Conspiracy Theory: People Manipulating Airbnb

Somebody manipulated Airbnb. I had two reservations all set up, one in which the host gave me a fake address; the people coming out of the flat didn’t know the guy, and his name wasn’t on the buzzer. After calling for 15 minutes, I left since somebody had painted something offensive near the entrance indicating something was wrong. The guy then called me screaming at me, demanding to know where I was after he refused to answer. I was then stalked at the train station.

The Airbnb crew offered to help with a hostel. It was peak season that summer so I could only stay there two days. I immediately found four hosts willing to let me rent for a month, when suddenly Airbnb told me their system had been frozen; nobody could reserve a place, and they would communicate with me the next day.

I contacted a friend of mine who rents from them. She tried to rent a room and she was able to rent immediately. I called them again, and they sounded like they were lying. The next day they told me something else; it seemed like somebody was stopping them from letting me rent from them. I had to book an expensive emergency flight back to England instead of staying there as planned.

What happened there afterwards wrecked the rest of my future. It had nothing to do with Airbnb, but if that host hadn’t messed with me none of this would have happened. After I moved to stay at another reservation I made prior to that, the host than contacted me apologizing, saying that they really wanted to rent to me but somebody had canceled the reservations.

After I politely contacted Airbnb about all of this mess, they suddenly just deleted five years of my rentals and positive references as if to erase previous hosts’ contact information. For some reason they didn’t want their references on my account, despite being positive.

Thereafter they refused to communicate for a whole two years. I was stuck struggling to rent in England. They allowed me to reopen another account but without being able to use my positive references from prior renters they refused to explain why.

When I was desperately seeking a property to get out of air pollution hell and harassers causing me serious health problems, I started to see weird rental properties in my searches: a room covered in tin foil; a living room with a drawing of a woman crucified; a tent for £80 per night with odd things on it. I thought somebody had asked them to mess with me, leaving me stuck without a home.

The animosity and discrimination has since stopped me from renting from Airbnb, which is frustrating since they are one of the most secure online rentals or the most convenient in my situation. I went to the Facebook offices in London about everything that happened to me which they and Twitter participated in. They told me to sue Airbnb. It’s been five years stuck without a home. My biggest concern is getting lung cancer and dying.

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Stealing + Worst Customer Service = Lose Loyal Customers

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I have been waiting three weeks for Airbnb to pay me AUD 1,338.33 owed to me as a host for two reservations. Airbnb has confirmed the guests have paid them but they have not paid me due to a “computer glitch” with “no timeframe” for a resolution.

My messages to Airbnb support get no replies. During calls to them I repeat the story over again, get told they will “investigate”, and no one follows up. When I requested an escalation, I was told no managers were available. I have also tried Twitter and get nothing but platitudes off them, saying there is an “open case” on my account; the case is marked as closed within the app.

The cherry on top is my current guest lied to me and has sublet my place to total strangers without my permission. I reported this user to Airbnb and have had no follow-up from them.

I have used Airbnb since 2013 as both a guest and host with a total of 47 reservations. After this horrendous customer service experience, never again. Airbnb has clearly overexpanded with all the ridiculous ‘experiences’ and has forgotten to look after its original customer base. The trust culture and sharing economy values it was founded on no longer apply.

You are not too big to fail, Airbnb. Word of mouth built you up and will tear you back down again. Fix your shoddy app full of glitches; I thought you were supposed to be a shining example of Silicon Valley disruptive tech?

It’s totally outrageous that Airbnb expects me to wait while they fix their crappy tech when they could just pay me instantly; they already have money belonging to me. A painful realisation that there is nowhere to turn to when the s$%t hits the fan with this company, one that will drive me back to hotels and real bed and breakfasts as a guest. I will never host again.

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Up in Flames – Airbnb from Hell over New Year’s

Last year’s New Years was the first and last time I ever used Airbnb. Every time someone says they use it, I pray to the almighty Airbnb gods that they make it out alive and in one piece.

Last year, I researched a place to stay in Chicago for New Years for a good couple hours. My budget was low, and I wanted somewhere close to the venue I was gonna be partying at that night. Airbnb was the cheapest and most convenient option I could find. I found a cute little place in Ukranian Village pretty close to the venue, and the host had pretty good reviews. The only bad reviews complained about how the place was kinda dirty and rundown. If that was the only thing people complained about, it had to be safe, right? Wrong.

I can handle a little dirt so I booked a night for ~$30. When I got there to check in, the host seemed like a decent guy. He made me food and showed me around. The place was beat up and he hadn’t shown some of the more rough areas of the place to me, but it was livable for a night.

What I should have done was run away screaming and never look back when I got to my room and found a broken window by the alleyway and stab marks on the walls. I wish I was exaggerating. I also wish I had had the frame of mind to take pictures. Some of the marks were small enough and at the right height that they could have been from nailing something into the wall and having the nail dragged down from the weight of a frame or something, but not all of them.

My stomach dropped but I wasn’t able to afford a hotel room that was any better than this. Since he seemed like a nice guy, I asked him about the stab marks on the walls. He told me he had had a crazy guest threaten him like that in a fit of rage. We left it at that and talked for a couple more hours before I left to get ready and go to my show. The show was amazing and I had a great time.

When I got back to the house, the host was still awake and let me back in. I offered him a cigarette and we went outside to go smoke in the backyard. We were talking and smoking out there for a while before we heard a sort of muted bang and his fire alarm going off inside. He said that his fire alarm went off randomly sometimes and told me not to worry about it. It kept going off for a while, and a look of concern started to spread over his face. He kept his cool at this point in time, though, and went in to go see what had transpired.

Not more than five seconds later, a look of panic spread over his face and he jumped back, saying, “We need to get out of here.” He grabbed a couple things off the table and frantically ran out of the backyard around to the front of the house. Not knowing what was going on, I ran after him.

He opened the front door and I saw nothing but bright orange flames filling the house. He had been charging his lithium battery motorbike in the living room of the house and it exploded. Let me say that again. He had been charging his lithium battery motorbike in the living room of the Airbnb and it had exploded. Google “Ukranian Village fire Chicago January 1” if you don’t believe me.

Out of sheer panic, he started to abandon me and the apartment completely, running off down the alleyway to leave me there to deal with the entire thing. I was the one who had to call 911. I was the one who had to talk to the fire department and police and landlord and everyone else who contacted me as if I had been the one who had put everyone’s lives at risk, but nope.

This spineless idiot had just destroyed all of my and his belongings and the entire first floor of the complex, causing the people on the top floors to have to be rescued by the fire department, and he took off like a bitch. He told me to lie to the fire department and anyone else I made contact with, AKA put myself at risk to save his pathetic ass from the consequences of his own actions. Happy New Years.

I ran after him because I’m a small female without protection and I was in fishnets, out on the streets of Chicago, at 3:00 in the morning. When I ran after him he told me he’d take me to the train station so I’d at least be somewhere safer than out on the streets. Below the bare minimum of what he should have done, but fine.

It was freezing. We got followed by an intoxicated homeless dude who wanted my number and wouldn’t take no for an answer. The Amtrak station wasn’t open until 5:00 AM (and it was 3:45). The entire thing was a nightmare. We spent those hours walking the streets looking for a place that was open where we would be warm and off the streets.

I felt extremely unsafe and had no idea how I would get any of my valuable belongings back, such as my student ID and keys to get back into the dorms. At my school, if you lose your keys you have to pay $300 to get all the locks replaced for whatever reason. At this point, though, all I cared about was making it back in one piece. I missed my first train and had to pay for another ticket.

When I got back I had to report the incident to my school and Airbnb. I talked to the landlord, the fire department again, and the police. I spared no details. When I filed the claim, Airbnb basically laughed in my face and said they could assume no responsibility whatsoever for what happened.

Hundreds of dollars’ worth of belongings? Not their responsibility.

Multiple threats to my and many others’ safety? Not their problem.

They said it was up to the host to give me a refund or reimbursement. He did that for me, thank god, or I would have made sure every cop in the city knew about this host’s reckless endangerment. I eventually was able to get my belongings back, by some miracle. They were burnt and covered in ash and soot, but some of them were still usable (including my keys).

I had given the host my number so he could get my stuff mailed to the proper place and he started hitting on me, saying we should hang out, I’m kinda hot, etc. Unbelievable. Get a hostel or hotel where they actually care about peoples’ safety and well being. You 100% get what you pay for. Don’t trust reviews and don’t trust Airbnb; trust your instincts.

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Empty Airbnb House with no Utilities Hooked up in Winter

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This happened this weekend. It was my second time using Airbnb and what a nightmare this has been again. The first time I booked with this host she called me at 1:00 PM for my 5:00 PM check in to tell me she had no water but she would be willing to bring me portable water. I needed to shower. She said okay.

I had to call Airbnb and they gave me my money back since I had at that time booked a second Airbnb, and that host was so good especially since it turned into a really last minute booking. I drove by my original booking and saw that there was a tag on the door that showed the water was turned off due to lack of payment. Okay, so the poor girl ran into tough times. I then felt really bad for her, so decided to give her another shot two months later. She accepted my booking and didn’t answer any of my messages, which was a red flag.

I showed up. It was -30 C and snowing. There was a little more than a foot of snow from the sidewalk to the door with no footprints, and a bunch of newspapers that were brown in the mailbox. There was no smoke from the chimney and clearly no doors had been opened at this house in at least a month. I took pictures of the front and back. The snow had not been shoveled all winter so far and clearly no one – upon examining the back of the house – had lived there in months.

I took pictures and called Airbnb. After half an hour they told me they were going to pass my file on to someone else who could actually help me. After going to the event I was going to that night it was 10:00 PM and Airbnb had not assisted me at all. I found a hotel and booked it.

The next day, there was still nothing from Airbnb. I sent messages and got radio silence. I used my points and booked yet another hotel, so my $122.22 booking had now turned into $122.22+$135+$140. I couldn’t afford to keep booking hotels so I booked another Airbnb for my final night at $82. I had now spent $479 on accommodations that I budgeted and booked for originally $122. Just an extra $357… No big deal, I guess.

Finally I was so fed up I called Airbnb again. They informed me my file had never been passed on; I need to restart the process. Yep, do it all over again. This time they were wondering if they could possibly find me a new Airbnb. I’m like: “look at my profile; I already did so and paid for it. Finding me a new Airbnb should have happened two days ago.”

At this point I was just begging to get my original booking money back, and the host’s stay taken down so no one else had to deal with this ridiculous scam artist. I’m not holding my breath.

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Fake Airbnb Superhost, No Refund Coming

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I’m sure most of the time Airbnb hosts are genuine and the property listings are real. But unfortunately for me – first time user – I booked what looked like a fantastic apartment in London through a host and paid a 50% deposit. The next morning, I received an email from Airbnb stating that my reservation was cancelled and my deposit would be refunded.

Airbnb took my money and there’s no refund as of yet. When I spoke to Airbnb, they admitted that the host was a fake but did not give a crap that I would be out of pocket $1,7436 until they processed my refund. Yes, I appreciate that they picked up that host was a fake within 12 hours but it’s a pity it’s going to take more than a week for the refund.

They’ve scared off this potential customer forever, and I will tell everyone not to trust Airbnb. They should have done their checks before letting a fake host post a listing. To top it off, the fake host is still active and is still marked as a SuperHost.

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Enough! Calling all Hosts to Class Action Lawsuit!

My tale is long, complicated, and listed below. But more to the point of this post, are you a host who has been taken advantage of by Airbnb’s host guarantee? Calling all hosts to class action. The more people who respond, the more likely we are to get results. Read on for my story.

November 14th, 2019. Guests checked in for a three-month stay, but arrived with four more people than they paid for on the booking. I contacted the guest and asked for the reservation to be corrected to the accurate amount of persons.

On November 26th, the guest still had not followed through and I could see the guests were violating my house rules (parking on the yard). I got Airbnb customer service involved. My case person saw my proof (video) and said that he would address the issue. After going back and forth with him for a few days, he started ghosting me on December 5th. This lasted until December 13th when another agent contacted me to say “Thanks for reaching out to us regarding this issue. I’ve forwarded your inquiry to a member of my team who can better assist you. They’ll be getting in touch with you soon.”

On December 14th, an entire month post check-in, I was finally able to get the guest charged for the proper amount of people. Then it all went off the rails. My guest decided to cancel the rest of their stay, claiming the house wasn’t big enough for them. Which means they had to get out, the same day, and still pay for the next month, per Airbnb’s long-term reservation cancellation policy. I was fine with this.

However, Airbnb then had a supervisor ask me to refund the guests $4000. I told them that their request was outrageous. This guest lied about the booking, then ignored requests to make it right for an entire month, all while violating house rules over and over again… there was no way I was refunding them.

The supervisor asked me to allow them to stay for the next 30 days, even though their reservation was cancelled. I explained to him, that assuming guests take good care of the home and follow the rules, I am willing to let them stay but I wanted the reservation reinstated to protect my right within Airbnb’s policies.

He said they could not reverse the cancellation and asked me to simply block my calendar for the dates, then promised my rights would be covered as if the reservation was still active in their system. I asked for him to submit this information to me in writing. He said he would have my new agent send it to me. Despite multiple requests, that never happened.

After agreeing to house these guests without an official reservation on my account, the guest proceeded to violate my house rules by parking on the grass (there is a four-car driveway), leaving tire marks in my yard. All of a sudden Airbnb was asking me “How did your guests do? Please leave them a review.” I contacted Airbnb again to tell them that I can not and should not be asked to review a guest who is still in my house. Airbnb disagreed and said there was nothing they could do about it (which is false).

Fast forward to December 24th. Airbnb closed this extremely messed up case. On December 27th, I got to the house to do the yard and check on the conditions. It was awful. There was rotten food everywhere, damage to all my furniture in the living room and kitchen, a bug infestation as a result of the food, a cabinet was broken into and all my laundry supplies were missing, part of my refrigerator was outside full of dirt, and my smoke/carbon dioxide detector was covered by a plastic bag. I had had enough.

I kicked the guests out, via Airbnb message, because they were not present. Once again, the guest did not respond to my messages. I immediately took a video of the entire house and started to reach out to Airbnb again for help. The agents kept telling me that I had to go through the resolution center, but I couldn’t because the reservation technically ended on December 14th.

Calling Airbnb just left me in the run around, so I demanded a case manger help me with my claim via Twitter. He was awesome and promised to see me through the entire thing. He would be the last person I had to explain everything to, and I could submit my evidence for a claim to him.

January 1st, 2020, I started submitting video and still photos to prove my claim. Then on the 2nd, while still submitting documentation, I got a message stating that they didn’t know what guest I was talking about and I needed to go through the resolution department. I immediately contacted them again to ask for help… they ghosted me. At my wit’s end, I Tweeted at Airbnb Help again.

On January 4th, they then sent me a Senior Claims Specialist. He promised to help me with my case and ensure we’d reach a fast resolution. I replied to his message (which was now all via email instead of Airbnb customer service messages because they closed all my open messages related to this matter). I asked him if they had received my nine videos and 90 still pictures. He did not reply until January 7th, three days later.

In that message, they informed me that the total they were willing to provide for proven damages was $1774, not the $1870 that I submitted. The reason for this is that the “consumables” (laundry supplies stolen out of locked cabinet) are not covered by the guarantee and now I have to fill out a claims form to get paid. Fine, whatever. I went to the link proved to fill out the claim form and discovered that I must first try to contact the guest and file a police report. What?

I can’t contact the guest. They were kicked off of Airbnb already and deleted from my calendar by Airbnb, as if there were never there. As for the police report, I plan on filing one tomorrow, but I already repaired the house. I mean how else would I be able to submit my claim with all of my proof, if I had not actually gotten the work done? Also I feel this is a serious misuse of a governmental agency.

I wrote Airbnb to answer these questions:

1. How do I contact a guest who has been kicked off Airbnb?

2. Am I still supposed to call the cops 11 days after the event and post repairs?

I have no idea if he will respond tomorrow, the next day, or never. My case has been opened and closed multiple times, with seven different agents, yet still on going since November 26th. I have Googled Airbnb’s host guarantee stories.

I’m not a special Superhost. I’m just one of thousand who have been through this nightmare. Many host stories are worse than mine. I keep seeing people say “class-action” but have yet to find one class-action brought by host against Airbnb.

As a result, I called Morgan and Morgan and requested they look into a class action brought by hosts against Airbnb for their fraudulent guarantees and practices. They told me the more people who call, the more likely it is to take off.

Are you a host who has been done wrong and sabotaged by Airbnb? Do you have proven damage claims that have been denied? Call Morgan and Morgan at (786) 453-8466. If we all speak up, there will be no choice but to hear us.

Charged for a Private Single Bedroom I Didn’t Book

I never completed confirmation for my booking and obviously did not stay at the property. However, I was charged almost $90 Canadian. There seems to be two hosts affiliated with this property and they seem to be playing tag with each other, claiming the “main” host is not getting back to the one that has responded to me.

It would appear that he has many positive reviews so I am not sure why there is such a delay or hesitation to resolve this matter. I’m sure many of you can relate when you are traveling on a budget and cannot deal with having nearly $90 CAD removed from your bank account without a reason.

Payment for Extra Guest was Never Released to me

Airbnb let a guest stay in my home on December 21st. Come the 22nd after they checked out I didn’t get the payment deposited into my PayPal account. After trying in numerous different ways to talk to someone, I was told that the guest paid the majority of the fee, but when the guest altered the stay for more people they didn’t pay the extra $30.

Airbnb allowed them to stay in my home but refused to pay me my money. It’s been 14 days and I keep getting told someone is working on it and they will get a hold of me but no one has. When I ask to speak to someone above them they say they don’t have that information for me.

Airbnb Nightmare: Another Guest Scammed

I made a reservation and paid for an apartment to a host (not sure if he gave his real name though because of what is happening now), and he said I should pay into a third-party account which was supposedly for Airbnb as they were the ones who would receive the money on his behalf. I paid a deposit and two months’ payment as he said the minimum stay was two months.

I was sent a link which generated an invoice. I have a copy of the invoice with the details of the account I was supposed to transfer the money into. After payment, we were supposed to receive an email with a contract attached; this never materialized until today.

We were supposed to be checking in today but instead the host with whom we have been talking to has just decided to block us on his phone after receiving our money and never provided us with the service. The link is no longer working. Is Airbnb a scam or has it been hijacked by scammers? I do have the other evidence that we indeed paid for a service that never materialized.