Odd Airbnb Host and Bad Room Causes us to Leave

My mother and I wanted to stay in NJ close to NYC for a weekend. We booked a single room only to have it changed to another location at the last minute. We accepted just to not cause trouble.

We arrived at the time that we and the host agreed on and lo and behold, she wasn’t there. We waited an hour in the New York summer outside of the building only for a completely different person to arrive because apparently the host was out of town but didn’t tell us until that day.

We finally got in and the place smelled like cheap perfume or some garbage air freshener. We soon found out that there were four other people in this one apartment and only one bathroom. The kitchen was so cluttered that they stored the pots and pans inside the oven. They obviously hadn’t cleaned out the fridge; it had leftovers from the last guests and expired juice.

The bathroom had tiles falling down from the ceiling and I almost fell in the tub because the mat they put in was so slippery. Our bed was just awful; the sheets were mismatched and hideous (I know, small complaint, but it sucked). The room was obviously not up to code, no smoke detectors, and probably overall the listing was illegal in the first place.

I felt unsafe, it was hot, the host barely spoke english, and the other residents in the apartment locked the deadbolt, leaving us locked out until they finally heard us knocking. Just so disorganized, dysfunctional and messy. I’m paying for a hotel or a hostel in the city next time because this blew so badly.

My Bad Airbnb Review was Disappeared

I wrote a very clear, factual, but damning review of a room in Bolinas, California, and Airbnb did not post the review. When I called to see where that review went, they claimed they do not spike bad reviews, but that is pure BS. The room was almost $300 with add-on fees, and it consisted of a bed and a folding chair. That’s it: no table; no soap; no instructions on how to work the door lock; no parking (in spite of the fact the listing claimed there was parking for guests).

They’re an exploitative rental, and Airbnb is exploitative for protecting bad hosts. I could say more but just realize that Airbnb is not an honest mediator. Guests reviews, very factual but negative, are not shared with you, the consumer public. I’m done with them. You should try another platform and avoid places that they falsely list.

Nightmare Airbnb Host and Even Worse Help from Airbnb

After using Airbnb faithfully for almost a year now, I can tell you that I am never, ever going to be using them again. Airbnb has consistently shown itself to be incapable of not only conflict resolution but protecting its guests from possible threats to their safety. Airbnb claims that they are committed to “creating a safe and trusted community around the world” and yet in this case they have failed on both terms. From the start of my long term rental, I documented and recorded the miscommunication between the host and Airbnb.

When I arrived at the apartment the house was clearly left unclean. I documented the mess and asked for the apartment to be thoroughly cleaned before I moved in. In response, Airbnb refunded me for the one night which affected my stay. They claim that this part of the case has been closed and “resolved”.

However, the problems which affected me at the start of the rental have grown into a much deeper issue. The host began messaging me at all hours of the day and night telling me that she had not been paid and was pregnant and therefore needed the money ASAP. I contacted Airbnb to ask them what needed to be done and they told me that they would prevent the host from contacting me anymore and that they would let the host know that this was neither my fault or my problem.

Clearly, Airbnb did not do what they promised as the host continued to contact me saying things such as she “expected me” to do something about her lack of payment. I decided to not respond to the host anymore as I started to feel unsafe and thought the best way to de-escalate the situation would be to not answer anymore.

The situation culminated in me receiving a message from the host’s boyfriend saying that he was going to come over the following morning to talk to me. He gave me no information as to why he was coming over. Immediately I contacted Airbnb concerned for my safety as a single woman in a foreign country. Airbnb handed me over to a case manager who told me not to worry and that I would be able to rent another apartment for two days (paid for by Airbnb) and then receive a full refund on my previous reservation. The case manager also said to not respond to the host and to avoid future communication with them.

I was on the phone with Airbnb until 1:30 AM clearly scared for my safety. As a woman alone being told that a man you do not know is coming over to your home is frightening but as a young woman in a country where I do not speak the language and am considered a foreigner is even more so. However, Airbnb promised me that I would be safe. By contacting me after business hours is enough to be a harassment case, but with the knowledge that the host is angry that she has not been paid, it makes it even more so.

Following Airbnb instructions, I did not respond to the host. Airbnb has not told the boyfriend to not come over to the apartment because the following day I received two furious phone calls from the host. This not only violates the promise that Airbnb made to me that I would not be contacted by the host but it is also incredibly threatening. The host is angry that no one is at the door and that no one told her that no one would be. I asked her to please speak to Airbnb directly and to not contact me anymore.

A couple hours later the host messaged Airbnb saying that there was a problem with the elevator and that is the reason the boyfriend is coming over. However, as a young woman who is alone in a foreign country, when you are told with no context that a man is coming over to your apartment you begin to panic. I no longer felt safe in the apartment I rented so I made an executive decision to extend the stay of the second reservation until the end of my time in Budapest as I feared for my safety in the other apartment.

Airbnb dared to follow up and tell me that “in context” this is not a harassment case and that had I not extended the second reservation I should have gone back to the first apartment. This is appalling because no one, especially a young woman in a foreign country, should be told that she should go back to stay in a place where she no longer feels safe. Secondly, it does not matter whether or not there is context; in this case, I was being harassed and felt unsafe.

The story should end there. However, I received calls outside of business hours, late at night, was told a strange man was coming to the apartment, was told I was “expected” to fix a problem that was not mine over a form of communication that goes against Airbnb safety policies. This should have been enough for Airbnb to take my case seriously and yet it was not.

I have been thrown around from case manager to case manager, who each promised different things with little to no results. Because the host (obviously) did not agree to give me a refund I had to cancel the reservation on my own volition, meaning I get almost no refund. This is completely unacceptable as I am not choosing to walk out of the apartment because the bed is uncomfortable or the pillows are dirty; I fear for my safety and needed to leave.

Now, I am being told that I have to return to the apartment where I feel unsafe to return the keys further proving that Airbnb does not care about the safety of its clients. Now, two weeks away from this awful experience I wrote the host a bad review sticking with the facts completely; the house was dirty and not as pictured, the AC did not reach the bedroom and that the neighborhood was unsavory.

The host messaged me on Airbnb again saying that I should not be allowed to write a bad review because I am a difficult guest and “falsely accusing them”. To retaliate, the host wrote a review detailing private information on the case which clearly goes against Airbnb’s Content Policy: “Content that provides specific details or outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” is never allowed on Airbnb, and I am starting to be told that I owe the full amount to the host after I was told I only have to pay the first 28 days of my long term rental.

Airbnb claims that they cannot find the case manager who promised me a refund (so I won’t get it) and the review does not go against content policy because the case is closed. Then what does “outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” mean? Help. This situation is a living hell.

Stranded in Singapore After Customer Service Fiasco

We made a reservation over three months ago after doing careful research and reading reviews about a listing for a property in Singapore for a family vacation. We only travel together once a year; it’s important that we get this right so we took our time to do our research and booked the $1600 stay.

A day before our departure we were contacted by the host that because of an air conditioning problem he would substitute a similar property. Yesterday we arrived and this property was completely unusable. It didn’t even have a sofa; it could not accommodate one person and the host was a bait and switch master. Apparently, in Singapore this is a standard game.

We called Airbnb immediately and asked that we be moved to another property and pleaded with them not to do their stunt where a refund takes ten days to get, isn’t usable, and leaves us stranded. This would not have been the first time this has happened.

I spoke to a case manager who assured me this would be easily and quickly expedited. While I was on the phone with someone the host came to the door of our unit, started pounding, and screaming and physically threatening us. We were on the phone with Airbnb when this happened. We were assured the new case manager that Airbnb would pay for this and that we would be safe and our family would not be at risk. This of course is on the recording of the call.

We started looking for an alternate setting when the host without our permission cancelled the booking and continued to be abusive. Getting a refund in Singapore on the day that you need a reservation is insane.

For the next 24 hours we did nothing but speak to various buffoons, imbeciles, morons, and idiots. We’ve been abused, we’ve been disrespected, and most recently they blocked us. I don’t know what their training model is; it appears to be subterfuge and confidence. They were supposed to issue coupons; they didn’t. They were supposed have some college education; they didn’t. They were supposed to deescalate the situation; they didn’t.

We are stranded in Singapore with nowhere to go and now no money and no coupon. I’m in executive director of a nonprofit and a CEO. I was a psychotherapist and I can tell you Airbnb is doing nothing but harm with their greed. No one should do business with this company and of course I never will again.

They have ruined our vacation that’s been planned for over a year with countless amounts of money spent and time with activities reserved in advance that will now fly out the door. They are so incredibly disrespectful. It really sickens me to talk to Airbnb especially the most recent times where they literally kept us on hold for two hours with nothing to add to the conversation. I feel they are purposely doing so. They didn’t seem to understand that there was a time difference between Singapore in San Francisco. How is it possible that people like this exist?

Airbnb Helps Scammers Rob Unaware Guests

After hearing about Airbnb for years, we decided to try it. We were visiting family and were too many to fit comfortably, so we decided to get an Airbnb nearby since hotels were 30-40 minutes away. The idea was to minimize the travel time. The price of the Airbnb was more than the hotel, but again, we wanted to be nearby.

We arrived to find the Airbnb was in a crime-ridden area of the city, with lots of people talking loudly on the stoops at 10:00 PM, drinking and smoking. Absolutely no parking around, even double parked cars. Police and emergency activity in the surroundings. We did not feel safe staying in this place, that by the way, was a tenement.

The listing made it sound like you would have a private apartment for your family, but what they have done is divide a house into rooms, each with a lock. Even the former living room was converted into a bedroom. There were four individually rented rooms in what used to be a three-bedroom house. That was not what we signed up for and paid $99/night. For comparison you could get a 2-3 star hotel room for $80.

We decided to squeeze with family and cancel this awful place. Then we discovered that even though we canceled the host was entitled to keep our money since most of what we paid was non-refundable. We only got 10% back.

I thought Airbnb protected the guest, but unfortunately they only protect the hosts. There is absolutely no reason that the host can rent this dump and when just arrive and decide not to stay, they get to keep all your money even though they can re-rent the place. Maybe they should keep the money for the first night, but all of it? Needless to say we would never, ever try Airbnb again.

PS: We Googled the address after seeing it and found that there was a murder next door in 2016, drug arrests, shootings and more in the recent past. How Airbnb thinks this is a place to offer to unaware guests is beyond me.

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Airbnb Hosting Fail: Lying on Company Time

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I have been trying to cancel a stay for a guest that added to his original date and somehow decided not to pay for the last day, as in he changed his payment method or something. I am still listening to Airbnb’s Muzak. One person hung up on me. Another had such a deep accent I had no idea what he was saying and when I asked him to speak more clearly he blew up. He interrupted me three times as I tried to give the reservation number and proceeded to say I was first person who couldn’t understand him and was unable to move past this. He talked over me. Then he hung up when I told him: “Stop being tangential. Listen to the code so I can cancel.”

Now I am talking to a case manager, on hold so far for 18 minutes just to cancel. Over one hour to cancel someone who had a cancelled card and no replacement. This is one of four issues I think could have been solved quickly if their website wasn’t missing so many options. It won’t let you make changes without calling them, AKA wasting twenty minutes to two hours per call.

They have also “closed” multiple tickets with no follow up. One guest stole my remote controls. They closed that account because she was a junkie, and I couldn’t see it when she checked in, or smoked with the door open. However, I could tell by her and her guy’s appearance and mannerisms that he was on heroin and she was on meth. I cancelled their reservation and Airbnb keeps me on the phone as they “try to contact guests”, who of course, ignored the calls because they are junkies.

They stole remotes, peed in the basement and ruined bedding. Airbnb didn’t do a thing to reimburse me. The junkies gave me a one-star review and since I was new at hosting, soon after I had no say in it; Airbnb closed my account, so I never got paid back.

I started a listing with a new account and the glowing incidents have happened. One guest entered my next door neighbor’s house. We have clearly marked addresses. I asked for a credit for making my neighbors rightfully scared and angry. They “escalated” the case to a person who apparently can’t even write back to say “Sorry, can’t help.” Nothing other than hours of me explaining how mad I was, many times, with no followup.

Next, a family came and ruined some things like a shoe rack and got stains on the bedding. I asked the guest for reimbursement. They didn’t pay and Airbnb is supposed to take this out of their security deposit since I have clear pictures and even them admitting that they broke the shoe rack.

Still, ten days later, nothing but me repeating myself like a parrot to thickly accented robots who all say “Just one moment, bear with me. May I put you on a brief hold?” and other scripted garbage for “I am doing the least I can for you and have no problem ignoring exactly what you’re clearly stating but will instead regurgitate ‘Airbnb policy’ that has nothing to do with anything other than they assign this to a case manager who, again, either deletes their emails/cases or lacks in even flooring up with me, ever.”

Next, they won’t remove bad feedback. I had a guy give me two stars on location because he literally couldn’t follow his GPS and get out of his car when it said you have arrived at the address. Instead he called me “lost” and after six minutes of telling him where to go, he still went to the wrong house (see above) and stayed there until my neighbors opened their door, saw him in their living room, and told him to get the f*** out.

This dumba*** who can’t follow GPS to get to a very easy to find inner city house goes into someone else’s house, and gets to ding me on location, which hurts my ratings. Will they take these rational explanations into account? Lol – hell no. They just say as long as his review doesn’t have boobies.com or mention the Airbnb investigation that’s open or give my address he can say anything he wants and the feedback stays.

Then they say a guest is only to say a location isn’t a five-star one if I lie about where I am. Yet they won’t remove a terrible review from a guy who clearly has severe intoxication or mental health issues. They let a guest say absolute lies – libel is the legal term for written lies – and kept the feedback. I had one first say my walls weren’t finished, when I have sheetrocked walls. Granted they can use new paint, but saying it was an unfinished room with no real walls? Airbnb just lets it slide because the guests didn’t spam their website with feedback.

I really want to sue this company for wasting my time, money and lying about host guarantees. One of the biggest complaints came from a guest who said he was canceled on in Miami twice in a weekend and had to get a $1000 hotel at the last minute instead of the few hundred for his room his host cancelled “because he decided to stay there himself”. After hours of back and forth, Airbnb comped him $150.

They take no ownership in the hassles. They need to be empathetic and therefore I am confident they will be quickly replaced by a more reasonable company with decent policies and good customer service. I hope another company can bury the bad excuses of Airbnb because I have never had so much frustration with a company that says they will do something and then does nothing. I’m trying to cancel all my reservations without penalty and so far haven’t had anyone respond to my request. If you want to sue this immoral company, I am in line for a class action lawsuit.

Almost 8K Stolen by Host even with Months’ Notice

I attempted to rent a home in Mexico (PDC) but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances and expenses. The payment was nearly eight thousand dollars, so of course you’re going to pay half at that amount. We cancelled the reservation with three months to spare and I was told by two messages we would be getting a refund minus the “service fee” (which at the time was the outrage).

After a couple of weeks of no refund, I contacted the host and he said to contact Airbnb, which I then did. They told me that unfortunately due to the “strict policy” the only way to get a refund was to contact the host. I emailed the host several times on their site with no answer, then back to Airbnb I went.

They are still currently resting on the “policy” as if it were an unbreakable/bendable law with no exceptions. Even thought the host has already re-booked for over half the eight nights, was given three months’ notice and sent the message of “your refund is on it’s way”.

I have also been told by Airbnb that I should have contacted them sooner. After being told I was to wait on my refund and the host telling me it was not up to him. I am still at this very moment attempting to get some sort of refund but they are treating me like a terrorist, i.e. “we do not negotiate our policies” and you get nothing, not even an attempt to ask me if another date would work, take back the unearned service fee, swag, nothing… just go away while we keep almost eight thousand of your dollars for absolutely no services or goods rendered.

I beg anyone who may read this poorly written ramble to please do not allow this company/site/host to steal one dime of your hard earned money.

Virtually no Verification of Airbnb Guests

I recently hosted a group of overseas teens, who managed to make my home in London a complete mess. I evicted them, and refunded the unused portion of their payment, in conjunction with Airbnb. Now I am trying to be more selective with my guests, but have found out that Airbnb’s way of verifying a guest’s veracity can be as little as getting a phone number.

In the past, there used to be items such as “Government ID verification” which must have had some value. I do not think a phone number counts in any way to establishing identity, as anyone can get one within minutes. The same applies to email addresses.

When I challenged Airbnb on this, they stated that this was their policy, and if I don’t like it I can always cancel a booking. This I did, and received an email stating that my listing may be suspended. Arrogant outfit. As soon as I can get myself off this platform, I will.

Host Took Advantage of Airbnb and Guests

We found a place in Boston for the Charles River Regatta. The city was extremely crowded that weekend so we took one of the few places left. Once we made contact with the host via Airbnb, he contacted us via phone to say he could save us the deposit fee but that we had to discontinue our quest for his place through Airbnb. So we did.

His place was an absolute dump. He slept on his couch and we slept in his room. He had two other guests in another bedroom and we all shared the same bathroom. There were many unsavory issues about this place: the cat sleeping on top of the coffee maker; not being allowed to use our own soap; one bar was shared by all five people.

The fact that Airbnb thought we had turned down this particular place meant that we could not leave any comment on the site to warn other people. Our host made a very pretty penny that weekend and honestly, I’m extremely hesitant to use Airbnb again.