Horrible Airbnb Hostel, Horrible Service

I suffer from middle ear issues which causes imbalance/vertigo, especially after long flights. I contacted a host prior to booking and asked if I could check-in early so I could lie down. She said that was fine. I booked at her place, but on arrival, she told me that someone was in my room and I couldn’t check-in. She wouldn’t even let me lie down in her house. Link to her room.

I was so dizzy I could barely walk. I had to leave my suitcase at her place and walk down and lie in an oval for six hours. While there, I had no water, food, and I was nearly mugged (I had my laptop out and a guy on a bicycle kept circling; I had to finally lie in the full sun because it was near a couple of other guys; I ended up sunburnt).

Airbnb contacted me and promised they would help me find other accommodation. I needed somewhere close by because I would be catching up with friends in that area in a couple of days. I couldn’t find any nice cheap accommodation in that area, so I sent a link for something just a little more expensive (not much considering what I’d gone through).

Airbnb stopped getting back to me and wouldn’t confirm if I could book. My phone was nearly flat and I didn’t know what to do, so I found another, cheaper, place in London and quickly booked (I didn’t have time to Google the address because I had 2% battery).

When I went back to get my suitcase, the host had locked me out of her house (I had a key, but she’d locked both locks). I then had to sit on her doorstep for long time. When she arrived she laughed in my face and said, “Because you asked me to cancel the booking, you can’t write a bad review.”

I began to cry. It got worse.

My phone went flat and then I had to walk my suitcase up a steep road to a cafe, charge it, and then call a taxi from there. It was then that I found out that my new accommodation was three hours on public transport from where my friends live (also a one-hour taxi ride which cost me 100 AUD; I sent Airbnb the receipt asking for refund and they have manually removed the receipt from the conversation).

I rang Airbnb and they told me that they would help. The gentleman said he would personally fix this terrible thing that happened to me and move me closer to my friends. He promised me that Airbnb would make up any financial losses. He promised me he would take on my case personally until it was resolved. Then I received a message through Airbnb, where he stated that he wouldn’t take on my case, and that it was being passed back to the person who didn’t fix things last time and who left me stranded in an oval, spinning like a top.

It has been hours and I still haven’t received any contact from Airbnb. Now I’m stuck on the other side of London, three hours on public transport from where my friends are. The first week of my holiday is ruined; and worse still, Airbnb is no longer answering my calls. I just want to cry. I wish I had booked a hotel room.

Never Allow Friends to Set up your Airbnb Account

My friend set up our account with Airbnb. She made herself the host and me a point of contact. All payments were going to my Paypal account. She was supporting me to get my business up and running. She had absolutely never put any money into the business. I was financing it all on my own.

After a year, the business was not doing well and I found myself in a financial down slope. I told her I no longer needed her help and that we should part our separate ways. I asked her to surrender the account to me or delete the account altogether. I solicited help from another company that had experience in business to help me.

In the meantime, she changed the password on me so I couldn’t go into the account and changed the default payment so all payments would be forwarded to her corporate account; I would not be able to get any payments for guests staying in my house.

I called Airbnb multiple times and had my situation forwarded to a “case manager” that in the end just sent me emails saying how sorry they were but couldn’t do anything for me. I got an attorney involved and worked directly with my “friend” after she took my money. I had to gently remove guests from my house and block them from entering after they would arrive.

Finally she said she shut down the account. I had to file a police report on her, contact the Better Business Bureau about Airbnb, and had a restraining order so she can’t come near my home. I had each incoming guest call Airbnb so they would get a refund but what an inconvenience for everyone.

Property Listed on Airbnb without Knowledge of Owner

I recently found out, as the owner of a building, that the first floor (two bedrooms with bathroom) and the second floor (condominium with two bedrooms) in Cebu City are being listed for rent by a certain Airbnb host.

I have informed Airbnb about it and asked them:

1. To remove my property from the website

2. To cancel all reservations

3. To provide the total amount already paid out in order to be able to claim it back

4. To have the exact name and coordinates of this so-called host

I know someone is squatting in the house and there is already a case in court in order to recuperate my building and personal belongings. After one week, the support service decided to pass my case on to a special service; they closed the file and said all communication would now be done by email. I received an email that I had to send a scanned letter with my complaints and location, and that they would pass it on to the host.

Three days later, after not seeing any reaction, they replied to my email stating that I had to contact the host myself. I answered that this was impossible as I did not have the location of the host.

These are my complaints now:

1. Even there is proof that she cannot put those rooms up for rent as she is not the owner, Airbnb still has them on their website.

2. There is no location listed for this host

3. Nobody contacted my lawyers even though this is a case in court and they should be willing to provide any information

4. Airbnb support refuses to give me the name of the person who is in charge of my complaint and gives no real answers.

5. There has been no reaction at all to the fact that it is against the rules that a property is being rented without the authorization of the landlord.

The only thing I can say that it would be better to have no support staff than having one that is not even capable of giving answers. At least you could expect that they should take immediate action against violation of the rules. Regards and I hope somebody with authorization at Airbnb is looking into my complaint.

Airbnb Took my Money and Gave no Refund

My friends and I needed a last minute apartment that we could spend the night in as we were going out of town. I found a very good apartment that was near the city centre and was available for the night we needed. I booked the apartment and the money got taken from my bank. Then the host messaged me saying that the apartment was now unavailable. This now left us with nowhere to stay and down £125. The host said to contact Airbnb for a refund. However, I am finding that their customer service is awful and the number I am ringing doesn’t recognise my booking. When I message them, they’re very unhelpful. It’s becoming very frustrating as I just want my money back.

When an Airbnb Host is not an Airbnb Host

About two weeks ago we were paid a visit by a gentleman knocking on our door asking for “Richard”. My wife answered and told him there was no “Richard at this address”. The man seemed confused. He was sure he had the correct address and rechecked his Airbnb app. His intentions were to stay at our home for three nights.

“Sorry, we don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He then showed us photos of our house. Surprise, surprise… we had all been scammed. Whoever had set up the fictitious Airbnb account had swiped photos of our home off of VRBO and populated them into the made-up account. Fortunately, the potential lodger had a daughter in town and was going to flop on her couch.

He did call “Richard” on the supplied phone number but the person on the other line hung up abruptly. We obviously encouraged him to call Airbnb to straighten things out. We also notified Airbnb. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears.

We thankfully got some of the information from the poor guy who was left stranded: his confirmation number, etc. We decided to research the information we saw online. The host’s photo had been swiped off a site for cochlear implants, and the cell number belonged to a guy in upstate Wisconsin.

We blocked our caller ID and spoke with him. He said he had been getting calls for the last couple of days and stopped answering the phone. I was sort of surprised that he picked up our call. My wife still thinks he may have been the perpetrator but he sounded somewhat surprised.

Meanwhile, the associates at Airbnb kept telling us someone would call us back… crickets, nada, zip. We called again the next day and the next day after that. No returned calls. All we ever heard was that they would mark our ticket as “URGENT” and call us back… yeah, right.

We also tried contacting Airbnb via their website. There was some back and forth which ended up as a short thread that was eventually moved to email. Once it got moved, the Airbnb contact names would change with every explanation.

A couple of days went by and lo and behold what do you think happened? That’s right, we got another visitor, a couple actually. They too had been bamboozled by this scam but did they get a call from Airbnb with a heads-up? Apparently not.

We continued our calls for the next several days. I also CC’d two Airbnb executives in my emails along with the various associates they assigned to us. Still, no courtesy call or explanation. They’re up for an IPO I hear. I wish them luck. With this type of non-customer service, I will not be indulging in any of their stock. I also canceled my Airbnb account. Has this happened to any other poor souls out there?

Airbnb Gift Certificates are a Scam, Plain and Simple

What a great idea, I thought: give my son and his wife an Airbnb gift certificate for a weekend getaway for Christmas (they have two preschool boys… need I say more?) and some cash to spend wildly. I chose Amazon as my gift card producer, paid my money, got the certificate to print off, and gave it to them for Christmas.

It was only recently that they tried to use it and the nightmare began. First, my son lost the paper and asked me to find out what the code was to access the money. I spent almost all day trying to get this information. Airbnb blamed Amazon and Amazon initially blamed Airbnb. Amazon then sent me proof that I had paid for the thing, plus we had the credit card receipt to prove we had paid.

I scanned and emailed all of this to Airbnb. They basically told me that it was not sufficient and I had to tell my credit card company to refund my money because “it did not go through”… except I did get a code to access the money. Basically, they said they could not issue a new code. Then my son found the code and tried to access it. He was told that it was invalid by Airbnb.

He made numerous calls with no success. I finally contacted Amazon again, very angry about the difficulties and that they should sever their ties with Airbnb. They decided to refund the money to me with no strings attached. You rock, Amazon! You suck, Airbnb!

I will never use Airbnb again. They were uncooperative, rude, unwilling to do anything in the face of evidence that I had purchased the card, and generally absolving themselves of all responsibility. This felt like a scam. You give me your money and I will keep your money because you have no recourse. Do not book with Airbnb.

Guests Damage Stove and Leave Place Filthy

I hosted a couple last summer. I almost canceled because I had a bad feeling but then decided to host them because they assured me it was just a vacation to see a concert and they were quiet and respectful. Well, that was a complete lie. It was evident upon my arrival when the guests checked out very early and ignored my messages when I asked them what time they would be checking out so I could meet them for my keys.

I decided to go over myself to see what was going on. They had checked out early clearly to evade me. I could not believe the mess and disgusting smells they left behind. They damaged my stove, which is a vintage gas stove. I messaged them confronting the violations of my rules. There was no answer; all I could do was warn others and leave a bad review.

I contacted Airbnb with a lot of photos they said I need to provide more information and invoices. I told them I cannot afford to fix my stove. I tried to get a quote but it was very difficult finding a vintage stove repair company and expensive. I kept up with Airbnb but they decided to ignore me. I told them I contacted the guest directly and they kept ignoring me.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help. Airbnb needs to toughen up on guests violating house rules and damaging property. This is, after all, our home. We choose to share it with others.