Valuables Stolen from “Safe” Paris Airbnb

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My mom and I just went trough the worst trip ever, less than a week from her birthday. The story goes: I left from Berlin (Germany) and she from São Paulo (Brazil) to meet in Paris to spend Mother’s Day together and also because it was my university trip.

The host’s apartments had two doors with passcodes, one right off the street and a second that accessed the stairs. On our third night, Monday, May 13th, we returned from our day out, typed the passcode in and to our surprise it didn’t work; for some reason they changed it. We tried to get in touch with the host countless time through my mother’s phone and… nothing.

After a while we decided to check into a hotel, and finally she answered saying that she sent the new passcode through the Airbnb platform. Since my cellphone had been stolen on our first day I wasn’t able to see that message, and she didn’t make much effort to confirm if we had received it.

Anyway, after having been locked outside the house, the next morning we got back to the house, had some breakfast and I left for university (the main purpose of the trip). After that, my friends and I went to get my mother for lunch, around 1:00 PM. We enjoyed our time together and the girls and I had to go back to our university duties, while my mom got back to the Airbnb, around 3:00 PM.

On the bus, my friend turned to me saying my mom was calling. I answered and she said “Come back now! Someone broke in the apartment, the lock is broken, they took my computer, your Macbook, please come!”

We spent the afternoon with the police. I called Airbnb for help and assistance; they didn’t even offer help to call or communicate with the police, same thing goes for the host. Airbnb didn’t assist at all. The next morning we went to the police station to do the report all by ourselves. The day of the robbery they also didn’t offer any help – nada.

It’s been a week now, and the Airbnb team hasn’t given us any response to our loss. We got in touch with them a bunch of times, and they still haven’t taken any responsibility on how to resolve this situation, not even the police report they asked for. Furthermore, talking with the neighbours we found out that the building has been broken in before, about a week before we got there.

How can they make this kind of place available for us to stay? Additionally, this is not what the company sells. They promote “great experiences, not only a home”, but how can you feel at home and have a great experience if you’re not safe? And if the company who sells that idea doesn’t even help you when you need it?

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Airbnb Condones Danger if it Means no Refund

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Airbnb will keep over half of your money no matter what happens to you or how bad the host’s situation was, even if you are raped by a stranger that the host allowed in without your knowledge. All that Airbnb will refund you is $30, even if their host provided none of the accommodation you were expecting (e.g. completely false pictures), you had to sleep on a bare cold floor at 1:00 AM, and worse yet, your security was endangered by a strange man coming into the accommodation that you had rented and paid for in advance.

Below is the (unbelievably bad) communication with, and response from, Airbnb:

I wanted to let you know that I have tried to call the host but I didn’t get an answer, so I sent her a message and an email to reply within one hour. We are waiting on a reply from her and when we get an update I will call you. Thank you. 

I’m from the Airbnb customer experience team and I’ll be assisting you. Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you’ve experienced. I am reaching out to you today, regarding your current reservation with [host]. I am really sorry to hear someone was already in the bed that you have booked. Do you mind telling me how your night went? 

I had to sleep on a floor. In a cold empty house, with only a blanket of unknown cleanliness. No furniture at all. Plus I’m dealing with too many people here like you at Airbnb; you’re the third one now. What happened to your promise to call me back last night to get me a local hotel? You’re sending me my entire money back, right? $75+, right? What else then, for his failure to call me back? Compare the picture below, with the one posted by the host on Airbnb.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry that you did not receive a call back from the agent you were speaking with. I have tried taking a look into the concerns, but I am unable to pull up any conversations that you had with another agent. Since you did stay in the home, I am unable to issue you the full refund of $75.24. By policy, you are eligible for a refund of $30.00 for the night that was spent in the home. If you would like to send me a copy of your hotel receipt, I would be more than happy to take a look into it and see what I can do to assist you with reimbursement. 

Absolutely not. Not only will I of course never use Airbnb again, because of this horrible and absurd experience last night, but I will of course be formally disputing the entire amount on my credit card. Not only are you now the third person who I have had to deal with, you completely failed to answer my earlier issues about your complete failures, promised me at least a room last night at midnight (which I correctly predicted they would fail to reach the owner before then).

Mostly though, would you do the following for me? You agree to come to “my Airbnb” home and pay me $75 in advance, where I’ve promised you a room (bed with clean sheets), and a bathroom (clean again, including a towel and shower). Then when you arrive at midnight I tell you to “sleep on the floor” with no bed, and no sheets or blanket even, no shower, no heat, and no curtains even covering the window, and then also find a different strange young man in the room you were supposed to have and paid for in advice.

To also have you – incredibly – then listen to me tell you: that well, because you slept on my cold floor, since nothing else was possible at 1:00 AM then, that now all you have to do is only pay me $45 for that atrocious debacle? That is, I’ll now give you back a lousy $30. Are you kidding me? You should now sue me for such a clear and ridiculous fraud and you, Airbnb, should now be sued for the unbelievable arrogance of attempting to keep $45 of $75 in such a clear ‘bait and switch’ fraud.

Instead, you should be begging my forgiveness, and hoping that I will not post this unbelievable bad experience on every Airbnb reference in the world. $30? You have got to be kidding me! Mimicking your ridiculous bad service “by policy…”, I have “my policy” too: that is to help drive such bad businesses out of business. Please now forward this to your corporate attorney, and also have them contact me with their name and address of legal service.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry for any inconvenience and frustration this has caused you. As explained to you before, because you stayed in the home you are not eligible for the $75.24 refund. Please refer to out Guest Refund Policy, in our terms of service, to go over our Refund Policy. I also offered to assist you with your hotel stay, by requesting a copy of your receipt. If you do not want to send a copy of your hotel receipt over to me, there is not much that I can do to help you with your alternative accommodation charges.

We do understand your concerns, and apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you, but again I repeat Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination in these matters as outlined in our Terms of Service. If you wish to continue or pursue legal actions please comply with an official document and I will forward your claim to the appropriate team. Alternatively, I will be happy to answer any questions you should have about this reservation and the refund issued, so that you are informed of the terms and conditions that govern our platform and what you have agreed to by using our service. Is there anything else I can help you with? 

Yes, there is something else you can do – listen for a change: why are you now asking me for a “hotel receipt” when I already told you (i) that Airbnb told me at near-midnight that he was both reaching the owner and getting me a nearby hotel for the night and then (ii) that he never got back to me? Now, at after 1:00 AM, what am I to do (having to get up in a few hours for an important meeting) with no car? The only option then is to sleep on a cold floor.

Remember, there was a strange young guy in the room that I was supposed to have. Now let’s imagine that I had been a female – the horrible situation (and multi-million dollar lawsuit against Airbnb) had I been raped, in the middle of the night, on this cold floor. And you are arguing about $40 now? You and Airbnb deserve to be sued, for supporting this fraudulent Airbnb member (and others, apparently, by extension).

I took pictures of this completely empty place and it looks nothing like the owner’s pictures on the Airbnb website: bare floors with no furniture at all. And you’re still supporting her, the owner?

Lastly, I have a nice bedroom in my 4,000 square foot home. I now plan to sign up as a host on Airbnb, with nice pictures of my home. Then, I’ll remove all the furniture, list my place on Airbnb for $100/night, let a homeless young guy live there in return for some drugs from him, and then I’ll still collect $50 bucks each time I get a sucker to come to my (nice-appearing) place for $100/night.

We won’t care if a female guest gets raped by the homeless guy in her room at midnight, because I still get $50 a night for her to sleep a few hours on my bare cold floor (because, hey, she did stay there, after all, right? Neither I nor you will of course charge her extra for the rape, so she ‘wins’ too, right?

I’m now loving this (incredibly stupid) “policy” of Airbnb’s. I just sure hope I get you, personally, when both she and the local police complain and investigate “your policy”. You’ll still similarly support me, right? I list nice pics on Airbnb of my home then get to keep $50 bucks of that each night that I fraudulently rip some sucker off, right? Plus you get your fee, right?

Lastly, new business opportunity suggestion for you and the whole Airbnb “Experience Team”: why not now consider charging Airbnb customers extra for the rape at 3:00 AM, by derelict homeless guy in their Airbnb room? You may be leaving “money on the table”. I don’t personally want any cut of that though, I’m just perfectly happy with getting 50 bucks a night by listing my spare bedroom for $100/night — and then having you similarly support me that I deserve half of that when she has no other choice at 1:00 AM, and then gets raped by the derelict at 3:00 AM that I let have her room without her prior knowledge. What a great deal for me! How do I sign up with Airbnb for that deal?

Whether or not you understand the intentionally sarcastic tone above, you and Airbnb are now formally being sued, in a class-action lawsuit. Since your company does its utmost (illegally) to hide its notice of legal address, this email to both CEO Brian Chesky and you dutifully fulfills such formal legal notice. Please acknowledge such with a formal response to me.

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Airbnb Host Uses Private Space and Overshares

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This Airbnb host listed a room with a private bathroom. We left the room locked on our second day. The host or his child used the bathroom and bed while we were out of the house sometime that evening. Photos show a rumpled bed and pillows displaced; a wet towel was hanging up, and someone else’s toothpaste and toothbrush were on the window sill. The house was full of smoke although the listing clearly indicated “no smoking.” No one else was on the premises during this time. The host was very agitated and communicated to us extremely personal circumstances including an incident with the police earlier that evening. This made us feel unwelcome and unsafe. We left immediately. The host’s behavior as the evening progressed was truly bizarre.

Virtually no Verification of Airbnb Guests

I recently hosted a group of overseas teens, who managed to make my home in London a complete mess. I evicted them, and refunded the unused portion of their payment, in conjunction with Airbnb. Now I am trying to be more selective with my guests, but have found out that Airbnb’s way of verifying a guest’s veracity can be as little as getting a phone number.

In the past, there used to be items such as “Government ID verification” which must have had some value. I do not think a phone number counts in any way to establishing identity, as anyone can get one within minutes. The same applies to email addresses.

When I challenged Airbnb on this, they stated that this was their policy, and if I don’t like it I can always cancel a booking. This I did, and received an email stating that my listing may be suspended. Arrogant outfit. As soon as I can get myself off this platform, I will.

Waking up to Violent Fighting at Paris Airbnb

My experience with Airbnb isn’t long. I only used it once and it went relatively well. The host was good, abd the room too. That’s why when my friend suggested we rent an Airbnb for our stay in Paris to visit Disneyland, I didn’t object.

As all of you know, when you first look for a room, you make sure that all the comments are positive. When I found this room in Paris I was happy that everyone found that the host was very helpful and welcoming. That’s exactly what I thought when I first saw her; she even let us check in early in the afternoon so we could enjoy our time without having to worry about our luggage.

You are probably wondering by now: where did it all go wrong? Well it started with the host’s husband snoring. Since the insulation in the house is poor and there was no door to the room, it became strictly impossible for us to sleep. Then when I finally started drifting off, I woke up to the sound of the husband yelling and glass crashing.

Needless to say we were shocked and didn’t even know what to do. We stayed glued to the bed. Then the police came in and started questioning the couple. Apparently this wasn’t the first time that these kind of fights took place. For a minute there I actually thought that the guy would kill his wife and then us too.

To be honest, both the husband and the wife apologized afterwards and they were sorry for what happened and the inconvenience they caused. However, this doesn’t mean that the same situation couldn’t happen to someone else and might not end well. As I said the host was extremely dopey and she even offered to give us back our money, which we declined. That’s why I’m not gonna tag her.

I don’t think I will be using Airbnb after this incident. I would rather pay for a hotel where I will be able to sleep safely. I hope that no one will have the same nightmare as I did.

Airbnb Host Trying to Drug and Rape me

Please be super alert. I checked into an Airbnb listing without any special indications or suspicions. The host invited me for a drink. I kindly took it and the drink tasted salty somehow. The next thing I realized, the host was putting a comforter over me… and I couldn’t remember anything in between.

I tried to jumped out of the bed, but I couldn’t; I felt quite dizzy. Therefore I said nonstop: “Please get out of my room.” The host somehow left, and I checked my underpants. They looked and felt weird. It felt like someone had cleaned them, since they smelled new, but I had been wearing them the whole day and waking around. They should have smelled sweaty but they didn’t.

Therefore I called the police straight away and they took me to the local hospital. Somehow they told me they didn’t find anything strange nor signs of sexual penetration, and they couldn’t identify any medication or drug if the host ever used one on me. The police took the host for questioning, held him for less than 48 hours, and then let him go. No charges or anything was filed since they told me there was not enough evidence to hold the Airbnb host.

I also called Airbnb. They obviously tried to deny and evade this topic. Soon I found I couldn’t access the profile page of the host, nor could I access the messages or whatever information there was about this Airbnb host. Airbnb told me the host delisted his profile and I had no right to see it. If I knew that, I would have taken screenshots.

I’m really at shock what to do. The host took a copy of my driver’s license and other family address information. Later, Airbnb told me the hosts do have the right to collect my information if it’s in accordance with local laws.

Anyway, I still couldn’t figure out what’s going on…. I’m super angry, pissed, and lost as to what to do. I tried to kill myself a few times due to this situation knowing I was raped and that but couldn’t get Airbnb to help. My consultant told me to share the information and here I am. Hope it helps.

Sexual Predators Can Use Airbnb Freely

A local Airbnb was being hosted by sexual predator (now serving multiple years in prison). He lived in the house with guests before his court date, which took two years. He was not allowed to have anyone under 16 at his house. I called Airbnb and let them know that this was occurring and single women might not be comfortable sharing his hot tub and pool if they were aware. They did nothing. Please Google your hosts and guests if you’re sharing a house.

Threats and Lies from Horrible Guests

I wanted to take a moment to share our recent experience with Airbnb and explain why we will be deleting our listing and not renting our home. We are being threatened by a crazy guest who cancelled her reservation and was upset at the cancellation policy.

Someone named “Maygan” booked a reservation at our home for one guest. I accepted the reservation and began chatting with her through Airbnb messages. In these messages she informed me that there would be twelve people staying at the house. I informed her that our home only sleeps ten, but I could increase the maximum to twelve if she promised to take excellent care of our home. She agreed and thanked me.

When she made the change the price increased and I explained that there is an incremental increase in price for parties greater than four guests. Maygan is claiming that we are scammers because we charge more for a party of twelve than we do for a party of four. I disagree.

When I book properties through Airbnb as a guest I always make sure I put in the correct party size so that the system shows me accurate prices of places when I consider booking. Instead of thinking that we are charging more for larger parties, I prefer to think that we are offering a discounted rate to smaller parties.

Regardless, Maygan accepted the reservation change, which clearly shows the price changes. She then said she was going to check with the rest of her party to make sure everyone was still interested. Since it had been two days since the reservation was originally booked, Airbnb charged her card for the reservation she was booking.

Towards the end of the second day Maygan decided to cancel the reservation, but due to Airbnb’s cancellation policy, she was informed that she would not be getting a refund. At this point she apparently told her group that “the hosts went ahead and charged her credit card without authorization for the entire amount of the reservation.”

Maygan claims that it was a couple of hours from the time she booked until the time she cancelled. I wish that were the case, but unfortunately she booked in the early morning on 2/27 and cancelled in the evening on 2/28.

After this I was contacted by Airbnb and asked if I would refund Maygan’s money. Every single time a reservation had been cancelled up to this point, I have been asked by Airbnb to make an exception and refund the money… and I have always allowed it. This time I said I would refund the full amount if our home was able to re-book for the dates or I would refund half of the amount if I was unable to re-book for the dates.

I was traveling out of town that weekend for a baby moon, as we used IVF and surrogacy to (very expensively) get pregnant with twins. It is a month until they will be born and our soon-to-be children’s godparents decided to gift us a baby moon trip to rural Colorado.

It was a wonderful trip and upon arriving back home I received an Airbnb message from someone in Maygan’s group. This person created a fake spam account on Airbnb and messaged me to say that I was an unethical and evil person because I wouldn’t make an exception to the cancellation policy.

This person then said they posted our physical address, names and personal information on this site and others in the hope that other people would get angry. They said, “Who knows what other angry trolls will do to you.”

This person then threatened to get into our home somehow and plant lots of bedbugs in the beds, release full traps of deer ticks in the yard in the hopes that we would get Lyme disease, post fake items for sale on internet sites in the hopes of having lots of random strangers come to the house, etc.

This person then sent another message saying that they could see on the calendar that people would be at the house this weekend and they were going to “post an anonymous classified ad at the house while it was booked so dozens of people would show up looking for stuff… it will be an ordeal.”

At the end of this horrible message it ended with, “P.S. I enjoyed looking at your photos of the wedding in (LOCATION). The photographer did an excellent job. You too look really happy.”

Now this person is stalking me? I have reached out to law enforcement and was told that these threats could be considered criminal harassment and result in fines and a year in jail. Now, I don’t want it to go that far but it is nice to know that the law is on my side here

What I have proposed is that if Maygan provides the identity of the person threatening my property and family I will authorize Airbnb to refund all of her money. If something were to happen to my home or my family, I want to know the identity of the person that was threatening us.

I will update this but for now I am just awaiting Maygan’s response. I do think it’s a little ironic that someone is hiding behind a fake profile in order to threaten me and make my personal information public.

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Under Construction Hell with Children in Tow

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We recently stayed at an Airbnb in Los Angeles. This was a family vacation with small children ages two and three, plus visiting family with a newborn 0-3 months, and another two-year-old toddler. We viewed all the site photos, read reviews, and thought the location was nice, the place looked good, and everything should be fine. We were wrong.

When we got there, the security code to get into our unit was wrong and the host did not let us know he had changed it. This was at 11:00 PM when we got there with crying children. We got inside with no safety lights down 20+ concrete stairs with – again – small children, and luggage. There was no lighting to see where or what we were going or doing, because it was pitch black outside.

After we finally get the door open in the dark, we looked for our pack and play for the toddler to sleep in. It was not there. I called the host and he told me he would bring it tomorrow. I said we requested this back in September when I booked this reservation and he had replied “No problem!” He complained about it to me via IM – never by phone – and told me I was a very demanding guest.

The next things to happen were so ridiculous that I could not even believe they happened, but they did. We were told in the listing the property had a BBQ grill that was very nice. It was not: it was a rusty, filthy, piece of crap, that had a broken gas regulator on it, unsafe, a plugged grill jets and so rusty you would get lockjaw from eating off of it. We again sent an IM. He told us again we were demanding and he was not responsible for a BBQ grill even though he listed the place as having one.

The next thing was the loose railing on the very large and scenic overlook on a cliff setting that was not secure or up to code. The code states 42″; his was maybe 36″ and very loose. If our grandchildren would have leaned on it it would have been disastrous.

We paid for the place to be cleaned and ready when we checked in. There was so much grime on the floors that our socks were always black from it. We would have even washed the floor ourselves but there was no proper equipment – no vacuum, no mop, only a two-foot broken sweep broom and a spray broom which really just pushes the dirt around. Black mold was in every corner.

The host would say the floors looked clean. They did, because it was a light colored vinyl floor that looks clean until you walk on it barefoot. This was our problem and we discussed it with our host, sent him photos, and asked if he could make any of this better. He came back with “I suppose I could come and clean it if you will be keep your complaints on the other things quiet.” I refused and took photos of what he considered acceptable to rent – a construction zone – and still charge full price for with only a half ass way of doing things.

I complained to Airbnb and they told me I had no claim because I waited until after I checked out to do so. We were all afraid we would have no place to stay if we did it ahead of that, and of course they said that would never happen.

I believe this is all a shame: bad Airbnb hosts getting away with poor listings, a system of checks and balances that does not work, and everyone still making money off of honest unsuspecting renters like us. If karma is working I am hoping this comes back to bite our host big time and am very glad none of our family got hurt or sick from such a poor listing.

My Airbnb Neighbor Hell Begins Today

My Airbnb Hell season begins today. I live in a small 36-home community in Myrtle Beach, SC. We purchased a home here because we didn’t want to live around the tourists, but wanted to be close to the beach.

The short backstory is my neighbor’s wife left him last year around this time. She hastily signed a lease for an apartment and they reconciled in a few days, presenting their family with an issue of having an apartment that was unable to be sublet and a house in a residential only community. Our master deed states our homes are residential use only and the husband requested to rent his home on Airbnb.

Before we were able to have a Board of Directors meeting regarding his request, he had set up the account and had half the summer blocked off. We denied his request and had our attorney give an opinion in our case. Our attorney has sent two cease and desist letters but he has continued to book this year.

Last summer ended with Mustang Week: 22 Mustangs revving all night and day – fun times, right? Our homes are huge, so he fit more than 24 people in his home at times. The summer was full of riffraff in and out every three days that thought all the houses on my street were vacation rentals.

I have a pool so several renters tried telling me that my pool was the community pool and I had to let them use it because they were “paying for it”. A group of frat boys were catcalling at all the old ladies that walk the street for their workout. Several groups were so loud, I couldn’t let my children sleep in their own room.

Today, we have a new group in the house. It’s a small group but my children have school for a few more months and I’m worried about noise levels from vacationers, child molesters, and drunk people roaming my community again.