Airbnb Doesn’t Live up to Expectations

I recently booked an Airbnb in Toronto to visit my granddaughter. The apartment is in what looks like a city housing building in a very rough area of Toronto; the building and grounds are in a state of disrepair, and the elevators were scary to ride. I would never bring my granddaughter there for a sleepover. The apartment was a mess; food was left over from other renters, and all the dishes were sitting in a dirty dish rack on the counter. The beds were just a bunch of mattresses thrown on the floor with no couch and no living room. The furniture was all beat up with blankets thrown over them, and broken old pictures taped for repair. The stove was not fit to cook on.

I have been trying to reach the host, and much like Airbnb he took my 500+ dollars and became unreachable. The Airbnb folks are turning their backs on me. When I asked them how this location was approved, they stated they cannot check each location, and became very rude and short on the phone. If you are booked into an unacceptable location, Airbnb could care less. I have resigned to the fact that I have been ripped off by both Airbnb and the host and am hoping this post will avoid anyone else booking this Airbnb hellhole. I stayed there one night, paid for five, slept in an office chair and picked up take out. So much for Airbnb.

Host didn’t answer the door when I arrived at midnight

I booked a ferry set to arrive at an island at about 8:00 PM. I noted this when booking my reservation. Two days before I was supposed to arrive, the host asked me to confirm my arrival time. I thought that my message went through, but apparently the wifi didn’t load and the message didn’t send. Regardless, the host didn’t ask for a follow up and I assumed that he knew and all was well (the listing noted that the check-in time was flexible).

My ferry ended up running three hours late. I let my host know as soon as I could… and then I realized that my initial message didn’t go through. There was no response from the host during the three-hour ferry ride. I got to the apartment at midnight, but no one was there. I had to show up at a random hostel to find a place to stay. It was not a great situation to be in as a young solo female traveler. My host said that he assumed I was no longer coming because I didn’t respond to the message. I asked the host if he could refund my stay. He hasn’t responded. Is there anything I can do about this or do I just have to cut my losses?

Airbnb put a $200 Coupon Value on my Personal Safety

My husband and I stayed at an Airbnb, where on our very first day within hours of our arrival, the downstairs neighbor shoved a passive aggressive threatening letter under the door stating that the hosts have not fixed the insulation in the apartment, the result of which is the neighbors downstairs hear all of our footsteps in the lounge, kitchen, and bedroom areas. In fact, the letter itself said the neighbors downstairs have made it a habit to serve every single Airbnb guest of this host with the letter, so that the hosts will do something about it.

At around 9:00 PM on our first day, when I was walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water, the neighbor downstairs started shouting at us through the floors to stop walking and hurling insults. As a result, we had to tiptoe through the whole apartment through the most of our stay. To tell you the truth, we felt so unsafe that we were ready to call 999 during our stay if the yelling neighbor ever decided to knock on our door. It was that bad.

We did contact the host as soon as possible on the very first day of our stay stating in detail how the neighbor verbally harassed us and how we have to tiptoe around the apartment now so that he doesn’t start yelling at us again. The host said he would take care of the situation but nothing was done at all. Neither the host nor Airbnb took any steps to protect us from harassment. In fact, both the host’s and Airbnb’s negligence allowed this verbal harassment to occur in the first place.

Despite previous reviews mentioning the insulation issue with the neighbor and the neighbor’s behavior, Airbnb allowed this host to continue to rent this place out to unsuspecting guests like us. When we contacted Airbnb about this they stated that they can only give us a $200 coupon for the verbal harassment and bullying we suffered at one of their properties. I’m sorry but a $200 coupon is unacceptable and frankly offensive.

My as well as my husband’s personal safety and well-being is worth more than a $200 coupon to me. I don’t think it is asking for too much to expect Airbnb to value their customers’ personal safety and well-being more than a $200 coupon, especially when their own negligence in supervising the host’s property allowed this harassment incident to occur. I’m writing this review because I want to highlight Airbnb’s negligence in allowing this verbal harassment to occur despite previous reviews mentioning the insulation issue with the neighbor and the fact that Airbnb, as a company, puts a $200 value on their customers’ personal safety and well-being to warn future customers.

Airbnb Loses Recording of Guest Threatening Me

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blank blankToday I discovered that a female Airbnb guest had sneaked a male into our home unannounced without paying for him. I discovered this by taking clean towels, toilet paper and water to the room when she left for her “photo shoot”. I was confronted with an unknown man who claimed to be a “boyfriend” although the female guest told me she lived in and had just flown in from LA. The male guest eventually slipped up and said he had just arrived from NYC.

I contacted Airbnb immediately to report the violation of the rules, false booking number of guests and to express that this was a potentially unsafe situation of a guest leaving an unknown unapproved unverified person in my home without so much as even a text message to let me know, let alone not asking permission. While I was on the phone with an Airbnb supervisor who was supposedly recording the event and confirmed she in fact heard the male guest and heard me ask him to leave (I asked the super to stay on the phone with me for safety while I asked him to leave),  the female guest returned, came into my home and started yelling at me that she was a 32-year-old woman, could do as she pleased, and I had no right to go up there or confront her “friend.”

There was no reasoning with these people; that was evident and why I asked the super to contact her and cancel and handle the reservation because I didn’t want nor did I feel it was my place to safely confront guests under these conditions. The super advised me that she was escalating this to the Trust & Safety department immediately. She said she also needed to speak with the guest. I advised her that was fine, but have someone else call and for her to stay on the phone with me for safety and documentation. She hung up.

The guest and the male “friend” started yelling in my home. The female backed me into my home office and blocked the door. I was totally out of composure and had to threaten to call the police. They spilled out into my driveway (I live in an upscale urban neighborhood) and of course the neighbors were not watching. They eventually left but not after the random male invited me to step out of my home to deal with him in my driveway and calling me a racist.

I went back inside and went back to my office to deal with clients and calls. About four hours later when I had a break I contacted Airbnb again because I had not heard from anyone. There was no ticket in my Airbnb mailbox and no return phone call from the company as had been promised. When I called back, the new customer service agent and his super said they “had no record of this event, no notes, no ticket and no recording and would need to call the guest to get her side of the story.”

I lost my grip with them. The guests last words leaving were, “you’ll get yours.” As I’ve reached out and as of the writing of this event six hours later, there has been no follow up. I had one email from a customer service agent that wrote me after the third call. I’ll attach the three replies I’ve sent in and not a one has had a response.

This is not the first issue I’ve had with Airbnb. I’ll post the others now that I know about this site. I’m all in about supporting some serious collective effort among hosts to bring change and safety to both hosts and guests. Airbnb alone does not seem to indicate they have the incentive to do so without some serious movement from those of us who have experienced this sort of stuff.

Harassed by a Mentally Unstable Airbnb Host

This was the letter I sent numerous people at Airbnb; it explains everything except all of the bizarre messages this host sent us.

Three of my adult children and I stayed here last weekend. It was a business trip. We arrived on Friday, September 14th, 2018. With two air conditioners running, the heat was intolerable in the kitchen and second bedroom. Saturday morning we sent a message to the host, stating as such, just to make them aware. We made no demands or requests.

Sunday, over 24 hours later, while we were on a boat tour, our rental host messaged stating they would be entering the property. We requested they wait for our return (a completely reasonable request). The host then began harassing us, saying we were denying them access, then stating that according to what neighbors had reported (neighbors who were in the other part of the house and turned out to be friends of the hosts) we were in violation on several counts because we had more than four guests, had a pet, and were smoking in the building.

None of these things were true; I am the only smoker and I do not smoke inside. The host continued messaging us until late in the evening, even threatening to have New Orleans police escort us out. This was bizarre behavior – keep in mind this all began simply because we requested they wait for our return to enter the property.

I am a 62-year-old female. This is my first experience with Airbnb. It was unsettling to say the least to have this person threatening us and making false allegations. All of the above, as well as all correspondence between ourselves and the host, has been reported to Airbnb through their resolution department. We were offered one night’s refund as a resolution. This was unacceptable: this host cannot be allowed to cause other guests to be fearful and feel unsafe in a rented space due to their irrationality. There was something not right with this host.

Sunday night I was quite uncomfortable even going to bed. At approximately 3:00 AM a loud bang woke three of us up. I immediately thought it was the host banging on the door; it was frightening thinking we would be confronted by this unstable person. It turned out it wasn’t anyone at the door; it was fighting going on next door and lasted for a couple hours until someone left in a car.

I have read numerous such experiences with Airbnb hosts and there seems to be no accountability for such behavior and harassment. Their resolution offer is completely missing the human element; it’s not just about the money, it’s about Airbnb looking the other way when a host harasses, threatens, and causes a fellow human being to feel unsafe. This host should be held accountable and should not be given the opportunity to make another person feel unsafe or threatened. This all happened through Airbnb, and this is their responsibility. They need to fix these issues even if it means losing properties. Keep in mind it’s the guests who keep them in business.

We left Monday morning as scheduled and left the property in the same condition we would have had we had no issues with the host: extremely clean and tidy, linens/towels, etc. in the tub, trash all outside, dishes washed and put away, floor swept, stove cleaned, refrigerator wiped down, ice cube trays replenished, etc. We took numerous pictures and videos because we did not know what to expect next from this unstable person.

On our drive home the host messaged us and asked if we enjoyed our stay. It was quite strange, like asking if she successfully ruined it for us. This person is not safe. Airbnb should be concerned about the environment they place guests in. We are all placing trust in Airbnb when we rent through them. I am confident their agents would not want to be in such an environment.

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.