Complain to State Attorney General About Airbnb

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Back in December I tried to book a room via Airbnb. The host sent me the offer and asked for payment. Within minutes they retracted their offer and raised the listing price. It was a classic bait and switch.

I reported it to Airbnb and provided the screenshots of the offer and change. The rep went on about fluctuation, pending time, etc. The retraction and change was clear and concise. They did nothing.

I booked a room with a host in Las Vegas. I chose his establishment based on his Superhost status and reviews. The reviews all said the place was clean and so on. One thing to remember is that to some people who might be nasty, this place might have very well been clean. He listed his place as a sanctuary and a private retreat for writers.

I arrived and there was a photoshoot going on and I could hear the music and chatter from the street which was 100 feet away from the front door. Upon checking in, he stated that the photoshoot would be ending within the hour. I decided to take a shower to kill time and found the tub riddled with mildew, some around the sink drain, as well as hair all over the floor.

Long story short, the next day I asked for a partial refund in which he obliged and was apologetic about the situation. Then he later left a scathing and false review to which I rebutted. I gave Airbnb screenshots of our text correspondence and photos of the conditions. As per the usual, they did nothing but dance around the subject, stating that the review could not be taken down because it was his experience with me.

I reminded the rep that the photo evidence I showed proved he was lying about the people making noise being community residents and he, in writing, said they were from a photoshoot. It made no difference.

I was compelled to do further research and found that the host/establishment did not have a business license. The lady at the county clerk’s office advised me to report them to the business licensing department because they were in a zone where it was required. So, I did. I also filed with BBB.

I advise anyone who wants to see results or at the very least put the hosts on notice to research the address with the business license office in their jurisdiction to see if it is required and if so, report them if they do not have one. In Las Vegas a host was fined $72,000 for operating without one.

Also, if they offer food or snacks they must provide a permit for that as well. Airbnb takes no responsibility for anything because they are unregulated. If your room is dirty it’s just your opinion, and no one really cares about that. However, the government absolutely will have no problem launching an investigation against hosts with no business license because they are not paying taxes.

Airbnb should be forced to display that the host’s license has been verified and that they are indeed the owner of the property they host and if not, they should be forced to provide a notarized agreement between the owner and the renter stating they have permission to host on Airbnb.

Beware When Extending Airbnb Bookings

A while back I went home to Australia for a few months and booked an apartment for my stay. The place I wanted wasn’t available for the last week of my stay but I booked it anyway, thinking I could stay somewhere else for the last week.

During my stay, I went onto the listing and found out the next guests had cancelled and I could book that extra week. Great, except when I went to book, that extra week was going to cost me around $3000. The place was less than $100 a night so I thought it was a glitch and got in touch with Airbnb.

What happened was the host had raised the nightly price on the Airbnb site during my stay and Airbnb wanted to charge me the new price for my entire stay. I had to pay the higher price for the period I’d already stayed, not just the extra week.

Luckily, in my case I got in touch with the host who was horrified and happily put in special pricing on his end so I could book the extra week at the original price. However, that isn’t always going to happen and if it hadn’t been such a huge difference in the price, I probably wouldn’t even have noticed. I wanted to post this because it’s something people aren’t aware of and could really screw guests over.

Weekend in Kiev and Champions League Turns into Hell

I arrived for a pleasant, prolonged weekend in Kiev, Ukraine to watch the Champions League football final, having a couple of days off. I’d booked (and paid for) a nice apartment like 2-3 months in advance. After booking, I had had contact with the “verified” host a couple of times and everything seemed okay.

Only after landing in Kiev, I started to understand something was wrong. The host suddenly stopped replying to texts. After a while, I finally got the phone number from an “administrator”: “Oh, there must be some mistake…”

To make a long story short, they cancelled my booking and Airbnb offered a replacement apartment for five times what I’d paid already. Seriously?

At that very moment, I realized that Airbnb is just a middleman that takes a hefty fee but when things go wrong, they head for the forest. I had to spend four hours working the phone and email (like an ordinary day at work) to resolve the issue myself and at the end I had to stay at a place 14 kilometers away from the center and where I’d planned to stay.

The fact is that when you use Airbnb, you have zero protection against something like this happening. Airbnb does not add any value and if accommodation is crucial to your holiday, book a nice hotel instead.

Airbnb’s Fake Policies Include Not Paying Hosts

I’m currently dealing with a broken air conditioner that cost over $5000. Case closed, no reimbursement from Airbnb. I sent in over 15 minutes of video taken as soon as I walked into the home finding all the destruction.

After 11 days, they finally responded to me. They gave me time to send in the evidence – pictures – to find replacements, and send in the receipts. Fine, but I needed more time for the AC since the repairman came and got here by the deadline.

This is what I learned: if they had offered me anything, any amount of money for reimbursement – maybe two dollars? – I would take it and run. Airbnb does nothing to protect properties whatsoever. I also had six people cancel at the last minute who were not entitled to any refund under my strict cancellation policy. Every single one of them made up some story and received a 100% refund.

One girl didn’t receive a refund because I refuse to “authorize“ it. She didn’t deserve it and it would be filing my cancellation policy I protested. The next day Airbnb cancelled the guest whom I had been looking forward to meeting and had a $1001 payout. They cancelled her reservation and told her I canceled it. She got a new place to stay and I completely screwed.

I’m only posting this summer, have received rave reviews from every single guest that stayed here, and I’m currently out over $6000. I counted I bought new towels, sheets, a portable air conditioner, fans, counting on $7000 and payouts that were anticipated due to bookings when I started. I received less than $3000 payout and now, I’ll be lucky if I get $3500.

Airbnb restricted my account weeks ago, because a guest falsely claimed I had a security camera in order to get his refund equal to 100% of the original payment. Ridiculous.

I wish I never did business with Airbnb; they are crooks, and they lie. I’m moving to VRBO.

Hosts: Beware of Airbnb’s fake policies. They will not do what is your best interest even if it goes against their policies. Airbnb caters to the guests, which in my case cost me over $6000.

Airbnb Customer Service Doesn’t Care

I am sending this to share the unhelpful service that I received from Airbnb customer service in resolving my issue of getting credited to use the funds for another booking. I had to speak to multiple people over the course of the day attempting to solve my issue. Even though each person that I spoke to took notes on my case, I had to explain my case each time I called or got transferred.

After explaining my case to each new person, they asked me to give them an hour or another amount of time and my issue would be resolved. I would wait the requested time amount and not have my issue resolved. Therefore, I would have to call back and begin the process of explaining myself to someone new and start the process of being asked to wait again.

The issue was not waiting within itself, but after waiting each time being told that the person I would need to speak to is no longer available became very frustrating. Today alone, I have spent almost three hours attempting to get my issue resolved- which has yet to happen. Customer service tells me “I understand.” However, the response is always “I will put in the notes and someone will message you soon.”

Unfortunately, “soon” appears to never come because I know if I did not call back and ask to speak to someone I would have waited for days and not had a place to stay in the coming days. In all situations, I attempt to be understanding of both ends; however, the chain of command that Airbnb has established is not beneficial to their customers. My issue has yet to be resolved and my trip is three days away.

Airbnb’s Negligence Damages Equipment

My wife and several of our friends recommended that I stay at an Airbnb for my trip to Barcelona. The apartment was exactly as advertised, and the host was very responsive to my inquiries. That is until a storm came.

I went to a museum and when I came back to the apartment, the entire dining room area was drenched, as if someone had opened a faucet from above. The table was drenched, the carpet underneath was drenched, and my photography equipment on top of the table was damaged.

I tried contacting the host and Airbnb. The host was nowhere to be found, and Airbnb refused to put me in another place. Apparently, there were no other apartments available in all of Barcelona, so I was forced to stay in this apartment and even clean the mess.

This was a month ago. I have been calling Airbnb for a month now, and I get the exact same response: “My apologies, sir… this should have never happened sir… this should have been resolved within 48 hours sir… you have all the right to be angry sir… I can see that Airbnb is negligent on this matter sir…”

Every time, they say that this issue has not been picked up by a case manager yet and that they are going to expedite this because the last rep I talked to didn’t escalate this. They repeat this every single time I call. I don’t know what to do. My equipment is valued at over 5000 dollars, and I am also asking for a full refund of my stay. I don’t know where to get help on this. If anyone has suggestions, please help.

Airbnb Admits There’s an Unfixed Bug on their Site

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When we first starting hosting a year ago, I noticed that when you put the name of our city into the Airbnb search engine, you get zero results, even though there are dozens of hosts in our city. When I complained about this, I was told there was nothing that Airbnb can do, that they rely on Google Maps.

Fast forward several months. I started looking into Google Maps, and noticed that the map is correct for our city. Airbnb put up the wrong map. The one they put up was for a city called Capacabana instead of Copacabana. Armed with this new information, I was sure Airbnb would finally listen to me.

Each time I wrote to Airbnb customer service, they acknowledged the error. They said they had reported this to the tech department and then closed the case. I finally got furious and insisted they not close my case until this was fixed and I got this response: “I apologize for my previous colleagues, but if you have any other inquires you can message me here and I will personally answer you. I won’t close this ticket until the issue has been fixed. I give you my word.”

The next message I received: “This support case is closed. Still need help? Visit our Help Center.”

I’m sorry but what is wrong with Airbnb? Not only do they not care, now they lie to me. A customer service representative gives me his word that he won’t close the case and several days later, case closed, with no resolution. You can imagine how much fun it is finding guests when your city doesn’t even exist on the Airbnb search engine. I have been complaining about this for a year and Airbnb does nothing to fix it.

Airbnb Guest Brings 34 People to a House Meant for 6

I would like to share my story with everyone. I recently published a listing on Airbnb that can accommodate six people. I had many guests who sent me inquiries asking if my place was available and many more questions.

After evaluating all the guests, I finally accepted one reservation as she had good reviews from other hosts. I immediately told her that my place can only accommodate six people and that she needed to pay an extra $30 for each guest she brings after the six confirmed guests. She agreed and promised me that only six people would be in my place.

Since I go to work every day, I was not there when she checked in but my caretaker welcomed them. Four hours after they checked in, my caretaker called me saying that there were 34 people in my place and that the guest told him not to tell me as she would be charged for such a big amount.

I called her right away when this was told to me and she admitted that there were 34 people in my place. I requested money from her via Airbnb but she refused to pay me and deleted her account. I called Airbnb and asked them to collect the money but they never helped me. They even gave me a deadline of 24 hours to send documents confirming that there were extra 28 people in my place when the guest already admitted it and even contacted Airbnb saying that she did not know what to do and how to pay me since she didn’t have enough money.

The case manager from Airbnb told me that they will not help me unless documents are sent when I told them a million times that I won’t be able to send documents as I live in a different place and that I had a business flight that day. Indeed the worse experience and customer service on earth.

Double Charged, No Help from Customer Service

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I made an Airbnb reservation and had trouble booking with my credit card information. I kept trying until my card was accepted and the reservation was confirmed. I checked my credit card and saw that the charge went through. My trip was confirmed. I went on my trip and all was well. About ten days after my trip, I got a notification that Airbnb had charged my credit card again for the same reservation number and the same dollar amount that I paid before the trip. I contacted Airbnb and they tried to blame my financial institution. Then I explained that the reservation was paid in advance. I also submitted copies of the charge from my actual credit card statement. They still claim that the charge did not go through. I was then dismissed by Airbnb and told that they would no longer talk to me. Thankfully my credit card allowed me to dispute the second charge and I got my money back through my credit card company. Airbnb did nothing to resolve this.

Completely Cut off from Emailing Long-Term Guest

Imagine my delight when I had a request for a full-month’s stay at my guest cottage in November. November isn’t exactly tourist season in inland New Jersey, so a month’s stay delivers Christmas presents. I replied to the inquiry; the woman wanted to come by to see the place before booking. She sent another inquiry, saying she was surprised that I hadn’t replied because my profile says I reply within an hour.

I replied. She sent another inquiry, puzzled that I hadn’t replied. I’m doing all of this on my cell phone while at the shore. Finally, I called customer service (thank you so much for posting the number – I couldn’t find it anywhere on the site). The woman I spoke with was very nice, could see that none of my responses had gone through, and had no explanation. She said that it appeared that she could send a message for me, so I asked her to let the prospective guest know that I couldn’t communicate with her through the system, so she could call me on my cell.

I provided my cell number and waited. Nothing. Bupkis. There were three more messages from the potential guest yesterday, and one this morning saying that they were really interested. I still can’t communicate with her. Now I’m going another round with customer service to see if they can make this happen. It’s over $3,000 to me that may be making its way south.