Both Host and Airbnb won’t Accept Negative Review

Here is a review I posted on an Airbnb host’s site. It was posted for one day and then Airbnb removed it from the post. I contacted Airbnb support and went back and forth many times and they refused to put the review back on the host’s rental site.

You will see in my review that I not only complained about the rental but also provided some positive feedback. It seems to me that the host and Airbnb don’t want negative reviews so they removed it. When I told the host I was posting a negative review, he threatened that if I did he would post something negative about me. I didn’t care about the negative feedback I would receive as I felt it was important to share my experience with others who may rent this house.

We also had five couples in the rental (all over 60) so I can’t imagine what he could have said about us. We were there less than 24 hours and took great care of the house. Since Airbnb wouldn’t post my review on their site I am now hoping to share it here:

Beware of this host. First let me say that we have rented many homes through VRBO and most recently Airbnb for over 15 years. This will be my first negative review I’ve written so I put a lot of thought into this post. Our first interaction with the host was amazing. She was quick to respond to all of my questions and allowed us to rent for only one night on a busy NYE stay – although at a premium rate of $1,600 per night (I believe the normal nightly rate is $500). We had five couples to share the cost so we felt the price was worth us spending a night in a nice house.

Now to the reason I’m writing a negative review. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the pool had not been cleaned; it was dirty and had leaves on the bottom of the pool. I contacted the host and she offered to come over and sweep it for us. We declined as it was starting to get dark and cool for the evening. Again, the host quickly responded to my question so communication was good. As the evening progressed we discovered many other issues. By this time of night it was getting late on NYE so we decided it was too late to call her. A list of issues we found that I want to share with potential renters:

1. When one of the guests went to prepare for bed she pulled back the top sheet and there was not a fitted sheet – only the mattress pad, which had many stains on it and was covered with hair. She found the fitted sheet wound up in a ball in the closet; it was wet so she couldn’t put it on the bed. She had to move all of her stuff to another bedroom which also had bedding issues (holes in the shams and stained sheets).

2. An ice cube fell on the floor so we grabbed a paper towel to wipe it up. The paper towel was black from the dirt on the floor. We tried wiping other areas in the kitchen and saw how dirty the floor was. We decided that we wouldn’t go barefoot in the house. In fact, by the bar area our shoes would squeak from the stickiness on the floor.

3. The fireplace didn’t work – or if it did we couldn’t find the instructions on how to use it.

4. One of the bathrooms had a hole in the drywall, the tub faucet was broken and the sink handle fell off when we turned it.

5. The ice dispenser didn’t work – we had to open freezer to get ice out of the bucket.

For $1,600 we expected a lot more from this rental. It didn’t have to be perfect as we understand many renters come and go through these houses, but clean and in working order was not too high of an expectation.

The next day I contacted the host and she said she was mortified about the linens and would repair all of the items I listed. Although too late for our stay, I hope it is better for the next renter. Her reasoning that things were not taken care of was that no one had ever told her about anything wrong in the house. I understand that others wrote good reviews so she wasn’t aware of any issues which is why I’m writing this review so the next potential renter can be informed.

All in all, the host was good to work with. We just felt that for the amount we paid to rent the house we deserved so much more.

Deceptive Profile Led to Being Charged for Damage

This is regarding the Airbnb apartment listed at this link. The profile is deceptive, making the property look big enough for four people without any clutter. Due to this deception, I booked this place, but it was hell to stay there and inevitably my son broke an exposed light bulb by his bed. I would have been happy to pay for that lightbulb, but I was charged an unreasonable amount of money.

The host also made a questionable claim that we spilled something on one of his cheap kitchen chairs. The host asked for $118 for damages that were at most approximately $8. It went to Airbnb mediation and they basically split the difference, charging me $68. It’s still extremely unreasonable for $8 worth of damage. Because this dispute was “mediated” by Airbnb I had no recourse. They took the money out of my account and I could not object. All Airbnb customers are vulnerable to this type of mistreatment.

Furthermore, before this verdict was handed down, I posted this review to protest the awful place:

“I was deceived by the 5-star reviews when I booked this [property]. I wish I had read the written reviews more carefully. Most mention negatives even when they gave five stars. This place was horrible. First, when I showed the address to Israelis they all told me that it is a dangerous neighborhood full of drugs, prostitution, crime, and gangs. There is graffiti, dog poop everywhere you walk, and trash blocking the sidewalks.

Second, the apartment was tiny. Profile pictures are deceptive, taken from angles that make it appear larger, and crammed with more furniture than shown in the photos and lots of junk everywhere. There was an exposed lightbulb next to the bench that served as my son’s bed. Inevitably my son bumped it and then the host tried to charge us a crazy amount for his damaged exposed lightbulb (more below).

There are no closets or drawers to put things. The only place to keep things is in your suitcase, but no floor space. So you need to hop over your suitcases whenever you cross the floor. When we complained, he said to put everything on a tiny box that already had his own junk on it. There is no parking since open spots are immediately filled in this dangerous, overcrowded neighborhood. When you try to stop in front, other cars start honking immediately.

We had to hike in and lug our stuff from a long way away. The profile mentions the climb, but fails to say that the staircase is very narrow, dirty and dark with weird wires and pipes sticking out. Dog poop on the floor. The shower is unusable because the water is always cold and splashes everywhere.

Worst of all, the host is a first class jerk. He falsely accused us of breaking “house rules” when we are very conscientious and followed the rules scrupulously. He falsely accused us of taking his remote control that we left in his apartment and tried to extort an exorbitant amount of money from us for a spill on a chair that I doubt was ours and his broken exposed lightbulb next to the bench my poor son had to sleep on. Read the other reviews before booking and don’t rely on the stars.”

Everything I wrote was true and no one disputed the facts. Nevertheless. Airbnb removed my review and wouldn’t allow me to post another one, so other people could be warned about how awful this place was. I suspect that this host’s good reviews are likely the result of all negative reviews getting purged. This brings into question the integrity of all Airbnb reviews, not just the integrity of those at this particular place.

Dirty Beach Grounds for a Bad Airbnb Review?

I am new to the Airbnb life. In August 2017, I rented an ocean front beach house for the weekend in Westbrook, Connecticut. I gave a surprise gathering for my boyfriend’s 46th birthday. The home was beautiful, a little outdated but nice. I met with the maid upon arrival and did a walkaround. The event was very adult and respectful to the home. The area of the beach that the host was responsible for was filthy though. We did not get to enjoy it because it had sea weed, dead crabs, sea shells open and closed, and black dirty sand everywhere. We dared not take off our shoes let alone spend very much quality time out there. A bit depressing being that it’s listed as an ocean front beach home.

However, I gave a guest review. I was mild about the beach. I did in fact mention that it was a disappointment. I didn’t give the details as I just did. The host must have gotten upset and posted a untruthful guest review, saying that my guests and I didn’t clean up behind ourselves, which was an outrage. I have pictures and video footage of the home right before we were checking out. I’ve been trying to send this information to Airbnb but they are giving me email addresses that are coming back to me not received. I need to prove my innocence. Since then I’ve tried to book two other places and got denied because of her lying statement. I need this removed from my review page and this is why I’m fighting.

New Year’s Eve in New Orleans Cancellation

I booked a condo months in advance for my family near the French Quarter in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, as we were returning from a cruise that day. The listing had a normal price (not New Year’s Eve French Quarter pricing).

Three days before, host cancelled due to one of those rare plumbing problems that can’t be fixed within three days. I spent the last day of my cruise on the computer, trying to figure out an alternate plan with everything nearby booked up. With no luck and $500 a person to change flight dates, I rented a one-way car and set out to drive home. I’ll spend New Year’s 2018 with my kids in a motel on I-55.

The best part is, with my reservation canceled, there is literally no way to leave a review for either the host or his listing and no way to complain to Airbnb other than generic website feedback. Maybe the plumbing problem is real (who knows?) but why should a situation like that not be allowed to be noted in the reviews? I can tell you my first Airbnb experience will also be my last, and I wish the host and his plumbing anything but a prosperous New Year. Cheers to all from the Motel 6!

Airbnb: Unprofessional Standards Drive Guests Away

In the last three months I have stayed in three Airbnb apartments and houses: each for a month. I moved to a new Airbnb house two days ago. Already, I have noticed the TV system has a fault, there is no hot water, the fob to the garage doesnt work and I had to climb over the gate all day yesterday because I didnt have a key. The last two places were just as bad.

They are amateurs: they only want your money, and have no sense of professional responsibility or standards. No wonder the terms don’t allow refunds. If you find the electricity constantly cuts out, or the plumbing is so noisy it keeps you awake, or you do not get the necessary keys, or there is not enough hot water for two people to shower, or the fob to the garage doesn’t work, or there is little privacy to work there, or it’s cold with no heating, and consequently it’s overpriced – complain, or leave a bad review. It’s your duty to do so. We are the regulators.

Bad Experience at Noisy Airbnb in Hong Kong

I booked a one-bedroom apartment for a three-night stay in Hong Kong. The reviews were good, and although it was somewhat pricey (the equivalent of £100 a night), I knew that prices would be high in HK, and ‘sucked it up’.

The flat consisted of a bedroom, a small living room with an open kitchenette and a small bathroom. I assumed the owner rented it out all the time. It dawned on me later that she actually lived there, and moved elsewhere when she had a booking. The street, described as ‘quiet’ though with a little noise from a restaurant downstairs, was actually a party street with bars and restaurants open until the early hours every night. People would stand outside, smoking, laughing, and shouting.

Worse than this noise though, was the racket made by the ancient window-mounted air conditioner. The owner said it was a little noisy and needed servicing. That was an understatement – it was like a diesel engine rumbling away making enough noise to wake the dead. At times it started to pulsate and make the whole room vibrate. If the owner knew it was problematic, why didn’t she have it fixed before I arrived and paid £2,100 up front for my stay? Not using the aircon was not an option since it was so darn hot. I managed to sleep with the aid of earplugs.

I am a vegan, so wanted to cook my own food. Impossible – there were no pots and pans. There was no connected stove (a non-working gas ring). Even the microwave was useless since the power cord would not reach the plug socket. The windows were also filthy; you could barely see outside. The owner cleaned them one day, after I complained. I left after five nights and asked for a refund, but guess what? They only refund 50% of your rental fee. I wrote a damning review which Airbnb edited. All they posted was ‘amenities need improving’.

Is Airbnb really that selective that they censor renters’ reviews? I checked in to a serviced apartment. For an extra £10 a night I get a lovely serviced room and use of the residents’ gym and laundry room. Never again, Airbnb. Never again.

Airbnb is a Pig in a Poke: Don’t Trust Them

I was a great fan of Airbnb for about two or three years until I faced an ugly situation. I had a bad experience with an apartment in Tel Aviv in the high season, August. It was so bad that when I provided photos to Airbnb, they refunded me 50% of the total cost. Later I understood why there were so many good reviews (good scores) for awful apartments. It is just the policy of Airbnb. They do not want to spoil their reputation and image by admitting they allow bad hosts to keep using the site. That’s why they do their best to hide negative reviews. After my experience, I left an honest review of the apartment and they hid it. The explanation was that the host provided them with some evidence that I accepted a bribe from him for a good review. I have provided our SMS exchange and WhatsApp messages, but they took his side. It was especially strange and disgusting taking into consideration that the guy lied about the apartment description; there were awful conditions and his ad was a fraud. They themselves forced him to pay me back 50%. I will never recommend using Airbnb as you are buying a pig in a poke.

Airbnb Host with Terrible Customer Service Skills

I stayed at the Crown Point Hotel Tobago (an Airbnb host had an apartment there) back in June 2017. My mother made a few local calls on the landline phone. I had an early check out the next morning. I spoke to the front desk staff the night before to find out what to do with the key. No mention was made of the calls; there was no billing set up. The front desk knew I had an early check out. I wasn’t even thinking about the calls. Months later, I see a nasty message from the host saying that I didn’t pay the phone bill and that the front desk clerk had to pay it. I didn’t intentionally not pay the bill. I was never billed and I wasn’t thinking about it. My contention is this: why didn’t the host just notify me privately? I would have paid the bill then and there. I think the host was being very low down and petty posting his comments on Airbnb as if I had no intentions of paying. I only happened to see the nasty message because I was going to rebook. Never again. Airbnb was difficult to reach to take down the nasty review.

Libelous Guest Feedback Forces Hosts to Reconsider Airbnb

I recently rented my two properties for a major event that usually attracts motor enthusiasts. I have never had any issue renting the properties until the last recent booking. As opposed to the usual group of guys booking, it was a young couple with a young child. I did feel this was unusual for the event; however, I accepted the booking.

I did everything as per usual prior to arrival to ensure the house was in pristine condition. I also employed a new cleaning company to assist in the final cleaning and preparation. I actually witnessed the cleaners thoroughly clean the properties. We normally do not provide full linens at the property as in summer we receive many back-to-back bookings which makes it problematic to change the linens when there is sometimes only a 3-4 hour turnaround between bookings. However, as the guests were travelling we made an exception and provided the full linens free. We also sent the guests a welcome pack via email before arrival which detailed the operations of the house, local attractions, maps, and advice on how to maximise their stay.

There was some communication prior to the guests’ arrival but nothing during or after the stay, despite providing my phone number in the event of any issue. After their stay I sent a few messages to which they did not respond – until finally the guest replied. At that time as I lived two hours from the property, I had not yet inspected the house. The guest made some very odd references to the lack of cleaning – which was just not accurate – as the property had been thoroughly cleaned – by us and the cleaners – up until the day prior to their arrival.

She made particular references to a bathroom – toilet and shower recess – which we knew was incorrect and a complete fabrication. She also suggested she would send photos – which never transpired, leaving us to believe that this was some kind of veiled threat to in some way gain a refund. When I inspected the property, I found that she had dumped all of the towels we provided on the wet floor of a second shower recess – for what purpose, I have no idea, as we provide a laundry basket and by the time I inspected the property some of the new towels were ruined.

I reported this to Airbnb and sent a photo of what I found. Over a period of a few days, my case appeared to be handed from one operator to another. This was prior to any feedback being posted form the guest. Essentially I smelt a rat and felt the guest had fabricated issues regarding the cleanliness of the house to negate her own disgusting behaviour of dumping wet towels on the floor of a shower recess. I could predict what was to come and suggested to Airbnb that they review the feedback. We anticipated fabricated references to cleaning.

However, Airbnb would not do anything. The feedback was posted. We received two stars for cleanliness, which dropped our rating from a 5 to 4. Her comments were also quite distressing. We are now considering removing our house from Airbnb as there appears to be no recourse when a guest posts negative feedback which is untrue yet damages a hosts rating and reputation. I have sent additional messages to Airbnb since the feedback, but have not received any reply. We have supporting testimonial from our cleaners who are also really angry by the comments made after they had cleaned what they believed was already a fairly clean and well maintained house beforehand. Does anyone have any advice how I can address this situation?