Airbnb Not Allowing Some Guests to Book?

VRBO

A guest who is trying to book my listing is getting the following message from Airbnb when she reaches the stage of entering credit card information in the booking process:

“Choose another place to stay. Airbnb prevents reservations for entire homes when a pattern of factors (like location or reservation time) suggests the booking may be unsafe. This restriction is not related to the coronavirus. For resources on coronavirus, see airbnb.com/covid. Please try a hotel room instead.”

My listing is not unsafe. It is perfectly clean and safe. I called Airbnb Support and they told me that this is some issue with the guest’s account. But then, the guest’s co-staying guest tried booking my listing using their Airbnb account and their credit card. The Airbnb system responded with the exact same message.

I’m not sure I really believe that this is a problem with the guest’s account. Is anyone else experiencing this phenomenon? If so, please share any information with me that you can.

VRBO

Host Tries to Charge Guest $6,000 for Fake Damages

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Last November I was traveling with a friend from Tennessee to Delaware. We stopped several places along the way and our first stop was actually in Alabama. We got there and the Airbnb was difficult to find and seemed like it was in a sketchy area. Once we found the place, it wasn’t so bad.

The next morning we wanted to do a load of laundry and there had been a washer and dryer listed for usage. Well, in order to use the washer, I had to get the host’s stuff out and load it into the dryer. I thought I was being helpful anyway.

After a few minutes, my friend and I smelled something burning. I went over there and sure enough there was something wrong with the cord. We were not told that this was the case, but I had to make sure to unplug the dryer. I had to move the dryer to make sure I could unplug it which was difficult since it was hot to the touch.

We opened windows and the door. We even called 911 to get the fire department out even though there wasn’t a fire just yet. We knew we needed to leave, but needed to make sure nothing happened. We stayed until the smoke cleared, but from a distance so we wouldn’t inhale the fumes. We also called the host and told her exactly what happened and she was cordial and okay with us when we were on the phone and thanked us for letting her know.

That night I got a call from the host screaming at me for ruining her stuff and that I had caused significant damage. I let her know it was due to her error in not letting us know the dryer had faulty wiring, but she insisted that it was on us. She went ahead and complained to Airbnb and said we did that as well as stole some stuff. We are not thieves.

We got a call from Airbnb letting us know the complaints and we let them know the real issue. They told us, “Yeah, it is a little ridiculous what she’s saying and it’s way more than could happen in one night.” So they said that we would be okay and that they would eliminate this complaint.

About three days later I got an email trying to charge me $6,000 for the damages. I called about it and once again they apologized and said they would remove the charges. However, a few days later I got an email saying that my account had been disabled due to not following the terms and conditions in accordance with Airbnb policy.

I have since tried and tried to talk to Airbnb and ask why my account was disabled, but they keep emailing me and letting me know to reply to with my Airbnb inbox, which I cannot use since they disabled my account.

VRBO

Write Honest Reviews for your Airbnb Stays

I’ve stayed in four Airbnb properties over three years. One was very good, two were okay, and one was awful. The awful one underlined why everyone needs to be so careful with Airbnb.

One part of the awful stay included when the host embarked on a two-hour daily tickle game with his young son right on the other side of my room door. There were no curtains in my room, with the neighbor’s lights shining directly into my face all night long. There was one bathroom for eight people, a washing machine regularly operating right outside my window, a barking dog upstairs, family feuds on the other side of all walls round the clock, and hosts that stayed in with the TV blaring from 7:00 AM. I came away with insomnia and was so happy to return back home.

I simply would not pay above a certain amount for a place that I’ve never seen (and in an area I’ve never visited before), for which I cannot cancel once I’ve booked, and for which I need to make a large leap of faith having tried to read between all the lines of previous guest reviews. Airbnb relies heavily on trust, and as we all know, not everyone – both guests and hosts – can be trusted. You would be really foolish to part with more than a thousand dollars for an Airbnb stay.

I’m not defending Airbnb, but people have to be realistic about what they get, and if a place doesn’t have, for example, an electric kettle but an old-style stove kettle, I don’t think this really warrants a complaint. However, when what they get is dangerous and/or harmful to their health, then there is real cause for complaint.

As a female, I’m careful not to book with male-only hosts and to research the street crime around the apartment area, but some people seem to forget that your host/guest could be just about anyone. You should never let your guard down.

I definitely do think Airbnb should do a lot more to ensure greater safety of both their hosts and guests, and they certainly need a more thorough and better host profile and review system. There also needs to be more regulation around short-term rental markets to protect guests, hosts, and the surrounding community. The all-round system could be so much better than it currently is, and it’s a pity Airbnb seems to do everything to avoid leading the way on this.

The fact that Airbnb also seems to remove some negative reviews is also disturbing and effectively false advertising. I was so careful to scrutinize all the reviews for the bad place that I stayed at. Not one review mentioned that there were children in the house or that the place was beyond noisy 24/7 or that the neighbors’ lights were so bright at night, making it impossible to sleep. I simply cannot believe that no one else other than me had a problem unless other guests simply did not want to point out the negatives for fear of damaging the host’s income stream or receiving a poor review from the host.

I urge all guests who have stayed at an Airbnb to write a review and to be honest about anything that wasn’t good. If I had seen just one review saying there were young children in the same house, I would not have booked that property.

Waking up to a Stranger in my Airbnb Room

I booked a place with Airbnb last night. It was a pretty neat place, nice and cozy. I had planned to go out but it was raining and cold. I was tired, so I decided to stay in. I watched lots of movies. It was pretty cool. Then I went to sleep.

I’ve been dealing with an itch due to dermatitis, so it was better for me to be naked after applying some anti-itch lotion. In the morning, I was woken up by the sound of snoring. I was like: what is that sound? How loud are the neighbours? I remember that there was this creepy video I watched online where a guy who claimed his house was haunted said he heard noises of someone snoring next to his bed, but I was like… nah… most likely the neighbours.

I tried to ignore it, but was trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. It sounded like it was coming from a wall where there was no room, so that was strange. Then I opened my eyes.

There was no ghost next to me, but there was a mass at the foot of my bed; some guy was sleeping there. Some random Korean dude… snoring at the foot of the bed… I was like wtf? So I woke him up and was like… what are you doing in my room? Get the f%$# out!

He’s like “Oh, it’s a double room. I thought it was booked for two people?”

I was like wtf? I didn’t even make sense. It was just a single room with a single bed. So I told him to get out. I couldn’t believe this… I was ready to leave. He called the host and gave me the phone. It turned out the host gave us both the same instructions to go to the same room. I promptly requested a refund.

The Dark Side of Airbnb for Female Travelers

We are a group of backpackers who have stayed in many Airbnbs. In all our stays, we had pleasant and safe experiences apart from our most recent stay which was awful beyond words. Our stay at an Airbnb in Kalpakkam opened our eyes to the dark side of Airbnb and safety.

We had to encounter probably one of the most horrible experiences of our lives by staying at this place. We encountered a host who abused, insulted and shouted at us. It’s only now that I am reading the reviews of this property and I can see the abuses hurled at by the host even while answering. It was a grave mistake that we did not really read the reviews properly while booking.

On January 3rd, we had a long, tiresome journey from Pondicherry to reach this place at Kalpakkam, near Mahabalipuram. When we came to this Airbnb we were quite upset to see that the beach beside the property was littered with garbage and local people in the area openly defecating in the beachfront. In addition, the rooms were not really tidy. The air conditioning in one room did not cool properly and the toilet in one bathroom had no flush. To be fair it is mentioned in the property description that the flush was broken and would be fixed after January 2nd (we arrived at the property on the 3rd and we had booked this place two months in advance).

After we arrived, we called the host to inform him out of courtesy that we had arrived and we were facing some issues regarding the AC and also mentioned that the flush was broken (yes, it is mentioned in the property listing but it also says that it would be resolved on the 2nd). There was no confrontation from our part and we casually happened to speak with the host about the issue. Immediately the host got furious and asked us to cancel the reservation.

The property is in the middle of nowhere and we had girls in the group. Obviously we couldn’t cancel and find alternative accommodations when it was already dusk. Within ten minutes or so, the host turned up with his mother at the place and started shouting and abusing the girls. We were unable to comprehend why would a normal person behave this way, unless the person is not really sane.

Apparently the host was quite upset because he has “sentiments attached with his home” and that we dared to complain about. However what remains inexplicable is the reason the host would shout at us, abuse us, and ask us to cancel the reservation when it was quite apparent that the location is remote, there are several girls in the group, and it was almost dark.

The host used insulting statements like “Why [would] Airbnb send such characters?”, “Get out of my house”, and “Who are you?” When we said we were not going to leave without talking to Airbnb, he shouted “Airbnb is nobody. This is my property – Airbnb cannot stop me” again and again.

This entire experience made us feel utterly unsafe and stressed. The most unfortunate thing is the fact that our female friends had to suffer such abuse. In a civilized society, no gentlemen would ever assault women, but this vile creature of poor manners is not man enough for civility.

One of our members had a nervous breakdown because of this episode. We are not used to abuse and altercations and we have unfortunately not taken any lessons on how to handle an adult who would bully and shout at you for no apparent reason.

Furthermore, the host said that he only wants “local people” to stay at his place. Apparently we are neither Tamil nor South Indians; he was implying that he does not want people from other parts of India. This was most insulting, humiliating and the highest form of discriminatory abuse. We were so stressed and traumatized that we could not sleep that night.

Apart from such an awful host, there was a group of boisterous local guys in the next house in the same property (probably belonging to the same owner). They were making catcalls, hooting and flashing lights at the girls of our group. It was an isolated place and naturally we were terrified for safety reasons.

To sum up, our New Year party trip was ruined by an unmannerly and unstable host who abused us and we had to endure these insults since we were trapped because of the location. I was constantly reminded of this quote by Gandhi throughout the frightening encounter: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” But alas, since I am no Gandhi I cannot forgive or forget this horrible episode.

Though we had booked this miserably grotesque place for two nights we left the next day in the morning as apparently we had an appalling stay and felt extremely unsafe and violated. This property is in the filthiest of places with an evil-mouthed, pathologically-egocentric and abusive host.

Airbnb has been requested multiple times to delist this property for the safety of guests. I am waiting for Airbnb to take appropriate actions. We managed to take a small video of the episode. Since we were not smart enough to take the video initially we missed the most insulting parts. But still, this video will give you an idea on how unsafe Airbnb is, especially for women.

Friday the 13th Airbnb Spider Nightmare

It was Friday the 13th and my husband, our two friends, and I took a weekend trip up to Maine for a relaxing, fun getaway. After driving for three hours we reached our destination way out in the wilderness. We arrived after dark to the cabin style house and started getting settled. We hung out for a while and made dinner using the outside grill.

One of our friends was exploring the property around the house when he called for us to come over to look at a massive spider web he found on a tree next to the house. We looked in the tree and located what looked like a large brown recluse spider. We knew since we were out in the wilderness that it was probably common to run across this kind of arachnid outside.

We continued to hang out and we were watching Friday the 13th since it happened to be on TV that night. Hours passed and we decided it was time to call it a night, so we all started getting ready for bed. After using the bathroom I went over to the sink to wash my hands when all of a sudden I was interrupted by a huge brown recluse spider sitting in the middle of the sink.

I immediately froze and screamed for someone to help kill it. I was horrified and started to feel like maybe this spider was not alone. I have never seen a spider that big. My friend came into the bathroom to kill the spider when I heard my husband yell from the bedroom. He said he had a huge spider crawling up his back when he laid down in the bed.

We ran into the bedroom to find the dead brown recluse spider that my husband had just killed laying on the bed. I was no longer tired and frankly creeped out. There was no way I was sharing my bed with a huge spider that is potentially poisonous. I told everyone that we needed to pack up and leave immediately because at the rate we were coming across these spiders, that most likely meant there would be more.

We called the few hotels that were in the area, but there were no vacancies. We were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and it was 2:00 AM. As we were packing up to leave, we noticed that there were lots of brown recluse spiders crawling out of the wood rafters on the ceiling so we hurried out of there as fast as we could.

We decided to try to sleep in the SUV rental which was our only option at that time, but it was extremely uncomfortable and none of us could sleep because of the nightmare we had just experienced. We came to a conclusion that it made more sense for us to just drive the three hours home since we had no place to stay.

We drove through the night and finally returned home to get some well-needed rest. We could not believe what we had just experienced and how it felt almost like we were in a horror film. Also it was very eerie that it just happened to take place on Friday the 13th. Anyway we reported the issue to Airbnb and were compensated.

Airbnb is Not Safe for Neighborhoods

In April 2019 I purchased and moved into a brand new neighborhood of luxury town homes within a five-minute walk to the metro and nearby shopping and restaurants. It seemed like a nice and quiet neighborhood of families and young professionals who want to live close to the city, but want to avoid the high costs of living and crime in our nation’s capital: Washington, DC.

Once my neighbor moved in, she and her husband started listing rooms in their brand new home as Airbnb hosts. This is where my nightmare began. I started getting Airbnb guests ringing my door bell at all hours of the day and night thinking my private home was an Airbnb. I even have Airbnb guests trying to put in a code and access my keyless doorpad. My dogs bark from the disturbance. It seems like a constant flow.

Since Airbnb does not conduct background checks on guests, this has caused a huge safety concern for myself. I’ve had to install cameras and a security system on the perimeter of my home and put up a sign on my door stating, “private home, not Airbnb.”

I have contacted my neighbor and Airbnb with no resolution. Airbnb put me on hold and said they would send me a link to file a complaint. Some of her guests even seemed like they were on drugs when they were ringing my doorbell and trying to get into my private home. This has caused me huge concern about the safety of the neighborhood and the safety of the homeowners in the neighborhood; some random person could walk into our place if we were not constantly monitoring that our door is locked and our alarm systems are always active.

Airbnb Experience just an opportunity for sexual assault?

Recently I booked several Airbnb Experiences during a long stay in Merida, Mexico. Most of these trips were magical experiences with wonderful guides and friendly tourists. One thing I learned quickly was that the guides preferred to have more than one guest on a tour. In general, this makes sense because fixed costs like transportation can be spread over several people.

I personally try to book tours early so that guides have time to rally other guests to help with costs, and since Airbnb does not enforce a minimum guest count. However, on one particular tour I was the only tourist. The Experience took me deep into the jungle with a man I didn’t know, to rural places where we were completely alone.

I felt panic as we drover deeper and deeper into the jungle. I frantically shared my GPS location with friends for some modicum of security. Unfortunately, my cell phone had absolutely no reception at all. This tour guide seemed to prefer that I was a woman alone with him. He told me he habitually does tours for single women, as if it was proof that he is trustworthy.

During the tour, he would ask me to model for photos. It appeared that he was using the Airbnb Experiences as a dating service. I deeply regret going on this Airbnb Experience with this man. I felt like I was in danger during the entire eight-hour trip. I wish I had known I would be in this situation, and I wish I could have cancelled this trip.

For the safety of everyone involved, Airbnb should allow hosts and guests to enforce a minimum guest count on trips. Please offer us the opportunity to cancel these trips if there is only one guest. Ultimately, I am safe. However, I fear for the next woman who signs up for an Airbnb Experience and finds herself alone with a stranger where no one can help.

TL:DR I hope no one else has an Airbnb Experience like I did.

One Airbnb Guest Brought a Gun, Killing Four People

A home in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco was rented on Airbnb. The renters lied to the host, saying they were escaping from the fires and wanted fresh air. The host was out of town. The guests posted on Facebook that they were hosting a mansion party for Halloween. Forty minutes into the party, 50-100 people were at the house. The homeowner called the police. The police were on the way, but gunshots were fired before they arrived. One of the guests shot at the guests, killing four and sending four to intensive care. Airbnb hell for the host and the neighborhood, and the dead. Here is the story.