I wanted to post this so people who use Airbnb are aware of the level of hostile manipulation and false statements that can come your way as paying guests with little to no support from Airbnb to investigate or handle the situation. We have used the platform for over five years with great reviews from hosts, but after this experience we will be going back to hotels exclusively. Long post, but worth the read if you use Airbnb.
“This review and what unfolded during our stay at this property all starts from cleanliness. We’re in the middle of a pandemic and Airbnb has strict cleaning protocols that all hosts have been provided with, and we hope they follow.
Upon arrival at this property, we noticed there was dust on several inside surfaces and unclean toilets. There were dead moths in one room. Three rooms had broken curtain rods. The grill needed a thorough cleaning. Some rooms didn’t have screens on the windows.
Normally this wouldn’t be a huge deal (it’s the mountains) but with the pandemic and past reviews stating this property was spotless, we were disappointed and skeptical this property had been thoroughly cleaned. We decided to inform the host, send him pictures and inquire about a refund on the cleaning fee.
We thought this was a fair question, but it offended the host. He thought we were trying to scam him, which was not our intention. If something’s not up to code, you don’t want to pay for it.
The host offered to send the cleaning lady over. We declined, because we didn’t want to interact with people outside of our party. We told the host the issues were minor, and we just thought he’d liked to know. We were happy to pay the cleaning fee.
The cleaning lady showed up anyway without a mask on and entered the property. There was only one guest at the property, as the rest of us were at the grocery store getting supplies for the weekend. The cleaning lady was very hostile and accused us of letting the dust in because we opened the windows and doors. The dust was already there upon arrival.
The cleaning lady says the toilet was leaking as an excuse for why it’s dirty. She then questioned why we’re washing sheets. The guest informed her she has allergies and is being careful during this time. The cleaning lady leaves, and we get a message from the host.
The host says he is uncomfortable with the reservation and asks us to leave. He says he only wants guests “who are delighted with the property.” We’d be delighted if it was clean. I ask him to call me. He doesn’t. Things have taken a turn. We assume he’s worried about a bad review, but doesn’t cancel the reservation. The host messages me back a list of what the cleaning lady saw:
1. Human feces all over the toilet and wall
2. Urine behind and on the wall beside the toilet
3. Sheets being washed because a woman in the cabin vomited on them
4. The woman at the cabin refused to let the cleaning lady in the master bedroom
5. The front door didn’t work
6. The spa was dirty
We were extremely confused by this feedback, as it wasn’t anything we said to the host or cleaning lady. Also, none of it was true. We hadn’t even gotten in the spa. The cleaning lady was trying to insinuate the house was spotless before our arrival, and we had created this mess within an hour of being on the property.
Again, I asked the host to please call me. The host’s dad called me and had the cleaning lady on the line too. He asked who got sick, and we informed him nobody was sick, and I’m unclear where he got this information. He says he has ring camera footage of one of us saying they threw up. We tell him it’s not true.
The cleaning lady is very upset and accuses us of lying. It’s all very unprofessional. The host’s dad tells us that when I asked for the cleaning fee to be refunded, it really “pissed” him off. I say I understand that, it wasn’t our intention, we want to stay and have a nice weekend. We thought he would like to know amidst a pandemic and Airbnb’s increased cleaning protocols. He says he’ll have to talk about it with his son and get back to us.
We don’t hear from him for an hour, and he has yet to cancel the reservation on the Airbnb app. We are frantically looking up other places but can’t find anything in our price range. We just bought groceries. The thought of having to drive home four hours in the dark is looming over us. We decide the best approach is to apologize again and say we are “delighted” to stay. We are bullied into saying the property is clean.
After we message the host this, he texts back that we can only stay if we are happy. He questions my motivations for asking for the cleaning fee refund. He states that “that is a warning signal to a game we shall not play.” We assure him we’re not trying to play games. We are happy to stay. The next day we want to get into the spa, but there is a warning label on the control panel. Not wanting anymore trouble, we decide not to get into the spa and inform the host.
The host accuses us of splashing water out but agrees to send a tech. The tech arrives and states the water level is fine (because we hadn’t even got in it yet), and a number of reasons can cause the warning label to flash. He reset the breaker and all was well. We made the best of the weekend. It is a great house with lots of room.
After leaving the house, the host’s dad texted me. He says the cleaning lady found the house is in great condition upon our departure. He then asks for a five-star review. He says if we leave a five-star review, he will leave us one. Who’s playing games now? I don’t respond.
I decide to leave a honest review, whatever happens to my rating. My suggestions to the host are deep clean your property, find a new cleaning lady and maybe get into a different line of work because customer service doesn’t suit you.”