I need some help. I am writing this letter regarding my Airbnb stay in Paris, France. This letter is about the review and the money that the host requested due to damages. Before I begin, I would like to state that I contacted Airbnb five to six times for this issue and each time no one called me back. I was the one that contacted them. After they “resolved the issue” I asked to talk to the representative that made the resolution but he told me I couldn’t talk to him and they made the final decision; that was it. Note that I did not feel comfortable to talk to the host due to her treatment of me.
The first time I called Airbnb I got a reference number. I contacted customer service right after I got home from the trip, after the host asked for money. I called to make a complaint about her. I was told several things: I didn’t have to answer to her request or talk to her and only pay for what was broken. Airbnb would negotiate and I didn’t have to contact her. I also asked about the reviews and the representative assured me that it will not post until I submitted my review. I was waiting for them to get back to me.
They failed to mention two things to me. First, if Airbnb negotiates, their ruling is final and second after 14 days the review will show up on my profile. I did not receive any communication from a representative. I asked one to have someone contact me ASAP because I didn’t want this to drag on. He mentioned that they were high volume calls and someone would get back to me soon. However, four calls and three weeks later was unacceptable.
The second time I called, 2-3 days later, was after I saw her review, which was full of inaccuracies. The representative told me that they took the information and asked if I had any other items to add to the response. I told them that I first needed to talk to someone and that I would not enter anything until I did.
The third time, I contacted Airbnb again because the host wrote to me. I told them I needed to talk to someone. Again, I was told to write my side of the events. I finally did that. A few days later when she emailed me for the fourth or fifth time, I saw that she asked Airbnb to intervene and that someone contacted me asking for my documents and my account of the issue. After a day of “deliberation”, I was told I owed the host $1,012. They actually tried to take money from account. They did not notify me at all. They were going to take the money out without telling me how they came to that conclusion.
I contacted Airbnb and asked if the manager could call me back. They told me that he was in another call and he would get back to me. That day at noon I sent an email to him asking him to contact me and that I was waiting for his call. He emailed me back stating: “In addition, please be advised, due to the sensitive nature of our work, the Trust and Safety department is unable to receive and inbound or make any outbound calls at any given time. 100% of our work is carried out using emails only.” I guess they expect people to just take what they say at their word. I called Airbnb the same night. I was told that was the final resolution and there was nothing I could do about it. I also asked for a manager but was told that the managers couldn’t do anything about it.
I called again the next morning, asked for a manager and got one. He said that he only took care of minor issues. When I told him that I would be taking the necessary steps for the case, he told me that they would not take my calls again because the case was closed. They were going to put a note in my file to say not to engage with me next time I called. I didn’t spout any profanity or yell at anyone that I talked to. This host is a fraud and I am not going to pay her a dime.
Regarding the review: I was under the assumption that I wouldn’t see her review until I reviewed her. However, three days later I saw her review. It was not on my profile but it was in my email. I read it. I did contact Airbnb that day and they asked me to send my comments through online. I didn’t do that due to the previous conversation. I was waiting for someone to get back to me. The next day I saw that her review of my stay was posted on my profile. The fact that I did not review the host and the fact that it was posted on my profile is appalling. In addition, I couldn’t write my reviews about her. No one told me that there was a timeframe to write a review and that was misleading on Airbnb’s part.
I did have two extra guests come and they only stayed for two nights. I was celebrating my birthday; I didn’t know they were coming. Two days before I was in the hospital and I had forgotten to inform the host. I took responsibility for that. Due the hospital stay and my excitement I forgot to mention that to her and I apologized. I told her I would pay for the extra people. However, the way she approached the situation was rude and charged me way too much. The host was not in town that week and she had her friend be the point of contact, the person to reach out to if we had any issues. I went to him to get more towels and bed covers. She claimed she left five towels but only four were big enough for grown adults and the other was really small. The towels were not good either. They were really old and dingy. This guy was the one that mentioned we had extra people.
The host messaged me:
I do not want to sound disagreeable with you but I rent my apartment via a platform governed by rules. It is at the time of the reservation that we agree the number of people who will be at the place. I am not obliged to accept the presence of additional guests. I would be entitled to demand that the entire stay be billed for seven people. The manager, who is fortunately my friend, does not hold me accountable for the inconvenience (I had planned everything for five people). I let you consult the price of hotels to give you an idea. I ask you to add 160 euro, which seems reasonable. Have a excellent day!
She asked that I pay her the total amount for all the days for the seven people. The additional people stayed only for two nights (I can provide some documents). I don’t believe I need to pay her that much money (Saturday night – two people, Sunday night – two people, Monday night – four people, Tuesday night – seven people, Wednesday night seven people, Thursday night – five people, Friday night – four people, and Saturday night – four people). The reason they stayed for those two nights was because the sofa couch was dirty. She also told me not to inconvenience her friend. Now, that is not right. She told me to contact him if I needed anything related to the stay and then went and told me not contact him. That was not right on her part.
From that message I did not feel comfortable staying at her place. I almost called Airbnb to move us but I didn’t and I regret that now. I also did not feel comfortable contacting her manager. He was smoking weed when I went to ask him for assistance with the towels and the bed sheets. That put me and my guests in a compromising position. The person that was supposed to be our contact was high and that made me feel unsafe in the apartment and in the building as well, especially in a different country where I did not know the rules and laws.
I had to contact him due to the shower drain not going down. I noticed that on the day we arrived but I thought I wouldn’t need to make a big deal about it. However, as more people used it, it became apparent that it was not going away. He came and unclogged the drain for us, pulling out hair that didn’t belong to any of my guests and a piece of plastic from the drain (identical to the one that she had a picture of). I do not know where that came from; when we checked the bathroom the first day neither of us saw that. He told me he would notify her about that. I am not sure how it got there.
The host messaged me later and vaguely talked about it. I mentioned it to her but she did not respond. The next time she contacted me was about the checkout time. I told her it would be around 8:30 AM. Instead of her coming up to check the apartment it was her husband and property manager. I did not see her until we left the apartment, when she waived at four people leaving from the balcony. I had to return the bed sheet that she loaned us when her husband came up (I had a contract with her and not her husband; she should have gone up herself). Her husband spent a good 15 minutes in the apartment with me looking at everything, checking if everything was good. He saw the place, said it was clean, and I was good to go. I gave him the key and 20 minutes after that we left.
We did clean the apartment, as much as we could. She also asked me to water her plant while I was staying there per her instructions, and I did. Every other day in the morning, I woke up early those days before my friends and I left to go sightseeing to water her plant. I do not think that as a guest she had the right to ask me to do that but I did. The first thing her husband said to me when he got inside the apartment was “my plants are still alive”.
I do not speak or understand French that well. Luckily I have friends that do and thanks to Google translate I was about to translate her request and review of my stay. I didn’t think that it was fair and frankly rude that the last two communications with her were in French and not English. Our communication started in English and she wrote to me in French. That put a burden on me as a guest and seemed that she was trying to scam me.
She said we did not clean the apartment. We did. We might have missed some spots but she claimed that we destroyed her apartment. I also paid a $40 cleaning fee for the apt which meant she could have easily cleaned it as well. The last Airbnb I stayed at, the host mentioned that I left the place clean. I also went with people that had used Airbnb in the past and their hosts said they were clean. Furthermore, that morning we had three people cleaning the floor. We swept all the floors. Her husband saw us sweeping the floor. The picture she showed of dirt on the floor is a misrepresentative; there was too much dirt on the floor after three people cleaned it.
She claimed we dirtied her couch on the patio. That was not us; that stain was already there. We barely used the patio; we were out the majority of the time and had no time to use it. In her pictures there is a flower on the chair. She has flowers all over her patio and if you look very closely there is a small stain.
She claimed we broke her shower, which was a total lie. My friend used it that earlier that morning and it was not broken. When I checked it with her husband, the shower doors slid easily. The string was not pulled out as she showed in her pictures. The piece that she had in her pictures was similar to the one that her friend pulled out of the drain. This caused the shower to not drain earlier that week. Also in the picture she had the shower head on the floor. When we left, the shower head was in the right place. If you look at one of her pictures of the shower it looks like a piece is missing from the picture on the bottom. Now, if I look at my picture, that piece is there. This is 100% fraud and I will not pay for that. That picture was staged to look like my party and I broke her shower.
She claimed we left the oven dirty. We did not use the oven. We used the two fridges and the stove and we left those clean (pictures are provided). We only cooked one day and we ate out after that. That is either from her or her other guests. She said that we broke her glasses.. that could have happened; however, when I was cleaning them I didn’t see any type of damage to them. She almost made it seem that we destroyed and broke two of her glasses. I admit breaking her wine opener. I felt bad for breaking it. I was also under the impression that I didn’t have to worry about it. Even her husband told me not to worry about it and that it was an old one.
She claimed we “degraded the room of my son”. I think it was something that was there before. No luggage was anywhere near her son’s drawers. No dirty items were left on them. She also lied about me not contacting her. If you see our messages, I contacted her right away after she sent me a message.
Overall, I think she is scamming me for more money for her shower, the patio furniture. While her apartment was good for my stay, I think it needed some upgrading, especially the bathroom; that’s why she is asking for more money. I am a reasonable person and I tried to work with Airbnb to resolve this issue. However, it seems that I can’t get someone to talk to. The communication has been severed due to them not answering my calls.