the carpet facing up; they went right into my feet. On my mother’s side, the shower could not be turned on, the toilet stunk and had years-old stains, and both showers were covered with yellow stains that could not be removed when we tried to clean it up. The wallpaper of my bathroom was peeling off, and the towels had someone else’s white hair on them.
We wanted to contact the owner the next morning because it was late at night, so we decided to put those things down and go to bed. The biggest surprises always come at the end of the day when you are exhausted and so wanted to sleep. The mattresses were broken. One side of the bed was completely falling for both of the beds in the two bedrooms. The bedding in my room was cheap polyester that kept irritating my skin. The ones in my mother’s bedroom were pilling. The pillows were made out of polyester as well and too thin to be called pillows. Where on earth can you even get this kind of bedding?
I reported all these big problems together with minor issues to Airbnb customer service. First, they guaranteed me a refund of half of the total price I paid, and I thought everything was solid. I booked a hotel for the next three nights and decided to leave in the morning. However, after a few rounds of emails, the Airbnb service person told me she could not do anything about it, and I could not get a cent more than 90-something dollars out of the $920 I paid. Ridiculous and outrageous!
Another customer service person said she saw the pictures of the listing as well -including the pictures I took. Did the listing say “our mattresses are broken” or “we throw our things in every cabinet in the house to create a big mess”? The pictures on the listing did not even include a shower or toilet view. Those pictures were misleading the guests and luring them into booking a wonderful place on the picture and receive a dirty ancient house full of low quality stuff.
I think Airbnb is so eager for hosts and available homes they lower their standards which encourage people like this host to be so careless. Now my family had the worst vacation ever, and the host claimed to Airbnb that she had done everything (which Airbnb has no proof of; they just believed her) and got $711. Is our society rewarding irresponsible people who hide behind greedy merchants? Where can someone find polyester pillows and other bedding? How hard is it for people who can afford housing in Alameda to purchase decent normal home supplies?