Airbnb Hell Prevents Property Agent Scam in Munich

I’m posting this because thanks to a similar post from this website I just avoided being scammed. I’m a Spanish student about to start an internship in Munich, a city well known for its accomodation shortage, especially for students. Searching for flats I came across the following property. The host seemed to answer all of my emails really quick and had no problem with the duration of my stay. I showed interest and the conversation went as follows:

Hello,

Thank you for your answers. You can rent the apartment how long you want, My children are at school here and I don’t have plans to move again in Germany. Last week I took two days off from my job and came to show the apartment to a person that was interested in renting it. When I arrived there, he called me and said that he was no longer interested in my apartment. I have lost money and time.

So, in this case we can use Airbnb. Here is a brief description of the process: they will send an agent, and you will visit the apartment in his presence. You will be able to sign the contract with them. They will also handle the money and the documents so both of us will be protected and secured. You will not pay any additional commission or other taxes. The total amount that you will have to pay will be: 1 month in advance, 500 EUR warranty + 720 EUR = 1220 EUR.

To continue this transaction through Airbnb you must to send me these details: complete name and address of the future tenant; direct telephone number (mobile); I also need a copy of your ID or passport to complete the lease agreement After you give me your details I will forward them to Airbnb to make the reservation on your name. They will send an email to confirm your booking details.

Finally, you will get an invoice to make the deposit in their bank account to show your interest and provide assurance. After the company receives the deposit confirmation they will send a designated agent with the keys and the documents. The agent will arrange the visit with you if you decide to rent the apartment. If you refuse the apartment, you are fully refunded the same day. I am under contract with the company and they offer the best security methods available.

I await your answer because I have other tenants interested in the flat.

Of course the website in which her appartment was listed was not the official Airbnb website, but a really good fake. So good that I almost took the bait. Here is the link to the fake Airbnb listing, please take into account this is not the official Airbnb site.

Notice how close the layout is to the real thing. Especially for people who do not use Airbnb that much and are not used to the official site, it can do the trick and provide this fake sense of security. It indeed said that she was a verified hostess: there was a picture of her, and comments from fake previous tenants. When I went on the real Airbnb website I of course could not find her apartment.

Just letting everybody out there know that you always have to double check accommodation in cities such as Munich, especially if you are are a student. I hope this helped someone and screwed those scammers.

Airbnb Unfairly Listens to Guests Over Superhosts

I rent out a room and have never had a bad review until these guests arrived. We had a typhoon hitting the island the day before, causing some damage to the roof. It was December 24th, 2017. The guests arrived angry because the airline lost their bags. They were well informed about the small hole in the cogoon roof (grass roof) because of the typhoon. We didnt notice a problem and the next day we had someone fixing it.

Consider: it was December 25th. We were lucky enough to find someone. In the evening of the second day, I found a message on Airbnb, stating that they cancelled the reservation on the guests’ behalf because of an outstanding situation. I called Airbnb and asked to speak to someone. I just wanted to understand what happened as I had no idea. The guests were gone too.

Basically Airbnb made the decision to cancel without even consulting the host and see what we could have done, and I had no idea what was the outstanding situation was. I lost all the money from their stay, and was not even consulted. I am also a Superhost.

I called Airbnb five times and wrote emails but no one took care of my case. After a few requests, someone forwarded me the guests’ photos. There were towels on the floor to collect water, mouse shit, and dirty corners… clearly orchestrated by the guests. The worst part is that Airbnb never consulted with me or asked me anything.

Bait and Switch at San Diego Corporate Lodging

I reserved a penthouse in San Diego two months ahead of my visit. I arrived early in the day last Friday and went to eyeball the property at the address in the email. I felt odd as the view from the posting could not have been from the same address. There was no pool or spa and I felt like bad things were about to happen to my weekend. My host sent to me an address nearby.

About an hour before checking in, the host cancelled and I was offered another Airbnb and a 10% credit if I chose one of the offered locations. None had a view like the penthouse did. I went to the address the host provided to find out they had a very strict policy against Airbnb in the building. They only lease to corporate clients and when I showed them the pictures they confirmed it was their building.

They were pissed. I had been baited with the pictures and the view. They tried to switch me to another lesser property claiming maintenance issues. What a load of garbage. All the people I spoke to at Airbnb were the same, amateurs acting like they knew what they were doing. My trust level left me and I went to a hotel never to use Airbnb again. These bait and switch artists should be arrested for fraud.

I Paid Outside Airbnb for a Condo, Not a Filthy Trailer

I contacted the host for this Airbnb and was asked to pay her directly, circumventing Airbnb payment system to get a reduced rate. When I arrived at the rental I was shown to a filthy trailer seething with decades-old cigarette smoke. The pictures were of another trailer nearby occupied by the host’s mother and depicting a charming residence being advertised as a condo at the time. She has removed that claim from the posting as of now.

As we stood in the trailer my throat began to swell from reactions to the toxic smoke coating the interior of the trailer. I explained to her I could not stay there and asked for a refund, to which she agreed right away. She and her mother were as charming as could be and I left confident they would give me the refund they promised. I asked several times, and finally she relayed that I would get the refund “the next week”.

Next week came and went with her continuing to ignore further inquiries about my refund. Finally she texted me asking why I really needed the refund since I was so wealthy (not true at all). I then contacted Airbnb, who responded telling me they couldn’t help since I paid her outside the system (at her request of course) and as of this posting they continue to advertise for this fraudulent listing. Beware of renting from this listing – it’s a fraud.

Greed and Lies Win the Day Every Time with Airbnb

Airbnb prioritizes greed over ethics, morals and subverting the law. They have endangered the lives of our guests – a single mother with two young children late at night in foreign country. Airbnb purposely blocked all means of support to all involved. Then they lied to both parties. Their customer service routinely lies to both guests and hosts when it comes to dealing with issues. Airbnb always sides for themselves to unscrupulously take your money and prevent any sort of dialogue that leads to a resolution.

We have been ripped off by Airbnb on several occasions. The first incident was as new hosts. Airbnb made serious errors in instructing our staff setting up the new listings. The results were very damaging to us and our guests. Airbnb errors resulted in a double booking (they admitted technical issues due to an “upgrade”), yet immediately denied any responsibility. They refused to provide any assistance to us nor our guests. The results put the well being of a single mother with two young children at serious risk of further harm.

Airbnb refused to provide any effective assistance to us nor our two groups of guests. They could have easily contacted the guests before their flights to a foreign country (where they were then unreachable). We sent four staff by taxis to the airport and the resort. We alerted airport security and other valuable contacts to help us find our guests. I had found a much superior accommodation (at great personal costs) to provide for the two separate parties.

Instead an Airbnb “manager” blatantly lied to both myself and the guests during a three-way call, stating that it was our fault. The Airbnb manager continued to lie to all of us – stating that there was “no accommodation available”. This Airbnb manager continued to bully myself and staff threatening to penalize us and steal more money from us. Airbnb admitted their error then lied to the guests and stole our money. Eight months of effort – (we recorded an additional 72 lies by Airbnb staff about resolution, and promised compensation) have lead to us being bullied to exhaustion.

We put this aside until the most recent and third major incident of their lying to steal your and our money to put into their pockets already fat with money they have effectively stolen from other hosts and guests. Most recently a guest decide to leave in the middle of his stay to go to another resort where other family members were staying. The next day the guest made a false complaint to Airbnb that the power had failed (not true) and demanded a refund.

Airbnb was informed that the guest left without notice and that the claim of power failure was false. We even provided a free upgrade to my very superior two-story penthouse, and a free week any time they liked. The guests were more than pleased with this. Two weeks later – without notice – Airbnb stole all the rent money. We have spent over 65 hours – mostly on “1-2 minute” holds that averaged over 37 minutes. Always diverted to a wrong extension, that only resulted in them bullying myself and staff with further lies and threats of yet more penalties.

Airbnb has a culture of lying that has been promulgated by their senior executives: to steal as much money for themselves while making huge efforts to obstruct resolutions. Does anyone know the names and contacts of these senior executives and board members for service of legal documents? Does anyone else want to join the cause for truth, prevention of further abuse, bullying and illegal actions? I believe that a settlement at this point will only serve them to be able to continue to hide their very serious infractions. A court decision will be thus made public. Hosts, guests, staff, service providers and perhaps even the competition will find this valuable.

Airbnb Customer Service a Maze of Communication

What a nightmare trying to resolve a refund issue. I recently made a booking in Granada and on receiving the address found that it was too far from the area we needed. My husband has an injured leg and cannot walk far. The next day we cancelled and the host was very understanding. This was six months in advance of the stay. Then we received our refund from Airbnb, who had gouged $220 from our credit card. We contacted our host and she said there must be some mistake because she didn’t receive anything. Then the frustration began: how to negotiate with Airbnb. They just give you the runaround on their website. I found a phone number on the internet for Sydney. I rang it. Their reply was: “This is Airbnb. We are looking forward to speaking with you”… and then nothing. Can all this be legal? I can find nothing on the website that warns of this gouging.

Attempted Airbnb Bait and Switch in Amsterdam

It was supposed to be a dream trip to Europe, then we found ourselves on a one way trip to Airbnb hell. We searched the map of Amsterdam and found a small but suitable room in a location that was close to all of the things we wanted to see and do. The property didn’t have any reviews but the host had dozens and all good. We figured it was a new location for her. We booked, paid, and thought we were done.

Two weeks later we crossed the river Styx. We got a request from the host to change the reservation to another suite, in the same building but smaller. We were told we paid the wrong price, that she had booked it to someone else on another site for the correct price and it wasn’t available for us anymore. We declined to switch and asked her to cancel it so that we would get a full refund. She refused.

Luckily we are eight months from departure so we have a little time to correct. The first thing I did was book a hotel room. Honestly the $300 we were going to save isn’t worth the hassle of dealing with Airbnb. In some locations around the world Airbnb is a great idea but in the busy capitals of first world nations there isn’t much advantage to balance the risk of having your vacation ruined.

The next step was to contact Airbnb. We found the phone number on this site, called, and laid out the scene to a representative who took details and told us we would get a full refund once a manager had taken a look at the file… I’ll believe that when I see it. Has anyone been through this? Did you get a full refund? Should I contact my credit card company and start proceedings there? To be continued…

Scammed by the Host and the Resolution Centre

My partner and I decided to go for a quiet week away in the south of France. While at an Airbnb there, the apartment was okay, but there were a few issues such as a horrible smell coming from the downstairs bathroom whenever you used the upstairs shower room, the garden not being looked after, and no glasses to drink out of. Whilst on our stay we were approached by two men trying to push us into buying drugs. Our real problems started when we arrived home. Our host demanded €250 (more that what we’d paid for our stay) for a long list of things we’d supposedly broken. We were accused of burning tiles in the bathroom (not sure how we could possibly do this) and burning holes in the sofa with cigarette butts (neither of us smoke). The pictures the host provided literally showed no damage to anything she was claiming for. We took the issue to the resolution centre where they decided to get rid of all her other accusations apart from one for a broken sofa leg. They wanted £65. Not only did we not break this, when I asked for evidence of it being broken and for a receipt to prove the cost, they told me they couldn’t due to “privacy reasons”. Airbnb expected me to trust them yet now I am being charged for something that I not only didn’t break but for which they can’t even provide evidence. They have now taken this money out of my account without due cause and I will be taking this matter further.

Scammed out of my Pension in Airbnb Nightmare

I am retired, and I have six children who live abroad so I don’t get to see them that often. We planned a family vacation in September, and since we are a big family, I looked for a listing that could accommodate us all. I found the perfect listing on Airbnb – a nice house in the city, a verified host – so I booked it for three nights.

After a few days, I realized we would need an additional night, so I asked the host to add one more night. She told me we would need to cancel the reservation and do the process again, and that she would send me a new invoice through Airbnb. I received this invoice, from “Airbnb” (rooms@airbnb.com) instructing me to send payment to Airbnb Holdings.

Once the payment was done, I got a confirmation from Airbnb stating “pack your bags, you’re going to Germany” – the text you see in the regular emails with links to the Airbnb website, policy, etc. In other words, I got an Airbnb email from an Airbnb address, and because I was sure Airbnb is building “a trusted community”, I did not doubt for a second that something could be wrong.

The day before the trip, as the host wasn’t answering my emails, I called Airbnb, who told me it was a scam, and there was no booking. However, the listing was still online, on the Airbnb website, waiting for people like myself to fall for it. I had to find a last minute booking (at twice the price) to accommodate all my family, because we were all on our way from all over the place, with nowhere to stay. Airbnb declined responsibility for scams they advertise, even though we paid for the service. They did not do the simple verification steps to check that the listings actually exist (not that complicated – just ask the host to send an invoice or official paper with the address). You had one job, Airbnb.

I lost a lot of my pension money, not counting the stress, frustration, sadness of being robbed when you feel secure on such a well known website. Airbnb refuses to refund anything, not even the fees they took for the reservation, which is the minimum they could do in that situation. The truth is, I am sad and disappointed that Airbnb takes so little responsibility towards the community they claim to be building. It’s easy to take fees on our transactions, to encourage us to open our doors and trust their users, and then they disappear when something goes wrong.