Victim of Theft in Mexico Gets No Response From Airbnb

I was very disappointed at how my hosts at Mexico City handled the situation after 700 USD was stolen from my suitcase while staying at their house. I thought that in a system based on trust as it is, it worked both ways. I trusted that they knew the person who was coming to clean my bedroom – a cleaning service which I had already paid for – and for whom they asked me to leave the door unlocked for her to clean up. I thought that they knew the people who they let into the house and that could be in contact with my belongings. They never offered me a safe place to leave my valuables, like a safe or a locker, nor did they warn me that they didn’t know the maid.

When I returned to my bedroom at that night, I found that I was missing more than half the money that I had brought with me. I asked them about the situation; I was very distressed, on the verge of tears. They passed off responsibility to the cleaning company, who obviously was not going to give me back anything. The hosts never accounted for what had happened in their house with their guest. I still had two more days there and I was scared for the rest of my belongings.

I left Mexico without a resolution, having received better attention at the time of reporting the crime to the authorities than that with my own hosts or the Airbnb call center. They never offered to give me back the money for my stay or give me any compensation, but they wanted to find someone to blame. Almost a month has passed and the Airbnb “resolution center” hasn’t given me any answer.

P.S. Their cat would also enter my bedroom at night (it couldn’t be locked from the inside) and pee on the floor…

Airbnb Deletes Honest but Negative Reviews

I found out that Airbnb will side with its so called Superhosts over the guests in a dispute. There are fewer places to stay and millions of potential customers. Airbnb needs hosts more than they need the six disgusted guests, apparently. They lost all six highly paid customers on the first night. At approximately 2:00 AM on our first night after dinner and just a couple drinks (the host claims we were very drunk and very noisy – couldn’t be further from the truth), we returned to the beautiful but very dirty condo in Mexico City. One bed had multiple different hairs in it (never had been washed after last occupants?) My female friend refused to sleep in it and chose the sofa. The male had no option, so he slept on top of sheets. Our other couple fell asleep in second room only to find that the pillow “design” he thought it was the night before turned out to be someone else’s blood.

Both couples fled to nearest hotel. Fortunately my husband’s and my room was fine. I was too scared to look closer. I contacted the host, only to be told that it was impossible that this had happened; we must have done it. I’m sure we dirtied a perfectly nice apartment after we had already paid just to then go pay a lot more at a hotel. She must’ve accused me at least 15 times of lying. I stayed because we had invested so much already. I complained many times to the deaf ears of the Superhost and figured I would take it up with Airbnb upon our return. I had pictures and testimonies.

To no avail, Airbnb simply said it was her word against mine and they could not decide in my favor. Once my review was up and for all to see (she must have stopped getting calls on it) they informed me they were taking it down because I dared mention to said Superhost that I did not wish to leave a bad review (they considered that a threat). All I asked was for said Superhost to please help satisfy my request. My request was a refund of $150.00 against the $600+ I paid. I had been honest and told her of a third couple joining us. Now I see I should’ve never admitted that and I would never been charged for the third couple. After all was said and done, they paid me just $75.00 and took down my very honest review.

Burned in Mexico: Airbnb Bait and Switch

This trip to Mexico was intended to be a fun get away for myself and two other girlfriends. One of my friends did all of the reservation making at least a month in advance. About three weeks before our trip, the owner of our Airbnb in El Pescadero wrote us saying that after his last renter he wasn’t going to rent the upstairs master bedroom and bathroom anymore. My friend just thought that since there were only three of us, we could make due.

The owner, however, never mentioned that all of the views were upstairs where we weren’t welcome. My friend also asked him specifically about the condition of the dirt road from the main road to the house. He said, “oh, it’ll be fine in a rental car!”

A couple days before the trip, he sent a text saying that the refrigerator had a problem but his neighbor went over and fixed it. A few days before the trip, our friend who made the reservations now couldn’t go since her husband was in the hospital with pneumonia. The two of us headed to Mexico alone for our vacation. We rented our car and drove an hour to the town. When we turned on to the dirt road it was a 20-minute drive on the most potted-pitted road from hell to the house. We had a hand drawn map that the host had sent but none of the landmarks he used existed. We had to drive 20 minutes back up to ask for help with finding the house. On our way down the RFH we kept seeing men weaving in and out of a pathway through bushes. That was a little unnerving, to say the least.

We finally found the house. We opened the door and the first thing we noticed was the place smelled bad. We looked around and saw it was dirty and grimy. The TV room had an old microfiber sofa that was lumpy and darkened, and the glass coffee table was disgustingly filmy and grimy. There was a blow-up mattress up against the wall, and the area rug was old and stained. We looked in the kitchen and the front of the fridge was gross. We opened the fridge to find it full of the host’s items with a small amount of room on two shelves for our eight-day stay. The worst part was the fridge stunk and was tepid in temperature. There was a spoiled, rancid odor.

The half bathroom was dirty with bugs in old candles and personal crap around. We were in a cell dead zone and neither of us could sign on to the wifi. We had no way of communicating with anyone. The ocean looked much closer on his website pictures. We felt stuck in some disgusting filthy house in a desolate part of Mexico with no way of asking for help if we needed it. We sent the host a text telling him his house wasn’t represented well and unacceptable. Therefore, we weren’t staying there. We then headed out to find a place to sleep. We were exhausted, frustrated, stressed and extremely disappointed.

We wound up spending a fortune to stay at a nice place and try to salvage our vacation. We have been denied a refund by Airbnb who sided with the host. This house was clearly a bait and switch. The host said we should have called so he could have had his neighbor come over and fix all of the problems. As a host, he should have had all of the problems fixed before we arrived. We are still trying to dispute the charges. $175.00 a night in that part of Mexico is really expensive, especially for a hovel like this property. I will never travel outside of the country and trust Airbnb. I see no integrity with the customer service agent assigned to our case. She won’t listen to reason or extenuating circumstances. 

Airbnb Nightmare at Casa Pasco at Lake Chapala, Mexico

We arrived at Casa Pasco in Lake Chapala, Mexico, having booked through Airbnb. Our welcome started with the owner answering the door after repeatedly ringing the bell at the gate. No “Hello” or “Welcome” just, “Where have you been?” Well, we landed in Guadalajara, grabbed a taxi and the taxi driver had difficulties finding Casa Pasco. The owner, Scott, gave us quite the rude welcome. Immediately my first thought was this place was not going to be what Airbnb advertised, starting with some small out-of-control dogs that attacked the pet we had traveling with us.

There was a sewage/chemical smell in both Casa Pasco Casitas. The internet was not working, as had been promised in my Casita. I went to my family member’s Casita, and the internet was still working poorly: forget about watching Netflix or even getting some work completed. The smell was so disgusting I returned to my Casita. Every time we went to ask for help we always felt uncomfortable as the owners were not so friendly, as if we were a bother since we were complaining. It was almost comical watching Scott try to work with a simple internet router that was hanging outdoors on a nail outside my Casita.

Within a couple of hours of being there I knew we had to get the hell out of this place. No way we were staying for multiple nights. I talked to my family member and explained that we were leaving no matter what. We stayed up the entire night, keeping my family member up in my Casita outdoors to avoid the stench of sewage and chemicals (maybe roach spray?). Scott claimed to be so involved with the local community; he said that his local friends and soccer team kids would be visiting and that we should be kind and accommodating. We were also told to lock our belongings up while they visited. I won’t say or express what I think about this host.

Within 12 hours we were packed and left this Airbnb nightmare. The photos look great and the reviews are all great but one must wonder about the authenticity of each review as we had to negotiate with Airbnb and the owner to get a partial refund. Airbnb seemed to side with the host and I wonder if they even suggested that the owner take an honest look at our complaints and resolve them. I will never use Airbnb again, as I don’t feel I should have to negotiate the way we had to. I think that us offering to pay for the first night was more than fair especially after our experience. Don’t use Airbnb, and stay away from Casa Pasco at Lake Chapala. We found an amazing place within those first 24 hours by searching for accommodations on Google. A place that said “welcome”, loved our pet, and allowed us to decompress after 12 hours of hell.

Airbnb’s Insurance Policy Doesn’t Protect Guests

In February, our Airbnb rental in Mexico was burglarized. The police came and a report was filed. All told, between two couples, we lost over $4500 of our possessions. The owner was very helpful; he filed a claim with his insurance company, which was denied about two weeks later because we were renters. Our personal homeowner’s policies covered all of our losses except our $500 deductibles for each couple, which might mean that the cost of our policies could go up.

I contacted Airbnb Customer Service over 12 days ago, to collect the two $500 deductibles from them. I was told to send all corresponding information to them, which I did. It has now been almost two weeks since Airbnb’s last contact with me. I have attempted to have other emails answered by their employees to no avail. I am now very angry at the rudeness of Airbnb. In the last two days, I have called the 855-424-7262 number four times. I was on hold for over 15 minutes each time with music playing, then when the music stopped (all four times), and I thought, yeah, someone is going to talk to me, I was disconnected. All four times.

I am mad and will not give up trying to reach Airbnb. They cover insurance for their homeowners; there should be insurance coverage for their renters as well. We are half of their business. My first communication with one of their representatives went very well. I thought this was a good company. However, in the ensuing two weeks, with no followups and reading about problems many other people have had trying to contact them, trying to reach someone by phone only to be disconnected four times after 15 minutes on hold, I am now convinced that Airbnb does not care. The CEOs have made their millions (billions) and they just don’t care anymore. I will be renting from HomeAway and VRBO in the future. Step up to the plate Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia. Someone at Airbnb should be reading the complaints and frustrations of your homeowners and renters on this website.

Stuck in a Long-Term Airbnb Nightmare

We booked the Casa Iguana Hotel and Suites in Mismaloya, Mexico. Advertised was an equipped kitchen, hot tub, swimming pool, wifi, and mini market, with the pictures showing a waterfall cascading into the pool. We are booked from January 6th to February 24th. We are still here. We have tried contacting Airbnb to no avail. We arrived to an absolutely filthy two bedroom condo. It was equipped with one fork, a couple of knives, two chipped plates, a couple of cups, no pots and pans, no towels, no dish towels, and no hangers in the closet – the rack was broken and couldn’t hold a hanger anyway. The lamps and shades were filthy, the hot plate did not work, and the kitchen counter was dirty. There is no waterfall. The mini fridge was filled with so much frost we could not put anything in it. The hot tub is empty and does not work, the four lounge chairs around the pool (for a 42-unit hotel) are broken, there are eight chairs around the pool to sit on, and there are only three tables. The “bar” has never been open and has nothing in it.

We were relocated to another suite the day we arrived after I angrily made a complaint to the front desk about the unlivable conditions of our condo. The next condo was tolerable, but the hot plate still doesn’t work and the lamps are filthy. We decided to make the best of it. We were given a single hot plate that is so slow it took me an hour to make mac and cheese. Tonight was the final straw: there are kids literally screaming from the early morning to 11:00 PM. The mini market has shelves that are almost empty. What’s laughable is Airbnb’s promise to mediate, and relocate us under these appalling conditions. How can they mediate when I cannot get ahold of them? We are stuck in this nightmare. Our final payment is due on February 3rd. There is nothing for us to rent in Puerto Vallarta in our price range from February 3rd until we leave on February 24th. Never again will I be dealing with a company that makes promises they cannot fulfill.

Sewage Leak Caused Flood of Human Excrement into Airbnb

My girlfriend and I were staying in Playa Del Carmen. When we arrived at our Airbnb, we were told that we had to move to a different unit due to plumbing issues in our original Airbnb. We were there for a music festival in which we had $500 invested per ticket. The second night we were unable to shower and couldn’t go out because there was about two inches of water in the shower and our host would not help. When we woke up in the morning there was about an inch of water throughout the entire apartment. Before the host sent a cleanup crew over, more sewage and human feces began spewing from the shower and toilet. Some of our belongings were ruined and we were homeless in Mexico. Airbnb kept transferring our ticket to over five support representatives over the course of four hours. Every representative lied to us. We heard, “we’re going to book a new one in the area for you.” This never happened. We heard, “we’re going to book a hotel for you because the other Airbnb’s are booked.” This never happened. They always told us that they’d call us right back; this never happened. We were forced to pay for a hotel out of pocket. We still cannot get ahold of Airbnb to find a resolution. This has been the worst customer service experience of my life.

Slandered and Threatened at Airbnb in Mexico

I am now rounding out my sixth week at an Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I am in total shock over how I have been treated and if the advice I’m about to give saves even one person the psychological pain I have suffered, it will have been worth it. Somewhere within the Airbnb contract, it says that a host ask a guest to leave for any reason. That, in and of itself, is insanity. And in the state of Guanajuato, it is completely untrue. In my case, the “hostess” saw me smoking a cigarette in her “casita”. That was a no-no. I apologized but her response was, “I am changing the locks and will throw all your belongings onto the street.” My response was to call my Mexican attorney. Yes, I have one. He advised me to tell her to back all the way off. Which, I did. Instead of her backing off I starting receiving daily Airbnb emails from her and from Airbnb itself. Her emails included the following flowery phrases she used to describe me: “pissed off addict”, “worst person I have ever met”, “you are beneath me”, “unethical”, “shame on you” and endless references to this one cigarette. She repeatedly told me to “GET OUT”. So after more than five weeks into this drama, I asked my lawyer to write her a letter.

Here is the real deal about renting in Mexico, through Airbnb or just directly with a landlord. Harassment of a tenant in Mexico is a criminal offense. Any attempt to evict a tenant outside the court is a criminal offense. Airbnb has no jurisdiction here and therefore, the tenant holds all the cards. Did I want to leave? Of course. But nothing was available that was not quadruple what I had already paid the hostess so I had to stay put. Do not knuckle under if you find yourself in a similar situation. You are being abused, you are the victim. There is nothing Airbnb can do to remove you. In fact, if any attempt had been made to remove me, that person would be subject to arrest. I hope this helps someone.

Lawyerly Defense in Mexico: Host Plot Foiled

My Airbnb rental was reserved for 45 days in central Mexico. I’m still here. But I’m only here because of the intervention of a Mexican lawyer. My host complained when my flight was late. We got past that. My host has a rescue dog (one of the three on the property) and she asked me to photograph the dog. I’m a professional photographer and I said I would. The host said he/she was leaving for Thanksgiving to the US. The host said, “Can you take care of the rescue dog in your apartment while I am gone?” I said, “Okay.” I didn’t want to do it, but being an idiot, I said, “Okay.”

As we marched up to her departure date my host said, “I will be leaving the rescue dog with you for a few minutes every day until I leave so that you can get to know him.” I responded, “No. I know him well enough already and please tell me what I can do about the heat here as there is none.” To her credit a portable heater was brought in. She said when the tank is exhausted call this number and order another. You will pay for it.” I was losing my sense of humor by now. The issue of water came up because in central Mexico one must have bottled water. There was water – again to her credit – when I arrived. As it ran out I asked about more. She said, “I have more bottles here. You can pay me for one.” I didn’t complain.

Then I, who had not smoked for years, smoked. And the host saw me smoke. One instance and boom. She called Airbnb and said, “I want her out.” She emailed me and wrote, “Get out. I’m putting your things on the sidewalk and I am changing the locks.”

I called my lawyer here in central Mexico. Here’s the fun part. I used to live in central Mexico. Yes, I have a lawyer here. And Mexican law is this: someone rents you a place? You can’t be evicted without a court case, period. Forget Airbnb. You have rights in Mexico. So I emailed the host this information and she folded. As it turned out, she doesn’t own the place. She rents it. She sublet it to me. I don’t care. She’s continuing to abuse me verbally and Airbnb, who said it would help me, hasn’t. No shock there either. Airbnb will listen to your complaint and that will make you feel so much better. But it will do nothing for you. I’m not moving until I have to go back to the US. Of course, my time in this place is ruined and a nightmare. But at least I get to tell you that if you are in Guanajuato, Mexico and this happens to you, stay put and find a lawyer. One hour’s consultation and your mind will be at ease. Airbnb is a joke.