Airbnb Stripped away my Rights as a Guest

Airbnb was initially very supportive of our situation and processed a full refund but denied me the privilege of sharing my full story because I had initially mentioned the company who was managing the key collection. They did not ask that I remove the name of the company, but they removed my entire review as written below. Your rights to share your experience on Airbnb are very limited. Know your rights and be careful.

We felt cheated staying with these hosts. The whole set-up seems like a scam. The key collection area was unwelcoming; there was a notice to say that it was under construction. A man came up from the basement: no “hello”, no explanation, and zero hospitality. He just handed a set of key to us.

At this point, it all felt like a scam, and we were worried. As we entered the building, there were trucks with graffiti parked on the roads. It didn’t give us a welcoming feeling for a place that is described as a modern five-star apartment. It also claimed to be family friendly. There was a homeless man sleeping at the entrance to the building, blocking our path to use the ramp (we have a baby stroller). There were foot steps and dirt all across the common areas and entrance. This was our first impression of the place for which we paid the premium price of AED 805 per night (167 pounds).

There were alcohol cans and rubbish at the entrance. It was a shelter for the homeless (sleep during the days, take drugs and drink alcohol during the nights). The apartment was serviced, but it was not clean (as a five-star modern apartment). We were also charged AED 200 in cleaning fees (42 pounds). This was what we found as we walked in: pubic hair in the bathroom, hair in the corners of the whole apartment, mold on curtains and edges, salt built up in the kettle – not washable even after I tried. I needed a kettle as I was traveling with young children.

We decided to come home before dark as the area felt unsafe. When we came home at 7:00 PM, there was another homeless guy sleeping at the walkway. We decided to order food to be delivered to the apartment. We felt trapped as the walkway and building entrance was not suitable for our needs and always blocked by homeless people. Our delivery guy had informed us that our food was snatched by one of the homeless who on either drugs or alcohol. That was when we decided to look for an alternative accommodation for the remaining of our stay.

Our apartment door was opened from the outside in the morning while we were still there. When my husband inquired she said she didn’t speak English (Spanish speaker). We decided to check out after our first night there as we were concerned about our safety.

This property was not suitable for family. It is not a modern five-star apartment if the entrance is a home for homeless people. The shower and bathroom was two-star. The cleanliness is zero stars. Both beds were sofa beds (not one bed and one sofa bed as claimed). The amenities were very poor. It was an unsafe area for families.

The hosts didn’t meet me or call me even once although I called the emergency number. She only communicated using the Airbnb messaging and the response was slow. They didn’t provide any hospitality or assurance whatsoever. She claimed to have visited the apartment to take pictures of the cleanliness but didn’t even have the courtesy to come up to check on us. She also said she lives around Camden. It felt like the reason why she visited the apartment was to take pictures after she had cleaned the entrance and walkway to defend herself. Very disappointing. We didn’t want to ruin our holiday and left.

I lodged an official complaint to Airbnb and the host and she only wanted to give us a 20% refund despite us moving out after one night. I logged a safety complaint with Airbnb. The case manager worked on my case and I have received my refund. However they have now removed my honest review of this case and all pictures that I have shared. Airbnb has stripped my rights as a guest who wants to share her poor experience to others.

The Flophouse Fiasco Made us Leave Early

A friend and I recently took a trip to Denver using Airbnb as lodging. It was our first and last time and here’s why. We finally arrived in Denver and made our way to a neighborhood that was reminiscent of Fallujah. As we were unloading our things into the house the “host” pointed us towards a queen size mattress in the corner.

I looked around (we were in the living room at this time) to see three more “living areas” in this same room. Not to mention some sort of party table was right next to this queen size bed. We were told we were the only ones staying there via email but as we stood there in utter shock we watched a stream of “people” come in. By this time my buddy and I were very tired after driving all night to get there but it finally hit us – they expect my grown male friend and I to share this queen size mattress for three days in the middle of this dump house with people flopped everywhere.

Now I like my buddy but sorry I’m not sleeping with him for three days. After confirming that was the plan, we promptly grabbed our gear and left. We ended up just getting a hotel room and eating the fee from Airbnb. I’m not sure how they can legally rent one mattress to two adults but doesn’t matter because never again will I do Airbnb. People just get a hotel and save yourself the hassle and extra expense.

Unsafe Airbnb with Drug Dealers in Paris

We had a flat booked in Paris. When we got there the place was infested with a broken in main building door. There were drug dealers coming into the building offering us drugs. We of course turned around and got a hotel immediately. We let the booker know, who got in touch with Airbnb within 24 hours.

However, even though we took photographic evidence of all of this, we are still being refused a refund. The host even had the cheek to say we are just scared foreigners (we have been in Paris a year working). We are constantly fighting with Airbnb, who just seems to completely ignore their own terms and conditions on this. Even though the host provided no evidence, they believe him over our photos. How is this happening?

We have sadly now had to waste more time getting legal proceedings going. As we needed a place to stay, we had to fork out another 4000 euro; we are not made of money. The service is just appalling. They keep citing terms and conditions yet are actively ignoring them.

Nasty Airbnb Host Makes me Feel Threatened

Our second Airbnb booking in August 2018 was in Norwich, UK. The account is in my wife’s name but she could not get a visa so I went on my own; I did tell the host this. On arrival, the host was friendly and no problems were brought up during our two-night stay. Her husband refused to talk to me or even a simple ‘hello’ from me resulted in threatening glares from him.

The bedroom, more like a cupboard, was only accessible via the lounge and it had to be through what I can only call a hostile ice-cold atmosphere; the wife never seemed to be around after I arrived. On leaving, I asked the wife if I had upset her husband. She assured me I had not; he was just sometimes like that and that there was no problem. I had a problem; the last night I blocked the door with my bags as for all I knew he might have had a history of violence or mental illness – he did give that impression.

After I left, a partially negative review. She then replied with concerns which she had the chance to bring up when I was there, but did not. She moaned she did not know who I was (I did not know who they were either) that they did not know why I had gone to Norwich (not their business), and that I should not have gone on my own. They could have copied my passport, but never asked, and never raised any problems while I was there, apart from the threatening rudeness of the husband.

We will not be doing a shared Airbnb again. Of course these hosts somehow manged to get a five-star super host rating. It would have been better sleeping in the park.

Airbnb Nightmare at Hong Kong Property

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I stayed at an apartment building in Hong Kong called The Sparkle in the Cheung Sha Wan area in Hong Kong through Airbnb. Pictures of the apartment showed an upscale, clean apartment in Hong Kong with a list of basic amenities. Problems started appearing the second I checked in. The apartment was clearly not cleaned and had tons of dust, debris, hair all over the floor and surface areas of the apartment.

Small shards of glass were found throughout the apartment. I notified the host and he claimed he sent someone twice to the apartment during my stay to vacuum/clean but I was still able to find glass on the floor throughout my entire stay. I was cut twice by glass and was forced to wear shoes inside the apartment during the entire stay.

Cockroaches were in the kitchen and other bugs were found in the bathroom. I notified the host and he had to bomb the apartment during my stay. After he bombed the living area and kitchen I turned on the ventilation system in the kitchen and a very loud grinding sound came from the system; I had to turn it off immediately.

The washing machine broke the first time I used it and the host waited almost a whole week before he sent someone to fix it. The kitchen door handle kept falling off of the door and the knob in the shower fell off the first time I used it. The place was overall very dirty and not maintained, in clear violation of Airbnb safety and cleanliness policies.

When I spoke to Airbnb, the first couple of representatives and case managers didn’t seem to care at all. I eventually spoke to a case manager who basically lied to me by promising a full refund of the Airbnb service fee and 50% of the host fees. After speaking with him several times I asked him if I needed to file a refund/claim through the Airbnb platform and he told me no and that he would refund it automatically at the end of my stay.

After the trip ended, I expected a refund of what was promised to me – which didn’t happen – and got the runaround talking with different representaives and case managers. I probably spoke to about five representatives after my return inquiring about my refund and all of them basically didn’t care and were flat out rude except for one who was very nice, respectful and understanding. She had asked me to file a refund claim through the system which is currently still being processed.

This is my first experience through Airbnb and unless they give what was promised to me by their case manager and an apology, it will definitely be my last. I will not be recommending Airbnb to anyone and will be sharing my horror story with anyone who considers a stay through Airbnb. What I did expect was courtesy, understanding, fulfillment in terms of promises, and working with the host or guest through problems. So far, Airbnb as a company has not only proven that it does not care about guests who stay at the homes on their platform but also make false promises to their customers.

Airbnb Hosts from Hell and a Break in

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My boyfriend and I were travelling around Europe for a month over summer. We decided to finish our trip in Florence and booked an Airbnb for three nights. In the listing on Airbnb, the apartment appeared larger than it actually was and said it provided wifi, AC, and necessary toiletries, e.g. shampoo, conditioner, etc.

When we arrived we realised the apartment was much smaller than that shown in the pictures, the AC barely worked, the wifi constantly disconnected and was very slow, there was no hot water or bins, and the toilet didn’t flush properly. We contacted Airbnb and our host immediately. There was no reply from the host. Airbnb said they would forward my message along to the host.

We contacted Airbnb everyday about these complaints and were told they could do nothing about it unless they could get through to the host. On our third day the apartment was broken into and our money stolen. We called the police and filed a report, contacted Airbnb and called the hosts. The hosts did not respond, despite three of them being linked to our apartment on the app.

Airbnb said they would also contact the hosts and could not get through to them. We asked to be relocated as the apartment was not safe, due to the door not being able to lock anymore and a chunk of the wall being missing. Airbnb said they would pass it along to their trust and safety team and call us back. We were also told they could not relocate us and would only subsidise the fee of somewhere else by 50% if we found it ourselves.

We called a total of 13 times that day and were repeatedly told to wait for a call back. We were never called back. A member of the trust and safety team emailed us about the matter the following morning around 4:00 or 5:00 AM. However, this was too late as it was our last night and we ended up leaving at 6:00 AM to go home.

Whilst on our journey back home we were contacted by the hosts, after hearing nothing for our entire stay, and blamed us for the break in. They told us that they had the right to ask for compensation for the damages caused by the break in and that our complaints about the hot water was pretext. They stated that they needed to get a professional in to fix the wall and we should have to pay for it. They also refused our request for a refund.

We argued back and forth for a while and eventually they said they felt sorry for us and had decided it wasn’t our fault but that they shouldn’t have to blame whoever broke in? The lack of response or willing to accept any fault from the hosts and the horrible customer service from Airbnb made us feel completely abandoned. We are in the process of arguing for a full refund.

Creepy Airbnb Neighbor Spies on my Daughter

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. My daughter had used Airbnb in Paris the year before and she knew how to navigate the site, so we asked her to make our reservation. We made our reservation in September 2017 for July 2018. We flew into Paris after a week’s stay in London (also an Airbnb stay). We called our host once we landed as requested in writing by the host. We took a taxi and were about 20 minutes late due to traffic.

Our host then proceeded to chastise my daughter for our tardiness because she was late getting back to work (her ad stated the check-in time was flexible) and she was informed while we were in the taxi of our arrival time to her flat. Our host gave us keys at the bottom of the stairs to the flat and a magnetic key to work the entrance door. She asked my daughter to follow her upstairs to explain the air conditioning, electrical and door lock. We were told to stay downstairs.

Our host then came racing back downstairs with a large bag full of trash and then proceeded to explain to us where to take the rubbish when we left. When I entered the unit, I saw dirty footprints on the bathroom floor and black hair in the sink. The bathroom mirror and tiny sink had crusty residue from previous guests. I ended up cleaning the shower, sink, mirror and floors before we could use. The shower was gross and in desperate need of re-caulking due to mold stains.

The flat was four flights up (not the two stated) with steep and narrow steps. There was a hot plate and two sets of dishes (for three guests). Not a kitchen as stated in the Airbnb ad. There was no air conditioning. There were two small electrical upright fans. The mini fridge didn’t stay cold enough to keep perishables fresh for more than half a day at best and was next to the far wall. We had to open the windows of the studio flat to get air into the tiny unit.

The neighbor one floor up would sit in a chair and stare into our flat while his cigarette smoke had no where else to go but from his window into out flat. The walls between the atrium were about 12 feet apart and our only two windows faced the apartment directly across from us. It was disgustingly humid and we ended up opening the windows in an attempt to cool down the room.

My oldest daughter woke up from her futon “bed” to find the neighbor staring at her from his open window while she slept. When my daughter caught him, he laughed and made a disgusting gesture which I witnessed and pulled the curtains closed over the two windows. He followed this behavior up with us having to listen to him and his partner have sex. I ended up closing the windows and hurried my girls out the door to find breakfast somewhere. It was close to 6:30 in the morning. This jerk pulled the same thing the very next morning. No lie. At least this time I didn’t let my daughter sleep in her underwear.

We thankfully had a flight to catch and needed to be out of the unit by 6:30. So, my best advice to you is do your homework when booking an Airbnb. Read all reviews from all sites that your unit may be posted on. My daughter told me the next day that the owner had taken her ad off the website. Looks like she made enough money off of us to make some repairs. Paris was beautiful but this Airbnb was disgusting in every way.

Aggressive Airbnb Host Falsely Advertising Lakeside House

We made a reservation for four nights at a lakeside house in Langstini, which the host advertised as having free wifi (and I have the screenshot to prove it); this was essential for us. When we arrived and asked about the wifi he said he decided to disconnect it because he thought people should appreciate nature and not be addicted to the internet. He was talking in a very aggressive way so I didn’t want to argue with him and tell him he couldn’t change the terms after he promised something. It’s also not his job to educate us, so I just told him that it’s crucial for me to have the wifi for my work, for our trip planning and most of all because I have a son at home who has some problems at the moment – I needed to be in touch with him.

He said that tomorrow he would give us the wifi, but only for WhatsApp, not for media. That evening the wifi stopped working and when we told him he just said “I told you it’s just for WhatsApp. Now if you want more you’ll have to pay for it and charge it at the gas station.” I found this very unacceptable: not because of the the money but because he actually lied about the wifi and I don’t have to waste time during  my vacation looking for the specific gas station where I can charge his wifi.

That wasn’t all: the place was filthy, with hair and dust everywhere (he said the cleaning lady couldn’t come). The beds weren’t ready and I had to put on all the linen; not all of them were the right size. There wasn’t enough hot water for the shower and on the third night when my daughter was in the middle of a shower the electricity and the water stopped and we were left in darkness. We wrote to him (he wasn’t there) and he didn’t respond at all. The water and electricity returned after about an hour but he never contacted us.

Worse than anything was his attitude: he was always inpatient, arrogant and vulgar, like he’d really prefer we weren’t there at all. Even when he explained about some places we wanted to visit and I asked something he started to shout: “Are you gonna listen or not?!” My son got really scared from his shouting.

He also entered our room whenever he wanted without knocking on the door. We really felt uncomfortable there and after the incident with the water and electricity my kids didn’t want to stay there anymore. I also didn’t feel that we had to feel so bad during our vacation that we waited, planned, and saved for so long, so we decided to leave after the third night.

I’m not asking for refund for the nights we stayed, although he clearly didn’t fulfill what he promised and didn’t provide what he was supposed to. His attitude was terrible, and I think we definitely deserve a refund for the night we didn’t stay because we just couldn’t suffer anymore.

Airbnb Not What it Seems, Felt Unsafe for Kids and Dog

I contacted Airbnb customer service, by phone, after leaving a property in British Columbia. I felt unsafe (would be staying there with my daughters ages 7 and 11) and because the place was not as presented (e.g. the air conditioning turned out to be an air sucking machine in the window, held together by styrofoam and the “wifi” tuned out to be “if I can create a hotspot”).

The host had a huge Doberman that was very angry because our small mini golden doodle was in its space. The stairs to the “3rd floor flat” were rickety, to say the least and the air unbreathable. Also of concern was that there was no way to shut a door and restrict anyone’s access to a place we’d be virtual prisoners.

One of the reasons we booked the listing was that it had a pool (under the amenities). The host and the men downstairs were all very unkempt as was the home outside and somewhat inside. This was even more disconcerting because the home was so remote, surrounded by fields and woods, and well off the main road.

I expressed to the host that I needed to leave, that I did not feel well (asthma and then anxiety based on that because of the oppressive air and the “vibe”) yet she continued to try and get us to stay. The representative from Airbnb customer service seemed very nice and understanding, but did not get back to us; we were left adrift, even after calling back asking for help in securing accommodations for the night.

What was extremely disconcerting was that the host began messaging me, telling me to come back, saying her dogs wanted to play with the girls, that the room was now cool, even after I told her we had gone hours away from her, and to please refund my money. However, she has not done so; I see it in my pending charges, online for Mastercard.

Please help me with this. We were not there more than ten minutes and used no part of the place. I am holding off on my public review but see this particular location is plagued with bad reviews (that have since been deleted, and she’s halved the price), many expressing my own sentiments. How is this place still on Airbnb? My check in was to be 5:00 PM on August 11th. I’m waiting for Airbnb to step up and help, but despite many attempts, there has been no contact yet.