Airbnb is a Scam and Supports Thieves

I have to share my nightmare story with Airbnb supporting theft via their site via a man in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. One evening a couple of weeks ago, we booked a place via Airbnb. A few minutes after we called to check in, we were told we needed to pay €30 extra for a late check in. This cash requirement late at night seemed dodgy and we immediately cancelled the booking.

Surprise, surprise: the host had a ‘no cancellation refund’ policy. In the meantime, I contacted the host to explain that we had booked for three days and it was a mistake. The host agreed to repay some small part of the amount I paid. I paid £143 and he agreed to repay €125 minus taxes; all in all, a big amount lost for nothing.

Then he kept making excuses that I should ask for the money back via Airbnb, which was the first thing I did. He kept claiming he could not see the request, which was clearly a lie. Then I realized that he kept leading me on so I didn’t have the time to write a bad review. Instead, I cut my losses and wrote a very expensive bad review for the host.

Airbnb has been on his side not compensating me in any shape or form. Therefore, the host, with Airbnb’s blessing and full support, stole £143 from my account. Please beware of these thieves. I was also a host on Airbnb. Needless to say, they have lost me with this support for thieves.

Beware of these scammers; do not book their place. Use Booking.com — what you see is what you get with no hidden fees and theft of money from accounts with lack of service provision.

Host Agrees to a Refund, but Can’t Contact Anyone

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I can’t travel to Spain from Australia due to COVID-19. I tried to contact the host, to no avail. I left a negative Google review, and the host made contact with us by email and said if we removed the negative review they would refund our money. Since then, no contact.

Airbnb originally sent a request for the host to reply with authorization for us to cancel but the host didn’t respond to them. So we are stuck in the middle with no one to talk to. Airbnb won’t deal with us anymore as their system email to the host ‘timed out’ and so they say our case is closed. I have an email from the host confirming they will refund us and can’t put it in front of anyone at Airbnb because they won’t deal with me.

Airbnb’s Facebook chat tells me my case is closed as the ‘system timed out’ with no response from the host. Airbnb’s resolution centre just says my case is closed. When I try to phone Airbnb the message is that they won’t deal with anyone unless it’s just before your booked stay. I’ve tried emailing the host through other accommodation sites. I’ve tried to contact the host on Twitter and Facebook — no response. What can I do? Nobody will talk to me.

Airbnb is holding our money and their business partner, the host, is blackmailing us over our Google reviews and then not responding to anyone. Airbnb should refund our money and sort out the host who is messing their customers around.

Airbnb Guest from Hell Lies About Everything

On July 27th – only last week – I hosted a guest from the UK at my apartment in Spain who arrived with wife and two children at 4:00 PM. He was met by my third party meet and greet lady (who also cleans and looks after apartment for me). Within two hours he was sending me emails complaining, first about a gas bottle in the kitchen. He quoted health and safety and demanded that it be removed immediately. He also complained about cleanliness, a standing fan in the bedroom, and various other issues including he couldn’t work the TV.

I responded to each and every issue and explained that it was common practice to have gas bottles in Spain as there was no main gas line. However, if it worried him, I would get it moved the next day. He continued to complain all evening just about everything, sending pictures of a few grains of sand on the floor (we are next to the beach), hats that are there for guests, and other really petty issues, e.g. one toilet was not working.

The next day my third party went around there to address all issues and apparently he had all the china out of the cupboards and the pillows uncovered, taking pictures. Any solution to appease him did not seem to satisfy him. Later in the evening I discovered that he had called Airbnb and told them there was a gas leak and the second toilet had broken (two in 24 hours).

The booking was cancelled but instead of leaving he asked could he stay an extra night as it would be more convenient for him. I said yes and he sent me a very polite message saying how grateful he was and appreciated my generosity. If there was a gas leak who would put their children at risk?

I explained this to Airbnb, that there couldn’t be a gas leak as there was no main gas line and the bottle had been removed. However, they cancelled all subsequent bookings without even informing me. I received several emails from guests asking why. They explained that it is now being dealt with a case manager from the resolution center and the health and safety team is investigating.

That was six days ago. Until this point I had never had a complaint. Previously the rental I used was well below average and I think this guest was expecting a five-star hotel for a two-star price. Prior to booking, he did not ask me anything regarding the apartment. However, the photos are accurate so it should not have been a surprise. It is a private family apartment used for holidays, not a hotel.

I do not believe this is the first time this man has done this to get a free or upgraded holiday. The thing that has upset me the most was he frightened neighbours on the block that there was a gas leak, which obviously scared several residents. This has since been confirmed to be completely untrue and I am now seeking compensation through Airbnb’s host guarantee for £2400 in lost bookings as a direct result of this guest’s lies, not to mention the distress it has caused both myself and the lady who looks after the apartment for me. She said she looks after over 20 apartments in Spain for over 20 years and never encountered a guest like him. As for telling everyone there was a gas leak I think he should be prosecuted.

Host telling me to cancel so he can keep the money

I booked an apartment in Barcelona for my partner and cousins. We are planing to spend a few days there. I got confirmation back from the host saying they had accepted and taken the money. I emailed them back requesting since I have paid already could I please use the two rooms with the double bed, not the sofa bed. They said they will “try” as the listing is still up for other guests. If I don’t want more guests in the house I need to pay them directly also if I don’t like it then I should cancel my reservation so they can keep the money and I should look somewhere more suitable. All I asked for in the first place was the use of two rooms with double beds. When I reminded them that all emails are recorded they said they know and since both parties aren’t happy I should cancel. They are pushing me to cancel my reservation.

Sleeping on the Streets of Madrid with my Baby

I am looking for someone to listen to my story about my negative Airbnb experience. I am begging for help, as the customer service representatives and hosts of the place I have booked have insulted me and refused to help, and I will be sleeping in the streets with my 19-month-old daughter because of this.

A month ago, I booked an entire apartment in Madrid, Spain from June 16-25th. We arrived and the host rushed us through the apartment door, through our long hallway, and our room had a bedroom door. After he left, we discovered a locked door next to our bedroom door (in our apartment). We thought it was a closet, but I could see there was a light on.

I immediately contacted our host and asked if there was a person in our apartment. He said someone lives there. I could see a freshly used toothbrush in our bathroom. We were incredibly nervous. I was with my one and a half year old daughter, which is why I booked an entire apartment to ourselves. I did not sign up for a person living there.

By this time, it was midnight. I could not go out into the street with my child. My family and I did not sleep the entire night. It’s 2:30 PM in Madrid now. We have now been in contact with Airbnb for 12 hours now. When I emphasized that I am simply trying to protect my daughter, the customer service representative accused me of abusing my daughter. I was given warnings when I was just begging for help.

We are now left with nowhere to go, no refund, and being told left and right that we are not entitled to anything. It has been twelve hours with no resolution. Twelve hours with no safe haven for my 19-month-old daughter. We were thrown into an unsafe situation and basically told it doesn’t matter that this was a fraudulent listing, and if I want my daughter somewhere else, I need to once again pay out of pocket, and my $700 for the unsuitable unsafe fraudulent listing will not be returned. They told me they are done with the conversation.

They are silencing a mother, who is concerned for her child’s safety. People need to know what kind of company this is: one that not only disregards customers, but does nothing to ensure the safety of children. The safety of children in any situation should always be the number one priority. A mother should never be silenced. I should not have been mocked and accused of mistreating my child because I wanted her safe.

A man at Airbnb kept writing me messages saying I deserved nothing. I politely asked him numerous times to step back and please let me speak to someone else and he ignored that and kept telling me he’s closing my case. I am a customer. The case is closed when we reach a resolution and I say it’s closed. He clearly had something against me and wanted to wound me up further. Because of him and this host, my one year old daughter is sleeping in the streets tonight. I am begging for help. Begging. Please help me either receive my entire money back or a safe place to stay for the dates I requested.

No Help with Refund One Hour After Reservation

Earlier this evening I made a reservation on the Spanish Airbnb site for myself and five other friends to go to La Coruña in March. Having made the reservation, we were given the address (I cannot understand why this is not available before payment is made) and now according to my friends the apartment is not where it appeared to be from the photos uploaded. Therefore, it is too far away from where they wish to be. I have been asked to cancel.

When I try to cancel I am told that the amount I have paid (50%) will not be refunded as the payment policy is strict. I am stuck I have tried to cancel one hour after making the reservation and cannot possibly understand how I can be charged 50% now when the reservation is for mid-March and only one hour has gone by. The host says she is new to Airbnb and cannot as intervene “because she will be penalised.” As you can imagine I am not happy at all about this and have emailed Brian Chesky requesting him to please intervene and authorise a full refund as I cannot speak to anyone – every time I try the Help Centre telephone number it cuts out. As you can see I am not a happy bunny

Can’t Get My Money Back After We Didn’t Stay

We booked a flat right on the outskirts of Barcelona for five nights in August 2017. The flat allegedly belonged to the host. Due to work happening on the underground system, we got there about an hour after he was expecting us. We didn’t have his phone number but we got into the apartment building with someone who was entering. There was no answer at his door. We sat on the floor outside his door for about an hour and then someone came out of the flat next door, so we showed them the address and he said, “Yes, that’s definitely here, but there’s [no one by that name] living here; it belongs to Pedro.”

We went to sit in a cafe while we thought what to do, and a local told us it wasn’t legal to rent flats to tourists due to all the scams. I phoned my partner who managed to find the host’s phone number and our Peruvian friend phoned. The host said that if we didn’t come, there would be a cancellation charge of 25 euros. This had all taken us five hours and we were exhausted so we went to stay in a hotel.

On our return home, we applied to Airbnb resolution centre to get our £296 back. The host kept sending messages saying he had been there all day and that we had never arrived. We were there for at least an hour, but we left because we were told he didn’t exist. Airbnb gave us the name of a resolution investigator who said on September 13th that she would investigate. We never heard anything at all from her. The Airbnb site now says that the claim was resolved three months ago (which would be the end of August 2017) but we have never heard anything at all from them, and I have still been billed for five days for a property I never used.

Guests Meet Sketchy Host, Airbnb Refuses Refund

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As a single mom traveling with my two children for the first time, I decided to book an Airbnb so that I had a backup if something went wrong. This was a big mistake. A week before my arrival the host was unreachable (for the first time) and after three days was found. A few days before our visit we spoke on the phone and I asked if we could check in earlier, since we were scheduled to land at noon. He said that would be no problem.

The day before we left I contacted him to confirm and he said he would be home, and to call him from the airport. I did so but he didn’t answer. After a few unanswered calls, I decided to take a taxi to the address given on Airbnb, thinking I would just knock on the door and wake him up. We got to the address but there was no entrance to the building. The only entrance was from the side of the building, but it was a different address and his name wasn’t there.

I was alone in Barcelona with two kids and three big suitcases, and it was raining. We waited for him in a cafe nearby; after half an hour he responded on the phone. He came to the cafe and had a strong smell of alcohol on his mouth, so I felt completely insecure. I asked him what was wrong with the address and he said “Oh, the flat is somewhere else. didn’t I send you the address?”

Would you go with a man like that, as a woman traveling alone with two kids?  I contacted Airbnb immediately and they sweet talked me back and forth, suggesting I could solve any problems with the host, implying something about the cancellation policy. To this day I have not received a serious answer, and there is no number to reach customer service. I paid 3000 IS and have nobody to turn to. I contacted the Israeli press and they are now checking what can be done. What a huge disappointment. I will never recommend traveling with Airbnb.

Urine Trouble with Dogs at Barcelona Airbnb

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We were very excited to finally see Barcelona in all its glory, and had an apartment near La Sagrada Familia booked. However, when we got to our Airbnb in Barcelona we were greeted by two dogs. Cute, but not in the listing. We went to our room and it reeked of urine. I mean, it was gross, like a cloud of piss hanging in the air at all times. It looked as though she left her dogs in the room while she was away, and they used the floor as a bathroom, because there were brown and bleached discolorations in the carpet all over the place, and jars of silica gel to try and absorb moisture.

To boot, our host used a fake name; she goes by Maria, but then told us her name was Anna. She also initially gave us the wrong address on purpose, and told us she was letting another random person stay at the apartment while we were there. Then there was some story about them moving in for ten days, we will like them a lot, no need to worry… She asked us to leave the front door unlocked at all times. Very unsafe.

But mostly, it was about the smell. The smell of piss. All throughout our room. After leaving and cancelling our reservation, we now have to dispute our situation with Airbnb with a host who is now sending aggressive emails to my girlfriend and personally attacking us because they feel their livelihood is threatened (pathological?). We don’t know if we will be getting our money back, and it very much disrupted our trip. If we don’t get our refund, we will certainly have to pack our bags and go home much earlier than expected. Here is the listing. Avoid if you can.

Images on Airbnb Never Tell the Real Story

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We are a family of four who loves traveling and exploring. We have been an avid fan of Airbnb for a few years and appreciated what it stands for: ‘community’, ‘trust’, etc. We understood that there are always unavoidable inadequacies with the advertised properties, and the photos do not represent reality. We never complained when some of these inadequacies arose, but left a fair review of the situation instead.

We were holidaying in the Spanish island of Majorca last August and stayed in three different Airbnb properties. The first one was beautiful but noisy. A cockroach appeared in one of the rooms. Other than that, the place was immaculate and lovely. It wasn’t a cleaning issue and the noise wasn’t the host’s fault. We left happy and our review reflected that.

The second property was another story. The bedrooms and kitchen were damp ridden, which was most visible in the main bedroom’s recessed wardrobe. The rest of the walls were repainted very patchy, trying to cover the visibility of the damp areas. At check in with a man who spoke no English (which is fine – that happens often), we thought the smell was the kind you experience in old houses. Anyway, the man simply pointed to an tiny old dehumidifier which was meant to resolve the problem of the smell in the air.

Once we realised it was more serious than that at first we felt helpless and cheated by the host. At peak season with two young kids, what were we supposed to do? We paid top price for the property. We had stayed in much better accommodations for that price, before and after our stay. Instead of ruining our only family holiday, we thought we would just bear with it until the next accommodation (which was a decision we were to regret later of course).

We stayed the full week, avoided the bedroom areas, and didn’t use the kitchen much. We documented the dampness, trying to visualise the situation which was not easy. As soon as we checked into the next property and settled in, we checked the Airbnb website to see how we could complain. The first option was to ask for a refund from the host, explaining why. We were told the host rejected our request completely on the grounds that we should’ve complained during our stay to give them a chance to resolve the issue. Okay… but how? Problems such as dampness could not be resolved in an instant. Furthermore, the host clearly lied about the condition of the property which surely must be against what Airbnb stands for: ‘trust’?

The next option was to ‘involve Airbnb’. We did, and returned from our holiday to no reply. After two weeks, we had to call them and we were then contacted through email, asking for more details, stating that we should reply within 48 hours, and that the decision they make would be final. We replied and presented the photos. They replied and rejected our claim. Apparently their policy requires the guests to contact the host or Airbnb with complaints during the stay. Because we didn’t, there was nothing they could do at that point. Okay, fair enough. We appreciated that the property also was no longer advertised on the Airbnb website, which was a relief.

However, is this the way to treat guests? Despite what the policy states, did we not alert Airbnb of this unsafe property and the host’s dishonesty? Were we not cheated? We were charged the full price, a cleaning fee, and an Airbnb service fee. Do we not deserve to have at the least cleaning fee or the service fee refunded, since we can prove the property was not hygenic and the advert on the Airbnb website was misleading? Surely that’s Airbnb’s fault? All we can say is we feel shocked how greedy the company is and the way they treat their customers. We all know that good customer service in respected companies goes beyond policy.