“Superhosts” from Hell in Los Angeles


The arrangement at our Airbnb was of the kind where you let yourself in. This means that there is no one on the premises to talk to, and if something is wrong, there is no one who can set it right. Although we paid for two people, the apartment was set up for only one. There was a solitary towel in the bathroom and one on the floor, and bedding for only one bed. The owner did not answer the phone and communicates only by texting, so there was no way of remedying any problem in real time.

Although this was supposed to have been a non-smoking apartment, the air was stale and it was reeking of cigarette smoke. The apartment was superficially cleaned. The floor was not quite washed (there were unwashed spots), there was dust on some furniture, and there was junk behind appliances in the kitchen. There were fruit flies in the kitchen and the living room.

Although it was advertised as an air-conditioned apartment, I was not able to find any air conditioning (only a floor fan). This was a problem because the house faces a major traffic artery and it is impossible to keep the window open because the soundproofing is poor, so there is continuous traffic noise and noise from the neighbors, especially from upstairs. The area under the sink was all rotten, with mildew on the floor and the pipes, and as a result, the garbage can was left outside the cabinet, open, and without a lid.

In general (unrelated to this particular apartment), I think that properties where guests let themselves in without meeting the owner should be advertised as such. I would not have taken an apartment if I knew that there was no one on the premises to talk to. If there had been, I would immediately have declined this place, if only because of the fact that it had been smoked in and the area under the sink is rotten and mildewed, which is a health hazard for people with allergies.

I was charged $45.16 for the second person. After a lengthy correspondence with Airbnb, I found that the cost of an additional guest for two nights should be $22. I requested a refund, since the place was set for one. The “superhosts” refused. I think these people are beyond belief: dishonest and greedy, they both overcharged and did not deliver the service.

Finally, Airbnb (hopefully) issued a refund of $30 (why this particular amount?). I haven’t seen the money yet, as it takes them up to 15 business days. A normal service provider should take responsibility, issue a refund, and then solve the problems with the hosts. Airbnb… never again!

Airbnb Host Cancelled the Booking on the Day we Arrived

An Airbnb host whose house is located in Notting Hill, London canceled our booking (four nights) on the day we arrived, and it was after the check-in time. There was no message or phone call from him, so I called and tried to figured out why he did this to us. On the phone I was told his place was “mess” at that time, “not safe” to stay, and most importantly, “the policemen were at his place”.

He didn’t say sorry or apologize to us; we think he didn’t feel sorry at all, as I could sense that he was in a good mood by the way he talked on the phone. We didn’t want to rebook any Airbnb, as we didn’t see any good Airbnb on that day, the “good” ones were all pre-booked a couple weeks ago; we didn’t want to get cancelled again on the same day.

We decided to stay in a hotel. A US Airbnb staff member said she would reimburse us the price differences between this Airbnb in Notting Hill, London and the hotel. She needed us to send her the receipts. After I sent the receipts, this staff member disappeared until five days later I called Airbnb China and they had her reply to me promptly. Then she disappeared again. This reimbursement process seems to take forever.

Let me talk about the sneaky host. Since he mentioned there were policemen at his place and it was damaged, he should have had a Crime Reference Number from the policemen. If he had no Crime Reference Number, then he was lying about the policemen. We demanded to know the Crime Reference Number several times, but the Airbnb staff member just ignored our request.

Our Airbnb host should have had a planning permit. He has used his place on Airbnb between 60 and 90 days, which can be seen from his calendar and reviews. We didn’t know how seriously this would be until several days later we called the police about a stolen wallet and were asked for our address. We were staying in another Airbnb we booked months ago but luckily I think that Airbnb got a planning permit. The police were really checking that Airbnb. I couldn’t imagine that one was illegal. We asked the US Airbnb staff member for the host’s Airbnb planning permit; she ignored this too.

You know if a host cancels a booking before the check-in time, there will be a negative review about the cancellation, which can’t be removed. He canceled the booking after that, so there was no irremovable review about his behavior. On his page, he is still a Superhost with 5-star reviews, while he can cancel bookings hundreds of thousands of times as long as he does them with just the right timing.

Just for your reference, hotel prices, like Holiday Inn Express in the centre of Zone 1 in London, are around 600 USD per night, five times that of this Airbnb; even if you are willing to pay, most of the nice hotels are sold out. Thanks to this host, we had to stay one night at a hostel in a disgusting basement as rooms in Holiday Inn Express and IBIS were all sold out. That hostel ranked 7.5 on Booking.com, around 150 USD per night. It was still better that this Airbnb, as the host didn’t even care if we slept on the street.

Airbnb’s Unfair Resolution Centre Believes Hosts

I have been a Superhost for five years, and Airbnb has been great in the past. When guests have asked for refunds, I have done my best to be fair. When the dryer broke while gests were staying, I replaced it; I know amenities have a shelf life. It was my understanding that we are part of a nice, fair community.

However, I went to Nice for two days. I’m a single mum and needed a short break away. The second night we couldn’t pull the sofabed out; something was wrong with it. We got home and the host wanted us to buy a new one for €1,200. I am not strong enough to bend metal and damage a sofa, so how is it that Airbnb customer service has given me robotic, copy and pasted emails that day stating I must pay?

There has been no explanation, no kindness… they just took money from my account and have threatened me with ‘removal from the community’. I feel wrongly accused and let down. I still have many Airbnb guests booked for the next few months, and am trying to give them a good travel experience. I can’t believe how cold and unjust customer service has been this time. They won’t answer any of my questions. I don’t know what to do.

Innkeeper Finds Faults with the Review Process

We own a beautiful inn in Britsih Columbia, Canada that is rated five stars across all the board and is also a winner of awards. We placed our inn on Airbnb to attract millennials to our island and show them nature and the wonders of a protected environment. We have been on Airbnb for three years.

We had an emergency and had to cancel one reservation which the guest took very well and very kindly. This was our first cancellation on Airbnb. The next thing we know, we saw that the guest’s review had been posted on the page like a ‘wall of shame’. Shame on Airbnb. This is disgusting.

We will be removing our inn from Airbnb as we are appalled. We also use Expedia and Booking.com – professional, supportive organizations. I do understand this process for hosts that constantly cancel but not Superhosts with one cancellation in three years and excellent reviews. Airbnb should remember that they don’t catch flies with vinegar. They have too much money and swollen heads.

Illegal Airbnb in LA Means Sneaking Around

We booked a two-bedroom apartment in Hollywood for 18 nights as our son is autistic and has allergies so we sometimes like to cook. A few days before our arrival, we received a message from the Superhost not to discuss Airbnb anywhere near the apartment or building; this was because the hotels in the area are losing a lot of money and are going to court to have Airbnb banned.

On our arrival to the apartment it was clear that Airbnb subletting in the apartment building was illegal as there were signs in the lift, entrance and parking lot. The person with our key was not the host but a friend. We also noticed that the carpets were heavily stained, the balcony light had blown out, the Sonos sound system was missing and one of the stovetop burners didn’t work. The next day we went to Walmart and spent $200 on food which was placed in the fridge and freezer.

When we woke the next morning we discovered that the freezer had stopped working; everything had defrosted and was ruined. I sent a message to the Superhost and discovered she was in Europe. I told her we wanted everything fixed. She made no mention of compensating us for the food. She then asked me to take the keys to her friend so they could arrange the repairs. As I was on holiday, I refused (I should not be running around after her). She couldn’t ask management to fix it as she was illegally subletting the apartment.

After much to-ing and fro-ing and abuse from the Superhost we requested a full refund and went to an hotel. Airbnb was good and sorted the refund out quickly. The Superhost gave me a refund because she knew she was in hot water with the apartment if they found out. I’m not sure we’ll use Airbnb again.

Airbnb Believes Lying Guests With No Proof

I am a Superhost and have 12 properties on Airbnb. I had a couple arrive one hour late and so they had to wait for me for 15 minutes because I was fixing a plumbing leak. I greeted them and offered to help them carry their bags but they were nasty. I usually go in and walk them through the entire place. I sat down and opened up my instruction book and they made it clear they wanted me out of there. The husband was rude and negative about anything I tried to say.

I left and sent them an email apologizing, asked if the place was okay, and to let me know if they needed anything. I was in a condo on the same property two minutes away. I never heard from them. If they saw me and I said hello, they said nothing. Now I have asked if anything is wrong and they didn’t care to tell me.

The couch has an old sofa bed and I don’t advertise it as a sofa bed. I say the unit comes with a queen bed. Well, as I suspected, they reviewed me on Airbnb saying that the dishes were dirty, the floors were dirty, the sofa bed was uncomfortable (they were husband and wife), and there was pee by the toilet. When I walked in with them none of this was there that I was aware of. The same day I asked if there were any issues and they didn’t respond.

How does Airbnb allow reviews like this when I clearly communicated with them the very first day but they refused to talk to me? There needs to be a policy where Airbnb tells the guests that they must first communicate with the host immediately with any issues. Allowing them to post lies should actually be considered slander. Airbnb is ruining our reputation and eventually this will be a big problem. They also had the nerve to send out these automated messages telling me that my place has been rated a 3.5 which could be a problem for me.

With Airbnb, There’s Always That One Guy…


How does the saying go, “There’s always that one guy…”? Well…. Here’s the ultimate case in point. Meet our neighbor, who is an Airbnb Superhost. For the last two years, against our repeated requests to desist, has fraudulently included pictures of our land, and that of our adjacent neighbors in her listing, describing our lands as a “wildlife preserve” and a “treat for those who love hiking, bird watching and nature in its pure, undisturbed form.”

Needless to say, the fraudulent advertisement of our lands has created an ongoing problem of Airbnb guests trespassing on our property and/or stealing our kayaks, crab pots, fishing gear and boats. At our wit’s end, we finally filed a formal complaint with Airbnb over four weeks ago, but to date, no action has been taken by either Airbnb or the host to remove the pictures, and all of our inquiries on the matter have been stonewalled by Airbnb.

Although we feel badly for the unwitting Airbnb guests, we foresee a lot of ruined vacations on their end, as we intend to press charges for every future incident of trespass and/or theft. Good fences make for good neighbors, but non-Airbnbers make for the best kind of neighbors. Just say no to Airbnb.

Answering Simple Question Leads to Terrible Customer Service

Over the past eleven days I have been trying to resolve – with absolutely appalling assistance from customer service representatives – a rather minor issue with my Airbnb account. To briefly summarize: I did in fact qualify for Superhost status across all metrics for the last quarterly review. However, there seemed to be an issue with the ‘Review Rate’ metric – which was showing me as having received six reviews across thirteen bookings (for a review rate beneath the 50% threshold).

I had completed a booking from December 24th-30th (which was included as part of the thirteen bookings), and the guest had left me a review on January 1st (which I was told is the ‘cutoff date’). When you factor in that review (which should be included), you can see that I actually had seven reviews across thirteen bookings, which would have bumped my review rate up to 54%, thus qualifying me for Superhost status.

Since I first brought up this issue with Airbnb, I have spent in excess of three hours on the phone speaking with various representatives, on top of the time I spent engaging in email exchanges with case managers/supervisors. Again, I understand these things might take time to resolve, and I have been extremely reasonable about that. What I find utterly unacceptable is being told to expect a callback by the end of the day or the next day and then never hearing anything. This has happened to me five times over the past eleven days.

I have to keep wasting more of my time calling Airbnb and retelling my story just to get an update, only to be be told that the representative I am speaking with has no power to do anything, and that the supervisors are always (conveniently) ‘in a meeting’. Yesterday I went through the exact same process two more times (being told to expect a call back the next day), and as of 3:00 PM EST, I still have not received a phone call or any email notifying me of anything. Absolutely nothing.

I like Airbnb, and I was fully intending to use the platform as a host and a traveler repeatedly over the years. Whenever friends and family brought up the topic of Airbnb, I always spoke highly of it. I am a relatively new host, but the guests we have hosted overwhelmingly praise our hospitality. I was looking forward to continue delivering that experience well into the future.

Unfortunately, dealing with Airbnb customer service over the past eleven days has made me wonder: “If this is how they handle relatively basic issues, how would they handle a serious issue like a guest who causes damage to our home?”

When I spoke with the customer service representative yesterday, I told him that if I did not receive a call back today I would pull both of my listings and stop hosting. I would also stop using Airbnb as a traveler, and would refrain from praising the brand to friends, family, and anyone else I encountered. That would be a real shame, but I need to draw the line at a certain point. If Airbnb doesn’t respect their hosts enough to even have the decency to communicate with them then why the hell would I willingly keep doing business with this company?