Greed and Lies Win the Day Every Time with Airbnb

Airbnb prioritizes greed over ethics, morals and subverting the law. They have endangered the lives of our guests – a single mother with two young children late at night in foreign country. Airbnb purposely blocked all means of support to all involved. Then they lied to both parties. Their customer service routinely lies to both guests and hosts when it comes to dealing with issues. Airbnb always sides for themselves to unscrupulously take your money and prevent any sort of dialogue that leads to a resolution.

We have been ripped off by Airbnb on several occasions. The first incident was as new hosts. Airbnb made serious errors in instructing our staff setting up the new listings. The results were very damaging to us and our guests. Airbnb errors resulted in a double booking (they admitted technical issues due to an “upgrade”), yet immediately denied any responsibility. They refused to provide any assistance to us nor our guests. The results put the well being of a single mother with two young children at serious risk of further harm.

Airbnb refused to provide any effective assistance to us nor our two groups of guests. They could have easily contacted the guests before their flights to a foreign country (where they were then unreachable). We sent four staff by taxis to the airport and the resort. We alerted airport security and other valuable contacts to help us find our guests. I had found a much superior accommodation (at great personal costs) to provide for the two separate parties.

Instead an Airbnb “manager” blatantly lied to both myself and the guests during a three-way call, stating that it was our fault. The Airbnb manager continued to lie to all of us – stating that there was “no accommodation available”. This Airbnb manager continued to bully myself and staff threatening to penalize us and steal more money from us. Airbnb admitted their error then lied to the guests and stole our money. Eight months of effort – (we recorded an additional 72 lies by Airbnb staff about resolution, and promised compensation) have lead to us being bullied to exhaustion.

We put this aside until the most recent and third major incident of their lying to steal your and our money to put into their pockets already fat with money they have effectively stolen from other hosts and guests. Most recently a guest decide to leave in the middle of his stay to go to another resort where other family members were staying. The next day the guest made a false complaint to Airbnb that the power had failed (not true) and demanded a refund.

Airbnb was informed that the guest left without notice and that the claim of power failure was false. We even provided a free upgrade to my very superior two-story penthouse, and a free week any time they liked. The guests were more than pleased with this. Two weeks later – without notice – Airbnb stole all the rent money. We have spent over 65 hours – mostly on “1-2 minute” holds that averaged over 37 minutes. Always diverted to a wrong extension, that only resulted in them bullying myself and staff with further lies and threats of yet more penalties.

Airbnb has a culture of lying that has been promulgated by their senior executives: to steal as much money for themselves while making huge efforts to obstruct resolutions. Does anyone know the names and contacts of these senior executives and board members for service of legal documents? Does anyone else want to join the cause for truth, prevention of further abuse, bullying and illegal actions? I believe that a settlement at this point will only serve them to be able to continue to hide their very serious infractions. A court decision will be thus made public. Hosts, guests, staff, service providers and perhaps even the competition will find this valuable.

Airbnb Bait and Switch with Marketing Tactics

We reserved a house in Vancouver using a credit card and the host cancelled. The credit card was not refunded but was applied to a credit on Airbnb without our consent. When we reserved another house, it was marketed and advertised as $262/night with Instant Booking (when you mouse over the Instant Booking icon you see that you can reserve the property without waiting to hear from the host). I always thoroughly research the houses to make sure they will be comfortable and as advertised. There was one bad review but the others were fine for this particular house.

In the charges area of the house listing they specified that if you have more than 13 guests there would be a $21 per person additional charge. I was delighted by the price and entered my dates manually without use of the calendar and was instantly booked via Paypal.

Here’s where things went very wrong. I had in my mind the $262/night cost promised and marketed. Vulnerable to bait and switch, I quickly booked it while traveling on the road (in a bit of panic about not having housing for a festival my band was performing at in Vancouver) and did not note that the price had been tripled. When I noticed the charge had been applied. The cancellation fee for that house was 50% refund with at least seven days’ notice.

I called Airbnb customer service to try to find out what happened with the price and they explained that there was seasonal pricing for that house. I explained there was no mention of seasonal pricing on the listing. In fact, it was listed clearly as $262/night with only $21/person extra over 13 guests, which did not apply to me. They said I had approved the charge, which was true, but under a false impression from the listing.

Airbnb customer service said that there was a new feature that showed actual nightly rates when you moused over the dates. This feature was not mentioned anywhere on the listing or clearly anywhere during my research of the house. Since I did not mouse over the dates, I was completely unaware.

Buyer beware, right? This is clearly bait and switch. The hosts and Airbnb were completely intransigent about acknowledging the false advertising and did indeed keep 50% of my funds when I cancelled. No apology, no acknowledgement of the fraudulent marketing, just 50% of the considerable sum I’d spent.

Please advise any ways that anyone has found for which I can seek recourse. I’d be happy to join a class action lawsuit. I am reporting them to the City of Vancouver, the equivalent of the Attorney General of BC, the CA Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau and any other place that can put pressure on them to refund people they have ripped off and to change their marketing to be clear and accurate.

Dirty and Unsafe Airbnb for Vacation in California

This was my first trip to California. I have wanted to visit since I was a child, so for over 40 years. Now with the whole family – my wife and three teen daughters – it was about to come true. I was initially going to use VRBO which I have used with great success in the past but found what I thought was a great deal on Airbnb. Since I heard all the buzz about Airbnb, I thought I would give it a shot. What could the risk be with Airbnb behind me? Ha ha…

The fact that the apartment was in Downtown LA was some concern to me but not having been to California and in the excitement of the moment, I neglected to research just how much traffic there really is in the area; I will accept responsibility for that. Prior to booking I did repeatedly ask the host about the safety of the apartment and the surrounding area and was met with the response: “It will fit you perfectly.” Upon arrival, the initial impression of the complex was acceptable with a nice looking pool, architecture and grounds. However, once we began the ascent into the facility I began to have that sickening feeling when something just isn’t right. Musty odors and the smell of drugs were present as we walked the halls to the apartment. Once we entered I immediately tried to remain calm,though I was not pleased with the condition of the beige carpet, paint peeling off the walls, and a refrigerator containing old food.

Needless to say, below is what I wrote to our host and a representative after I decided to leave the following day. Yes, we stayed the first night as we were all exhausted after the seven-hour flight and fighting traffic to the apartment.

Hello Mike,

After some careful deliberation, we have decided not to stay in your rental due to the reasons listed below. As a result I would appreciate a refund for the balance of the days we will not be staying as even a cleaning will not make up for the fact that my daughters are uncomfortable with the environment and I don’t wish to subject them to the marijuana odors that waft through the halls or patio doors. I would appreciate your cooperation and will leave the keys with the concierge.

– Dirty, not cleaned well or recently

– Carpets are dark with dirt blotches and contained some sticky substances. I was afraid to remove my shoes.

– Old food in refrigerator and cupboards

– Smells of pot were frequent and loud neighbors stomping and slamming doors

– Unsafe surroundings not as described. My daughters were harassed outside the apartment even by pool area

– Sirens going several times throughout the night

– Dining seats are all stained, not appealing to enjoy a meal

– Food spillage down the kitchen cabinets and stove top dirty, making it unappealing to cook.

Following the above message to the host, I received a message from Nick at Airbnb who indicated that I had not followed Airbnb policy (when in fact I did, other than waiting around for the host to provide a resolution… with only five days available and the severity of the situation, this was not possible) and that I could open a refund request in the resolution center, which I had already done.

My response to Nick:

My first email was to Mike the Airbnb host, and I then opened a case with Airbnb within the 24-hour period as per the guidelines. Mike has rejected my refund request, following which I selected the option to involve Airbnb. As to finding a remedy, this situation was not able to be remedied in a timely manner as we are only in California for five days and it would be unreasonable to believe the apartment carpets and seating could be shampooed and other areas brought up to a clean standard in a reasonable time frame. Please review the pictures, as I am not sure anyone could clean what should have been done before even stepping foot in the facility. I was not about to put my family through this type of situation any longer than was necessary especially for Mike to come by to talk. The only resolution suitable would be a refund as these are distrustful and manipulative tactics simply to rent out his location. In addition, the safety factor is completely beyond the host’s means to correct, along with the elements of drug use; they are out of his control. My primary concern at this point is to ensure my family has a safe clean location to spend the rest of the short vacation in the time we have left. Had the host represented the location as not suitable for families this issue could have been avoided. I even questioned the safety of the location and was met with: “It will fit you perfectly.” I have used VRBO and hotels without issue in the past so this was a very stressful situation and caused me to seriously not trust Airbnb fpr future bookings, especially if there will be no support or protection for guests. Perhaps the host should have been more thoroughly vetted, as I would be shocked if any family would find this location acceptable. I have initiated the process to involve Airbnb and get a full refund.

Nick’s Response:

Hello Adam,

Thank you for your patience while I reviewed your case. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your concerns and perspective on this experience. Based on the information provided, I have decided that any refund will have to come directly from Mike based on our refund policy which you can read upon within the previous email. Thank you again for your understanding and for your valued time and contribution.

Best wishes,

Nick

So even after providing pictures as to the poor cleanliness of the apartment and the fact that my daughters were harassed – two conditions specified by Airbnb as reasonable – our request for a refund was still rejected. This issue is current as of April 26th, 2017 and I am still trying to fight it. Although with no response to my emails and no contact information for Airbnb as they don’t clearly list any means of reaching a representative or manager, it is tough. I do appreciate the contact information for Airbnb found on this site.

President of Alliance for HOPE International Speaks Out

Airbnb let a host take $900 from us after advertising a really dumpy, sub-par unit in Washington DC. “Tommy”, the owner, posted his row house but took only pictures from a distance and did not show a picture of the bathroom or the kitchen. His unit was listed as #11324355. This is always a good way to identify a dishonest Airbnb host but my staff members missed it. We booked the unit and did not realize how poorly maintained it was until we arrived at the unit on a Friday. We immediately contacted Tommy to say we could not stay there; he was profane and raged against my staff members. We booked another unit within the hour and had a great host. However, when we appealed to Airbnb, they sided with Tommy and let him keep our money even though the unit had dirty, stained carpets, tattered furniture, holds in the walls, faded paint with water stains, and peeling paint on the front door. The kitchen was old, drab, and poorly maintained with 1970’s formica and linoleum. Airbnb thought we were first-time users even though I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars with them over the years. They sided with the host and would not refund our money. They ripped us off and sided with a very dishonest host.

Airbnb Allowed me to be Scammed in Hawaii

I booked a house from December 23-25 in Maui. The host asked me to use a wire transaction for the deposit and cleaning fee to his private account, a total amount of $840. He claimed the deposit is refundable but the cleaning fee isn’t. The first time he gave me his “secretary’s” account to wire the transfer but it fell through. I guess I should have stopped there. Then he gave me his property manager’s account so I filed the transaction on October 24th and it went through. He said he received the money and the house was booked. Then I received a message saying my reservation has been canceled. He explained to me that this was a result of a system error due to Airbnb being updated. He suggested I make my reservation directly with the property manager. He also asked me to proceed with the rent payment to his property manager’s account so they could complete the reservation.

As of this point, I had already wired him $840 and he still asked me to wire $749 more to his property manager’s account. He said as soon as I did that my reservation would have been officially made. He also said it was a private booking but it would show up on the Airbnb website as soon as the upgrade was finished. This was my first time using Airbnb and I thought it was normal that he sent me a text massage directly. I already wired $840 to his account. He asked me afterwards to also wire the rent, $749, to his account. Then I realized something was wrong. I replied to him, saying that my family had an emergency and we had to cancel the trip; I wanted my deposit back. He said he understood perfectly and will refund my money the moment he receives it.

Now it’s been one day and I still haven’t heard back from him. I texted him a few times but he still hasn’t replied to me. The property is in Haiku-Pauwela, Hawaii. The host’s name is David. His email address is davidforster518@yahoo.com.

Airbnb Refused to Refund Fees Despite Obvious Mistake!

BEWARE OF AIRBNB!!

This is a warning and a true story of what happened to me when I rented a house using the Airbnb service.

I had a project in the USA and I rented a house using Airbnb. I found a nice 2 year old 2 bed room + garage house with a reasonable price of 105€/night. I made the deal with the house owner using Airbnb from August to December, 2015.  In November I found out that my project would last longer than the original move out date in December.  I agreed with the house owner that I would stay at the house until January 26th, 2016. Airbnb sent me an offer stating that I could continue renting the house until January 26, 2016 at the same price of 105€/night. I accepted the offer and everything was OK. Middle of January I found out that my project would not be finished earlier than February 8th, 2016. I ask the house owner if it was possible for me to stay at the house until February 8th, 2016.  The house owner said that it was OK and Airbnb sent me a new offer for the additional 13 days of renting. I was busy with my project and also very stupid and accepted the offer without checking the offer carefully.  Afterwards I noticed that the rental price had risen from 105€ to 137€. It was OK for me that the rental price increased for the last 13 days, but it is not OK that the rental price ALSO increased for the PAST 165 days from August 8th 2015 to January 26th 2016 considering I had already paid! I sent a message to the house owner to see if it was possible to correct that mistake. The house owner said that Airbnb refused to correct the mistake. I called Airbnb and the guy on the phone said that according the Airbnb policy, if the customer accepts the price it cannot be corrected by airbnb anymore.  The Airbnb agent asked me to contact the house owner to ask if I could get money back. Why didn’t Airbnb want to help a customer with this kind of obvious problem?  Instead they asked me to directly contact to the house owner… is it because Airbnb wanted to keep their additional fees?  I think so! I talked with the house owner and he agreed that I had paid $5,940 USD too much and he understood why I would like to get my money back. The house owner said that Airbnb had already taken their fee, so he could only return $4,339 USD!  I made the deal with house owner and received the $4,339 USD refund for the mistake, but I still had to pay $1,601 USD extra because Airbnb would not refund their fees!

Don’t be as stupid as I was and never accept any Airbnb offer before you have read it very carefully. My personal advice is to never ever use Airbnb’s services because the company policy is not to correct an obvious mistake if it means giving up any of their booking fees!  Please share this warning with all of your friends so nobody else will have the same problem I had.

AIRBNB IS GIVING AWAY FREE VACATIONS AND LETTING THE HOST PAY FOR IT An airbnb nightmare & ripoff,

We rented our beach home to a family of four from Atlanta using the airbnb service. Upon their arrival they were a party of four in one SUV, that quickly turned into twelve with the arrival of a van, and then another SUV arrived the next morning, verified by our exterior security camera. I am not sure of the final body count. I contacted them and told them the only people that could stay were the people on the rental agreement. They siad the extra people would leave, they did not leave and they disconnected an exterior security camera. I called airbnb for some help and advice. The person I spoke with was Liem and he said he would call them and try to get the unregistered guests to leave. The next I heard from airbnb was an e-mail from Liem saying that the guest said I had a security camera in the living room and they were refunding all of the guests money. This was an absolute lie and I tried to reach Liem at airbnb but he was not available so I e-mailed and told him to have the guest file a police report. I knew the guest would not be willing to put their lie on a police report. No one responded. I called again but all anyone would do is say they would forward my request to the trip team. I called the guest and told them, by voice mail, if there was a camera in the house they should file a police report, I e-mailed this through airbnb also. I also informed the guest, by voice mail, everyone had to vacate and I was on my way and I would have the police remove them if they were still there when I arrived. When I arrived they were gone but not without doing some minor damage to the house. airbnb will not accept a claim and they refunded all of the guest’s money including the security deposit. I have called back to airbnb trying to resolve this. airbnb has removed the reservation from the site like it never even happened. I can’t leave feedback and I can’t see anything to do with the reservation other than my e-mails. I have asked for a copy of the evidence they used to make their decision and I was told it probably wouldn’t happen. I asked if I sued the guest in small claims court and got a judgment against them would they cover it, all I got was I’ll forward that to the legal department. Still no answers so I called again, or maybe that was the same call, and was informed that the final decision was made in the case and it would not do any good to call because the person answering the phone could not forward my messages to anyone. I asked for a copy of that decision and was told they would send me a copy but it has not arrived. We have decided to take the guest to small claims court, we have a signed rental agreement. It may be a waste of time and money to go to court but it is principal at this point. I have the last two conversations with airbnb recorded. Once I file the small claims case I will post the case number here as it will be public record and anyone should be able to look it up.

GERARDO E IRENE COLONIALS HOUSE B&B – ABSOLUTE CROOKS

Ripoff in Quito Ecuador I had booked 3 nights with Gerardo and Irene in Quito Ecuador. Of course they were replying to me immediately when I inquired and booked, but when I had to cancel for medical reasons (Cancer) – suddenly their replies were very well spaced so to speak. Rather than offer me a refund which was applicable in this case, or at least a partial refund, they changed and said basically too bad. They claimed it was their busy season but when I had someone check their vacancies for the same days they had plenty of room. No help from Air BNB – Irene and Gerardo in Quito are definitely crooks.