Lost $1000 to Avoid Sleeping in Filthy Airbnb

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Once you click “book” on Airbnb, your money is gone. Misrepresentation and filth are not enough to get your money back. I booked what was represented as a beautiful waterfront home where I could work for a week. I booked just a couple days in advance.

Upon arrival, it was a rundown cabin, part of a rundown crowded campground. On top of that, the place was filthy with sticky residue on the appliances, light switches and mystery drippings on the walls. The bathroom was disgusting with a moldy shower curtain and orange slick grime that’s hard to see in the pictures. The grounds were a mess with cars, debris and junk.

I texted the owner via the app immediately (because all communications had been through the app). I said the place was not at all what was represented and that I was leaving immediately. She did not respond. I immediately contacted Airbnb via the app as well and they did not respond either.

The next day Airbnb got back to me to say they had to ask the host for the refund. I never heard from the host. Surprise: the host declined. I suggested a 50% refund to settle, which was generous in my opinion. Airbnb said I needed to go back and take pictures (a two-hour drive). I made the trip back to the property and took pictures of a clearly moldy shower curtain, sticky surfaces and junky grounds. The host noticed that I was returning to take pictures, so the property was actually an improvement compared to the views on my original arrival.

Airbnb said the host refused the refund because I didn’t speak to her in person. When did that become a requirement? Then they told me they could not refund the money because I didn’t take the pictures that first day and never explained why they sent me back there. I gave up and posted a negative review on Yelp and cancelled my Airbnb account. I lost over $1,000 to avoid staying in filth. I will never use Airbnb again and frankly think this sort of thing needs to be better regulated.

Months later, a person I suspect to be a friend of the owner tried to comment on my Yelp review but that was rejected. The post was just a bunch of name calling. Now more than nine months later, the owner apparently did some research to find out my profession (attorney) and posted a response to my Yelp review trying to deflect from the photos of the grossness and reality of the junky grounds. I never mentioned my profession.

Another guest recently posted more photos on Yelp of the disgusting level of filth complete with another moldy shower, exploded food left by others in the microwave and more. Airbnb has yet to hold this property owner accountable despite pictures. Even the more positive Yelp reviews from guests expecting a campground experience note the need for better maintenance.

The stalking behavior by the owner in digging around to find out about my profession so many months later is disturbing on a whole different level. And there is yet another Yelp review describing how the host cussed out their group when they complained about the mess.

What does it take for Airbnb to hold a host accountable? I read an article about a Boy Scout troop that booked a place in Florida. When they contacted Airbnb to report that two different listings were using the same information, Airbnb protected the hosts. The Boy Scout troop showed up to literally no place to stay and it made the news. Apparently you need a news story to hold hosts accountable if they are making money for Airbnb.

Don’t trust Airbnb for reviews. When I tried to post my review on Airbnb, it mysteriously went into the cosmos. When the world settles down a little bit, I think we need to look to our legislators and consumer protection laws to make some changes. In the meantime, I suggest using VRBO and VACASA. They cost a little more but they also have higher standards in my experience. Take lots of pictures upon arrival in case you need documentation for any reason and let karma take care of the rest.

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Host Robs Customers and is Supported by Airbnb

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I checked into a condo in downtown Aspen, where you would anticipate a nice stay if you have even half a brain. I checked in to see the condo had a tiny mini fridge and for some reason a giant ice box freezer on the floor. The freezer portion of the fridge was completely frosted over. The fridge continued to freeze all of my groceries so I contacted the host asking for help.

The host dismissed me and told me they’ve had other guests with no complaints. Apparently appliances only break on their perceived timelines. After two days of trying to get help from the host, I reached out to Airbnb. This was too late since I didn’t contact them within 24 hours. They suggested I check out and request a partial refund. I checked out well before check out time so the host could have rebooked if they would have liked. The host assured me they would give me a refund for the nights the condo was booked by new guests (as shown in their message attached).

The host laughed at me, made fun of me, called me names and berated me for days. No refund was issued. Airbnb told me there was nothing they could do even though the host assured I was due a refund. During a conversation with an Airbnb support ambassador, I explained what happened and asked them if they would be okay with paying someone $2,000 when there was no working refrigerator and they checked out only after a couple of days of a weeklong stay. They respond that would absolutely not be okay and my request was reasonable.

Airbnb staff agreed this was unacceptable only to then state that Airbnb would not do anything to help. I’ve never experienced customer service like this and hope people are aware of how Airbnb treats paying customers.

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Greedy Host Working for Tourism Company in Area

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After a year of lockdowns in Melbourne our two families decided to book a holiday on the Gold Coast. Due to another outbreak, our lockdown has been extended and I approached the host for a refund or a credit.

The host has replied saying there was no refund or credit but I could reschedule. I communicated that due to the current escalation of the lockdown we don’t have a date available and appealed to his good will. I then tried to reschedule four times for available dates on the Airbnb website, and called Airbnb for assistance. That’s when he turned and started threatening me, abusing me over email and declining all rescheduling attempts while bullying us to cancel.

Only later did I learn that he was trying to get the 50% cancellation fee and enough time to rebook the property. I also learned that he works for Gold Coast Tourism and the properties he works for offer flexible terms for customers. He has no empathy for hard working Australian families. SeaWorld and JetStar were very easy to offer credit for future use.

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Host Shows Deceiving Pictures of Airbnb Room

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This host’s room at a Hollywood, Florida ocean resort was a complete dump. She posted pictures of the room to be nice and clean. When we got there the room smelled of mildew and an old motel room.

The room isn’t updated. It has a worn out kitchen area, and bathroom. There was a stain on the toilet seat so I knew they didn’t clean the bathroom. The bed cover had a stain on it, and there were dirty utensils. I couldn’t deal with it. Even my ten-year-old didn’t even want to sit on the bed. He told me he was gonna lay on the chairs if we had to still sleep there. Even my mother didn’t like the place.

The hallways were dirty and the carpets too. The people staying there looked sketchy. The lobby ceilings had huge water stains and holes. Airbnb wasn’t really a help by taking down my review which I couldn’t believe. I showed them the pictures compared to the ones she posted and they still didn’t budge and only apologized and gave a refund. I had to pay for one night and the cleaning fee which I felt I shouldn’t have had to pay, especially checking out an hour later.

Airbnb stated I should have called them before checking out and would have gotten my full refund. They don’t state that in their policy at all; they just state to contact the host. From here on, I am not booking hosts with few reviews.

Basically, Airbnb Thinks I’m a Liar for my Claims

I reserved an RV that was shown to be self-contained for a two-week stay while I was between homes. When I arrived to check in, I found the following: the couch pictured in the posting had been removed; the bathroom pictured in the posting had no water (no sink or shower), and the toilet contained dry brown material that emitted a foul odor; the kitchen faucet had no running water; the kitchen stove was not supplied with propane and did not function.

The property manager stated she was aware there was no working shower or toilet, and there is no propane connection for the stove. She went to the main house briefly to ask about the water in general, and confirmed there is no running water. The host was not present, but I contacted her immediately to inform her that none of the advertised amenities were working, and I requested a full refund. She responded “the amenities work”, said I would not receive a refund, and “god bless”.

I contacted Airbnb, and spent two weeks back and forth with “ambassadors”, and at the end of it all was told I didn’t request the refund quickly enough, and since I had no video evidence to prove the amenities don’t work, they will not issue a refund. Then said “have a lovely day”. I have repeatedly asked to have my case sent to a supervisor, and they just move it on to the next “ambassador”. I’m out over $400.

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Rude Host Refuses to Take Lockdown Under Consideration

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When lockdown hit in Bondi Beach and surrounding areas, it was physically impossible for me to travel to and from Bondi. Informing the host of this, she refused a refund, and Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances does not offer refunds for anything COVID related. I never actually ended up staying at this property, but still had to pay 100% of the cost.

I am a part time student and this was a lot of money that I lost. A little empathy in an unforeseen situation that none of us could have helped would have been appreciated and ensured I would have stayed with this host again. However, because of this situation I will never consider it, and I actually won’t consider Airbnb again in the future.

Think to yourself: would you want to lose all your accommodation costs with no chance of a refund if you are forced into another lockdown? Definitely not. Book a hotel. Understanding the importance of reviews and always written with the upmost respect to any business operations especially supporting small business practices but in the instance there is nothing positive to pass on with the experience.

Due to the sudden COVID outbreak in Sydney, I requested a reschedule date. Concerned I may have got stuck with no way of getting home if there were a lockdown to take place, I was well aware of being inside the cancellation timeframe so prepared to forfeit a fee under the cancellation policy in hope to reschedule so I wouldn’t lose the full amount that had already been deducted. However, the host was not accommodating nor was she prepared to compromise in any way other than suggesting to contact Airbnb directly for further information, which I did.

Airbnb said I could still request a refund or a partial refund from the host even if the policy stated otherwise. Desperate, I reached out to her again requesting some kind of resolution explaining so I could come to Sydney to celebrate a close friend’s birthday. Otherwise, I would not have planned to travel during such uncertain times. I was simply hoping to reschedule the trip for one month later aligning for when the birthday celebrations had been rescheduled. Further to this, I was happy to pay a fee for the inconvenience, only to receive a devastating response without even considering my request.

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Airbnb Had Bedbugs, Awful Host and Airbnb Wouldn’t Refund Me

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I scheduled a stay at Kalkoen Farm in Hahira, Georgia for my sister and I to spend the weekend together and catch up from June 11-13. The first night I went into the bedroom and when I turned the comforter back, I saw a lot of ants on a corner of the comforter. I couldn’t see what was attracting them and it was late so I went into the third bedroom (a bunk bed) deciding I’d deal with it the next day.

The next morning I decided I’d just wash the sheets (not everyone washes comforters so maybe there was something spilled that I couldn’t see). When I pulled off the sheets I saw a small something moving along the mattress pad. I called my sister in.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Yup. A bedbug.

We further investigated and saw a few dead ones. My sister got a zip lock bag and put the live bedbug in it. We then looked at her bed and the bunk bed. Her bed looked ok; the bunk bed had a few dead bugs on the mattress pad but we couldn’t tell if they were bed bugs (very small). My sis pulled a wash rag out from a bin under the sink and there were multiple live bed bugs on the towel.

At that point I booked a hotel and we got the hell out of there. I reached out to the host to tell him we found bed bugs in his place and that I got a hotel. His response was: “do you have photos?” Yes, I did and shared with him. I attempted to work it out with him — I only asked for a refund for the second night that I couldn’t stay in the place. We went back and forth and he said he would refund me. Then I stopped hearing from him.

I reached out to Airbnb’s resolution center, shared photos, and explained what happened. I had to wait for 72 hours for the host to respond. He didn’t. Airbnb reached out to me to tell me that they couldn’t refund me because I didn’t contact them immediately after the incident. They asked the host if he’d be willing to refund me and the host told them no.

At that point I wrote a review saying that the house had bedbugs and the host refused to refund me my second night. Airbnb took down my review. So, I am out the cost of the Airbnb and the hotel. I’ve since canceled my Airbnb account and will never use them again. Kalkoen Farm is still up on Airbnb and who knows who else has been exposed to bedbugs. I guess I should thank the ants because had it not been for them, I would have slept in that bed with bedbugs.

Airbnb Stole My Refund — No Results for a Month

This matter is super easy, for a normal company. Of course for the spawn of hell, Airbnb, it is impossible.

I checked into an Airbnb. The apartment had construction in progress that was not disclosed. I immediately cancelled with the host in line with their cancellation policy. We stayed two nights and the host agreed to refund the rest. Airbnb confirmed on June 2 that the refund was paid.

It is now 32 days later and there has been no refund. Airbnb has taken the money from the host and this refund has now been misappropriated by Airbnb. Never in my life have I dealt with a more incompetent and horrifically inept service team than at Airbnb. They lie and lie without taking any action to resolve anything. I have escalated this over five times and very single time the consultant says they don’t know where the refund is, then transfers me to an “expert” who I assume is the same person with a different persona. Then after that they suddenly never respond again.

Airbnb has already agreed to the refund? So why not pay it? What is Airbnb hiding? All I want us to know where my refund is and then for Airbnb to make immediate payment. Airbnb is hands down the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of using. I will pay more to stay directly with hotels in future in order to receive actual service.

Airbnb Refusing to Refund Service Fee Despite Cancellation Policy

My wife and I booked an Airbnb property that stated it had a full cancellation policy if we cancelled by August 15. I went to cancel on June 21 (two months ahead of the date where the policy changes) and the website refused to refund the $500 service fee. I contacted customer support and they stated if we cancelled that day and ahead of August 15 we would receive the $500 service fee.

Customer support has been a nightmare and then later said the cancellation policy states the service fee is non-refundable. My wife and I both checked the cancellation policy ahead of time and it was a full free cancellation. In addition, the previous customer service person agreed that the service fee is refundable. The property is no longer showing on the site so I’ve asked them to produce the actual cancellation policy tied to the listing and show it to me. They’ve failed to do this. This is horrible customer service. $500 may be a small amount for a company like Airbnb but this is a huge amount for a family. Extremely disappointed by their level of service here.

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Horrible Host + Horrible Customer Service = Airbnb Nightmare

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My husband and I checked into our Venice beach studio late for a five-night stay. Exhausted, I fell into bed, but thought “This looks like a 3-star place, not 4.82.” The photos showed a bright and sunny room, but the reality was tired and sad: old bathroom and kitchen, tiny room sparsely furnished. We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside, so I didn’t think much of it.

The next morning my husband called “first shower,” but quickly retreated. The bathtub was covered in dried human feces. I immediately called the host and told her we were checking out and wanted a full refund. She agreed and we left immediately and checked into a much more expensive hotel. I tried to call Airbnb, but after a half an hour wait I was cut off.

That afternoon, as instructed by my host who said she could not issue a refund until I had cancelled the reservation, I cancelled online. The next day I filed a formal request for a refund with Airbnb’s resolution center. My host had 72 hours to respond and despite my repeated requests, she was radio silent. Finally, my host wrote that she had spoken to Airbnb and was under no obligation to give me a refund, but “out of the goodness of my heart” would refund less than half of our $1,226.

Then I entered Airbnb Hell. I filed a complaint with Airbnb, twice, and only got the response “Here are some articles that might help you.” I wrote to Brian Chesky and several people high up in Airbnb. No response. I DM’d Airbnb through Instagram and got an immediate response: “We are going to assign you a Support Ambassador, a specialist assigned to your case.” For eight days I awaited word from my Support Ambassador (and yes, I kept DMing Airbnb through Instagram and kept getting reassuring responses that they were very concerned about my case).

Eventually, a canned response came from my Support Ambassador which said, in essence, “Sorry. Not our problem.” In the meantime my host was again running the clock and although I did not post a damning review of her studio (or any review), she slammed me with one implying that I had caused the plumbing problem, that I had harassed her, didn’t wait for the problem to be resolved before leaving, and that she had issued us a full refund. Her last ageist jab was: “Cranky old lady. Don’t host her.”

This cranky old lady is also an experienced travel writer. Airbnb says the first thing when there’s a problem is to contact the host. Done. Then Airbnb. Done through the Resolution Center. Bad experiences can happen. Airbnb can be a crapshoot. But why won’t I use them again? Because they take no responsibility, despite their exorbitant fees, for their product. Brian Chesky was just listed as one of the wealthiest people in America. Let the attached photos speak for themselves.