Airbnb Founders Should be Ashamed of Themselves

Firstly I’d like to say Airbnb has falsely pushed up rental prices all over the world. This first came to light when I joined Airbnb as a host. I know the average rent in Hua Hin, Thailand. As soon as I joined as a host I was told I could get much more in rentals for my condo.

They’ve tried to push up rentals all over the world. People in Thailand are generally poor. A good monthly wage is seen as $400.

I took over management of my friend’s Airbnb account. I received a booking for 1500 Baht (about 40 USD) but I could not get a cleaner so I emailed the customer and asked if he minded if I canceled because of this issue. He understood and we agreed to cancel. I pressed cancel. I received a fine from Airbnb for 3121.08 Baht because I canceled. This is theft and breaking international contract law.

Just Another Airbnb Nightmare Experience

Below is the letter I sent to all the Airbnb contact emails I found online. There has been no response.

To whom it may concern, I have been an Airbnb client and host for years. This is the first time that I have encountered the problem that is far beyond your regular support team can solve it fairly. I hope that this email would be received by someone who cares, really listens, and reads every detail professionally.

We rented a room in Bangkok and the client wanted to leave earlier. Your team shortened the booking dates and refunded him without our permission. Our payment is now -‪19946.95‬ Baht plus the unit being empty for weeks during high season.

All of a sudden, the guest reported on the second week of stay that he felt insecure as there was an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift. We explained and provided legal evidence to the guest to confirm that his one-month rental period was legal as it was long-term.

The support team did not care about our opinion on this, refunded the guest, and never answered us again. We have been ignored several times by your support team staff and we are reaching for help now with great hope for justice. We hope you will listen to us. If not, we have no choice but to reach for help outside Airbnb; somewhere justice is still in practice. Thanks in advance.

Here is the review I left to the client:

I am sacrificing my time to write this long review to remind all hosts to be very careful in accepting [this guest’s] booking. It’s difficult to explain everything in print as it tortured us mentally, physically and financially.

Case (1): [The guest] booked the room for one guest and refused to adjust the booking for two guests. Finally, we gave him an approximately 60% discount to end the lengthy discussion and hoped to let him keep his travel plans smooth and trouble-free. Anyhow, we only received less than half of what had previously been agreed upon.

He rejected the idea of paying more. Two guests stayed at our place since day one. He said it wasn’t his business and we should talk to Airbnb ourselves. I spent days attempting to reach Airbnb and no one was there to answer. I was abroad and I had to use international calling. I couldn’t enjoy my New Year’s trip but spent the whole time talking to him and constantly messaging the service team.

Airbnb finally paid for him as the missing amount was the service fee which I also previously told him to make sure the amount we should receive is after the service fee. He didn’t care. Anyhow, the first issue was resolved. Now, the second one went far beyond what we could stand.

Case (2): Things went well for a week or so. Then, [the guest] mentioned about getting checked by local police late at night on the street on his tuk-tuk Bangkok tour. He wanted to travel somewhere else besides Bangkok but his tailor-made suit could only be finished on January 7th. Please remember this date well.

After almost a two-week stay, he got me by surprise by telling Airbnb that he just saw an Airbnb prohibition sign in the lift and felt insecure. He wanted a full refund for his “uncomfortable nights”. Yes, this happened a day after January 7th.

Even though the sign against Airbnb has been there since his arrival. Even though we sent him the government confirmation documents stating that 30-day rentals are legal in Thailand (he wanted the official one so it’s in Thai) and told him where he could get a quick translation service around the corner. He succeeded in persuading Airbnb to refund all of his uncomfortable nights and left our place (with the AC on) with no notice.

We tried to reach Airbnb and they only said that it was their final decision on the case. There was no further reply and no attention to our messages. This made our room empty for weeks during high season and if you are a host you may know what that means. Airbnb agreed to refund [the guest] and repeatedly ignored our messages, simply because the support team agreed that this application was illegal in Thailand.

We still feel very much disappointed in being treated unfairly when we have tried our best to provide all guests with maximum comfort and joy in our home country. Along the way, Airbnb did contact us once. That was when [the guest] asked the service team to talk with us about the missing money from case (1) but never again.

This made us realize that we are not welcome here. After this post I will terminate my account with Airbnb. It was more than disappointing to receive his booking. If I could go back in time, I would rather keep my room vacant.

Airbnb Decides it’s Okay for Guests to Stay for Free

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I was a host with Airbnb for almost three years. I own a beautiful villa on the island of Phuket and I’m not greedy so for a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom villa. I charge $300 a night, while nearby hotels are charging that for one room per night, so I’m fair.

Airbnb had some people stay at my villa during a violent storm. I warned these people that the Thai weather commission had issued violent weather warnings for the south of Thailand. During the night, around 2:00 AM, the power went out in the south of the island. The guests called me to complain at 2:00 in the morning, I informed them that my power was also out and I could not come over to fix anything.

The following day I called back to be yelled at for all the money to be refunded in full. I informed them that I am not allowed to do an off-site transaction as Airbnb will hold me responsible. I spoke with Airbnb and was told that storms are not my fault and nothing would be held against me.

After these guests complained that the power went out Airbnb canceled my listing and told me that any guests who have booked already will be allowed to stay at my property as I have agreed to do so. I contacted Airbnb to inform them to take their customers and put them where the sun don’t shine. All in all, Airbnb is a rubbish company and needs to change their ways. As you can see, my villa is a complete dump according to this company.

Airbnb Hosts in Thailand Ask for Extra

I’ve been living in Thailand for five months and using Airbnb I’ve noticed an unusual pattern of requests made by hosts in this country. The hosts request guests to pay for the electric and water bills and to give them security deposits upon arrival. Many of them expect these payments to be made to them or their co-host in cash.

Here’s how it went for me. I booked a studio apartment in Pattaya for 30 days. The host then informed me I had to pay electricity and water (at the time I had no problem with it) and then the host advised me to get in contact with his co-host. The co-host, however, was not listed as a co-host. That was a red flag as I believe guests should only communicate on the Airbnb platform and not give out our cell numbers.

Upon my arrival the co-host requested a security deposit of 3000 Thai baht. I told her I couldn’t pay her that. I then contacted Airbnb and told them what had transpired. The Airbnb case manager communicated to the host and informed him that he cannot make requests for guests to give him any payments in the form of cash, only through Airbnb. Since he requested water and electricity to be paid, then he must submit documentation through the Resolution Center. At the end of my check out he did not do that.

Here’s the scam that I figured out. So many of these hosts in Thailand rent out these rooms and use them for Airbnb. When they ask for utilities to be paid they make a request for a “security deposit”, right? But that’s for their apparent utilities they are charging you for. Think about it. If water and gas comes out to either greater, equal or less than the deposit you gave the host, they will just pay you back the difference in whatever you may pay. If you change your mind and don’t want to pay the utilities they will threaten to just keep your whole deposit. That’s what people do here. So be aware of this when you come to Thailand and book long stays.

Airbnb Cancelled Our Reservation… Just Because They Can

We are a family with a four year old daughter. We booked two residences through Airbnb in Bangkok. The first was for an 11-day period and since the first host was already booked from that point on, we chose the second residence for an additional two weeks. All bookings were made well in advance of our arrival in Thailand.

Upon reaching Bangkok and having spent the first three days in our first house (which was actually excellent), we received a cancellation from Airbnb for our second reservation (by now eight days away). Their explanation was that the host was being suspected as a fraud. They gave us a 10% credit and told us to either find a new residence via Airbnb or ask for a refund.

Needless to say, with all three of us still in the wake of our jet lag, scrambling to find new accommodation wasn’t exactly our idea of a good time. My wife and I have travelled extensively in all sorts of countries (including Thailand, where our Airbnb crisis was unfolding) and this was the first time ever to come across such a situation. We had repeatedly arranged for accommodation over the phone with hosts of all kinds in many locations and no one ever cancelled a reservation, even in cases where there was nothing but their word binding them. No credit payments, no deposits, nothing. They kept their side of the deal regardless.

Airbnb on the other hand not only had the audacity to cancel our fully paid reservation while we on our behalf had done nothing wrong, they even acted like everything was cool and we should be happily going through the hamster wheel of finding new accommodation through their (so called) service, just because they gave us 10% credit. Just to clarify, we are from Europe. Imagine being stuck somewhere 15 hours by plane away from home and trying to resolve this mess.

Of course, trying to book a new place within a short time window (even though this wasn’t a high demand season), meant that we were left with poor options in the price range we had initially booked (i.e. places that were far from the city center or metro stations, or both). An equivalent residence via Airbnb would now be not 10% but 35% more expensive. We decided to opt for the refund – this was quickly devolving into a fully fledged scam – and book either via Booking.com or go around asking.

What would you know: Airbnb refunded our initial payment, but didn’t even give us the 10% credit back for all our trouble, or at least store it in our account for some later booking. We contacted their customer service through chat to complain and try to get some resolution. They initially tried to play it down and pretended we should be happy with their lousy 10% credit that we weren’t even entitled to anymore. We threatened to get vocal with our dissatisfaction unless they did something to set things right.

After several messages being exchanged and being passed from one “representative“ to the other two or three times (while we were arguing it was their responsibility to arrange for new accommodation, not ours) they finally obliged to at least provide a list of recommendations. When we pointed out we would take one of these alternatives, provided we were only charged what we had already paid for our cancelled accommodation, they ceased all contact. That’s quality customer service for you right there.

We know that online services of all sorts have their flaws. Airbnb is setting an all-time low, not so much because of their bad handling of bookings, but their inability to address the situation once the inevitable screw-up occurs. Giving a lousy 10% credit and forcing someone to an almost certainly more expensive last minute re-booking (which he is required to complete on his own) is an outright scam, not a valid method to appease dissatisfied customers.

All in all, I’d say our overall experience with Airbnb was atrocious and would seriously advise everyone to stay away from it. You will be far better served by respectable online services or go the good old conventional way of finding your own accommodation on the spot. Do not be deceived by the enticing price tags of Airbnb. This is an unreliable “service”, plain and simple, and it isn’t worth the risk.

Airbnb Not Providing Guest Protection As Advertised

Never again, Airbnb. I am a professional and network daily with many other professionals, government personnel, and elected officials. I’m now attempting to get back more than $3,000 from a host whose property was seriously falsely advertised and unusable. To date, Airbnb customer service has been no help as advertised. One of the reasons I used Airbnb for a Cape Kata/Thailand rental was because they claimed they would help if there were major issues upon arrival and the funds would not be turned over to the host for at least 24 hours after arrival in the event something was wrong. It was wrong alright.

The photos used by the host were apparently taken over a decade ago when the property, pool and furnishings were in better shape. We arrived to find a rundown, grossly unsafe property which included but was not limited to: mold in the bathrooms and throughout the units; an active aggressive beehive with bees inside the units; broken and uneven stairs to/from the units; multiple spider webs in the bathroom areas; old severely worn furniture with some pieces broken; a brown-stained pool with dirt and leaves and other unknown items; marijuana butts found outside doors of the rooms/units; personal items (probably staff) including used toothbrushes, clothing, and other hygiene-related garments in all the units.

We were unable to reach the owner. A staff member in charge of the property told us this happens all the time and people refused to stay once they arrive and actually see the property. After a 26-hour flight and an hour taxi ride to the property, I had to scramble to find another suitable place to stay (last minute hotel) at great expense for my family and grandchildren. There has been no help thus far from Airbnb. Of course the property owner is claiming nothing was wrong and he was never contacted.

Now I’m in a fight to recover my $3,000. Never again Airbnb. I’m going to tell everyone I come into contact with about this horrific experience. If I can average just five people a day, that’s 1825 people a year and if those people share my Airbnb and Cape Kata horror story with just five others, that’s 9125 I can reach this year alone, not including Facebook, pictures of the property I’ll post on Instagram, etc.

Beware of Moderate Cancellation Policy, Negative Reviews

My family of four plus two grandparents booked a whole house in Phuket, Thailand with a moderate cancellation policy, allowing for cancellation during the stay. In the master bedroom, the en-suite bathroom smelled of poor toilet drainage, and the house was generally filthy despite the advertised housekeeper. After a few nights we decided to cancel and book ourselves into a hotel. We would have acted sooner but were very jet lagged after a 24-hour flight, We gave the host a heads up and followed the moderate cancellation policy (allowing for a 50% refund for unused days).

The host was very angry and wrote a negative review saying we were the worst experience he ever had. We left the house in a cleaner state than when we had arrived with no breakages. We were highly courteous throughout the stay. After going back and forth with the case manager Airbnb decided that the review was within guidelines. I am writing to warn future guests to document everything through email and photos and if you make a complaint do it within 24 hours even if there is a moderate cancellation policy.

Some Absolute Nonsense at Thailand Airbnb

My group had been looking for a beach house in Thailand for a three-day stay for days and finally found a reasonable option for all sixteen members of our group (do you know how difficult that was, logistically?). We booked our stay and they took our money. We thought we were good to go.

The owner emailed us the next day and lied, saying that we had misled her about the year we wanted to stay. She kept saying we wanted to book for 2018. Under no circumstances did we say that. Our reservation was cancelled and now all the other options are over $1000 more than the original price. We can’t be spending that kind of extra money. When we called Airbnb, all they kept saying was sorry. They said they would help us rebook but then reneged on that real quick. That does not help with the money problem.

They also reassured us that the host had to pay a cancellation fee but it’s Airbnb that gets all that money. If we were able to use that money to get a comparable rate then I would be happy to keep using Airbnb, but they get the profit and we have to spend extra money because they did not have it together. Absolute nonsense.

Unable to Cancel After Reading Fresh Bad Reviews

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My wife and I booked a nice property in Pattaya, Thailand back in April this year for a holiday we planned for June. We saw the nice pictures and read the nice reviews, so we decided to book this property. Reviews have always been one of the main factors in our decisions for booking a property. Everything was fine until we saw three bad reviews on that property that occurred in May. Some of these reviews were quite bad, as some guests had bad experiences and shared them for all to read. We were really concerned about the prospect of having a similar experience, especially with my four year old with us. I attached the reviews above.

We no longer wanted to stay at this property. If we had read such reviews, we would not have booked that property. Our only problem was we had booked it two months ago in April. Our problems started when we contacted Airbnb, and an agent who said she was our case manager basically told us that there was nothing she could do for us as there was a company policy regarding refunds. Since the reviews are written by hosts and guests and not by Airbnb, bad reviews were not a reason to cancel bookings; there was going to be a 50% cancellation fee.

She made me feel that were creating trouble when in fact we felt like we were being victimized and forced to commit to a property that appears to be okay, but was in fact not. Would anyone who read these reviews even consider staying there? This is not right. Airbnb was trying to be polite and claimed to want to help us but just came across as condescending. It’s ironic that she said the reviews could be fake and Airbnb doesn’t recognize reviews as reason for cancellation, when reviews are the company’s bedrock for sales. We would really prefer to stay at a different accommodation and be given a full refund or to have the charges applied to a different property asap. We are running out of time.

Beautiful Airbnb in Thailand Infested with Rats

We rented a beautiful two bedroom house with a pool about five minutes from Ao Nang in Thailand for six nights. Within the first day I thought I was seeing rats but just brushed it off. Well, over the rest of our stay I saw them everyday. I emailed our host and let him know about the rats and to see if he had someone that was doing pest control. He said he had never seen any rats and was surprised about it. He had security cameras everywhere on the outside of the house for the guests’ protection and probably for any theft that might occur when the property was empty, but apparently never saw the rats running around on the property. I’m writing this here because Airbnb doesn’t allow for changes in reviews and it seems that a lot of them are very generic. My wife did our review without my input and kept it very basic. The host’s review of my wife mentioned we should not be traveling to Thailand because of geckos and other things common in Thailand. Funny enough, I just don’t like rats. I have now been to Thailand three times and have stayed at many places that did not have rats, including a relative’s house in Hua Hin that borders lots of vegetation. However, they do animal control in their area. I’m not saying we never saw rats – we did – but not anywhere we had stayed until now.