Abusive Host Convinces Guests to Leave Early

Do not stay here. We were delayed so we didn’t need access earlier than the 3:00 PM check in time. The host is an appalling communicator. On the day before the booking I sent two messages four hours apart requesting clarification of address and check in procedure. I told the host that we would not have wifi while in transit on the day of arrival. The host sent a reply overnight. He agreed to allow us to store our luggage if we arrived early.

Unfortunately, we were unavoidably delayed so we didn’t need access to the apartment earlier than the check in time. He claimed that this inconvenienced him, and it went downhill from there. In his message, written in perfect English, he sent an incorrect address – wrong house number, wrong floor, wrong apartment number and wrong access code. The building couldn’t be located using Airbnb maps’ link on the listing, so we had to guess the house number from the photo on the listing.

Our friend arrived in Madrid three hours before us. We had planned to meet at the apartment, but he couldn’t get in because of the wrong information, nor could he contact the host for clarification; I was the only guest who had access to the Airbnb messaging system. He had travelled from the US and had to wait outside the apartment with his luggage until we finally arrived. On arrival, my daughter and I tried to open the apartment using the instructions provided then had to find wifi in the local area to locate our friend and get the correct address from the host.

The host and his sister came to let us in. They both entered the apartment and demanded that I speak in Spanish (“you’re in Spain, speak Spanish”), even though he had listed that he speaks English, and all previous communication was in English. He had a heated discussion in Spanish with our NYC friend and the host then ordered us to leave (in English). I refused to leave as I’d paid for the accommodation. I told him that if he provides a full refund we would leave, but he refused to accept that.

He then came within 10 cm of me, pointing in my face and shouting abuse. I told him several times to back off. At that point we realised that this was getting very serious and that we needed to comply or alternatively to call police to intervene. He did not apologise for his poor communication, instead he claimed he had been an exemplary host by offering for us to store our luggage. We thanked him for that and he and his sister left. His sister spoke English, but she did not intervene on our behalf. Instead she allowed her brother to abuse us. I was very shaken and concerned for our safety. We vacated the premises very early the next day, to avoid any further abuse.

I Reported an Attack then Faced Retaliation from Airbnb

Over the holidays, I rented an apartment. There were problems with the maid. She basically moved into the unit with me and spent half the day there, despite me desperately trying to get her out.

After the first week, I decided to stay a second week. The host agreed. She accepted a second booking at a discounted rate. On the last day, I was accosted for money for “payment for the last five days – in cash and now” and actually attacked by the maid. I only lost about $50, but reported the incident to Airbnb as a “Trust and Safety” issue. I also complained to the host. She proceeded to defend the staff member, and told me she would lodge her own complaint with Airbnb, stating that I had tons of “unregistered” guests, and damaged the apartment… and this was after she renewed my booking.

The next day, Airbnb contacted me and asked for a police report and photos of my injuries. They said the host complained that I damaged the unit and had four “unauthorized” visits. They wanted to know if I had stayed in the apartment without checking out after the first week and stayed for the second week, as they did not see the payment. A payment was in fact made with my Visa. I had 25 photos of the apartment as well as video. The only damage was a stain on the rug, which I believe had been there for months.

The results? The host’s listing was back online in two days, and I was banned as a user. Moral of the story: be very careful when making a safety complaint about a listing. The host can retaliate against you. There is no whistle-blower protection rule. Airbnb could accept all of the host’s complaints, ignore your safety concerns, and ban you.

Double booked, left stranded in sub-freezing temperature

We booked a house to stay in Hunter Mountain, New York for a skiing weekend and our other friend’s birthday weekend. There were 12-16 guests arranged to arrive on Saturday and Sunday to stay until Monday or Tuesday. The first group of us arrived early Saturday to go skiing in the morning and planned to check in to the Airbnb after around 3:00 or 4:00 PM.

When we arrived down from a long day of skiing in 10 degrees Fahrenheit, one guest arrived at the house confused and embarrassed to find a whole load of people he did not know. It turned out the host had double booked. We try to call the host and of course he did not answer.

We then tried to contact Airbnb who refused to talk over the phone and would only contact us by message. The person who was on the other end would only tell us to just rebook a place ourselves. This was the busiest weekend of the year in Hunter, as it was MLK weekend. There was nothing else to book. When asking her to call us she responded, “I am currently on a call. Is there any other listing you are interested in?”

We were standing outside in the freezing cold in front of the originally double booked house. Not only was this response incredibly rude but this was three hours after we first made contact with Airbnb. It is now 7:00 PM. We are trying to find a new place. The bar and resort at Hunter Mountain, where six other guests were patiently waiting, is now closing and the staff are asking them to leave.

We started calling hotels who were all saying they were booked up, until finally the fifth place we called had rooms free. It was 9:00 PM by the time we got a hotel after arriving at the original house before 3:00. It is shocking to know that Airbnb would happily leave their customers stranded in sub-freezing temperatures with nowhere to stay or even have the decency of a phone call. We are horrified by this carry on.

In summary, we experienced: a systematic error that caused a double booking by a scammer host (side note, the guests that were staying in this house said it was nothing like advertised – it was dirty and there were leaks, etc.); the original booking was $1650; dealing with incompetent staff at Airbnb who were arguing with us. We were in a difficult situation and were stressed out. A professional would have been polite and done everything they could to relax us and help sort out the situation.

It is also worth noting that I contacted Airbnb the Thursday before arriving because I was suspicious of the listing. I was called back twice to confirm and assure me that the booking was okay and I had nothing to worry about. The stress caused by over six hours of not knowing where to go or who to contact was multiplied by eight people who were tired and hungry and still in their ski gear or clothes they just traveled in. We were unable to confirm to the guests arriving on the Saturday if they were going to have somewhere to stay or to bother coming up the next morning at all. Multiply that by eight people whose weekend plans were now up in the air hours before they were to rent cars, rent ski gear, and pack.

The time and effort of having to check out and move from the hotel to the new booking before going skiing on Saturday was a factor. If you have ever been skiing you would know how much stuff there is for each person. I’d say we all lost out on about two hours each of valuable skiing time. This is not cheap: $75/day/person, the average skier skis four hours a day, that amounts to $37.5 X 6 skiers = $225

Airbnb’s continued their lack of communication the week after. When trying to resolve this issue, the only phone call that was returned was at 10:30 PM on Friday night while I was at work. We still have had no response from Airbnb since this incident and have posted this message to them by multiple sources, even directly to a colleague who works at Airbnb.

From Bad to Worse, Forced to Leave Multiple Airbnbs

To anyone looking to rent via Airbnb, please use caution. You cannot trust the reviews. A lot of people have their friends who write reviews for them. If a guest cancels before booking, Airbnb doesn’t allow them to leave reviews. I also believe they purposely delete bad reviews in the interest of keeping guests in the dark about the true conditions of some of the places listed on their site.

I have booked three places and all three had glowing reviews. Two of the three places were in deplorable condition. One of the places was in such bad condition that it had blatant health and safety violations: burned out electrical sockets, black mold, no working utilities, no heat in the dead of winter, etc.

The only way to be safe when using Airbnb is to only book with hosts who offer a full refund if you arrive and the place is not up to standards. If you are depending on Airbnb to back you up, forget about it. In fact, you could end up with nowhere to go. It happened to me. Thank god I was familiar with the area and had another option to stay for a few days. You might not be so lucky.

Airbnb has lately been hit or miss for me. Two out of three places that I have booked in the last month have had serious mold and other safety issues. The first place I booked and cancelled because I was afraid for my life and health looked like an abandoned house (dark, dirty, electrical wiring burned out, walls dirty with paint splattered on them, doors that didn’t lock, black mold and moldy smell throughout the place). I literally had to threaten to take legal action to get my money back and even so it took three days.

In the meantime, I was left with no money to even find another place to stay while I went back and forth with Airbnb trying to get a refund. Thank god I was able to find an alternative for a few days and then I ended up booking a hotel that cost me over three times as much for one day as I would have paid for a week at the Airbnb. The current place I booked a week ago I thought would be better because it was in a nice area and is owned by a doctor. I arrived to find that the place smelled like a public urinal and mold mixed together. Now I am having to find another place so I lost money. Thank god I had only booked for a few days.

As you can see, it’s hit or miss with Airbnb and you won’t know what you are getting until you arrive and open the door. Your best and only protection is to book with guests who offer a full refund if the place is not up to standards or avoid Airbnb all together, which is what I plan to do.

Slum House Throws Female Guest out at 2 AM

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This was my first Airbnb, and it will be my last. I thought it would be nice to stay with someone local since I wouldn’t be in the room most of the time I was there. Checking in was easy, but I was confused about the key situation even though I read the rules.

My room had a bed that was unmade, and host said his cleaning lady hadn’t come yet. No biggie. I just slept on another bed. The sheets had an odor to them. I didn’t think much of it because I wasn’t going to be there often. I saw a key outside my door, but assumed it was the previous tenants’ key since the room had not been cleaned.

I came to find out I was using the lockbox key. I was called to return it and retrieve my other key. The person’s voice was full with attitude when I explained I couldn’t close the lockbox. He said he would do it. I didn’t let it get to me.

When I came home that night, I had some problems with the front door, and my new key. I used the lockbox key to open it, and then to my dismay could not shut it. I did not want to leave the house key outside, because it wasn’t safe, and I did not want to take the key again, and be met with attitude. It was late.

I texted my host to ask for help, but then figured it out and apologized for bothering him. I locked the door and went to my room. I saw my light was on, and the door was wide open. I left in the afternoon with some friends. My door was shut, and lights were off. I also saw three plastic cups. One was empty, another was full of water, and the last one had a brown liquor. Then I noticed my luggage had been searched, and there was a sports bra on my bed. That sports bra didn’t even belong to me.

I did not want to wake my host since I had already with my lockbox question. I just needed to be sure that I had rented the room for myself, and was not sharing it with others. This was my first time using Airbnb, and I thought maybe I had made a mistake. When I texted my host to ask I was quickly met with sarcastic remarks, and told that it wasn’t working out – I should just go.

I was a woman staying alone in another city that I didn’t know. It was 2:00 AM, and he was asking me to leave. I told him I didn’t have anywhere else to go. He kept with the insults the whole conversation, so I packed, and left. He kept insisting that he wasn’t a hotel, and it wasn’t worth his time for what I was paying. I was also made fun of for not locking my door. The lockbox key I was using previously did not lock my door, so I assumed the other one didn’t as well.

I was shaken, and betrayed. Who would just throw a woman out on their own at that time of night? This horrible person would. I was refunded close to $40. The house in the pictures looks funky, and cool. In actuality it is a run down dirty house with hardly any art at all. It stinks, and felt like I was staying at a halfway house, or men’s dorm.

I would not recommend Airbnb, especially for women. I’m sure the host will have a smart response to my story, and try to belittle me. It is okay. I just want to expose him and his crappy art house so no other woman will feel violated, as I did that night.

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.

Had to call the police to get insane Airbnb host out of rental

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This is a very important story because the person involved has been sharing fake information around social media about my boyfriend and me. Basically my boyfriend and I are moving to Lisbon. He’s Brazilian and I’m French.

We booked an Airbnb for ten days so we could visit and find an apartment. Before we arrived we had communicated with the host in English, but when we arrived and she found out my boyfriend speaks Portuguese, she completely ignored me and did a 30-minute speech on transport (though my boyfriend told her several times we would find our way with Google).

The apartment was kind of alright. There were a few problems like the shower being cold and the wifi not working but I started getting bitten by something on the bed at night. The next night I got bitten again and my boyfriend messaged the host to tell her about it. We were getting ready, as we had loads of administrative meetings during the day. I got out of my shower, my boyfriend was taking his and as I was dressing up the bell of the apartment rang and someone banged on the window.

Surprised and undressed, I quickly put a towel around me and opened the door. It was the host who had already unlocked the entrance door and was waiting in front of ours. She had not sent a message, or called to tell us she was coming. I asked her nicely to wait two minutes so I could put some clothes on and tell my boyfriend to get out since she still refused to speak English to me.

When we opened the door she was in a fury, shouting because we had made her wait outside (I don’t think it was rude of me to ask her to wait two minutes to put clothes on). She ran to the kitchen to look at the boiler and said we had touched it and this was the reason why the showers were cold. We obviously had not touched her boiler and the showers were getting cold for the second person.

She also went into the bedroom and took pictures of my suitcase and blamed us for being the cause of the bedbugs. Obviously she was not going to take responsibility for any of the problems in her apartment. We had a busy day planned, so we asked her to leave because we did not feel confortable leaving our belongings (two Macbooks, a PS4, etc.) with her. She replied that she would not leave because she owned the place.

We told her we were renting the place and she was not allowed to do this. She said the laws in Portugal were not the same as those in Brazil or France and she was allowed to do whatever she wanted. We told her we would call the police and ask Airbnb to pay us back if she did not leave. She started looking at something in her purse and said things like “You have no idea who I am; don’t you think I know what Brazilians like you are coming to do here?”

She was being weird about not speaking English and this comment just confirmed how racist she was and implying we were some sort of illegal refugees. Once the police answered and were on their way she finally decided to leave the apartment and camp in front. After a long time and a lost afternoon, the police arrived and said they were not able to do anything since she was not inside. She tried to talk to them about water and bedbugs but the police left due to the lack of criminal offence from us.

We packed our stuff and left quickly since we were so stressed and afraid she would come back. She came unannounced and is now posting about my boyfriend and me on social media, saying we are scammers and we were only trying to get a free trip. She referred to me as a small blond who only speaks English. Another sign of her racism.

My only question: why make money off tourists if you don’t like them? She also kept making Airbnb call us, saying we had not dropped off the keys in the letter box. Airbnb told us to do so from her instructions. What I think is that this lady has issues, cannot deal with being wrong, will do anything to impose her version of events, and go to crazy lengths to make sure people will believe her.

TL;DR The host of my Airbnb came unannounced due to some problems we messaged her about. We had a busy day so we asked her to leave but she shouted that it was her place and she did not have to leave. After ten minutes of arguments we called the police so she left. Now she has been sharing fake information about my boyfriend and me on social media. She acted insane; she kept shouting, blaming us for the problems in the apartment, and refusing to leave the place we paid for. Now she’s posting about us being scammers in Lisbon.

Irresponsible Host Causes Accident at Bali Villa

My family and I made plans to go to Bali and decided to book an Airbnb. We settled into this nice villa in Seminyak. We went there for a family getaway trip with my cousin’s family, just hoping to relax and enjoy the beauty of the villa and Bali. We arrived late at night around 10:00 PM, got settled, and was amazed how nice the villa was. It really was as described and how it looked in the pictures.

We went on a short trip shortly after to buy some food to eat in the villa. There were three other villas in the same area. To get to the villa where we were staying, you needed to walk for about 15 meters, and the path is paved with block paving. However, one of the blocks was not perfectly placed – part of it was bulging out. As it was late at night and there was minimal lighting to aid us, my brother tripped on it.

At first we thought that his thongs (flip flops) just broke. However, he said that he was in pain. Once I turned on my flashlight I started screaming. A lot of blood was pouring from his left foot. There were so much that I almost puked and had to look away. My family helped him right away and shouted for the villa’s security, asking if they had first aid kit. They didn’t.

However, security was nice and helped him to get into the car to be taken to nearest hospital. My brother ended up getting a tetanus injection and six stitches across his bottom toes. As a result, he was not able to walk properly nor could he enjoy the pool and beaches. Our holiday trip was really disturbed.

In addition to that, on the third day of our stay, the AC in the first room was broken, causing water leakage into the wardrobe. My cousin’s clothes were soaking wet. He had to buy new clothes afterwards as there were no more clean and dry clothes left.

What made us so unsatisfied with the place was that the owner did not take any responsibility for my brother’s incident. The fault was clearly on them as they were not able provide a safe place for us to walk. The paving block was easily fixed right away after my brother’s accident. They were just too lazy to do so, as they said that they needed to open it again. If that was the reason, they should have put a sign or plant around it so that people could avoid it.

We were not able to contact the owners right away as they were based overseas. We had to deal this matter through their employees, who said that the owner would not take any responsibility and that we should just claim it on our own insurance. We travelled domestic and our airline did not provide travel insurance. I also requested reimbursement through Airbnb but the hosts said that the accident happened outside the villa. It happened next to the villa’s parking space and on the entry way to the villa. We really did not enjoy our stay here. Thank you for reading.

Creepy Experience at Airbnb in Chicago on New Year’s Eve

My boyfriend and our other friends decided to go to Chicago for four days. We rented a single room near the north side. Our first hosts were this lovely male gay couple. That is until one specific night when my boyfriend and I decided to take a regular shower. All of a sudden we heard aggressive knocking coming from the door. One of the hosts began belligerently accusing us of causing “thousands of dollars in damage” he then proceeded to uninvitingly investigate the bathroom while my boyfriend (still naked) hid frantically behind the door. At this point we were both scared and confused because he had no rules over showering times. He went back down to the basement part of the home (where he and his boyfriend were staying) and said “whatever it was stopped” and reverted back to a fake smile whilst saying some dismissing thing like “Happy New Year’s. Enjoy your night.” After the whole ordeal was over we were all scared to shower and didn’t do so until the last day, out of necessity.

Disappointing Experience with Vindictive Host

We recently stayed (Boxing Day 2017) at this Airbnb and found the experience to be less than that what we have come expect and what we are accustomed to with Airbnb. We had two friends with us (this was their Christmas present from us, and their first experience with Airbnb) and sadly they have stated that they would never use Airbnb if this was an example of what to expect.

The host was not home when we arrived, which wasn’t an issue. When she arrived home, she was very communicative. We had no issue with the host at this point. However, the facilities were not as we expected. The pool was green, and although it was to cool to swim on that particular day, anyone arriving later in the week would not have had the option, though it is clearly listed as an attraction on the Airbnb page. The host stated she had told us that the pool was not usable but we do not recall her saying this at any point.

There was very limited communication by the host, and the normal message from Airbnb to “pack your bags”, etc. was not sent to my email. We had to contact the host on Christmas Day to ensure that the booking was confirmed, and received a terse message to say that the booking had been confirmed months ago.

There was street parking only (not an issue as the area is quite safe). The listing stated ‘private facilities’ for our use; however, this was not the case. The bathroom was full of cosmetics, and items used by the family, and whilst there, the child of the house was using these facilities. There was no soap to wash our hands in either the upstairs or downstairs bathroom/toilet (which makes one wonder about the hygiene of the family members).

The house itself was definitely not clean, contrary to what the host replied in her review. A ‘continental breakfast’ was offered – we declined as we are on a special diet – but we told the host that the other couple with us would like the breakfast. On the morning of our departure the host said she normally sets up the breakfast for guests but had to rush off to drop her son off to a camp. She waved towards the cupboard and said ‘help yourself, there is bread in there and in the freezer’. We found a loaf of white bread, not the continental breakfast items as clearly stated on the listing.

We left the place tidy, and pondered for several days about what to state in the review. We decided to give an honest review, and then on the evening of January 2nd received a very nasty phone call from the host, followed by an equally nasty strange message that we were sent to her house to “deliberately sabotage [the experience] and that they were set up and will make the connection. Nobody is that cheap. The public domain will speak for itself. You are so unsophisticated.”

In the phone call she mentioned a couple of names of the people that had ‘set us up’. We are very perplexed by this as this was a completely cold contact found on Airbnb and we booked in August 2017. The phone call and message left us both very shaken, feeling threatened, and will make us more wary of using Airbnb in the future and giving honest reviews. My husband is currently recovering from cancer, which we chatted about with the host very openly, her final words on the nasty phone call were ‘no wonder you have cancer’ and then hung up, which left us both very distressed and having a sleepless night. This was followed up by the strange text message.