Empty Airbnb House with no Utilities Hooked up in Winter

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This happened this weekend. It was my second time using Airbnb and what a nightmare this has been again. The first time I booked with this host she called me at 1:00 PM for my 5:00 PM check in to tell me she had no water but she would be willing to bring me portable water. I needed to shower. She said okay.

I had to call Airbnb and they gave me my money back since I had at that time booked a second Airbnb, and that host was so good especially since it turned into a really last minute booking. I drove by my original booking and saw that there was a tag on the door that showed the water was turned off due to lack of payment. Okay, so the poor girl ran into tough times. I then felt really bad for her, so decided to give her another shot two months later. She accepted my booking and didn’t answer any of my messages, which was a red flag.

I showed up. It was -30 C and snowing. There was a little more than a foot of snow from the sidewalk to the door with no footprints, and a bunch of newspapers that were brown in the mailbox. There was no smoke from the chimney and clearly no doors had been opened at this house in at least a month. I took pictures of the front and back. The snow had not been shoveled all winter so far and clearly no one – upon examining the back of the house – had lived there in months.

I took pictures and called Airbnb. After half an hour they told me they were going to pass my file on to someone else who could actually help me. After going to the event I was going to that night it was 10:00 PM and Airbnb had not assisted me at all. I found a hotel and booked it.

The next day, there was still nothing from Airbnb. I sent messages and got radio silence. I used my points and booked yet another hotel, so my $122.22 booking had now turned into $122.22+$135+$140. I couldn’t afford to keep booking hotels so I booked another Airbnb for my final night at $82. I had now spent $479 on accommodations that I budgeted and booked for originally $122. Just an extra $357… No big deal, I guess.

Finally I was so fed up I called Airbnb again. They informed me my file had never been passed on; I need to restart the process. Yep, do it all over again. This time they were wondering if they could possibly find me a new Airbnb. I’m like: “look at my profile; I already did so and paid for it. Finding me a new Airbnb should have happened two days ago.”

At this point I was just begging to get my original booking money back, and the host’s stay taken down so no one else had to deal with this ridiculous scam artist. I’m not holding my breath.

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Fake Airbnb Superhost, No Refund Coming

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I’m sure most of the time Airbnb hosts are genuine and the property listings are real. But unfortunately for me – first time user – I booked what looked like a fantastic apartment in London through a host and paid a 50% deposit. The next morning, I received an email from Airbnb stating that my reservation was cancelled and my deposit would be refunded.

Airbnb took my money and there’s no refund as of yet. When I spoke to Airbnb, they admitted that the host was a fake but did not give a crap that I would be out of pocket $1,7436 until they processed my refund. Yes, I appreciate that they picked up that host was a fake within 12 hours but it’s a pity it’s going to take more than a week for the refund.

They’ve scared off this potential customer forever, and I will tell everyone not to trust Airbnb. They should have done their checks before letting a fake host post a listing. To top it off, the fake host is still active and is still marked as a SuperHost.

Charged for a Private Single Bedroom I Didn’t Book

I never completed confirmation for my booking and obviously did not stay at the property. However, I was charged almost $90 Canadian. There seems to be two hosts affiliated with this property and they seem to be playing tag with each other, claiming the “main” host is not getting back to the one that has responded to me.

It would appear that he has many positive reviews so I am not sure why there is such a delay or hesitation to resolve this matter. I’m sure many of you can relate when you are traveling on a budget and cannot deal with having nearly $90 CAD removed from your bank account without a reason.

Airbnb laissez-faire when it comes to customer service

In April, I booked a room in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico wanting to visit a festival in January 2020. The room was not cheap. The reviews of the host were good. The listing contained a street name. After booking, I asked for a full address. To this day I have no exact address and the confirmation email link leads to a museum.

This feels like a complete fraud. Airbnb already took hundreds of euros off my credit card, offering no refund so far since I have complained. To make sure I did not get stranded or relocated far away from the action, I also booked a hotel (this week) because I think Airbnb is very laissez-faire when it comes to customer service.

I travel alone and safety is a priority. I am done with the fact that they do not check the location of the rental nor do they check if the host has any right to rent it out. Beware because you may be next to get stranded or lose a lot of money. No more Airbnb for me.

Airbnb Service Charges not Returned on Cancellation

I was interested in a villa in Colombia for March (four months from booking). It was a large villa and I wanted to confirm the guest. I asked the host for three weeks to cancel, rather than his normal 48 hours. He agreed and this was documented clearly in Airbnb Messenger. I cancelled after two weeks as I could not organize the guests and Airbnb refused to return their service charges of $864.79, citing their policy.

The end result was Airbnb Customer Service protected the customer and left the host and the guest out to dry, the complete opposite of customer service and common sense. This wasn’t a last-minute cancellation. This was a documented exception for four months from now. Airbnb protected their bottom line and sold their soul.

I pity the poor people who are getting excited about the Tokyo Olympics with Airbnb. They are lined up for a living hell. Frankly, I think that any normal travel company would never have a strict 48-hour cancellation policy. That really is the opposite of customer service.

Cancelled after Four Minutes with Moderate Refund Policy

I booked an apartment in New York. I made sure there was a moderate refund policy. I immediately realized I had mixed up the dates and within the space of about four minutes, I cancelled the reservation (sending an apology and explanation to the host).

Now, this was a bit of a last-minute thing and the booking was for two days in the future (I actually had meant to book the day after, hence the mix up). I only received the cleaning fee back. No other refund was given. My request for a refund via the site was ignored. I called their customer service, who extremely patronizingly ‘explained’ to me that I hadn’t read the rules properly and I should be more careful in future to read the rules.

The rule listed is: “Free cancellation for 48 hours. After that, cancel up to 5 days before check-in and get a full refund minus the service fee.” I’m aware that I booked leaving only two days before checking in, but I’m pretty sure that the words “after that” signify that there are no strings attached so long as it is within 48 hours. Surely the “5 days” part of the rules only apply after 48 hours?

Airbnb Didn’t Explain Why I had to Change Places

I have copied my conversations with Airbnb regarding this story.

“This is your resolutions expert from the Airbnb Trip Team. I hope this message finds you well. This ticket was handed to me to ensure you have a continued support. Please give me time to review your concern. Rest assured that I will work on this case in accordance with our guidelines and policies. I will give you an update as soon as possible. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.” 

“Thanks for contacting me. Note that only on October 27th that I will be back to that hotel and I will recheck the place. I will take some photos and send them to you. Note that I am living in Cairo, so I have a lot of things: a table for a laptop, luggage, clothes, shoes, printer, etc. I must stay in a large room, clean and comfortable. It must be perfect. Not too expensive like that one. I also need a place to study, because I am studying Arabic here.

I just arrived here at the new place and the receptionist informed me that room will be available only tomorrow and I must stay in another hotel that belongs to them, again with my luggage up and down (40 steps). I do not know what it is better, to cancel this one or try a discount here. It is up to you. Talk to them and explain my situation, please. Thanks. They informed me to come on October 27th after 12:00, but then they changed it to tomorrow after 12:00.”

“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your side of the story. My apologies for the late response as I was out of the office from the time being you responded to my message. In your message, since you and your host had an agreement of you checking in on their listing starting October 27, 2019, I would like to know if you were able to successfully move in. May I ask as well if, you encountered another issue in the listing afterwards. If yes, you may proceed giving us all the documentation that you have to support your claim for me to be able to verify. Looking forward to hearing a response from you soon. If you happen to have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”

“I am so sorry but I am sure that you did not read my message to you before, so I will repeat it below. I agreed, through the site, with my host that I would arrive at the hotel on October 25th at night (he agreed and accepted through the site). I paid by my credit card. Note that I am living here in Cairo, so I have a lot of luggage and things. I came to the place, as agreed, and the receptionist from the hotel informed me that I would stay in the hotel only on that day, October 25th, but on October 26th and 27th I should stay in another hotel and that I must be back again at that hotel on October 27th. Imagine me, with all these items, having to be moved from place to place in a short time, staying here and there and having no firm destination, in a strange city and in a country which is not mine.

Do you understand everything so far? I need to be clear how much it pissed me off, how much it scared and tired me in the middle of the night, and how much trouble it brought me unnecessarily without knowing why. I did not accept all that and returned to the apartment where I had been. The owner, who is a spectacular and kind-hearted person, seeing my trouble, let me stay there without charging me anything, and it didn’t end here.

As the hotel boy had said I should return on October 27th in the afternoon, I returned at 16:00 and the same person informed me that no, that I was only supposed to come on October 28th in the afternoon. I had to return again with everything. This time I went to the other hotel indicated by the person in this hotel, where the guy who helped me carry my bags ended up damaging one of my bags… more inconvenience.

Finally, after this whole epic, I’m in the hotel, but guess what? There is no water to use the bathroom or shower. The cluttered kitchen and badly-cleaned utensils, the unhygienic, much less sterilized bathroom in the room, and the shower stall is grubby with dirt. Have you understood everything so far, or will I need to draw a picture and show how angry and upset I am with this whole situation?

Please make it clear to the Airbnb security team to review my history and note that I had stayed at this apartment several times before and that never, never, never had I had any kind of disturbance there. The host is a good person with great behavior, a super host and has had other guests from Germany, France, China who have stayed there who can prove what I am saying is true, if necessary.

Now I made the following decision, because of all the past trouble and loads of luggage and things I have I don’t want. I don’t want to move anywhere anymore. You need to get in touch with this hotel, make the situation better here, solve their problems, and not let them affect me, because I’m paying a lot to stay in this place. At this house I was paying R$1,700. Here I paid R$4,000 and it is not even close to the quality of the apartment where I was and on top of that there is this problem with the lack of water. Let them arrange a great immediate discount on my bill for all these inconveniences so far, and god knows how many more I have to face until the day I check out. We sincerely look forward to the arrangements and discounts to be taken by Airbnb for this particular case. Thank you very much. I will send some photos later. I will have some meetings today and tomorrow.”

“Thank you for responding to my message, and for giving me your clearer and further side of the story. I already reached out to your host regarding this matter, and I am waiting for their response. As I’ve checked your interaction with the host, there is nothing registered on our Airbnb Messaging platform. I would like to ask you to communicate with your host using our messaging, so that everything will be well documented. Once your host responded to my message, I will also give you an update. In case that you have question, please do not hesitate to ask, I will be here to support you.”

“Note that the host came to my room to inform me that he will refund me for those two nights (October 25th and 26th) that I was not here or another hotel. This is okay, but what about all the inconvenience, stress, and trouble caused? I need the host to give me a discount on the total paid to him. If he can do this, everything will be perfect. Thanks a lot for your prompt response.”

“Thank you so much for responding to my message, and for giving me an update regarding this matter. I also received a message from your host stating that, when you arrived on the listing, they informed you about everything and you agreed with their statements. The host added that, when you arrived on their listing, you hadn’t completed the payment, and advised them that you would complete the payment later on. Regarding the water, the host said that the water shortage was just a few hours and the city workers were fixing the water pipes, which is clearly out of their hands. Furthermore, I confirmed with your host that they are willing to give a refund for the two nights which you didn’t spent at the listing. I tried checking if there will be any additional refund for the said reservation; however, the host has the discretion to indicate the amount that they want to have on their listing as a nightly rate. Once you confirm the refund for two nights, I will go ahead and process that one for you. Looking forward to hearing a response from you as soon as possible.”

“Want to know something? I am tired of being called a liar. I am 57 years old and I have no need, after going through so much trouble, nervous and angry and bothered, taking my bags from here to here, up and down on your orders, to be lying or making up something about what happened. Whether you believe me of not, I don’t like having to be repeating myself all the time and having to prove this or that. You take so long to answer me that time has passed, the dust has settled, and that’s all.

I repeat that I have been with Airbnb for over a year and with my track record you should know more about me and my concept of honesty. I will remain in Egypt for a long time but I will certainly not be staying with Airbnb, unfortunately for the simple fact that I am being treated as I am at the moment and always discredited. I was honest even when I made it clear to your security department that I would not need Uber to make my transfer.

I will return to Cairo in January and plan to use the services of Booking.com or Expedia.com. Let this case go. Keep believing in the host. Congratulations. The future and god will show you who was right, not me. I’m tired and exhausted with all this. Enough for me. I will finish my stay here and when I return to Cairo I will use another service, simple as that. I hope I don’t have to explain myself so much, prove anything to anyone, and have more peace and quiet to finish the work I came here to do.

I hope my Airbnb friends have had a great night’s sleep, because I didn’t have this privilege. I went to sleep today at 8:30 in the morning, because there was renovation, construction, and a lot of noise – chainsaw on, hammer knocking, dragging things, a real hell on earth – at 5:00 AM near my room. Once again, if you don’t believe me, talk to the hotel receptionist, who was also here at that time. I even called him to my room to hear the noise.

We went out on the balcony to check where it all came from. He said he would ask them to stop but the work and noise continued until 8:00 AM. I woke up now at 3:20 PM with a huge migraine. My head seems to be exploding so much that it hurts. I already took three pills and they didn’t help.

I spoke again with the receptionist. He assured me that tonight the noise would not be repeated. I doubt that very much: here they do what they want, where they want, and when they want. I want to know how I cancel my reservation here and if I will not lose anything already paid, if I will receive my payment in full due to all these inconveniences experienced so far. I no longer want to go through this psychological mess and no longer lose any sleep at night or wake up startled by the sound of sawing and hammering at 4:00 in the morning. I don’t want to use Airbnb anymore. I want to cancel everything and get my full money back. Please inform me quickly.”

Hurricanes just aren’t in our Airbnb Policy

I loved Airbnb and thought it to be an amazing thing. Like many, I’d often browse the app for cool places to stay, daydreaming of my next opportunity to get away.

I’ve just returned home from a road trip with my partner and we had booked Airbnbs along our way out to east coast Canada. Due to a severe weather issue, we had decided to cancel our booking with one of the hosts. Before we cancelled, I was sure to make contact with them so we could talk it all over and come to a mutual decision of what would be best and safest.

After the call, they agreed it would be best we not take our chances in travelling out to where the stay was supposed to be, and they said they would consider what refund would be comfortable for them. They had also offered a free future stay in exchange for the cancellation, but now they have offered a future 15% discount in place of that offer.

After a few days passed, I contacted them again to see if they had thought more about a refund. They said they would contact Airbnb to see what they thought about my request, which later they then said that Airbnb didn’t take the weather seriously as it didn’t appear on their “weather radar”. In turn, they had no intention of refunding me at all.

Not being satisfied with the outcome, I contacted Airbnb myself in hopes of conveying the situation perhaps a little clearer from my position. I was put in touch with someone who asked if I could link them with some resources online that showed the weather conditions I had mentioned.

I linked her with the first article I could find, which came up right away when I searched “October 17th 2019 Nova Scotia weather” which mentioned the “weather bomb” my partner and I experienced and chose not to risk driving in. In the article there were plenty of videos and pictures from locals showing trees being ripped out of the ground, cranes falling into buildings, etc.

The article also mentioned the winds which had been blowing at 60-100 kph. They said it was “hurricane like conditions” and I was expected to drive through that in order to make my stay. I have family who lived an hour away from where I was staying before the storm, that said even if I had nowhere to go after cancelling the Airbnb, I shouldn’t drive to them to stay at their home because even that drive would not be safe. The reservation I had cancelled was a five and a half hour drive away. We even had our host contact us about the storm, asking if we had heard about it and what our plans were in case we needed help navigating that out last minute.

The customer service rep said there was nothing Airbnb could do and that if I were to get a refund it would need to come directly from the host, which the host clearly did not want to do and keep the money. After trying to explain my situation further, she then said that “the decision is final” and that I would be compensated nothing.

This is all coming after she apologized on behalf of Airbnb and said that Airbnb wants to treat their customers with respect and make them feel valued. It’s such a shame how ridiculous this situation became and how poorly this was handled. Clearly, the customer is not valued or respected and our safety and well-being was in no way a concern.

Airbnb would rather have my $200 then a valued user/guest who had once loved this service. I regret to say, I have decided to never again use the Airbnb service and have deleted my account. I will never be able to recommend anyone using Airbnb after all of this.

Worst Airbnb Experience Ever, no Refund

I paid $1471 for a two-week stay but had to leave after having vicious dogs running at myself and my dogs. I called Airbnb and told them I was going to have to find another place because our safety was a factor. I spent four hours with three different people on the phone with Airbnb and was assured my cancellation would be done by then. I paid another $1800 out of pocket to move an hour away to a private rental and gave Airbnb time to do my cancellation and let me know what was going on. I called every day trying to find out what was going on. This morning I got a refund for $289 out of $1471. I’m not going to sit and let this happen. This has been a horrible experience and completely wrecked my vacation. They are about to get sued.

Rats in House: Airbnb Sides with Host

I rented a place on Philip St. in New Orleans. It was not where the host had said (not in heart of nightlife, but a bit at the edge of an industrial area), and there were many other ways that the place was not as promised. The capper was when all three guests saw a rat running along the baseboard. We were up and out in 40 minutes.

We contacted the host immediately. She denied it. Contacted Airbnb. They said we needed proof, e.g. did we take pictures of rat poop? Sure, we crawled under the stairs where it had disappeared… only not. The host got an exterminator to the house five days later, and go an all-clear report: five days in which to clean out the place.

Airbnb continually sided with the host as we fought this. We stayed 2 of 30 nights (moving to New Orleans) and got no refund. The host lies and Airbnb sides with them. Avoid some Airbnbs in New Orleans, unless you want rats climbing all over your possessions.