Football Game Turned Disastrous for Host

What was supposed to be a routine family stay for one night with two adults and two children turned into a nightmare for me, the host. The guest booked was coming from out of town for the evening to attend a Monday night football game. He was supposed to be leaving early the next morning.

First of all, they could not follow check-in instructions and attempted to get in the wrong door, resulting in an angry phone call to me complaining that they could not get in. I realized they were at the wrong door and instructed them how to get in – no big deal really. The next day I went to change the bedding, towels, etc, and the first thing I noticed was water dripping off the counter in the kitchen, running into a cabinet and onto the floor. The entire counter was flooded and the coffee maker was plugged in and immersed in water. It was a Kuerig and was totally flooded with water. It was ruined and had tripped the circuit breaker.

Next I found all the bedding piled in the center of the bed. I removed it to find a peed up blanket, comforter, sheets, and mattress pad; even the mattress was soaked. I decided to tour the entire house at that point and found surprises in every room. My entire home had been ransacked and searched –
every room, every drawer, every cabinet and closet.

The heat upstairs was left on at nearly 80 degrees. An unfinished attic space was entered, ransacked, and the lights were left on. This was a room no one should have any reason to go into (I have now locked that room down). I went to get the vacuum out of the utility room, and it was broken. It looked like it was ridden as a toy – not used, but just abused. The plastic parts could not be repaired and it was now junk.

I opened the blinds on the patio door and noticed my awning was half extended. It wouldn’t operate anymore. The remote for it had been hanging on the wall behind a TV and it was laying on the counter. It was cold and dark out when the guest arrived and there would have been no reason to even use the awning. It appears to be ruined.

All the while, I have been trying to get an estimate to Airbnb for a resolution. I began taking pictures and documenting. Everything pointed to my final conclusion that the parents arrived with fast food and several canned and bottled alcoholic beverages, left their 12- and 6-year-olds unattended in my home, and headed for the game. What could possibly go wrong with that? Who takes their young children to a strange city, in a strange home, and leaves them alone?

All of the damages were done by the children, unknown to the parents. They later said they didn’t even know about a vacuum cleaner or an awning. Of course they didn’t – they weren’t even there. After finding several used K-cup pods, I also concluded that the kids had several cups of coffee before they broke it. Kids jacked up on coffee and left alone in a home…

I was emailed by Airbnb yesterday denying my claim in full even after providing proof, pictures, receipts, and the like. I have been in contact with them multiple times, the whole time thinking they would settle for something with their host guarantee. I originally asked for $2,500 and got nothing? It is evident that Airbnb will not honor their host guarantee even with unrefutable proof of loss. I am now working out of Airbnb Hell and looking for other options for my house so this doesn’t happen again.

Stranded With Young Children At Night In London

I booked a three-bedroom flat in Limehouse Basin on Airbnb about two months in advance of the stay. We were taking the three children to London as their Christmas present to visit Hamleys and do some sightseeing. We were in the taxi on our way to the flat when host suddenly cancelled the booking without warning, claiming the place had been ‘trashed’ by the previous guests. Amazingly this was only discovered at 4:00 in the afternoon. Airbnb did nothing whatsoever to help; they left me on hold for 15 minutes with a fast draining battery and wouldn’t answer messages or ring me back. You can imagine how we felt being stranded in central London, with three children under ten and the best Airbnb could do was offer an extra £30 and a link to the app. Be very very wary booking with Airbnb – their support and help has been non existent. I also discovered I couldn’t leave a review for the host (she has ten properties listed on Airbnb) to warn others.

Deceptive Profile Led to Being Charged for Damage

This is regarding the Airbnb apartment listed at this link. The profile is deceptive, making the property look big enough for four people without any clutter. Due to this deception, I booked this place, but it was hell to stay there and inevitably my son broke an exposed light bulb by his bed. I would have been happy to pay for that lightbulb, but I was charged an unreasonable amount of money.

The host also made a questionable claim that we spilled something on one of his cheap kitchen chairs. The host asked for $118 for damages that were at most approximately $8. It went to Airbnb mediation and they basically split the difference, charging me $68. It’s still extremely unreasonable for $8 worth of damage. Because this dispute was “mediated” by Airbnb I had no recourse. They took the money out of my account and I could not object. All Airbnb customers are vulnerable to this type of mistreatment.

Furthermore, before this verdict was handed down, I posted this review to protest the awful place:

“I was deceived by the 5-star reviews when I booked this [property]. I wish I had read the written reviews more carefully. Most mention negatives even when they gave five stars. This place was horrible. First, when I showed the address to Israelis they all told me that it is a dangerous neighborhood full of drugs, prostitution, crime, and gangs. There is graffiti, dog poop everywhere you walk, and trash blocking the sidewalks.

Second, the apartment was tiny. Profile pictures are deceptive, taken from angles that make it appear larger, and crammed with more furniture than shown in the photos and lots of junk everywhere. There was an exposed lightbulb next to the bench that served as my son’s bed. Inevitably my son bumped it and then the host tried to charge us a crazy amount for his damaged exposed lightbulb (more below).

There are no closets or drawers to put things. The only place to keep things is in your suitcase, but no floor space. So you need to hop over your suitcases whenever you cross the floor. When we complained, he said to put everything on a tiny box that already had his own junk on it. There is no parking since open spots are immediately filled in this dangerous, overcrowded neighborhood. When you try to stop in front, other cars start honking immediately.

We had to hike in and lug our stuff from a long way away. The profile mentions the climb, but fails to say that the staircase is very narrow, dirty and dark with weird wires and pipes sticking out. Dog poop on the floor. The shower is unusable because the water is always cold and splashes everywhere.

Worst of all, the host is a first class jerk. He falsely accused us of breaking “house rules” when we are very conscientious and followed the rules scrupulously. He falsely accused us of taking his remote control that we left in his apartment and tried to extort an exorbitant amount of money from us for a spill on a chair that I doubt was ours and his broken exposed lightbulb next to the bench my poor son had to sleep on. Read the other reviews before booking and don’t rely on the stars.”

Everything I wrote was true and no one disputed the facts. Nevertheless. Airbnb removed my review and wouldn’t allow me to post another one, so other people could be warned about how awful this place was. I suspect that this host’s good reviews are likely the result of all negative reviews getting purged. This brings into question the integrity of all Airbnb reviews, not just the integrity of those at this particular place.

Greed and Lies Win the Day Every Time with Airbnb

Airbnb prioritizes greed over ethics, morals and subverting the law. They have endangered the lives of our guests – a single mother with two young children late at night in foreign country. Airbnb purposely blocked all means of support to all involved. Then they lied to both parties. Their customer service routinely lies to both guests and hosts when it comes to dealing with issues. Airbnb always sides for themselves to unscrupulously take your money and prevent any sort of dialogue that leads to a resolution.

We have been ripped off by Airbnb on several occasions. The first incident was as new hosts. Airbnb made serious errors in instructing our staff setting up the new listings. The results were very damaging to us and our guests. Airbnb errors resulted in a double booking (they admitted technical issues due to an “upgrade”), yet immediately denied any responsibility. They refused to provide any assistance to us nor our guests. The results put the well being of a single mother with two young children at serious risk of further harm.

Airbnb refused to provide any effective assistance to us nor our two groups of guests. They could have easily contacted the guests before their flights to a foreign country (where they were then unreachable). We sent four staff by taxis to the airport and the resort. We alerted airport security and other valuable contacts to help us find our guests. I had found a much superior accommodation (at great personal costs) to provide for the two separate parties.

Instead an Airbnb “manager” blatantly lied to both myself and the guests during a three-way call, stating that it was our fault. The Airbnb manager continued to lie to all of us – stating that there was “no accommodation available”. This Airbnb manager continued to bully myself and staff threatening to penalize us and steal more money from us. Airbnb admitted their error then lied to the guests and stole our money. Eight months of effort – (we recorded an additional 72 lies by Airbnb staff about resolution, and promised compensation) have lead to us being bullied to exhaustion.

We put this aside until the most recent and third major incident of their lying to steal your and our money to put into their pockets already fat with money they have effectively stolen from other hosts and guests. Most recently a guest decide to leave in the middle of his stay to go to another resort where other family members were staying. The next day the guest made a false complaint to Airbnb that the power had failed (not true) and demanded a refund.

Airbnb was informed that the guest left without notice and that the claim of power failure was false. We even provided a free upgrade to my very superior two-story penthouse, and a free week any time they liked. The guests were more than pleased with this. Two weeks later – without notice – Airbnb stole all the rent money. We have spent over 65 hours – mostly on “1-2 minute” holds that averaged over 37 minutes. Always diverted to a wrong extension, that only resulted in them bullying myself and staff with further lies and threats of yet more penalties.

Airbnb has a culture of lying that has been promulgated by their senior executives: to steal as much money for themselves while making huge efforts to obstruct resolutions. Does anyone know the names and contacts of these senior executives and board members for service of legal documents? Does anyone else want to join the cause for truth, prevention of further abuse, bullying and illegal actions? I believe that a settlement at this point will only serve them to be able to continue to hide their very serious infractions. A court decision will be thus made public. Hosts, guests, staff, service providers and perhaps even the competition will find this valuable.

Two Last Minute Cancellations and a Noisy Apartment

Six weeks ahead of our family Christmas vacation to Peru, we booked two Airbnb listings. One was to be the same place twice for a total of five nights (with a short excursion to another place in between) and the others for a single night in Lima before leaving to go home. Fortunately, I had the sense to book a hotel for our first night in the country after getting off our international flight late at night and the hotels for our excursion were handled by our local guide.

Four days before our trip, our first reservation was cancelled. The host messaged me and said that he is new to Airbnb and didn’t know how the system worked, that he shouldn’t have confirmed the booking in the first place because he would be away leading a tour that week. Four days before our trip, we had no place for our family of seven to stay in a popular tourist destination during the holidays. The host was very unsympathetic to our situation.

We managed to find two separate bookings for the stay on either end of our stay, both at a higher rate than we’d originally had, and neither was an entire apartment like we had booked before. There were not any places left that were a single unit for a family. The first booking turned out to be a small local B&B that was nice and friendly, but not what we’d been planning on originally and at a higher cost.

While we were packing up to leave for our excursion, I got a message from our next host on the other end of the excursion that just said, “I’m sorry. Family emergency,” and the booking was cancelled. When this second one canceled for New Year’s weekend, I began to believe that they had found other folks willing to pay more or were giving the space to family or friends instead. I could be wrong. Maybe I’m just that unlucky. However, it was highly suspect.

Fortunately, the little B&B we were just preparing to leave had room for us and we were able to book privately with them and just take a refund from Airbnb on that second reservation, even though on their Airbnb page, it didn’t look like they had space that weekend. When we arrived to our last night’s location, I was very gun-shy about the whole Airbnb thing after the last minute cancellations. I had a little more hope for this place because the host was a “superhost”.

The host (who was listed as speaking English and Spanish and with whom I’d had conversations in English on Airbnb messaging) had informed me that he would be out of town while we were there and his sister would meet us and let us in. I called the sister immediately when we landed to confirm that were weren’t going to be left high and dry again. Both the host and his sister were very sweet, but his sister’s English was about as good as my Spanish, so we had a difficult time communicating.

The apartment was neat and clean, and we even had one more bed than expected. The neighborhood was a little sketchier than we expected and we had trouble finding a restaurant or grocery store because of our communication gap with the host’s sister. (Again, not her fault, but if the listing says the host speaks English, the host’s representative should too.) We managed to figure that all out, but our kids were shot by the end of the day and walking around trying to find food with three cranky kids in a foreign country is not exactly relaxing, to say the least.

That night, we decided to turn in early to reset for our last day in Lima. And at around 8:30 PM, a party started in the apartment downstairs. It seemed to be a child’s birthday party or something. There was little to no sound protection between apartments, and there were no fewer than a dozen loud voices loudly shouting and talking, including small children running around and screaming until just before midnight. I can certainly understand and tolerate some amount of kid noise. We knew there was a family downstairs in the apartment below us. But after spending the whole trip reminding my own kids about manners when there are other people in the building, the screaming children downstairs until midnight was inexcusable.

Our kids were crying because they were tired and couldn’t sleep with the noise. Our host was out of town, so I couldn’t communicate through messenger. My only recourse would be to call his sister at night and try to explain to her in my terrible Spanish what was happening and ask what to do about it. Since we were, admittedly, trying to turn in early that day, I figured I’d give them a little time. By around 10:30 PM, they quieted and we all breathed a sigh of relief… until a half hour later when they started back up. At this point, I didn’t want to call the host’s sister that late at night, so I went to Airbnb customer service who basically said, “Sorry. Should have video taped it. Hope you have a better experience next time.”

Next time? That’s cute, guys. After two last-minute cancellations on a family of seven over a holiday and a night of no sleep because of noisy neighbors at what was listed as a “quiet apartment”, there is no chance of there being a “next time”. In my tired, sleep deprived state, trying to comfort my kids to get them to sleep, video taping a party downstairs wasn’t exactly something that occurred to me to do.

There is no way Airbnb was worth the few dollars we saved. Save yourself the trouble and the headache of trying to book things last minute or the chance of getting super noisy neighbors and just book a hotel. Buy a Lonely Planet Guide for where you are headed, and check out TripAdvisor. That is how we always traveled in the past and that is how we will always travel in the future.

New Year’s Eve in New Orleans Cancellation

I booked a condo months in advance for my family near the French Quarter in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, as we were returning from a cruise that day. The listing had a normal price (not New Year’s Eve French Quarter pricing).

Three days before, host cancelled due to one of those rare plumbing problems that can’t be fixed within three days. I spent the last day of my cruise on the computer, trying to figure out an alternate plan with everything nearby booked up. With no luck and $500 a person to change flight dates, I rented a one-way car and set out to drive home. I’ll spend New Year’s 2018 with my kids in a motel on I-55.

The best part is, with my reservation canceled, there is literally no way to leave a review for either the host or his listing and no way to complain to Airbnb other than generic website feedback. Maybe the plumbing problem is real (who knows?) but why should a situation like that not be allowed to be noted in the reviews? I can tell you my first Airbnb experience will also be my last, and I wish the host and his plumbing anything but a prosperous New Year. Cheers to all from the Motel 6!

Airbnb Stay Literally Killed my Husband

In December 2015 my husband, our two young children, and I decided to holiday in Malta. We decided we should give Airbnb a go because at least we would have our own pool and jacuzzi. The stay was fine; the farmhouse was cold and took nearly a week to warm the rooms. Also, the jacuzzi was on the cold side. Looking back I realized this property was probably empty for a few months as it wasn’t high season.

On our return to London my husband started feeling very unwell. Within one week he was in a coma. The following week he was dead. The tests came back that it was Legionella from the jacuzzi. I have lawyers on the case but apart from Airbnb calling me from San Francisco and reimbursing me the fee, I have heard nothing.

My husband was 45 and I’m left with two children to raise alone. We had to move from London; we’ve lost everything. I’ve moved back to New Zealand to be close to my family, so our life has had a full shake up, I’m finding it difficult to get work in my field and am living with a brother who turns out has severe mental health issues. My children do not feel safe and require counselling. I’m looking at going into a female refuge.

I’m very bitter towards Airbnb. I feel they need to pay for the wrongful death of my husband so I can at least give my children a safe place to live. The biggest regret of my life was ever booking an Airbnb. They couldn’t care less about people and they don’t consider themselves one bit responsible. It’s their responsibility to make sure every host property is safe.

Airbnb Guests Cause over $10k in Damage, Still Refunded

The only reason I’m reaching out is that I would like to make sure I explore all avenues at Airbnb available to me before I obtain counsel and have to go that route. This guest contacted us and requested our home for one month for himself and his two colleagues for a work trip. We let the guest know that we actually would not have the house ready in time for his original request which was November 8th because we would not be finished remodeling the kitchen. We were remodeling the entire house and putting in new furniture (of which we have all receipts). He wrote back and said he really wanted to stay at our house, requesting from November 15th on. We agreed to this and the booking went through.

What ensued was much worse and different. A woman came to the house with the guest to whom he referred as his ‘daughter’ but he had told me two work colleagues. We came to learn that this was someone he was having sexual relations with (she stayed at another host’s house and told her he paid for their Airbnb’s all the time and that she had ‘snagged her a good one’). Besides this third party booking that occurre, the number of people that moved in were not three but eleven. Seven Children from teenagers (2) down to toddlers (5). Several were babies not much older than two.

We continued to call Airbnb and let them know that there were all these people living in our house. Our case manager told me we didn’t have any ‘proof’ but my gardener had seen all the children, I had seen them, I recorded audio of them playing, and my friend who came to watch the property (there are two houses on the lot as there are two subdivided lots on the property) had seen them. He told me they would be refunded if we decided to cancel on them because we didn’t have the proof to say they were violating the agreement even though an entirely different set of people were living in the house then who booked and more than we agreed to.

From November 19th-26th we went out of town for Thanksgiving and my friend kept an eye on the property. She said they had kids there staying overnight the entire time. When I got back on the evening of the 26th I heard the children. The next day I heard them in the morning. I also saw different men coming and going and none of them were the official guests.

On the 28th I saw a review posted on their account which wasn’t there before from a Superhost. She stated all of the things I was telling Airbnb – there were people who were not the guest staying at the listing, it was a 3rd party booking, and they brought several children. She also said they moved her stuff all over the place and trashed her guesthouse.

I called Airbnb immediately. The representative looked at the review. He realized something was wrong and said I could cancel the reservation (penalty free and not refund the guest, as it was apparent the guest had violated the agreement in every way). He canceled the reservation. The guest would not leave for eight hours. I called Airbnb several times. They told me to call the police but we could have had a scene on our street.

I went to the house twice to ask the guest to leave and she did not. She also refused my cleaning service woman. I was on the phone with her and could hear her refusing her access to parts of the house. We learned later she was keeping five children in one of the bedrooms we could access. Finally at 8:30 PM I went into the house and told her I wasn’t leaving and she had to go. The house was completely trashed. Our description is on their review page but there was not a surface on the house that didn’t have food, poop, urine, weed, juice, or some unknown sticky substance on it.

Short list of broken items:

– Faucet broken and it was brand new and newly installed
– Mattress, covered in urine and poop
– The floors were scratched up badly because she dragged wooden pallets from outside into the house and across the floor and moved all of our furniture around.
– All the linens were covered in severe urine stains and poop
– Poop on our leather sofa
– Floors covered in poop and trash
– Weed butts
– Dirty diapers on the floor
– New stone counters covered in dirt and muck. juice stains, food stains
– Robes missing, linens missing, pillows smelled of urine and had to be replaced.
– Rugs were rolled up and thrown out by the trash

We submitted damage claims totally over $7000 and then it was $2400 for the extra persons fee for 12 days (eight people over the reservation). Since that submission, no one from Airbnb has spoken to me or returned my calls. I get nothing but the run around from every person I talk to when I call. I submitted all receipts and repair bids; I could not get any real response except today when Airbnb refunded the guest the entire amount. They paid $2997 out of my future payout and will not respond to me, my calls, or anything I say.

At this point the guest does not have rights to that and forewent rights when they broke our agreement. For Airbnb to reimburse them for even the nights they did stay is unfathomable for me. We cannot get any response other than being shoved off so have to resort to legal action and speaking to members of the press (of which I thankfully know several). I am writing because I hope you read your email or your assistant scans them and sees this is a serious issue.

There are several hosts like me that have experienced vandalism at the hands of these guests and nothing is being done. We are hoping for a real response and that Airbnb delivers on the promise given to us as I cried uncontrollably over the phone to Airbnb about how bad this was. Their promise was that Airbnb would take care of us and would not leave us high and dry and here we are – high and dry.

Guests Meet Sketchy Host, Airbnb Refuses Refund

As a single mom traveling with my two children for the first time, I decided to book an Airbnb so that I had a backup if something went wrong. This was a big mistake. A week before my arrival the host was unreachable (for the first time) and after three days was found. A few days before our visit we spoke on the phone and I asked if we could check in earlier, since we were scheduled to land at noon. He said that would be no problem.

The day before we left I contacted him to confirm and he said he would be home, and to call him from the airport. I did so but he didn’t answer. After a few unanswered calls, I decided to take a taxi to the address given on Airbnb, thinking I would just knock on the door and wake him up. We got to the address but there was no entrance to the building. The only entrance was from the side of the building, but it was a different address and his name wasn’t there.

I was alone in Barcelona with two kids and three big suitcases, and it was raining. We waited for him in a cafe nearby; after half an hour he responded on the phone. He came to the cafe and had a strong smell of alcohol on his mouth, so I felt completely insecure. I asked him what was wrong with the address and he said “Oh, the flat is somewhere else. didn’t I send you the address?”

Would you go with a man like that, as a woman traveling alone with two kids?  I contacted Airbnb immediately and they sweet talked me back and forth, suggesting I could solve any problems with the host, implying something about the cancellation policy. To this day I have not received a serious answer, and there is no number to reach customer service. I paid 3000 IS and have nobody to turn to. I contacted the Israeli press and they are now checking what can be done. What a huge disappointment. I will never recommend traveling with Airbnb.

Burgled within 60 Minutes of Checking into Airbnb

My wife, our young daughter, and I checked in to this apartment in Lisbon, Portugal mid-afternoon. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was the dangerous staircase; it was nearly impossible to lift a large suitcase all the way to the third floor and I struggled to do so. Despite this property being listed as ‘child friendly’, the staircase was an extreme hazard and at this point I was already concerned about our three-year-old.

When we finally reached the staircase summit and the apartment, a young lady was waiting inside who spoke limited English but showed us the apartment and seemed helpful. The apartment seemed nice and in a great location. It also seemed like a low security risk for the following reasons: a very steep, straight staircase; two other apartments (one on each floor); no escape points for potential thieves; and tourists/cars around outside. Keep in mind it was also about 2:45-3:00 PM at this point (broad daylight). However, we learned that safety and security was a big problem.

Here’s what happened. Shortly after check-in, we went for a brief walk to look at the surrounding streets and picked up some food. Upon our return (approximately 45-60 minutes later), we opened the building door, walked upstairs and discovered the apartment door had been kicked open (visible footprints over the door) with a broken lock. All our possessions including passports were stolen (including my three-year-old daughter’s).

We immediately phoned the host who contacted the local police and Airbnb. To their credit, each party responded well: we received a refund from Airbnb and they offered to put us up for a night in a nearby hotel. We later discovered two critical pieces of information for which we should have been informed but were not:

  • The building was in fact, empty, with no neighbours. This means that had the break-in occurred while my wife and child were alone, no one would have heard or seen anything (I was on a business trip). A simple burglary could have in fact been much more serious.
  • The property had been recently burgled before our experience, which we discovered from another reviewer on Airbnb.

The break-in was perfectly timed and this property is definitely being targeted by professional thieves and criminals. From the moment of our arrival, we were being watched (either by chance or someone knew of our arrival time) and the intruders had very easy access to the building; the front door was flimsy and provided little safety. This kind of burglary would easily have required some coordination and good timing: at least 2-3 people (one outside to keep watch) and the others to lift/struggle down the staircase quickly to avoid being caught. Remember, the street outside was busy and there were cars and tourists coming past.

There were also a few peculiarities. The thieves were extremely forceful with the apartment door (it was smashed/kicked open and broken with pieces of wood were everywhere), yet they were able to access the building door extremely easily (it was perfectly closed when we returned). It also struck me as a little odd that they also stole a key. Surely, their interests would be primarily in the valuables and getting out (not returning especially as the locks would be changed). I can only theorise at this point but regardless, it scares me to think what could have happened during the night or at other times. Intruders could easily walk up the stairs (with no neighbours around) and simply try their luck. We appreciate the host’s attempt to support us but this is a serious security and safety risk and I am concerned for future guests.