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.

Airbnb Illegally Charges Taxes in Some Areas

I was notified by Airbnb that they would begin collecting GST (goods and services tax) on my behalf, charging my customers when they booked. They also stated the taxes I owed from their rentals would be paid quarterly. The trouble is, I live in an unincorporated, remote area, where I am not required to have a business licence, and according to the tax laws, for my particular rental, do not require me to pay taxes based on the rental property tax requirements.

I contacted Airbnb about this and they said they were basing their tax collections on a province-wide average, which includes several major cities, all that do have to pay the taxes they are saving, to pay on the hosts’ behalf. In essence, Airbnb was charging taxes to my customers, and pocketing it for themselves, in an account, probably worth millions, for three months, (earning interest, no doubt), and then using it to pay others’ taxes, that my customers would not have to pay if Airbnb had not started this procedure.

I did try to resolve this with Airbnb and was never allowed to speak to an actual person, just prefab replies. I cancelled my account with them. Beware. People cannot book your home without paying the taxes Airbnb charges, even if they are not owed.

Host’s Refusal to Help Leaves us Homeless in Barcelona

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My husband and I went through a horrible experience via an Airbnb listing near Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Without any description in their listing, the host notified us in person that they actually lived 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) away from the listing upon our arrival and warned us it will be difficult for them to come on-site to resolve issues.

If we had been aware of this, I would have chosen a different option from the very beginning. Unfortunately, we accidentally locked ourselves outside without a key on the last day of our stay as we were still jet lagged and rushed to a tour site we booked in advance. To note, the door automatically locks when it’s closed so we had no chance to re-enter the property once the door was closed.

We contacted the host immediately once we found out about the situation at 4:46 PM. The host responded at the moment saying they weren’t sure if they would be able to come and help because it was too far of a drive for them to come on-site. We were asked to wait for them to find a solution so we went to a coffee shop near the listing to wait for an update.

However, we didn’t receive any responses for nearly four hours even we sent them messages requesting updates on the issue. Meanwhile, we offered them financial compensation for their time lost if they could help. After a long wait with no updates, we were not sure if the host would actually come and help. Since we had a reservation at a restaurant in the Gothic Quarter, we had to leave for dinner.

At 8:50 PM, the host finally got back to us and asked us where we were and he didn’t convey to us when he would be at the apartment. We just placed the order in the restaurant and couldn’t leave at the moment so we asked if he could meet us near the restaurant or let us know when he would be at the apartment to meet. We received no response from the host again.

We later on received a message from Airbnb support notifying us if we didn’t meet the host in 15 minutes, we would lose access to the listing for the night. It was impossible for us to make it back within the timeframe (we needed at least 30-40 minutes since we need to walk 10 minutes from the restaurant to find a taxi and it took about another 20-30 minutes to get back to the listing) so we asked the host if he could wait slightly longer.

Again, we received no message from the host but another message from Airbnb support stating the host had waited longer than 30 minutes and had to leave. We tried to explain the situation to Airbnb support personnel multiple times but she kept saying the host had warned us and tried their best to help so it was our responsibility not being able to get in. She stopped responding to us afterwards.

We didn’t receive any information directly from the host in the meantime besides a confirmation on the scheduled check out time at 8:00 the next morning. We ended up wandering in the street for two hours at midnight trying to find a hotel to stay for the night. Without passports and since most hotels were fully booked by then, we were almost left to be homeless for the night.

We are extremely frustrated at both the host and Airbnb support personnel. Airbnb’s terms and conditions state that “Before and during the Experience, Hosts should be available, or make a third-party available, in order to try, in good faith, to resolve any Guest issues.” Being unavailable for five hours and leaving the guest unaware of the situation cannot be considered as “good faith”.

As an accommodation service, what Airbnb does is to throw people onto the streets of a foreign country without passports in the middle of the night. Sorry to say but this is totally against the ideas they have been promoting over the years.

New Airbnb Policy: Believe Hosts’ Lies

I booked an Airbnb recently that claimed to have air conditioning. I showed up to the place, and inside it’s hot, steamy, and muggy. I called the host to ask how to turn the air conditioning on. His reply to me was that it was broken and to crack a window. I told him I was going to contact Airbnb for a refund.

The agent explained to me she had to verify with the host what I was claiming was true. She called the host and called me back letting me know that the host does not turn the air conditioning on until summertime… all the while it is 80 degrees. I asked if Airbnb condones posting amenities that are not available. Turns out, according to this agent, they do.

She completely sided with the host. By that logic, any host can post whatever amenity they want then claim the amenity isn’t available during whatever season you’re booking their place and let you know after you have paid and arrived.