Why Are Airbnb Services Even Allowed?

I just don’t understand why this type of service is even allowed. I moved into my neighborhood several years ago as a young family with plans to provide my son a happy and loving childhood. Now, because of the Airbnb that recently “opened” next door, that dream has been shattered.

I wanted my son to grow up in a community where everyone knows one another and neighbors watch out for the kids as they play. Instead, every few days, we have strangers living next door that have absolutely no respect or concern for our community. They are loud, disrespectful, and inconsiderate.

Last night, one of them parked in my driveway and attempted to enter my home while we were sitting in the living room watching TV. Do you know how terrifying it is for a four-year-old to have a couple of strangers attempt to walk inside your home? Neighborhoods should be focused on building a sense of trust and community, not utilized as a way to make money while jeopardized your neighbors.

These uncaring “guests” trash our local park, park in front of my driveway so we can’t get out, leave trash in my yard, and stay up causing commotion at all hours of the night. In a time where you can’t even feel safe going to the store, now I can’t even feel comfortable in my own home. This sense of entitlement to doing whatever you want with “your” house is ridiculous and completely defeats the purpose of living in a neighborhood.

If you want a short term stay, go to a motel or hotel; that is for what they were made. A house should be reserved for preserving a sense of community within those that live in the neighborhood and providing a sense of peace and comfort to raise a family. Thank you Airbnb for robbing people of this American dream.

This is a horrible concept and I hope cities crack down hard on how these services are managed. What a complete disappointment in those that have no respect for their neighbors (mostly because they don’t actually live there) and exposing us to a constant set of inconsiderate strangers that destroy our sense of community for a few extra bucks. What a shame that this is what has become more important to people.

Bad Airbnb Service for Family in Slovenia

We are having a nightmare in a guest house located in Medvode, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The host provided only three rooms for nine people instead of our original request of four rooms under a charge of 1000 euro and insisted on charging an additional 200 euro for a fourth room. He immediately started to shout at us after we questioned his service. We tried our best to comply by paying for the extra fee to settle down, as there were old people and a small kid in our group and everyone was exhausted after a whole day’s travel.

The guest house is right beside a railway track two meters away and trains pass by every 30 minutes. There isn’t any security protection between the railway and the house. Inside the rooms, there isn’t any fire alarm and every room has a stinky smell mixed with some kind of cheap perfume.

We were really worried about the security issues and tried to contact Airbnb. There wasn’t any reply from them. We tried to find a customer service number to call directly but couldn’t find any. This is the worst traveling experience that we have had in Europe in the past 20 years. I would be very grateful if this feedback could reach Airbnb.

Nightmare Airbnb Host and Even Worse Help from Airbnb

After using Airbnb faithfully for almost a year now, I can tell you that I am never, ever going to be using them again. Airbnb has consistently shown itself to be incapable of not only conflict resolution but protecting its guests from possible threats to their safety. Airbnb claims that they are committed to “creating a safe and trusted community around the world” and yet in this case they have failed on both terms. From the start of my long term rental, I documented and recorded the miscommunication between the host and Airbnb.

When I arrived at the apartment the house was clearly left unclean. I documented the mess and asked for the apartment to be thoroughly cleaned before I moved in. In response, Airbnb refunded me for the one night which affected my stay. They claim that this part of the case has been closed and “resolved”.

However, the problems which affected me at the start of the rental have grown into a much deeper issue. The host began messaging me at all hours of the day and night telling me that she had not been paid and was pregnant and therefore needed the money ASAP. I contacted Airbnb to ask them what needed to be done and they told me that they would prevent the host from contacting me anymore and that they would let the host know that this was neither my fault or my problem.

Clearly, Airbnb did not do what they promised as the host continued to contact me saying things such as she “expected me” to do something about her lack of payment. I decided to not respond to the host anymore as I started to feel unsafe and thought the best way to de-escalate the situation would be to not answer anymore.

The situation culminated in me receiving a message from the host’s boyfriend saying that he was going to come over the following morning to talk to me. He gave me no information as to why he was coming over. Immediately I contacted Airbnb concerned for my safety as a single woman in a foreign country. Airbnb handed me over to a case manager who told me not to worry and that I would be able to rent another apartment for two days (paid for by Airbnb) and then receive a full refund on my previous reservation. The case manager also said to not respond to the host and to avoid future communication with them.

I was on the phone with Airbnb until 1:30 AM clearly scared for my safety. As a woman alone being told that a man you do not know is coming over to your home is frightening but as a young woman in a country where I do not speak the language and am considered a foreigner is even more so. However, Airbnb promised me that I would be safe. By contacting me after business hours is enough to be a harassment case, but with the knowledge that the host is angry that she has not been paid, it makes it even more so.

Following Airbnb instructions, I did not respond to the host. Airbnb has not told the boyfriend to not come over to the apartment because the following day I received two furious phone calls from the host. This not only violates the promise that Airbnb made to me that I would not be contacted by the host but it is also incredibly threatening. The host is angry that no one is at the door and that no one told her that no one would be. I asked her to please speak to Airbnb directly and to not contact me anymore.

A couple hours later the host messaged Airbnb saying that there was a problem with the elevator and that is the reason the boyfriend is coming over. However, as a young woman who is alone in a foreign country, when you are told with no context that a man is coming over to your apartment you begin to panic. I no longer felt safe in the apartment I rented so I made an executive decision to extend the stay of the second reservation until the end of my time in Budapest as I feared for my safety in the other apartment.

Airbnb dared to follow up and tell me that “in context” this is not a harassment case and that had I not extended the second reservation I should have gone back to the first apartment. This is appalling because no one, especially a young woman in a foreign country, should be told that she should go back to stay in a place where she no longer feels safe. Secondly, it does not matter whether or not there is context; in this case, I was being harassed and felt unsafe.

The story should end there. However, I received calls outside of business hours, late at night, was told a strange man was coming to the apartment, was told I was “expected” to fix a problem that was not mine over a form of communication that goes against Airbnb safety policies. This should have been enough for Airbnb to take my case seriously and yet it was not.

I have been thrown around from case manager to case manager, who each promised different things with little to no results. Because the host (obviously) did not agree to give me a refund I had to cancel the reservation on my own volition, meaning I get almost no refund. This is completely unacceptable as I am not choosing to walk out of the apartment because the bed is uncomfortable or the pillows are dirty; I fear for my safety and needed to leave.

Now, I am being told that I have to return to the apartment where I feel unsafe to return the keys further proving that Airbnb does not care about the safety of its clients. Now, two weeks away from this awful experience I wrote the host a bad review sticking with the facts completely; the house was dirty and not as pictured, the AC did not reach the bedroom and that the neighborhood was unsavory.

The host messaged me on Airbnb again saying that I should not be allowed to write a bad review because I am a difficult guest and “falsely accusing them”. To retaliate, the host wrote a review detailing private information on the case which clearly goes against Airbnb’s Content Policy: “Content that provides specific details or outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” is never allowed on Airbnb, and I am starting to be told that I owe the full amount to the host after I was told I only have to pay the first 28 days of my long term rental.

Airbnb claims that they cannot find the case manager who promised me a refund (so I won’t get it) and the review does not go against content policy because the case is closed. Then what does “outcomes of an Airbnb investigation” mean? Help. This situation is a living hell.

Tranquil Nature Reserve Actually Shanty Town

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Disastrous holiday with appalling customer service. Never will I use Airbnb again.

Over two months ago we found out my partner was pregnant. We decided that before the baby arrived we wanted a relaxing and peaceful break where we could quietly celebrate the news with her parents. We set about searching for somewhere suitable. We are both experienced travellers all over the world and happy hiking and camping but obviously this time with my partner being pregnant and her elderly parents coming along we didn’t want anything too basic.

We settled on the idea of a nearby island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands which is owned by Spain. It is frequented by millions of European tourists per year and well developed so it should have been a very easy trip.

After much research I finally found the perfect place on Airbnb located in a nature reserve in the north of the island. The description said “ideal for those who choose tranquility” and “for those who want to live in contact with nature while enjoying the sport and what seas of tranquility offer.”

Again, as my partner is pregnant, we didn’t want anything too basic and this was the perfect fit: TV, iron, laptop-friendly workspace, etc. We even got an extra reminder that this was one of a “few places in the area where breakfast would be included!”

It was advertised at 50 euros a night but slightly less on the nights we were looking for. I naively was only slightly wary when I saw it just had one review but it was a new place that had very recently opened and it was absolutely glowing: “The garden gives great spaces for the eyes. A feeling of great freedom, openness, connection with the authentic nature of Fuerteventura… great pleasure staying in the house… contemplate the beauty of what surrounds you.”

It went on and on with absolute rave reviews. This guest clearly thought this was the best, most beautiful place she had ever stayed so surely we in the very worst case weren’t going to dislike it. We booked four nights and were very excited about it. How wrong we were.

The trip started out well with good communication from the host who by a strange coincidence turned out to be Italian just like the solitary reviewer. Polite, quick to respond and would be meeting us at the property at the check in time. After a long day of travelling, by late evening we drove into the nature reserve; the reviews were correct, it was beautiful.

I continued to follow my GPS across a dirt track towards our peaceful isolated house. Upon the horizon a group of buildings started to appear. As we got closer we realised that these buildings were in fact made of pallets and various other discarded materials and were surrounded by rubbish. This was a medium sized chabola illegal house, called slums or favela in other parts of the world.

We have seen many of these on our travels through Asia and Africa. Essential and unavoidable in many developing countries but unusual to find in the middle of a nature reserve. It was with absolute disbelief when I saw the GPS was taking me right into the middle of it.

However, there was no GPS mistake when I pulled up outside a somewhat recognisable house and was met by a smiling host and a stray pit bull. We were quickly ushered into the house which in fairness wasn’t too different from what we were expecting; the interior matches the photos that were displayed. We had studied the photos on the website so we knew the basic style and layout.

What wasn’t apparent from the pictures was the horrible smell and that it was that it was an entirely open plan including the bathroom and toilet which was adjoining the living room. My partner started to panic about having to ask everyone to leave the house any time she needed the toilet (which is often during pregnancy).

It was then the other conditions started to be explained. First, there was no water main; it came from an outside container which is very limited so ‘use the toilet at least four times before flushing it’ as it will run out. Second, no electricity. We were taken back outside through a broken rusted door that was falling down and needed to be tied on by rope. There we found an old generator and a couple of jerrycans.

Our host politely explained the quirks of how to start this particular old generator. He also explained that it would last about five hours, then I needed to drive to a nearby petrol station (about 30 minutes), buy enough petrol to fill a jerrycan, and then refill the generator with a half water bottle scattered around the floor that could be used as a funnel.

While I was trying to work out why I was having to pay for the petrol or the logistics having to refill something every five hours night and day just to have a fridge working or the lights on I became aware that it wouldn’t really be a problem as there was no way we were going to be able to stand the ridiculous noise of the generator for longer than five minutes, let alone five hours. Once started we couldn’t be heard over the top of it and even in the house it was loud enough to feel like you were in the middle of a construction site. Tranquil it most certainly was not.

The tour of the outside didn’t get any better. Past the pizza oven – which was being used as a bin – around to the side of the house which wasn’t shown in the pictures we discovered a pile of broken furniture leaning up against the house (sofa, plastic table and a bathroom sink, indoor dining room chairs) and then just beyond that a dumpsite. All manner of broken things and building rubble which I imagine was the previous interior of the house had been piled up and left.

Was this the “authentic nature of Fuerteventura”? It was certainly true that in stunned silence we were ‘contemplating’ the ‘beauty’ that surrounded us. In truth at this moment the host looked so embarrassed by the place and eager to move us away from the rubbish that we didn’t really question it much, he just kept repeating that he wasn’t the owner, just the host.

Once the host had left and the pit bull had chased his car out through the chabola we had time to reflect upon what we were about to stay in. Luckily my partner’s parents weren’t due to arrive until the next day. I sat down on the sofa and rechecked the advert on Airbnb to see I had made no mistake. I had not.

It was clear that the accommodation no way matched what they were advertising from the important things like clean and with electricity and water to the less vital things like the breakfast that was most certainly not going to be provided. While contemplating how to explain the situation to her parents I looked down to find my shoes and legs cover in flees, and I do mean covered.

At that point my partner decided she would do the rest of her contemplating in the car. She rushed outside to find a local resident and extremely suspicious looking character peering into the back of car which was still loaded with all our holiday gear. When I asked who he was he merely commented that he was the cousin of the owner and continued to walk around the property at his own leisurely pace.

This was now a step too far, it had gone from being a somewhat comical, farcical situation to actually feeling quite unsafe. While the nature reserve is certainly ‘isolated’, the house being in the centre of the chabola most certainly was not. It may be the area is quite safe and the ‘cousin’ was just coming to be friendly but this certainly wasn’t the type of holiday that had been sold to us and we weren’t willing to stay and find out.

I stayed just long enough to take some photos and then drove away to try and work out what to do next. I called the host to tell him we wouldn’t be staying even a night and by his tone he had been waiting for that phone call. He said not a problem at all and even avoided an embarrassing situation by not asking us for the reasons. He just reminded us again that he was not the owner which I understood to imply that even he wouldn’t want to stay there. I asked about a refund and he said he hadn’t received any money and it would all be returned by Airbnb.

At this point it was 8:00 PM and with very little mobile battery left we were trying to navigate the nightmare Airbnb customer support site and look for somewhere to stay. I eventually found the support contact and emailed explaining the situation. On that evening I received absolutely no reply at all and we were in a desperate sprint to find something, anything safe that we could stay in that night.

By 10:00 PM we were lucky enough to find a very accommodating host who replied pretty much immediately to our messages and let us stay. Before I could book the new place my only option was to ‘cancel the reservation’ of the old which seemed to imply it was in some way our fault and therefore we were penalized in that they kept most of the money. Only 66 euros were returned to us.

While the new accommodation was excellent, a great host who had provided an honest and truthful advert, it was a more expensive flat, only for two people and in a crowded tourist resort. Not at all the holiday we were looking for. It also meant that there was no space for my in laws and with all the uncertainty they decided to cancel their flight and not come at all.

I have attached a link to show just how poor the support was when they eventually replied as my words couldn’t really do it justice. Needless to say we ended up paying for two accommodations (minus 66 euros). I wrote at length and sent plenty of pictures as evidence but Airbnb seemed entirely uninterested, delivering superficial responses.

It was only after five days with one day left in our holiday that I was passed to a specialist who asked if he could help book us into accommodation. I guess he imagined we had been sleeping on the streets for the previous four nights. When it was apparent that he wasn’t properly reading my replies or trying to understand the situation his response of ‘I have a lot of cases needed to be assisted as well’ was infuriating. A particular favourite phrase that he wrote after admitting it was a host violation was ‘just to set your expectation we will do our best in order to meet the proper standard but we cannot guarantee this hundred percent to provide the expected outcome’ (sic).

It has now been nearly a week and Airbnb has just stopped replying to my messages. Last I heard I was eligible for a refund but that has never arrived and they are simply ignoring all my attempts at communication. While we are both safely home and we can look back on a spoilt holiday somewhat fatalistically as I explained to customer support it is the safety of others that is most concerning. People book with them expecting a certain level of security, their whole brand is based around that. If not we might as well just arrive in a place and knock on any old door and ask to stay.

A current look on their site shows that this accommodation is still being advertised in exactly the same way. My lengthy review has not been published, still only the original poster, so they will have people booking it expecting what we expected. I find it worryingly immoral that Airbnb is continuing to advertise it in the same way. At best they will be spoiling people’s holidays and costing them money. At worst… well, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Here is the link to the place. Check it out in full here.

Airbnb Helps Scammers Rob Unaware Guests

After hearing about Airbnb for years, we decided to try it. We were visiting family and were too many to fit comfortably, so we decided to get an Airbnb nearby since hotels were 30-40 minutes away. The idea was to minimize the travel time. The price of the Airbnb was more than the hotel, but again, we wanted to be nearby.

We arrived to find the Airbnb was in a crime-ridden area of the city, with lots of people talking loudly on the stoops at 10:00 PM, drinking and smoking. Absolutely no parking around, even double parked cars. Police and emergency activity in the surroundings. We did not feel safe staying in this place, that by the way, was a tenement.

The listing made it sound like you would have a private apartment for your family, but what they have done is divide a house into rooms, each with a lock. Even the former living room was converted into a bedroom. There were four individually rented rooms in what used to be a three-bedroom house. That was not what we signed up for and paid $99/night. For comparison you could get a 2-3 star hotel room for $80.

We decided to squeeze with family and cancel this awful place. Then we discovered that even though we canceled the host was entitled to keep our money since most of what we paid was non-refundable. We only got 10% back.

I thought Airbnb protected the guest, but unfortunately they only protect the hosts. There is absolutely no reason that the host can rent this dump and when just arrive and decide not to stay, they get to keep all your money even though they can re-rent the place. Maybe they should keep the money for the first night, but all of it? Needless to say we would never, ever try Airbnb again.

PS: We Googled the address after seeing it and found that there was a murder next door in 2016, drug arrests, shootings and more in the recent past. How Airbnb thinks this is a place to offer to unaware guests is beyond me.

Breaking into Paris Airbnb… for Laundry Soap?

What I’m about to describe is a horrible experience with Airbnb (both on the guest end and maybe even worse on the customer service end) that has since unfortunately led me to decide that I will never use Airbnb again. I wish this wasn’t the case because it is such a unique and affordable option for travel, but their company really showed me how little they care about their customers.

I was originally just planning to simply write a review about the safety issue directly on my guest’s profile and be done with it, however as I will explain after I tell about my experience as a guest at the Airbnb in question, they removed/censored my review (obviously this was done because my host was a Superhost that brings their company in money). I decided that I was not about to let the public not know about the safety concern that this host presents and Airbnb’s customer service and censorship/control over its guests. Without further ado, here is what the review was originally going to be.

Our trip to this host’s apartment started off well. He was in good communication with us, and the place looked clean and had tons of amenities like it promised. He was out of the country, so he had his friend staying in the apartment to check us in and show us around. His friend was super helpful. It was going great, until five days into our two-week stay.

The fifth night there I was taking a shower, and when I got out I heard a knock on the door (I was not fully dressed at the time as a result of having just taken a shower). My girlfriend and I also did not want to answer the door because we were in a foreign country and did not know anybody, so we stayed silent.

The man on the other side of the door started getting his keys out and tried opening the door. At this point we were terrified about this because we had not received any contact from our host since the day we checked in. I told the man trying to open the door that this was a private Airbnb and he was not allowed to enter. He responded saying that he was a friend of the host’s friend, and that he needed to get the laundry soap in our room (which we found very suspicious, since laundry soap is certainly not too expensive to just go down to the store to get some new soap).

We told him it was not okay, since we hadn’t heard anything about this from our host so who knows if he was who he says he is. At this point the man on the other side continued trying to force his way to open the door with his keys (all the while I was also still not fully dressed). Finally, after we yelled at him that he needed to leave, he did, saying on the way out that he would be coming back after he called his boss.

After this I messaged the host, and his response is (quoted): “Sorry for the inconvenience. Don’t worry I’m out of France. He was supposed to call you.”

I do not have the original review, and the part at the end that I didn’t include above was when I explained what Airbnb’s customer service did after I contacted them. When I submitted the review I got a message stating “The reviews are only to state your experience at the listing, and with the host. You can not disclose any information regarding the case with Airbnb.”

The review was removed. I asked if I could submit a review without the part where I said what Airbnb’s customer service did, but they said once a review has been removed, it can not be re-submitted (how convenient for them). Anyway, the last part I wanted to talk about was the customer service experience that followed the safety concern… on with the story.

After the incident occurred in the apartment my girlfriend was understandably shaken. She had never been in a foreign country before and just had some weird man she never even knew existed try to break into our apartment (all for some laundry soap?).

I immediately contacted Airbnb’s customer support. The customer service person whom I got a hold of asked me what happened; I told her, and asked what our options were. She said that she needed to get in contact with her supervisors and that she would call me back (which is another thing I hated… why not just put me on hold? I had no idea what was happening and was totally in the dark about how long it would take for her to call me back, all the while my girlfriend and I had no idea if that random dude was going to come back and try to break in again).

While we were waiting for her to call back, my girlfriend told me that she didn’t feel safe here. I asked her if she would be okay with another Airbnb but she understandably said that because it’s her first time in a foreign country she would prefer to stay in a hotel if possible.

Airbnb finally called me back and said she can refund us and try to help us find a new Airbnb. I told her that my girlfriend feeling safe is my top priority so we would need to be moved to a hotel. She told me she has to check with her supervisors again if that’s something that they can help us with and hung up. She called back and said that they never offer any help finding a hotel or giving any money to cover the costs. She then told me that we will be refunded within a few days and once she hangs up we will be trespassing and need to pack and leave immediately because we will be considered “trespassing”. She hung up and we started packing frantically.

With the scary incident we just had with the guy trying to break in, we had no desire to see our host or any more of his “friends” in person again, so it was extremely stressful trying to pack all of our things in around twenty minutes. After we finished packing, we did a quick search for a hotel nearby.

In our haste we made a huge mistake: we didn’t make sure they had air conditioning (Paris was experiencing a heat wave at the time). The place that we ended up finding was about a sixth the size of our Airbnb, had no AC, no kitchen (or any of the appliances we were expecting to have like a fridge), and no washer.

Since we had to book the day of, it ended up costing $600 more than the amount we were refunded. We planned our trip a year in advance, only to lose all of the amenities we planned to have and had to pay a large amount of extra money.

What I wanted to emphasize is the fact that what scares me most about all of this, and should scare the rest of the public too, is how my host was a Superhost with 183 reviews averaging five stars… this shouldn’t have happened. If we were staying at a non-Superhost’s place that only averaged like three-star reviews then okay, fair enough; we took the risk, and we got burnt. This was not that. This was supposed to showcase the best Airbnb has to offer, and instead we got a horrible situation.

It makes me wonder, how many reviews like mine have been removed/censored from Superhost profiles? How many people had even scarier/more dangerous experiences, but got their review removed, and just didn’t care/didn’t know how to get their message out to the public about their situation?

For those looking for an Airbnb in Paris, this is the listing in question. This is the other listing the host owns. This is the profile of the host.

Injury, Infestation and Impertinence at Shendoah Solitude

I stayed at the Shenendoah Solitude in April, 2019. The listing notes “A 4WD vehicle is required to access the property in the winter.”

We went on a sunny, spring April day and could barely access the property. One of our guest’s cars was damaged en route, as the road was pure dirt and rocks, piled up to 1.5 feet high at places dues to a tractor having come through to ‘smooth the road.’ One car (a Mini Cooper) had to stay down in a parking lot at one of the local businesses for fear of getting stuck.

We were all rattled and annoyed as soon as we arrived. We saw a sign for “wildlife sightings” and began to fill out our experiences. During the trip we sighted: 1,000s of ants, wasps, water bugs, crickets, spiders, ladybugs, mosquitoes and coffee filter fungi, all inside the property.

We were provided with one roll of paper towels for seven people, for one night, and no additional rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. We could not find more than two towels per bathroom. One of the beds did not have sheets. We called the host and requested these items. She brought them. Upon cooking we noticed there were no oven mitts and no pot holders or trivets and had to do some pretty creative things, like wrapping our hands in the precious few towels, to remove items from the stove and oven.

The second night I took a shower in one bathroom in a very slippery tub that didn’t drain and fell getting out of it, crashing down on the sliding door tray. Getting down the mountain was even harder, and another car’s chassis got punctured.

All things considered: a terrible stay. However, that wasn’t why I am even taking the time to write this; it was the absolute horridness of the host that blew this experience from terrible to utterly despicable.

I emailed the rental property company with pictures of my injuries and reported on the safety issues. No response. I went to review the property on Airbnb and reported the safety issues there. I did not post a negative review about the host because I believe in karma, and if they took care of the issues I noted all would be good in the world.

But no, I accidentally ‘published’ my blank review which unleashed the wretched host’s review of me to the world. She called me “picky” and made fun of why I had called her: “Good communication, but this guest was nitpicky and had a lot of complaints. They called and said they had two towels for six people – the towels were in the cabinet. They called again and complained that the county was doing road work on one of the roads leading to the cabin and said that she was going to have to go get her car looked at because the road was so bumpy, etc.”

This was uncalled for. I contacted Airbnb and initiated a complaint regarding my injuries. I asked for a refund as well as compensation for my injuries and what I was prevented from doing in my life due to a severe hamstring and ACL contusions. They assigned a claims adjuster who looked at the documentation, receipts and my communications with the renter. The claims adjuster awarded me a little over $1,000.

When it came time to sign the release contract I noted that there were misspelling and inappropriate terms in the contract. I sent it back to Airbnb legal. The result? They completely ignored me, the claim, and have simply refused to respond to me any further. The claim is dead. I have been awarded no refund for the rental fee, no damages for the injury, and the property continues to be listed.

In summary: I will never use Airbnb again. It is like trying to get a hold of a foreign fly-by-night company. Airbnb is little better than these predatory sellers.

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.