Airbnb: Unaccountable During a Crisis

My experience with Airbnb goes back to 2016, but I never had to do anything like this until now. I recently stayed in a place for my family and had an incredible experience. The place was family-like and safe.

After we left, I received a message from the owner asking me for help, knowing I am familiar with the legal system. He was desperate because Airbnb didn’t respond to him. When he agreed to this new reservation, he thought he was getting a family: a married couple and kids. Instead he received a gang of 30+ people in his tiny home (that is made for a small family only).

Airbnb never responded to him. They replied to me when I expressed my concern as a customer, by saying that they will forward my request to another department.

Here is the copy of my request:

“I recently had several experiences with your company that are not very satisfying to me. I have experienced users like me to be disregarded and ignored when something important happened during my experience with Airbnb. And I have also, as it has just happened, with my prior host, the experience of you failing him, when he had to face issues with uninvited guests, a 30+ party of reckless people who care nothing about decency but rather about exploitation.

My family had the most amazing stay with them. We just left. And he is so desperate he had to reach out to me to ask for help because you are unable to assist him. He had a family of four signing up for his home, but instead a gang of 30+ people showed up and are causing havoc to his house. Which, by the way, is incredible and he doesn’t deserve this as a new Airbnb host. He was unable to reach you over one hour of a wait on the phone, so he had to call the police who also didn’t show up right away.

This is unacceptable. I live in San Francisco too so I understand how business works. I’m also a paralegal and I understand how the legal system works. And I would really appreciate if you could fix the problems you create on your end so people do not have to ever call the police. Put your heads together to create a system that actually allows customers to receive a response in a timely manner if they are forced to face with scammy clients. It should be automatic.

You need to be on top of your game no matter what. You are going to lose much more business at this point if you do not improve your customer service and if you use a ‘crisis’ as a way to let go of safety measures. If you are unable to perform to the fullest extent, don’t scam your clients. Just go out of business and allow someone else to take the stage, or face numerous lawsuits. Endangering families and children and elderly because you don’t have enough staff is unacceptable. I’m appalled.”

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Scammer Stayed 24 Nights but only Paid for One

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A guest booked a 30-day stay and claimed to Airbnb that he moved out after one night but actually ended up staying 24 nights. Airbnb mishandled the situation and now refuse to correct their mistake.

We are in one of the ten largest cities in the US. The place is very economic ($400/month, average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom-apartment here is $1350). It’s a shared room (3-4 people per bedroom, 10 people in the apartment) and he complained about cleanliness issues within 24 hours.

I do month-to-month rentals and usually have 100 guests at the same time across several location. Over 1000 guests in the last five years. 80% of our ratings are five stars, 90% are four or five stars. Nobody else in the apartment complained about the cleanliness issue. The guest didn’t have a single review.

Airbnb didn’t reach out to me until 14 days after move-in. I pointed out to Airbnb that the guest still lives there. 20 days after move-in they made the decision to refund him all the money besides the first night, because he told them that he moved out, even though he didn’t move out.

I have been chasing them ever since, telling them that he still lives there but they didn’t do anything about it. Everyone saw him and other Airbnb guests also confirmed to Airbnb that he lives there. They slow-walked the case and never asked me for any photo or video evidence that he still lives there.

After he moved out (after 24 days when an Airbnb rep called him and urged him to move out) they suddenly asked me to provide photo evidence that he actually lived there. Now they won’t issue his payout because they say that without video or photo evidence they cannot issue it.

Airbnb made a wrong decision regarding the cleanliness issue given that there were 20 other Airbnb guests living at this location (spread across multiple units) on the same day as the guest but none of them had any complaints. Furthermore, when they first reached out I told them that the guest still lives there and it took them almost a week to come to a decision. When they made their decision, they forgot that he actually still lives there. Now they don’t acknowledge that mistake.

I have attached the four pictures that were presented as evidence by the guest that there was a cleanliness issue. Those are the only pictures that Airbnb showed him. I would like to take them to arbitration and I am seeking an experienced attorney to represent me. Here is a detailed complaint that I sent to Airbnb.

I am challenging the decision that there was a cleanliness issue. This decision by Airbnb was wrong and is the reason there is a dispute in the first place. There was no cleanliness issue. Here is a list of all the Airbnb guests that stayed at this location on March 9 (the day of move-in); none of these people reported an issue. That’s 20 happy Airbnb guests vs. this guy, who doesn’t have a single Airbnb review.

I included the booking code so you can look up the address. The pictures you sent don’t show any cleanliness issues:

1st picture: burned stove counter. There are ten people living in the apartment and most are cooking. Sometimes they will burn a stove top burner and sometimes they don’t clean up right away. Once a week our cleaners come to make sure everything is spotless. It cannot be 100% clean in a shared room environment. You can expect that at a entire place at move-in but not in a shared space.

2nd picture: dirty toilet seat. There are three bathrooms in each apartment. Ten people use those bathrooms and so they get dirty. Once a week they are cleaned spotless but during the week one toilet can be a bit more dirty. There are two other ones where it’s not like that. Again, this is normal in a place where ten people live together and cleaners come once a week.

3rd picture: a kitchen table that’s not 100% clean when ten people live in an apartment to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. This is normal,

4th picture: a vegetable outside the fridge. There are ten people living there and they are cooking. When you cook sometimes a vegetable falls on the floor. That’s how every kitchen everywhere looks. I am sure that vegetable was picked up minutes after the picture was taken.

We have been around for over five years and have a great system to make sure people that share a space can live in a clean and healthy environment. We encourage all our guests to clean after themselves and have professional cleaners coming once a week to do the heavy lifting. There is absolutely no cleanliness issue and it was a wrong decision by Airbnb.

Whatever case manager made this decision didn’t look at the satisfaction of other guests staying there nor the fact that this is a shared environment. We are proud of the cleanliness we provide and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Neither Airbnb, nor Brian Chesky, nor the guest would be able to provide a cleaner environment in an affordable shared room setting like this one.

The guest moved in on March 9 and it wasn’t until March 22 that I received a message from Airbnb. That’s 14 days after move-in. I wrote back immediately that I didn’t agree to a refund and that as of March 19 he was living in the unit. Airbnb did not ask for video evidence then.

On March 24, Airbnb sent photos (16 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence. On March 25, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (17 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 26, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (18 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence). On March 27, Airbnb said they would follow up the next day (19 days since move-in, no question about video or photo evidence).

On March 28, Airbnb made the decision to refund the guest and there was no word about the fact that he still lives there. No question about video evidence or camera. Airbnb also said that they would not get back to me for three days. It seems that Airbnb just gave the refund at the last minute before the work week was over without double checking if the guest still lives there or not. This is negligence on Airbnb’s part and the reason there is a dispute now.

On March 30 (22 days since he moved-in), I pointed out that the guest still lives there. On April 3, there were no questions asked about video or photo evidence. Someone from the safety team contacted me and then called the guest. Only then did he move out. At no point was video or photo evidence requested.

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Guest Dispute Turns Host off Airbnb for Good

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After holding a room for a month, Airbnb guests arrived far after the check in time. They insisted that they did not want to unload anything for one night. The lady sat on the floor talking to my husband, playing with the dog. Unbeknownst to her, we had a guest.

Ten minutes after my husband left, she and her husband ran in and out of the house. Later I got a text saying it wasn’t a good fit. Airbnb said they would review and handle. Crickets. I left the room as occupied. Then another month was deposited in my account. I had strict cancellation policies and long term cancellation policies. It didn’t matter.

The guests sent a picture of a dog hair in the bed, a rat turd in a chair, a snowman in one of the two master closets and a shower that had fresh, hostess-supplied amenities. None of this was mentioned to my husband during the talk. I objected strongly to the dog hair and rat turd.

My guests staying upstairs verified the room. They left sheets and towels on the floor. The drugs she said she had shipped to our house to arrive the day they arrived mysteriously never came.

I have wonderful reviews and, as I said, witnesses. Airbnb gave me 24 hours to respond. One minute after I submitted a partial response, I got a phone call saying they reviewed my response and were siding with the guests and need the money back. I blocked them from my bank account, my phone and email. They can rot.

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Airbnb not Paying Hosts, Even for Normal Reservations

In the last two months Airbnb raised $2 Billion to survive on the coronavirus outbreak. It seems they are running out of cash. I have a group with several Airbnb hosts who are reporting the same problem: Airbnb is not paying the guests’ reservations to the hosts. The guests are paying, but the hosts are not receiving this money, because Airbnb is holding the money without a reason.

Their customer service is evasive, and they can’t explain why the payments are not being made. After ten days and several phone calls and DM’s, they said the problem was “with my bank”, but they refuse to give the transaction ID to the bank. I called my bank and Airbnb hasn’t sent anything there.

It’s a unfair lie. It’s a scandal. They used exactly this same narrative in 2015, as this Forbes article explains. This is a police case. They are running out of cash and holding the hosts’ money hostage. I know several hosts who are facing the same situation, and would like to collect more stories to publish an article to explain this cash flow scandal.

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Canada Closed but Airbnb Refuses to Refund

The Canadian Prime Minister closed the country’s cruise ports until July 1. All cruises until July 1 are cancelled, including ours. We were coming from the U.S. to Vancouver for one night at an Airbnb. It would have been our first time ever using Airbnb. Every other airline and hotel gave us a full refund the same day we called.

Not Airbnb: they have a COVID-19 policy until May 31 only. We were checking in June 1. Even with a ton of documentation, their “case managers” still denied us a refund because their policy is just until May 31.

The host is very difficult to work with and won’t budge on her strict policy even though we just booked it days before the shutdown in March and we’re two months away. What a selfish human being.

We have no control over this global pandemic and they have been a nightmare to deal with. We call everyday and get the runaround from customer service. Airbnb is a fraudulent company. I’m talking to a lawyer.

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Last-Minute Cancellations are Schemes by Hosts

I made my first Airbnb request for my bosses staying in Orlando for a conference. The host confirmed the reservation and sent me a written confirmation. I paid the full amount for the reservation.

At the last minute, he called me to say the unit was suddenly not available, even though I have a written confirmation in hand and I paid the full amount. There’s a conference in town and he obviously got more money from someone else and cancelled on me. To get my money back, I had to “cancel” the reservation, but didn’t get all my money refunded.

When I contacted the host, he said I cancelled, not him. So now it’s a matter of he said/she said. Since Airbnb holds the money and doesn’t send it to the host until you check in, this is a great scheme for the host. Who has the money that wasn’t refunded to me?

Don’t Trust Airbnb Reviews – Delete Bad Ones

I will file a lawsuit against Airbnb in two months, as soon as my upcoming non-refundable reservations end. I will also make a website called Airbnb Scams, Airbnb Lies and more domain names like this. I will explain all the scams, lies, misleading information, and Airbnb actions on my website in depth.

I had stayed at 28 Airbnbs in 17 months. I did hours of research to find a decent place in order to not to get screwed by Airbnb hosts. There are very few hosts honest enough in Airbnb listings, and Airbnb already knows all these scams because I have been telling them repeatedly for the last 17 months. Yet Airbnb does nothing to fix all these scams. Of course, if they remove all the scam listing, Airbnb cannot make any money.

1. You do not know where will you stay until you book and pay. If you are not familiar with the area , you will end up very dangerous place because even with 30 bad review, and a 2.6 review score there are lots of listings that still exist on Airbnb. Airbnb does not care if you are safe. They want your money.

2, Even though there are no bad reviews, it does not mean that the place is perfect because Airbnb deletes bad reviews reviews on some listings to do the host a sweet favor, just like an Airbnb case manager deleted my bad review about a host lying about me that I left his place dirty. I have recordings that show totally the opposite, and I am suing them in March.

3. Shows “kitchen” on the listing. Yet one mini fridge, one microwave and a coffee maker is not a kitchen.

4. Shows “gym” on the listing, and the gym is in the other building and belongs to some other company, or apartment. I even saw a gym listed but it was in the park.

5. Non-refundable bookings.

6. “Do not say you are with Airbnb; just say you are friend”. Most of the Airbnb hosts ask me or even say in their listing that I should tell anyone if asked that I am not an Airbnb guest. I should lie, saying I am their friend or relative. So, you are charging me $150/night and I have to lie for you? Then charge me $30 a night if you just want to scam your building staff, your neighbors, and the tax department?

7. No refunds if you stay there one night or two and find out the host lied to you about something. Airbnb may refund you the rest of the stay if you move out, but you still must pay the nights you were there just because a host lied to you.

8. Sometimes other very loud Airbnb guests will keep you up all night. There is nothing you can do.

I will write all my experiences when I make my website. One host said there was a gym, and I found out there was never a gym. In his words, Days Inn was letting them use their gym but not anymore. Surprisingly, the host found out the very same day I checked in that Days Inn did not let his Airbnb guests use the gym. Really? What a coincidence! I told Airbnb, and only got a partial refund. I lost $357 for one night, Uber payments, groceries, and wasted time and money.

28 places I have stayed, in three states and two countries. So many lies, scams, misleading information, and more. My only reason was the kitchen because I like to cook. Dirty utensils, lack of cooking materials, tiny fridges, more and more. They charge $50 – $250 cleaning fees, and yet I have to clean most of the places I have stayed.

As I said in the beginning, there are very few honest hosts. If you not spend many hours reading each listing word by word, you are screwed. There are so many hidden fees, such as for a jacuzzi, or two-bedroom apartment but the $38 price tag is for only one person, the second person is $16 extra per night, extra deposits and cash deposits. There are resort fees, this and that, and on top of all this, Airbnb charges almost $13% -15% and yet offers no real help if the host does not agree to anything.

Airbnb only helps if the host is willing to help. Otherwise you are screwed. No more Airbnb for me. I will continue to stay at hotels.

Airbnb Nightmare: Another Guest Scammed

I made a reservation and paid for an apartment to a host (not sure if he gave his real name though because of what is happening now), and he said I should pay into a third-party account which was supposedly for Airbnb as they were the ones who would receive the money on his behalf. I paid a deposit and two months’ payment as he said the minimum stay was two months.

I was sent a link which generated an invoice. I have a copy of the invoice with the details of the account I was supposed to transfer the money into. After payment, we were supposed to receive an email with a contract attached; this never materialized until today.

We were supposed to be checking in today but instead the host with whom we have been talking to has just decided to block us on his phone after receiving our money and never provided us with the service. The link is no longer working. Is Airbnb a scam or has it been hijacked by scammers? I do have the other evidence that we indeed paid for a service that never materialized.

Close your bank account to stop con artist guests

I hosted an Airbnb guest that booked my beach condo for over two months. On the first day, the guest said that the center support of one of the beds had broken off; I then had a handyman come by and fix it. The bed also has three wood support beams going across it at the bottom. Those were all intact and the bed could still be slept in. It was fine and didn’t need the center leg. The guest tried to say they couldn’t sleep in the bed.

Then they threw dirt around my condo, took pictures of it, and told Airbnb that my condo was not clean. I had previous reviews that said my condo was very clean and was cleaned spotlessly before they arrived. The guest then got Airbnb to give them a 50-percent discount for the 20 days they were in my condo and also let them cancel their reservations without my consent.

This guest got a beach condo for $45 per night on the California Coast of San Clemente in which Motel 6 charges at least $150-200 a night. The people were con artists. After they left, my sink and the bathtub were filthy. They ruined my expensive toaster with grease. Airbnb took their side and wouldn’t even listen to a word I had to say. I got paid for 30 days and will not reimburse Airbnb for the money they refunded.

I put a stop payment on my bank account so they cannot take money out of it. I am going to close my account now. I am done with this sham of a company; they should be shut down.