Airbnb Nightmare Nearly Leaves us Stranded Abroad

My recent experience with Airbnb has been nothing short of a nightmare. It all started when I was booking accommodations in San Diego, California through Airbnb from London, where I live. I was about to make a payment when I accidentally clicked on the Paypal button and immediately received conformation of my booking. As I hadn’t used Paypal for over a year and had since changed my payment details, I straight away contacted Airbnb and explained the mixup to the customer service officer.

I needed to give her my new card details so she could take a payment. She assured me she would sort it out and confirmed that although the reservation had been confirmed, no money had been taken from the Paypal account; the full amount would be taken from the card I had just given her. I then emailed the host in San Diego and again explained what had happened and that everything should be okay as Airbnb had my new payment details.

I heard nothing from Airbnb until the morning of September 25th while I was in Colorado and was due to fly from there to San Diego. I received a text from Airbnb to say that my account had been blocked and the reservation cancelled. I then spent hours on my mobile phone trying to contact someone at Airbnb to resolve the issue. When I did get through, I got someone who was unable to assist me. However, I was told that someone would call me back. As we were on a late flight and arriving in San Diego around midnight, I was keen to resolve the problem before boarding our flight. I didn’t want to be lost and without accommodation in a foreign country in the early hours of the morning.

I never heard back from Airbnb and had persisted trying to contact them by phone and email throughout the day without any luck. Just as we were due to board our flight, I then received a message from our host to say that we would not be able to stay as the reservation had been cancelled. Luckily my son was able sort everything out through his Airbnb account and secured the accommodation for us. At some point during the same day I had received a couple of messages from Airbnb saying I needed to update my account but it was impossible to do so as Airbnb had blocked my account. I was unable to proceed beyond the first page, which of course meant I couldn’t update my account.

Some days later I received a message from a friend in London who said that it appeared Airbnb had taken money from her son’s account for the same amount that we had paid for our accommodation. Remember that the accommodation had now been paid for by my son. The only connection with her son’s account was last year when he had book accommodation for myself and the above friend. Airbnb had no authorisation to take the money and it was later refunded through Paypal.

When I returned home to the UK I tried to contact Airbnb to make a complaint. I spent nearly an hour talking to someone who refused to put me through to a manager because the payment details on their system was different to the details they had; it was unbelievably frustrating. I would still like to make a complaint regarding the treatment received from Airbnb but it seems that Airbnb does not have a listed complaints procedure. Had it not been for my son coming to the rescue at the final hour, I do believe that me and my friend, both females, would have arrived in San Diego very late at night with nowhere to stay. Never again will I book accommodation through Airbnb.

Lonely and Crazy Homeowner Falsified Ad to Lure Guests

I researched and secured what I thought was an entire home/apartment on a recent business trip to Madison, Wisconsin. Because of a large conference and a major healthcare software vendor in town, every decent hotel in town was booked solid. So I chose what I thought was a private place to stay with the understanding that it was a separate entrance so I could relax and recharge after a long day’s work.

The host’s ad said nothing about having to walk through her front door in order to gain entrance to her basement. She hovered over me and wanted to become my best friend – even in advance of me coming. She called way too much. She sent messages via the Airbnb app way too often. I should have known she was a loon. I thought she was going to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and stand at my bedside waiting for me to wake up so she could talk to me.

Lonely, crazy people should not be allowed on Airbnb. When I called Airbnb customer service they did nothing to help me or credit me back for this nightmare experience. This host was certifiable and lies about the description of her ad so she can become your best friend. I will never use Airbnb again.

Service Dog Rejected from Airbnb Reservation

My host was lovely at first. She simply reached out to me to confirm that I was traveling alone, a non-smoker and had no pets. I confirmed that I did not smoke, but let her know that I did have a well-trained, quiet and calm service dog. Then things started to go south.

First, she indicated that she would have to confirm with the “owner” whether my service dog would be admitted. I’m a lawyer, and when I calmly pointed out that it was technically a violation of federal law and clearly a violation of Airbnb policy not to admit Huck (my dog), she started to argue. She told me that no private owner could be required to admit pets. I responded that Huck was not, in fact, a “pet.”

Next, she told me I’d likely be charged a cleaning fee – another blatant violation of Airbnb policy. Then, she switched channels on me and claimed that “some owners” have severe allergies. I said of course I would understand if the owner had a bad allergy, but I was confused since the listing was for a building entirely separate from the main house, with granite floors. I encouraged her to review Airbnb’s newly-minted non-discrimination policies, although her responses repeatedly demonstrated complete ignorance of her responsibilities as a host.

Finally, I posted the full text of the policies in a message – to up her odds of bothering to read them – at which point she interrogated me about my disability. She was rude, inconsiderate and ignorant. Ultimately, she allowed my request to expire, even though our conversation took place over the course of four hours. I reported her to Airbnb and the Virginia Fair Housing Office, although I’m not hopeful that any mitigating action will be taken.

Poor Huck and I were just looking for a quiet spot for a couple weeks – on a horse farm in Virginia, no less. No such luck. If you have respect for the rights of the disabled, stay away from this host.

Host in Tallahassee Needs to Grow Up and Accept Hurricane

We booked a townhouse in Tallahassee, Florida necessary for evacuation from Hurricane Irma. The host was to contact us one day prior to provide the lock box code for the key. He never fulfilled that promise. Rather than drive five hours hoping he would come through, we canceled the reservation at 6:30 AM and emailed the host. Note that the hurricane had shifted west and Tallahassee was now in the path of the storm. Being in an evacuation zone, we scrambled to find a safe place and inquired about a refund. The host responded a day later at 5:45 PM stating his no refund policy. After some back and forth after the fact, he had the audacity to blame the hurricane for the reason he hadn’t responded. The reason we canceled (besides never getting the lock box code) was the same reason he said he couldn’t communicate and he still denies us a refund? I’m not sure how many properties this host has on various sites but stay far far away from him. Perhaps he can grow into a real man but for now he is an immature child who can’t take responsibility for his own failings.

Crooked Host Holds Deposit After Long Stay

We arrived in Utah on June 20th, 2017 as a result of a military move from Arizona. This was our nineth move in 18 years, so my family and I were used to it. Utah was exceptionally difficult to find accommodations while we were waiting for base housing to become available. Air conditioning at the temporary lodging facility on base was broken and hotels were booked in the surrounding 30-mile area from the base.

I decided to give Airbnb a try. I found a property listing in Ogden. I messaged the host and asked if he would be willing to negotiate a deal on the property since I needed a place to stay for a month. He agreed and stated that there would be a $500 dollar deposit for the property that would be returned once his property manager determined there was no damage when we moved out. We agreed to the terms and paid for the stay in full.

Our stay was great with the exception of the condition of the mattress in one of the bedrooms and the downstairs sink that was cracked. The landscape outside was a mess: dirt and open irrigation holes were everywhere. The lampposts outside were on the ground and wires were exposed. We were assured that the landscaping would be completed soon. In the month we stayed, hardly any progress was made with the numerous half-completed projects. We never complained and just figured it was a money issue. We left the property on July 20th and moved into our house on base.

This is when the problems began with the host. We inquired when we could expect the $500 deposit to be returned. I was then contacted by the property manager asking about a shampoo bottle ring on the master bathroom shower shelf. I said it may have been caused by my wife’s color stay shampoo and we were glad to come clean it and see the stain for ourselves. We were assured we would have the opportunity to clean the bathroom and see the stain. We inquired several times over the next few weeks without any response due to the fact the invoice stated that the deposit would be returned in three days.

When the host finally responded, he said we would have to wait to clean the unit due to another guest staying there. We waited several weeks to hear from either the host or property manager but they never responded. I contacted the property manager six weeks after we moved out and asked about the stain and when we could expect the deposit back. I never received a reply. The next day my wife received a text from the owner asking for my email stating that his lawyer would contact me for to settle for damages. We are honest people so we gave it to him.

I received an email on September 11th from a bus stop bench lawyer located out of Orem stating that his client was not going to return the deposit and was in fact wishing to seek an additional $1575 for replacement of the entire upper vinyl shower piece. On the estimate, there wasn’t a itemized list of parts or labor, only a dollar amount and the name of a repair company. The estimate didn’t even have a business address. The lawyer also stated there were additional damages such as a scratch on “high end” furniture and stains on towels. The lawyer stated that I have received pictures of the damages; however, I have not. I have text messages from the property manager saying there were attached photos but I never received them and I said so in a response back to her. The unit was also supposedly occupied immediately after we vacated the property, which also calls the damages into question.

Be aware of staying in Ogden with this host. I strongly caution anyone to stay elsewhere. You will be opening yourself up to a money grubbing host looking to make a profit at your expense based on false claims of damages.

Double Booked, Impossible to Contact Airbnb Support

I have used Airbnb 20 times to stay in Charlotte on business with no issues. Two weeks ago I landed in the morning and had a packed day of meetings ending with a dinner meeting with clients. I was wiped out and ready to relax. I noticed I did not have an email from the host. I had stayed at this Airbnb before and they used an electronic keypad app for your phone. I called the host and he said I needed to call another guy to check me in. I called the other guy, who said: “Who are you? The home is already rented. Someone is staying there now. You can try the Comfort Inn… maybe.”

I called the other host back and he said: “Let me call the guy and see what is up.” Keep in mind it was 9:30 PM and I was sitting in my rental car in front of the property. All I wanted was to check in. Thirty minutes went by and there was no call back. I called again and was told that the “other guy messed up, he’s not quite sure what was going on,”

He never said anything like “I’m sorry, let me help fix this”… nothing. I scrambled to find a hotel room (the downtown area sells out often) and I paid $700 for three nights after I had paid Airbnb $425 for those same three nights. It has been two weeks and I have been chasing the guy to get my refund. Today he said Airbnb thought it was fair for him to give me back half. Are you kidding? You need to give it all back and cover the additional $275 I have now paid for the hotel. It is too bad. The idea is great but Airbnb has almost no customer service; it is like the wild west.

Host Didn’t Show, And No Help From Airbnb

For a one-day meeting in Boston I scheduled an Airbnb stay with an early morning flight out. The agreement was for me to arrive “around 5:00 PM” which is what I did; at 5:02 PM I showed up in front of the locked door of the apartment building. The profile didn’t say which apartment, and the host hadn’t told me me. I called, and there was no response. I texted… nothing. I waited, and no one showed. Fifteen minutes later I texted again. Thirty minutes later again… nothing. By 5:45 PM I had had enough and called a cab to find myself a hotel in Boston, which, on a Friday evening, is a tricky and expensive thing to do. I ended up in the Park Plaza with a shoebox of a room for $330, and I immediately contacted Airbnb through their website to report this issue. Yes, I clicked the “This is about the current trip”. A day later and there’s still no word from Airbnb and no acknowledgment of my email, let alone attendance to this issue. I will continue to nag. I want my money back and I want the added expenses refunded that this has caused me.

Airbnb Fisherman’s Hangout Unbearable without AC

We booked a fishing trip via Airbnb at a very quaint cottage on a canal just off the lake we were going to fish. To start off the nightmare, on Monday before the Friday we were scheduled to arrive, the weather report was forecasting a tropical storm “Cindy”, making a direct b-line to the location on the very day we were to arrive. We contacted the host and he acted as if he would work with us if the forecast was correct. Luckily it hit the night before our arrival a little east of its expected path.

We continued with our plans and got to the location on Friday and the weather was not as bad as it could have been. The cabin was very well kept and we were very excited to be there. We unloaded or stuff and while going in and out of the cabin I noticed the three AC units but only two were on. I promptly went to each of the two that were on and turned them down because it was not at a comfortable stage yet in the cabin. I also turned on the one in the bedroom. I also noticed a box fan in the living area pointing into the bedroom which raised my suspicions that something might not be right.

After we got settled down and got our boat docked, we were going to cook steaks, but after looking at the grill it was full of water from the rain. I decided to cook them on the stove. After going into the kitchen I noticed there was no vent hood and with the temperature being already at an uncomfortable level, I told my wife we better eat sandwiches instead, to give the AC time to cool the place down. I went into the bedroom to find it rather warm and after feeling the air coming out of the AC unit in the bedroom I could tell it was not working. Since it was rather late by that point I did not want to bother the host. I was hoping the other two ACs would catch up and with the help of the fan, they might have been able to.

I now knew the purpose for the box fan was there to help blow AC into the bedroom to help cool it down. We spent a very miserable and restless night sweating and experiencing back pain from the very small, very hard, full size bed. It was so bad I went into the living room at 4:30 AM in front of the AC and tried to get some rest on the couch, to no avail. I waited until 9:00 AM to call the host and told him of our issue. When I did I was greeted with the claim that I was complaining without a legitimate reason; the last guests had no problems and the AC was not having issues then, nor did he think there was a issue now. My question to him was then why was there a fan in the living room pointing into the bedroom. He said it was just for circulation.

He would never admit the AC issue and I even offered to help him install another window AC if he would go buy one. His reply was: “I can tell you are fishing for a refund.” I then told him we had planned this trip for a long time. Coming even in the shadow of a tropical storm should have shown him we wanted to stay at all costs. He never offered to fix the problem. Afterwards, I offered to go buy an AC unit and put it in another window; he did accept that offer, of course.

We then left to see if we could get some fishing in. The more I thought about it, the more I decided we should just go back, pack up, and go home. His lack of concern ruined the trip we had so looked forward to, and if he had at least tried to fix the problem or come over to the cabin to verify that the unit was in fact not working, I would have done whatever I could to help him get it resolved. He did not come by because he already knew that it was not working.

The bottom line is he did refund $198 of the $270 for the three nights, less our cleaning fee and the $39 Airbnb fee. I opened a case over three weeks ago and Airbnb keeps telling me they are going to help. So far I have not received any resolution. All I am asking for is the $72 left off my three nights, excluding my $50 cleaning fee and $39 Airbnb fee. All this and if the stupid host would have just shown a ounce of concern and fixed the AC. He would not have had to refund anything.

I am not at all impressed wit my overall experience at Airbnb, but I do think I will give it another chance.

Airbnb Colludes with Guests to Provide Refunds

I had a guest from Seattle: Canadian, liar, Harvard Extension student. She traveled via Airbnb to deliberately find problems with hosts in order to find a cheap place to stay and free food.

You should have the full story. She had full access to the kitchen. The microwave was not in the kitchen (in my room) and was not included in the listing. She misled Airbnb to believe that I did not allow her to use the kitchen, when in fact I did.

She came into my room without my authorization several times to use the microwave. While I was not home, She came into my room and turned on the air conditioning (there is only one unit A/C in the unit, and it is in my room) while also using the microwave at the same time. Therefore she could have caused circuit damage. Air conditioning was not listed for use by guests on Airbnb. I notified her that I would ask maintenance to fix the circuit damage.

She lied about the laundry. I stated in my listing that there was a laundry card and showed her the laundry room downstairs when she checked in. It was not across the street and not coin operated as she fabricated. She’s unhappy and is playing the victim. However, I am also unhappy about the damage she caused because she did not respect my house rules by entering my room without permission, by using my A/C and microwave without permission, and by lying. She needs to pay for the damages. I am the victim of her lies.

The Airbnb representative asked how much I was willing to refund her. I was not willing to refund anything. I provided my service to the guest according to what was stipulated on the listing without compromise and without misrepresentation. She misled Airbnb about the microwave. She misled Airbnb about laundry being across the street. She might have misled them about other things as well. I went out of my way to drive the guest to buy groceries, and go shopping. I was attentive to the guest’s needs. I even allowed her to use my laundry card when she was short on cash. I allowed her to take some of my food. I stopped short of cooking for her, when she said she didn’t know how to cook.

I’m concerned she might have made similar complaints during other Airbnb stays and have received refunds for deliberately finding issues. If so, I don’t think Airbnb should want her as a customer, because that is really bad for hosts like myself who goes out of our way to make sure the stay is comfortable for their guests by adhering to the listing’s descriptions without compromise and without misrepresentation. Please don’t hesitate to let me know what other complaints requires evidence to clarify the fraudulent complaint.

What Airbnb Will Never Tell You About Our Vacation

Once a year, our family gets together in a waterfront home large enough to accommodate all of us so we can relax and spend time together. As our family has spread out across the country, this vacation gives all of us and our significant others a time and place to reconnect and create new memories together. We typically select an east coast location in the middle states. Today, the ten of us who traveled as long as 18 hours to get to our vacation home thank this host. Without her my wife would never be able to say, “someday we will look back on this and laugh.”

This host is a self proclaimed intimacy MD. When advertising her psychiatry practice and her book she touts, “Achieve change. Are you ready for your best life ever?” If you are ready for your best life ever, stay away from her Airbnb and HomeAway listing in Virginia, listed on Airbnb  and HomeAway.

Giving credit where credit is due, the house is very pretty. Beyond pretty. However, the host was only looking out for her interests, not ours. The problems started when she requested a $200 deposit to use the boat listed with the house, which is a direct violation of Airbnb policy. Naturally, she accepted checks, but if you are already traveling how do you mail her a check in advance of your arrival? She also wanted us to take an online course and send copies of our driver’s licenses.

Once you arrive, be aware there isn’t a phone line in the house. Okay, she made it clear in her listing that there wasn’t a phone line. The listing stated there was Internet access, but upon arrival there was a note stating the Internet modem would need to be reset frequently. Frequent resetting didn’t matter The wifi never came up as available. Somehow the settings on the DSL modem/wifi unit were different than what was listed in the host’s looseleaf notebook about the house.

We would have set up our own hotspot, but there was limited cell service at that location. We could receive calls, but sending and receiving email was rarely possible. A number of us are techies. To fix the problem, we set the wifi to the settings she had written in the notebook. Unfortunately for us, the Internet modem did in fact need to be reset frequently. The unit barely functioned for any period of time.

The bigger problem was the A/C didn’t work. I couldn’t get the house under 88 degrees. Upon closer inspection, the return filter appeared to be clean, but was not connected to any ductwork. The air conditioning would not function. That is the reason the A/C kicks on and the compressors make noise. Cold air was never delivered because there wasn’t a return. Lucky for us, the host left us a notebook that said, “If you encounter any problems, please call #. We have a property manager who lives in the area but may not always be immediately available. We will do whatever we can to fix your problem as soon as possible.”

We called him. He asked us the address of the home. When provided the address, he told us we had the wrong number. What could we do? I called the host, but the call went to voicemail. The good doctor never answered her phone and only responded via email. When we emailed her to discuss getting internet access and air conditioning, she emailed back, telling us to leave and go to a local motel… talk about callous.

Ten people booked her rental home months in advance, paid good money, drove all that distance along with two dogs, and were told go to a local motel. Since I found it hard to believe, and you may too as she is an intimacy doctor, I pasted images of her email with the photos. Her next act to provide herself with her best life ever was to refund our long held deposit and email us to get out by 11:00 AM the next morning.

This goes to what Airbnb will never tell you about our stay. By refunding our money, this host ruined our vacation and prohibited us from posting a review of her home. Where do you go with ten people and two dogs for an entire week during the summer? By cancelling our reservation, even though we stayed in her 99 plus degree hell hole, she made sure that Airbnb and HomeAway would never let you hear about this.

If the self proclaimed intimacy doctor should ever read this, please note that there was no intimacy in your hellhole. At 99 degrees, which I am sure you never experienced in your personal home, intimacy is the last thing on your mind. Be sure to note that before you write your next book and invest the money somewhere else. Please don’t invest in another house and then use it to ruin peoples hard earned vacations.