Airbnb Superhosts Receive no Help with Fraud

Following the fraudulent use of our Home Sharing Certificate number by an unknown Airbnb host, the City of Los Angeles had Airbnb de-list out home for short-term rentals. The city investigated, and reissued our permit when they confirmed the fraud. They notified Airbnb we had been issued the new permit. We were informed that Airbnb simply needed to remove the restriction from its end, to allow us to relist for short-term rentals.

However, Airbnb still will not let us relist for short-term rentals — after two weeks. We have called support, chatted and emailed, but there has been no response other than being told repeatedly that our case has been “escalated.”

We have never heard from any member of this escalation team. We’ve emailed a copy of the new certificate, and even sent them a copy of the fraudulent listing’s page with our certificate number on it. We have exclusively used Airbnb as our rental platform, but will now list on other sources, and more actively solicit direct rentals through friends, and NextDoor. Eventually, we will drop Airbnb.

Airbnb Denied My Claim With No Explanation

I am a Superhost who has provided Airbnb with dozens of stays since January. A recent guest completely trashed our place. I have photos of destroyed blankets, towels, electric mattress pad, and cigars. Our house reeked of cigar smoke despite our clear and strict no smoking policy. Our carpets and mattresses required additional professional cleaning and many items needed to be replaced.

After immediately filing a complaint the day she checked out, I never heard from the guest or Airbnb. Many phone calls later, I finally received a message from Airbnb stating my claim was denied and that their decision was final, with no further explanation. What is the point of clearly establishing house rules and taking a damage deposit if Airbnb has no intention of protecting the hosts from damage?

Airbnb is Scamming Hosts During this Crisis

I’ve been a host with Airbnb for about seven or eight years. We’ve had our differences but nothing too bad. Mainly, after the first couple of years, getting help from them for a situation was difficult, then they got better, but really, it was for minor things.

I’ve been a Superhost now for a couple of years so I take my role as host very seriously. Well, I had a guest that I was in communication with the whole time and she had to cancel at the last minute because of travel restrictions back in March due to the virus.

As per my cancellation policy (100% if a week, 50% if less than that), I received half of my expected fee and she got her half. Just last week, we get this email with great fanfare from the CEO about how they were putting five million dollars into helping the Airbnb community. I thought that was nice.

I have one guest who is here because he’s working on a job for an essential industry. When I received my payment, Airbnb had deducted my 50% from the cancelled guest and had returned the entire fee to the guest.

I don’t object to that given all the money Airbnb has but to take it from me, who is a small business person who relies on this income and works hard for it  — in Massachusetts we register as small businesses and pay business taxes — seems very unfair, especially because they are giving a false narrative about how they are taking care of the whole “Airbnb” community. Three hundred and fifty dollars is nothing to a corporation like theirs. They should be able to take care of the guest and me.

Racism from a Superhost over Airbnb Cancellation

I am writing this message on a serious issue of racial discrimination by a “Superhost” on Airbnb. I require Airbnb’s support or I will report this to mainstream media and trigger a public discussion on the Internet.

I made a reservation with this host for a trip March 29 – April 3. The host contacted me after the reservation had been confirmed, and asked me to cancel: “If you are traveling from China, just so you are aware, our government has imposed a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country.”

I told him that I was not traveling from China and have been staying in Canada for over three weeks. He insisted I cancel the booking. I found the official guidance on Airbnb: the host should initiate the cancellation on his end, otherwise the guest will lose half of the refund and service fees.

I followed this official guidance and asked the host to do so since it is his intention to cancel this booking, or he can contact Airbnb for help. Soon the host became rude, and said if he cancelled he would lose his “Superhost” status.

On the refund, he said: “It’s Airbnb that will take your money. We don’t handle the money.”

On the confirmed reservation, he said: “You will not be allowed to check in.”

On the cancellation policy, he said: “Let Airbnb take your money. I’m not cancelling.”

He keeps sending me messages like: “You need to start taking this pandemic seriously! For the health and safety of everyone.”

I am very confused. He accused me harming “the health and safety of everyone” just because I have an Asian name. My family and I are all German citizens.

Are such racist opinions from a “Superhost” tolerated in the Airbnb community? This kind of racist speech will damage the reputation of Airbnb and the trust from all its members. All the messages are on Airbnb as proof.

I ask for your support. I need a full refund because it is the host who wants to cancel but refuses to do so on his end. This host should not keep his “Superhost” status for his dishonest intentions. For that status, he blamed and pushed a guest to cancel a confirmed reservation.

Lastly, but the most dangerous issue: racism on Airbnb, a global community, should not be encouraged. I have been a member of Airbnb for five years and traveled a lot using it every year. I meet wonderful people and have good memories.

I treasure their work to build up a global platform to communicate with people around the world, to let people know each other better. So, please, do something to stop racism on it.

Airbnb Does not Support Hosts During Outbreak

I seem like a regular host on Airbnb — one person who rents one apartment — but in fact I am a full-blown company. I am also a Superhost.

As a company we take pride in this because we are a full-fledged business with over twenty vacation rental properties. Airbnb is not our boss; they are a third-party company that we use to gain more customers we have on our own website. We also use other platforms and can say with certainty that Airbnb is by far the worst platform to use. They only care about themselves, not the hosts and not the guests.

Coronavirus has been handled completely wrong. According to the U.S. transportation guidelines — which is what airlines typically use — you have 24 hours to cancel and get a full refund and travel must be booked seven days prior to your arrival. This is why airlines do not give out refunds unless the problem is something on their part such as cancelling the flight, safety hazards, and so forth.

With the coronavirus situation they know better and this is why they have not refunded passengers. Most of them are issuing flight vouchers and waiving rescheduling fees. For refunds this is not the case. This is the proper way to handle these circumstances.

Airbnb started off confused, which is not good. First they threw the blame ball to the host and said they were not refunding service fees. It was up to the hosts. If we had strict cancellation policies then they flat-out changed them all — no consistency, and no regard for the hosts and the amount of money that we are losing. No regard for the fact that we still have to pay bills and rent.

Hosts that are businesses such as ourselves are suffering. We get no support from Airbnb. It has been a nightmare to be on this platform during this crisis. Our cancellation policy is not being honored.

All Airbnb needed to do was either honor the cancellation policy  — which in many cases gave the guest a 50% refund, which is better than nothing — or simply offer a credit for a year to allow the guests to come back and reschedule their travel. Many guests were cancelling simply because their conferences got cancelled. That is not because they were coming from an impacted area or because they were sick themselves. It was not because flights stopped.

Our main guests were coming from the U.S., literally in the state of California coming down from NorCal to SoCal and only wanted to cancel because Disneyland had closed. This is completely unfair to the hosts. I understand if it was Italy but if the country hasn’t been closed then there is no need to panic; it is the guests’ own fears that are causing them to not want to travel.

At the end of it all, as much as we would like be angry at all the guests that have cancelled we are truly angry at the monster that is Airbnb. In the end, this awful corporation can take the financial hit but not smaller businesses like ours.

Next month everything might be back to normal and people will start booking again but what about us, the smaller companies that have several vacation rental properties with rent to pay but no money? Will we still be here because of all the lost revenue?

We are in severe jeopardy over nonsense. It is unfortunate that this occurred. As far as being a host here on Airbnb, I hope to not continue.

There will always be bad apples to give hosts a bad name but there are many of us who are ethical, really do this hosting with pride, and love hosting guests and offering great hospitality. For Airbnb to not want to protect the great hosts that keep them bringing them all this revenue that keeps their lights on is just disgusting and unfair.

Someone’s Trash could be your Airbnb Furniture

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I checked into my Airbnb last night. As my son and I opened the filthy front door, the smell of mold filled the room. We walked up four flights of filthy carpeted stairs to reach the apartment, where the front entrance had a huge filthy moldy stain the size of a Labrador. The sofa looked like it was picked up from the side of the road when someone put it out as garbage; it was sunken in and dirty, with stains throughout the whole thing.

This is where my son was supposed to sleep the night and we would pass our days watching TV and socializing for six nights, for which I paid $620. There was a loft with a filthy futon mattress up above this dirty yellow staircase. The bed sheets were stained and looked unclean.

I contacted Airbnb right away and spoke with someone for 35 minutes on their 1-800 number, after which I realized I was calling from the UK to the US on my cell minutes; I knew that was going to cost me a lot of money. I was told to go to sleep and someone would contact me in the morning. I contacted the host as well, sending photographs to both. Still, with no response this is taking up hours of my few days I have here in Leeds visiting my son.

These hosts seems to have many rentals and are considered to be Superhosts. I’m baffled. I did read the complaint of the last person that stayed in this apartment, which should’ve raised a red flag. I figured if Airbnb gave them a Superhost badge, that would have to mean something. I really don’t understand how people can be so unethical in running a business.

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Canceled our Upcoming Reservation and Closed our Account

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Today, I would like to tell you my story to you. If someone can help, please contact me. We have done everything we could… even contacting Airbnb directors:

I am addressing this to all of you because I do not know who I can talk to about a really problematic situation with Airbnb support. We were Superhosts and proud of it. We have built a super relationship with more than 300 Airbnb guests around the world and many of them are still in contact with us.

Last Friday, we managed to address a false allegation that a guest had made against us. Subsequently, the security department has taken a dislike to us, cancelling our upcoming reservation (without informing us) and closed our accounts. We were Superhosts for several years. We have hosted more than 100 families around the world in our family house and private house. We were selected as one of the five families to make a promotional video for Airbnb in October 2019 and now, our account is closed. No reply, no callback… nothing.

A guest invited additional people without paying, unplugged the security cameras for the hidden extra guest, stole product, and made a defamatory review about us. If someone has already managed to reactivate his account. contact me. The guest review was deleted and a few hours after that they closed our account.

I’d like to point out that in July 2019 we had a similar issue with another guest. It escalated to the resolution center again and was resolved in our favor. The agent also pointed out that we should add a substantial penalty for guests who would tamper with the camera to act as a deterrent to hide or unplug the cameras. I’d also like to mention that the listing clearly indicates that we have cameras outside and inside. You can also see them in the profile pictures.

The camera outside focuses on the backyard and films the patio door and side door. The second camera is located in the kitchen and points at the side door as well and observes the activity in the kitchen. The third camera is installed in the living room and focuses on the living room to look at the front door. Basically, they are there to watch the ins and outs in the house and, as an added bonus, we feel a little secure to know that the stove won’t be left on by accident or water running in the sink.

To access the bathroom, you need to go in the corridor and then turn left to the bathroom. The cameras have no way to see into the bathroom and I’d like to add that they are not able to film in the bedrooms. You could strip naked out of the bathroom and walk to the master bedroom (located in the same corridor) without the crossing any cameras.

For sure, if a guest would have waltzed naked in the kitchen or living room, the camera would register it. This does not necessarily mean we would watch the footage, since we don’t have enough time in a day to observe 24 hours multiplied by three (three cameras recording 24 hours a day). The cameras are only accessed if damage happen, there’s a door alert, or whenever my neighbor reports that there are more guests than reported.

Now for this guest’s group we have three claims. The first is the easiest one: the $2 for a chocolate bar. In a discussion with the guest, we’ve mentioned and sent the price list for a little pilot project we have started: a mini convenience store in one of the kitchen cabinets. The goal was to sell snacks, dried pasta or canned goods to prevent a trip back to the supermarket. Some guests do not have a car or simply don’t feel like going out.

The markup on these items is about 25%… enough to cover stolen/damaged/expired merchandise. We see it as a service and not revenue. The guest’s daughter took a chocolate bar, as he admitted in communications. We simply want the $2 for the goods as it was explained when they arrived. It was never complimentary, and they knew it. Also, we couldn’t care less if Air Canada gives them away. Try that lame excuse at the supermarket to see if they’ll give them away since you’ve purchase $100 worth of meat… you’ll see.

The second claim is for the extra guest. We live near the house, but not next to it. My neighbors, ones I’ve known for 34 years and the second for 30+ years, kept an eye on the property for me. One has the key and helps with the garbage, pool and all. One of them reported to me that the guest’s group was six people. Their reservation was for five though.

The guest also proved this himself in writing by agreeing they lied to us, tried to cheat the Airbnb system, and did in fact invite an extra guest. We don’t care that they are trying to get away with only one night of extra guests instead of two (at that point, I would have been surprised he didn’t). So far, the guest proved that he was willing to lie to steal money from us, whether it was for the chocolate bar or the extra guest. My neighbor hasn’t lie to me in 30+ years… the guest did twice in a weekend. So this is why we are claiming an extra $40 (2 x $20).

The third claim is for the camera unplugging. $250 is the fee to tamper and/or unplug a camera as mentioned on the profile and added following an Airbnb agent’s suggestion. Again, something they proved they did in writing. This one is pretty obvious to me. They did it. They are guilty. The will pay the penalty fee. I want to point also that my husband had to realign the cameras after their stay since they had directed the camera “off track” as well.

After what was demonstrated above, it’s now striking why they did so. The camera clearly was an obstacle in getting the extra guest in, combined with the chocolate bar petty theft. Note that the penalty isn’t per day or per minute… it’s per offense. Since they have unhooked two cameras, we could have counted two offenses resulting in a $500 claim, but we found that $250 would be enough of a penalty.

I think this explains the reason we made these claims and clearly demonstrated that they are justified. If anything was left out, feel free to reach out to us. Thank you everybody for your support and help.

Airbnb Stealing from my Dying Husband

Airbnb has stolen money from my dying husband. I will not stop until we speak to the legal department. Airbnb has been totally disgusting in how they’ve handled this simple but now costly and insulting mistake they have made.

We have been loyal and dedicated and successful Superhosts for several years now, with multiple listings and an established tree house retreat. We have provided ample evidence to support our case to show we were in no way near or under threat by bush fires. Airbnb has given nothing to support their mistake to say we were and they only have been secretive with no transparency. They have stolen money from us and hence my darling dying husband right now is in the hospital with brain tumors.

We are so totally upset that we have been treated this way and my husband and I have not been supported as good Superhosts. Airbnb does not want to understand that the whole Hinterland was not on fire and we were not affected. We had two very positive reviews from guests that stayed through that time demonstrated in their positive reviews they loved the stay and showing no fire or smoke in our area. This was brought to Airbnb’s attention; there was still no response from them.

Airbnb has allowed a guest to get a full refund out of our back pocket at the very last minute on a strict cancellation policy. Based on their event being cancelled that was half a day event at best in a totally different area to use with no associations with us or the stay agreement. This basically tells everyone and anyone is entitled to a full refund for any external event or outing that is cancelled no mater how short the event is to the stay, and on a strict policy, on the night before check in are allowed to have a full refund.

Three guests were coming and no doubt were going to enjoy themselves like all the others had been doing so. But no, security for the hosts. No professional process or interactions have been received as of yet. Why risk placing valuable property in their care? If there is support for hosts using this platform, where is it?

Airbnb seems to think they are allowed to pull the rug under hosts’ feet whenever they feel like it, despite host and booking agreements in place. They do this arrogantly without providing any evidence or sharing any professional or appropriate communication to support the decision. They refuse to share what they are looking at, where they are located, and only taking money out of our pockets. It is unacceptable.

We only have received a secretive and uncaring response, and a very unprofessional response. The case manager was aware my husband is dying, and we rely on the rules of this platform for income for his medical bills as he can not work ever again in his life. I juggle everything, giving several years of positive business dealing with Airbnb through our property spaces.

This counts for nothing with Airbnb it seems; they hide and refuse to share a map with us. One employee even said she saw the map Airbnb had and we were nowhere near the fires. So why does the supervisor refuse to show us? They ignore maps that are official and clearly show we were not near the fires at all. No warnings for our area at all. Water is all around us; it’s a huge area, no smoke or anything.

Airbnb needs to compensate us for their mistake. They should have never refunded money out of our account based on incorrect information they refuse to share with us. We do not deserve this treatment or problem at this time of our lives and we have only done everything right towards Airbnb. We have received no support whatsoever and it’s such a disgusting process. There is no excuse or justified reason to receive no explanation of their process.

Airbnb has affected my ability to pay a medical bill. I will not rest until Airbnb looks at this properly and acknowledges they have made a mistake. Just because a small majority of the Gold Coast was effected by bush fires does not mean the whole of the Gold Coast needs to suffer. Through the worst of the hinterland fires, we had fantastic views you could see the water and city views from our hill, and beautiful reviews of guests on the same weekend.

Airbnb gave a full refund to a guest the night before check in on a strict policy booking. Airbnb is hiding and needs to come out and deal with this properly and start appreciating good hosts and what they sacrifice for a successful business partnership. Airbnb is not providing a stable, supportive, intelligent and respectable platform for dedicated hosts who are providing wonderful spaces for them to actually have guests using their site.

Ultimately, if they do not have good listings, they do not get guests and there would be no Airbnb. Let me stress that our property was not affected by any bush fires. Airbnb says they can justify taking a two-night booking away from us; this was a mistake they are refusing to acknowledge. I have sent them photographs and the reviews and official maps clearly demonstrating there was no fire associated near or in our area.

Still, we get nothing back from them on an intellectual or acceptable level. They only write back saying we have reviewed it and we will not be giving money back. This is without showing anything to support their claim or belief. Where is the map they are looking at? Believe me I have asked and demanded to see it, but they refuse to show anything. I now don’t believe they do have a map that is at all relevant to our area or contains anything factual.

Some cock up from an Airbnb international office has circled all of the Gold Coast to be on fire. Ridiculous. We have shared the maps from official authorities of the bush fires of Queensland to demonstrate all the history of the bush fires as we were monitoring them very closely. Still, Airbnb ignores this. It’s bad enough to lose a lot of summer bookings out of the type of fear associated with the word bush fire. Then for Airbnb to take away your bookings for no legitimate reason is inexcusable and they need to compensate us.

I have worked so hard to support my husband and through this livelihood we have been making it with Airbnb. I see no reason to continue my listings with Airbnb if they can not deal with this properly and correct their mistake. There is no real security or support with Airbnb. I will update this if it changes. They are totally incompetent in their due diligence or they are simply hiding a mistake they don’t want seen.

Give us our money back Airbnb. We provided a beautiful space. We will never get that weekend back and there are policies in place for good reasons. Airbnb needs to respect the agreement they had with us. I’m very disappointed to write this. We have a responsibility to the community to tell and warn anyone about Airbnb in how they have been treating us. At no point in time our property was ever listed in a danger zone. We had fantastic views beautiful water views and happy number of guests through that period of time.

Only one guest capitalized on Airbnb’s mistake, an event that was half a day at best in a totally different area. We had a two-night booking on a strict cancellation policy. They were bringing three people around for the stay. On Friday the 13th in the late afternoon Airbnb allowed them to have a full refund. Based on what? Based on an event that had no relevance to us on the property.

Now I believe that if I book or anyone else books a long stay through Airbnb and their event gets rained on, or their bus gets cancelled, or the singer gets sick, they are entitled to a full refund despite any level of cancellation policy. This is what Airbnb has done to us. Now I know If I ever book with Airbnb as a guest, I can cancel for any reasons for extenuating circumstances.

A full refund is expected. I would expect that for any reason I claimed to be my reason for booking I can get out of it, despite the accommodation having no association whatsoever with the excuse. This is absurd and Airbnb should see it to be otherwise. There is no security whatsoever as a host to provide beautiful spaces if there is no support for loyal and long-standing hosts.

Is there anyone in Airbnb who can salvage a long-standing and good business relationship and multiple listings and wants to rectify this accordingly? Refund us the two-night booking that we had secured. Airbnb cancelled a strict cancellation policy booking,taking money from us based on incorrect data without cross referencing information or sharing it. No transparency, nothing to support their actions.