Guests Who Pay Are Your Only Customers — Airbnb Doesn’t Care

I started using Airbnb in 2014. Recently over my last trip to Foster City, San Mateo, California, I picked an Airbnb apartment for a long term stay. The host operates as a leasing and servicing management team, who cared less about servicing or even providing amenities through the nearly two-month stay.

While in the middle of our stay, we wanted to extend for another eight nights. The host claimed that the property was available but Airbnb’s platform features did not allow them to extend. Airbnb chose to play in silence by not participating or responding to any requests. Communication to fix the platform and the host’s booking system issues went on for 3.5 weeks and Airbnb maintained selective silence and never replied timely.

The host proposed and continued to call through our stay, telling us to book directly with them. If that was the intent, then why did we need Airbnb to begin? The host has over 50 properties listed on Airbnb, which means Airbnb has a big supply of customers. Airbnb chose not to lose a supply partner over a guest. I wrote several times to Airbnb but they ignored all my requests with standard replies like “Can we do anything to make your stay comfortable?” and “Is there anything else we could help you with?”

Airbnb and hosts: you both need to know that I, the customer, is the one entity you both need to stay in business. Without Airbnb I would go straight to the host or the like for vacation or long term rentals. Why do I need Airbnb? The host forced me to sign up for an extension with them, so why would they even list on Airbnb? Market and sell your own inventory.

Airbnb is not a platform, not anymore. I deleted Airbnb from my phone before the end of my stay, and I am not staying with this host in the foreseeable future. Goodbye Airbnb. The question is how long can you continue this broken model. Eventually all the suppliers will leave because I, the customer, will not be on Airbnb to create demand.

Airbnb Hosts in Thailand Ask for Extra

I’ve been living in Thailand for five months and using Airbnb I’ve noticed an unusual pattern of requests made by hosts in this country. The hosts request guests to pay for the electric and water bills and to give them security deposits upon arrival. Many of them expect these payments to be made to them or their co-host in cash.

Here’s how it went for me. I booked a studio apartment in Pattaya for 30 days. The host then informed me I had to pay electricity and water (at the time I had no problem with it) and then the host advised me to get in contact with his co-host. The co-host, however, was not listed as a co-host. That was a red flag as I believe guests should only communicate on the Airbnb platform and not give out our cell numbers.

Upon my arrival the co-host requested a security deposit of 3000 Thai baht. I told her I couldn’t pay her that. I then contacted Airbnb and told them what had transpired. The Airbnb case manager communicated to the host and informed him that he cannot make requests for guests to give him any payments in the form of cash, only through Airbnb. Since he requested water and electricity to be paid, then he must submit documentation through the Resolution Center. At the end of my check out he did not do that.

Here’s the scam that I figured out. So many of these hosts in Thailand rent out these rooms and use them for Airbnb. When they ask for utilities to be paid they make a request for a “security deposit”, right? But that’s for their apparent utilities they are charging you for. Think about it. If water and gas comes out to either greater, equal or less than the deposit you gave the host, they will just pay you back the difference in whatever you may pay. If you change your mind and don’t want to pay the utilities they will threaten to just keep your whole deposit. That’s what people do here. So be aware of this when you come to Thailand and book long stays.

Airbnb: Worst Customer Service Ever

We booked a 10-bedroom home and paid our deposit. The leasing agency the host employs then called us to pay our rental insurance and pet fees… okay, no problem. I asked her to put the charges on Airbnb like the site says you should and they refused, stating they would need a credit card or my checking account number to pay the fees. They also requested I sign up on another site so we could communicate via their property management site. I refused as well, due to Airbnb’s strict policies about communication. I cannot trust this company and requested a refund. Each person I have spoken with has been horrible. No resolution or communication, just passing the ball to someone else. The worst customer service.

I Paid Outside Airbnb for a Condo, Not a Filthy Trailer

I contacted the host for this Airbnb and was asked to pay her directly, circumventing Airbnb payment system to get a reduced rate. When I arrived at the rental I was shown to a filthy trailer seething with decades-old cigarette smoke. The pictures were of another trailer nearby occupied by the host’s mother and depicting a charming residence being advertised as a condo at the time. She has removed that claim from the posting as of now.

As we stood in the trailer my throat began to swell from reactions to the toxic smoke coating the interior of the trailer. I explained to her I could not stay there and asked for a refund, to which she agreed right away. She and her mother were as charming as could be and I left confident they would give me the refund they promised. I asked several times, and finally she relayed that I would get the refund “the next week”.

Next week came and went with her continuing to ignore further inquiries about my refund. Finally she texted me asking why I really needed the refund since I was so wealthy (not true at all). I then contacted Airbnb, who responded telling me they couldn’t help since I paid her outside the system (at her request of course) and as of this posting they continue to advertise for this fraudulent listing. Beware of renting from this listing – it’s a fraud.

Avoid this Airbnb Rental like the Plague in Port Coquitlam

The room was a shoebox with six people in the house who all shared the laundry right outside the door to the room. Three people lived upstairs, which was another separate property, something not mentioned in the posting. The other door in the room was to the shared washroom with the toilet which was inches from the door. I didn’t expect these noise factors. I didn’t complain about these things, but other guests should be aware of the noise.

Expect to be questioned about your whereabouts regularly, whether you’ve eaten, when you’re working, on your days off, if you have health problems, and whether you are at home. I gave this woman my cell number when I arrived and she’s been happy to text me asking these types of questions, or knock on my door and ask me questions as though that’s perfectly acceptable.

The booking was through Airbnb. When I arrived, the host wanted a cash payment for the damage deposit and rent going forward, something she never mentioned when she texted or messaged me on Airbnb or talked with me by phone before I arrived. I wasn’t prepared for this after travelling all day being up at 4:30 AM. I offered a cheque but she didn’t want one, saying she was afraid of it bouncing. That’s essentially saying: sorry, I don’t trust you. What a warm welcome that was.

Not having cash on me, I gave her a cheque for the damage deposit, which she didn’t seem thrilled about. This was my first mistake as a first time renter through Airbnb: to capitulate, listen to anything she said, and not follow Airbnb’s policy about payment through the platform after the first month. I was tired after traveling all day so just handed over the cheque, but thereafter she demanded cash for rent. If I offered a cheque, she refused and simply demanded cash only, like she thought she was perfectly entitled to demand that.

She was in her own world and didn’t communicate well. She’s Iranian and likes to talk about her country and herself generally. She has a lot of political opinions and comes off as if her point of view is right and she’s going to educate you. I have to take full responsibility for this rental going off the tracks because I wasn’t prepared to deal with someone who right off the bat wasn’t going to follow Airbnb’s policy, who was demanding and thinking just about what suited her. Right at the start she complained about Airbnb delaying paying her the rent I paid them for the booking, texting me complaining why her rent wasn’t paid through Airbnb. I told her to contact Airbnb. She first thing she complained about payment issues, whether it was through Airbnb or trying to accommodate her by offering a cheque.

After arriving we discussed the rental and I agreed to stay two more months. I wouldn’t have anticipated a problem but she consistently violated my privacy. I walked into the kitchen and she would ask me if I’ve eaten, if it’s my day off, or if I’m working. There’s a note on the fridge telling people to keep the toilet seat down. Essentially, you can be prepared to be treated like a child. This was not a rental situation appropriate for adults in any way. She didn’t follow basic BC Tenancy Laws and no written agreement was made to dissolve the Airbnb policy guidelines for renting. She assumes that policy is dissolved when I set foot in her house and it’s now her way or the highway, although nothing was discussed about different terms of rental.

On Canada Day I worked all day. It’s about a three-hour trip to and back from work. I was sick and texted the host to say I would leave a cheque for the rent on the dining room table later that day. She texted me back demanding cash, instead of saying thank you and wishing me a happy Canada Day. She also said I could pay her by Interac, which I wound up doing. I texted her and told her the payment was made and after 25 minutes she texted back that she hadn’t received the payment and that she hoped I had sent it: no thank you for sending the payment, or well wishes on the holiday.

Expect complete rudeness, suspicion, and zero appreciation for any effort you make to communicate respectfully. Implying that I hadn’t sent the payment was the last straw, because she was basically implying I was dishonest and hadn’t sent it. Keep in mind I’d worked all day. It was Canada Day and I was recovering from a nasty cold. I confronted her about her dishonesty and rudeness in implying that I was essentially lying about paying her through Interac. She didn’t apologise, nor apologised on any occasion. She was generally argumentative, and didn’t seem to even understand why I would be upset at this point. No consideration – just demands.

On July 5th, she left me a note on my door, which I have attached here. I hadn’t seen her since July 1st. She felt confronting her about her dishonesty was harassment. Expect pretty extreme craziness and no understanding on her part as to why I would be upset. I frankly think she just doesn’t give a hoot, so be prepared for full harassment.

If the issues continue this month I will have no choice but to take her to arbitration through the BC Tenancy Board and ask for the full three months’ rent back. I may consider doing that anyway, based on this letter she left.

This is my last month renting here and I’m working full time while trying to find a place to rent. The situation is just completely bonkers. She’ll just harass you no matter what. No peace, no privacy, and expecting cash payment instead of paying through Airbnb. Like I said, it’s my own fault for not paying for the damage deposit and other months’ rent through Airbnb, but I capitulated to her demands because I’m a considerate person and she was complaining. I thought it might be difficult for her to wait for the rent payment delay through Airbnb. Apparently sometimes the delay can be over a week. At least that’s what she told me; she could be lying. That’s really the only reason I decided to pay her directly because she was complaining about Airbnb’s payment system and I’m a softy. Big mistake.

Renting here has been very stressful, so avoid this nightmare of a rental. Check out the harassing letter she posted on my door which I found this morning. I guess she’s translates being confronted about her dishonesty and rudeness to me and complete lack of consideration as harassment. I’ve taken pictures of everything in the house as evidence that I’ve kept everything clean and no damage was done to her property. At least the note is evidence in my favor if I have to decide to go to arbitration.

The one other woman renter on the property with whom I share a bathroom had no issues with with me; she’s actually very nice. We hugged before she went on holidays and I wished her well. Yet somehow I’m a harassing, abusive threat. The host just makes things up and comes off as really paranoid and erratic. She won’t admit any wrongdoing and generally doesn’t communicate when it matters the most. Avoid it like the plague.

In the letter, she felt I was abusive and aggressive for confronting her even though she felt it was okay to imply I’m dishonest, that my cheques will bounce, and that I was lying about paying her through Interac. She felt it was okay to completely blindside me and not follow Airbnb policy. I was upset when I confronted her, but never used profanity or otherwise. I have the right to be upset. She never tried to work it out with me or apologize. She just left this note. She thinks I’m endangering someone or some imaginary property, but I’m not sure who that is or what property she’s talking about. She’s really, really paranoid. She can’t handle it if someone has the courage to tell her the truth or if someone is direct, or if you get upset for being treated so terribly. In response to the letter I have communicated only through the Airbnb platform. If I was angry for no reason that would be different but she’s pushed me too far.

After showing consideration about paying rent through Interac, she implied I was dishonest and hadn’t actually paid. That’s enough. Yes, I’m angry but I expressed that to her on July 1st in the span of about one minute and haven’t seen her since. I also messaged her through the Airbnb platform afterward to be clearer about why I was so upset. I wouldn’t be around for most of July except to sleep and I was putting it behind me because I have more positive things to focus on. Yet I’m a threat somehow.

I also asked her via the Airbnb message platform to stop texting me but she kept texting anyway. The Airbnb platform is a secure platform to communicate but she can’t even follow a simple request so that communication is recorded on the Airbnb platform. I’ve also blocked her number so she doesn’t harrass me by texting anymore. She’s classic passive aggressive to the extreme.

Onwards and upwards. I’m going to look for a place to rent today and actually after writing this post, have decided to file a dispute with the BC Residential Tenancy Board. Her disrespect and the lack of privacy and implying that I’m dishonest, and then leaving this letter is all too much, it all constitutes harassment. Thanks for providing this website to share my story.