For our holidays in Mexico City we reserved two apartments from Airbnb. About $800 USD for 17 nights. The dollars are gone, but the lodging was unacceptable. Neither of our apartments was ready to use when we arrived, we had to look (and pay) for other places to stay. To put it plainly – airbnb is a disaster, don’t believe the colorful pictures, the euphemistic descriptions. Never agree to “strict” cancellation rules because if you do, you’re really trapped. After almost 24 hours of travel to reach our destination we arrived about midnight in the first apartment. The fridge and kitchen cabinets were full of left-over food packages, the wardrobes were filled with used clothes, shoes and textiles of the “host”. Hair everywhere, on kitchen and bath towels, bed linen, sofa, carpets etc… it was disgusting. We did not even open our luggage and left the apartment immediately to look for a decent hotel. Because of the bad experience, we decided to have a look at the second apartment before moving in. The place was in a quite grubby district, the forecourt was full of construction waste and the apartment was 28 steep steps upstairs (for me an awkward challenge). None of this was mentioned at all in the description. To reach airbnb help you need a lot of time (and patience) to navigate through the site, through a lot of predefined answers only to get stuck in a dead end or circles. When you finally succeed, you should not really expect answers or support from airbnb. We have to add, to be fair, that after many arguments back and forth airbnb finally agreed to refund 270 USD. Obviously airbnb does not invest any time or money investigating to check their “hosts”, nor pictures and descriptions, nor the guests reviews to confirm their validity. The risk falls entirely on you, the guest!
A year ago I went to Hawaii, my favorite place. The flight was late and rental car was a no-show, so I was late arriving at the host location – it was between 8 and 9 pm. Half way through the stay, the host asked me to change rooms, but that required cancelling and re-booking. I had lost my credit card so the old one did not go through. I tried to reach airbnb to enter a new credit card number. The host also tried. We could not reach anyone. I offered the host cash but they refused, and then said that I had been nothing but trouble and told me to leave immediately or they would call the police! I am a 60-something, quiet, non-smoking, meditator-type. I went to a local hotel but some money was owed to me, and airbnb refused to refund it. They gave me some worthless coupons. They are worthless because the hosts of Puilani on the big island wrote a bad review of me and now I am not able to make other bookings and use the coupons. Airbnb still refuses to refund the money, or remove the host review. They have a poor business model for the travel industry. They need to have real people available real time to handle these kinds of issues. As for the hosts, they seemed to me to be burned out on hosting and unable to flow with the inevitable problems of travelers. I am very unsatisfied.
A guest retaliated about having to pay to replace my air mattress (a crucial item I needed for future guests) after they admitted, in writing, to damaging it so badly that they removed it from the property (threw it away) while I was not home (which is technically theft). Their retaliation was to write me a negative review, where they said they looked in my (closed) drawers and cabinets(!), and then revealed my personal items that they didn’t like or agree with its presence in the home. I asked AirBnB to remove or edit this review to take out the mention of my personal items. I had a year’s worth of entirely positive reviews and was nearly qualified for AirBnB’s elite Superhost status, and this was a first-time AirBnB user obviously seeking revenge for something they did wrong, but AirBnB’s customer service repeatedly told me they agreed my situation was unfortunate and morally wrong of that guest, but they stood by their policy, which goes like this: ANYTHING in your home is open for guests’ use, viewing, and mentioning in a review, so long as they do not reveal personally identifiable financial information (ex. driver’s license number, tax ID, or bank numbers). I had previously removed that stuff from my home, but I had no idea your guests can write about pretty much anything else, even if it is out of sight and in an obviously hidden or private place that most polite humans would never dare to look or publicly admit that they did look there. I specifically confirmed with AirBnB that their policy means guests CAN write reviews about your prescription medications, health info, religious artifacts, political artifacts, or any other object which someone, somewhere might find offensive, or that you might deem too “personally identifiable” or too private to be mentioned on the Internet. I could not believe a company knowing let go of one of their best customers in exchange for allowing an evil new customer to remain. This was not even ALL of the bad things that this one guest did or that I suspect they did, but those other issues are a one-on-one guest problem, not an AirBnB problem. The above described AirBnB policy and customer service issues are the reasons why I will never use AirBnB again and encourage all others to not use them for hosting or staying!
If you’re wondering if negative reviews get deleted by Airbnb, it is absolutely true. All the host has to do is telephone a representative they communicate with and explain why the negative criticism they received is nothing more than made up gibberish. During a recent stay at a Airbnb, the host showed me how easy it is to request a rating/review to be removed. The host complained about every previous guest. It makes you wonder what the host has in order for you after your departure. I encourage you to read the many reviews on the Airbnb website and you’ll find it quite hard to find a negative review based on bad experiences. 99% of the guests cannot have a “wonderful” experience, not even at a five star hotel. In addition, if you’re looking for privacy, as you would in a hotel, Airbnb is not for you. There are hosts that have locations that are completely host-free. It’s best to contact the host and ask how private your stay will be, while hoping the host doesn’t consider your question as offensive. In addition, remember that many hosts open their rooms because they’re either quite poor and want to execute Martial Law to their guests. I am in no way suggesting that guests should be wasteful, but keep in mind that you are paying for the room, paying for cleaning fee, requested to make a donation if you launder clothes, etc. Give it a try and experience what the pros and cons are. Unless you’re on a strict budget, you may find it much better to stay at a reputable hotel.
Turned up at apartment in Prague that one review had described as “luxurious” What a joke that was ! Didn’t even stay for 1 night it was that bad! Asked for a refund. Was told no. Asked Airbnb to help – probably the worst customer service that I have ever come across. Obviously I didn’t get even a parttial refund! Will never use them again which probably says it all!
I have never spent so much time on the phone complaining about other people in my Life.. Airbnb ruined my trip to LA I had 3 bad experiences one good and reviewed it honestly as I would want to know all the ins and outs of a place so I can make a valid decision if I want to travel to the other side of the world to stay in it! and pay my hard earned money on it. After finding a nice place that I actually wanted to stay in I stayed 2 weeks reviewed it honestly and now have abuse from the host for this.. Sorry but when I have guests staying at my house who are NOT paying me I have respect for them, I don’t go around shouting and talking loudly like they aren’t even in existence!.. Cleaning fees are charged.. Surely that’s what you are paying to use the room for? you don’t pay a cleaning fee when you stay in a hotel and you get the room cleaned every day, you get clean towels every day! I got them once I took them my self on the second week.. the bedding was changed once, I paid around $145 for the pleasure of this. This is the good review, the first place wasn’t fit for a dog to stay in, I left after 30 minutes and she kept my $180 , the bedroom looked like a hostel and it was described as a penthouse when it was a social housing block!!.. No one vets the places and no one cares less what they are like as long as Aibnb are making money.. I will never use it again to travel abroad, I will try it once in the UK then if that is no good it will be deleted along with the rest of the trash!.. I feel total sickened at the whole affair and it ruined 10 days of my holiday with all the problems caused by hosts..
Our money (800 usd) were stolen in the flat which we rent on airbnb. We rent flat of Patricia in Prague on Neklanova street from 30 may till 12 june 2015 . Patricia met us in the airport with her boyfriend – Samuel. She took us from airport on her car. On the way to the flat they decided to show us place where we can change money without commission.
While we were changing the money (100 usd), Samy noticed small black bag where we kept the money. Total sum of money in it was 1000 usd with 0 balance debit card.
After arrival we talk a bit with them and they gave us keys. We decided to leave money in Paticia’s flat as it was was protected by 2 doors (entrance hall and the flat) in the luggage bag with code lock.
On Tuesday 02.06.2015 we took 100 usd (800 usd left). Next time on Thursday 04.06.2015 we decided to change another 100 usd and saw that there were no that little bag with money, and the luggage bag was cut in two places. Other things, even other money (700 euros and 4000 roubles), passports, documents stayed there. Other things like lcd TV’s etc were not stolen. Windows were closed. Door and windows were locked and had no any damages.
We called Patricia. She came later and called the police.
Police made photos of the cut bag gathered evidence and invited us to the police office on the next day.
After that Patricia changed the lock of the door. We asked Patricia – if someone had access to the keys except her ? She answered no. We suspected that it could be Sammy (her boyfriend) because he saw that small bag with money. We asked Patricia – could that be Sammy ? She told that Sammy had alibi because he left Prague on Tuesday’s evening .
On our arrival to their flat Patricicia’s told that it was so bad that Sammy could not find a job, but on Thursday she told that he left Prague for a work during Tuesday evening .
On the next day we went to police. During our talk to police we were informed that Patricia was before us in police station and gave false information. She said to police that we don’t remember where we lost our money and perhaps we lost our money on the way from airport to her house (though she took us in her car).
In Police we were informed that it look like a typical way of robbing the guests where host work together with criminals, covering them. That was typical for gangs from Romania.
Because the door was locked and there were no damages the only suspect was the owner of the keys.
Result. Patricia did nothing to settle that case and disappeared from the flat, so we left the keys inside and closed the doors on automatic lock.
Czech Police and Russian Embassy representatives gave us advice to spread information about that case as potentially dangerous for the guests. We want to warn potential guests of Patricia that they are in danger.
I recently had a nasty surprise that others using Airbnb should definitely know about. Last week I booked an apartment in San Francisco which was advertised at 109euros a night, which ended up being 649euros for 4 nights after all the fees (Airbnb service charge, local taxes and cleaning fee). This total amount turns out to be just over the cost of booking a hotel, but we thought it would be worth it. After one week (more than a month before the date of arrival) I was offered a place to stay with a friend. So I cancelled. First I got a mail saying I would be refunded 572euros (because unlike hotels, Airbnb keeps their service fee even if you cancel), and then I was told that the host charges a $100 fee for cancellations! This of course appeared nowhere in the booking confirmation or the description of the place! Now that Airbnb is becoming more popular, they are being bolder about fleecing their customers and allowing their hosts to do the same. Beware of ‘The Suuny Upstairs Apt’ in San Francisco!
We used Airbnb to rent two properties for a road trip. The first property was great and the host outstanding, nothing but a positive experience. While we were staying essentially in the host’s basement, the owner had spent time and effort in appointing, painting and decorating the space in such a way that it felt like a cottage. We heard the owner moving about sometimes but it did not feel intrusive. The second property however was a different story. The host was polite but we had the feeling something was “off” about them. It really is true that when you use Airbnb you are basically moving in with a stranger for however long, and anyone who has ever had a roommate can tell you these situations can be extremely irritating and stressful. So we were in this person’s basement and it was a pigsty, the bed must have been at least 30 years old and had a huge dip in the middle, there was visible dust and pet hair in the corners, soap scum all over the shower, and smears of what looked like animal waste on the walls!!!!! We ended up leaving early to stay in hotels the rest of our trip. Bottom line, I will not be using Airbnb again.
I`m a former Employee of airbnb and I can warn everybody who likes to travel not to use `the service` of airbnb. I worked in the trust&safety Department of airbnb and checked new listings and hosts on a daily base. The interesting fact I approached there is the low security standards airbnb put on potential new hosts and jeopardize the safety of all guests. If you want to host airbnb guests you can grab any pictures from the internet like a nice five star villa or a beautiful castle and declare yourself as the `official owner` of this listing, you do not need to provide any form of ID or Proof of Ownership like a Utility bill of the listing. This means in fact that almost more than 50 Percent of the listings on airbnb are fake or put from drug dealers or other criminals to make `the easy money` with the dumb tourists. Trust&Safety just work this way, that they take a look on the Pictures of the listing and declare them as genuine or not. There is no background-check put in place what kind of host you can expect (even serial-killer or Drug Dealers could be hosts at airbnb) . And if the host need to provide a ID they can easely fool the automated security system by providing any kind of Photo ID, the automated system called Jumio accept even Library ID`s . I discussed this issue with my Manager who is responsible for the Security of the listings and he replied to me back that airbnb don`t want to put much restrains on new hosts to register with airbnb (!!!) Sorry, every banking institution or Gambling Website has better security measures in place to prevent Criminals to do their illegal activities but on airbnb every Criminal is warm welcomed to register as a host without hassle to be security checked. You don`t believe it? Try to register yourself at airbnb website as a host with any `funny Name` and put the `Oval Office` as your listing, you will be surprised how quick you are `approved` and go live with this `listing` . Sounds funny, but what will happen when a Hannibal Lecter will be the next host inviting guests to stay for Dinner or even worse. Welcome to airbnb