Waterfront Property doesn’t Mean 5km from the Beach

I booked a property in the Canadian wilderness. The cover photo was of this gorgeous beach and a large body of water, with the caption: “view from the gazebo.” Multiple other photos show this “private” beach, but once I booked the property I discovered the address is nowhere near any beach, just a tiny little pond. I asked the host about this just two hours after booking and told her I wanted to cancel my reservation and get a refund because it seemed like the property bordered a beach based upon her listing. She told me those photos must have been the tiny pond on the property and there is a river one can access 5 kilometers away. I didn’t book this place to stay 5 kilometers from a beach!

I immediately emailed her again, stating that based upon my Google Earth search, the pond is tiny and not what I was expecting based upon the photos. Three days later she replied the photos are actually of the river 5 kilometers away, and stated everything was made clear in her listing – so it’s my fault for not reading everything. I went online to look at her new Airbnb listing, and she changed everything! The photo that got me to make the booking is clearly labeled as a beach with river access 5 kilometers away and is no longer the cover photo. She now mentions multiple times in the description that the beach photo is of the river 5 kilometers away. So clearly these photos are of the river not the pond next to the residence! I asked for a refund since she clearly acknowledged her listing wasn’t clear – hence the extensive changes – and she refused. I lost 50% of the $1000 I paid for the week. DON’T book this property; the host is dishonest! I still haven’t heard anything from the Airbnb resolution center!

Guest Threatens Bad Review to Get Free Airbnb Stay

My guest spent his first time in Airbnb at my place and I paid someone to clean and give him the keys. He claimed that he didn’t like the place and had to pay $500 for a hotel. He clearly expected a hotel and he didn’t cancel the reservation on the biggest holiday weekend of the summer, which was also the busiest. All I know is that he didn’t cancel, kept the keys the entire weekend, and now claims that he will post a bad review if I don’t give him a refund even though he made it impossible for anyone else to book the property. On top of that, my wine glasses were broken! It is a classic lose-lose situation for the host. Beware: do not rent to first time Airbnb guests and stay away from creeps like this guy who try everything they can to scam you!

Threatened by Host in Asheville

On a recent stay at what appeared to be a great space with overwhelmingly positive reviews, we had the bad luck of encountering a plumbing issue (the handle for the toilet straight up fell off), leaving us without a functioning toilet for almost a whole day (this was the only bathroom in the unit). The host never replied to our message regarding the maintenance issue, so we decided to cut our losses and leave (Hotel Indigo is very nice, by the way). While we were packing up, the host came over totally unannounced, pounded on the door, and threatened us for leaving early. We finished packing up, completely terrified, and got out as quickly as possible, trying not to escalate the situation. Once we made it to safety, I called Airbnb to report the incident.

The customer service rep, “Josh,” said that because there was no evidence of what happened, we were basically out of luck (side note: I did have my unanswered messages to the host about the problem and a witness to the harassment – the other guest – which judge Josh apparently didn’t think counted as evidence). I was eventually refunded for one night, but was told that because the host has a strict cancellation policy, and the incident occurred more than 24 hours after check-in, no additional money would be refunded. This seems like a less-than-sound refund policy to say the least. I mean, what if the place burned to the ground more than 24 hours after check-in? Does the host still get to keep the money if he wants? The most troubling part of this whole incident is Airbnb’s nonchalant attitude when it comes to women being threatened by their male hosts.

Moral of the story: an unstable, violent host can intimidate you into leaving (read: escaping) early and then keep your money because you “canceled” the reservation early.