Our group of 18 rented out a cottage this weekend. Our stay was great. Our host was great. We had no complaints about the property. After checking out, I wrote a great review and our host left us a great review as well. We left the place immaculately clean (especially since there were 18 of us). Later that evening, I got a message from our host (through text) that their neighbour was very unhappy and that there had been a lot of noise, excessive partying and loud music playing. During our stay, we did not have a complaint by the neighbours even once and we were very respectful about turning down the noise after 10:00 PM. I only remember us getting loud while playing card games since we get competitive, but that was way before 10:00 in the evening. Anyway, I told our host that wasn’t the case with regards to the neighbours’ complaint and that we were very respectful and apologized for troubling their neighbour. They seemed very understanding and thanked me for clarifying what really happened. I was wondering if there will be any repercussions on our end since we’ve already submitted reviews? What’s the worst that can happen if they don’t believe us?
I’m done with Airbnb. I’ve done two extended stay vacation trips, one to New Mexico and, now, one to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Three of the five places I’ve stayed were excellent. Two were disasters; both of the awful “hosts” were older, single women. Both places were somewhat honestly described and priced about normal for equivalent facilities (including hotels) in the area. Honestly, I could have found decent, downtown hotel rooms with about the same accommodations for the price I paid for the Airbnb rentals. Looking at Hotels.com, I discovered I could have done as well in Thunder Bay and been walking distance from Lake Superior, downtown, and had a window.
After extracting ourselves from our New Mexico Airbnb disaster, I did find a really nice one-bedroom apartment for about 2/3rds of the Airbnb monthly rental price. It had a far better location and came with an all-access pass to a hot springs spa. I am a motorcycle rider and I’ve travelled all over North America and a good bit of western Mexico on a variety of motorcycles for the last 50 years. I have taught motorcycle safety classes for the last 17 years. I’ve owned motorcycles for most of my 70 years and have parked motorcycles on about every kind of surface imaginable without ever having a problem.
When I arrived in Thunder Bay for a week’s stay, I met the owner in her driveway. She suggested I park my motorcycle in an area to the side of her driveway so she could get her car out in the morning for work. I moved it to where she suggested. I’d ridden about 450 miles from home to Thunder Bay that day and was beat. So, I parked the bike, unloaded my stuff, and settled into the room for the night. Thanks to the plastic covered mattress, I got about two hours of uncomfortable sleep before I gave up and moved to the couch.
The next day, I loafed in the apartment and backyard for most of the day and hiked about a mile to a grocery store and to check out the immediate area. When I got back, I put away the groceries, made a late lunch for myself, and a little later I went out to the motorcycle to make it more secure for the next evening. I discovered that the side-stand had sunk about an inch into her driveway. The bike was leaning precariously, so I moved it a little and put the bike up on the center stand. This isn’t a big or a heavy motorcycle: 450 pounds, wet and loaded. It was late, almost dark, and I planned to talk to the host about the driveway damage in the morning.
I went back to the apartment to do some work. About 10:00 PM, the following exchange showed up via email: “Your bike has damaged my new driveway. Can you please put the plywood under your bike stands. It cost me $7000.00 for new driveway and don’t have funds to repair it.” This was followed by: “The asphalt is new… still sensation [sic] to weight and sharp objects. I am upset that you would ignore not telling me it happened and when I knocked on door to address the issue you ignored my knock. I leaned a plywood sheet against your bike so you can either put the sheet under the kick stands or possibly park it on the street. I will call the contractor tomorrow to provide an estimate on repairing. Hopefully he can reheat and level again. But I know there will be an expense to it. Please refrain from doing bike repairs on the driveway. As I said the asphalt is new and still very soft.”
I replied: “I’m sorry I missed you at the door. I’m trying to do that writing thing I mentioned when I got here and had headphones on, so I didn’t hear you. I wouldn’t ignore you and I’m sorry you think that’s who I am. Maybe this week isn’t going to work for either of us. I didn’t want to bother you with the driveway until I saw you next. If you had told me the driveway was new I might have thought to suggest a better place for me to park. It’s not like making it into an emergency would change either of our evenings. I apologize for the trouble. I have a lot of experience parking motorcycles and I have never seen a new or old driveway fail like that at 75 F. I had no way to predict it would happen.”
I dressed and went out in a rain storm to move the bike to the ¼” plywood she had leaned against my motorcycle. The next day, she seemed apologetic and I thought the weirdness had passed. She asked me how I’d slept and I told her the plastic-covered mattress was uncomfortable and I’d spent most of the night on the couch. She allowed that I could remove the plastic, which made the next night tolerable.
The “suite” she advertised was a small basement apartment, with the bathroom in a shared hallway. There were two tiny windows, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, but neither will open. Cooking smells stayed in the room for hours. The kitchen was well-equipped and functional. The backyard had a nice semi-private area, which could have been an excellent place to write during the day. However, there were nearby neighbors who eliminate any feeling of privacy. My first day out there, I answered the “whatcha doin’?” question four times, when someone looked over the fence after hearing me typing on my computer. I quit and read a book for the rest of the afternoon.
Three days later, at about 9:00 PM, I received the following email, via Airbnb’s server: “I had the paving company come by to give me estimate on heating and leveling the kick stand hole and it will cost $250.00. We need to discuss in person on payment options for repair. He will drop off a written quote tomorrow in mailbox.”
My reply to that was: “Julie, I’m in the apartment now, if you want to discuss this. However, I parked where you suggested. You did not warn me that the asphalt was either new or soft when I arrived. I had no way of knowing that your drive way would be different than any of the thousands of places I’ve parked a motorcycle over the last 50 years. Personally, I suspect your contractor used less aggregate than ideal for a strong surface. I’m no expert, but it’s pretty obvious that there isn’t much aggregate showing in the drive. The other side of not knowing the drive was not a stable place to park is that the failure of the surface integrity was about to allow my motorcycle to fall into your pavers, which would have caused a lot more damage to the motorcycle than $250. Monday’s high temperature was 24 C/75 F, hardly high enough to expect that sort of pavement failure under anything resembling normal conditions. The important aggregate qualities for your asphalt paving project are durability and angularity (fractured faces). To get the strongest pavement structure, larger aggregates are used for the base, with successively smaller dating sites reviews aggregates used for upper layers in the pavement. However, it’s also true that new asphalt driveways are supposed to be kept from everything from bicycle kickstands to high heeled shoes for as long as a year [I didn’t know that until I looked it up yesterday]. You’ll need to put a sign where anyone using that driveway can see it if you want to avoid future damage.”
Of course, she did not take me up on my offer to discuss her driveway problem in person. That evening, I’d decided my Airbnb experiences were a draw. Three out of five decent experiences is not good enough. If I were to use Airbnb again, I feel that I’d have to use what are obviously sexist filters for any hosts I’d consider renting from. It’s not worth the hassle or the moral issues. After discussing this experience with my wife over the phone, she decided that we’re just going to avoid the whole experience by cancelling our Airbnb account, which she did that evening. As for the Thunder Bay rental, I’d paid for Sunday to Sunday, seven days, but when we had a plumbing emergency at home Thursday night, I decided to pack it up either Friday morning and call it a wash. I’m a big believe in avoiding the Sunk Cost Fallacy and that writing getaway turned into a general gumption trap. In three days, I managed one good day of writing and two days of agonizing over BS with the host. I’d rather be home, wrestling with figuring out how to negotiate quiet periods with my wife or finding an office to rent than fooling with this stuff. Airbnb proved to be more of an unreliable hassle than a viable alternative to hotels and motels.
My husband and I decided to use Airbnb for the first time because we were looking to spend a romantic weekend in the Poconos area of Pennsylvania. When we got to the house we were greeted by the hostess’ husband who informed us that his wife was delayed by a flight coming from Texas and he would go pick her up at midnight. My husband and I were offered beer and later this man asked my husband to go fishing. It all seemed wonderful and when they returned from their fishing trip we went to bed expecting that the man would go out around midnight to pick his wife up at the airport.
Sleep was difficult because the mattresses thrown on the floor were uncomfortable and squeaked at every turn. Nevertheless we had agreed to make the best of the one-night stay. Well, around 1:00 AM, I was awakened by loud cursing and yelling by a male voice, which I tied to ignore. Soon I heard more yelling and now a female voice was involved. I figured the hostess had been picked up from the airport and was settling home to go to bed. However, the voices got louder as did the cursing and it all seemed to be outside.
I looked outside our window and saw the hostess’ husband yelling at another man and later as the other man got back into his car the hostess’ husband kicked his car, which angered the man in the car (I later found out he was a taxi driver the hostess had used to get home). The man got out and the two men began to argue again, but eventually the taxi driver got in his vehicle and left. The issue did not end there as the hostess’ husband continue to argue with her, to the point of smashing her fingers on the door. This caused her to scream which caused us to come down.
We offered the hostess to call 911 as she told us that he smashed her fingers and also poured beer all over her luggage which was still outside the house in the driveway. We offered to assist bringing it in, but her husband would not allow it. When she tried to go get it, he tried to lock her out of the home. He escalated in his loud verbal attacks and threats to the point where we had to call 911 at around 2:00 AM. Once police arrived we waited to get the okay from them to be allowed to leave. We left around 3:30 AM and had to sleep in our car. While this ordeal was going on, we found out that the husband was never consulted by the hostess about her plan to make their home into an Airbnb, which he disagreed with. He informed us that he had assaulted another guest who arrived at the house around 10:00 PM on a night when the hostess’ husband was expected to work the next day. We found out from the hostess that her husband was on parole and has a criminal record. What a night.
Our Airbnb Hell story begins on May 28, 2017 when we decided to use the service to go to New York with our son who just graduated from high school. We requested that the room accommodate three adults. The listing for a “Cozy Studio by Forest Park Steps To Subway” came up in our search and we thought this would be perfect.
Our first contact with the host was to ask if this would be an appropriate place for three adults. She assured us it was and said she looked forward to having us stay in her studio. Prior to requesting this, we had read her reviews and were satisfied that this would work for us. Only one review was negative at that point; that was from someone complaining about the noisy upstairs neighbors, but she said the problem was “acoustic issues” that would be fixed.
We arrived on July 19th and immediately knew something was wrong. We were told to enter the unit from the back door. We walked inside and wondered if we were in the right place. There was a couch and a bed in the main part of the unit, along with a small refrigerator, and a microwave near the kitchen sink. We backtracked down the hallway to the back door and the first door was a toilet. There was a shower curtain with a shower behind it and then a small area with a shelf with towels. There was a queen bed, presumably for the three of us.
We immediately contacted the host and asked where the other bed was, hoping that the couch wasn’t to be used for that purpose. Our son was mortified by the lack of privacy. Clearly, the room with the toilet was hardly big enough to turn around in, let alone change one’s clothes. Her response seemed to be one of surprise that there were three of us. She assured us that a bed would be coming. This was around 6:30 and we were hungry from flying all day from Portland, Oregon.
We were a few blocks from a street in Queens that had restaurants, though no real suggestions on where to eat. We relied on Yelp since the host had merely stated there were “plenty of places” to eat nearby. We were eating dinner when she contacted us about the bed. She said her husband would be bringing it by and wondered if we were at the unit. I said we would be back within an hour. It was a little after 7:00. We left a few minutes later and went back to the unit and waited.
It was about 85 degrees and the place felt like a sauna. The windows would not open and there was only a large fan to circulate the already-humid air. Finally, around 10:00, her husband showed up. I told him the unit was not what we were expecting. We had told her that there were three of us and this place was clearly smaller and less private than we what we viewed in the photos. There were several photos showing the place with the same bed shot at different angles and with different bedding. The couch was in some of the photos and not in others. In retrospect, we should have noticed the pictures, which were the same, but we felt the perspective was skewed.
Her husband said, “Please do not say this was misrepresented.” These were his words – not ours. Obviously someone had used that phrase before because his defense of the unit was somewhat proactive. We went to bed shortly after he left and tried to fall asleep in an overly hot room with no ventilation.
About midnight, we heard the neighbors upstairs come home. I have no idea what their situation involved, but from the moment they entered their apartment, the noise level was elevated to shouting, crying, fighting, and stomping. It went on until 1:30 in the morning. There was noise that sounded like children screaming and crying and then running around above us.
At first we considered that the noise might end quickly and everyone would go to sleep, but it dragged on for 90 minutes. We were wide awake and wondering what options we had. We thought about vacating the unit, but at 1:30 in the morning, we had nowhere else to go. We were not at a place where we could call anyone to pick us up and go somewhere. When the noise finally died down, we went to sleep.
The next morning, we called Airbnb about our concerns. We explained our situation and our desire to move. Of course they called the host and told her what had happened. She said she did not “misrepresent the space” and if we had a problem with the neighbors, we should have called her to let her know. It was 1:30 in the morning. We had no idea if we were in danger of some sort – we were told not to contact them because they were the residents of the apartment above (which at one point was attached to our dwelling with a door and stairs to the basement).
I suppose we could have called the police to complain, but that seemed a bit extreme. In addition, we had committed to staying there at least until the next day. Our imaginations, at this point, were running a bit wild.
We called Airbnb the next day and told them what had happened. They said if we wanted to leave, we should cancel the reservation, which was followed up by a request from the host. She thought she could open it back up for someone since it was such a desirable place and it was Thursday before a summer weekend. She also offered us a refund for two nights of our reservation. Considering that we had spent over $900, we felt that this wasn’t really enough. We cancelled the reservation and moved into a hotel in Brooklyn. We felt we would deal with the fallout later.
Airbnb claimed they called me several times in New York, which is an outright lie because I had my phone with me the entire time and there were no phone calls from Airbnb. We received an email from Airbnb on our last full day in New York (July 25th) asking if our issue had been resolved and they would consider the case closed if so.
The next day, as we were waiting for our flight out, I wrote an email to them explaining how I felt the situation was not resolved. I felt that adding a toilet and shower to an unlivable space and advertising it as a cozy studio was not acceptable and that yes, the place was misrepresented. We were not happy with the situation and were not happy with Airbnb.
After we returned to our home in the Portland, Oregon area, and the case was not settled satisfactorily, and after hearing from yet another “case manager” at Airbnb, I requested our case be reopened. I got a response from another case manager, who offered us $200. I had requested $794 (which was the amount on the dispute area on the Airbnb website). I was told that the host had three days to give us a response, which not surprisingly, she refused. She also said she hoped we wouldn’t use Airbnb in the future.
At this point we had forfeited our right to give an honest review because it was past the 14 days allowed. During that entire 14-day period, we were still disputing the charges and hoping we could come to some reasonable resolution. By the way, the host’s offer of two night’s reimbursement also dried up. I made screenshots of all the correspondence because I was somewhat certain Airbnb would take them down.
This host, in my opinion, is a scam artist and crook. Her place was clearly misrepresented and all this could have been avoided had she just said, “I don’t think this place would work for you,” at the outset. The other issue I have with Airbnb is that our complaints have always come back to the host and her story is the one accepted by Airbnb. I feel like we, as paying customers, are discounted in favor of their “host” who really has the final say. I mean, after all, we wouldn’t want to give up the cash cow that helps drive Airbnb’s business?
It had been a very long time since we’d had a decent vacation and in our mind it was: “No beach? No vacation!” We’d heard some pretty good things about Airbnb so we decided to look around in the San Diego area where we wanted to go. My wife did the looking and she did it for days. As it turned out most of the area was already booked. That’s why we were so pleased to see this listing vacant in Oceanside, CA. It seemed to have everything; a nice kitchen, wifi, free parking, and only a three-minute walk to the beach – and it was a very nice beach.
When we got there, the host told us about the train noise but said that most people sleep through it. That was when I decided to look at the listing and sure enough, buried way down at the bottom was the mention of the train noise. I seriously don’t know how anyone could sleep through this and believe me we tried. The only air conditioning in the place was a one-room portable air conditioner that needed to be vented to the outside. This means that you have to have the sliding door open a bit for the vent. The Heat throughout the place was brutal, especially upstairs. You have to have the windows open for the cross-breeze at night to give you any relief, but then you’re listening to the train. My wife did go out and buy us earplugs and a noise machine but the trains even drowned that out.
We ended up leaving one day early, because without decent sleep we were exhausted. I feel like we threw away money and will never stay there again or probably at any other Airbnb. You just don’t know what you’re getting.
I booked a house near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last weekend, July 28-30, 2017. Making the reservation was smooth with no problems. When Friday came, the Airbnb app gave me the address where the house was located, and I already contacted the host where I learned he was not the house owner. I told him that we were running late because the traffic was very unforgiving coming from Los Angeles to Mexico. As we arrived at the destination that Airbnb gave me, the house was nowhere to be found. That’s when bad things started happening.
Imagine being in a different country late at night trying to look for a house that you don’t even know. I contacted the host and he told me that my party and I were nowhere close to his place. He gave me directions on how and where to get there. As we arrived at the property, we noticed the house was a great size and looked pretty decent from the outside. As we waited for the caretaker to open the gate, we met the host and were finally invited inside after the gate was opened by the caretaker. The host let us into the house in which had three bedrooms and two studios, which was a good size for my party: five adults, one teen, five kids.
As we went up to the second floor, we found that there was no fridge, no stove, and no microwave. As I continued to have a gut feeling that this stay was just gonna get worse I stayed optimistic and told my wife we should head out to Walmart early in the morning so we could get an electric stove; that’s the only thing we really needed because we brought our own cooler with our food to cook anyway. It was pretty iced up so it should have been good. As the host gave us a better look of the premises we noticed the rooms were average, but the two studios had clear glass walls. They had sliding blinds but they were pretty old, worn out, and raggedy. Then we headed to the roof. It had cement tables and benches. There were guide rails to prevent you from falling but they were unsafe – unstable and wiggling – and one part in which the glass was broken and had been blocked by a broken heater.
The bathrooms were okay. Unfortunately we had women and girls in our party, so that sucked for them because some of the restrooms didn’t have toilet seats. That having been said, we were tired from the drive and traffic. We decided to just sleep it off and had no other choice at that point because it was almost midnight with no Internet to work with. As morning came, we went straight to Walmart, got what we needed, and went back to the house.
As we were eating our breakfast we noticed that some other people were around. We figured they were friends of the caretaker just passing by, bu those people ended up being surfers, because the house is really close by the ocean. I decided to contact the host to check in with him as to ask if there should be other people in the vicinity since the host fully disclosed that the place was all ours. He called me and confirmed the property was ours. No one should have been there besides my party. I let that one go since the surfer guys didn’t take long, they left after a couple hours.
We headed out to do our trip into town, practically stayed out the whole day, and came home almost midnight. We honked and just waited for the caretaker to open the gate for us. Little did we know there was a small party going on and we felt like we were crashing the party. People were on the roof sitting on the ledge drinking, beers were on top of the cars, and there was a radio playing. At once I called the host and I told him that this was happening, so right after I messaged him he called back quickly and asked what was going on. I told him that his caretaker had visitors on the premises, drinking and having a party. People were on the roof and the two other rooms (unoccupied, suppose to be empty and unrented) were being used. I told the host I didn’t want to have a hostile situation so I would let the party go on but I needed it to be finished by midnight. The host agreed, as our kids simultaneously got ready for bed.
As soon as it was time for the adults to get ready for bed the water shut off. Again I contacted the host and his reply was to talk to the caretaker and she would help us out. We were already feeling like outcasts with a party on our own rented house, and now the host wanted me to go and talk to the caretaker, who was having a party. A few moments later I decided to come down to where the caretaker and party was and ask her; to my surprise, she was not in. The lady told me she left not knowing what time she would be coming back. We all decided to rest and use baby wipes just to get through the night. Unfortunately for my cousin, she was in the middle of showering when the water had gone out, so they used bottled water just to rinse off.
I stayed up while my whole party was resting, because people were still on the property, it was already past midnight, and the caretaker was unavailable. Between 3:30-4:00 AM I heard yelling, arguing and threats being yelled, so I walked out and went outside to check up on it, just to learn that it was the caretaker cursing some guys out over dropping little girls off. Mind you, it was 3:00-4:00 AM. The caretaker saw me and so I approached her and asked what was going on with the water. She said it was cut off, and she would know what’s going on in the morning.
I got up around 6:00 AM to see if the water had been fixed. Unsurprisingly, there was still no water, so I went back to the caretaker and knocked; no one answered. I went back abut an hour later and a man answered the door. I asked where the lady caretaker was. He told me she was asleep and asked me how he could help. I asked him what was going on with the water. He said the water was shut off, and they were going to talk to the owner to see what was going on. We decided to get our breakfast going so we could go ahead and do the last part of our trip.
If you think the hell stops there… the electricity shut off. Now the electric stove I brought was all for nothing. They said the circuit breakers shorted out and there was no way to get a quick fix. That’s when my whole party decided to pack it in. We placed all our belongings in the car and just gave our kids a quick walk by the beach. I tried calling and messaging the host but he didn’t reply until later on that day, offering a $100 discount. While I was talking to the host I told him that we ended up leaving the house to get a hotel room so we could get a decent shower, we ended up throwing our food to be cooked away because it was already half spoiled, and we ended up spending more for breakfast and lunch. The whole party ended up spending more, with the intention of saving using Airbnb. This was not even my first time going to Mexico as my wife has family down there.
The sad part is that it was my cousins’ first time coming down there. I called Airbnb and told them what happened. They told me to send a copy of the receipt of the electric stove that I bought and they would reimburse me $200 and the host $250. However, the food wasted, the stress, the hotel we ended up renting to shower in, the unplanned breakfast and lunch… I told Airbnb that it doesn’t even come close to whatever they were reimbursing me. Airbnb got so rude, thinking I was money hungry, which I’m not. I just wanted my party to be given back what they thought was right. The operator was no help either, telling me that the case was already closed and they could not reimburse anyone in my party because they were not listed on the website. I put down ten people as guests and they told me I should have put their names down so they could reimburse them. I’m still waiting on Airbnb to fix this for me.
Our next door neighbor has turned his entire property (large house and guest house) into Airbnb rentals. He does not live on site. There have been multiple loud rave-like parties and there doesn’t seem there is anything we can do. We always call him personally and he refuses to take any responsibility. He says it’s Airbnb’s fault because they get the renters. He says to call Airbnb (haha, a lot of good that does) and then he says to call the police, which we do. They have come out so many times and there’s not a lot they can do either because the owner isn’t on site.
The latest rave resulted in a near riot in front of the house when drunken partygoers screamed and fought in the front yard when the police came for the third time that day. The party had started before 1:00 PM and this was at 1:00 AM. The whole day, disgusting foul music was pouring into our back yard. We couldn’t use our yard at all. There was screaming, fighting, and lots of free flowing alcohol. This was the worst that it has gotten but there have been plenty more events like this. He has been getting $1000 per event beyond the rental fee. These people did not tell him that they were having a party so he was mad also but still, he just told us to call the police. In the past, he actually had the nerve to ask me to go and quiet the partiers.
This last weekend, he sent his 70 year old mother over and she was afraid to introduce herself to the police. Then when I called him; he called his mother a coward. We are at the end of our rope and don’t know what to do. He has now posted “no events” on his Airbnb website but that isn’t going to help if the renters lie to him. Besides rave-type parties, we have had to endure a drug intervention with a poor addicted woman screaming and shrieking as she was detoxing. I did find an online form to complain to Airbnb as a neighbor. We’ll see how that goes. Not betting it does a thing.
I have been trying to get in contact with Airbnb for days to resolve an issue. The only time I got to talk to them was the day I decided to cancel my booking. The only person at customer service was a lady who was really hard to understand; it seemed like she had a muffin in her mouth, or was talking under a pillow. Her instructions were not clear; they left me even more confused and disappointed.
I made a booking for six days in one place. The toilet was blocked and every time I flushed it, it overflowed. It was the first day and first time entering in that toilet; it was supposed to be my private bathroom but it was dirty. I really needed to use it and felt uncomfortable telling the hosts the toilet was dirty. When I flushed everything just came back out. It was very uncomfortable because my host accused me of blocking in up when I had just arrived.
It was late and I took a shower before bed. The hot water was off and the shower was freezing cold. Coming out of the bathroom, I had to go through the baby’s room. He started to cry, and then the host said I was not allowed to use the shower or toilet at night because the baby would wake up very easily. I started to feel really annoyed.
The next day, due to jet lag, I slept all day. However, I woke up to eat something in the middle of the night since I was also very thirsty. The host’s mother came to the kitchen to say I was making noise, when in fact I was as quiet as a mouse. Again, I could not take a shower so I decided to cancel the booking the next day. In the morning, while getting dressed, their baby bumped my door open when I was practically naked. I notified the host and Airbnb about the cancellation and left the place.
Airbnb told me when the booking was completed they were going to refund me for the days left. I have been trying to reach them without any success, only to have them direct me to the host. I asked the host for a refund but she decided to insult me, saying that my change to the booking didn’t work. When I cancelled the booking, Airbnb didn’t get back to me at all. They paid the host the full amount.
What is going on? Where is the guarantee and protection for the guest? This is not fair.
This spring my landlord decided to terminate my upstairs neighbor’s contract and let out the flat on Airbnb. The reason was plausible: she wants to use the apartment when visiting from overseas and needs the flexibility. The apartment is being rented out on Airbnb now by a third party who manages about 15 other properties around our region (a big touristy region in the Alps which is very popular in summer).
Despite having an arrangement that the guests are supposed to arrive by 9:00 PM and be quiet by 10:00 PM, reality is totally different. Most of the guests completely ignore the arrival time and then because they must have major jet lag, stay up half the night crashing around the kitchen, walking up and down, and generally being a pain. Since the minimum stay is only three nights and they can use Instant Book. We get all the people that couldn’t give a toss about anyone else. I often get no more than two hours of sleep a night and have to scream and shout at them and bang on the walls.
Because we live in an old wooden chalet where you can hear everything. Life is hell. I hate Airbnb and the whole business it has morphed in to the past few years. It has nothing to do with the original idea. Where I live, everyone is getting on the bandwagon; homes are being bought up and rented out on Airbnb. They guests arrive at all hours, can’t figure out where they’re supposed to go, Walk into other people’s houses, leave their trash everywhere, and put out cigarettes in the garden. All these little things become so annoying over time. I wish someone would clamp down and regulate it more.
This was the first time I had ever used Airbnb. I made an account and followed the app as much as I could and then found a room for a night in Bristol with three friends. For £142 we could get one room with one bed and a sofa bed. How they can charge that much for that is beyond me but we were desperate.
I read the terms and conditions. One said no parties or events. Maybe I’m stupid, but to me that does not include going out with friends or having drinks with friends; a party or an event is so much bigger than that and I thought they’re charging a lot because they know it’s graduation in Bristol for two weeks. On top of this they had graduated from UWE and were teachers. My picture is of me: a 22-year-old girl with a glass of wine in my hand. I thought they would be fine; it’s not like we’ll be barging in at 4:00 AM with a bunch of people, playing music and carrying on. We will just need to go and sleep. There were no parties and we weren’t attending any event apart from my graduation the morning before.
The hosts then messaged me (I’ve attached it) saying things such as “will you be coming in early Thursday morning and can you please give us information on your friends for security reasons and can you finish your own form (I thought I’d finished but had a lot left to put in).” Not long after that they sent a message saying they accepted my request to stay. I then messaged back saying, “yes, we will be back in the early hours.” That’s when they got shirty. They wouldn’t allow us to stay.
After all that we were stranded in Bristol and I had forked out £142 I still don’t have, so I owe the bank money because I’m so bloody poor as a student – I am still applying for decent jobs. The hosts had no sympathy – it had not even been 24 hours since I requested a booking and they were so angry. I literally begged for a refund because I interpreted Airbnb’s terms incorrectly and they took my money and refused to give it back. Then they said they’d refund me, but they’d have to only give me the money they’re given by someone who takes the booking. I was so happy as they had told me about all the people who wanted to stay (also I had not heard or realised or seen anything about this pre-requesting thing) so I thought, “yes, I’m in luck!”
Then I saw £142 had been taken out my account. I emailed telling them the money had been withdrawn and asking if they had processed the refund yet. They told me they hadn’t because no one came to stay. I said to them, “okay, if you aren’t going to give it to me out of a friendly understandable gesture then I’m going to fight this.”
We spent four hours arguing and they blamed Airbnb for all of it and took no responsibility even though they asked me questions and took my money without even knowing my answers. People like that have no heart. They used my lack of knowledge, my age and my status of being a student to take my money. I understand that Airbnb writes the terms and they need to be clearer. These hosts weren’t even going to let me go out for a meal and drinks as they considered that a pre-planned event.
We were screwed even if we said we wouldn’t go for cocktails. I mentioned that they didn’t even let me introduce my friends. If security is breached (it wouldn’t have been; my friends are lovely) it would have meant that we would be stranded with £142 gone because they didn’t get this information before. Now they said Airbnb doesn’t have a step for this so they have to ask. What I don’t understand is why would you ask and then take the money before you even know? Essentially you’re scamming people. I couldn’t even tell them before they took my money.
I believe that because I apologised asap when I found out I didn’t realise what they (the hosts) meant by that term they should have just cancelled immediately or asked me to and refunded me so they could then accept these other people that were looking. Instead they got angry at me and acted rude. We are still arguing and I am not letting this go. I spent 45 minutes waiting to get through to Airbnb and there was no answer. I’ll keep trying. If you’re looking for somewhere to stop off before a daytime flight – as you probably aren’t allowed to leave early in the morning – then stay here.