Never Been so Angry Dealing with Airbnb

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I booked with an Airbnb host going off the pictures. I arrived in LA and called to tell them I would be having dinner with a friend and would arrive late. They said that was not a problem.

After dinner I took an Uber to the location and called saying that I had arrived. They said they would be right down. I waited 15-20 minutes and finally a lady that actually looked homeless came out while on the phone and waved me to follow her.

We went through a broken gate and beat up door and entered the building in which the entrance was completely surrounded by trash on the floor. The air smelled like cigarettes and mildew. I walked further in and heard her on the phone saying she could not find a key for the room.

The place was a mess and gross. I felt so uncomfortable there. Especially with the virus all over.

She went off and told me to wait. I finally got tired of waiting, left, and got a hotel. I asked for a cancellation and refund and they refused.

I left a review and then they responded saying I was on drugs and that was not cool. I will be going after them legally. I have already hired a private investigator. I also emailed the CEO of Airbnb.

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Airbnb Trip Around UK cut Short due to Virus

My husband and I booked an extensive trip around Devon and Cornwall, before COVID-19 meant that we found ourselves in lockdown. All other hotels we have booked with have refunded us 100% but because Airbnb have stated that they will only offer 100% refunds up to April 14th, we find ourselves in a tricky situation.

Do we wait to see if they update their policy to include the dates we have already paid for? If we cancel now, we are only entitled to a fraction of what we’ve paid… through no fault of our own. Obviously we will not be travelling unnecessarily. Understandably we are really cross right now.

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Airbnb Nightmare you Wouldn’t Wish on Anyone

We booked three weeks with what on first meeting appeared to be a friendly South African immigrant couple in Allandale, Governors Bay in New Zealand. When we arrived, we were disappointed to see that the kitchen and bathroom were filthy, and the mattress badly stained. For $83 a night, it should have at least been clean.

While I was out for a drive the next day, I was told by one of their neighbours that the hosts are illegally subletting the downstairs unit without the owners’ permission and expressed concerns for anyone staying with this couple. They didn’t go into detail. That was our first warning.

Within 48 hours, one of the hosts had entered our downstairs unit twice without our permission while we were out. Despite us telling them we were on a working holiday and needed a secure space in which to lock away my husband’s laptop and work files, they told us they wouldn’t be locking the upstairs area they rented (which had internal access to our unit), so our possessions were not safe while we were out.

She then made numerous demands for us to mind and socialise her unruly and poorly trained 50-kg dog, and feed her chickens, none of which we should have to do in an Airbnb but we complied with everything the host asked for out of the kindness of our heart.

Our petite dog was hurt by her dog two days in a row while they were out and so we placed her in a kennel to keep her safe. The host gave us no peace from one day to the next. She repeatedly trapped my husband on the way to and from his car to make conversation when her husband was not around.

When on the third day I explained to her that my husband works 40-50 hours a week, that we were exhausted, and I asked her for much needed space and privacy, she became repeatedly vindictive. She started sending texts to us via the Airbnb site making false allegations with an attempt to have us kicked out and lose our payment for the two remaining weeks.

She then involved her husband and together they constantly harassed us until we no longer felt safe and went to stay elsewhere for three days for some peace and quiet. Numerous calls and texts followed from them both.

We told them that we were leaving and that we would be back to collect our belongings. Her husband then told us we were not permitted to return to retrieve our belongs and threatened us. We had no choice but to call the police, who came to the property and kept them away from us while we gathered our things to leave.

We would never recommend anyone stay here. It was exhausting and we felt very unsafe with this couple living above us, and are very relieved to have made it out of there in one piece.

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COVID-19 Cancellations due to Government Directive

I booked accommodation for my family travelling to the UK from a few countries. Due to COVID-19 they are all not allowed to travel to the UK (government directive).

I have sent multiple message to Airbnb support through the website around cancelling my booking as the host will not cancel and said I needed to contact Airbnb. It has now been five or six days since I did this but there has been no response yet.

My final payment is due at the beginning of April which means I will be out of pocket for a substantial amount of money. The Airbnb website advice has also not been updated since March 19th. A lot has changed since then but there has been no change to their policies.

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Monster Airbnb Next Door Ruining my Family’s Life

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Seven years ago my husband and I built our dream home in a nice neighborhood in Austin. When two large homes began construction on a single lot next door, we were bummed by how huge and close to us they were, but looked forward to having new neighbors in any case.

Once the homes were finished, we realized with horror that both were being used illegally as Airbnbs. Each home is nearly 3,000 square feet, five bedrooms, and hosts up to 14 people. Each unit has a hot tub that sits directly under our windows, less than twenty feet away from our home.

As soon as they began operating in October 2019, our lives were shattered. Groups of party goers began rotating through both units every weekend. Music, laughter, shouting and cursing came from both hot tubs at least once a week, usually more. A bachelor party brought prostitutes over and took turns having sex in the hot tub until 7:00 AM. Another group casually chatted at full volume about buying some cocaine for their party.

One of the units has two giant second-floor windows that directly overlook our property, including our outdoor spaces, and guests like to stand at those windows and watch us like we’re animals in a pen. If I were to list every instance of a disturbance, this post would be longer than the Old Testament.

Since October, we’ve filed 17 Code complaints, and called the police on five different occasions (though our police department is so understaffed, and noise complaints are so low-priority, they responded only once). We’ve written to our council member, neighborhood association, and exchanged several dozen emails with the Code Department.

After receiving multiple violations for operating illegally, and having their guests confronted by code officers, the investors applied for a license granted only to owner-occupied STRs, by claiming the units as their “primary residence”, and actually received them (for one). The Code Department admitted in an in-person meeting that they did not want to grant the license to these operators, and tried to find a way to deny it, but were forced to issue it according to regulations.

Today our nightmare continues. We can’t sleep in peace. Our privacy, comfort, health, and safety are completely compromised. I’m suffering anxiety-related health effects. We are at a point where either they stop hosting, or we will need to move. It’s terrifying to consider that we might actually lose our home over this, but the stress of living next to this nightmare is just not worth it.

I’ve been carpet-bombing Airbnb “neighbors” with complaints for months, but have received zero support. This week Airbnb actually “temporarily suspended” the listing, but the host just turned it back on immediately. When I asked Airbnb how this can qualify as a suspension, they said they can’t release details due to privacy reasons. We finally filed a case at the municipal court, and hope whatever comes of that succeeds in finally bringing us some relief.

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Threatening Behavior, Locked out by Host

My partner and I stayed at an Airbnb in Palm Springs on Monday, February 17th. The room was booked for that night and the following night.

Upon arrival, the front gate was open, as the majority of the facility was under construction, something that was not disclosed when we booked the place. The door code provided to us in an email and also reiterated in text message for the door to our room did not work.

We toiled with the door for a while and after becoming frustrated, a maintenance person came over, tried the code we were provided, and could not gain access. He then used a different code to let us in. He apologized profusely, introduced himself, and said he would reset the lock and send an email with the new code. He also said we could reach out to him if we needed anything.

Once inside we tried to take a nap, but the loud construction in the unit above and the surrounding units was too disturbing. There seemed to be renovations happening in most of the rooms, as doors to most of the units were open and construction workers were coming and going throughout the property… not exactly the relaxing environment we were paying a premium for.

I made a mental note that I would not be lounging by the pool in my bathing suit the next day as I’d been planning. After waiting several hours for the code that never came, we called the number provided in the welcome email, and texting the number that had been given to us “if we needed anything at all.”

After calling several times and waiting on hold, we were given a new code which worked on the door to our room when we tested it. We left for dinner, a reservation for which we were late due to the delay in getting the code.

Upon returning, we could not gain access to the property’s main gate with the code provided to us in the original email. We both tried many times to input the code we were given for the gate but it did not work.

We again called the number and were told by the same woman who had reset our door code earlier that she could see us in the security camera and to input a code she gave us, which was the same code we’d received in email. She watched us as we tried that code over and over again. When it did not work, she put us on hold for over 15 minutes.

We were standing outside without coats, freezing in the pitch black for this entire experience. This was around 8:30 PM and sunset was at 5:30 PM that night. It was our first trip to Palm Springs and had no idea how safe this neighborhood was at night. We were on hold for so long my partner tried calling the customer service number from her phone, which went unanswered.

Eventually, another guest arrived and put a code in which opened the gate and we followed them into the property. The new code, provided to us before we left for dinner, worked on our room door and we went inside.

We were still on the phone with the customer service woman, who was rudely asking us to repeat back to her the code we had been using that didn’t work — which was the exact code she had been telling us on the phone. I’m unsure as to why she wanted us to repeat it back to her. She clearly was accusing us of putting the wrong four-digit code into a lock. This was not user error.

She also told us to go to the room of the other guests we followed in, knock on their door, and ask them what code they had put into the gate. That sounded like a great way to get the police called or get shot in the middle of the night. Not to mention anxiety-producing for them to have two strangers knock on their door in the middle of the night to work out logistical nonsense that the property managers couldn’t figure out.

Well within our rights and on the basis of sanity, we did not go knock on their door. As we were having this conversation with her, we got a knock on the door. It was the same maintenance worker who let us into our room earlier upon our arrival earlier in the day when the code wouldn’t work.

When I answered the door he was profusely apologizing both for us being locked out when we arrived and for us being locked out when we came back from dinner. As we were listening to him, another man who did not identify himself and was dressed in track pants and t-shirt came out of nowhere in a very aggressive way and started demanding that I, a female, leave our room and go with him to the front gate of the property to show him the code we had tried to use that wasn’t working.

I explained that I intended to check out of the facility as soon as possible and I would not be needing to leave and come back to the site, therefore I was no longer in need of a working code for the front gate. He screamed at me that I was being uncooperative and I would not be getting a refund for not staying there the next night unless I went outside with him and showed him the code I was trying to put into the gate.

I explained again that I intended to leave the property first thing in the morning and would not be returning so I was not in need of a working code for the front gate. At one point, the maintenance worker put his hand on this man’s shoulder to hold him back and calm him down because he was acting so aggressive and uncontrollable.

At this point, I realized I didn’t know who the man was and asked him – “who is this guy?” – to which the man shouted “I’m the manager of this place!”

Prior to this, and although he had been standing at my door yelling for over five minutes, he did not introduce himself, offer any identification, nor did he appear dressed in any manner that a professional employee would. He literally ran up on us in the dark and started angrily demanding we follow him out in to the dark to put the code into the outer gate.

We refused. We did not know who this person was, it was dark, we are female, his behavior was volatile, and we were on vacation and not obligated to spend our time solving logistical nonsense because the locks don’t work.

The situation escalated, with the man yelling at us for being “uncooperative” and telling us we would not be helped or refunded any amount of money unless we went with him to try the code. He was so angry and out of control that the other man had his hand on him to calm him down and, presumably, prevent him from crossing any lines and assaulting me or my partner.

At that point I felt unsafe and threatened, was done wasting my time and vacation listening to his nonsense, and closed the door. I tried to call Airbnb several times and each time was sent an auto-generated message that I had to click which I was told would advance me to customer service. Each time I tried this I was hung up on and had to call back.

Finally, after multiple attempts to reach someone I called the neighborhood complaint line and finally connected to a real person. I explained the situation to the woman who answered, and she said she needed to transfer me to customer service. I was then transferred to a man whom I told all the same information and explained that I felt unsafe at the property and wanted assistance finding a new place to stay for the night and the following night.

He told me he was going to call the property manager and call me back within 30 minutes. I reiterated that I would hear from him in 30 minutes and he confirmed I would. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear I did not receive a call back from the man that night or the following morning. We ended up sleeping with my girlfriend’s pepper spray out and woke up with every noise we heard.

I called Airbnb again the next morning at 8:00 AM, as we were leaving for good — a day earlier than we planned. We booked another place to stay because we were so upset and felt threatened to continue to there.

My call that morning was my eighth call to Airbnb regarding this matter. I was transferred to customer service who told me she would reach out to the property manager and call me back within an hour, but in the meantime she would message me on the Airbnb app so I had her contact information.

She called me back about twenty minutes later to ask if I knew the man’s name who was threatening me and I confirmed I did not because he did not introduce himself. She told me I would hear back from her within an hour and, unsurprisingly, I did not.

I followed up on the Airbnb message at 5:30 that night, ten hours after I had spoken to her and received no response. I then followed up again the next day and didn’t receive a response for multiple hours. I finally connected with a man telling me he was a manger with Airbnb who told me to send him my receipt for the night I had to book at a different location and he would start processing a refund for the time there and the cost to stay at the new location. He then didn’t respond for two days.

When I followed up, he said he had been out of town and was still waiting to hear back from the property on my refund. I do not understand why Airbnb needed to consult them about my refund. There is no disputing I was locked out of my room and locked out of the facility twice. There is no disputing that I was screamed at and physically threatened by a man who worked for them who purported to be the manager.

What more does Airbnb need to give me a refund? Is this a customer service experience they are comfortable with?

I got so tired of the onus of following up being on me that I called my bank and explained the issue to them. They were horrified and refunded my money and told me they would deal with Airbnb.

Every time I relay this story to someone I am aghast as are they with not only how the property treated me but how Airbnb was difficult to reach, slow to respond and seemed unconcerned that this situation had occurred.

Can you imagine if this was your vacation? How would you feel being treated like this and having to spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to get your money back?

I would like Airbnb to explain to me, since their reaction and follow up indicate they think this situation was acceptable: what you would have done if this happened to you? What would you suggest your family or friends do if it happened to them? There are plenty of other hospitality options these days and because of that, customer service has never been more important.

Here is my ultimate question: is the experience I had on my vacation while staying in an Airbnb acceptable? Is the customer service experience I outlined above acceptable?

If this is acceptable per the tenants of Airbnb’s corporate customer service and experience policies, then Airbnb will no longer be getting any of my business, and I will be sure to let my network of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues know their stance. If this is not acceptable, please explain to me what I should have done differently.

Another Airbnb Last Minute Host Cancellation

This was first, and will be my last, Airbnb booking. I planned a three-week trip to El Dorado, to visit family and friends. In November I put the trip together and chose Airbnb to rent an apartment for the extended stay rather than a hotel. The booking was just around the house where I grew up and was well reviewed.

Fifteen days before traveling, three months after I made the reservation, I received a notice of cancellation, with no explanation. The Superhost responded when I contacted her:

I am so sorry for the canceling. I have someone in the apartment till the end of March. You booked in November and I thought I had all of March blocked off. I just saw the reservation on the March calendar.

I asked how this happened.

I do apologize. I have never in three years had to cancel a reservation. In December I had a guest reserve the room from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. When I was blocking those days off on the web site, I just enter on the top page to block all days from Jan. 3 to Mar. 28. Airbnb has change up the website. I did not see that you had your reservation in the middle of the other guest stay.

I wrote:

I made a reservation in November and you take a conflicting reservation in December. Then rather than advising the December reservation you made a mistake and have to honor a previous reservation from March 7th to March 28th made prior to their reservation, you chose to cancel mine? I don’t think that is honest or right.

I did not hear from her again. A complaint to Airbnb got a response saying they were sorry. Great. I made an unacceptable and more expensive hotel reservation and paid the flight change fee to shorten my trip.

While she claims this was an honest calendar mistake, I received confirmation and paid the 50% deposit. I would guess this is the kind of cancellation discussed on Airbnb Hell. Though I made the reservation first, for three weeks in March, she had the opportunity to take a much more lucrative three-month reservation.

Even if it was an honest mistake (very doubtful), I would expect her to explain the mistake to the three-month reservation, tell them they have to vacate for my reservation, which predates theirs. I travel several weeks a year within and outside the United States. I have used other rental services without issue.

I will never consider Airbnb again. I have deactivated my account. How can this be permitted? As with the other horror stories, all the investment and planning for the trip and my family is ripped apart.

The other part that angers me is that an automatic review, not from me, was placed for the listing with the notification of the cancellation. As the reservation was canceled, the website does not allow me to review my experience with the host and the property. Nice for Airbnb. Never again.

When you “stole” something that was never there

I want to preface this by saying that this is my first time ever booking with Airbnb, and I definitely made some amateur mistakes.

I let my host text me exclusively since they wouldn’t respond through the messenger. I also accidentally signed up for one guest. When you’re searching for a stay, you can choose the option for two guests but I didn’t realize that didn’t transfer over when you booked. I texted my host that I was coming with another person the day before our check in and they replied “excellent” since it was no extra charge (which they denied, because it wasn’t on the messenger. Luckily I had screenshots.)

I believed that people wouldn’t try and scam me without proof or accuse me of stealing something that was never there. I recently got back from a weekend trip with Airbnb and this is my first time booking a reservation myself (yay for adulting).

I thought the host was a tad bit aggressive on the trip, because they were constantly texting me with their personal number and asking what we were doing. I didn’t think much of it and gave them five stars since they claimed they would rate me five stars as well if I did (which is extortion?).

I got home and everything seemed to be fine, but then I got an email that ruined everything. The host is claiming that I walked out with a comforter and a 55-inch TV in broad daylight with no proof other than “it was here before they checked in and gone when they checked out.”

When we got to the apartment there was no TV. The bed was missing a comforter and it wasn’t made. In their defense, we did arrive an hour early (but they told us we could still come in). I didn’t report the unmade bed, because, again, this was my first time renting an Airbnb and I didn’t want to seem rude to someone that was letting me into their home. I also didn’t think it was that a big a deal since we were the ones that arrived early.

With the TV, we assumed that it wasn’t included or being repaired. They gave us a list of amenities to check, and while the TV was pictured on their page when we booked, it wasn’t on the list they sent us when we arrived. We assumed that meant it wasn’t included. We did tell our host about a few other missing items, and even sent pictures telling them that we didn’t want to be charged for things that were missing upon our arrival.

At this point I’ve sent them a receipt of a comforter that we had to buy and a speaker that we purchased for our personal laptop, since we couldn’t watch movies due to no TV being there. I’ve asked that surveillance be checked and for our reports of other missing items to be documented, but the host keeps saying that we need to refund them immediately.

They’ve told us that there is a cleaning person that comes in between us and their other guests, and that’s the only reason that I can think of that might be why the TV and comforter are gone. Maybe another guest took them or they were never there to begin with. The keys for the apartment are also outside in a lockbox that’s on a rail on the street for anyone to access.

They also told us to never contact the front desk for anything as we were not allowed to; we didn’t have a lease in our name. Is that normal for other Airbnbs? I wouldn’t know because this was my first time booking one.

For the first time since we’ve been back, the host used the messenger to claim that we never sent anything to them regarding issues to the apartment or my second guest. They are telling Airbnb that I’m lying about everything, because the communication I’m talking about never happened. I may not have the videos of the apartment, but I do have screenshots and text messages to share, which the host isn’t taking kindly to, saying that my character and responses can’t be trusted since I’m “insane” and a “liar”.

The host has harassed me every other day in private messages for money, I guess Airbnb isn’t moving fast enough for them. People are probably wondering why I’m so worried if I have nothing to hide, but I have an anxiety disorder that’s constant and makes me stress and worry about things that I shouldn’t: “What if they don’t believe me, because my host didn’t update that I had a second guest; what if they assume that the TV being gone is my fault, because they didn’t check that their last guest had it; what if I can’t get another Airbnb because of the review this host left on me.”

It’s a lot to think about. I had to block my host with this final message after they called me insane:

“Everything about this experience has been so stressful. I just wanted to have a good time with my partner and you keep saying that we took your TV with no proof. Your keys for the apartment are outside. Anyone could have gone in and taken your device. Next time get insurance on your items or put something into the booking to protect you from something like this.

I’m really sorry that your TV is gone. I’d be upset if someone took my things, but I’m not the one that did it. Instead of waiting for Airbnb to decide on an outcome, you keep messaging me to pay you for something that you have no proof of me taking because it wasn’t in the apartment to begin with.

We assumed that your listing was inaccurate because of the missing blanket, TV and bracelets. We didn’t report it, because we arrived early and assumed your cleaning person didn’t have time to prepare. And if we reported the pool bracelets not wanting to be charged, why on earth would we take something so expensive as a TV? It doesn’t add up.

This entire time, you’ve been unprofessional. You’ve attacked me. My character. And my honesty. This is the very last time that I will message you directly. If you are so sure that we took your TV, just let things play out the way that they are supposed to and leave me alone. Especially if you have the evidence to back up your claim. I hope you have a great day and that no one else has to go through an experience like this.”

I’m not sure if I ever want to use this service again after this, especially since support won’t do anything about the host harassing me.