Fleas, Cockroaches, and a Late Check-in

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These Airbnb hosts made us wait an hour and a half after our check-in time to actually let us check in. Our dog caught fleas and there were live cockroaches, dirty floors, and a slimy shower. The hosts actually admitted to all of this. They said we broke their blinds when we never touched them and tried to charge us for it. They said I never paid the pet fee which is insane because we texted them like a month before our trip to pay it but they never responded to let us pay.

I reported all of this to Airbnb to which they sided with the hosts even with all this proof. They said they must stick to their guest policy and sent me a link. I went through the policy and showed that it said less than 24 hours after the trip ends, you can get a refund worked out. I told them if they want to stick to their refund policy then they should take the time to read their own policy and circled where it said that they would work out a refund less than 24 hours after a stay. Then I showed them that I messaged them in less than 24 hours.

The person I was speaking to said that it stated “24 hours before.” I zoomed in and screenshotted where it said “after,” circled it, and sent it to her again. They closed the case.

30-Day Stay Cancellation Policy: Host in Wynwood, Miami

I made a 30-day reservation on Airbnb for my daughter who moved closer to home. The reservation was about two weeks before the arrival date. Well, long story short, she was not able to stay at the place, so I cancelled seven days before arrival. I only got back approximately $60 out of the $495. Why?

Because it was the host’s cancellation policy, which was not clearly mentioned before making the reservation. It was hidden apparently at the end (after making the reservation) and not very obvious. The $60 was for cleaning and admin fees. I contacted the host and Airbnb intervened too but the host declined to refund the money.

Apparently, there is a loophole in this policy, which Airbnb has not addressed. If you do not cancel a month before a long-term stay like a 30-day or longer stay, then you forfeit the money paid. But this does not account for reservations made a week or two before the arrival date. In theory, this policy should be null and void.

Talking to an attorney, most courts would not enforce this policy. From the advice of an attorney, the best route is pursuing it via the credit card company. There was no service received, it was cancelled timely, and the ad was seemingly misleading (since it was not clear it was a shared room from the site I initially went on, which was not an Airbnb site but directed me to Airbnb). I do not expect any help from this since it seems most people have lost this same cancellation issue too.

My advice: do not book long-term stays at all. Make sure they are one-week stays. Two weeks is cutting it close and apparently it appears to default to the long-term stay policy.

Note: if this has happened to you per a host’s cancellation policy, an attorney said if there are enough of people impacted by this, we could sue Airbnb and the individual hosts together. Airbnb’s practice is arguably similar to the fine print tactics but they hide the policies after booking. It is considered unfair and deceptive business practices under Florida state laws and federal consumer protection laws, with not making it clear of these policies.

Sites like Priceline and other sites make it very clear that the reservation is either nonrefundable or refundable. Why doesn’t Airbnb do the same?

Hospital Stay Prior to Hosting Questions Policy

I recently applied for a refund within 24 hours of booking. I spoke to the host to explain the situation but Airbnb refused to give me more than a 50% refund because I had visitors coming to my home for a week. The week before their arrival, I broke my ankle and was in a cast and wheelchair.

When I got home from the hospital I realised that in two days I was not going to be ready to host guests in my home so I took a lovely little apartment for them to stay in which I booked in the middle of the night. The next day, my guests decided that because I wasn’t well, they would not visit.

I applied for a refund to Airbnb with this story which of course I am prepared to present proof of hospitalization, documentation, etc. From a 700+ Euro booking cancelled the next day, they refused to refund me more than 300 Euros because it was not my guests who were staying in the apartment who had the accident. They were healthy enough so this did not apply.

I find this quite far removed from the community-based hospitality concept that started out with Airbnb. I wonder who gets that 400 Euro difference, Airbnb or the host? Someone needs to come up with a new Airbnb-like concept.

Airbnb in Two Words? Frustrating and Inconvenient

First of all, Airbnb’s payment policy works against the customer since you have to pay in advance without having the opportunity to look at the property. My son reserved a property in Tokyo months in advance, just to find at arrival that the place was filthy, and did not offer the number of accommodations advertised on the website.

When finally reaching Airbnb for a refund, they said that by company policy the host had to have a chance to try to solve the problem, all the while not offering another place to stay. Service carriers make communication very complicated, our family is in complete distress, and travelers face the utmost uncertainty on where to stay next. All in all, an unacceptable inconvenience for all.

Fed up with Airbnb’s “Extenuating Circumstances” Policy

I am quite fed up with Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy and their customer service agents’ performance. My guest wanted to cancel her reservation last weekend due to the Eurostar not operating. I contacted Airbnb customer service and offered to give a 50% refund to this guest.

Customer service just deducted my payment and gave a full refund to the guest, referring to their “Extenuating Circumstances” policy , which I think is totally unfair to hosts. I understand circumstances we can’t control, but my guest can make a claim and complaint to Eurostar for this incident. I tried to be fair to both sides and offered 50%.

In addition, my guest can get compensation from her travel insurance because this incident was caused by Eurostar, but I have to pay her a full refund? When she cancelled her reservation last weekend because of this incident, how could I find any guest to replace her? I have lost income for this last weekend as well.

I contacted a customer service agent who dealt with my case. All she could do was refer to Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. As per their policies, they only protect the guests, not the hosts at all. Their customer service agents can only refer to the policies, but they fail to solve the problem based on the situation. I don’t think they deserve a booking fee from hosts and guests because they only provide poor service. Two thumbs down.

I’m ready to pull my hair out after this Airbnb

I made a reservation for a long-term stay near Portland, Oregon. We then decided to extend the stay, and I talked with Airbnb representatives, to be sure that nothing bad would happen or they would try to charge me more money at once. We already paid the first month with fees and cleaning charges.

I was sent a “request for alteration” by Airbnb, with the new amount and a payment schedule. Then later on the next day, I received a receipt for the extended reservation, and it was a completely different payment schedule with large amounts on each month, rather than the evenly spaced amounts for the installments.

It’s been two weeks now trying to straighten this out, and they are driving me crazy. The people I talk to either don’t care or read from a script: the same things over and over. Then I was told it would go to a “supervisor,” which is a “case manager,” and still I heard nothing.

Finally, two days ago, they said it should go to the “payment” team, and I would hear from them shortly. Nothing. I’m going out of my mind with these idiots.

Airbnb Didn’t Exercise the Host Insurance Policy

We had a bad experience with our Airbnb case manager. Our Airbnb guest used an iron on the sofa bed and burned it. We contacted the guest, and they denied causing the damage. They said they didn’t do it. We contacted Airbnb to exercise the host insurance policy. Airbnb asked for some documents like an “invoice or offer of the repair, age of the damaged item, photos, etc.”

We provided all the information. After a few days, they asked for a “repair offer letter” showing the stamp of the company. It was Ramadan season in Turkey, and I told them that, during Ramadan, documents are always delayed. 31 days after the damage occurred, I received the letter and forwarded it to Airbnb team. They said, according to the policy, all documents should be received within 30 days. I told them I sent them everything they needed, and the only thing delayed was a “stamp on an already sent letter”.

They didn’t accept it. They didn’t pay for the damage. I sent them the letter before the 30th day, and this was the only additional document they asked for. I even told them about the delay in advance, and they ignored it.

Poorly Designed Policies Allow Airbnb Extortion

I recently had an unpleasant experience while traveling in Cannes, France with my wife, baby, and a friend. I explained the situation to Airbnb’s support team, but they sided with the host due to Airbnb policies. I’ve come to realize that the policies are flawed and the only way to fix it is to bring it to the attention to someone with the ability to amend the policies.

I live in the United States and work in residential real estate development. When listing the number of bathrooms in the U.S., “2.5 bathrooms” would mean two full bathrooms with a shower and toilet and a second half-bath with just a toilet. Evidently, in France 2.5 bathrooms means two bathrooms with only a shower and a third bathroom with only a toilet. Thus, there is only one toilet in a three-bedroom apartment.

We were shocked and felt somewhat duped especially since the host knew better. He was a residential real estate broker in the U.S. for four years. You would think that this would be cause for cancellation, but it was not according to Airbnb support. This was unfortunate, but not the end of the world.

Upon nightfall the unit was overrun with mosquitos – dozens of them. We killed a couple on a dish towel (a photo was taken and sent to Airbnb). My wife and I had our five-month old baby with us. We could not allow him to get eaten alive while he slept. The only responsible thing to do was to leave and check into a hotel.

Evidently, according to Airbnb policy, mosquitoes are not a viable reason to cancel a reservation. I’m still shocked that this does not qualify as uninhabitable. Airbnb is competing against hotels. If I were to check into a hotel room with dozens of mosquitoes, they would have refunded my money. Why wouldn’t Airbnb?

After contacting the host that evening and not receiving a response, I sent him a nice message saying that my experience was clearly unpleasant, but since I didn’t stay there overnight and he would not need to clean the premises, I stated the obvious by saying that if he would just refund my money, I wouldn’t leave a review. What a mistake. He was a pro and knew that according to Airbnb policy, he got me.

He accused me of extortion which I thought this was crazy since extortion clearly implies a falsehood. The intent of an extortion policy is to protect hosts from guests who had a pleasant experience and then demand a refund in return for a positive review. Airbnb’s policy doesn’t read that way and thus provides a loophole to unscrupulous hosts. Since it’s “policy” there was nothing Customer Support could do.

I lost $1,037. I thought to myself that this was unfortunate but at least I can warn other travelers of the two issues mentioned above. After leaving my review, Airbnb then informed me that it was being removed due to the extortion policy despite the fact was that it was completely honest. Not only do I feel like $1,000 was stolen from me, I am now not even allowed to warn other travelers. I know Airbnb is a young company so there will be holes in the system, but I just thought I’d bring this one to their attention.

Nest of Thieves: Airbnb’s New Policy Costs Me

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed by AirbnbHell.com users do not necessarily reflect those of the Airbnb Hell staff.  That being said, we will continue to provide a free and uncensored platform for all of our contributors to share their Airbnb related stories, opinions, and experiences.

I’m a pensioner, an old lady who can’t afford to be ripped off by Airbnb. I had booked a holiday in the UK. I paid for it in full and was due to take it in November 2016. Then I received an email from Airbnb saying that everyone who uses their website will need to sign their Equality Commitment. I could agree to almost all of it, but though I have no property to let out, I could not agree to let out a room in my home to a gay couple. I have no problems renting from a gay couple. But as gay marriage is against my religious principles, I just cannot sign it. I was able to get a refund for the actual holiday but not for the service charge. I’m an old lady and can’t afford to lose that service charge. I would understand if they had told me before I paid my money out, that this is the way it’s going to be. That would have been fair. But this isn’t even legal! Never mind fair. They state that any bookings I already have will be cancelled if I don’t sign. You can’t do that! But they have done that. They have ripped off this old lady and robbed her blind. Why are they allowed to get away with it?

Has Airbnb Missed the Mark Entirely?

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed by AirbnbHell.com users do not necessarily reflect those of the Airbnb Hell staff.  That being said, we will continue to provide a free and uncensored platform for all of our contributors to share their Airbnb related stories, opinions, and experiences.

I am a boring old white male married with three children. I have no racial prejudices: the best man at my wedding was an Indian, I lived in Brixton when it was mostly black, I have gay friends, and I spent 11 years in the Middle East. I have employed Arabs and Jews and have friends who are both Muslims and Jewish – I even have a couple of friends who are lesbians – so clearly I am not racially prejudiced or against any particular minority group.

So what is Airbnb trying to do? They have sent me an email saying that unless I agree to their anti-discriminatory, pro-gay, pro-this and that terms and conditions, my guest house listing will be removed and any bookings I have made as an individual will be cancelled. What on earth are they trying to do? They are just an app with some really annoying features, like removing useful information from emails. This unbelievable arrogance speaks of delusions of grandeur. I will not agree to their new terms and conditions; it is not their business how I discriminate. I can fully understand why a old school catholic family may not want to host gay people. Surely they have that choice; it is their house and I am sure gay people would feel uncomfortable. Similarly, would a black guy want to rent a room from someone who is a member of the UK National Front? Probably not.

We all have our preferences. Airbnb has lost my listing for sure.