Host and Airbnb Failed to Resolve a Nightmare

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My family and I were traveling to New York for my graduation from NYU. We arrived to the Airbnb around midnight and found the room unlocked and dirty. The sheets on the beds looked slept in. They were stained with white and there was a white powder on the table as well (my six-year-old nephew was joining me the next morning and god knows what would’ve happened if he tried to taste it) The floor was unswept. There were hair balls everywhere and counters were not clean. The bathroom had been used with used towels hanging. It was entirely unacceptable.

We were tired from flying coast to coast and did not expect to arrive to a mess. I tried to contact the doorman then they told me to speak to the host. I asked the host for a solution. She offered new (not washed) sheets that we would put on the beds ourselves. I asked for a refund and she essentially said we had no choice but to stay there because places nearby were booked. I reached out to Airbnb who had me take photos and explain what had happened.

After investigating, the Airbnb support representative told me that the host told him that I had other guests that left the room in that condition when I had literally just arrived. I was appalled. My family and I immediately tried to find places to no avail. I spoke with the Airbnb representative a few times and was ready to leave but my family and I had nowhere to go and we slept on the fitted sheets of the bed. That night I was promised a refund of the nights I would not be spending there and compensation on a hotel I ended up booking.

The next day came and the Airbnb representative told me I could only get a refund for the rest of the nights and no compensation for the hotel I ended up booking, which cost me over two times more than for what I booked the Airbnb. They also tried to force my hand in authorizing a solution by saying I had 30 minutes to an hour to accept a partial refund. I tried to escalate the issue to a supervisor for which they told me I would have to wait a business day.

Airbnb hasn’t tried to assist and compensate for an experience that was unforeseen and unplanned. I came to celebrate an achievement with my family and did not expect to have to worry for my family and my safety. This entire experience cost my family sleep and plans I had with them. Two days later I am still waiting for a resolution.

Guest Turns up Drunk Having Nervous Breakdown

I was hosting my third guest. I live alone on 38 acres and have internet but no phone. The lady sounded fine on paper; I gave her very clear directions and my mobile number and she acknowledged she had received them.

I came back two hours later and the lady was extremely drunk in her car. She drank an entire box of wine cooler and appeared to be going through some kind of mental breakdown. Rather than going to her cabin down the hill, she had got a ladder and climbed my fence and ripped off my doorknob, trying to crack open my door, breaking the plywood. She swore at me and told me she had paid to stay in my house.

I told her she had to leave the property as I could not risk her damaging my property further. I assured her I would refund her. It’s a kind of yoga retreat and there is a “no drugs or alcohol” policy. There is a gas stove in the cabin and we are surrounded by world heritage forest — it’s too dangerous to have a drunk or unstable person around.

She became irate and said she was too drunk to drive away and that her dog was lost (we ask people to keep their dogs on leash at all times). I could see she was in crisis so I offered her a cup of tea and to drive her down the road to a free campground with a sleeping bag I would donate… more abuse followed.

I saw that this woman had a knife in her car. I no longer felt safe. The woman refused my help and refused to leave. I was left with no option but to call the police, which I have never done in my life. I went to my neighbour’s and called the police who took 40 minutes to arrive. They were very understanding and did not escalate the situation.

The woman suddenly became very agreeable, although it was clear she was still very drunk. They escorted her to town to sleep it off in her car and they took her keys for the night. I did not press charges as clearly her life was falling apart from her bad decisions.

Now I feel unsafe in my own home, have to change my gate code and buy a new front door. The help Airbnb has offered? A bot with whom I can register my complaint and a threat to my record if I cancel bookings.

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Airbnb Host Hiding from Negative Review with Proof

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I stayed at an Airbnb near downtown Atlanta from Dec. 24 thru Dec. 28 and left an honest review that was deleted. The house had had so little toilet paper and paper towels we rationed them. The hand soap was refilled with water to stretch it (I threw away the bottle to force them to buy more). The hangers in the closet were a collection of store inventory (the kind they use at the store with the size on it), the wireless hangers were from a dry cleaner, and likely some from an old rummage sale.

There was literally both razor wire and barbed wire on the fence, guys walking up and down the block smoking marijuana, a collection of grocery carts full of trash across the street, enough towels for three people when the listing advertised hosting for eight people, and the loft/den on the second floor had a small area rug and love seat — that was it. There was no additional furniture in the room, so everyone had to either stand or sit on the floor. I mentioned that the neighborhood was hopefully “up and coming,” but cautioned that there were more than a few homeless encampments in the area.

I posted the review, and was told it violated standards. I had photos to prove what I said, but the review was removed. The host begged me to reconsider the review and claimed that less than a four would get them kicked off the site. They deleted their positive review of me and had mine removed as well.

No Help, No Refund in an Airbnb Emergency

My son and girlfriend rented a room in Ft. Lauderdale. The room was not as presented, but they tried to deal with it. They were supposed to have a double bedroom and no used condoms on the floor.

While there, my son was robbed, threatened to be shot, and left the property. They tried to reach Airbnb since arriving at this unit over the room situation and could not get through to a person. Police were called to the hotel after the incident. The hotel clerk told my son and his girlfriend they needed to leave before something happened. Again, there was no help from Airbnb.

They left their unit at 1:00 AM and had nowhere to go. Their money was tied up in this unit and they would not give their money back but promised to get it to them. We got a frantic phone call at 2:00 AM that our kids were on the streets. Still nothing from Airbnb. We got on the phone and still nothing. I bet if it was their kids something would have been done.

I posted this and suddenly I got a call. The kids and I had tried to get in touch with them for weeks after this happened and got a total run around. They actually put me through the whole process three more times: telling the same story, promises to do something, promises to call back. But, they did send me an email asking me to state it all over again, and then after I did, they told me “because of my lack of response they are ending the dispute.”

Are you freakin kidding me? Every time you call they mention how the calls are being recorded. Check your recordings and email history. I have called at least 15 times. The problem is, they know that this happened to young adults juggling jobs and school and they could wear them down. I won’t be worn down.

How can a company allow this? They know it happened — there are police reports. They removed this stay from their listings and they think telling me that it has been handled internally helps those kids and future kids in any way? They deserve their money back at a place they couldn’t even stay.

Poorly Cleaned Crack Den Passes for an Airbnb Listing?

Without going into the minutiae, the property was not as advertised (graphically or descriptively) on the web page through deceptive and misleading photography and unbelievably optimistic interpretation of the property condition, style and “vibe”. It was so incredibly dirty that it would not be addressed by an additional visit by a cleaner in the duration of the stay and very distressed throughout with burns on curtains, water marks on soft furnishings, dozens of scuff marks on floors and walls, chipped enamel, raised floor tiles, dirty, thread bare “linen”.

It was also potentially unsafe. The appearance and demeanor of the host’s assistant was not inviting at all: scruffy denim, no teeth, fell out of a scruffy white van on arrival and could barely walk straight or string a sentence together gave us the distinct feeling that he was a drug addict.

Based on this, we immediately complained to Airbnb, hastily took photos (because of safety issues) and left the property as advised by Airbnb. The host reached out to us within the hour and offered a further cleaning of the property. We declined as we had no intention of returning to the property as this was not the main issue. The host subsequently offered us another apartment in the same building. We declined this offer as we felt that any customer good faith had be irrevocably destroyed. In the meantime we started a full refund request from Airbnb.

Over the next several days we struggled greatly to deal with the process with many response delays, misinformation and lies from the various Airbnb Ambassadors. Eventually Airbnb summarily rejected our complaint but offered us a $500 good will gesture refund. We rejected this outright with the intention of reclaiming all our money.

Retired Public School Teacher Staying in Costa Rica

Our first stay in Costa Rica we used Airbnb for a stay that should have lasted three weeks. Because of problems with the host and his large dog, the host agreed to let us leave early. After we left he did not return our messages and eventually sent an email saying that he had decided to keep the $1,000 payment to teach us a lesson.

We contacted Airbnb but they closed our case due to not being able to reach the host in Costa Rica. The reason the place wasn’t working out was because his large German Shepard was free to roam around during our stay (including in our small pool) keeping our dogs from being able to leave the house freely. The dog also jumped up on my wife standing up trying to keep our dog away from the other dog. The dog was able to push his muddy paws on my wife’s face.

The last straw was when the host cut down a large tree outside our window and then started burning construction trash. The smoke and toxic fumes filled our rental. We told the host but he did not stop. We yelled that we needed to leave asap and he agreed. We stayed up till very late repacking all our stuff and cleaning the unit (three bedrooms, two story) only to be ripped off by this man. Another issue is that early on he told us that he was heavily armed on his site which now we believe to be a threat. We reported each of these issues individually to Airbnb and they have yet to respond to them.

Airbnb Host Lies in Review After Disastrous Stay

We rented a three-bedroom apartment in Split, Croatia on the first floor using Airbnb. The host posted the same listing on Booking.com and Expedia too. At that time I did not know that my dream vacation would turn into a nightmare.

Let me start saying that the host is providing misleading information on the post. As per the description, it should be a deluxe apartment with a nice garden and air-conditioned accommodations. Sounds like a dream. It was a little expensive but the pictures were amazing; you can see a brand-new place with a garden and pool. I thought it was worth it. Such a mistake.

The location was not so good as advertised, but it was fine. The apartment was extremely dirty with hazards inside.
The place was hot, like 100 degrees F hot (+30/+35 Celsius) and all three bedrooms did not have AC. There were two ancient AC units in the living room and dining room. (Why the host has two AC units in one room, I do not know).

Two out of the three bedrooms did not have mosquito screens. As a result, I got a lot of mosquito bites during the night or could have slept in the hot box without the air. My son has asthma and he could not even breathe in the steamy hot bedroom. As result, my kids were sleeping, starting from the second night, on the sofa in the living room.

AC was not only a problem. In the master bedroom, we found blood stains on the mattress cover sheets. Super nasty. I sent pictures to the host in no time. She promised to remove the dirty sheets the next day, but it never happened. Also, all over the apartment were spider webs. Besides that, between window frames, there was a crazy number of dead bugs.

I opened the closet and I found old, dirty shoes. The closet inside was dirty too, and there were stains on the sofa and walls. The moldings on the floor were not fully attached. One of the bedrooms had a bleach stain on the cover. Generally, it was the dirtiest place we stayed in ever.

The washing machine was broken and discharge water was on the floor. I had to clean the water. There were exposed wires at electric outlets near the bed and wires all over the place, which could have caught fire in no time. My favorite example: a lamp in the bathroom had a wire exposed — good luck not getting electrocuted when you turn on the switch.

The pool was not usable. It was closed, and we could not even open it. In the listing’s picture, it clearly shows a beautiful pool. There was no mention on the listing that the pool was not in service, which is very misleading too.

The person who rents this apartment does not take care of the safety conditions. I sent many pictures and messages to the host within 30 minutes after checking in that I was not happy with the condition of the place, but she ignored my concerns. Airbnb asked me why I did not leave and fight later. Really, it is easy to say just go on the street, in another country and find a place to sleep with two kids, when you paid crazy money for this place and do not have a budget to pay another $2,300. Airbnb will not cover the cost.

After we left, the host posted fraudulent claims on Airbnb. The host stated as a fact that I asked for a refund for “the entire stay.” I never did this; I never thought it was an option before the review appeared and I called customer service to find out why the host was claiming this.

The host posted a review on Sept. 17. To create an escalation ticket regarding this fraudulent claim, I have to request a refund according to Airbnb policy. My request was created on Sept. 22. I did not request anything before her response. The refund requested was only for 22% of the total amount as punitive damages for the dirty apartment and false accusations. I was on and off with Airbnb customer service for a week. I had to provide pictures and videos to prove that the place was dirty.

The host also claimed that bloodstains were from me. I did report this issue right away, but no one cared. Actually, customer service said that I must provide proof that I reported stains right away and it was not my fault. I did report it on their website; they were too lazy to check.

A customer service representative said that according to Airbnb policy, hosts can post any false claim because it is only their opinion and does not need further investigation. Really? Hosts can post anything? Any false accusations? Nice to know.

Summarizing all this, Airbnb refused to help me with my concerns and stated that: “While we encourage and expect all community members to post reviews that contain objective and accurate information, Airbnb doesn’t mediate disputes concerning the truth of reviews. We expect the author of the review to stand behind the content of their review.”

Also, I requested Airbnb to check the misleading and false information regarding the apartment descriptions like the AC and pool, but they refused to do it. Every day I requested to talk to a manager, but my request was never satisfied. Airbnb only takes money and does not help with any issues. It’s so sad that people will pay money to this dishonest person and fees to Airbnb.

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Host of Dog Beach Penthouse Lies, Making Guests Leave Early

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What can I say? We were told this was a special place: lots of great reviews; $300 a night; accepted small dogs. We arrived and used a Schlage code on a half installed security door. Mind you the lock was not even installed properly. The main doors were open as were all the sliding doors. The main door after entering the security door did not have a lock on it at all so we couldn’t feel safe.

We put one of the ripped chairs under the entry door that didn’t have a lock to help keep us safe when trying to sleep. We could see the door lock installed on the security gate wasn’t installed and there was a gap. You can stick your fingers in the gap and move the lock to open it. It wasn’t installed on an entry wood door. Unsafe and scary, though that’s another issue.

The bed sunk in the middle. All but one of the sliding doors wouldn’t lock. Once inside, the walls were filthy, along with the floors, furniture, bathrooms, vents and stove. There were missing blinds so we couldn’t close them. Faceplates on electrical outlets were missing. They had the cheapest paper towels and toilet paper and bath towels that looked like something I would use on my dog when giving them a bath.

This place was a dump. Probably worse than a Motel 6 at $300 a night. We left the next morning and vacated. We filed a complaint with Airbnb for a full refund for being an unsecured property with no locks to keep safe along with a dirty environment. I’m still waiting. Airbnb doesn’t allow uploads for videos so take a lot of pictures of any issues you might have. Hosts are scamming people. Stick to name brand hotels. Our first and last stay at Airbnb.

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Do Not Stay at the Lodging from Hell in Ghana

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Airbnb has unethical and deplorable practices. They would do whatever it takes to make sure their “Superhosts” keep their status, even if the reviews are honest. I read an article online about Airbnb removing a guest’s review because he posted an honest review about his stay at a lodging. I posted my review and within two days, it was removed because I was informed by someone at Airbnb that it violated the review policy. Since Airbnb will not allow for my review to be on their website, I will post it here.

I only reserved this place because of the reviews and I would like to say, I absolutely regretted lodging here. The Airbnb is not in a secure location for other travelers, but rather a community of renters. There are no security precautions in place and that is the reason I caught someone looking through my window.

The neighborhood is trashy, unkept, and very noisy with neighbors consistently slamming doors, babies crying, chickens crowing at all hours of the day, as well as other things. There’s no backup generator for the plethora of blackouts that occurred. How can you run an Airbnb business and have no backup electricity?

We had a broken toilet seat for five days and when I reached out to the host, she dragged her feet and responded to messages late. She claimed that 500 MB of data would be given per day, which is inaccurate. She claimed she added 5.13 GB of data and by day 3 it was all gone, which means there is a high likelihood that the data was being pirated.

If you want high water pressure, you have to perpetually go outside to turn on a switch. The beds feel like you’re sleeping on a hard floor and the apartment looks very outdated. The building is not clean: wires hang from the ceilings, and when I would return from my excursions, trash would be left outside my door.

I did not want to leave Ghana, but I was counting down the days to leaving this place. I guarantee that when the owners travel to Ghana, they are not staying in accommodations with these kinds of problems. I would never recommend this place to anyone.

I have posted pictures of what this place truly looks like. Don’t let the nice photos fool you; the bathroom was small and crappy as hell and looked like it was never cleaned before we got there and the furniture was extremely uncomfortable. Don’t let the positive reviews fool you because Airbnb removed the negative reviews, like they did with mine.

Airbnb Platform Allows Hosts to Threaten and Extort Guests

We rented an Airbnb apartment to stay in downtown Toronto from April 19 to May 18. When we arrived, the place was extremely dirty. All kitchen items were in poor conditions. We couldn’t even cook or make coffee. There was a lot of hair and food stains all over the living room rug and carpets, a couch full of some animal hair, among many other issues.

I have a one-year old child and such a place would be less than appropriate for a toddler to be crawling all around. Not to mention Toronto was in the midst of a lockdown, and with all COVID safety protocols in place, those were the hygiene conditions of that Airbnb Plus property. After a lot of stressful back and forth communication with Airbnb and the host, they sent someone to clean and replaced a few kitchen items so we could at least cook. It was better, but far from ideal. We had to stay there for the rest of the contract because we wouldn’t get a refund and it would be hard to find something else at that point, so we made it work.

We left the Airbnb apartment two nights before the contract was up. The apartment was incomparably cleaner and in a more organized conditions that what we found when we arrived (I cleaned everything up myself because I couldn’t have my baby staying in such a dirty place). We took some pictures just to be safe and left. We thought everything was okay.

After Airbnb sent me multiple emails requesting that I write a review about my stay, I decided to do so. I believe that was around 11:00 PM on May 31. I woke up in the morning and there was an email in my mailbox titled “action required: your host is requesting $2,635 CAD for damages.” All the damages listed there were untrue. It’s scary how just a few hours after I had written my review that host was able to come up with a whole document with pictures of the alleged damage and invoices from stores for all the furniture he supposedly had to replace.

I won’t go into details of each of his absurd claims, but I called Airbnb and explained that I was being retaliated because of a review. A week later, Airbnb sent me an email saying the host’s claims were not covered by Airbnb, that he hadn’t provided enough evidence and they would not be pursuing payment from us. The request was removed from my account. We thought we were done with this.

The host sent me a message through the Airbnb app trying to extort money from our family. He threatened to start legal action against me if didn’t pay him $2,635 through Airbnb in three days. The payment request wasn’t even there anymore because Airbnb had declined it. Again, I called Airbnb and said I was not feeling safe, that I wanted to block this host from communicating with me (which I still am not able to do because the Airbnb app is not allowing me). They sent me an email a few days later saying I did not need to worry anymore, that they had given the host a final warning.

I received a letter from the host’s lawyer in my new home demanding payment by Aug. 20 (we just had moved to this address a couple months ago and that guy found out where we live). Airbnb was again notified about that.

We are not feeling safe. This host is clearly a troubled unstable person going to great lenghts to retaliate because he didn’t like a review. This is all happening because Airbnb created a platform that allows people to easily harass each other like that. We made a contract with Airbnb, not with this criminal and now we are being persecuted for that. He won’t leave us alone. Why are we having to waste our resources and time to deal with this?

Other things to consider:

– This criminal host is an Airbnb “Superhost”.
– The Airbnb Plus property is located in a building that does not allow short-term rentals. We had to constantly lie to the concierge and every time we parked our car in the garage.
– I communicated with Airbnb every step of the way and we are still having to deal with that criminal host almost three months later.
– Once I wrote my review, I could read the review the host had written before. He called me “nice and polite” with no mention of any damages. Would you call someone that caused you an almost $3,000 worth of damage “nice and polite”?
– He replied to my review with more false accusations, saying I was going after monetary compensation and Airbnb did nothing about that. But I am not the one trying to extort $2,635 from a family, am I?

That is the hospitality Airbnb offers you. We are not feeling safe and I am posting this here because we don’t know what else to do.