Airbnb From Hell: Unionville Nightmare

I am an international student and was bound to Airbnb due to the fact that I had paid long term fees and withdrawing would mean I would lose close to $2000. That’s a lot when converting into Indian Rupees for a guy who just got here. Now that the nightmare stay is over I can tell you safely that this is not where you want to live ever, for the following reasons:

I got in a few days later than my girlfriend and the first greeting I got when I arrived was the host telling me that my girlfriend had a lot of men in her room overnight in front of my friend who dropped me there. I was aware that her brother came to meet her and another aunt and uncle. They did not stay over. I don’t know how she can talk like that about another woman.

The host was super creepy. She kept micromanaging how much water we used in the kitchen, listened to and yelled at me about how much water I used while taking a bath, and argued with us everyday, telling us that she did not want us there. I take 5-minute baths literally and she had a problem with that too.

I was racially abused here by being asked how I have money to pay for the apartment because I’m an Indian. She used to tell us to not talk to her neighbors because they were jealous of her and when her neighbors spoke to us they told us that we needed to be careful. We didn’t know why they warned us at first but then we understood what they meant as the days followed.

All amenities that were mentioned as “provided” were not provided. She gave us one towel for two people. Luckily I had my own. No toilet paper, no bathroom amenities, no kitchen utensils, nothing. We had to get all of them on our own and they were used by other people living in the house too. She messaged me saying it was not her responsibility to provide them. I don’t know where that chocolate bowl picture on the profile is. Never saw it. Don’t expect anything of that sort, let alone a towel if you’re lucky.

There were dirty bedsheets and pillow covers that were on the bed and she conveniently blamed us for dirtying them when we arrived. We didn’t argue because of the irritation, bought her a new bedsheet and pillow cover and she didn’t let us use it. We were told to get new ones on our own and put them on the bed.

I cleaned the garbage out of the whole basement every week though it was a lot of people’s garbage, including the washroom that multiple people from the top floors used. I had booked the second floor but was forced to live in the basement. All tenants in the house used the basement to enter and exit right from the third floor to the basement and I had to clean and mop it all everyday. I still got yelled at by the host because someone in the house left a shoemark or left their dishes in the sink.

The host entered our room without us in it, went through my girlfriend’s jewelry and also stole a jar and perfume of mine. Things just went disappearing all the time.

Almost everyday I was yelled at for being a student and not working. I had so many projects and assignments to do as a graduate student and chose to save working for after I graduated. That was none of her business but she kept saying that I was useless because I did not work though her money was paid in full.

There was no heating provided and no window in the room I stayed. I got myself a small heater to stay warm as it was freezing cold in the basement and during the summer it got very stuffy. I needed the fan to basically survive. She yelled at me for that too.

All of her doors creak and are unaligned so they make sounds when closed. I got yelled for closing the door because it made noise.

Her daughter screams at the top of her voice, and disturbs all tenants by whacking their doors. The other tenants have told me that her daughter and the host randomly entered their rooms once without even asking or knocking while showing someone else the room. Imagine this – you have zero privacy here.

She was charging me $30 for a small load to wash and $60 for a large load to wash and get this – no dryer allowed. I had to go to a laundromat every week to wash my clothes due to her ridiculous prices.

I had to call Airbnb for help and get some sort of a restraining order for her to stay away from me and she did. Towards the end, all the messages and yelling began.

The tenant on the top floor also wasn’t allowed to enter through his own entrance. His key was taken away and he was forced to take the basement route and climb up every day. One day he was stuck in the basement because she, like a genius, locked the main basement door. He was stuck downstairs for two hours.

On the day before my last stay day she tried to illegally force me into paying more money to her for cleaning as she said apparently cleaned the house for three days the whole time I was there (82 days). I swept and mopped every corner of that basement every night. I don’t know what in the world she thought she was doing.

I ran away to a cousin’s house the night before the last day for I did not feel safe anymore with this person around. Her behavior was very rude and unethical and this is the worst experience I have ever had with an Airbnb across the globe be it in Asia, Europe and even around Canada, especially for long-term stays. There were days when I thought of calling the police because I was sure that it was pretty illegal how we were being treated. Honestly, no joke, I think this person really needs some help.

The shocker – her mother is the only sweet person in that house. She helped us a lot. She was super concerned about our well-being after every time that the host yelled at us. Still, do not come here. I have every demeaning message she had ever sent me from day one, all the BS that I was dragged through. Though she was specifically told to message me on the Airbnb app, she chose to keep yelling at my girlfriend and I via text.

I am glad that this is over. You don’t know how much I hated living in that house. I used to stay out all day just so I didn’t have to see her or even see the face of this house. Imagine the worst part of your vacation or life is the house you have to go back to everyday. That’s what this house can make you feel.

Airbnb Defends Hosts who are out of Town

It was a disgusting, dirty and stinky apartment. Someone’s sheet was in the toilet. Airbnb took the host’s side, who insisted that the apartment was clean, although he was out of town.

First of all, I read all the reviews carefully before booking. The reason was that I decided to show Prague to my mom who is 70 years old and who has never been there. It was her biggest dream. I shared this with the host because it was really important for me.

We arrived at the apartment at 6:00 PM as agreed upon by the host. The host at the very last moment informed me that he was out of town, and his mom would meet us.

When we arrived, the place was a total mess, as if some company partied there and it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time: dirty bed linens on the beds, trash everywhere, sheets in the toilet, and the smell of urine as if someone left a cat locked alone in the apartment for a week. The smell was so bad that we left the place immediately.

The host’s mom started to clean it and in two and something hours informed us that everything was set up and we could come back. It was already after 8:00 PM. We were exhausted after our long trip to Prague, so we already booked a hotel nearby to get some rest and take a shower, and informed Airbnb support about the case.

When we came back just to get our bags, we found out that one bed was made with fresh bed linens (the dirty ones were although left in the bathroom), but another bed was made with the dirty bed linens left after previous guests. It was just made to look a little nicer. Someone still slept on this bed linens I was supposed to sleep on that night.

The trash bins were still full of trash left after previous guests. In the bathroom there was used toilet paper left in the trash bins; it smelled terribly as it was probably there for a long time. The showers were left unclean. Trash was still everywhere on the floor. The smell of urine was still so strong that it was impossible to stay more than a minute.

We left the apartment and contacted the host immediately. He told us that he was out of town and that he would deal with that once he was back. I asked him when he was back. The next day I asked him again. He never told me when he was coming back to town.

We contacted Airbnb support. It took me 50 minutes of waiting on the line. After I explained the situation, I was told that Airbnb would contact the host and call me back. No one called this day. They only contacted me the next evening, almost 24 hours later, to tell me that they cancelled my reservation according to the host’s cancellation policy (the first night I didn’t spent in the apartment was non-refundable, for the next three days I got only a 50% refund). I paid 250 EUR for five minutes of urine smell and shitty toilets.

After I shared the photos with Airbnb support, they told me that they couldn’t offer me a full refund because the host’s mom tried to clean the apartment. Yes, she tried. However, it was not cleaned properly, and the host violated check-in policy and ruined my mom’s first expression of Prague, her biggest dream.

I tried to talk to the host. I explained to him what happened. I showed him pictures, but he accused me of making a mess and breaking stuff in the apartment and refused to discuss anything at all. I’m not that surprised by the host’s actions, but I’m really surprised by Airbnb support’s apathy. Some guy from support is telling me that he decided not to refund me because the host’s mother tried to clean the place. Tried, but failed. I have photos of the apartment after that so-called cleaning.

Can’t Travel Now: Airbnb Customer Service Hell

The people in Airbnb customer service are rude idiots. I think the company must tell them this is the way they have to behave. I have written emails, called, been hung up on, and I am fed up. I have had injuries and illnesses this last year and haven’t been able to use my credit coupon of 170 dollars which would go a long way in Mexico, a place I love. I have asked Airbnb to extend it for me as I have impending wrist surgery, even sending an email from the doctors office. The call center is telling me that I have to have medical certification. Excuse me? I have to pay a doctor to write something so that I do not lose my credit in two weeks.

I think now Airbnb has gone public they are even bigger jerks. I did them a favor by referring people and because of my medical situation (sounds like discrimination), they are taking my credit away. I told them I had to move this month too, and they got the documentation, but they want more. I called again and they hung up on me. I was told someone would call me and it has not happened. I would rather couchsurf than deal with these idiots. No more referrals from me. Airbnb sucks. I hope they fail and their stock crashes.

Unreasonable Deposit Taken by Airbnb Host

I have had two Airbnb experiences. Both were a nightmare, but the second was the worst. I cancelled an Airbnb eight weeks prior to my stay and the host still kept my deposit. It is the most unfair practice ever. Even hotels allow you to cancel up to 48 hours prior to your stay. Eight weeks. The host had plenty of time to re-rent the suite, so he basically stole $300 from me for the deposit. He was unresponsive and I think that Airbnb should be shut down.

Airbnb Customer Service is Complete Trash

To start off, this was a last minute booking. My friends and I were on a road trip to Asheville, NC when we suddenly found ourselves off course by four hours. We decided to get a room and figure it out in the morning. I booked this lovely place. I know, it’s cheap, but we were just wanting a place to shower/crash after a night out.

We were still about a little over an hour away from the address after I booked it, and didn’t think much of the host not saying anything, as my booking had already been confirmed. Once we arrived, it was clear he had no intention of returning any of my messages or answering his phone.

I immediately tried contacting Airbnb, but their phone lines were down, and couldn’t be bothered to reply to any of the messages I sent them through the app. Incredibly annoyed, and in desperate need of a drink, I canceled my booking and requested a refund. The next day the host ignored my request, but luckily the phone lines were back up.

The first customer service rep was very friendly, and helpful. She promised to contact the host, and that if he decided to continue being a horrible person, Airbnb would provide me with a refund. The next day, around the time she promised, she contacted me to let me know that the full refund was coming through, and it should take about five business days for me to receive it. I was thrilled to have that burden completely lifted from me. I thanked her for her time and everything else she did for me.

I wish this story ended there. Fast forward five business days, and the refund still wasn’t in. I didn’t worry too much about it, thinking it was probably just a little late, thinking surely Airbnb done their part. I checked the app, and I had a message from the host declaring he had denied my refund. Okay, that’s what horrible people do, so let’s find out more. I clicked “view details” under the canceled reservation bar, and it brought to a page that read this:

“Your refund is on its way. We issued a refund of $0.00. While this refund is immediate on our part, you might not see the money reflected in your VISA account until five business days later. Please contact your payment provider for additional information.”

I immediately called customer support again. The representative  apologized and explained that this was a small clerical error, but she had no authority to do anything about it, and that a case manager would have to review it, and get back to me by the end of the day. This never happened.

After a full 24 hours went by, I decided to try and send a message asking for an update. No reply. I called again and explained to a third person why I deserved a refund, and wouldn’t you know, out of pure coincidence a case manager magically replied to my written message, so the rep hung up. This is what I read:

“I finally received a response from your Host, on the reservation in question. However, your Host said that he’s not aware of your refund. Did your Host agree for you to receive a full refund after you cancelled your reservation with him? Awaiting your response. Regards. “

I know it’s not her fault, but I’ve never hated a faceless stranger more in my life. I quickly typed out, and explained to the fourth person why I deserved a refund that had already been promised to me.

“Thank you for letting me know of that information. Let me review the previous tickets on your account and on your Host end for me to confirm everything and also to help me fully understand why you’re requesting for a full refund. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”

Internally I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I still haven’t heard anything else from them.

Airbnb Can’t Understand How Cancellation Policies Hurt

The situation: I booked an expensive condo in Montreal for the Osheaga Music Festival. I had a situation that made me not be able to make it for those dates in early August. I was confused by the language on Airbnb and thought I had up until 14 days from the check-in date to cancel. I let the property management company know more than 60 days in advance. They refused and said the only option was to pay them $1100 to cancel.

The property management company (not the real host) was really hard to deal with. They were uncompromising and only gave me options that would allow them to rebook the listing and still get my $2200. I even said I would be willing to pay the cancellation fee of $260.
They were argumentative and kept giving me false and confusing information. They claimed they had to pay more to Airbnb to have a strict cancellation policy. That turned out to be a lie. I felt it was really unfair given that this was the most popular weekend in Montreal for the entire year and I gave them 60 days notice of my need to cancel.
They claim to have a deep empathy for guests in their mission statement. This doesn’t seem to be the case. They are currently hounding me to cancel or lose my money.
On a more human note, I am getting married a week from now and this situation has made things really stressful. Before you book with any of these companies I strongly encourage you to remember how much time and money you will lose if something goes wrong.
I live in San Francisco and know a couple people who work in data for Airbnb. They said that having a more apparent cancellation policy would lower conversion and revenue.
The company claims to bring people in different communities together and make people feel welcome. I toured their facility a while back; they have designed a conference room modeled around the first Airbnb (the founder’s home). The HQ is like a palace with things like on-tap beer and wine and dedicated sleep rooms.
Let’s just say they don’t seem like they are hurting for money. Unfortunately it has devolved into a money/IPO-hungry company that doesn’t really care about guests. The issue is compounded by all these third party property management companies that are more driven by the rips they make off the actual owners of the property (the true hosts).
Airbnb is probably going to try to go public this year. If you have been screwed by them I encourage you to voice your opinion. Here is a link to a recent article regarding an Airbnb guest that was confused by the deceptive language on the Airbnb website.

Los Angeles Airbnb Nightmare Forces Guest Out

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I booked a trip in Los Angeles and when I arrived the Airbnb was not as it was on the site. First off, there were homeless people hanging out on the staircase; I had to ask if I could pass to go up the stairs. They obviously slept there. The whole staircase stunk of urine.

Going into the apartment was a shock as the place was so dirty and dusty; they even left us a present in the toilet: a nice big poo. There were stains on all the furniture and thick dust everywhere. In addition, we could not use the aircon as the plug socket was off the wall. The host said it worked.

I drove six hours to come here. I had to spend another $300 on another hotel. I stayed in the property thirty minutes before leaving and opened a case straight away on the 29th of last month. I asked for a refund. Every time I messaged Airbnb they kept fobbing me off.

It’s been two weeks now and I’m still waiting for a refund. They keep passing my claim around in order not to pay it I’m guessing. I’ve also read other stories of similar experiences in which they keep passing the claim around in order not to pay it. I paid $300 for two nights yet I didn’t stay here. I provided pictures and they still don’t want to help me. I will never book through Airbnb again.

Steal our Money, Cancel our Reservation, Then Ignore us

Last night my family had the beginning of the Airbnb experience from hell, which we are in the middle of. We had a 30-hour journey from Chicago to Bali, for the first time with our baby who is nine months old, and we had planned to stay in Airbnb accommodations.

We booked nearly a year in advance but yesterday we got an email that our reservation in Ubud had been cancelled due to me not updating the payment information. I was alarmed, as I had updated my payment information last week on my account.

I called Airbnb, and they told me there was a glitch in the system and gave me incorrect information. I can just simply “make an inquiry to the host and have the host send me a special offer.” This is incorrect, as due to the glitch in Airbnb’s system, it looks as though I am the one who cancelled the reservation and there is no ability to just make an inquiry.

Airbnb customer service was condescending to me and was eager to get me off the phone without helping at all. They told me there was no way to reinstate the booking. I called back and spoke to another equally unsympathetic and unknowledgeable associate who gave me further incorrect information and told me that “all we can do is wait now.”

I then asked to speak to the manager who was completely unhelpful, had the delusional idea that the host (who has a strict cancellation policy) would completely refund the money to us and then allow us to rebook (no host in their right mind would do that). He promised me he would get this resolved, fix this for us and absolutely nothing has been done and no follow up whatsoever.

Airbnb has completely screwed us. We trusted that the money we paid would be used for our accommodation, but they left us in the horrible situation of taking our money, cancelling our reservation, and we are about to get on a long haul flight with 30 hours of travel with a baby. The host in Ubud has our money and we do not know where we can stay.

We have spent over three hours on the phone with rude, unhelpful associates who forget about the BS that Airbnb has left on our doorstep and expect us to deal with, when we should be packing and being excited to go on holiday. We are going to a foreign country with a baby and no accommodation, due to a “glitch” in the system.

Cockroaches and Long Term Cancellations

I had an internship in a foreign country (not tropical, and not at all known for big problems in the slightest). I needed a place to stay for two months and couldn’t access any of the local sites from the states. So I turned to Airbnb.

Now, we all know Airbnb’s absolutely shitty long-term cancellation policy of losing a month up front (if not more). Well, on day two of my trip, I woke up to a cockroach in the bedroom, and this dude was absolutely massive. I also woke up pretty late, around 8:30 AM, so it was broad daylight outside.

I immediately Airbnb messaged my host and Airbnb support, specifically saying I found a cockroach. I then ended up killing it (this thing was so massive I couldn’t get its dead body off my shoes and ended up tossing them). My host’s response was to go buy something at the store and put it in the apartment… so spending my own time and money to fix the problem in his place.

I came back from work later that same day and there was another massive cockroach by the TV. At this point I was absolutely disgusted: two cockroaches in one day, both in broad daylight. I told my host I wanted to leave and since I had only been there for two nights I wanted a refund. I found another place and everything and wanted to leave. He refused a refund and told me to essentially wait a week and deal with it.

The day after, I woke up again to a third cockroach in broad daylight. This one was way slower so I took a video of him before I killed him. At this point I have messaged my host multiple times, messaged Airbnb, and tweeted at Airbnb. There has been response from Airbnb and no successful response from my host (he had mentioned when I checked in that he was leaving for Paris that coming Friday for two months so probably more worried about his trip than his guest).

At this point it had been a solid 60 hours and three cockroaches. I vacated the property. It was that bad I had to leave in the first week of my long-term reservation (there were also dead cockroaches literally everywhere in the hallway – it was nasty). I sent videos and pictures to Airbnb and still, no response.

Finally I cancelled the reservation so that I could considerately let my host re-list his place and Airbnb finally responded. They said that because I cancelled before hearing back from them I was not entitled to anything. There’s almost $900 down the drain. They told me cockroaches were a “minor” issue, even though almost every doctor and sanitation worker (and even landlord) would disagree, and I had patiently lived with them for three days coming out in broad daylight: clear signs of an infestation, especially in a city that is not at all known to have any issues with cockroaches.