Airbnb Ruined our Vacation, Forced us to Sleep in Truck

My wife and I recently were on vacation having been caring for a very sick uncle in Sun City when other family members gave us some much needed time off. We were very excited. We had recently started using Airbnb and were really happy with the money we had saved. We had made a reservation in Temecula. Having earned travel credits and a coupon for $25, we thought it was gonna be great… that is until the app glitched while making the booking because of our travel credits and cancelled our reservation. Then the nightmare began.

We started calling Airbnb to fix the glitch. Every call took anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour. At the end of each call we were assured the app was working and to go ahead and boo. However, each time we tried to book, it would kick us off. Unable to book anything and aware it was getting late, I started to become concerned we were not going to get a room, Each time I called I had to explain the whole situation all over again. It was getting late when one representative made the executive decision to delete my travel credits and put it all on a coupon. Problem solved, right? Well, no.

Now going to book our room the app said I needed to verify my payment method. I was using a prepaid card from Walmart with plenty of money I just loaded. When I called again they said because Airbnb had tried to run my card so many times it locked my account up for 24 hours.

I escalated my case to the Trust and Safety Department. However, we weren’t able to talk to anyone from there until the morning as it was almost midnight. Now we were in a unfamiliar area, my wife and I were both exhausted, we could not book at a hotel as Airbnb had pending charges on my card, and we had to sleep in our truck. The next morning I started calling again with the one-hour long phone calls and heard the same words: “It’s fixed; go ahead and book.”

Of course, it still wasn’t fixed. We ended up going back home where I continued to monitor the situation. I told them how awful it was and pretty scary having to sleep in our truck in a bad area. My wife was scared. Airbnb’s Trust and Safety team finally got back to me and gave me a $25 coupon for my troubles almost a week later and with no vacation. Thanks Airbnb…

A Few Stained Carpets and a Hidden Guest with Your Stay?

It was a cold, miserable day in April 2017. My husband and I hadn’t been on a vacation where we stayed in one spot longer than two nights for years. We did do a stay at an Airbnb in the Okanagan, in British Columbia, Canada, last year, and it was amazing. We decided to try again, only for a longer time and on a lake. We perused Airbnb until we found the perfect spot. The pictures blew me away, it was exactly what we were looking for, and the reviews were all raving. What could possible go wrong, right? You know the old saying: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is?”

Well, it was. This was the most money per night we have ever spent on a room, at $189/night, and we were so looking forward to it. For months, we dreamed about how relaxing it was going to be. Then we got there. We walked in, and the carpets were deplorable. This was a pet friendly suite, which I was totally fine with, being both a cat and dog owner. We left our dog behind, as she did not meet the height restriction imposed by this stay, which was fine; it would be a more relaxing vacation without her. I had no idea – someone correct me if I’m wrong – but when a place is pet friendly, does that equate to “please bring your canine friend, and make sure it isn’t house trained, and kindly have it piss and defecate anywhere on the carpet it pleases, as many times as possible, so that everyone who comes after will know it was here”?

That’s what the carpets looked like here. It was absolutely disgusting. I took a video and uploaded it to youtube. It really was worse in person, but you can clearly see all the stains in the video. As if that wasn’t enough, the listing said it was for a two-bedroom basement walkout. Perfect, I thought: we’ll have two beds to sleep on, I can see if my sister and her husband can come down from Vancouver for a night or two (out of the five nights we paid for, at an additional cost of $15/night if she stayed), and if she didn’t come, maybe I can starfish on that second bed a night or two, really stretch out and sleep alone. We stepped in, looked around, and tried the second bedroom door off the bathroom (a cheater ensuite). It was blocked from the other side; we couldn’t get in. The door didn’t lock though – it was just something against the door.

We didn’t think twice about it; I didn’t invite my sister and her husband down that first night anyway, thinking maybe they were still cleaning it (wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt). I was wrong. We woke up the next day, sharing the bathroom, brushing our teeth, etc. and we heard coughing from the other side of the door. What? Are you kidding me? There was someone in there, and obviously slept in there, because the coughing continued for at least half an hour before I texted the host and asked to talk to him.

He came down and explained it was his kid in there, that we didn’t ‘need’ the second bedroom, so his child from out of town would be using the room. Really? Gross. The door doesn’t lock, nor did the door to the main house that the suite shared. So I could be taking a shower, and dude could just say ‘oops’, and walk in on me? Let me be clear: the ad was for a two-bedroom basement walkout. Not once did he contact me and tell me we would be sharing the suite, nor that the second bedroom would not be available to me, nor that he would be lowering my rental rate. Not once. He had months to let me know this.

I told him I wasn’t happy about this lack of privacy (what if we wanted to get freaky with it in that second bedroom? None of his business since we paid for it). What if we wanted to get freaky at all, anywhere in that suite? We had to worry about his kid listening and hearing everything? Gross. Just gross. Well guess what? He texted me later and his solution to this was to put a different kid down there; she was ‘quieter’. Great, thanks. That solved everything (dripping with sarcasm).

After two nights, he texted me to tell me there was no longer anyone staying in that room, but we still couldn’t get in. We never even saw what it looked like. I waited, and stewed, and decided to leave an honest review, as follows:

“Rod and Penny are the loveliest of people, and their dog Dusty is adorable. The location is great, beautiful views, lovely patio and hot tub. I am leaving an honest review, because I feel like it’s the only way Airbnb can work for everyone. I was disappointed with the state of the carpets (pet stained – had anyone else mentioned the dirty carpets in their review, we may have cancelled). Being a pet friendly rental should not equal filthy carpets. And I am not a neat freak by any stretch – I just like it clean. Was also not happy at not getting the two-bedroom suite as advertised, with no advanced notice that we were not getting the full suite that we paid $200/night for. After two nights, Rod did tell us no one was staying in that second bedroom anymore (I had told him I was upset about it), but we still did not have access to it; it was blocked shut. That being said, Rod was concerned about our happiness while there, but there was nothing he could do to improve the situation. The damage was already done.”

Airbnb did a good job of responding to my request for money back; I will give them that. They didn’t get me what I asked for, but I got one night’s rent back, plus an additional $50. However, here’s the kicker: my honest review does not show up on his listing. My question is this: how many other people commented about the filthy carpets? If I had seen one complaint about cleanliness, I would have cancelled. When he came down to speak about it, he said how shocked he was, how no one had ever complained about it before, and how he had the carpets cleaned every three weeks.

In our correspondence about a refund, he told me I could have checked out. Right. In the middle of tourist season, I could have checked out, only gotten half my money back, and found a place to stay? I don’t think so. This guy was arrogant to deal with when it came to the refund. He only puts the good reviews up, and he knows his place is filthy. He has the location and pictures on his side, and will continue to scam people. Shame on Airbnb for not making a site where all reviews get posted. I paid my money to stay there, so I should be able to review it for all potential guests to see. I will never use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Left me Pregnant and Homeless After False Charges

I have yet to read about a case as unique and long as mine. Instead of explaining my story, since it would take me hours, I’ll copy and paste the email I sent to Airbnb about my experience. Long story short: I’m pregnant, homeless, no food, no gas, no shelter. Airbnb evicted me from an illegal sublet due to the host renting out his home illegally. I had to borrow $1200 from my family while I waited for the refund. Ten whole days went by when I was contacted via email saying the money had been put into my account. Not 15 minutes later, Airbnb double charged me and took every penny out of my bank account: $1500, $1100 for rent and $400 for living expenses.

This left me homeless because I couldn’t pay the rent. I’m two months pregnant and living out of my car. No gas. No food. No job since I haven’t had gas to get there. I couldn’t pay my family back from the refund I got that was taken back 15 minutes later. Now let me say what Airbnb has done seven days later: nothing. There has been promise after promise to help and call back. I have two days until my phone bill needs to be paid, which means no more contact with Airbnb unless I find wifi to email them. The only thing I have been asked to do is write an email for the investigation; this is what I wrote seven days ago and there has still been no call back (I call every day for hours just to be told “it’s not my department and I cannot help you but someone will call you”).

To whom this may concern: about eight months ago my fiancé and myself decided we would use Airbnb to save up to buy an apartment. We decided we would use Airbnb for one year to avoid moving costs. We knew this would be a hard year due to the fact we would need to divide our trip up; no host would allow us to stay more than a month or a couple months. Every single Airbnb has been a nightmare. I feel as though I’m getting into the wrong field (psychology) because I thought every host would be different so that it would work out better than the last. Instead, it got worse.

It was my first host who convinced me, brand new to Airbnb, that it was okay to pay cash the day we came to view the home. I now know why. The second day I called Airbnb due to health hazards. He began doing major illegal construction in the home. I called and showed all types of pictures. He did construction on the only shower in the home, knocking walls down while I was doing homework and hammering at 3:00 AM. He had no permits, and got saw dust all over my belongings; by this I mean ruined clothes, shoes, bedding, etc. and that was the day we left.

We took all our belongings and went to another Airbnb. We were promised a parking space and he didn’t even have street parking. We dealt with walking a half mile every day after work. My fiancé is a longshoreman that works 40-hour shifts and gets home all hours of the night. Every day he had to walk that when he parked after work. If you look at my messages with the host they say it all.

Then we stayed at an Airbnb which was absolutely disgusting. It started to get really bad when we went with another host. He began smoking crack cocaine in the house. I called Airbnb and opened another case. He was committing domestic violence. There were roaches, mice, and a lot of screaming between him and his wife. You can look at messages with the host as well; they will say it all and I opened a new case. We were supposed to stay with him for two months but I couldn’t do schoolwork once again due to an Airbnb host.

We left and went to a host who was the worst of them all. I was put in a completely occupied room. I was convinced he got confused and put us in the wrong room because it wasn’t the room in the pictures. We were promised a TV, AC, and fridge and we were put in a tiny 90-degree room with no fan. There were also bedbugs so Airbnb’s emergency department placed me with someone else. The money was transferred from one host to another. I got an email with a receipt stating I paid as well. The host, at the beginning of our month-long stay, said he received a $1200 payout. I sent Airbnb both the receipt stating I paid and messages from the host saying that I paid.

The new host’s house was disgusting too but we said we would stick it out. It was gross but at least the people were nice and had a newborn. I cleaned their home and was a very nice guest. Everything was fine until the host began going into our room when we weren’t home, and he would walk around half naked; he was rude. That’s all in our messages. I didn’t call the host on it since I decided I was going to leave him a review instead – stating the facts – so Airbnb and others could look at his reviews.

Why in the world would the host not reach out to Airbnb about $1200 if he didn’t receive that? That’s crazy. I even have him saying he received the payment. I got an email one day saying there was trouble receiving my payment so I called right away and the Airbnb agent said it took a little while for the money to be transferred and that I should completely ignore the mail. He proceeded to give me $20 for the inconveniences of the emails and I should not worry at all about the money. That phone call was obviously recorded so please listen to the man tell me to ignore the emails, state the host got the money, and offer twenty dollars for the inconveniences from the email scare. We stayed there for a month and it was the worst experience ever.

An hour after we arrived at our next host my fiancé dropped the keys down the elevator shaft so we called the host. He said it was no problem and he would get one from the landlord. Not 15 minutes later, I had his landlord and a police officer telling me I was living in an illegal house, that our host was not allowed to sublet, and we had to leave. Then I got an email from Airbnb saying to leave by 8:00 PM and that Airbnb was evicting me. At that point we took all our belongings and sat in the car for hours talking to Airbnb about a second emergency placement.

After hours and hours and hours on the phone of me saying I don’t trust Airbnb anymore I was convinced by an agent she would find me a “super host” with great reviews. Still sitting in the car with all our belongings, I listened to Airbnb telling me about our next host. She accepted all my money and then said that she couldn’t host us until the next day. I told her we couldn’t sleep in our car and she said it wasn’t her fault, that she doesn’t live there. My fiancé then told me to call Airbnb to get our money. He didn’t have it in him to work 70 hours a week to pay for us to continue to get screwed.

We made the scariest decision of our lives which was to take our money and move into a hotel. Like I said, we were using Airbnb to find an apartment so we decided that we would stay at a hotel for a couple weeks while we looked for an apartment and wait for our money to be put back into our bank account from the last host. Airbnb wouldn’t even pay for two full nights at the hotel for us. They gave us $200 and that was it. We were supposed to wait 7 to 10 days for a refund with literally no money. I had to borrow the money from my best friend to pay for the hotel and promised her Airbnb was going to give me a refund; we just needed a loan.

While living in the hotel I found an apartment for us. We just needed the refund and we could afford it. I waited those days and finally got the refund. I called the landlord and said I would meet him the next day to get the keys and pay. I told him I would meet him at 10:00 AM. Not 15 minutes after the money was put into the account Airbnb took it out and sent me a second receipt for a payment. I felt like I was in a dream; there is no way Airbnb could still be ruining our lives.

I immediately called Airbnb and had an agent tell me immediately that it was a double charge and that this would be fixed. I then called back after no word from getting the double charge back after 13 hours. At this point I had six hours to meet the landlord for the apartment so I called again and had someone tell me to call the landlord. My money would be put into my account.

Needless to say I lost the apartment we were supposed to move into today. Now I’m over a month pregnant and had to give the rest of my bank account to the hotel so we wouldn’t be homeless. We have a few days here then we are officially homeless because of Airbnb. I had three agents promise me the money within 24 hours. I was promised phone calls. I was promised this would all be fixed and nothing has happened. I have received not a dime, not a phone call, not even empathy. At 26 years old, my future, first apartment, and shelter was taken.

I start school on the 6th of September and I’m going to be homeless sleeping in our car most likely. I never thought something like this could even happen. I don’t even feel like I was compensated properly from all my troubles. This is the most stressed out I’ve ever been in my life. We are such hard working good people. Anyways hopefully I gave Airbnb enough evidence to prove my future was just pulled out from underneath me. I’m begging for our money back ASAP. I haven’t slept for two full nights waiting and waiting for our money. Please listen to the agents promising me this money and telling me I was double charged.

The Roof Caved in at our Montréal Airbnb Apartment

It has been a year since we went to Montréal, Québec, where we had a nightmarish experience which could have been lethal. Indeed, the two-room apartment we rented looked very nice on the Website pictures but when we moved in, there were lots of missing features and, worst of all, it looked shabby (quite a few damaged and broken things, not least of which was the toilet seat) and filthy (among other things, the sheets had been slept in and not changed). After getting in touch with the host, we were given unconvincing explanations about supposedly careless guests prior to our arrival and handed a few extra towels and sheets. We mentioned the cracks in the ceiling as something rather preoccupying but the host did not seem to pay attention.

On the second day of our stay, when we got back home in the evening after some sightseeing around Montréal, we were absolutely shattered when we stepped inside the apartment. The roof had caved in where the cracks had been and collapsed onto the bed where our eighteen-year-old daughter had slept the night before, damaging her iPad and leaving the tiny bedroom littered with rubble which could have killed her had the accident taken place during the night. We once again got in touch with the host lady who seemed as stunned and devastated as we were when she rushed to her place and then helped us call Airbnb to try and solve the issue.

We spent half the night talking on the phone with an Airbnb employee in the US but the company representative claimed that the homeowners were responsible for any occurrence inside the place they rent through Airbnb. Accordingly, the company cannot be held responsible for anything that occurs if the host did not take out rental insurance. After some discussion, the host agreed to refund the remaining days but we insisted that we wanted a whole refund of the amount we had paid through Airbnb. The company clerk only offered a token $100 (less than 5% of the price we had paid) as a refund and did not offer any help at all in finding a place to spend the night and go on with our two-week stay. Shame on Airbnb.

For all her faults for renting such a shabby place, the host lady was nice enough and agreed to refund the whole sum, which was okay with us. However, the company did not suffer any loss in the matter, which is really shocking as they are the ones who should suffer most from providing such a lousy product to tourists.

As I have made clear enough through my account of a rather scary experience, Airbnb does not assume any responsibility at all in case of any problems, and only offered us a coupon for our next stay which will never happen since we have decided to never again have anything to do with this company whose policies, were they better known, would mean bankruptcy. Their practice is a shameless way to take advantage of both hosts and guests. Needless to say, we had to fall back on a nice hotel room which cost us twice as much as what we had paid Airbnb. We were safe and cosy at long last, which is what every traveler is entitled to but which is not what Airbnb users are always likely to experience. We were also glad to still be alive and well but in retrospect we shuddered at the thought of what might have happened if one or all three of us had been seriously hurt in the accident. The conclusion that I draw is that Airbnb would deny any responsibility whatsoever in such tragic situations so beware and look elsewhere for nicer places to spend a holiday.

Scammed For Over £1500 On Fake Spain Listing

I decided to use Airbnb for the first time recently, in order to book a villa in Spain for my family. Having never used Airbnb before, I contacted the host, put in my bank details and ‘requested to book’. The host wanted to speak on the phone, so I gave them my number. We spoke on WhatsApp, albeit in Spanish, with myself consulting translators. I was then sent a series of official looking emails, from what I assumed was Airbnb (the links even took me to the brand’s social media accounts). I was instructed to make a payment into a bank account in Valencia. Again, to a first time customer, without fraud even entering my mind, I made the payment. Weeks later, the day before we were due to fly, I couldn’t contact the ‘host’ and their profile had been removed from the site. After a few panicky phone calls to Airbnb customer service, it became apparent that I had been scammed. We were due to fly in less than 12 hours, and Airbnb cheerfully shirked all responsibility in this matter, even asking politely if there was ‘anything else they could help with?’ Weeks later, I have been emailing them and calling them with barely any response. They seem to be impossible to contact, and they are getting away with assisting fraudsters on their platform.

Convenient and Very Disgusting Lovely Manhattan Airbnb

Last weekend I visited NYC and decided to stay in an Airbnb. Obviously the pictures looked very nice and all, so I went for it. I arrived late on a Friday, tired from the bus, and just wanted to get in the shower and sleep before the touristy and busy day I was going to have. I arrived at the house and I had to guess where and how to open a lockbox that was placed in a nail salon next to the building to get my keys, feeling like a total thief. However, that wasn’t the biggest issue. The neighborhood wasn’t safe, and the building couldn’t have been worse: very old, full of trash, smelly. I thought to myself “never mind”, but then saw my room. At first impression it seemed alright, but when I looked closely I started to notice that it was very dirty: I mean dust everywhere, a little trash on the sheets (which led me to believe that the bed sheets had not been changed, because if they had removed the sheets to change them, the trash would have fallen off). The only place to leave my things was on a little table that was filthy and the worst part was the bathroom.

I needed a shower after the long journey and I realized that the shower was really gross, and had hair in it; you could see the dirt, there were leftover things from previous guests, and as soon as I opened the shower I realized that the water didn’t drain. I had to remove a pile of strangers’ hair myself, and ended feeling dirtier from the shower than from the bus. The toilet had pee marks on it and pubic hair. Underneath it were many other marks and things; you could notice right away that it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks.

The air conditioner didn’t work properly so my first night in NYC was a nightmare. I put a towel on the bed and I covered the pillow with my sweater because I didn’t want my body touching the sheets or the cover (which had some unknown spots on it that could have easily been something sketchy). Really the worst part is that I got charged a 30 USD fee for a cleaning service. Obviously I asked for a refund from the host and he denied that the room was dirty. If he is the host he should know when the room is clean. I went through Airbnb to get a refund I still don’t have a resolution. Since the host decided to deny paying me back for the cleaning fee and not apologize about the state of the room, I decided to share my story publicly.

First Impressions and Last Attempts at Airbnb

Airbnb may be a good alternative to higher-priced traditional motels and hotels, but for me the first attempts to “sign-up and in” were an unresolved nightmare. The website is set up and caters to only mobile device users. Trying to do business with them from a Mac desktop? Good luck!

My reservation was originally cancelled by a New York City “host” who blamed it on the city “cracking down” on unlicensed short-term rentals. I’m still awaiting my deposit refund. I returned to the Airbnb site to search and rebook elsewhere. I found two nice rentals that fit my needs and budget. After multiple attempts to “upgrade” my “security” profile (they wanted more IDs uploaded than the TSA requires at airports) I was still unable to get through their cumbersome process. I reluctantly cancelled the reservation requests and located and booked a traditional motel, using Expedia. It took only five minutes. Good bye and good luck to Airbnb.

Things to Avoid When Using Airbnb for the First Time

Last winter, after my wife’s bout with cancer, a catastrophic national election cycle, and a few other disasters, my wife and I decided to take a month out of Minnesota’s winter and go south to New Mexico. This was the first time I tested the Airbnb waters and that was probably not the best time for an “adventure”.

Our first three overnight stays were lucky and misleading. All three hosts were incredibly honest about their facilities and were terrific people. Our destination was in Truth or Consequences, NM (TorC, to local residents). We were trapped in TorC three years earlier when our VW-based Winnebago camper trapped us there for the entire winter, in my first year of retirement. As a result, we had friends in TorC and knew the area well enough to think we could figure out which Airbnb rentals were not just good deals but in a decent area. TorC, for a tiny place, has some really bad neighborhoods and even the “good ones” are in serious decline.

The place I selected had a slightly different description than the current, i.e. “You’ll love my place because of the privacy it affords. Not having to share a house with others. It is in a very quiet neighborhood in a Vintage Mobile Home park. Many guests end up making friends here!” It described being close to the Rio Grande River (it wasn’t) and having great views (it didn’t). That “very quiet” remark avoids mentioning a bunch of Harley gangbangers in the park and in a shop right behind the trailer… it was a trailer and not one that even begins to meet safe rental standards.

I have no idea how the host managed this picture, but it doesn’t even come close to describing how tightly the trailers were packed together. I would hear people coughing and snorting from three directions that first night. My wife has a moderate petroleum allergy and began to feel claustrophobic and agitated the moment we stepped into the trailer. To be frank, it stunk of cleaning chemicals and natural gas. All of the CO2 and fire detectors had their batteries removed. That is when I discovered what “strict cancellation” policies are all about.

In the end, my wife negotiated an exit for all of us, including us not notifying the host’s landlord that she was illegally renting his property. It cost me about $200 for that one night’s stay, but we found a far better rental through one of our TorC friends and I will never make that sort of mistake again with Airbnb.

After Bed Bugs, Airbnb Cancelled Reservation

This has been the worst Airbnb experience of my life. We just checked out of a Lisbon Airbnb where bed bugs ate us alive. Please see the attached photos of the painful welts all over my body, face and neck. After complaining to Airbnb, the resolution manager proceeded to cancel the rest of our trip. We are now standing in the airport about to board a flight to Seville with no accommodations to go to when we land at midnight. Two girls alone in a foreign city. Three different resolution managers we initially spoke to told us that we would receive a refund and that we would also be rebooked in a hotel for this evening at Airbnb’s own cost (the least they could do). We did receive the refund and were trying to retrieve the hotel information when a new manager informed us that they would not be creating a reservation for us because they already went ahead and processed the refund. She claimed it was one or the other – which is not what three prior managers told us. We are now standing stranded in the airport with nowhere to go when we land. This was the most disgusting, unsafe experience I have ever encountered and I will be spreading this story publicly as far as I can so that other young women traveling don’t get put it the same unsafe and frightening situation.

Crazy Owner’s Girlfriend Didn’t Even Own the House

I left my Airbnb after one day, fearing the owner of the place. The picture on Airbnb looked like a decent place. When I walked in, it turned out to be a rundown dump in a dangerous neighborhood: rusty bars on the windows, expensive cars in the driveway, Boost Mobile stores on every corner, etc. It looked nothing like the picture inside. The house was a wreck and reeked of cat piss. Stray cats all over the property were wandering in the house through a broken back door. The windows didn’t close, and the A/C was broken. The inside thermometer said it was 94 degrees. I went to Target to buy two box fans and stayed for one night.

Today a strange guy walked in the house drunk. This guy looked like Doc from Back to the Future after two years of meth addiction. I asked how he was, and if he was another guest. He answered: “No! And I’m absolutely terrible. You see, my girlfriend rented this place without my permission. She does not own it. I own this house, but she’s desperate for money.”

He said he was the homeowner, and that the lady who rented it out is his girlfriend who is desperate for money and doesn’t actually own the property. After his furious rant I grabbed my stuff and bounced. She messaged me apologizing, saying he was “off his meds and incoherent.” Why are you hosting someone else’s home, assuming it was owned by a crazy unmedicated lunatic?