Beware of Sonder Properties on Airbnb

More than a month ago I booked accommodations for my wife and her cousin in San Diego at a property owned by a group called Sonder (seems they own a lot of properties on AirBnb). About a month before the stay, I changed from my originally booked location called ‘The Baker’ to one called ‘The Leo’. This change was confirmed by Airbnb. The second property had room for two and a kitchen.

As the check-in date approached, I was concerned as I had not received an email with building and room codes. I contacted the host through Airbnb’s message center. They said the emails were going to an email other than my account email (but would not specify which: red flag #1), so they resent them. I noticed right away that the message referred to ‘The Baker’ property, not the revised property.

I contacted them again. The first agent ended the call as soon as I explained the situation (red flag #2). I called back and was told that no, the information was correct, and that although it said ‘The Baker’ on the message, the address and entry codes were for ‘The Leo’. I even messaged again and asked them to confirm again because my wife and her cousin were arriving at 11:30 PM and I did not want them to have nowhere to go.

Turns out that they outright lied. The property was still ‘The Baker’ and ‘The Leo’ was not even available as it was being renovated (red flag #3). Of course after over seven hours on the phone trying to figure this out, it is not even possible to find a room at a similar rate in San Diego on such short notice.
Sonder won’t even respond to my comment to which they lied outright.

Airbnb is working on a ‘solution’, but their solution is: no refund (the host won’t agree) and Airbnb protects them. The host will provide a substitute — yes, one that has horrible reviews and is located directly above a loud bar (property called ‘The Marin’) — but don’t worry, they will provide ear plugs and a white noise generator so you can sort of sleep. I am cancelling my Airbnb account as of today.

Airbnb Customer Service Line ‘Disconnected or No Longer in Service’

I made (and paid for) reservations for a farmhouse outside of Frederick, Maryland for a weekend stay in summer 2020 so that my siblings and their children could all be together when we buried my mother’s ashes at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick. The pandemic caused us to postpone our stay until the summer of 2021 (after paying an additional amount representing the difference between the 2020 and higher 2021 rates).

Several months prior to our 2021 stay, my brother-in-law informed me he had a scheduling conflict, and because he is a preacher and my mother specified that she wanted him to officiate at her burial, I informed my host that we had to postpone until summer of 2022. She said she had no problem as long as dates were available (and they were).

Using Airbnb’s website, I attempted to make the date change, fully expecting to pay an additional amount representing the difference between the 2021 and the higher 2022 rates. Once I started the process of making the change, the website informed me that the stated rates were only good for a short specified period of time, and if I didn’t complete the transaction within that time, the rates would go up. The problem was I could not complete the change-of-date transaction without first paying full price for the new 2022 reservation — the website was not giving me the option of applying the funds from the fully paid-for 2021 reservation.

I sent the host a message asking for guidance, and while she had always gotten right back to me prior to this moment, for some reason, I did not hear back from her prior to the transaction deadline. I went ahead and charged the full 2022 reservation on my credit card, assuming that of course, the already paid full 2021 reservation amount would be refunded to me. I wasn’t trying to rip anyone off, but at this point, I had now paid the full amount twice for a weekend stay at the farmhouse. I thought surely I’ll be refunded the funds for the cancelled 2021 stay. I mean, I was using Airbnb’s website and the host didn’t respond to my request for guidance.

I contacted Airbnb’s customer service department who told me the host had to agree to me receiving a full refund of the cancelled 2021 reservation. I contacted the host who agreed to the full refund, and I informed Airbnb’s customer service of the host’s agreement. The customer service representative explained how my full refund would consist of two amounts: the amount paid for the original 2020 reservation ($1,980.87) and the additional several hundred dollars I paid for the 2021 reservation, representing the increase in rates between 2020 and 2021. The customer service representative repeatedly used the term ‘full refund,’ which frankly were the only two words I was listening for.

Within minutes, I received a full refund on my credit card for the smaller, several hundred dollar ‘increase in rates’ amount. As the minutes ticked by and the bigger $1,980.87 amount never showed up on my credit card account, I started to get worried. When I called Airbnb customer service back, I was informed the ‘full refund’ of $1,980.87 was actually a credit for future use. I told them I’d like to take that ‘credit for future use’ and apply it to the 2022 reservation. I was told that couldn’t be done. So my promised ‘full refund’ morphed into a ‘credit for future use’ — a future use of their choosing.

Airbnb customer service did suggest a possible resolution: I could cancel the 2022 reservation and make a new reservation and apply the ‘credit for future use’ funds toward that. I pointed out that their suggestion would certainly resolve the ‘credit for future use’ funds left over from the 2021 reservation, but now I’d be stuck with a new ‘credit for future use’ from the cancelled 2022 reservation. They suggested I work it out with the host. I called the host, and explained to her what had transpired. She seemed to be sympathetic, but she asked me to have Airbnb customer service call her and walk her through the process of fixing the situation because she didn’t want to make any mistakes, which I could understand after trying to use the badly coded ‘change of reservation date’ section of the Airbnb website.

When I contacted Airbnb customer service again, I pointed out that this all could be resolved within seconds, but the customer service representative insisted it couldn’t be done. The next time I called Airbnb customer service, I got a garbled recording stating that the number I was calling had been disconnected or was no longer in service. I figured I must have made a mistake punching the numbers when I made the call, so I called again, and again got the garbled recording.

Once I picked my jaw off the floor and pondered the thought of a customer service department of a major American corporation having a disconnected number and no apparent new or forwarding number, I was at a loss; it just didn’t make any sense. Then, a truly ridiculous thought entered my head: they didn’t block me, did they? To shoot down that ridiculous notion right away, I decided to call Airbnb customer service using my landline phone and not my cell phone (the number on my Airbnb account). Bingo: no garbled disconnection message when I called using my landline.

I got into customer service — that is, if you call answering a few questions put to me by a machine and being ultimately referred to an online FAQ page as ‘customer service.’ That is pathetic: I was blocked by Airbnb customer service.

Now I know what you’re thinking: I’m a hothead and I was speed dialing into Airbnb customer service 24/7, hurtling expletives at meek and mild customer service reps. Not quite. I called Airbnb customer service maybe four times total. I was always civil, and most of the time I was simply requesting information. The most confrontational (if you can call it that) was when I was told by the customer service representative “It can’t be done” in reference to the promised full refund. I very politely pointed out that actually it could be done — it was promised. A partial refund was accomplished within seconds after the first time I called in, and a full refund of the remaining funds could be done within seconds.

So as it stands now, I supposedly have a ‘credit for future use’ for $1,980.87, even though there is nothing in my account that indicates that. I guess I’d have to contact Airbnb customer service in order to access that credit, except they blocked me. I didn’t go to business school, but I can’t imagine there’s a business school out there that teaches business people that it is better to lie to and cheat a customer — a customer who is using your services so that he can bury his mother’s ashes and turn the customer into a lifetime enemy of your company than to put in perhaps twenty seconds worth of effort to push a button to issue a refund check. Whenever I hear someone utter the word ‘Airbnb,’ believe me, I let them know of my experience with them.

Host Said I Booked a Listing that Does Not Accept Reservations

I sent a notification of a dispute and an attempt in good faith to negotiate an informal resolution. The dispute involved my confirmed reservation for an Airbnb listing in Clearwater, Florida. My confirmed reservation was for Dec. 11 to Dec. 18, 2021. This story shows that Airbnb has fake listings on their site, does bait and switch with listings, and allows host to cancel at the last minute if they can get more money elsewhere or from a different guest.

On Sept. 28, my husband’s sister called us to say she was driving to Clearwater to spend a couple months on vacation. We had not seen her in over four years and were really excited. After talking it over, my husband and I decided to drive from Baton Rouge to Florida and spend a week on vacation at an Airbnb to spend time with his sister. I spend several days going through the Airbnb listings and finally found the perfect one. I knew I would not find any listings the week for Christmas so we decided to celebrate the week before.

It was a whole house, would take the dogs, had a fenced yard, was on one of the canals, had a heated pool and included a pontoon boat you could take to the beaches. It was also only a few minutes away from where my husband’s sister was staying. I wrote Airbnb about the issue that the listing asked people to book on the Sandbar Vacation Rentals website instead of with Airbnb. I did not do that, but instead booked from the Airbnb site where I had originally found the listing.

As you can see my reservation was confirmed right away. Half the payment was made and we started to prepare for our vacation. I had not had a vacation in years and had been saving up my vacation days for a trip to Europe after COVID died down, but decided to use some of my days for this trip to visit with my sister-in-law. I applied to my employer to take the days and before I left for vacation, as required by my employer, I entered the vacation days into my timesheet. As far as I know once you do that they cannot be recovered.

I baked Christmas cookies, made fudge, and ordered some wonderful lamb tenderloins for our Christmas dinner. We planned an outing to the aquarium, a pontoon boat ride to look at Christmas decorations and even ordered our first meal from Casa Tina. We also planned a drive to Orlando to pick up a dog I was going to rescue. I got regular emails from Airbnb confirming my reservation, notifying me that the second half of my payment was due, and then received. I assumed the host also received these notices from Airbnb.

We loaded up the car and proceeded to drive eight hours to Tallahassee. At 2:00 PM on Friday, Dec. 10, I texted the host to let them know we would arrive and check into the house at 4:00 PM the next day (Dec. 11). The host asked me to confirm my name, saying he did not have the cell number on file. I texted my name and reservation confirmation code back to him.

He replied, “I’m sorry, but you booked a listing that does not accept reservations. We do not have a reservation for you.”

I texted back the confirmation number and that I had paid in full. The host confirmed I was talking to them and said they did not have my money, suggesting we call Airbnb. I got sent to a “customer ambassador” that would help me with my issue. He was nice enough but did not speak great English and seemed to not understand the situation. He said he would call the host and get back to me. He seemed to be reading from a script and was very concerned that I have the Airbnb cancellation policy, even thought I was not the one cancelling.

After he talked with the host, he called me back and essentially said they did not have a reservation for me but gave me no other explanation of how this happened. He admitted that Airbnb had a fully paid active reservation for me on an active listing but did indicate why the host was not going to honor the reservation. He said I would get a full refund but that it would take 5-15 days. I asked if it could just be applied to a new listing as we would need a place to stay. He said that was not possible as they just didn’t do that. I said we still needed a place to stay and could he find us comparable accommodations. He said he would work on it and call me back. I never heard from him again.

When we got to our hotel in Tallahassee, I immediately got on my computer and looked for a place to stay. My sister-in-law also started looking. Even the host sent some suggestions, but Airbnb never did. None of the listings that the host sent worked as they would not take two large dogs and were also not even in Clearwater. Everything, even nice hotels, that would take two large dogs and were close to my sister-in-law’s house was booked, since it was only a week before Christmas.

They next day we had to decide to drive on to Clearwater with no place to stay or to return home. My husband, bless his heart, felt like Airbnb would find a new house for us to stay in and wanted to drive on. I did not share his opinion since they had never called us back. With a grumpy husband, a grumpier wife, and two large dogs lacking exercise I said we were driving home.

Everyone was angry and depressed. He broke out in hives, his sister cried, and I tweeted my displeasure. My tweets got responses from Airbnb saying they would follow up. It’s been five days and the only real follow-up I got was to say I would get a refund: no help finding another place to stay, no apologies, except they were sorry for the “inconvenience”. Every message I got sounded like it was a canned AI responding to me with no mention of my situation.

My vacation was ruined, my vacation days stolen, and I am depressed and have started on medication. I submitted my mileage, my hotel bill, and the value of my lost vacation days to Airbnb, asking to be compensated. I got back another stupid canned message saying they couldn’t issue a refund as per their policies.

Dominican Republic Property Not as Advertised for Anniversary

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Here’s my first and last experience with Airbnb. My wife, a friend and I rented a condo in April 2021 after reading positive reviews. This was to be a long-term stay for January, February, and March in Juan Dolio, the Dominican Republic.

Our friend arrived on Jan. 1. He called me after arrival and said the place was a dump but he was somewhat vague even saying he was not in the right condo unit. I was now worried. At that moment our hosts showed up; I could hear them in the background laughing. The following day I called my friend and asked what happened. He said he was still in the same unit and it was still a dump. I was still in Canada but flying out later that afternoon with my wife.

I called the host and told her my concerns and said I was thinking of canceling our flights. She assured me everything was fine and if there were any problems they would be rectified. On this assurance we decided to go. We told the host we would not be arriving at the condo till after midnight. She said this would be no problem as the reception is open 24 hours and they would register us and she would leave a key with them.

We arrived as said after midnight, registered and asked for the key. No key was left. We went up to the 12th floor and proceeded to try and wake our friend which took some time. By now exhausted from the travel, we decided to go to bed and face things afresh in the morning. The bedding and pillows smelt musty.

We awoke in the morning, and our fears were confirmed. It was a dump: filthy walls, cobwebs, cupboards falling off the hinges, rusted out washer and dryer, broken dishwasher not attached to the cupboard, all three showers broken, filthy stained couches, soiled mattress with what looked like urine and blood stains, patio furniture covered with blankets to hide the stains. This place was just plain worn out. It slept up to ten people and we believed it was a Party Palace where it was rented and trashed. We paid $4,300 CDN for the month of January expecting a luxury rental condo, not this dump.

We asked our next door neighbours to come take a look and they agreed it was disgusting and a health hazard. I am not a toxicologist but there appeared to be mold on the walls and furniture. It was definitely not COVID compliant. Our neighbours took us next door to have a look at their place; it was night and day in comparison.

I called the host to complain. She sent up the maintenance guy. I refused him entry and told her it was unfixable and she needed to come over. She said she would be there later then late afternoon cancelled, saying she would come the next day. I didn’t know it then but I was being played. If she came the next day the 24 hours to report to Airbnb would have expired.

The following day she showed up. I showed her the pictures on my iPad and she said it would be fixed. I told her it was beyond fixing , and she said she would move us. This was on Jan. 4. It was left this way on the understanding we would be moved to be notified later.

That day we went to the beach to try and relax. The beach area and surrounding grounds were amazing and beautiful, just what we anticipated. We returned to the condo around 3:30 PM to be met with a crew of six and the host in the condo without our permission. Two painters, two maintenance guys, two cleaners and the host were replacing showers and the washer and dryer, painting, cleaning, taking away part of the couch in all this chaos, and more the next day.

While it was good they acted quickly we were on vacation; nobody needs to go through this nonsense. They also painted over these black mouldy walls I still believe were a health hazard. The stained mattress was still in place, and there was a broken dishwasher and cupboards.

We got in touch with Airbnb. I spoke with 11 agents getting absolutely nowhere. We had sleepless nights from a bar directly below our tower that blasted music until 3:30 AM. Dogs were barking, chickens crowing, and cars racing and backfiring loud exhaust. After being passed on from agent to agent and specifically asking them the question over and over with no response and being told over and over “my shift is about to end, I will pass this on to the next available agent.”

We had our couch returned after being gone for 11 days. Each time we asked about the couch we were told by the host it was still drying after being cleaned — it was 30 degrees C. This was on Jan. 15, an unforgettable day in our lives. We decided on that day, we would stay until Jan. 31 having paid $4,300 Cdn and move on to new accommodation, thereby terminating our rental agreement due to no contact with the host or Airbnb to rectify our disgusting rental unit.

At first the host was okay with this, then she went ballistic with over 50 threatening texts telling us we were to vacate the premises by 11:00 AM the following day giving us 20 hours to pack and find other accommodation, she said cleaners would be at the condo at 11:00 AM and it had already been rented out the same day.

I contacted Airbnb with numerous emails telling them we were being evicted and this was an emergency situation. We needed help, and nobody replied. This day was to be unforgettable as our host also knew this as I had told her and she had recommended a nice restaurant for us to celebrate our “50th Golden
Wedding Anniversary.” I was fuming; I am in my early 70s and my wife will soon be 80. To evict an elderly couple with 20 hours’ notice to find other accommodation in the Dominican Republic on the weekend is reprehensible. Needless to say, our anniversary was ruined.

On the good side, I was able to secure accommodation through a local realtor team who really came through and found us a nice two bedroom. It was the same location in a different tower. Had we dealt with this exceptionally good team, we probably would have stayed but we returned back to Canada on Jan. 22. Airbnb rewarded our host with $4,300 and gave us a $24 refund.

That is why l will never use Airbnb again. I now tell all my friends and acquaintances to be beware. Thanks for reading.

A Terrible Experience with Airbnb During Omicron

In late November 2021 we booked a trip to Los Angeles for a week in January and paid $3,100 for a stay in a condo in Marina del Rey. In late December, omicron appeared and we realized that we could not risk traveling, especially with a two-year-old.

We contacted the host a few days before the date that we would not be able to get a refund of half of the amount. We asked to rebook in the spring but could not do it online because the calendar did not go out far enough. We contacted our host, asking her to do this and stating that we could not travel at this time. We never heard from her and so we contacted customer service.

They promised that they ‘had our backs’ but did nothing except run out the time until we were past the deadline. The host contacted us once to say that she heard from Airbnb but thought we were another booking so didn’t answer. Then after we were due to have arrived, she contacted us and said that she was not going to give us a refund, a credit, or rebook. Customer service kept promising help but never delivered anything but hours on hold listening to the same piece of horrible music over and over.

As it turned out, one of our party got COVID during the time we would have been in LA but this doesn’t seem to be enough to trigger a refund. When I called to ask about what kind of proof they needed of this COVID case, I got put on hold for 40 minutes. I finally sent a message asking to be called back and hung up.

We never were able to ascertain what responsibility to answer inquiries the host needed to fulfill and in what time frame. We got inconsistent and inaccurate answers from customer service (referred to in the future as customer disservice). Between us we spent literal hours on hold. All in all, an appalling display of purposeful incompetence, lack of ethics and callous behavior far below any other travel entity we have dealt with during COVID. We will never use Airbnb again.

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My Airbnb Host Lied about COVID to Cancel My Trip

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Picture this: you are a 20-something business professional who event plans for a job and loves to celebrate every birthday. 30 is a big one, right? All you want is an amazing home with family and friends where you can eat delicious food and drink yummy wine.

After hours and hours of scouring Airbnb, you find the perfect home that sleeps eight people, has an ocean view, and even a spa. Amazing. You book this six months in advance (you’re very organized). You also message the host to double check that you are allowed to have a friend visit (not stay) to enjoy birthday cake and the property in the day time bringing the number of guests on the property to nine. You also want to ensure you send everyone’s vaccine certificates (you’re organized and respectful, remember?)

The host immediately thinks this is now a party despite your best efforts to say it isn’t. They go on to say they previously had a terrible guest that ruined their home. You sympathize and understand it must be difficult to trust other guests. However, you do your best to reassure the host.

Luckily, your birthday falls just after New Years so everyone is already enjoying their Christmas holidays, yourself included. Fast forward to Boxing Day and you receive a long winded message from your hosts explaining they need to cancel 11 days in advance as they had “close contact” with a COVID case (not confirmed person) staying in their home.

We’re in New Zealand; bear in mind there were maybe two cases at the time and none in the town or city where this home is located. The host then went on to say they were “devastated” but could not find a cleaner prior to our check in. Isn’t the home meant to be cleaned upon arrival anyways? In 11 days? They then went on to say they needed to cancel the listing until the end of January.

Okay no problem. I took it upon myself to find a cleaner so our place wouldn’t be cancelled, because you can best believe I have family and friends traveling more than ten hours and cancelling is not an option. Before I can even suggest this, the host cancelled and terminated any dialogue.

I’m absolutely devastated and also now out over $2000 NZD. Fast forward a few days. I went to check the listing and what do I see? My weekend was still available to book on the host’s calendar, and the following weekend which was available was now booked. What’s more, they updated their listing to include “no parties, 8 people max” which was never in the listing to begin with.

Being an understanding person, I decided to give the benefit of doubt and thought I would ring up the first cleaning company I could find on Google. They were available that weekend, as were two others.

It’s obvious this host not only lied to us about COVID but forced me to dramatically change my 30th birthday plans with zero remorse. I have family members and friends back home (I’m from North America originally) who’ve passed from COVID so to use this as an excuse is not only negligent, but disgusting. As I mentioned I’m respectful and organized, but also petty.

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No Support for Hosts, Airbnb Gives us the Runaround

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I decided to rent out my property for the Christmas holiday. I was selective as some people had too many in their party, or had large dogs — I accept animals under 25 lbs. I rented to a woman who said there would be her and two dogs. I usually only accept one pet but since she had no partner I thought it only fair to let her stay with both animals. We agreed on a $100 non-refundable pet fee just to allow her pets to stay, not for damages.

When I was leaving the property after prepping it for her arrival, I noticed two large commercial trucks pulling up. I doubled back as I thought they were at the wrong house. The boom truck drivers were dropping off the pick up driver’s stuff, then left. I said, “you are not Crissi?” She said no and called her husband who in turn gave me her number. Only then did she inform me that it was her employee staying there. The dogs she had stated were 25 lbs. were bull terriers weighing between 45-65 lbs and one was in heat according to the employee.

Crissi was supposed to provide a pet deposit of $100 and said she would give it to the employee to pass on to me the following day. He wasn’t there the next day (a wasted trip for me) but the next day he was home and said he knew nothing about the deposit. I reached out to her again and she said she would be there at the property in 10 minutes. I told her I was running an errand but to leave it under the mat so I wouldn’t disturb her employee staying there.

I wasn’t happy that she deceived me and actually looked up online (since I couldn’t find a customer service number to reach out) to see how Airbnb handles these situations. I read that different reps have given different advice to hosts. Some say to let it go and just see how it plays out, while another said to cancel the reservation because they put a “third party guest” on the property and Airbnb doesn’t cover damages for third party guests. I decided to leave it alone as the gentlemen seemed polite enough.

Following that, we had an unexpected storm with hurricane winds which required a lot of cleanup. I left a notice on the exterior door that I would be by the following day (24 hours’ notice) to do a cleanup of the exterior grounds, even soffits from a nearby home had blown onto the property. When I went to the property the front yard was littered with large piles of dog feces. I reached out to “Crissi” and said that her employee needed to pick up the dog mess as my lawn guy won’t drive through dog feces with his equipment. I immediately got slammed with a return message saying, “that’s what dogs do” and I and my neighbors were harassing them and peeking in the windows.

That came out of left field. She basically said that he would pick it up when he was good and ready. I explained that my lawn care guy would not cut the lawn if he had to roll his equipment through dog feces, he makes that clear. She said it will get picked up tonight. I said, no, it needs to be cleaned up now as my guy is coming to cut the lawn today. She said I didn’t tell her that and I said, I don’t have to tell you that, he is on a set schedule that he makes. Do you stay at a hotel and expect to be told when they cut the lawn? And do you let your dog crap all over the hotel/motel lawn and tell them, sorry we will pick it up when we get around to it?

I called her out for deceiving me as to who was staying there. I later noticed that one of her reviews read, “I can’t give a review as she wasn’t there.” Now it made sense. This woman was dumping employees in Airbnb’s who were using it as a crash pad. Seems harmless right? Wrong. I can’t give a proper review because I am basing my opinion on her and her reputation of other stays she has had on Airbnb. Most importantly, Airbnb will not cover damages if a third party stays on the property.

The employee she had staying there left his dogs in a guest bedroom during the day while he worked and the expensive thick mattress cover, expensive bedsheets, and high end comforter set were all covered in blood from his dog in heat. He could have easily left them in the kitchen area during the day with the baby gate provided to keep pets on tile vs. carpet when owners step out. He apparently left the dogs in one guest bedroom during the day while he worked, hence the blood everywhere. The beds are there for guests, not for dogs in heat.

What happened next blew me away. I received an email saying that the guest has closed out their stay. When I reached out to Airbnb asking if I could go by to make sure they didn’t damage the property on purpose on their way out, they suggested I reach out to Crissi to see if they vacated the premises. She snapped back to stop harassing her and to contact Airbnb, that she filed a complaint against me for harassment and I will be investigated. I told her Airbnb told me to reach out to her, and all I want to know is if there is someone still at the property, that’s on you. She chose to ignore me, that she herself said she would have her employee pass on to me. It wasn’t until I stated the dog feces needed to be cleaned up as the lawn guy would be coming to cut that she started the harassment complaints.

The outcome? You will love this: they took her recorded statement and my recorded statement. I thought they would back me as to her deception as to who would be staying there, and damages were incurred. Since the employee had no direct concern as to what happens in the property, I am only left with dealing with Airbnb. They told me to reach out to this Crissi and explain the damages. I told them, “I am not reaching out to her as she is already saying I am harassing her and this will only add to the problem.”

After a short investigation they decided to block me — temporarily, they said — then two days later made it permanent, saying I could appeal. However you can’t go on their site and appeal once they have blocked you. So they run you in circles telling you to appeal within a certain amount of time knowing you can’t. They sent me emails from five different reps saying do this or that, only adding to the confusion. I asked to deal with one person and they said no, that different departments handle different issues, e.g. claims for damages, or to file an appeal against closing my listing.

They contradict their emails. One rep told me I had 72 hours to provide further information about my case and four hours later told me they had permanently cancelled me off their site. When they told me I could appeal, I asked what specific issues were they concerned about so I could address them. Airbnb would not tell me, so I had no idea what I was defending myself against. They wouldn’t tell me if they had shut her down also for deception of who was staying there, for lying about the size of the animals staying, and for putting company vehicles on the property where it is a violation of city ordinance. Airbnb is judge and jury.

At last stand, I asked if the department that handles damages is still reviewing my claims and nobody has gotten back to me. They basically shut me down, affected me financially and turned their back on me after years of listing on their site. I have rented for over 40 years, long term and short term, in more than one state and have letters of recommendation from guests, and often these people became good friends. I take pride in giving people a place I would want to rent myself. I work hard to provide a nice experience for the guests that Airbnb tells me I am renting to. To shut me down shows how little value they see in their hosts when a problem arises from a guest and we are their bread and butter.

Airbnb Booking Leads to Trailer Park Nightmare

I booked an Airbnb in Canada for myself, my girlfriend, and her three kids for a trip around Alberta for a couple of weeks during the summer 2021. It was in a mobile home park, but Airbnb did not tell us it’s a mobile home park on the website. It was one of the very few Airbnbs in the area. I believe there were only two or three that could accommodate five people.

When I was on Airbnb’s website, there were about nine or ten pictures of the unit and I’m believe about five of those pictures were of the kitchen: pretty much five of the exact same pictures. It looked okay in the pictures; there was nothing to see or identify that there was anything wrong with the house, which in the end was not a house. It was a rundown 60-year-old looking piece of crap trailer in a trailer park on the outskirts. There was a lock box that had the key for the trailer in it that was attached to an old wooden fence. Anyone could have come along, broken the fence, and taken the key.

As you enter the trailer you have to climb up these rickety stairs on to this wooden deck that looked like you would almost fall through. The door to the trailer was an old wooden door where the lock on the door barely locked. There was an approximately two-inch gap on the bottom of the door; mice or anything could have come in with no problem. Everything in the trailer was like a step back in time.

They listed it as a two bedroom: there was one full bedroom in the back of the trailer and the other bedroom was part of the kitchen where there was a curtain and a old rickety wooden bookcase that had been laid on its side to kind of make it look like it was a separate bedroom from the kitchen when it really wasn’t. There were no towels in the bathroom. Barely any hot water. The floor was disgusting; there are parts of it that I swear to god I thought I was going to fall through a number of times. Everything in the kitchen was plastic like it was made for a 50-year-old daycare.

The trailer park was full of noisy neighbors partying and yelling for half the night. It was a very disgusting experience I would never ever stay in the area again. When I called Airbnb after it was over to tell him about it then complain I got zero customer service from them: no returning my phone calls, no answering my emails, nothing. I love using Airbnb. I have used it a number of times and this was the first time I had ever experienced a problem residence. I just wish that Airbnb had much better customer service than they do.

Illegal Airbnb Cost Me More Than $1000

Lesson learned: do not book an airbnb with a host who tells you to not tell anyone in their community that you are an Airbnb guest. I needed a pet-friendly Airbnb for two weeks because my house tested positive for black mold. I found a private room in an apartment. One of the house rules was not to mention that I was an Airbnb guest to anyone, but I didn’t really think anything of it at first.

I told the guard at the gate that I was an Airbnb guest, and he let me in. Apparently he was new and he did not know that the complex did not allow Airbnb guests. The host repeatedly told me to not tell anyone in the community, including maintenance or security that I was an Airbnb guest. I had already done that, and became nervous after the first night. I realized that what she was doing was illegal and that I could be kicked out.

She also didn’t like it when I asked her for her last name or to see her driver’s license, even though she asked for mine. She used a fake name on Airbnb. She was super shady and I could not trust her, so I packed up my things and left. I’m out over $1,000 and am staying in an expensive hotel. Airbnb has been dragging their heels and I can’t even get a straight answer on if I’m getting a refund.

I will take her to small claims court if she doesn’t give me my money back, or if Airbnb does not resolve this. It’s looking like the latter because they have taken over four days to resolve this and have not reached out to me.