Terrible Host with no way to Contact Airbnb

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Airbnb hosts accused us bringing extra people and that is not true. We booked for 12 and there were 11 of us. Proof is attached. I’m writing on behalf of members of KC Nippon and myself. I was a world karate champion. We travel a lot and use Airbnb very often. We never had a bad experience like the one in NYC.

I came to NYC for a competition with ten kids. The apartment was not ready when we arrived: the house was dirty and some workers were putting on a bathroom door that was completely missing. The other door was broken and some of the furniture as well.

After two nights, the toilet broke and all the sewage was coming back up. We contacted the super and she promised to fix it. That was very risky for the kids’ health and we had to close that bathroom. We couldn’t use it for the rest of our stay. That caused a lot of delays in our program and a lot of complaints from kids’ parents.

When we complained about it, the host sent threatening SMS messages (see attached photo). She also came the day that we were leaving to check everything, and when we complained she start to be very rude and was yelling at the kids. She is listed as a real estate agent and I’m not even sure can she legally rent apartments on Airbnb in New York State.

When we came back we saw a very impolite message: the agency wanted us to pay them extra money. We booked and pay in advance for 12 persons, but there were only 11 of us. We will not pay anything extra.

At this moment we would like to request a refund for our expenses. The kids’ health was in danger (considering coronavirus and all the unsanitary conditions). My personal opinion is that Airbnb should protect their users from hosts like this.

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Thought I was the only one going through Airbnb Hell

I had booked an entire large house on Airbnb for a family reunion and a wedding in Orlando for one week. We have five kids, six grandkids and a few newfound siblings (through Ancestry.com) that were all going to stay under one roof. At my age I do not know how many more times I will get to be together with all of them, so I cherish each one immensely.

The day before the trip, I went to contact the host for the information to get into the house and that is when I saw a big red cancellation notice on my reservation. My heart dropped. My son and his family were in the air on the way. They were going to be the first to check in, and now that he was in the air on his way from Fairbanks, Alaska to Orlando, Airbnb had cancelled our reservation.

This was my first message to Airbnb after I saw they cancelled our reservation:

Help! Our entire family and a group of friends are flying from Alaska to Florida for our daughter’s wedding. I went to our reservation to see the check-in procedure and saw that Airbnb has cancelled our entire reservation, without contacting us via email or phone or other.

We have had this reservation for a month and are leaving today to meet up with the others. We had no idea they cancelled us.

As it turns out, our credit card was compromised last month so they sent us a new one. We had no idea this was happening until we received a new card. Airbnb must have tried to run the old number and when it did not go though they just cancelled us without any contact with me letting me know.

This is terrible. What can we do now? Why would they not contact us? Help!

All of our contacts with Airbnb and the host were cordial, but in no way helpful. At least if you have an issue with a hotel, they help secure new rooms. We ended up having to find hotels so none of us got to stay together.

Here is the full story as I told it to Airbnb and still they will not refund my deposit, even though I never cancelled it.

As we grow older we realize there are only so many times left in our life that we get to be surrounded by our whole family: our kids, their spouses, our grandkids. Every single one of them. People grow up and move away.

For our family, Florida was to be that time. And to have a wedding in the midst of this. I could hardly believe I was fortunate enough, dare I say blessed enough, for this family reunion and wedding to be upon us.

The last time we visited Florida, Hurricane Irma chased us away, but now we were back. Imagine my shock when on the night before we were to leave Alaska to begin our amazing family reunion, to see that our reservation had been cancelled. I was in disbelief. Denial. Shock.

How would I tell my kids who were already in the air and were to be the first to arrive with their new baby, my grandson? In my heart I felt somehow someone would be able to work this out, to make it right. It was not to be. I am writing this from my hotel on the other side of town from where our eldest son’s family is staying.

Our daughter who is getting married is at another hotel, and our daughter’s family from Atlanta is arriving tonight to be in yet another hotel. It turned out this was a holiday (Valentine’s Day, which is also the 37th anniversary of my proposal to my lovely bride) so getting hotels together did not work out.

I am telling you this so you will know that you are renting these amazing properties to real people, with real stories, not just numbers on paper. People who work hard so that when it’s time, they can also play hard and love even harder. Real families who cherish their time together.

As we now learned, unknown to us, our credit card was compromised. Between the time I paid my deposit and the time you were to charge the remainder. As someone who has done many hotel reservations, but never an Airbnb reservation, I always assumed if there was an issue I would be contacted. I was not.

My Airbnb profile has my phone, email, address and even a photo of my driver’s license: many ways to contact me. My hope in writing this is to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Ever. What should have been a glorious trip, has been so difficult for me (I was in charge of securing our place to all stay together).

The kids have been great though and are making the best of our situation. The wedding tomorrow will still be amazing, I am still blessed to see see the kids and grands. Florida is about 100 degrees warmer than Alaska. Life is good. But please remember that your guests are real families counting on you to help make their dream vacation destination a reality.

Your job is so important, as most families do not get enough time to play together. To just hang out together. In our situation, a phone called would have resolved this immediately. Immediately.

Because I was not contacted to remedy this situation, which I knew nothing about, I am expecting a full refund of my first deposit. I only hope if this ever happens again, you will contact the guest for a quick solution.

Tomorrow I am contacting the credit card company to demand they cancel this charge as we never received a notice of cancellation. They also hold some responsibility for cancelling my card.

It was really the perfect storm; they cancelled it right at the same time Airbnb tried charging the remainder. My problem is Airbnb never contacted me, even though they said they emailed. They also had my phone number and could have easily called or texted.

This was a really important week for us, and it has caused so much stress. What should have been an amazing week turned into another episode of Airbnb Hell.

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Reservation Cancellation Costs Airbnb Guests $800

I made a reservation with Airbnb for a two-bedroom unit in St. Pete Beach, Florida, for February 13th through the 19th. Initially, there was some confusion as the host indicated that the unit had already been rented. Resolution services at Airbnb contacted the host and then indicated to me that everything was good to go. This all happened around December 20th, 2019.

Yesterday, January 29th, I received an email form the host saying that the two-bedroom unit wasn’t available; would I take a room with two queen beds instead? This came out of nowhere. The reason I didn’t accept this offer is because I reserved a two-bedroom unit and because one of those bedrooms would be for a six-year-old who is hyperactive. Obviously anyone can understand why I wanted two bedrooms.

Anyway, I contacted Airbnb about this email from the host and after being on hold for half an hour, was told that a resolution specialist was not available right then and someone would call me back ASAP. Two hours later, no phone call. As you can imagine, my frustration was building; my trip was two weeks out and all of this was going on.

I called Airbnb again, and after speaking with someone in customer service, who obviously needed a lot more training, was finally able to speak with someone in resolution services. She indicated that she would contact the host and find out what was going on. I received a message from her later that the host wasn’t available and that she was leaving the office.

I called Airbnb again and once again spoke with someone in resolution services, who kept assuring me not to worry about it and that she would contact the host and get back to me. Again, I got a message that she was leaving the office for the day and hadn’t been able to reach the host. In the meantime, I got a email from the host saying I had ten minutes to decide if I wanted the room with two beds or she would cancel.

Just as I was calling again, I got an email from Airbnb saying the reservation had been cancelled and that my money would be refunded within 5 to 15 days. I did speak with someone in resolution services who did confirm that the reservation had been cancelled, but couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me why.

So here I am, two weeks before my vacation with granddaughter and great-grandson, who are flying in from Connecticut, while I am flying in from Wisconsin, and now we have no place to stay. The person with resolution services did send me several listing they had in the area, all quite a bit more that I was originally planing on spending.

I got on the phone and started calling resorts directly, Not surprisingly, everything was booked, and I mean every place I called. Finally, I found one place where we could get two rooms, which was not ideal but better than nothing.

The bottom line is that it’s going to cost me $800 more for the six days than I was going to pay through Airbnb. Refunding my money is one thing, but are they willing to pay me the extra $800 as well? I think not. I’m never going to use Airbnb again, and certainly won’t recommend them to anyone else.

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Airbnb Puts Lives at Risk when Everyone has the Keys

We arrived in Paris at 9:00 AM on November 22nd. We arrived at Urban Flats around noon and stored our luggage with them. They assured us they would be in a secure location. We returned at 4:00 PM and checked into our prepaid Airbnb rental. We had eight people in our group: five adults and three children under 7 years old. That night my son and daughter in law decide they would sleep on the sofa bed in the living room.

My son awoke to someone opening the front door. He spoke out and the person closed the door and left. My son got up, locked the door again and place furniture in front of the door. We thought maybe it was a mistake and went out sightseeing at 10:00 AM. We made sure the door was properly locked.

We returned at 6:00 PM. When I went to my room, I noticed my converter plugs and iPad were missing. We then realized everyone had all their electronics (three iPads, one computer, one smart watch) and chargers missing. Upon further search, we found that all the jewelry was missing. In fact, a carry-on bag was missing and I believe they used it to remove our property.

We went to the Urban Flats office and reported the break-in. The employee went to our apartment and found the spare apartment key in the lock box by the front door. He said that should not have there. He then proceeded to lie to us: first, he said he called the police, and next we had to walk to the police station. At first he said he notified his boss, then he said he could not call him. Lie after lie. In fact, he said we should not worry since travel insurance would cover it. He assumed we had insurance and could not understand why we were upset.

We did file a police report, but they said they could not help us. We called Airbnb and filed a report. The next day they acted as if we never reported anything. We personally notified the owners of the apartment. They were helpful and gave us a full refund so we could go to a hotel, which turned out to be more than we planned on spending. The first time we called, the Airbnb agent said they would give us $250/person for a hotel and then the next day we were told that was not possible.

As far as I am concerned, Airbnb put our lives at risk. This was an inside job since someone provided the robbers with the building code and key box code. I plan on posting on every social media website that Urban Flats is corrupt and dangerous. Airbnb has been no help. I plan on seeking legal counsel due to the fact that eight lives were put at risk.

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Airbnb Owner is a Known Sexual Predator in the U.S.

The owner of this rental property, Jason McLean, purchased the Airbnb property Villa Viva with money owed to women he raped as children in Minneapolis. A simple Google search will show you numerous articles detailing his crimes, legal proceedings, and his ultimate flight to Cabo San Lucas Mexico to avoid the consequences of his sexual assaults of children… and he wants you to be a guest in his home.

Do not support this criminal with your business. Keep away, especially if you are a young woman or have children. This is not hyperbole. It is well documented in the U.S. news, lawsuits and courts, that McLean preyed upon and sexually assaulted at least six minor child actors and students at the Minneapolis Children’s Theater where he was a company actor and teacher. Two of his victims have obtained civil judgements against him in the US, yet he profits off of this property in Mexico.

He does not deserve your business. McLean has returned to the US and is opening a restaurant called Small Wonder in Oakland, California. Beware. The man is a child rapist.

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Hookers right outside the door of my Airbnb

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I rented a place. I was there for just a few minutes before contacting the host and telling him we need to talk. There were hookers outside the door and the people upstairs sounded like they were a stomp dance group. The host told me if I went on my app and just hit cancel he would return all the money if I left. I canceled and left as fast as I could. He lied and kept well over two nights’ worth of payment when I was there for five minutes total.

I opened a case about it and when I started asking how he was getting away with this, the conversation quickly ended. I left an honest review about “hooker hell” and it was pulled down because of the “refund motive”. So now other people, possibly with their child or children like I was, are being put in a bad situation. I have asked repeatedly for a link for my honest review and have been ignored.

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Faulty Electrical Appliance Nearly Caused a Fire

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We returned from a weeks trip to Trulli Margherita, a traditional Puglian villa located in Gorgofreddo, Puglia, Italy. We experienced a number of complaints and inconveniences, as well as one distressing, near fatal electrical fault, that unfortunately put a dampener on the rest of our stay.

Although Airbnb and the host were quick to handle most of the complaints we were certainly not happy with how our main complaint was handled. To summarise our complaints briefly:

  • The electrical plug-in fan caught fire, causing a plastic smelling smoke to fill the bedroom in which our 6-month old baby was sleeping.
  • There was no air-conditioning in the bedrooms.
  • ‘Trulli shaped’ wood-fired oven locked away, not for guest use.
  • Bedside lamps to the second bedroom were not working on arrival, maintenance had to be called to replace them.
  • The house bathroom shower valve broke, maintenance called again.
  • Maintenance again called to provide more wine glasses

Our main complaint about this listing would be about an electrical plug-in fan provided in one of the bedrooms. To our horror, it caught fire and filled the room with plastic-smelling smoke. Our 6-month baby was sleeping in this room, so you can understand our distress at having to rush him to A&E to check he was okay. Please note we were sat outside in the courtyard area, checking on him at regular intervals as well as keeping an eye on him via video monitor.

After a few hours in the hospital, trying to convey the issue with a major language barrier, he thankfully checked out okay, but on doctor’s orders we had to follow up with another hospital appointment the next day and a further GP’s appointment again once we were home to be certain. This added incredible stress and anxiety to us for the rest of the holiday.

The host, although quick to respond and apologise for the incident, only offered a mere 10% refund as an apology (a sum we would have expected for the misleading description about the wood-fired oven alone), and no explanation as to whether the appliance had been checked over beforehand. We felt rather insulted at this small offer and upset the matter had not been taken more seriously. If we hadn’t checked on our baby at that time, the situation could have been a lot worse, even fatal.

Please note there were no fire alarms in the property that would have alerted us to this incident. We were further insulted during a phone call with the host where they stated the 10% refund from the owner was offered so we didn’t write a negative review – a rather tactless remark to make about their own self interests, in light of the serious nature of the incident.

To add insult to injury, during further discussions with the host after we arrived home, they claimed the fan was only for decorative use, and that we shouldn’t have been using it in the first place. This was never stated in writing or conveyed verbally during check in. If this were the case, why would they place a functioning fan in a bedroom if it were not for use in the first place? Especially a room with no air-conditioning? Very misleading if true, but we feel they are now only saying this to relieve themselves of responsibility and to avoid a case of negligence in terms of electrical safety.

Our next complaint would be about the ‘Trulli shaped’ wood-fired oven that is listed in the description of the property. On arriving at the property, we noticed it was actually locked away. We enquired with the host about this and they apologised about the misleading description and offered for the owner to come around and light it. Although a kind gesture, this was inconvenient and inflexible for us – we did not particularly want to ‘book’ in a time with the owner.

Overall it was disappointing, as the amenities and features of the property were some of the reasons why we booked it in the first place. Air conditioning is listed as an amenity; however, it is only offered in living spaces, not bedrooms. Again, a rather misleading description of the property. We had a few restless nights’ sleep due to the heat as a result.

The other maintenance issues, although not serious in nature, were just more inconveniences to us during our stay. We certainly got to know the maintenance man very well. Aside from our complaints and credit where credit is due, the Trulli itself is very charming and cosy – maybe a little basic – but perfect for a family getaway.

The real seller, however, is the spacious external, covered seating area and poolside. It was a shame the wood-fired oven was not for use, as we were looking forward to making pizzas out there. Other than that, the area was very good for evening dinners and sunny days lazing around the pool, which is exactly what we were after.

The area itself is a bit off the beaten track (hire car a must), but this rural setting was exactly what we were after. Within walking distance there is a well stocked ‘corner-shop’ as well as a charming pizzeria. Alberobello and Castellana Grotte (amazing caves) are both a 10- to 15-minute drive and well worth a visit. Monopoli and the surrounding beaches around 20-25 minutes and again worth seeing.

Unfortunately as a conclusion, I cannot recommend this listing to anyone, not until the owners, the host or Airbnb confirm there has been some sort of electrical safety check to assure users it is safe to stay in. They also need to go back and accurately re-write the listing description about he wood-fired oven and air-conditioning. A real shame, as otherwise it would have been a good stay.

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Fancy a Summer Holiday on a Building Site?

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I went on holiday with my two daughters in Senegal through Airbnb. The apartment was directly located above the host’s accommodation and we rented it for a month. In order to access our apartment we had to go through a garage and squeeze pass a dusty car as well as a bicycle and a motorbike. When we first arrived, the car was only an inconvenience in the evening but after five days the car never moved (please find the attached picture).

On our arrival we noticed a scaffolding at the same level as the terrace which we had direct access to. The host informed me then that they had started some renovation work such as the inside roof being repaired which were not quite finished. He informed me that it would take no longer than three days to finish.

At that point I asked the host to ensure that the dust on the terrace would be thoroughly cleaned as it was really bad upon our arrival. They did clean it after my request. The following day I rapidly noticed cockroaches in the kitchen, bathroom (cockroaches were coming out of my toiletry bag), in the living room, on the tables… everywhere.

In order to have access to the wifi we had to go downstairs in front of the host’s apartment, despite the fact the access to wifi was mentioned on the booking and there was allegedly a working connection inside our apartment. The TV was not working. When I mentioned it to the host his reply was “the previous guests did not watch it.”

I informed him that my children do watch some TV. He then told me he had to ask his wife to renew the TV connection, which took a week.

I hear you saying: “Why on earth did you stay there?”

Well, here I am in a foreign country with my two young daughters, having nowhere else to go with a limited budget as the hotels were extremely expensive. I took it upon myself to never cook in that filthy place; we always ate outside. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Thankfully we went away for four days to a secluded area.

This gateway gave me the chance to reflect on what I was experiencing as I did not inform anyone in my family in France. My husband was not aware nor was my mum or my siblings. I truly did not know what other options I had but to bear with it.

Upon my return and back to square one, i.e. my holiday from hell, the cherry on the cake was the host had started building work around the entrance and pool area. They were actually building a roof with poles and beams everywhere. We actually had to walk beneath it all with no head protection in order to get to our apartment.

At that point, the penny dropped and I realised for the safety of my children and indeed myself we had to get out of that place urgently. That is when I asked for help and informed my family in France. I told the host (her husband at that point was away in France). She told me the work had to be done as the wooden roof was becoming unstable and was an immediate danger to the occupants. Therefore it had to be fixed urgently, however she told other parties including her own husband (who confirmed it in writing to me) that his wife wanted to surprise him whilst his was away with a new roof.

I told the host I had to seek an alternative accommodation as not only was I exhausted, my children were suffering with the dust and the noise, but most importantly were living in an unsafe environment on all levels. We finally moved out, and found a place where we managed to get some rest and make the most of the holiday we had left.

I spoke to different people in Airbnb. However, the person in charge of my case is offering me 100 dollars for the inconvenience of not using the swimming pool. Please find my photos and hopefully my videos in relation to this case.

Host Enters at Night, Scaring Family with Small Children

I am utterly lost as to what to do as I cannot get hold of anyone from Airbnb. Through Twitter they keep saying a case manager will get back to me, but no one ever does.

We booked a two-week stay at an apartment advertised as having two double and one single bedrooms plus an air mattress in living room. We arrived at night after a tiring 12-hour journey with our young children. It turned out that there was just one double bedroom and a small toddler bed available to us as the usual resident had hoarded so much stuff the other bedroom was completely inaccessible; it was a store room and there was no air mattress. It was already past our kids’ bedtime however, so we thought we should just get them to bed and see what we could do in the morning.

The apartment was utterly filthy: thick, black mold in the shower cubicle, by the windows and bed, blobs of something and pubes on the bathroom floor, the linen didn’t feel or smell fresh, piles and piles of stuff everywhere so we couldn’t unpack our suitcases, filthy kitchen facilities and caked-on food. As there wasn’t room as advertised, we had to make a makeshift bed on the floor for one of us.

We took photos straightaway, called Airbnb, and asked to move. They said that we had to give the host a chance to rectify it out of courtesy. I contacted him and he said that it was too late for him to come and clean. I said that we could go on a day trip and be out the whole day for him to clean but he declined, saying he was busy. I then suggested that if he was away, perhaps he could send a cleaner. He said no, but that we could clean it ourselves.

In between communications, I caught a severe bug and was taken to A&E. It was the biggest national holiday in the country so finding elsewhere that day was proving impossible and I wouldn’t have been well enough to move. Despite the host knowing this, he suggested I clean it. I had to clean some areas in the kitchen so that we could eat, but obviously wouldn’t scrub someone’s house on my only annual holiday and also when I was severely ill.

We asked for help from Airbnb who said on the phone and confirmed by email that as per their policy, they have asked the host to come and clean and that he will need to refund us for the nights affected and the paid period starts from when he has done so. That day we also found what looked like vermin feces in the kitchen and thought that was it – we had to get out.

The only Airbnb with enough room was one far more expensive and Airbnb did not help us with what would happen with the extra cost as it was over our budget. During calling Airbnb for advice, someone else snapped up the other apartment and I continued asking for Airbnb to help. The host was meant to come and clean the afternoon the next day, but instead, to our huge fright, he used his keys and barged in at night.

He was intoxicated, very tall and large, and had to be stopped from walking in closer to me and the children. He proceeded to shout, get aggressive to my husband, and said he wanted us out. He was angry about Airbnb’s instructions to him and our complaint. I was so frightened I called the police and would have been able to do nothing to him had my husband not been in as he was so large.

I called Airbnb’s security number, and all they did was take my number and ensured someone would ring me asap. I kept ringing and only got through some ten hours later; they still did nothing. The police came and so frightened he would return, I found the cheaper of only two available hotels. We packed, cleaned as not to affect our rating whilst the other watched the door, lifted our little ones into the car and moved to a hotel just before midnight.

We were traumatized and for a long time afterwards I had to still keep double checking the doors were locked at home. To this day, I check on our children at night to ensure they are okay and still there. The children were very unsettled and we had tears in our eyes by the time we went to the hotel. We did not want to move them again so incurred the unexpected cost of the hotel and had to get food out which was really expensive compared to cooking at home. Our son had also been struck by the bug so was laid out in the hotel room.

I spent rest of the holiday trying to sort out the situation with Airbnb and we feel like we had no holiday; we came back more worn out than when we left. The host also contacted me outside Airbnb messaging saying gross things like I have worn his partners underwear and shared my contact details with someone else to harass me to click “cancel” myself, which I didn’t as I assumed it would affect refunds.

Airbnb did not follow through on their email and I did not receive a full refund for the affected nights. I took the matter up with my bank, who made a decision that it was not as advertised and not fit for our purposes after reviewing my photo evidence and police report; they returned my money. However, the host left me a bad review to say he would not recommend our family to any host, which is unfair as despite all that happened, we left the apartment far cleaner than we found it and broke no rules.

Despite police involvement and misleading advertising and harassing messages, Airbnb is not banning him. I truly hope other travelers are safe in his rentals. We had to fork out for an unexpected hotel bill and all stay in one room for the remainder of our stay despite our whole holiday being ruined and us being left traumatized by the utterly frightening incident of a large man entering at night when we were putting our little ones to bed.

Airbnb closed my case, and the host continues hosting. They promised through Twitter to contact me but didn’t. I am still so shaken up. Had he come an hour earlier, I would have been upstairs in the shower with the children closest to the stairs and my husband out. He was in such a mood he would not have turned away. My son still has the infection he acquired whilst there, so it was the worst holiday we have ever endured.

What do I do about these issues I still have? Airbnb is impossible to get an answer from. All I get at best is that someone will get back to me, but they never do. I want to do my bit to keep other travelers safe out there, particularly people with children.