Not So Charming Guest House in Hood River

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My partner and I booked with our host, Lindsay, over a month in advance for the weekend of December 10th-11th as I had a pop-up market in the area. Everything seemed fine; she had 4-star reviews and her strict cancellation policy was no problem since we had no plans to cancel. We live about an hour drive from Hood River, and at the last minute there was a winter storm warning in effect. A few hours before we were supposed to leave, the highway between us and the host was shut down and remained closed due to snow and ice for the entire weekend, preventing us from making the trip. The host had a ‘strict cancellation policy’ which makes sense to insure against last-minute cancellations, but our case falls under Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy as described on their website. We were physically unable to make it despite our best efforts and intentions.

Regardless, Lindsay offered us only a 50% refund and a credit for a night’s stay. We felt this was super shady and did not want a credit for a night’s stay, since this was to be a business trip and we have no plans to visit Hood River again in the near future. We requested a refund for the full amount. She refused, stating she could have gotten other guests (she couldn’t have, the roads were all closed and there were travel restrictions). We have escalated the claim and are now waiting for Airbnb to make a decision. We’re unable to leave her a review since the stay was cancelled, so we urge you never to book with “Lindsay’s Charming Guest House in Hood River.” We might have chosen to stay with her next time we visited, but due to her dishonesty and shady behavior will be urging everyone we know to avoid this listing.

Possible Prostitution from Airbnb Guest

I received a guest’s reservation for one person from 12/10-12/29. After the reservation was confirmed, Airbnb sent me an email saying he did not finish sending payment and the reservation was not confirmed. The next day, Airbnb sent an email saying the payment had been confirmed and the reservation was confirmed. Before arriving, the guest texted me around 6:00 AM Saturday morning saying “we arrived early in Boston” and asking if they could check in early. Seeing him use “we” seemed to indicate the reservation for one person may be wrong. I asked how many people were coming, and he said three. I asked them to update the reservation through Airbnb as three people. He agreed. I replied it was okay to check in at 10:30 AM.

When they arrived, I saw the guest and three young girls (in their 20s, claiming to be college students). His profile on Airbnb indicates he is married with his wife and son in the picture. Some hosts reported negative experiences with him. I chose to trust him and accepted his reservation. During check-in, I asked what they were here for as they are spending Dec 10th-29th with me, which included Christmas. The girl hesitated for about five seconds and looked at my guest, as if she didn’t know what they were here for. Then she said they were here for work. Then he started to explain: he lives in Boston and has a food packaging business with a warehouse near Acton. The three girls were his employees and were staying at the Airbnb; he would not be staying as he lives in Boston.

It all seemed very sketchy, so I asked for his ID. He showed me his driver’s license, on which a California address was printed. I could not verify what he said was true and if his driver’s license was authentic. He said he could not change the reservation to three people so I did. He accepted the change. However, right after the acceptance notification, Airbnb sent me an email saying he had not paid for the new change and will email me if they confirm payment. I would not receive payment until it had been confirmed he paid. Fast forwarding to that first night: the guest never left. They were very loud and noisy. I texted them asking them to keep their volume down and also follow through with their payment. No response was received. I did not force them to check out as it was late and I didn’t want to interrupt three girls living downstairs even though I heard the guest and knew he was staying with them downstairs.

The next day at 1:52 PM, Airbnb notified me that the reservation had been canceled. I won’t be receiving payment as they did not receive my guest’s payment confirmation. Note that Airbnb did send an email confirming payment had been received for the initial reservation before it had been changed. That is how the initial reservation had been confirmed. I saw no record of the reservation and I was not even able to comment on this negative experience with this guest to warn other Airbnb hosts about this incident.

More facts: the guest cancelled his reservation without paying anything (as far as I know from Airbnb emails). He complained my place was cold and not safe while there was central heating; I told him upon arrival that it was set to 68 degrees. Other previous guests felt it was warm and comfortable but he thought differently. They broke a vase and left something red dripping on the floor and the carpet (partially wiped off on the concrete floor side but I can still see the red color; red bloody dots on the carpet are clear and visible). It is hard to tell if it was a red drink or blood but it’s certainly disgusting.

That night was loud and noisy. I am not sure if Airbnb can and will send any payment to cover the one night plus the cost of the broken vase, but I am not hoping for much. I removed my listings. I had another experience with a German guest, who broke the bathroom handle. The German guest paid $50 in damage fees but it turned out to be an $800 cost to change out the complete bathroom set. Of course I complained to Airbnb afterwards with nothing being done.

Conclusion: Airbnb is not doing what they are responsible for, keeping hosts safe and protected. Hosts are left vulnerable by any illegal actions committed by the guest and may become responsible or punished for other people’s wrongdoings. Guests who should not belong to Airbnb community cannot be checked and verified properly through the website.

Distributor Kept us Awake in this Loud NYC Airbnb

This was my first experience with Airbnb, traveling with my sisters and daughter to New York City. We thought renting an Airbnb so everyone could have their own rooms would be a great idea. The host would not give us the exact address until three days prior to our stay, yet her refund policy was strict: no refund for a cancellation within seven days of a stay. The reviews on this Airbnb were all positive and there was no mention of noise from a water bottle distributor under the apartment windows… until two months prior to my stay. I have stayed in many cities (none using Airbnb) and know that they can be noisy, but all four of us felt like we were sleeping on the streets that night. To top it off, the water bottle distributor began operations at 4:00 AM, with fork lifts going forward and backwards (including beeping) from then throughout the morning. No one in my party received more than a few hours of sleep that night. So as not to ruin our entire vacation we contacted the host and said we could not stay because of the noise, which was not mentioned anywhere in her post. The host would not negotiate any refund whatsoever. In order to save our vacation and get some sleep we were forced to vacate and move to a hotel for the remaining three nights of our New York trip. My next step was to contact Airbnb. They took my comments and I sent some photos of the window air conditioner that had openings to the outdoors and the street view of the water bottling company next door. After a brief review of the situation, Airbnb denied my request for three nights’ reimbursement. In a hotel one has the ability to change rooms if one isn’t satisfactory. There is no such option with an Airbnb. I will never use Airbnb again.

Disney World Christmas Turned into Airbnb Hell

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My story doesn’t have any funny part at all. Actually it’s a disappointing and shocking one. This December my family and I decided to go on vacation to Orlando for Christmas because we thought it will be nice to go to Disney World for the holidays; we were looking for places to stay and I had heard about Airbnb before. This was not the first time we traveled; we have had the chance to do it often. In any case, we decided to make a reservation through Airbnb with Glasstone Vacations, from December 17th to the 28th, but the reservation was made from November 17th to the 28th. We made a mistake and we accept that, due to the excitement and everything I didn’t realize the month said November and not December. We didn’t realize that the dates were wrong until I got an automatic message the 28th asking me about my experience. You can imagine my surprise when I got that message because my reservation was meant to be from December 17th to the 28th.

As soon as I got that message I messaged the host and told her that my reservation was meant to be in December, not November. I got no reply, then I tried to call her. I called around five times and no one answered the phone, so I decided to call Airbnb. I kept calling Airbnb for at least an hour until someone finally picked up, but I didn’t get any solution. What I was told by my case manager was that he was gonna talk to the host to help me. This is the second week already and I still don’t have any solution, but it actually gets worst. The reservation was for 11 days at a house, the price of the house is more than 2500 dollars, and among my family there is a kid (my brother) and a pregnant woman (my sister). I needed to get this fixed because we had no place to stay. I was waiting for an answer about the money but no one was giving me a solution.

I kept calling Airbnb. Their answers so far have just been “we are sorry, we will contact you soon”, “wait for an answer”, “you have to wait for your case manager”, and a bunch of other excuses. I talked to my case manager on Monday (last week) and he told me he was going to be out of the office for two days. Of course I was supposed to get an answer by Wednesday, but I called Airbnb again and he was nowhere to be found. I don’t know if anyone has had the same issues with case managers but honestly he was no help. On Thursday I got an email from him saying that he will contact my host again. It had been four days, but I was trying to be patient and fix this so I agreed. I also talked to my host from Glasstone Vacations and she said that she needed to talk to the people from Airbnb.

The thing is that I still haven’t had an answer from Airbnb and it turns out that the host sent me a message saying: “We are just going to give you the cleaning service money back because you didn’t use the house, but the rest of the money you are not getting it back.” So you are telling me that you are just gonna take more than 2500 dollars from someone just like that! Without me using the house or anything? I was trying to find a solution that will work for both parties so I proposed that my host reschedule the visit; I didn’t want my money back, I just simply didn’t wanna lose all my money. I even told Airbnb and the host that if I have to pay a fee and don’t get 100% of my money back it’s ok, but I can’t just lose more than 2500 dollars. However, my host didn’t agree to any of this. She clearly wasn’t interested in trying to help me. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been robbed face to face.

I called Airbnb again and talked to a different person. I just keep explaining my case to every single person I talk to and I am not getting any real answer or help. Glasstone Vacations is definitely a horrible company to rent from and Airbnb is not helping at all either. I already asked for a different case manager but they look like they don’t care and just want the case to go cold. Well, I am not going to give up. I need my money back and I am telling my story so people don’t fall into this situation. I will never in my entire life recommend Glasstone Vacations and Airbnb. The first one just robbed me and the second one is no help at all. Glasstone Vacations said that “they already paid the owner.” Clearly they just don’t wanna give me my money back or provide any other option. They just care about their own benefits and that means to get money from someone who didn’t even stay at the house.

I Wish I Stopped Trying to Contact Airbnb

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I work about 12 hours a day, 6 days a week dealing with rude people with a lack of common sense. So I thought, “Hey, you deserve a vacation!” I chose Seattle. I had my flight ready, which I found at a cheap price. I was able to find a city pass voucher to see all the tourist hotspots in downtown Seattle. All I needed was a reasonable place to stay. I had heard good things about Airbnb. All the photos posted and advertised “as seen on social media” made me think people stay for a good price. So why not? I found a very cheap home in downtown Seattle. The host sent me an email about a smooth approval. All was charged and everything was good. I even got a few emails about my stay was coming up. I set my entire itinerary solely around this place, even calculating how much Lyft was going to be versus a rental car. Luckily it was so close I didn’t have to spend more than $5 for each Lyft ride. Sounds like a dream right?

Wrong. I showed up at the Airbnb at 3:15. I called and called for over an hour. I even banged on the gate… nothing. I went to a local cafe to continue to call and call. Nothing. I left voicemails, texts, Airbnb messages and received no response. No answer. I contacted and searched all over the Airbnb website for any type of help. Nothing. I finally came across a forum with their 855 number. I called so many times. I was on hold for 30 minutes after the automated button pushing. At this point it was 8:00 PM and I had literally been trying to reach someone for three hours. I got desperate and booked whatever I found. I went there, checked in, and continued to call and call. Nothing. I contacted the hosts on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. No answer. I gave up contacting the host and Airbnb. I accepted defeat.

At 10:23 PM some useless “case manager” named Bill came to the rescue… or did he? He is the textbook definition of a 45-year-old dude that lives in his mother’s basement. He seriously couldn’t care less about helping people. He had the audacity to tell me that he didn’t believe me after I told him I had been trying to reach Airbnb. His customer service skills were equivalent to those of an Emo child at hot topic not accepting your return. He stated he was giving me a full refund and reimbursing me for the hotel I had to book at the last minute. I’m currently here at my hotel, writing this and praying I actually do get a refund. Here are some nice pictures that prove Airbnb is a waste of time. Seriously, book at your own risk.

Leaky Roof: Beware of Airbnb Host in Miami

Stay away from a host called Vinod advertising on Airbnb in Miami, Florida. Having used Airbnb for a bunch of stays during 2016, the last one was terrible. There was a leaky roof that stained the sofa, and cockroaches, slugs, and ants infested the condo. Collection bills were piled so high in the mail box the mailman delivered armfuls to the condo. I bought pest spray and tried to control the issue. When I contacted the Airbnb Helpline, they were anything but helpful and charged me $500 so Vinod could fix his “leaky” roof claiming I made the condo sofa dirty and stained. He claimed no knowledge of the bugs crawling around. Was it coincidence the sofa was positioned under the leaking roof and he claimed I did it? Well, Airbnb sided with him and charged my credit card for damages. Consumer protection – I don’t think so!

No Apartment and No Money Thanks to Airbnb

After this experience, I contacted Airbnb by telephone. I sent them documents, data and evidences of the scam I experienced through the company. I still noticed that there were ads on Airbnb pages that follow the same strategy to persuade customers to book on behalf of the corporation.

On Saturday, November 12th, I logged in to Airbnb to search for an apartment. When I booked one, I received an email telling me that they were not able to verify my payment method (which was true because I had not yet updated my profile on their system) and they advised me that if I did not do it within 48 hours the account would be suspended and I could not book an apartment through them. They informed to me to verify the method of payment, and I had to send them my full name, address, expiration date, and the last four digits of my debit card. I also added a statement from my bank with sensitive data like my account number.

Someone sent me emails at the same moment I visited Airbnb and they also asked me about verifying my account. It sounded true. In addition, I had not still updated the method of payment on the application. On the other hand, searching Airbnb, I saw an apartment in New York for January 4-7, 2017, near Central Park and Times Square. The apartment, whose host was called Tammy (attached picture), was interested in us and we read the information given that they only accept bookings through WhatsApp, at the number indicated on the Airbnb website. This was something that initially did not seem dubious because we had heard that Airbnb was a very safe and reliable company, according to friends and acquaintances. When I contacted the host by WhatsApp, she told me that she would send me a pre-approval email with all what I had to do (attached image). There, I could read about how to send money (Western Union) and where I had to forward the payment confirmation by email to Tammy (tammy_bangle@yahoo.es) and to Airbnb (automated@airbnb.com; same domain as the website, something that made me trust the email). On Tuesday, November 15th, at 7:45 AM, I sent the transfer and exchanged messages through WhatsApp with the host. Obviously, it was a scam.

Condo in Beautiful Hawaii Filled with Bed Bugs

I went on vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii recently. I booked four nights at the Kona Islander Inn in Kona. The host’s name is Ann, who is from the Seattle area. From the very beginning I should have known better to rent from her. Upon my initial booking back in September she did not greet me in any way, shape or form as a host. That was a huge red flag right there: no communication. I checked in on November 18th, 2016. On the second morning I woke up with bed bug bites on my arm. I contacted Ann about the situation, and sent photos of the bite marks as well. Her response was: “They do not look like bed bug bites; I have never had any problems before and I keep my condo so amazingly clean it’s not even possible for there to be bed bugs.”

Her strategy about this entire situation was to simply deny, deny, deny. Not getting any honest information from Ann, I went and talked with the lady working at the front desk that morning. I asked if there have been problems with bed bugs at this condo complex, she informed me there have. At this point, I informed Ann I was checking out of the unit and expected a refund for this awful experience. So I checked out, washed all my clothes at a laundromat for two hours, and spent another two hours trying to find new accommodations. The only thing in my price range I could find was a run-down hostel about a half mile from where I was staying. Dealing with this bed bug situation ruined my entire plans for that day, one of the very last days of my trip.

I requested a full refund for all reasons stated above through the Airbnb Resolution Center. Ann’s response, once again, was to simply deny any problem existed, that she kept her condo very clean, and stated she was not refunding my money. Now I have petitioned Airbnb to intervene to get my money back from this money-grubbing host who does not care one bit about her guests. Her unit is #142 of the Kona Islander Inn in Kona, Hawaii. Also check out the overall Yelp reviews of the Kona Islander Inn; they’re really horrible.

Terrible Experiences and Service from Airbnb

I’ve now used Airbnb three times and each time was a nightmare. The first time, the house had no heater and we froze. I left the host a note, but being a nice guy, chose not to review them. The second was in a lovely location, but the unit was dirty and had safety issues. Worst of all, it was built into a garage full of automotive parts and old cars; it smelled of oil and gasoline. My wife has a serious medical condition that is severely impacted by strong chemical smells. We contacted the host and cancelled the rest of our stay and had to find a hotel, which ended up costing a lot more. The third time, I contacted the host in advance and told them about my wife’s condition. I was given assurances that the rental did not have chemical smells and was told to expect an upscale luxury retreat in a great location. When we arrived (after eight hours of driving) the condo complex was a dive, with sketchy people standing outside smoking, nestled between two freeway overpasses. The real issue was that when we went inside, there were strong air freshener smells that immediately made my wife ill. Throwing open the window flooded the place with foul mold smells from the sprinkler system and smoke from the shady guys outside. I contacted the owner, who started to deny all of it, but then apologized and told me to take it up with Airbnb. I will say her taste in decorations was very nice, but I had to find a different place for us to stay again. Once again, it ended up costing me a lot more. I’ve been battling with Airbnb customer service ever since. I did manage to get my money back, but conversations about compensation for my extra lodging has (which one agent promised me) have gone nowhere and I never receive the calls they promise me.