Add to the List of Reasons Why Airbnb Sucks

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This isn’t a very exciting story, but add it to the list of complaints about this rotten company. Here is a letter that I wrote to Airbnb this morning:

I made a reservation this morning for a trip with Airbnb. I have been an Airbnb customer for a long time, and a host for almost as long. I was looking for properties that were not Instant Book, and thought I had submitted a request to just such a place. My request was approved before I expected though, just as I was in the process of booking a different place and cancelling the first request. I cannot cancel this new reservation myself without incurring fees.

I called customer service and of course due to your famously abysmal customer service, the rep couldn’t help me, and couldn’t even tell me when a representative might be able to help me. This is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately; it just can’t wait a day or two for a rep to get back in touch with me. Now I am in effect stuck with a reservation that I don’t want, and this host is stuck with a bunch of guests who are very unhappy to be heading to his place. This is a horrible situation for everyone.

My point is that as with anything related to travel, like airline tickets or hotel rooms, there must be a penalty-free grace period after a booking in which to cancel. Even if it is just a few hours, like it is with most airlines. I would suggest that you add this to your service. I must say though that even if you do add this grace period, it will be too late for me.

I have been increasingly unhappy with Airbnb for a couple of years now, it’s very clear that you prioritize your profit over the experience or safety of your hosts and guests, and while I appreciate the fine human exchanges that sometimes come with hosting and guesting with Airbnb, what I now appreciate are the nice people hosting and guesting despite the rotten treatment we all get from your company. I am at an end with you. But first I have to go stay in this house that I paid for and do not want.

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Airbnb Host Melts Down After Negative Review

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This is what happens when you leave a bad review for this nightmare host in Athens, Georgia. We stayed at this listing. There were some maintenance issues: a completely clogged bathtub drain that was loaded with the entwined hair of previous guests, a mattress with no mattress pad that had a huge stain on it, and stained pillows. I let the host know before we left that these were some things that he might want to address. I would never stay there again but I was polite and just told him. No reply.

Upon returning home from a long road trip over a week later, I had an email from Airbnb reminding me to write a review. I wrote an honest but fair review three days before the deadline. Although the host had many positive reviews, I felt that being honest was the best thing to do. The host never reviewed me but I received this email from him last night. I did contact Airbnb to report it and had him blocked from contacting me again. They say that they are escalating it and will contact me… I’m not sure what that means. Keep in mind when you read it that I never met this guy and we wouldn’t even know each other if we passed on a sidewalk. I actually posted this doozy on Facebook and people were floored. It makes me wonder whether posting honest reviews are really worth it. I have never received anything like this from anyone. Ever. This is what I originally wrote to him, the message he never replied to:

We should be leaving soon though. We loved it here and wanted to let you know about a couple of maintenance things that you might want to address. The bathtub drain was completely clogged with hair and was not draining at all last night. My husband unclogged it but you might want to keep an eye on it because it was pretty gross. Also we stripped the bed this morning and there’s a huge stain on the mattress. You might want to think about a good mattress pad that’s waterproof. I want to say that they are under $100. The pillows have stains on them, as does the comforter cover. We’ve left it pretty clean for you and thank you again!

We have his response:

You seem pretty bent out of shape that I didn’t heed your advice or reply to your email so I thought I’d share the message I started to write on July 10th that I never sent:

Thanks for the feedback. I had my handyman over just now and he couldn’t find anything in the drain. He also said the drain cover hadn’t been removed so please thank him for using his magic skills! There’s a brand new stain-free Tempur-Pedic mattress in my garage just waiting to go into that bedroom, but I get consistent and overwhelmingly great feedback about the current bed so I’m afraid to rock the boat. I’m almost to 350 reviews! It’s a shame about the stains, though as I have a boatload of pillow and mattress protectors (I have to keep them for my Tempur-Pedic warranty!) I’ll alert my cleaners.

Thanks for stripping the sheets. No one has ever done that before. I’ve not inspected the duvet cover enough to notice a stain other than a small ink stain, and I can’t justify replacing it for that reason alone. I’ll be sure to check. It’s washed frequently so it must be permanent.

I never finished or sent that response because I didn’t feel your suggestions were offered genuinely, rather masked insults, and I don’t let things like that get to me if I can help it. You like to complain. That’s okay. It won’t matter; did you see I have 350 five-star reviews? The issue isn’t with me or my listing…. it’s time to soul search.

I’m very on top of things at my house and with my listing and I almost always make adjustments based on guest feedback. However, you didn’t have any positive comments of substance. I just didn’t value your opinion. I do want to remind you, however, that you received a house manual upon booking. I spend a lot of time maintaining that house manual to ensure every guest has what they need prior to visiting. Immediately upon booking you get a message from me with every single thing you need so there’s no need for me to send an additional message. Did you want me to ask your favorite color? I’m very communicative.

Again, it’s obvious you don’t like me and you don’t even know me. Whether I responded to your email of “suggestions” is pretty much irrelevant in reviewing your trip, but bringing it up in your review lets me (and the countless guests I will have in the future) know just what kind of person you are. Not hateful. Just strange. Perhaps entitled. Certainly one who thinks highly of her opinion and someone who lashes out when she feels ignored. Thanks so much for giving me two weeks to respond to your critique. Do you realize how it sounds that you “gave me a chance” to respond? I didn’t feel the need to review you. You have almost two dozen positive reviews. What good would it have done to say anything negative about you? Your issues aren’t specific to traveling. You’ll be who you are forever and that sucks for your husband and daughter.

Also… who cares whether I park in my driveway? I explained why I keep the area in front of my house available and that’s for my neighbors. I’m not sorry you had to walk 30 feet. You’re insane. And catty. And you mask negativity with exclamation points. Best of luck!!!!

The comment about the driveway is referring to the fact he wanted me to park in the street 2-3 houses away from his. It’s not a big deal – he has a thing about anyone parking in the driveway including him – but he claims that it’s only a few steps from the house and it isn’t. Since it’s a sketchy neighborhood, this might make a difference to some people.

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