Airbnb Review Rejected After Negative Experience

I found out the hard way that Airbnb does not post negative reviews. I had a horrible experience in Almaden California where my coworker and I had an Airbnb for two weeks.

The place had roaches. There were noisy construction workers that got up at 4:00 AM and tromped on wooden floors waking us every morning. There were disgusting cigarette butts, construction materials and litter outside the unit – all these items were not reflected in the photos.

The host was also hostile. Not only did she not respond to problems but she refused to do anything about them or even communicate. It was a horrible experience and when I posted the information it never appeared on Airbnb. This is fraud and highly unfair to potential guests.

Airbnb Review System Heavily Censored

My gripe is with Airbnb itself. My family (four adults + one child) booked a house in Aptos, California for seven days. It wasn’t cheap, but that is not the problem. The property didn’t live up to expectations and our review reflected the shortcomings we found. We also praised the good aspects of the property as we are trying to give a balanced picture for future guests.

Some of our more negative comments included the incident on our second night when police were called to the house opposite ours and shouts of “I have a gun” were heard – not very neighbourly. Other review comments related to the kitchen cleaning; we had to wash nearly every utensil in the kitchen before use, despite being charged a very hefty cleaning charge.

The problem is that the review was heavily censored and probably 2/3rds of the review was missing. Contacting Airbnb customer service was the usual trail of BS and deadends with the only contact being someone who couldn’t find my review. What kind of data storage do they have? The last I heard they were “closing this ticket, have a nice day.”

This attitude reeks of modern day big business i.e., Microsoft, Facebook, et al becoming too self important and losing track of the fundamentals. Would like to hear if other Airbnbers have had similar censorship issues?

Airbnb Doesn’t Always Allow Negative Reviews

We have reviewed our stay at a place in Chamonix, France where we stayed from February 5th until February 19th, 2019. However, it never was published by Airbnb because the guest never wrote a review about us, the guests. This is, in our opinion, an incorrect action on Airbnb’s part.

Because the owner feels that our review would not suit her, our review will not be published so future guests will not have a reference to how we have experienced our stay at her chalet. I see that as a wrong policy from Airbnb and it is, in a way, cheating. Those who look for reviews will not be adequately informed about this accommodation. We all look for reviews and photos because the principle is ‘what you see is what you get’. That is why there is a gap in the reviews of her place between April 2018 and February 2019.

My advice: If there are hardly any reviews or there is a big gap between reviews, especially in areas like Chamonix during the skiing season, don’t take the place because something is wrong. That was our experience as well. The bathroom was dirty, the shower cabin had a sewer smell, the water tap for mixing cold and hot water did not function well, there were a number of things not provided although advertised, and the bedrooms are upstairs, but the shower and toilet downstairs which, for us, was not clear in the pictures, among others.

We still gave it three stars. However, the review was not published. For us this shows the lack of responsibility by Airbnb where it comes to publishing reviews and informing future guests adequately.

Pointing out illegal Airbnb gets me kicked out

Earlier this month I rented a studio in Boca Raton, Florida. After numerous discussions about the unsatisfactory conditions of the rental, I was evicted at 9:30 at night from the property and Airbnb refunded the unused portion of the rental. A police office who was called to assure a quiet resolution to the dispute told me the short-term rentals in Boca Raton are illegal. Subsequently I filled a complaint with the Boca Raton department of zoning compliance, since the rental was illegal in that community. The department caused the owner to agree to no longer offer his house for short-term rentals.

The owner then sent me several threatening, vulgar, unspeakable texts. Coincidentally, after a very difficult exchange with an Airbnb associate, wherein my review was expunged because I said the rental was illegal, I cited the sections of the code that apply to short term rentals In Boca Raton. The associate said someone from management would get back to me; I have heard nothing in over two weeks.

Furthermore I filed a complaint with the Florida Better Business Bureau which is pending and I sent copy of my terrifying, embarrassing and traumatic experience to the Los Angeles Times. Clearly I am very disappointed and angry at the cavalier manner in which my problem has been handled by Airbnb. Please note I have complete documentation of all communications regarding this matter. Recently I read an article discussing Airbnb and its concerns with discriminatory practices and their desire to minimize any such incidents. In that vein seems to me that illegal rentals that violate public policy should be of equal concern.

Beware of Moderate Cancellation Policy, Negative Reviews

My family of four plus two grandparents booked a whole house in Phuket, Thailand with a moderate cancellation policy, allowing for cancellation during the stay. In the master bedroom, the en-suite bathroom smelled of poor toilet drainage, and the house was generally filthy despite the advertised housekeeper. After a few nights we decided to cancel and book ourselves into a hotel. We would have acted sooner but were very jet lagged after a 24-hour flight, We gave the host a heads up and followed the moderate cancellation policy (allowing for a 50% refund for unused days).

The host was very angry and wrote a negative review saying we were the worst experience he ever had. We left the house in a cleaner state than when we had arrived with no breakages. We were highly courteous throughout the stay. After going back and forth with the case manager Airbnb decided that the review was within guidelines. I am writing to warn future guests to document everything through email and photos and if you make a complaint do it within 24 hours even if there is a moderate cancellation policy.

Was My Host Just Plain Nuts? A Guest Ponders After Bad Review.

As a warning for Airbnb guests, you are only allowed two weeks to respond to reviews. I didn’t even know I had a review until after the fact. There is no way to contact Airbnb from what I could find. On the listing of reviews, my visit didn’t even show up on the site from my viewing.

I have to wonder about Airbnb’s practices regarding reviews of hosts. They make their money from having hosts supported. Even a few negative reviews too many would hamper their success. If negative reviews are kept out, no one is the wiser. Notice Amazon businesses bending over backward to do right by their customers. The overwhelming number of reviews of my hosts portray their experiences as all sweetness and light. There’s a dark side.

It is difficult to fathom the animosity and personal attacks expressed in my host’s comments about me as a guest. She began by claiming I disregarded her 11:00 AM check-out time. Her listing stated nothing with an 11:00 AM check out. Her Airbnb listing stated, “Flexible check out time.” She never stated differently. The fact is, I did, coincidentally, leave the room at 11:00 AM.

I checked my emails while in her living room and left the house until about 3:00 PM, returning to pick up my belongings. Her listing also stated she and her partner “work 8-5 jobs” and that I took advantage of her and her partner, claiming I knew they were not home. I did leave my bags in a corner of their living room during the day while I was out. I certainly did not know their whereabouts. They appear to live in the basement of their house. I didn’t see them Saturday and they made no effort to communicate with me. I assumed they would have been home.

Where the host stated I stayed five hours after her check-out time, I did make a judgement call about leaving my bags at her house while I spent the day out. I was not at her house during that time. But what did Megan actually communicate to me regarding my departure time and my leaving my bags at her house while I was out? We texted at 3:00 PM that day: “Okay, if you could leave prior to 5:00 that would be great… I have no problem with you leaving bags while you were out, but would like to have known in advance.”

Fair enough. My bad. An egregious transgression of etiquette? Additionally, she claimed I lingered at her house, “When I realized [the guest] was still lingering, I asked him to leave,” but, as I quoted her above, she admitted to being okay “if you could leave prior to 5:00,” which I did.

The host also wrote “rides to/from the airport are not included or offered in our listing but you pestered my partner into driving you 20 miles across town.” Pestered her partner? Going back again to her and my 3:00 PM phone text, “I won’t be home in time to give you a ride. I apologize!”

She omitted the fact I stated I could also call Uber. She omitted I offered her the $20 for the service I was told Uber would have charged. There was no pestering. Moments after our phone text, and her demonstrating an openness to my offer, I walked into the house and made her partner the same offer just before the next guests walked in. As he checked in the new guests, I sat at their dining table waiting for his answer. When he finished with the guests, he offered to take me. If he had said no, I would still have had 2-3 hours to catch a ride with Uber or a taxi. I had no investment either way how I would have gotten to the airport. I thought I was being thoughtful with my offer.

The host added to her complaints, saying I was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation” in her house. Her new guests, her partner, his brother, and I were all the people at the house. Five people. At other times it would be possible for her partner, his brother, their housemate, and his friends or relatives whose were staying there, along with the host and her son, to have all been at the house – four additional people. Somehow, I, as one person sitting quietly at her dining table was “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?” I waited patiently for her partner to do a routine check-in, and then he gave me a lift to the airport – accepting my $20 payment. Easy-peasy. How was that “creating a chaotic and uncomfortable situation?”

In addition, she left out the fact that because the bedroom was so hot, even with windows open and fans going, I slept on top of the bed where the only attention for the room would have been to straighten the bedcovers – I had cleaned the room before leaving. I left a note for her saying as much.

It appears that despite any effort on my part, the host glossed over if it might show I was not the “unpleasant,” “entitled and disrespectful,” “pestering,” “lack[ing] etiquette” and “lingering” guest she portrayed me. 
Considering her comments of me, perhaps I should have given a more frank telling of the condition of her house and my experiences with her. The house was a mess (I politely excused that, with her having a young son). The bathroom had the appearance of a college dorm bath being used with several people’s bath items strew about, crowding the sink and tub areas. I wrote only, “The bathroom was adequate, but in need of updating.”

I was shocked by her insulting accusations and other comments about my stay. I went back to her site to see what credibility there might have been in her numerous accusations… precious little. What I did discover was a photo of her bathroom only showing the toilet, excluding the tub. I believe this was an intentional deception on the host’s part to hide the bathtub from view – with good reason. The tub is the worst I’ve ever seen in a house. To that, I wrote only the bath is in “need of updating.”

I nearly chose not to shower because of the dark brown and grey-black stains where the finish had long worn off. It looked like a vat used for toxic chemicals that had worn off the finish. I wish I had taken photos to show I am not exaggerating. I’m surprised no one else had mentioned it in their reviews. I suspect it was left unsaid, just as I had left it unsaid, as an act of generosity as a guest.

It appears after all is said, her only issue with any legitimacy was that I did not call her before leaving my belongings at her house for a few hours. For that, she lashed out, maliciously lying, misrepresenting and berating my character and my actual behavior, all the while creating a fanciful fabrication of what my stay actually consisted.

I was willing to be graciously forgiving of her failings as a host and in my overall assessment of my stay. She suggested as her last comment to me, “Let this be a learning experience for each of us.” Indeed!

Paris Disaster, Airbnb Useless for High-End Travel

We paid over USD 3000 for three nights in a large centrally located penthouse in Paris. We booked this on February 22, 2017 for our stay July 2-4. We received notification from Airbnb that the host (represented by “Caroline”) cancelled the booking around midnight on June 29. I am traveling through the Scottish highlands with my family with limited internet and have now stopped in at Inverlochy Castle to try to book a hotel for ten people in Paris tomorrow. I’m upset enough to write this complaint.

Customer service has been of no help; one representative said his manager would call us back. Over a day later, and there has still been no call. I just spent a hour talking to customer service with a sympathetic person who couldn’t help. None of the suggestions fit our requirements. We’re flying into Paris tomorrow with no place to stay. I am now left with no options but to book hotel rooms. Airbnb will have cost me over a thousand dollars in extra costs, several hundred dollars in phone calls, and loss of peace of mind on this vacation… not to mention the fact they have held my money since February. The asymmetry of their policies is incredible: if a guest cancels 48 hours prior, they are liable for 100% of charges. If a host cancels, they are penalized by Airbnb. However, when a guest suffers losses because of Airbnb, they provide no compensation in damages or assistance. I will send them my estimated hotel charges as soon as I have them. Let’s see where we go from here…

Airbnb Review was Blocked after Bad Experience

On my first morning, I refused room service because I was sleeping and the host contacted me later on the same day to give me a hard time. I decided to leave the room early, but I could have done that regardless as the cancellation policy was flexible. I left the room by following the official Airbnb process and wrote a negative review. My review was hidden because it “violated the terms of service by including social commentary” – even though that’s nowhere on the policy – and I didn’t receive any notification, nor did I have the chance to edit it. It simply got blocked, secretively. However, the same review was visible to the host, who retaliated with a negative review even though I was an exemplary guest. The host’s review – untrue, biased and vindictive – was posted on my profile immediately. After some back and forth with customer service debating the issue this is what I received: “As of now, your review has been removed from Cristina’s profile. This will be regarded as our final decision in this case.”

This seem to be a rigged system designed to protect hosts and curb negative reviews to create an illusory five-star marketplace where hosts and guests can only scratch each other’s back. I’m not the only one to think that. This system may seem pragmatic and effective at first but it’s not sustainable. By turning your back on the guests and censoring their reviews, eventually they will stop using this site, one by one, even though they have only five-star hosts. A straight and honest review system built Uber and the lack of it will shut Airbnb down.

Negative Airbnb Review in Middle of Investigation

Airbnb customer support is horrific. Every time I have sought help, I found no help whatsoever. I have been cut off, told investigations have been opened which resulted in negative reviews, and they do not consider them in violation of Airbnb guidelines. They treat their customers with disgust. I will not be making money for their company any longer. When I unlisted my account I was told to send an email which brought me to a support page that purposely deters people from actually contacting customer support or leaving feedback. The pretense that they are here to help is false, and obvious. They do little to nothing to help, let their agents give horrific advice and support, and let their customers take the fallout for it, all while taking their money.

Their business practices are shameful. I was told to open an investigation with my guests about stolen headphones, which resulted in a negative review (a direct response to the investigation I was directed to open by Airbnb’s support team). The evidence that the review is negative due to this is written in the review. I do not see why that is acceptable. If somebody steals my things and I have to look into it, they are apparently allowed to write that as a negative for their stay. It violates Airbnb’s policy but they have no issue with it. They are making me do this despite the fact the headphones were not in a common area, and should be covered by their host guarantee, which you can never seem to avail yourself of. It is a lie. I do not see why once an investigation is opened, a review can still be left reflecting that. The only reason is simple: they do not want hosts (or guests) to open investigations because it causes them more trouble. They want you to accept your losses as your own and not start an investigation. “Be a good little customer, and there will be no bad reviews and no trouble.” It is that simple.

They deter you from using customer support and their guarantee as much as they can. I was directed to open investigations by their support team regarding my stolen headphones because they stated it was necessary to do so to reclaim the loss. I have now done so, and received negative reviews as a result. This is a direct result of their support team’s advice, and they do not consider it an issue that this is easily possible for reviews to be left in the wake of open investigations that they told me to open. The review does not directly state the entire issue, but does most certainly make reference to it. As Airbnb policy states, a review is disallowed when there is “content that refers to an Airbnb investigation.” It most definitely does refer to it. It is not hidden. And it is through their support that this has occurred. Contact with Airbnb has been meaningless at best. They will not honor their guarantee and they will not honor their own policies when their policies support you. However, they will take 20% of the total booking income, and do their best to make it look like they don’t. I think they need to seriously rethink their policies and staff training.

Unusually Warm Airbnb Stay with Frenemy

I stayed in Temecula to train my dog as my service dog. My host knew I had a medical condition. She came across as pleasant and friendly. I left her some private feedback as I didn’t want to affect her business. She took it very personally and left me a bad review. This happened after staying three separate times at her home, being invited into her pool, and using her goggles! Service with a smile, right?

After the final review she left me I don’t know if anyone will let me book with them. And I had given her all stellar public reviews. Now I’m going to give the true review to let others beware staying with her. There was no toilet paper in the designated bathroom when I arrived. I had texted her about this and didn’t get a response as she was at work. I had to search through a strangers home while I desperately needed to go poo! Imagine after driving three hours in a heat wave!

There was also no use of the air conditioner except during the party she had on my next stay; she let the air stay on for that! The host does not use an air conditioner and the full house fan system is not enough to stay cool. Temecula is a desert community. It’s regularly in the high 80s or 90s and during my first stay there was a heat wave, with the temperature around 110 to 115. Private feedback was given. The host did not provide obvious hand towels in a restroom shared with others. Again, I gave her private feedback. The screen to the bedroom window was broken at the bottom. She’s in horse country and a lot of horse flies were coming in. She did fix this by my 2nd visit. The privacy curtains block air flow and without curtains there is no privacy.

This room never cools down. I brought a temperature gauge on my second visit to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and it stayed 76 to 84 degrees in the room. There is no breeze at night. Even though the temperature can get down to 60s late at night the room never gets a chance to cool down, even with a room fan. Again, I communicated this information privately on my first review. Wanting to get along and realizing I’m going to be staying in a person’s home which is different than a hotel on the rest of the stays, I didn’t give my host any more private feedback and tried to stay on the positive side of things as there were very positive things.

I mean was I not supposed to tell her that flies were coming in…? That I didn’t know what towels to use because her brother and son were sharing the bathroom..? She also put towels in the room in a nice basket, well I guess these were only for decoration as when I opened them naked and wet in the bathroom they were off white and I saw light yellow and brown stains. Yuck! I had to put my clothes on when I was wet and get towels in the hallway. There were new looking towels hanging in the bathroom for her son and brother, but the Airbnb guest towels were really worn and a bit hard on the skin. I left private feedback that this was noticeable as a guest and the towels she left confused me as I guess they were for decoration only.

I don’t know because she never got back to me about that. I brought my own towels and toilet paper for my second and third stay, as well as a cool water bottle and baby wipes. I’d never put towels in a guest’s room and not expect them to be used. I don’t know… maybe that’s just me? I told her about all these things so she could be a better host. I mean if I had flies coming in and my guests were sweating it out… I mean I didn’t sign up for a sauna experience! As retaliation, this host said I didn’t clean up after my dishes in the kitchen. Well this is true as her brother came home during my first visit and offered to do them. I guess I was supposed to decline….? I can’t believe this was used against me and gave one side to make me look bad.

She claimed I didn’t clean up after my dog. It’s actually a big pet peeve of mine for people not to clean up. I cleaned up every time. I think maybe she wanted me to use a hose too. She could have let me know at any time during my three almost consecutive visits. She did stress energy and water conservation. I’m pretty sure she would have put it negatively in my review in either case. Knowing how she left me an unfair and slanted public review with no communication about these issues I would really not trust this host in my opinion. As a matter of fact, during my second stay she said I could leave the dishes undone, but my boyfriend did them. Talk about a two-faced, lying… well, you fill in the blanks. She also invited us to her pool to swim with the family on my last visit. I thought this was a nice gesture, but say it with me again: “Two-faced blankety blank told me everything was fine and left me a terrible review.”