Death Trap With Bedbugs and Health Concerns

My daughter and I had just left an Airbnb in the same general area of an island, pushed out by an arriving guest who got there first. This new place cost us $100 more a night than the cute, clean, architecturally-safe beach “shack” which we had just adored.

We drove up to the “new” place and couldn’t figure out where to park our Mini; there were cars parked in what might have been a front yard with their rear bumpers protruding out over the sidewalk. I hated to but I left the Mini stuck out past the edge of the concrete as an invitation to neighbors who hate Airbnb to spray paint its bumper.

We became symptomatic right away: sneezing, clogged noses and ears, shortness of breath. I have a bum knee, but my daughter is much younger than I and has perfect runner’s knees. Yet, she slipped every time she navigated the shiny, varnished stairs. When I grabbed a railing that had been installed at the front picture window, it came close to pulling right out of the drywall that held the bracket-thing that kept this banister holding the draperies in place. It became obvious that this makeshift grab-bar was intended not to assist a guest in climbing the stairs but to hold the curtains shut for some unknown reason.

Perhaps the worst feature of this Airbnb besides its shared space with a natural healer who kept office hours and left the entrance door unlocked with an invitation just to come in and who demanded that “the front door (porch) light be shut off at night because the light disturbed the children” by coming in their bedroom window were the bugs that seemed to cause new itches every morning and – probably the same itchy species – gathering in the bathroom at toothbrushing/makeup time.

It was obvious that these guest quarters were an afterthought, maybe up to code, maybe not. The ceiling in the sleeping loft was less than five feet high in areas with the supporting beams being so low as to invite a good solid head whack regularly. Crawling soon became the method of ambulation in and out of the upstairs spot.

And the TV. I am a regular television viewer but my preferences are not unique nor costly. In this Airbnb we got some kickboxing and some reenactment crime stories that are short of documentary quality. We got no basic cable (MSNBC, CNN) news stuff nor local news either. The TV was up in the “penthouse” and crawling wasn’t always on the game plan for the day. The stove worked, the fridge worked, and I think the microwave worked.

I worry all the time about damage or theft occurring to my precious 2009 Mini. Furthermore, it seems the place is either freezing cold or, until the AC has been on for over an hour, blistering hot.

Thanks for reading this, if you did. In summary, the first host was genuinely involved in making a guest’s stay pleasant and worth the money. The second host’s goal clearly was to decorate the place with dusty, cheesy artificial ivy and orchids and wait for the dough to roll in.

Water Damage is the Least of this Airbnb’s Problems

I rented a lovely home in the DC area that I thought was a great deal. Unfortunately, after a late night arrival and a hot night with no AC, in the light of day I found that his property had a lot of slapstick-repaired water damage from a double shingled saving roof with additional plumbing problems. We were promised AC repairs the day we reported them within 24 hours but they never happened. Coughing and respiratory problems ensued. There were tarps on the skylights and evidence of water damage in every room including rust on baseboards which had been removed. A second verification of damage is needed to confirm this atrocity and obvious health violations for a rental. Luckily you can report to local authorities since Airbnb will do nothing but offer a partial refund and keep such a listing on their site. The following is the current listing.

Robbed in Lisbon Apartment, Only Hosts Helped

We have just come back from a nightmare of a vacation and only sharing this with you all so everyone can be safe and secure themselves as everyone is traveling for the summer holidays.

We were in Lisbon June 10th-14th. On June 12th as we returned from our day out, we unlocked the apartment door. To our shock, we had been robbed. All valuables, personal belongings including clothes, shoes, purses, etc… everything of ours was gone.

The police didn’t cooperate as we were tourists and Airbnb customer care did not bother to respond to our urgent calls until the afternoon of the 13th. There was not a scratch or any forced entry in the apartment and the 13th being a public holiday in Lisbon we could not reach the right authorities. So it was well planned.

Travel insurance has shrugged themselves off our liability as it was a theft in a foreign jurisdiction at an apartment and not on us in person. Airbnb stopped responding to any of our communications as soon as we were out of Lisbon. We are calling them but not getting any conclusive assistance.

I’m only sharing so everyone is much aware of your belongings and be safe as we Indians tend to travel with cash and still believe in foreigners and their safety procedures, while they seem worse than one can imagine.

Airbnb has a community center for its hosts to discuss their issues and grievances. I want you to write your grievances with the hosts or any experience with Airbnb as a guest. Together we can make a difference.

I have managed to restart the correspondence after much pursuance with Airbnb since June 18th. I’m still pursuing the matter with Airbnb and to write a review for the host on Airbnb. The hosts are the only who helped us with our language barrier and pursued the police to lodge a complaint four hours after the incident by going to the police station.

Dangerous Airbnb has my Car Towed, Wrist Broken

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My sister acts as a secretary for me, which really means she saves my life regularly. She booked me into the home of an Airbnb host in Kenasaw, GA (a suburb of Atlanta) in a condominium complex. Parking is an issue in Georgia. My sister had asked about parking and the lady texted me a parking number. The room was around back, which was strange.

I arrived during the day to a space with one bed, two sheets, a small refrigerator, and one roll of toilet tissue. The next day I got up, went to work, and stayed late because of torrential storms. When I arrived back at the room in the flood the lady’s van was parked in my spot. There were no others so I knocked on her door several times. I couldn’t get any response from this host.

I got my briefcase, my umbrella and coat and smudged along the trail to the back of the condo. There was no lighting in the back and I was using my phone to provide light. I got to the front door and there had been some carpentry work done while I was gone directly in front of my door. I steeped over part of it and a board that looked as if it were put there to walk on. The board slipped; I fell into the apartment door. I broke my wrist in two places.

That night my wrist hurt so I decided to go to the ER. I went out to get into my car about 4:00 AM and it was gone. I went through the acts of trying to contact my host, later to find she had had it towed. My focus changed from my wrist to my car. $235 later I was back in my car. It was time to go to work so I bought a wrist brace which helped a lot but not completely.

I got the host on the phone once and she very nervously said she didn’t own the property; it was her bosses. While looking for my car I called the condo association. They told me that area was the host’s and she knew there were not zones for Airbnb because she’d been reported before.

My wrist got worse before I finally went to the ER. It’s broken in two places because the host didn’t follow code. One other very simple violation of code is the life threatening issue of no smoke detectors. I photographed all of this. Stay away from this property – it could cost you your life.

P.S. If anyone who reads this knows a good personal injury attorney I would certainly like to meet with the attorney. I’m looking at six months in a cast and an operation.

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Valuables Stolen from “Safe” Paris Airbnb

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My mom and I just went trough the worst trip ever, less than a week from her birthday. The story goes: I left from Berlin (Germany) and she from São Paulo (Brazil) to meet in Paris to spend Mother’s Day together and also because it was my university trip.

The host’s apartments had two doors with passcodes, one right off the street and a second that accessed the stairs. On our third night, Monday, May 13th, we returned from our day out, typed the passcode in and to our surprise it didn’t work; for some reason they changed it. We tried to get in touch with the host countless time through my mother’s phone and… nothing.

After a while we decided to check into a hotel, and finally she answered saying that she sent the new passcode through the Airbnb platform. Since my cellphone had been stolen on our first day I wasn’t able to see that message, and she didn’t make much effort to confirm if we had received it.

Anyway, after having been locked outside the house, the next morning we got back to the house, had some breakfast and I left for university (the main purpose of the trip). After that, my friends and I went to get my mother for lunch, around 1:00 PM. We enjoyed our time together and the girls and I had to go back to our university duties, while my mom got back to the Airbnb, around 3:00 PM.

On the bus, my friend turned to me saying my mom was calling. I answered and she said “Come back now! Someone broke in the apartment, the lock is broken, they took my computer, your Macbook, please come!”

We spent the afternoon with the police. I called Airbnb for help and assistance; they didn’t even offer help to call or communicate with the police, same thing goes for the host. Airbnb didn’t assist at all. The next morning we went to the police station to do the report all by ourselves. The day of the robbery they also didn’t offer any help – nada.

It’s been a week now, and the Airbnb team hasn’t given us any response to our loss. We got in touch with them a bunch of times, and they still haven’t taken any responsibility on how to resolve this situation, not even the police report they asked for. Furthermore, talking with the neighbours we found out that the building has been broken in before, about a week before we got there.

How can they make this kind of place available for us to stay? Additionally, this is not what the company sells. They promote “great experiences, not only a home”, but how can you feel at home and have a great experience if you’re not safe? And if the company who sells that idea doesn’t even help you when you need it?

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Airbnb Condones Danger if it Means no Refund

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Airbnb will keep over half of your money no matter what happens to you or how bad the host’s situation was, even if you are raped by a stranger that the host allowed in without your knowledge. All that Airbnb will refund you is $30, even if their host provided none of the accommodation you were expecting (e.g. completely false pictures), you had to sleep on a bare cold floor at 1:00 AM, and worse yet, your security was endangered by a strange man coming into the accommodation that you had rented and paid for in advance.

Below is the (unbelievably bad) communication with, and response from, Airbnb:

I wanted to let you know that I have tried to call the host but I didn’t get an answer, so I sent her a message and an email to reply within one hour. We are waiting on a reply from her and when we get an update I will call you. Thank you. 

I’m from the Airbnb customer experience team and I’ll be assisting you. Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you’ve experienced. I am reaching out to you today, regarding your current reservation with [host]. I am really sorry to hear someone was already in the bed that you have booked. Do you mind telling me how your night went? 

I had to sleep on a floor. In a cold empty house, with only a blanket of unknown cleanliness. No furniture at all. Plus I’m dealing with too many people here like you at Airbnb; you’re the third one now. What happened to your promise to call me back last night to get me a local hotel? You’re sending me my entire money back, right? $75+, right? What else then, for his failure to call me back? Compare the picture below, with the one posted by the host on Airbnb.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry that you did not receive a call back from the agent you were speaking with. I have tried taking a look into the concerns, but I am unable to pull up any conversations that you had with another agent. Since you did stay in the home, I am unable to issue you the full refund of $75.24. By policy, you are eligible for a refund of $30.00 for the night that was spent in the home. If you would like to send me a copy of your hotel receipt, I would be more than happy to take a look into it and see what I can do to assist you with reimbursement. 

Absolutely not. Not only will I of course never use Airbnb again, because of this horrible and absurd experience last night, but I will of course be formally disputing the entire amount on my credit card. Not only are you now the third person who I have had to deal with, you completely failed to answer my earlier issues about your complete failures, promised me at least a room last night at midnight (which I correctly predicted they would fail to reach the owner before then).

Mostly though, would you do the following for me? You agree to come to “my Airbnb” home and pay me $75 in advance, where I’ve promised you a room (bed with clean sheets), and a bathroom (clean again, including a towel and shower). Then when you arrive at midnight I tell you to “sleep on the floor” with no bed, and no sheets or blanket even, no shower, no heat, and no curtains even covering the window, and then also find a different strange young man in the room you were supposed to have and paid for in advice.

To also have you – incredibly – then listen to me tell you: that well, because you slept on my cold floor, since nothing else was possible at 1:00 AM then, that now all you have to do is only pay me $45 for that atrocious debacle? That is, I’ll now give you back a lousy $30. Are you kidding me? You should now sue me for such a clear and ridiculous fraud and you, Airbnb, should now be sued for the unbelievable arrogance of attempting to keep $45 of $75 in such a clear ‘bait and switch’ fraud.

Instead, you should be begging my forgiveness, and hoping that I will not post this unbelievable bad experience on every Airbnb reference in the world. $30? You have got to be kidding me! Mimicking your ridiculous bad service “by policy…”, I have “my policy” too: that is to help drive such bad businesses out of business. Please now forward this to your corporate attorney, and also have them contact me with their name and address of legal service.

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry for any inconvenience and frustration this has caused you. As explained to you before, because you stayed in the home you are not eligible for the $75.24 refund. Please refer to out Guest Refund Policy, in our terms of service, to go over our Refund Policy. I also offered to assist you with your hotel stay, by requesting a copy of your receipt. If you do not want to send a copy of your hotel receipt over to me, there is not much that I can do to help you with your alternative accommodation charges.

We do understand your concerns, and apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused you, but again I repeat Airbnb reserves the right to make the final determination in these matters as outlined in our Terms of Service. If you wish to continue or pursue legal actions please comply with an official document and I will forward your claim to the appropriate team. Alternatively, I will be happy to answer any questions you should have about this reservation and the refund issued, so that you are informed of the terms and conditions that govern our platform and what you have agreed to by using our service. Is there anything else I can help you with? 

Yes, there is something else you can do – listen for a change: why are you now asking me for a “hotel receipt” when I already told you (i) that Airbnb told me at near-midnight that he was both reaching the owner and getting me a nearby hotel for the night and then (ii) that he never got back to me? Now, at after 1:00 AM, what am I to do (having to get up in a few hours for an important meeting) with no car? The only option then is to sleep on a cold floor.

Remember, there was a strange young guy in the room that I was supposed to have. Now let’s imagine that I had been a female – the horrible situation (and multi-million dollar lawsuit against Airbnb) had I been raped, in the middle of the night, on this cold floor. And you are arguing about $40 now? You and Airbnb deserve to be sued, for supporting this fraudulent Airbnb member (and others, apparently, by extension).

I took pictures of this completely empty place and it looks nothing like the owner’s pictures on the Airbnb website: bare floors with no furniture at all. And you’re still supporting her, the owner?

Lastly, I have a nice bedroom in my 4,000 square foot home. I now plan to sign up as a host on Airbnb, with nice pictures of my home. Then, I’ll remove all the furniture, list my place on Airbnb for $100/night, let a homeless young guy live there in return for some drugs from him, and then I’ll still collect $50 bucks each time I get a sucker to come to my (nice-appearing) place for $100/night.

We won’t care if a female guest gets raped by the homeless guy in her room at midnight, because I still get $50 a night for her to sleep a few hours on my bare cold floor (because, hey, she did stay there, after all, right? Neither I nor you will of course charge her extra for the rape, so she ‘wins’ too, right?

I’m now loving this (incredibly stupid) “policy” of Airbnb’s. I just sure hope I get you, personally, when both she and the local police complain and investigate “your policy”. You’ll still similarly support me, right? I list nice pics on Airbnb of my home then get to keep $50 bucks of that each night that I fraudulently rip some sucker off, right? Plus you get your fee, right?

Lastly, new business opportunity suggestion for you and the whole Airbnb “Experience Team”: why not now consider charging Airbnb customers extra for the rape at 3:00 AM, by derelict homeless guy in their Airbnb room? You may be leaving “money on the table”. I don’t personally want any cut of that though, I’m just perfectly happy with getting 50 bucks a night by listing my spare bedroom for $100/night — and then having you similarly support me that I deserve half of that when she has no other choice at 1:00 AM, and then gets raped by the derelict at 3:00 AM that I let have her room without her prior knowledge. What a great deal for me! How do I sign up with Airbnb for that deal?

Whether or not you understand the intentionally sarcastic tone above, you and Airbnb are now formally being sued, in a class-action lawsuit. Since your company does its utmost (illegally) to hide its notice of legal address, this email to both CEO Brian Chesky and you dutifully fulfills such formal legal notice. Please acknowledge such with a formal response to me.

Waking up to Violent Fighting at Paris Airbnb

My experience with Airbnb isn’t long. I only used it once and it went relatively well. The host was good, abd the room too. That’s why when my friend suggested we rent an Airbnb for our stay in Paris to visit Disneyland, I didn’t object.

As all of you know, when you first look for a room, you make sure that all the comments are positive. When I found this room in Paris I was happy that everyone found that the host was very helpful and welcoming. That’s exactly what I thought when I first saw her; she even let us check in early in the afternoon so we could enjoy our time without having to worry about our luggage.

You are probably wondering by now: where did it all go wrong? Well it started with the host’s husband snoring. Since the insulation in the house is poor and there was no door to the room, it became strictly impossible for us to sleep. Then when I finally started drifting off, I woke up to the sound of the husband yelling and glass crashing.

Needless to say we were shocked and didn’t even know what to do. We stayed glued to the bed. Then the police came in and started questioning the couple. Apparently this wasn’t the first time that these kind of fights took place. For a minute there I actually thought that the guy would kill his wife and then us too.

To be honest, both the husband and the wife apologized afterwards and they were sorry for what happened and the inconvenience they caused. However, this doesn’t mean that the same situation couldn’t happen to someone else and might not end well. As I said the host was extremely dopey and she even offered to give us back our money, which we declined. That’s why I’m not gonna tag her.

I don’t think I will be using Airbnb after this incident. I would rather pay for a hotel where I will be able to sleep safely. I hope that no one will have the same nightmare as I did.

Airbnb Host Trying to Drug and Rape me

Please be super alert. I checked into an Airbnb listing without any special indications or suspicions. The host invited me for a drink. I kindly took it and the drink tasted salty somehow. The next thing I realized, the host was putting a comforter over me… and I couldn’t remember anything in between.

I tried to jumped out of the bed, but I couldn’t; I felt quite dizzy. Therefore I said nonstop: “Please get out of my room.” The host somehow left, and I checked my underpants. They looked and felt weird. It felt like someone had cleaned them, since they smelled new, but I had been wearing them the whole day and waking around. They should have smelled sweaty but they didn’t.

Therefore I called the police straight away and they took me to the local hospital. Somehow they told me they didn’t find anything strange nor signs of sexual penetration, and they couldn’t identify any medication or drug if the host ever used one on me. The police took the host for questioning, held him for less than 48 hours, and then let him go. No charges or anything was filed since they told me there was not enough evidence to hold the Airbnb host.

I also called Airbnb. They obviously tried to deny and evade this topic. Soon I found I couldn’t access the profile page of the host, nor could I access the messages or whatever information there was about this Airbnb host. Airbnb told me the host delisted his profile and I had no right to see it. If I knew that, I would have taken screenshots.

I’m really at shock what to do. The host took a copy of my driver’s license and other family address information. Later, Airbnb told me the hosts do have the right to collect my information if it’s in accordance with local laws.

Anyway, I still couldn’t figure out what’s going on…. I’m super angry, pissed, and lost as to what to do. I tried to kill myself a few times due to this situation knowing I was raped and that but couldn’t get Airbnb to help. My consultant told me to share the information and here I am. Hope it helps.

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Creeped Out: Bedroom in the Kitchen, Host Makes a Pass

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This host is no longer active. I rented a room in lower Manhattan, which turned out to be a bed in the kitchen. I would soon be met by a giant water bug (2+ inches long) crawling on the white bedspread. I know in NYC bugs are rampant, but those suckers are huge and I was freaked out nonetheless.

The weirdness was the host who was present. After chatting with me, he decided to try and make a pass at me. By this time it was late in the evening, I was tired from my overseas trip, and was not expecting my 27-year-old host, (I’m a good 20 years older mind you) to tell me my legs were sexy and carrying on about what we might do. I was like WTF? Seriously?

I handled things, and he refunded me, knowing Airbnb could get involved. And after the freaky bug that followed, I was creeped out. I ended up sleeping in the host’s bedroom (with the door locked) while he slept in the living room.

Sexual Predators Can Use Airbnb Freely

A local Airbnb was being hosted by sexual predator (now serving multiple years in prison). He lived in the house with guests before his court date, which took two years. He was not allowed to have anyone under 16 at his house. I called Airbnb and let them know that this was occurring and single women might not be comfortable sharing his hot tub and pool if they were aware. They did nothing. Please Google your hosts and guests if you’re sharing a house.