Bad Experience Using Airbnb for the First Time

On August 28th, 2016, I paid the total amount for a two-bedroom condo with three beds in Chicago in full (which hotels never require). When my family arrived, there were only two beds, so that meant that three adult women all over 5’9″ had to share a queen bed. What a mess. With no permission or explanation beforehand, my host gave our room away to someone else. Even though I paid in full it didn’t belong to me. You see, the Cubs had won the World Series, and she most likely had made more renting out the larger unit. I texted her and asked her what had happened. She replied, “Oh, there is a queen mattress in the closet.” What an insult. I had no idea they could even do this. I was floored. Even though I had 24 hours for a cancellation, everything downtown was taken. Where would we go? I informed her there would have to be some sort of refund, and she said she would get back to me. In the end, I got $400.00 credited back to me, but only after I asked for it. The large queen mattress was put in the living and kitchen area, which limited our use of these rooms. It’s so unfair that they have my money, and I can say nothing. I will never book with Airbnb again. I’m sticking to hotels, where my stays have never gone wrong.

Airbnb Canada Does Not Have Your Back

We paid the full cost of renting (or rather, trying to rent) a condo in Toronto. After delays – hours after the check in time – we were told via text to proceed to the unlocked condo. It was immediately obvious that the condo was not fit for occupancy: there was wet paint still on the walls, splattered paint over most floors, painted wall light switches, and painting around wall pictures. The stove was filthy, there was dirt in several corners, closet doors were missing, and the list goes on. Airbnb had to intervene and finally stated that we could have given the owner time to fix these deficiencies. The owner refunded part (less than half) of the rent. There was no further refund from the owner and a refund from Airbnb for the service fee, about $95 Canadian and a whopping $50 Canadian for future bookings. Pathetic!

What’s the Worst that can Happen with Airbnb?

How about traveling clear across the country only to find you can’t get into your rental and the host is nowhere to be found? In October, we booked two weeks at this lovely place near San Diego, CA. They looked legit: the owner is a lawyer, and their farm had recently been featured on the news. In fact, their listing mentioned staying at the property would fund an animal rescue. Who doesn’t love that? Not to mention they had glowing reviews as recent as a week before we left. So we felt comfortable with this choice. Imagine our surprise and dismay when we travelled 3000 miles to arrive at the home with no one to greet us and no way to get in. Mind you we had been up since 3:00 AM, and had now surpassed the 16-hour mark of being awake, schlepping our luggage around, having plane and airport funk on us, and wanting desperately to lie down and rest.

Multiple frantic calls and texts to the owner were not answered or returned, leaving us upset and in a panic about finding a new place that could take us for two weeks. I had communicated with the host, John, before arriving and he was well aware of our arrival time. There was a code lock on the door for which he could have easily sent us the code ahead of time, or even that morning, and he failed to do that. After an hour of calls to Airbnb (which was irritating in its own special way) and multiple area hotels, we booked a room at a Quality Inn; it was not what we were hoping for at all but it was clean and at least we could get in.

The host finally called us back and actually said, “Hey, how’s it going!”, as if he had no idea what was transpiring. As I felt my blood begin to boil I handed the phone to my boyfriend who told him that it was not ok that he left us hanging and we were refunded our money and are now moving on, in a much kinder way than I would have been able to.

So, a word of warning: you can’t solely depend on the reviews on Airbnb, because reviews like this one can’t be posted. They ended up canceling my reservation so now it’s as if I had no connection to it and am unable to leave a review. How many reviews are there for places that couldn’t be posted? Needless to say we are done with Airbnb. We’ve had two out of three bad experiences. It’s too bad, because some of these places are lovely and have more to offer than a hotel room.

Cancellation Nightmare: Host Agrees, Airbnb Denies

I booked a stay on Airbnb for a family funeral but had to change my reservation. the host assured me that a cancellation was fine based on the circumstances and that she would provide a full refund even though she posts with a strict cancellation policy. I received (via Airbnb) less than half of my payment but have been trying to get the remaining amount refunded. Airbnb has not responded to any of my inquiries and the host is unable to communicate with me about sending me a refund check because all communications are encrypted; we can not share phone numbers or addresses. This is a nightmare and I feel that Airbnb should take more responsibility in supporting our efforts to communicate.

Lost £500, Host Went AWOL, Airbnb Won’t Help

I just lost £500 on a booking I made back in September for a November trip. I’d planned to stay in Munich for 30 days and after my booking was accepted, all seemed fine. Until, that is, the host didn’t reply to any of my questions. For six weeks there was nothing. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now I need to know if he’s going to be home when I arrive. I asked him repeatedly for contact information, and nothing. No replies, as before. His phone number also just keeps ringing; he doesn’t even have voicemail. I tried ringing Airbnb to see if they could contact him, but Airbnb’s phone just rings and rings; no one there answers.

Since I can’t get any money back on the long-term policy, I thought to change my stay to 27 days, in line with the strict cancellation policy, get some money back (50%). But for my reservation to be accepted at 27 days, Airbnb needs the host to accept the change. The host isn’t picking up his messages, so what good will this do? Yeah, I could’ve just turned up at his house. But would he even be there? Does he even know/remember I’m coming? Is he even in Munich? I have no idea. I feel trapped by all this. So the host will get my £500 whether I turn up or not, and that sucks. All of this could’ve been prevented if he’d just answered his Airbnb emails – it’s called manners. I haven’t had any problems with Airbnb until now. But losing money like that when you can’t even explain the problem to Airbnb, talk to anyone there, and get them to help, makes it worse. I can’t even write a complaint about the host on his profile, to warn other users about him as well as let him know what I think of him. Instead I feel powerless (and out of pocket). I’ve realised Airbnb does nothing to protect the guest; they’re always on the host’s side.

Airbnb Rip Off Report: Zero Customer Service

I recently went on holiday to Italy and booked several places via Airbnb. With the exception of one, the properties were misrepresented and not as they appeared in the advertisements and photos. One apartment rental we booked in Omegna, (Lake Orta) in Italy was so bad we could not stay there; it was an absolute disgrace compared to the description and photos. I tried to contact Airbnb about any problem but it’s impossible. I tried to cancel online as soon as we arrived but all I got was one night’s refund; I lost the other two nights’ fees, an Airbnb fee, and a cleaning fee, and then had to rent a hotel room. The company obviously never checks if the place being advertised fits the description. All links online lead back to the owner so it’s impossible to get in touch with them to resolve a problem. They obviously don’t care about guests as long as they get their commission. I will never use Airbnb again.

Cold-Hearted Airbnb Hosts after Traumatizing Death

I received some money for a gift for my birthday which was a few weeks ago and was planning to use it for my first, short solo trip to Seattle. I found Cory and Amanda’s cute place and was so excited to stay there. After booking my reservation I was getting ready to take my mom and our family friend to the airport, who had come to visit for the weekend. Suddenly I heard my mother screaming like I’ve never heard before. She yelled that her friend was not responding and to immediately call 911. When I saw her I knew that we were too late: she was cold, purple and stiff. I’ve seen dead bodies before but nothing like this. I will truly be traumatized for a long time. A couple hours after making the reservation I told Amanda and Cory what had happened and asked for a refund since they had a strict cancellation policy. My reservation was still two days away and they refused… several times actually. They informed me that I should have known better and was aware of their policy when I booked.

Had I been aware that a loved one was lying dead in the next room I would have never booked the trip. Airbnb was actually very nice to me. I talked to two individuals who tried to get a refund on my behalf and were unsuccessful. I was floored by how cold and rude these people were to me. I even asked to just change dates for a time in the future and wasn’t able to. I hope that I never make someone feel as lousy as Amanda and Cory made me feel. You hope that most people are compassionate and good but this is just an example of how horrible some people can be. It’s also a little about the money for me: I make about 30k a year and have student loans, so trips like these are rare for me. I lost all of my birthday money and will not get to go on a trip. My advice would be to book a place without a strict cancellation policy because if something happens to you you’ll probably be screwed.

Airbnb: Might as well Flush your Money down the Toilet

My boyfriend and I used Airbnb for a place in San Diego, CA. The place was not like the listing seemed. We contacted Airbnb and they only gave us $140 (one-night refund). We still had to pay $400 for a crappy place that we left at 1:30 in the morning on the first night we got there! We lost money, lost sleep, and lost time. There was no real refund. We will never use or recommend Airbnb ever again. It’s not fair we should lose so much of our hard-earned money over this (we are in college and could barely afford our vacation, let alone paying for a place we didn’t even stay in on top of a nice hotel). Stick to the chain hotels because at least they’re concerned enough about their customers to right any wrongs that happen, and give refunds where they are due. Don’t use Airbnb unless you aren’t concerned about your own protection.

I want to make sure I also include the complaints we had with the place we stayed, as we can’t even leave a review for the host we had when all this happened. This is the message we sent the host:

“You have two complaints about street noise in your reviews. We had to hear the noise as it was well after 8:00 last night, and your fan barely functioned. We knew about the lack of AC, but the fan was completely useless; even at its highest level it was still extremely under powered. While I realize you cannot control the weather, we expected that the fan would at least be somewhat useful. As for the spider, I am not sure what to say. At roughly 10:00 pm Ashley closed the window (as we would rather be hot and uncomfortable then have to deal with the cars outside) and lay back down. At this point she felt something crawling on her, picked it up, and threw it on the floor. I turned on the light and found a large brown/black spider (looked like a wolf spider) on the floor. I killed it and flushed it, but have a bite on my arm now. I would be glad to provide pictures. There was sand all over the bathroom floor and the shower. Ashley wouldn’t take a shower unless it was clean so she cleaned it with Lysol and water.

Concerning the sprinklers: we came back from our family’s house at 9:00 pm. We stepped out of the car and got completely soaked. We should not be deterred to come back to the place before 9:00 pm. This also left water spots on our car (would be glad to provide pictures) and soaked my shoes / pants.

Concerning your neighbors – the people directly above us, anyway – around 12:00 am there was a really loud squeaking noise, like a bed above us. While we could deal with this and understood it happens, not a minute later we heard some really loud moaning that lasted roughly ten minutes. This made both Ashley and I really uncomfortable, and was the final straw to us leaving. The bed was extremely squeaky and firm as well. The heat that could not be beat from a useless fan + being bit by spiders + sand all over the floor + getting soaked by sprinklers and water spots on our car + people having loud sex upstairs + a terrible bed completely ruined our first time experience with Airbnb.

We left at 1:00 am as there was absolutely no chance of us being able to sleep there. We did not do a thorough investigation of the apartment as soon as we got there. Either way, it would have resulted in the same conclusion: leaving. For what we got we would have had a much better experience at something even as cheap as Motel 6 for much less money. While I do not mean to come off as rude, this was an extremely frustrating experience. Especially as we do not have much money (in college) and had to find another hotel room at 1:00 in the morning.”

Our host then replied tough luck. Never again.