Stranded in LA after Airbnb Nightmare

When I arrived at my Airbnb I would have had to walk over a group of homeless people living inside of the building just to get into the apartment. The host refused to give me a refund and refused to help me.

I called customer support and they told me they would help me find a new reservation and call me back. They never did. I called back and waited for hours for any call back or help. I was stranded in LA alone, hungry and beyond nervous in the dark for hours without a place to go.

After countless phone calls to get a refund I still haven’t heard back. The people in customer service are not helpful or professional.

On top of all this the reason the host wouldn’t cancel was because he knows he will still get the money; even if I complain, he doesn’t have to give the money back. He gets to keep the money, he told me a lot of people complain about his rental but if he doesn’t agree to give a refund, he keeps the money. I can’t leave a negative review and I can’t do anything about it.

Airbnb Customer Service is Complete Trash

To start off, this was a last minute booking. My friends and I were on a road trip to Asheville, NC when we suddenly found ourselves off course by four hours. We decided to get a room and figure it out in the morning. I booked this lovely place. I know, it’s cheap, but we were just wanting a place to shower/crash after a night out.

We were still about a little over an hour away from the address after I booked it, and didn’t think much of the host not saying anything, as my booking had already been confirmed. Once we arrived, it was clear he had no intention of returning any of my messages or answering his phone.

I immediately tried contacting Airbnb, but their phone lines were down, and couldn’t be bothered to reply to any of the messages I sent them through the app. Incredibly annoyed, and in desperate need of a drink, I canceled my booking and requested a refund. The next day the host ignored my request, but luckily the phone lines were back up.

The first customer service rep was very friendly, and helpful. She promised to contact the host, and that if he decided to continue being a horrible person, Airbnb would provide me with a refund. The next day, around the time she promised, she contacted me to let me know that the full refund was coming through, and it should take about five business days for me to receive it. I was thrilled to have that burden completely lifted from me. I thanked her for her time and everything else she did for me.

I wish this story ended there. Fast forward five business days, and the refund still wasn’t in. I didn’t worry too much about it, thinking it was probably just a little late, thinking surely Airbnb done their part. I checked the app, and I had a message from the host declaring he had denied my refund. Okay, that’s what horrible people do, so let’s find out more. I clicked “view details” under the canceled reservation bar, and it brought to a page that read this:

“Your refund is on its way. We issued a refund of $0.00. While this refund is immediate on our part, you might not see the money reflected in your VISA account until five business days later. Please contact your payment provider for additional information.”

I immediately called customer support again. The representative  apologized and explained that this was a small clerical error, but she had no authority to do anything about it, and that a case manager would have to review it, and get back to me by the end of the day. This never happened.

After a full 24 hours went by, I decided to try and send a message asking for an update. No reply. I called again and explained to a third person why I deserved a refund, and wouldn’t you know, out of pure coincidence a case manager magically replied to my written message, so the rep hung up. This is what I read:

“I finally received a response from your Host, on the reservation in question. However, your Host said that he’s not aware of your refund. Did your Host agree for you to receive a full refund after you cancelled your reservation with him? Awaiting your response. Regards. “

I know it’s not her fault, but I’ve never hated a faceless stranger more in my life. I quickly typed out, and explained to the fourth person why I deserved a refund that had already been promised to me.

“Thank you for letting me know of that information. Let me review the previous tickets on your account and on your Host end for me to confirm everything and also to help me fully understand why you’re requesting for a full refund. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”

Internally I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I still haven’t heard anything else from them.

Los Angeles Airbnb Nightmare Forces Guest Out

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I booked a trip in Los Angeles and when I arrived the Airbnb was not as it was on the site. First off, there were homeless people hanging out on the staircase; I had to ask if I could pass to go up the stairs. They obviously slept there. The whole staircase stunk of urine.

Going into the apartment was a shock as the place was so dirty and dusty; they even left us a present in the toilet: a nice big poo. There were stains on all the furniture and thick dust everywhere. In addition, we could not use the aircon as the plug socket was off the wall. The host said it worked.

I drove six hours to come here. I had to spend another $300 on another hotel. I stayed in the property thirty minutes before leaving and opened a case straight away on the 29th of last month. I asked for a refund. Every time I messaged Airbnb they kept fobbing me off.

It’s been two weeks now and I’m still waiting for a refund. They keep passing my claim around in order not to pay it I’m guessing. I’ve also read other stories of similar experiences in which they keep passing the claim around in order not to pay it. I paid $300 for two nights yet I didn’t stay here. I provided pictures and they still don’t want to help me. I will never book through Airbnb again.

Almost 8K Stolen by Host even with Months’ Notice

I attempted to rent a home in Mexico (PDC) but had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances and expenses. The payment was nearly eight thousand dollars, so of course you’re going to pay half at that amount. We cancelled the reservation with three months to spare and I was told by two messages we would be getting a refund minus the “service fee” (which at the time was the outrage).

After a couple of weeks of no refund, I contacted the host and he said to contact Airbnb, which I then did. They told me that unfortunately due to the “strict policy” the only way to get a refund was to contact the host. I emailed the host several times on their site with no answer, then back to Airbnb I went.

They are still currently resting on the “policy” as if it were an unbreakable/bendable law with no exceptions. Even thought the host has already re-booked for over half the eight nights, was given three months’ notice and sent the message of “your refund is on it’s way”.

I have also been told by Airbnb that I should have contacted them sooner. After being told I was to wait on my refund and the host telling me it was not up to him. I am still at this very moment attempting to get some sort of refund but they are treating me like a terrorist, i.e. “we do not negotiate our policies” and you get nothing, not even an attempt to ask me if another date would work, take back the unearned service fee, swag, nothing… just go away while we keep almost eight thousand of your dollars for absolutely no services or goods rendered.

I beg anyone who may read this poorly written ramble to please do not allow this company/site/host to steal one dime of your hard earned money.

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Bates Motel Marseille, Airbnb Condones Bad Behaviour

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Without prejudice, written entirely from my perspective, and all opinions being my own. Two females (wise individuals) booked a villa in Marseille. It looks amazing online, in reality not so much.

We arrived exactly on time. All the doors were open so we entered. A man was standing in the kitchen with his back to us. We said “hello”, and he did not turn around; he simply grunted. We were left to presume he was a guest.

We wandered about on the ground floor. The first thing I saw was the laundry strewn over the balcony with stones on top. When we entered the living room, there was a huge pile of sheets on the sofa. The dining room… once inside you are greeted by several huge paint-splattered speakers, which, of course, were not in the photos.

When we went back towards the kitchen the man scuttled hurriedly upstairs. We stepped into the quite cluttered kitchen where the man had left the remnants of his bread and humus. A somewhat messy smaller room to the side housing floor to ceiling booze, some of which was leaking onto the floor and washing machine with odd pieces of laundry dotting the floor.

Not a great reception at all. What could we do?

I suggested we venture upstairs to find our room and/or the man we just saw. We were one flight up when the man reappeared and blocked our path. He said nothing. I asked: “Are you the host?”

To which he replied, “Are you so and so?”

“Yes,” I said.

He stated, “And you just come upstairs by yourself?” very aggressively.

“You just walked right past us,” I stated.

“I thought you were friends of my other guests who are English. Why didn’t you call me? I gave you my number.”

He never gave us his number (Why would we call him? He was right there). He was not forthcoming with any information prior to our arrival. I had asked how we would enter the villa and who would be there at what times. His reply? “Don’t worry, all the taxis know it.” I put that down to the language barrier.

We did not know how to get in until we got there at 6:00 PM. I should explain that this was a villa quite high up, not at ground level and not so obvious. We found the gate and his name and pressed the buzzer twice, so I really don’t understand how he did not know who we were. We presumed he had buzzed us in but we learnt later the gate was always open.

He showed us to our room, presentable enough at first glance. He left to fetch towels and keys. He offered to show us the kitchen. I replied I had already seen it. The atmosphere inside the villa was eerie and there was no sign of any other guests despite his earlier excuse for ignoring us. My friend went downstairs with him to be shown the washing machine. I checked out the bathroom.

The closet/wardrobe had been freshly painted so that couldn’t be used due to the smell. Behind the toilet were exposed wires where someone had done a very poor DIY light above the bathroom mirror job. The taps on the sink and in the shower were not clean. The shower had a pebble bottom and several of these were missing, showing age and wear.

This led me to look under the bed and sure enough, it was full of dust and tissues. The bed seemed okay. I pulled back the duvet to reveal a crumpled bottom sheet. I did the smell test; they smelt neither clean nor dirty. My friend returned and informed me the host had left, leaving the glass of wine he was drinking balancing on the garden wall.

On further inspection of the towels he had handed us we realized they were in fact wet. We now also noticed the painting above the bed (not shown in the photos) of a female wearing a white basque which was revealing her pubic hair. Also above the bed at head level was a metal lever sticking out of the wall, for gas, water? Definitely a hazard.

We hadn’t eaten all day so left to get a pizza nearby unsure of what we were going to do. This is when we noticed the opaque glass panel in the bedroom door which had two more see through circle sections and a further two scratched out spots which viewed the bed – our bed. Immediately to our left we saw a cupboard with a pair of scissors for a handle.

As if all that wasn’t enough there was no lock on the inside of the room. My friend told me that on her previous visit downstairs she had noticed a room with an open door which couldn’t be a guest room; she described an absolute sty with clothes and objects all over the floor. This door was closed now.

In the entrance way we noticed a vase which had been smashed to bits and glued back together. All the plants from the photos were now covering the kitchen table, dead. The host had left a cupboard open and plates balancing on the sink. The fridge was completely full – no room for us.

On arrival we had noticed an animal hutch in front of the main door – again, not photographed not mentioned. On our way out we noticed the two fluffy baby bunny rabbits. This did not reassure us. We also saw a plastic container containing dirty drinking glasses, many glasses just a step up from the front door; it had been there a while by the looks of it.

We got our pizza and returned. We ate outside as we did not feel comfortable inside. Turned out we were not comfortable outside either; we were completely on edge. We went to put the unfinished pizza in the bin which is when we saw the man’s jumper and empty cleaning fluid bottle in the bin and I mean that was all that was in the bin.

We immediately entered what is known as fight or flight mode. We didn’t know where he was. He could have returned when we were at the pizza place. I volunteered to go back upstairs and gather our belongings. My friend stood guard at the front door. We locked the kitchen door he had left open, returned the keys to the room, shut the self locking front door behind us, and made our way down the creepy stone steps to our escape.

With no phone (my friend had issues with providers abroad), and no access to internet we were forced to return to the city (a 30-minute bus ride) and find a hotel. Luckily my friend had funds on her card to do this. With help from several members of the public and their phones we finally found our way to an Ibis, our salvation.

We were quite shaken up by the time we got to the hotel after 9:00 PM. The staff were amazing; they gave us a discount because of our ordeal, talked to us, and listened to us. The restaurant served us apple pie with ice cream, just what we needed after our ordeal.

We contacted Airbnb as soon as it was possible and for me that was before I had even returned home. We actually wrote a four-page report, and sent photos that I even in my nervous state had the foresight to take. We sent the hotel receipt. Two weeks of the email game reliving that night over and over again to be told “No, the host won t refund and you didn’t follow procedure.”

I mean, it’s not real, right? You’re emailing some minimum wage person whose first language is not English who is trained to say no. There are no supervisors or managers. My friend emailed the CEO’s top dogs; I don’t believe they exist. For all we know it could literally be a 15-year-old in his bedroom. This is not a real company at all; it’s a sham. Appalling not just for us but this so called host is allowed to carry on. What about when two females not of our age and maturity book a property? It is not safe.

You can’t get anywhere with Airbnb directly; it’s just not designed that way. They have to be publicly outed and shamed and I would call for them to be shut down or boycotted so they just dissolve.

This was my first and only experience with this cowboy outfit. Thank goodness we had only used it for two nights of our six-night break. We stayed with Ibis Hotels for the other nights and they were fantastic in every way. My friend has already contacted TV stations in the UK. Airbnb has to be brought to justice.

Refund Madness Leaves me with Nothing

I have been struggling to get my refund from Airbnb for a month now. I contacted the host after I booked and explained how I had to cancel my reservation. He told me that I would be entitled to my full refund and that it would take up to 15 days to receive it. I patiently waited and it never came.

I then contracted Airbnb and was told I had to contact the host to get my refund. I contacted the host and he told me he had done his part; it was now up to Airbnb. This has become a joke. All Airbnb keeps telling me is the cancellation policy.

I have canceled within the policy rules and I am entitled to my refund. The host has agreed to give me my refund but I don’t understand what the heck Airbnb is doing. Do they enjoy stealing from people? This is a nightmare. I would never recommend this site to anyone.

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Deposit Scam: Cancelled Within Four Minutes

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I was looking to book a place close to home for my wife and I while we had renovations done on our house. This is when I came across this host’s place. I went through the request process and paid. Just as I did, I noticed that it did not suit my needs, as it was only a room in a shared house.

I quickly cancelled (within four minutes) my request to stay. Then I received an email for the cancellation and another one for the credit. This is when I saw I was only getting back 50% of my money. I tried contacting the host to explain what I had done in error. He said: “No problem, just cancel.”

I told him that I did. He then stated that it was the cancellation policy to keep half. I called Airbnb and they said it was up to the host. This host has no morals at all. I did speak to a nice girl from Airbnb and she is trying to help me. If she is unable to help me I am out $2300 dollars. All because this host has no soul. Please avoid dealing with him.

No Refund Despite Cancellation Policy

After cancelling a booking five days after I made it and after messaging Airbnb about this, I waited over a week my refund. The host’s cancellation policy clearly stated “cancellation within 48 hrs. of booking and 14 days before check-in to get a full refund”.

I notified my credit card company, who promptly issued me a refund. I thought all was well (I love Mastercard). Three weeks later, a charge was posted to my credit card for $487.00 (the amount of my first deposit). I messaged back and forth many times to Airbnb asking them to remove this charge and got a whole string of double-talk but no refund.

I opened a dispute with Mastercard and they collected the money from Airbnb. However, I have never experienced so many stalls, lies and downright BS from any company before. I do not recommend them and please be extra careful if you do decide to book – they are not reputable.

Stay Away from Airbnb. Avoid at all Costs.

I had to cancel and Airbnb agreed to return 50% of my money. I paid $496.68, and was refunded $149.31 (missing $100), minus their $56 fee that I paid (should have been $248 – $56 = $192). I’m still missing the difference ($100) and they won’t refund me, saying I received the whole refund.

This is a complete scam and they are protected by their own cancellation rules and policies. There are better ways to do business and it’s not with Airbnb. Case managers don’t have the decency to call you and discuss issues with you, only make conclusions based on their notes.

Three weeks have passed and there’s still no refund. I worked with eight case managers over the course of three weeks. It was nothing but a waste of time. I have their emails that clearly state my refund amount.

Now, they have decided to close my account based on their privacy policy and with no explanation. I never swore, or insulted or threatened anyone. The money is already in the host’s pocket. They knew they messed up and wanted to get rid of me. All hope is now lost for my remaining refund.

Airbnb is not professional at all and to be avoided at all costs, no matter if it’s cheaper. It’s not worth the stress and headaches because you will never win. Even if you report them, their policies protect them and you will just waste your time and hard-earned money. They are not there to make your plans easier but simply to protect their hosts and fees. Stay away from Airbnb.