Hawaii Vacation Turned Nightmare with Bed Bugs

Let me start off my saying I am not usually a complainer. I like to think of myself as someone who goes with the flow. However, a week into my three-month long stay at an Airbnb in Honolulu, I found myself turning into someone who wants to raise hell.

I woke up with lots of tiny red, itchy dots on my arms. I thought maybe I had gotten bitten during my run in the park the previous day. I waited a day or two but they only got worse. Around this time I also started noticing tiny black specks on my sheets and pillows. I did some investigating and found out that these could be bed bug fecal stains (gross, right).

I contacted my host who told me to go to the doctor and see what they said about my bites. I went to the urgent care down the street to pay $40 to have some idiot look at my arms for five seconds and told me it was a rash. I knew it wasn’t a rash at this point because I have sensitive skin and get rashes quite frequently. This is when I decided to try and contact Airbnb, and subsequently put myself through customer service hell.

I contacted Airbnb about this bedbug problem on March 2. It is currently March 11 and I am sitting in a hotel, still with no answer about this problem. The first person assigned to my case was the most unresponsive customer service agent I have ever experienced. He would take hours, sometimes even days to respond, with only vague responses.

I called a few days later requesting a new case agent and was told that someone was already working on my case. I called almost 3-4 times a day for the next few days until someone said they could take over my case. They told me that he was supposed to have transferred my case to a new agent after his shift was over, but instead left it to be handled by no one.

It’s now been a week of me getting bitten every single night. My physical and mental health are both plummeting. I have bites on my arms, hands, back, and even my face. On March 10, I finally found two bed bugs. Up until now I was getting bitten and saw stains but couldn’t see the actual bugs. An exterminator, who I had to call, came later that night and was able to confirm that it was bed bugs.

Mind you, this is a long term rental from Feb. 15 – May 15. My friend and I are currently without somewhere to stay for about another two months. Airbnb has constantly changed what they said they will reimburse and has refused to tell us if they will put us somewhere new. They won’t even tell us how much of a refund we will be getting.

I honestly don’t even want to stay at another Airbnb because of how they have treated us but I guess that would be better than living out of our car. I can never get in touch with the person actually working my case and whenever I call they say that they’ll tell the case manager to call me back. Have they ever actually called me back? You guessed it, nope. This has been ongoing for almost two weeks at this point with no end in sight. Airbnb hell indeed.

Airbnb Host Refuses to Believe Her Property Has Spiders

I thought I would share a recent Airbnb story which has made me decide I will never use the app again. My partner and I booked into a lovely place recently that was part of a series of different units. It had great reviews and was set in a beautiful setting.

When we arrived the place was well set-up and clean. The only issue was that there were quite a lot of cobwebs around, particularly around the windows and furniture —like a lot. My partner dutifully picked up the broom and began cleaning the place of cobwebs. Other than that, our stay was very enjoyable. We didn’t think it was a big deal to clean them up; we figured they may just have been missed in cleaning since properties are just opening up again after COVID-19 lockdowns.

After our stay we made sure that the place was clean and tidy and left a very positive public review on Airbnb. We received positive public feedback from our host who said we were wonderful and clean and would be happy to have us back. We did make use of the private feedback option, and just noted that there were a lot of cobwebs around appliances, corners, furniture, light fixtures and windows. We chose not to say this publicly because we really liked the place and just wanted to support them for the future.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we stayed again but in a different unit. Again, lovely place and looked clean, well-set up and beautifully designed, I actually liked this unit better than the first one. But there were cobwebs everywhere again. This time, however, there were also lots of spiders. I don’t mean just a couple of them or little ones. I mean big black nasty ones. I think we killed over 30 and they kept coming out of places. We cleaned up the cobwebs and kept trying to kill the spiders, but when they began dropping from the ceiling through cracks we just couldn’t manage it.

In the middle of dinner, we messaged our host saying we were having issues. The host turned up with their partner, and immediately accused us of lying. They said our private feedback about the cobwebs was a lie (it wasn’t) and accused us of lying again about the spiders and cobwebs in this place. At this point my partner got heated up and they began arguing and he showed her all the cobwebs we still hadn’t cleaned as well as all the spiders we had killed.

She continued to accuse us of lying and then began to say that we just weren’t the right people for the property. Multiple times we said we wouldn’t lie about something like this especially at 8:00 PM where we have nowhere else to go, and that we had used up two cans of spider spray already trying to kill them. She kept referring back to the private feedback and even printed it out to show us and say we were lying about cleaning up the cobwebs in the first place. She also kept saying that since no one else ever had a problem we must surely be lying.

We were so confounded. If she was that upset about private feedback why the hell would she book us again? Luckily her partner was very kind and wanted to help us, and enabled us to move to the property we first stayed in which was clean and spider free. The host, however, made it clear she didn’t want us there at all and I assume would have rather we left altogether. She ended up leaving the property and slamming the door behind her, and it was her partner who helped us out.

Our mistake? I’m guessing we should have taken photos rather than clean it up ourselves both times. We cleaned it up the first time because we figured it wasn’t a big deal to do so, but just left feedback about it. We should have also not cleaned the property at all the second time, and instead taken photos and messaged the host first and showed her where all the spiders and cobwebs were. We made the mistake both times of not taking photos. In our naivety, we didn’t realize how important that would be.

As a result, we haven’t made a report to Airbnb because we just don’t have any evidence at this stage, and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I am just in shock by her behavior. We weren’t trying to cause trouble. We genuinely loved the place apart from this issue (who wants to sleep with spiders dropping on their head?), and our first public review of the place was overwhelmingly positive.

After this experience I won’t go near Airbnb. Hosts have way too much power, and I just couldn’t believe how she was yelling at us and accusing of us of lying. It was unbelievable.

Airbnb Horror with Cockroach Infestation

We booked an Airbnb for a few weeks in Florida. It cost over $2,000 total. On the first day we found one dead cockroach; we didn’t panic, but contacted the host to let her know.

The second day there were multiple live cockroaches. We contacted the host again, which is when we found out she lives in Europe, and is six hours ahead. She admitted she was late on her monthly exterminatory spray for vermin.

After finding the live cockroaches, we realized we may be in bigger trouble than we thought on the first day. We begin to search around the house more in depth to see dozens of dead cockroaches, cockroach poop, cockroach limbs and antennas in the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces.

We found old garbage from the previous owner, a carton of ice cream, old water bottles, used tissues underneath the bed (so now we realize what attracted all the cockroaches). The old garbage and ice cream, combined with the great irresponsibility of our negligent and absentee and mentally unwell host forgetting to book her monthly exterminatory sprays on time, ended up with a cockroach infestation.

The host completely stopped talking to us at that point, and in her review later on claimed I was “rude” and “confrontational” when I told her the severity of the issue. I suppose I should’ve been nicer and more polite that she had $2,300 of my money, didn’t answer my messages, had old garbage and an unclean residence, a cockroach infestation, and cockroach poop in the bedrooms.

It was the final straw when I went to brush my teeth at 7:00 AM and a cockroach and four baby cockroaches came out of the drain in the sink. I really loved having cockroaches three inches from my face first thing in the morning. We had to leave the place two weeks before our departure date.

Of course Airbnb did nothing to help us and got us a grand total of $0 in refunds for the time we spent there. Every Airbnb “specialist” just sent generic responses, sending me the same link ten different times to its Guest Refund Policy that I already cited to them in the initial messages. They also said “We want to get your side of the story” — three messages in a row after I repeatedly and clearly shared my story with them.

It’s a total waste of time; they don’t care about people at all and just want money. I am so glad I will never have to use Airbnb again. Just cut your losses and stay at a hotel. I would share the link of the listing, but I am incredibly confident this host and her condo are so incompetent, disgusting, and terrible that they will run their business to the ground on their own.

Airbnb Nightmare From Lack of Basic Amenities

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We checked into a property for Airbnb. We immediately noticed black mold covering the entire HVAC system and surrounding closet within the interior of the property. The semi-attached townhome was completely filthy from top to bottom. There were dead dried up lizard carcasses spread throughout the interior. The property pool (regular sized hot-tub) was actually bone dry for our Saturday check in. It remained in that very same condition even after its weekly scheduled maintenance appointment.

The property management company really knows how to roll out the red carpet for their guests. The online photographs were enhanced tremendously. This property is off a very busy noisy traffic congested main boulevard that was conveniently cut out of all the photographs that were provided on Airbnb. We reached out to them directly, to no avail. We did not stay at there, not even for one minute. Three days had passed with no communication.

We then contacted Airbnb regarding these issues, when the property rep reached out to us. We waited at the property for over an hour on Tuesday until maintenance arrived. The maintenance rep provided two solutions: paint over the dangerous black mole spores located inside the HVAC closet and have their cleaning crew re-clean or we could take the other townhouse located next door.

At first glance, the semi-attached townhouse was 100 times better. It had an actual adult size pool, boat dock, terra-cotta floors throughout, an amazing emerald color large comfortable anthropology sofa, and an actual neighbor instead of a busy road. I took it without hesitation, not realizing I would be wasting five days cleaning up the property’s exterior from a previous Airbnb guest that entertained huge house parties (fun fact supplied courtesy by delightful neighbor).

Besides the overgrown non-maintained wet lands you will also find empty and full bottles of alcoholic beverages throughout the property exterior. What prompted the cleanup, you ask? While spending time at the pool the first day at the property, a huge rodent (rat) ran right by me. That very same night we saw several mice jumping over the fence, raising my blood pressure even more. I just dealt with it. I had even primed the pool pump and cleaned out the filter, which should have been done prior to my arrival.

Unauthorized people are just letting themselves onto the property, opening the backyard gate and walking in totally ignoring me but once confronted they run away. I’ve rented this property for a month and what privacy do I get? These trespassers are jeopardizing the wellbeing of my beloved pooch from escaping. They are trespassing on private property and leaving the backyard fence open while doing so.

I forgot to include that the property was just sold a day prior to my arrival. The new home owner just loves their new property so much. Now I have my very own paparazzi. A lot of creepy drive bys. They even stalk the las townhome from the parking lot across the intercostal in their tinted out black Cadillac Escalade (thanks law enforcement).

Every room is a adored with a beautiful Amazon FireTV for your enjoyment. It’s a pity that they aren’t functional. Why, you ask? Apparently the house doesn’t have its own Internet provider anymore. The internet was canceled back in May. So management is stealing wifi from another client at the property but not doing a very good job at it. Granted, there are cinderblock walls separating the two different attached townhome properties which is not allowing the wifi to penetrate.

Don’t you worry: the sound from next door penetrates perfectly, very life like, It’s like the other Airbnb guest’s huge dogs are barking in your very own living room. In addition, whoever had setup the Netgear extenders didn’t follow the proper installation procedure. I am not even able to order Internet or my own hotspot, as retailers are only allowing online orders, not in-store purchases. We are not allowed to have anything delivered to this Airbnb.

Why should I absorb additional costs after spending over $6,000 on this Airbnb? I forgot to mention they limit you on how much time you can spend in your own private pool that is located on the property that you’re renting. No swimming after 10:00 PM. What’s next? No swimming after a meal? They also forgot to include that tidbit on their Airbnb listing.

They also forgot to mention that during high tide or any sort of rain that the street located right in front of the property becomes another intercostal. So Leave the GTC Lusso garaged and bring the G-wagon instead. You’ll have no trouble fitting it perfectly within the garage. The same cannot be said about the other garage because it’s filled with old appliances and junk.

I’ve been in constant contact with the rep, but nothing ever gets accomplished. She is constantly passing the buck and has absolutely no follow through. If you ever get her on the phone she would first deny it’s her and then say it is once she decides that she’ll help you without even trying to disguise her voice.

I’m still at the property. There’s 10 days to go without any TV or functional wifi signal attached to a internet provider. I’ll just spend my time writing truthful reviews that will help others until the host or anyone from the management company resolves the ongoing issues at the property.

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Fleas, Cockroaches, and a Late Check-in

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These Airbnb hosts made us wait an hour and a half after our check-in time to actually let us check in. Our dog caught fleas and there were live cockroaches, dirty floors, and a slimy shower. The hosts actually admitted to all of this. They said we broke their blinds when we never touched them and tried to charge us for it. They said I never paid the pet fee which is insane because we texted them like a month before our trip to pay it but they never responded to let us pay.

I reported all of this to Airbnb to which they sided with the hosts even with all this proof. They said they must stick to their guest policy and sent me a link. I went through the policy and showed that it said less than 24 hours after the trip ends, you can get a refund worked out. I told them if they want to stick to their refund policy then they should take the time to read their own policy and circled where it said that they would work out a refund less than 24 hours after a stay. Then I showed them that I messaged them in less than 24 hours.

The person I was speaking to said that it stated “24 hours before.” I zoomed in and screenshotted where it said “after,” circled it, and sent it to her again. They closed the case.

Airbnb Doesn’t Care About Mice, Apparently

My child and I were supposed to stay June 21-22 at this Airbnb property for  a bit over $1100, the price of a 5-star hotel. The first night we woke up at 4:00 AM from mice crawling on us. My child screamed and threw a mouse on the floor from his bedsheets. Mice in Colorado carry the deadly Hantavirus.

We packed immediately and left. While I was putting the luggage in the car a mouse jumped out of my suitcase and landed on the ground. I was able to take a picture of it. When we  got to an area where there was cell phone coverage I contacted the owner. She started screaming at me that I was crazy and that there were no mice. She expressed no concern about our safety and well being.

I cancelled our reservation online and sent an email to Airbnb. I called them immediately and stayed on hold for several hours without them answering. I tried to call them for the next several days as well to no avail. We slept in a hotel. The host refused to give me any kind of refund.

After a month I complained to the Better Business Bureau and finally Airbnb replied. They pretended to the take the matter seriously and looked at the mouse picture and the receipt from the hotel . They said that the host did not want to issue a refund and there was nothing they could do. They sent me $50 back out of the $1500 that I paid, a “refund of the cleaning fee.”

I asked them if this meant I had to stay with my child at the Airbnb property with mice crawling on us and they said we had to leave but they would not issue any refund.

Even with Roaches, Guest not Sure Who to be Upset with

blankThis isn’t a clear cut black and white Airbnb horror story. There are some things I should have been more aggressive on, but in the middle of a pandemic I feel it fair not to be too aggressive because for all I know this could have been my host’s only source of income.

To begin, I walked in and the place was very much not clean. I was given a warning by my boyfriend, to which he felt the judgement call up to me. To be honest, my mind was on their cute little pig that met me at the door; he was so sweet.

I quickly looked around and noticed maybe one or two critters. It was no big deal; it’s getting warm and in Mississippi the critters start coming out. My boyfriend is definitely a city boy so he freaks out about everything. I messaged the host telling her exactly that.

However, I was wrong. It wasn’t until really late into the night that more started coming out and they were huge. That’s when I really looked at the place. The kitchen sink wasn’t cleaned (why did I pay a cleaning fee?) and under the bed/chairs/sink there were enough either droppings or roach body parts. I was disgusted.

We couldn’t find a place to book that late at night so we were stuck one night. I kept joking that my cat would defend us from the roaches while we slept (I couldn’t sleep that night). The next morning we were trying to get out to the Marriott that I booked. The pig says good bye on the way out (he really was a sweet pig and I’ve never seen a pig run to me until that day).

The host at least refunded me for the other days, and as for the cleaning fee I wasn’t very aggressive because as I’ve said before I’m not sure if this is their only source of income. They also let me bring my cat without putting in a pet deposit.

I contacted Airbnb later about the service fee (possibly the cleaning fee) that night because trying to get settled into a new place last minute had its own issues. I will admit I wasn’t very aggressive with it; maybe it’s because during all this pandemic I feel like that isn’t what the world needs right now.

Airbnb basically told me to f&%k off on the service fee and I definitely wasn’t getting the cleaning fee refunded. I should have checked with VBRO or nearby hotels, because most times with all the fees it ends up being more expensive than a Marriott. This was one of those times.

I’m not sure if I should be upset with the host, Airbnb, myself or anyone really. It’s up to you, are you willing to take the risk? Is the pig worth it?

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$3000/week “Green Home” Rental Came with Head Lice

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In mid-February 2020, a friend and I flew in from opposite coasts to rent a $3000/week Airbnb house in Scottsdale. The house was recently renovated and seemed clean; however, 7-10 days later, we each discovered we had contracted head lice.

We each live alone and for several months prior to this trip, we had been only in our own houses. Neither of us has ever had head lice before; we are 60+ years of age with no history of lodging complaints (baseless or otherwise) against companies or Airbnb.

I contacted the property management company and Airbnb, and was told: the house was clean; we could not prove we’d contracted lice from this rental; and we needed to file a complaint within 24 hours of the stay. Obviously, this is hard to do with a pest infestation for which it takes 7-10 days to show symptoms.

Other than responding to my email, Airbnb has put zero effort into investigating this complaint. Why is the burden of proof on us when two people who live on opposite sides of the country contract head lice within two weeks of staying together at the same property?

Seriously, other people are at risk of head lice infestations and Airbnb has an obligation to do more.

Friday the 13th Airbnb Spider Nightmare

It was Friday the 13th and my husband, our two friends, and I took a weekend trip up to Maine for a relaxing, fun getaway. After driving for three hours we reached our destination way out in the wilderness. We arrived after dark to the cabin style house and started getting settled. We hung out for a while and made dinner using the outside grill.

One of our friends was exploring the property around the house when he called for us to come over to look at a massive spider web he found on a tree next to the house. We looked in the tree and located what looked like a large brown recluse spider. We knew since we were out in the wilderness that it was probably common to run across this kind of arachnid outside.

We continued to hang out and we were watching Friday the 13th since it happened to be on TV that night. Hours passed and we decided it was time to call it a night, so we all started getting ready for bed. After using the bathroom I went over to the sink to wash my hands when all of a sudden I was interrupted by a huge brown recluse spider sitting in the middle of the sink.

I immediately froze and screamed for someone to help kill it. I was horrified and started to feel like maybe this spider was not alone. I have never seen a spider that big. My friend came into the bathroom to kill the spider when I heard my husband yell from the bedroom. He said he had a huge spider crawling up his back when he laid down in the bed.

We ran into the bedroom to find the dead brown recluse spider that my husband had just killed laying on the bed. I was no longer tired and frankly creeped out. There was no way I was sharing my bed with a huge spider that is potentially poisonous. I told everyone that we needed to pack up and leave immediately because at the rate we were coming across these spiders, that most likely meant there would be more.

We called the few hotels that were in the area, but there were no vacancies. We were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and it was 2:00 AM. As we were packing up to leave, we noticed that there were lots of brown recluse spiders crawling out of the wood rafters on the ceiling so we hurried out of there as fast as we could.

We decided to try to sleep in the SUV rental which was our only option at that time, but it was extremely uncomfortable and none of us could sleep because of the nightmare we had just experienced. We came to a conclusion that it made more sense for us to just drive the three hours home since we had no place to stay.

We drove through the night and finally returned home to get some well-needed rest. We could not believe what we had just experienced and how it felt almost like we were in a horror film. Also it was very eerie that it just happened to take place on Friday the 13th. Anyway we reported the issue to Airbnb and were compensated.

Complete Dump Misrepresented on Airbnb

The Airbnb house was infested with rodents. This was not a mild problem. There were multiple rodent droppings in the cupboards inside the pots and pans, strainers, tupperware, etc. I discovered new droppings in the pantry on our second morning (where we were keeping our food). The host had to provide us with large plastic bins to safely store our food and protect it from rodents. Droppings were littered under the refrigerator.

The house needs major repairs. The deck is completely rotten and unsafe to walk on with the second floor railing about to fall off. The septic system leaked sewer gas into the house when it rained or if we took a shower. We saw a pipe draining out of the side of the house with brown/soapy liquid that smelled like sewage, but can’t verify that it was. Smelled bad though.

The host does not present truthful information in the listing regarding handicapped accessibility. There are no bedrooms or bathrooms that are accessible without climbing stairs. There are also no railings on the stairs at all. I specifically asked the host about this because my elderly father was traveling with us and he needed an accessible bedroom and bathroom. The host assured me that there were accommodations for my father “on the main floor” but failed to mention that it involved climbing four stairs without a railing. I guess he just wanted to rent the house.

The dishwasher does not work. It is worn out and even after we got it to run through a cycle, it did not clean the dishes. The host sent a technician during our stay who was supposed to “order parts”. We were left with a moldy dish rack (yuck) so we could hand wash dishes. I complained and the host sent a new dish rack.

The pots and pans were so worn out and scraped up that the non-stick coating came off in our food. They were unusable. I complained and when a lady (his wife?) delivered us a new set of pans and told me “well, it’s just a rental”. People renting a $486/night “rental” have the right to expect a clean kitchen with usable appliances and cookware.

There was a waste can half full of moldy water underneath one of the downstairs sinks. The trap on the sink was a worn out rubber type that completely leaked. Obviously the host knew and just put a trashcan under it. It smelled bad and we poured out the moldy water. Again, $486/night.

Years ago this was probably a nice family home. Currently it needs major repairs and has health and safety issues. The host is misrepresenting it as “a truly magnificent meditation retreat” and even though Airbnb is now aware of this scam, they refuse to hold the owner accountable. They obviously make a lot of money from high end listings like this, even if guests are scammed and it’s a dump.