Airbnb Blocks Legitimate Negative Reviews

I’ve used Airbnb at least 15 times but never again. A host screwed me over (warning: do not stay here). I had never been to New Orleans and was so excited. Six of my girlfriends and I planned a fun weekend getaway. I booked us a house that was listed as “3 miles from French Quarter” on Airbnb and paid over $1000 upfront (included $130 cleaning fee, $113 service fee, and $45 in taxes). I was boarding the plane to NOLA when I got a phone call from two of the girls saying they aren’t staying at the house.

Their Uber driver said it’s a very dangerous part of town and is considered the projects. I Googled it later and found out it was the second largest housing project in the city. There were boarded up houses on the street (something I could not have known). When they arrived at the house, two men drinking from paper bags across the street started catcalling them and made them feel very uncomfortable.

There was only one other review posted before me and the guy said that the neighborhood was “worn down”. I didn’t want to base my stay on one review, but looking back I should have. I immediately contacted the owner and said we did not feel comfortable staying there and we would be staying somewhere else. I ended up paying a fortune for a hotel last minute.

Usually a hotel would make you pay for that first night and give you the rest of the money back. Nope… not this host. She wouldn’t even give me back the $130 cleaning fee. She blamed the boarded up houses on hurricane Katrina which happened 13 years ago. She also had Airbnb block me from leaving a review because I was never inside the house. My friends did not enter the house, just parked the car in the driveway and then left after being harassed. After two months of arguing with Airbnb’s customer support, they blocked me from messaging them and closed the case. I lost over a grand and was blocked from leaving an honest review. Save your time: don’t stay here or use Airbnb.

Locked Out After a Late Arrival at Airbnb

We traveled from Indiana to Iowa for a friend’s wedding that I was the personal attendant for so we were ready for a busy weekend and only planned to use the Airbnb to sleep. The hosts texted us about an ETA and sent a detailed message about wifi and the room, but failed to mention anything about the keys or doors.

The door was unlocked when we got there so we walked in. The hosts were there and were welcoming when showing us the room and bathroom accommodations. We set down our stuff but quickly had to leave for the rehearsal dinner. The host had texted if we had any questions to let her know but I didn’t think to respond since I had a lot on my mind and didn’t have any questions at the moment. We didn’t talk to the hosts much because we wanted our privacy, knew we would be gone most of the weekend, and didn’t really know what the “social rules” of Airbnb were since this was our first trip using the platform.

We arrived back on the first night around 10:30 PM. The door was unlocked but we didn’t see the hosts. We were practically gone the whole entire next day due to the wedding and didn’t arrive back until almost midnight and we found the door was locked. We were exhausted and tried calling the hosts because we didn’t see their car in the driveway. The back door was also locked. Finally, one host answered the door (in his underwear) saying they had fallen asleep.

At this point we were not comfortable staying there since our things were still inside and we were without a place to stay for a while. We had to drive two hours away to find other accommodations around 3:00 AM. The host texted us the next day saying she heard everything turned out okay but I never responded because I wanted to go through Airbnb for a refund. I later messaged the host through the Airbnb Resolution Center to see if I could have a half refund since we only stayed one out of two nights.

She proceeded to say I was extorting money from her, got back late, and that we were unfriendly, racist, and rude. I’m not sure how we could’ve been all those things if we didn’t talk to the hosts much other than to text them about the door being locked multiple times. There also was never a rule saying we had to be back at night at a certain time or keep in constant communication with the hosts. It was a busy weekend and we were just looking for a place to sleep at night.

I have read other reviews of this host where guests said the accommodations were wonderful but the hosts were kind of loud and that was frustrating. The host replied back to this review calling them racists as well. This is slander and defamation of character and a host should not be able to throw that word around lightly.

Domestic Violence Nightmare at my Home

I have been a host on Airbnb since 2009. I had guests stay at my place at the end of March 2018. During that visit, the police were called by a neighbor at 3:00 in the morning due to a domestic dispute. In fact, the police had to break down my front door to get in. The incident was pretty serious.

I received a copy of the police report. There were physical marks on her and apparently he had his foot to her throat to the point where she could not breathe. I had to have my entire front door and frame work replaced. Additionally, as a result I was forced to cancel all future Airbnb guests who were confirmed as my HOA was so freaked out by the entire incident that we can no longer do rentals under 30 days.

All in all I have approximately $10,000 in damages that has not yet been addressed by Airbnb, despite the fact I have submitted all invoices, photographs and police report. They are also aware that I had to cancel already existing reservations (which I relied upon as supplemental income.) Not one person from Airbnb has called me to let me know my case is being handled. What is really sad is that I went to the guests who destroyed my place and violated my living space to ask them to pay for the damage to my home and also the loss of income. They pretty much told me to F off and that they were “trying to heal” from the incident. Wow.

Airbnb Guests Part of Identify Theft and Fraud Ring

I always ask people what time they are arriving and get a confirmation on a time frame. Locking them into a set time gives me an idea about what kind of people they are too. Since this individual confirmed for 2:00 PM, he had me sitting there until 11:00 PM without showing. It smelt of “let me sleep over and then look through your s$%t when you leave home for work.”

I just got that vibe and I was correct. I did a Google search and found I was in a Airbnb Hell story. It was already past the cancellation deadline on the website. Dude was outside my house; I had to deal directly with Airbnb instead and get the knife out of my hand. They probably intended to rob me. I intended to wait at the door and prepare for any kung fu battle that always begins with an ambush.

I told Airbnb he was not coming into my house. They said, “Wow, how did he manage to make a reservation this time? We have procedures in effect that were bypassed by the reservation system.”

I said I didn’t care what was bypassed or how they managed to do it; there was no way they were coming in.

Airbnb said “You wont be getting any money for cancelling.”

“I could bloody care less, and I don’t care about my Superhost status either.”

Guest Ripped off by Host’s False Promise to Refund

I booked accommodation advertised on AirBnb on October 19th, 2017 for our nieces and nephews attending our daughter’s wedding from February 18th to 21st, 2018. It wasn’t possible to see the exact location as Airbnb only provides a circle in which the property lie, no address.

The property was very nice and within a few minutes of our house. The full amount needed to be paid immediately and the host required a 50% non-refundable deposit. After the full payment had been taken off our credit card by Airbnb, we received the address, and realized that there were safety concerns. The property was on the other side of the railway line from us and our guests would need to use a subway to get to our house. We contacted the host immediately explaining our concerns and asking if she would consider waiving the 50% deposit. As it was immediate, she agreed in writing and we cancelled with Airbnb. Airbnb’s portion was refunded quite soon, but they said the host had to give permission for them to release her portion.

Sufficed to say, over 20 emails to the host and seven months later, we have not managed to get a penny from her. I am handing this matter over to a debt collecting firm, as I have it in writing that she agreed to pay. She has had a long term rental on the property, our dates falling in that period. Unfortunatey, this will be an expensive business, as one is only given a client custom email address by Airbnb. So there will be tracing fees involved. Feeling ripped off and sad. Make sure you have someone who is conversant with the pitfalls of Airbnb when you book.

Airbnb Host Blocks Guest From Leaving

I was a guest at a bed and breakfast in Atlanta, Georgia. My stay started April 4th. The place was in the most dangerous area of Atlanta. I am a travel nurse and needed to find some place quickly, but not knowing Atlanta, I relied on Airbnb’s ratings.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the hosts and they helped me take my things in to my King Suite… so to speak; it was a pull out sofa. The listing stated there were new mattresses but I looked and was laying on two thick foam pieces. The next morning I got up and came out of my room at around 8 AM. No one was to be found, so I just began saying “hello?”

The owner came out and asked if he could help. I told him I wanted to order breakfast. I was starved so I told him what I wanted. I got half what I wanted but was hesitant to ask why. He began to tell me that guests text him what they need instead of coming out of their room. There were no places that delivered there, and he said he was a chef.

I promise you… he was no chef. He took frozen meals, microwaved them, and placed them on a plate. I was the only guest there for the whole month I stayed. The people that had given the reviews actually live there as permanent residents. He has five rooms, so I was a white woman staying with three black men, which really made me uneasy. I am not racist. My daughter has been married to a great black guy for 18 years.

Now the price I paid for this horrible place was $1700. He told me the food was free. In two weeks he knew I was getting a paycheck and asked how much it was. I stated I usually don’t give out that information. There was fresh tea and lemonade on a stand in the kitchen. I got a glass of tea and came out and got a glass of lemonade. After that day, there was nothing sitting out to drink. The trash bags in the guest rooms were grocery bags. The pictures on Airbnb were false and nothing like the nightmare this place was.

When I went in I saw books lying around with titles like Adultery, Illuminati, etc. on the sofa, at the window, and near the flat screen. It reminded me of my grandmother’s house. I would text him at 8:00 AM or so for breakfast, and the response I would always get is: “I’m not quite ready to get up.” I got breakfast at 10:30 AM, and this happened every day. It was always on his terms.

One day when I went to orientation I ate something I picked up going home. I got home and was exhausted, hungry, and trying to find another place to eat. I went to bed early and was extremely hungry the next morning. I texted the host maybe three times and told him I was sorry for the big order but asked if he had French Toast. He said yes. I ordered four pieces of French Toast, two eggs over medium, two slices of bacon, a bagel, and some oatmeal. His reply was: “Listen, even though you are very hungry, I am not about to cook all that. I will do what I can.”

The French Toast was burnt. The eggs were scrambled not over medium. There was no bacon or bagel and the oatmeal was a do-it-yourself packet with hot water. I ask for a refund and he said there are none. I told him about I was angry but nothing changed. I stayed in my room the whole time other than work. No guests were allowed near the fridge. He had a tiny table with four chairs for dining but on Airbnb it looked like everyone was having a great time. I was more and more uneasy and very angry.

I decided to leave on May 3rd. I didn’t tell him until the last minute. He backed up a little and I apologized. However, he also stuck me with a bill for $670. I was in shock. I ask what that was for. He told me it was for extra things I had been eating and Uber rides; he had stated before booking that he gives his guests free Uber rides.

I already paid $1700 for a terrible place. I was dehydrated and hungry all the time. I had relocated from Iowa so my funds were low. I told him before I left that I didn’t have that money. He said you need to leave your things then. I told him no. Then the other two guys came out of their rooms and looked at me. I had found a wonderful place and stated I wanted to leave six days early and to just deduct that from my bill. He really was angry then and he was not aware that the owner of the place I found was related to the Mayor of Atlanta and the Governor.

He stood in front of the door and told me I wasn’t going anywhere, that no one gets away with ripping him off. He said he needed to know where I was going. I told him he didn’t and asked him to let me out. My next host was on her way so my phone was vibrating. Thank god she knew something was wrong and called the police. Then he let me out.

I couldn’t carry everything at once so I had to keep going in and out of the house to put my things in her car. She said she couldn’t come on the property. She already knew that. When I got to her house where I rented a beautiful room, I noticed my computer gone. He had stolen my computer and texted me a trashy message, saying I was pathetic and he would find me. He was pretending to help me with the luggage before I left and took a picture of her tags.

My friend and I were at the police department for an hour. Now I have pressed charges and I want a refund and my computer back. I was exhausted from work, carrying luggage, and filing a report. There were never any other guests. Not one. The picture on Airbnb shows a girl, the host’s girlfriend. I will finish my story here but there was so much more that happened. I hope Airbnb will take this listing off their website as I am filing a lawsuit and they are making false advertisements; people could get raped or killed here.

 

To Effect Change, Just Don’t Use Airbnb

I really think that the best way to effect changes in the Airbnb system is to simply not use Airbnb. Money talks. I will never again stay at an Airbnb property. I discussed my concerns with a live agent from Airbnb and she confirmed that there are no site visits to the properties and no real training is provided for hosts. Not everyone is suited to be a host, plain and simple. Properties need to have standards enforced since some hosts just don’t know how to provide a safe, clean and comfortable environment.

My most recent stay was in a very cute converted garage (built around the 1940’s) which I do not believe had any insulation. The space was very hot despite using the fan provided. Many of the electrical outlets were apparently original to the garage and were so worn out that some could barely hold a plug without it falling out; this is a fire hazard because a loose outlet can produce an arc if it can’t make solid contact with the plug. Also, the housekeeping staff heavily oiled all of the varnished wood tables (you don’t oil sealed wood furniture) so that I had sticky oil all over my fingers, laptop and the mouse. There was hair in the shower, and the bath exhaust fan was so filthy that I couldn’t figure out how any air could pass through.

This was my second experience staying at an Airbnb facility; my first experience was better, except that the mattress and box spring were directly on the floor (no bed frame of any kind.) Hosts need to be trained and the lodgings need periodic inspections. Of course Airbnb will never do this because it costs too much.

Unsafe Rental Under Renovation, Still Expected to Pay

I requested to book a three-bedroom apartment in Paris. The pictures made the place look wonderful. It was described as having a rooftop terrace with 360-degree views of the Eiffel Tower. The host asked me to confirm the names and ages of the people traveling with me. I responded immediately with all the information; I am traveling with two young teenagers. The host then confirmed the reservation, charging my credit card.

Five minutes later he messaged me saying I will be using just two beds, the place is under renovation – unsafe for teenagers – and the rooftop is unsecured. I told him that was unacceptable and wouldn’t work for my family. He then tried to get me to stay in another of his listings and if I didn’t take it, it was my loss and there is a strict cancellation policy; I would still be charged. I canceled immediately as to not hold up any future reservations. Airbnb has not helped at all in getting me a refund and said if he rebooks it then I can have my money back. It was cancelled within five minutes of him confirming (charging my credit card). The place is under renovation and unsafe, per his own words, yet I am still expected to pay. This is a complete scam.

Disgusting, Unsafe Accommodation Forces me to Leave

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There were some issues at my Airbnb property: an unsafe environment, and unclean accommodations. It was not as described. Sadly upon arrival at the booked accommodation I was greeted by what I can only describe as the British version of Beirut. Within the property I found a substandard and not as described room which was unsafe, dank, dark and dirty. In all honesty my heart sank at the rundown room that I discovered was where I was to stay, with a balcony door that led out onto a definitively questionable easy to access area of disrepair with a lock that wouldn’t keep a Care Bear out, let alone a rapist at 3:00 AM. I have never felt so unsafe in my life.

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Upon checking the rest of the facilities, I discovered wires hanging from the ceiling and walls, a garden with rubbish bags, a fridge full of expired food and quite frankly disgusting fermented urine within the toilet; that musky aroma overpowered my nose and sent me to tears. A public toilet was cleaner and safer that the property that was meant to be of a high standard.

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Due to the panic attack that ensued and the pictures I took, which horrified one of my friends in Scotland, they swiftly booked me into a hotel as it was so bad there was no way any of us would of been able to sleep due to fear of my safety. The bed sheets appeared stained and mucky, the curtains were damp, and the whole flat was a safety risk with the lack of security and exposed wires above what I can only assume was meant to be considered a dining table.

This, regardless of Airbnb’s terms and conditions, is not acceptable. They have failed to provide a service to a reasonable standard. This also falls under the remit of not as described and failure to provide a standard of reasonable care to a service user. I’m requesting a full refund as well as compensation for the Uber and hotel room that was required due to Airbnb’s safeguard failings for which both receipts of which are included. I wish this matter to be resolved in a timely manner. If this is not resolved within 28 days I will be pursuing a legal case via small claims for all costs incurred while attempting to use Airbnb as well as compensation for the stress.