Airbnb ‘Guests’ Try to Force Their Way into a Stay

I had a couple try to book my place on Airbnb a day after the previous guests left. They said they were local and seemed desperate — which these days can mean homeless. Then came a bunch of weird stuff about adding guests which confirmed my suspicions. They tried to bypass Airbnb by promising to e-transfer a deposit. Happily they were unable to book as I had a day blocked between bookings.

Unfortunately they found my location on Google and showed up at my place on bicycles that turned out to be stolen. I had to use a baseball bat to make them leave. When they said they would call the police I called their bluff and told them to dial 911. They took off but left some of their stuff. I then called the police and gave them the woman’s first name.

In about ten seconds the officer showed me a picture on his phone and I said it was her. The next night she broke into my house through a window. She and I had another talk about baseball bats and she informed me that they were all going to stay and that that it would take me months to get them out. Back to the baseball bat.

Now here’s the good part. I checked the previous place they had booked on Airbnb and the host posted a review saying “quests were reluctant to move out when stay was over.”

Like an idiot, I decided to warn Airbnb about these slimeballs. I have pictures, case numbers, police reports of the break-in plus details of all the crimes including the stolen IDs left on my property. The moron I spoke to at Airbnb’s farcical parody of a help center immediately told me they had no way of verifying what I was reporting and then insisted on wasting my time by trying to look up the non-existent booking.

I finally got him to admit that they actually had a department that dealt with this and he put me on hold again for ten minutes while he conveyed his version of events. When he came back on the line he told me their security people would not talk to me without a booking reference and that they advised calling the police.

What a bloody waste of time. What an awful place Airbnb has become. I will never call for help again.

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No Support from Airbnb, Had to File Lawsuit

We booked a large three-bedroom apartment in Tel Aviv months before we departed. The host was friendly, but a week before our arrival he requested I cancel. I told him to cancel himself, which he did (and probably incurred a charge).

It was next to impossible to find an alternative in Tel Aviv in the peak season. In the end, we found a smaller place at a higher price. When I asked Airbnb to give me the details of the host so I could sue him for damages — after all, he defaulted on his contractual obligations — Airbnb was silent: no replies to emails or letters, even from my solicitor. We are now suing them. The suit is pending in the German courts.

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Guest Managed to Scam me through Airbnb

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I appear to have been scammed by a scammer through seemingly legitimate Airbnb channels. The guest – with zero reviews but six forms of verification booked and paid for three nights. On the day they were meant to leave she asked if she could extend for seven nights. I agreed and altered the booking.

The next day I found out the alteration had been rejected. I wasn’t told why. The guest is now on “free” night one. I immediately contacted the guest – I’m told they didn’t know why it was rejected but insisted they would reach out to Airbnb and make the payment.

The same day I received confirmation (email and message) from a legitimate Airbnb source saying a payment of £1400 was on its way and a description “extra service – extend stay until 28/09/2019″. So I was thinking, “Great… Airbnb have acknowledged it and I’ll get paid.”

The next day I got a message from Airbnb saying “payment is delayed.” The Guest was on “free” night number two. Two days later, after chasing Airbnb, I got a message saying payment could not be collected. The guest was on “free” night four… well, almost five since Airbnb support was based in the US so it was late in the UK.

On the fifth day, after all the failed attempts to get money from Airbnb, the guest told me they would transfer the money via bank transfer. I know it wasn’t what Airbnb wanted but I was running out of time to get anything from this guest before they left. She sent me a screenshot of the bank transfer and confirmation number. The money never actually went through and the guest left on day six.

Airbnb has been totally useless. The case has been passed to numerous people who ask the same questions over and over again. They’re simply staying the initial stay was three nights, which was paid and subsequent nights were done outside of Airbnb, which I don’t get.

As for the £1400 that they failed to collect for me for the extended stay, they accept they processed it and told me it was on the way but since they couldn’t collect the money, they’re wiping their hands clean. They were quick to point out that I’d attempted to do a transaction outside of Airbnb, in no way sympathetic to the fact I didn’t really have any other option.

The guest continued to communicate with me after she’d left. She argued that because she left early she should only pay £1200, not £1400. It was a bit strange because if it were a scam from the offset why even communicate after you’ve left? Anyway, that’s kind of irrelevant. There are a#$holes out there, I get it. What I don’t get and am annoyed about is how they were able to trick me via the official Airbnb channels.

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Airbnb’s Business Model Doesn’t Include Customer Service

It took one very bad weekend to learn that Airbnb is merely a platform and has nothing to do with customer service. I had a lapse in judgment and allowed young locals into my home because they agreed to abide by the rules and to forfeit their security deposit if they were noisy. After creating enough noise that I was alerted 3-4 times on my noise alert system, I asked Airbnb to cancel the reservation.

Airbnb wouldn’t do this because they don’t recognize any noise alert system as legitimate evidence and problems that exist only between the host and guest aren’t managed at all. If a neighbor calls the police, or complains, then it appears Airbnb may get involved since they have a dedicated page for neighbor complaints. The “case manager”, i.e., an untrained, uninformed, completely lacking in anything related to Airbnb policy, called my guest and made things far worse. She as much as told him that my noise alert system was bogus and I was probably being too picky.

Of course I got a text at 1:00 AM from a neighbor complaining of loud noise all night. My initial phone call to Airbnb support was at 6:00 AM and this “case manager” agreed to cancel the reservation and that the security deposit could be available if the guest broke house rules. By 2:00 PM, after numerous phone calls and texts, the “case manager” looked up the policy on noise only to find out there isn’t a policy on noise. Of course I could not use the security deposit for this problem.

My take away from this experience: governmental entities are at the top of the food chain for a company as massive as Airbnb. Without permission, Airbnb doesn’t exist. Collecting the tax money from guests is its highest priority. In regards to guests, Airbnb markets cater almost exclusively to millennials (yes, others use the site but marketing is geared to the 20-35 year olds). Airbnb could lose its supply of young guests very quickly if they made an issue about noise. The word would spread like wildfire on social media and leave the door open for another platform to pick up these customers.

Neighbors of Airbnb properties count, especially in huge centers like NYC, LA, and Chicago; too many complaints and the government entities may shut Airbnb down. Unless neighbors complain because of a very noisy vacation rental, the noise issue doesn’t exist for Airbnb.

In Airbnb’s business model, hosts are at the bottom of the food chain. We are easily replaceable 100% of the time. There will always be a steady supply of people willing to open their homes, rooms, or provide a sofa to make money. We simply don’t count for Airbnb other than as a place to keep their cash cows (guests) happy. I just learned this and honestly, if Airbnb would have been upfront with this, i.e. hosts don’t matter, I’d have done things differently. I would appreciate the platform, and the brutal honesty from Airbnb relative to hosts would save a lot of us time and money.

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Horrific Incompetence on Airbnb’s Part After Bed Bugs

A celebration was very quickly transformed into a monumental tragedy. Within a few hours of arriving to this home a part of our group was exposed to bed bugs, resulting in us all needing to take precautions to avoid further insult and injury. While Airbnb attempted to rectify the horrific experience, it was a impossible feat given that the second location we were taken to in their array of apartments also had bed bugs upon inspection.

One Airbnb representative was as understandable and kind as a person could be. Another attempted to remedy the situation and found a place to stay with another agency, but failed to inform them of entire situation putting us in a position to explain. They were obviously very upset and unhappy. We ultimately didn’t stay with Airbnb and fully blame them for their lack of a crisis plan, poor guidelines and policies and negligence. The company is not prepared for any such circumstance and believes it’s within its rights to keep our money despite what happened during our first partial night’s stay in one of their registered apartments.

The apartment we ultimately stayed in was not near the area we planned for, but was free of bed bugs so the bar was pretty low. Overall it was an awful experience that I would not wish on my enemies. To say the cost to our overall group far exceeded the cost of the apartment is a grand understatement to the tune of a few thousand dollars. I would stay away from Airbnb in Athens until they understand completely how to manage communal apartments for travelers. I would also implore you to look elsewhere to book a place. Airbnb is not experienced and negligent in their practices, especially given the fact that they admittedly asked us to go find a hotel that would be better equipped to handle “these types of situations”… I guess all hotel guests should be exposed to the pests they have no plan to deal with.

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Airbnb “Zen Haven” is Anything But Relaxing

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I stayed at a place called “Zen Haven” in Dallas. The night before my scheduled check out the host and an unidentified male forcibly tried to enter my unit with no notification. I heard the keypad being pressed, the door knob being turned and banging on the door. I ran to the door and opened it to find a very hostile and angry woman who asked me who I was. I told her that I was the Airbnb tenant. She said she was the owner and told me I should have been left already. She instructed me to get my belongs (that’s a nicer way of saying it) and leave her home immediately. I am not sure who the male was with her but he was also peering at me in a way that made me feel uneasy. I told her twice that I had the property for one more day and she said “NO” and told me to “Get out now!”

She proceeded to try to aggressively evict me for no reason other than her mistaken memory of my check out date. She was cursing and clearly agitated and I felt threatened for my safety. She stated they would both “wait right here” until I packed and got out. I apologized if I had made a mistake, gathered my things as fast as I could and stopped to double check my itinerary. It turns out the owner was in fact wrong. I did indeed have the unit until the next day just as I had stated. I went out to look for them and they were nowhere to be found.

I texted the host and there was no response after two texts and three phone calls. The owner still has not apologized or responded to my texts or phone calls and instead wrote lies about my character in reports to the Airbnb resolution center. Airbnb’s “safety center” left me hanging too; I could not get anyone one the phone. What she did is in fact illegal, not to mention that we are well beyond the ages for bullying age. In addition, upon entry I found a disgusting clogged shower drain. I had never seen anything like it in my life. I used disposable gloves to remove it and took a photo. I did text the host to just to let her know and she did not seem to believe me. Although Airbnb has apologized they do not provide customer service where it counts, in the form of some monetary compensation. They just give you a bunch of fake empathy.

Airbnb Account Hacked – Terrible Customer Service

I received numerous emails from Airbnb when waking up one morning. The first was a booking for a property in Indonesia. The second was a payment failed email. The third was a booking confirmation, and the fourth an email from Airbnb to say that my email address had been changed. It looked like whoever it was had booked a one-night stay for the coming weekend for £785 a night. Following the fourth email, I had emailed account.changes@airbnb.com immediately asking them to take urgent action. I tried to use the Airbnb website but without logging in it was useless; obviously my email had been changed because it said no email address was found when I used my own.

Five hours later, I was still waiting for a response from the account.changes@airbnb.com email address. I also called the UK helpline number, 0203 318 1111, which was unable to help or locate my account (despite having used Airbnb over a year ago now for two bookings) and asked me to email response@airbnb.com which I promptly did. However, I was just sent an automated Airbnb email saying the email had not reached Airbnb. This is completely outrageous! When you try to use their website to find contacts, it just loops you round in circles. Doesn’t it say something about such a big company when they are trying to avoid being contacted by their customers? I am in a catch-22 situation and boiling over at this moment in time, unsure of how I should proceed. If anyone has any advice out there, I would be grateful. It is an obvious statement but following this incident and once it has been resolved, I will never use Airbnb again.