Terrible Experience with Airbnb: Homeless Night in Tokyo

We had a very terrible experience when traveling with Airbnb in Japan. My wife and I booked a room on Airbnb in Tokyo. Unfortunately, we encountered a very rude and aggressive host. His room was very dirty, and lacked essentials. We tried to contact the host, and hoped he could do something to resolve the problem. The host said: “How much did you pay? Just 3000 yen. You want 30000 yen worth of service? That’s impossible.”

Even worse, the host became very aggressive, trying to force us to move out of his room at midnight after he knew we reported the problems to Airbnb: “If you think my room has problems, I don’t think you should stay there tonight. Move out… You’re staying in my room, right? Well, I have the right to refuse your stay. Are we clear?”

We felt very scared because we did not know what this aggressive host would do. We had no choice but to leave that room as soon as possible. We tried to contact Airbnb but no one came to help us. There was only a phone number. What was worse, we were not able to contact Airbnb using this number but had to wait until Airbnb called us back. After more than an hour, there was still no solution from Airbnb. They just asked us to wait until the next day to contact the host for a resolution.

We felt so scared and hopeless that we had to move out of that room. We walked around the streets all night, feeling cold and hopeless, with no solution coming from Airbnb. What else could we do but wait for Airbnb’s call? Around 7:00 AM the next day, we finally received a call back from Airbnb. The agent asked us to find another room on Airbnb, and promised this problem would be resolved by 11:00 AM. However, we did not get any call or email by 11:00 AM. After a long night, we felt very exhausted and sleepy. We did not have any energy to wait for Airbnb’s solution. We were exhausted dealing with Airbnb, so we found one of the cheapest hotels in Tokyo and booked a room.

The email from Airbnb arrived at around 2:00 PM, but there was nothing meaningful:

“How are you? This is XXX, one of the Case Managers, and XXX’s colleague. My sincere apologies for what happened. I can only imagine your frustration about it. My colleague XXX will be in touch with you in regards to the refund/compensation request.”

Around 11:40 PM, we got Airbnb’s email and agent XXX told us our payment had been refunded. That was it. No compensation at all. We tried to contact him about the hotel bills and our homeless night. Airbnb closed my case again and again. We just wanted to share this story with someone who has used or will travel using Airbnb. It is really a huge risk traveling with Airbnb when you encounter the kind of host I mentioned. Airbnb can’t do anything for you. Nobody comes, there is no solution, and there’s no compensation even you are in danger. You have to wait for their call or email during their business hours. We wondered what the service fee charged by Airbnb is used for, as there’s no supervision of the host, and customer service did nothing helpful.

Today, the Airbnb agent’s attitude made us very mad. We never saw a big company bully their customers like Airbnb. What Airbnb promised was nothing; they could go back on their word whenever they wanted. Their arrogant attitude left us no choice but to share our story with the public. We are puny to Airbnb but we believe there are some people who have experienced the same situation as us.