Worthless Response from Airbnb Customer Service

My experience with Airbnb has been less than pleasant. Let me first state that I do not have an account with Airbnb, not as a host or guest. However, charges were recently made on my card from the company. Calling the number or contacting them via email was essentially fruitless since they were requiring your Airbnb account info to log in.

My wife has an account (which my card and bank info is not associated with – we double checked) so she contacted them for me. She gave the info that was requested and was told not much could be done since the charge was still pending. An email was sent by Airbnb stating that our concern was being “escalated”.

After three days of waiting, the charge (roughly $950) cleared my bank and an additional transaction, a deposit (roughly $266) by Airbnb, had appeared on my statement. After searching for a phone number on the site, which I couldn’t easily find, I Googled ‘Airbnb number’. Calling the number gave the same automated login request for Airbnb clients – again, I am not.

No option was explicitly given to actually talk to someone. However, I did figure out that pressing 0 would direct you to someone. Once again, I was given the same scripted response of providing the same info, being told that my concern was “escalated”, and that I’d receive an email.

After the call ended I went to my bank to see if they could give me any info about what was going on. The bank associate didn’t have any additional info but offered to see if they could make any headway with Airbnb. After the bank associate made initial contact, the Airbnb representative requested to speak with me and once again started going through the same script. I explained I had already been through this.

At this point I became perceptibly irritated after three days of requesting info of fraudulent charges made on my bank account through Airbnb. I explicitly requested to speak with someone in the security department but was denied. In the end I had to dispute the charges with my bank and terminate my card so a new one could be issued.

Later I received an email stating the $950 had been refunded and that they suggest I “work with my bank to secure my card. If I’ve already filed a dispute with my bank they kindly ask that I cancel it.”

What? Airbnb was given three days to look into this and didn’t take any action, especially any “escalated” action, until I became irritated. For three days my account was possibly compromised and vulnerable. After Airbnb’s inaction I was forced to dispute the charges with my bank and they sent me an email stating they were refunding the money. However, if I disputed the charge with my bank, please cancel it?

How does a company operate like this? Lack of any clear contact info on the webpage. Little help from customer service when contact is made, only a scripted response. Why not just put that in a recording? That’s as helpful as my experience was. Why was it impossible for Airbnb to put me in contact with someone from their security department? It would seem that would be a priority when fraudulent charges are being made through any company. A huge failure on Airbnb’s part. Don’t expect much help if there is an issue, especially if you don’t have an account with them.

There are too many Airbnb Reviews, Period

Here’s my beef: the reviews. Every time a guest checks out, I review the guest, and I’m asked, “What could the guest do better?”

Now, the guest is my customer and a customer of Airbnb, so Airbnb asks that I criticize this person who has just come to stay the night and doesn’t want any trouble. Likewise, the guests review me and must be asked a similar question because every single review I get, there is an area for personal comments and the guest always leaves a little nastygram, telling me what I can do better.

Whereas an occasional host might take that question seriously, and the guest gets some feedback – Like what? “You shouldn’t leave your snot in the shower drain” – all guests take it seriously, and put themselves in the position of Reviewer of the Year.

There are many things I provide to be nice. These are things I don’t have to stock. I get complaints if the bar of soap is small. I was providing one Fiji water per guest (in their private little fridge) and they were complaining there was not enough free water.

I’ve received complaints about the snacks: about some of the plates arcing in the microwave, not having a hand towel, having to stir their coffee with a knife. Someone found a hair on one of the towels. Someone complained the ceiling was dirty. The window sill was dirty. There was a suggestion to wipe out the shower (make sure it’s dry for guests). The shower drips for a while after it is turned off.

A bug was found under the couch. A cricket came in under the door. There are tiny spiders in the corners of the ceilings. There’s a musty smell. I’m too noisy upstairs (it’s just me and I tiptoe). Buy a Keurig (there’s already a coffee maker, and free coffee and tea). Buy new nightstands. Buy a coffee table. Put in a TV. Make it lighter, use LED lights from now on. Keep the computer turned on or make it easier to turn on or take it out altogether.

Change the electrical wiring. Get new pillows. Get a luggage rack. Provide a place to hang clothes. Give more heat. Give more parking space. Love my emotional support pet. Did you slam the toilet seat or was that the heater?

Two naturally-oriented guests left the double doors open during a rain storm and put the couch in front of the open space to look out. When they were done, they didn’t close one side completely and for a while, worms were coming in to die, seeking the cool tile floor. Complaints from the next four guests because I couldn’t figure out why they started coming in so much.

I internalize and act on the comments. After being fully booked for a year, all those complaints I listed? They’re all fixed. I’ve made the place better and better. There are new floors, a new TV with all the channels you can get, a dehumidifier, a new heater (which two guests say is too loud and one even suggested buying a second new heater), new nightstands, the luggage rack, the LED light bulbs, plenty of plastic silverware, unoffensive everlasting snacks, lots of water (no longer Fiji), new paint on the walls and ceilings, and even a strictly regimented cleaning process, which I would happily attach if it would make dear reader happy.

My suggestion is, if they have a complaint, let them leave a complaint. But don’t encourage them. Hosts get worn out by constant suggestions and complaints. A guest might get one suggestion in a year. I have received more than one hundred. And that – on top of cleaning the place 120 times (they don’t all leave reviews) and having strangers in my basement.

I know it’s helpful. I should unpack and cherish every complaint like the little gift (of crap) it’s meant to be. But it hurts my heart. I am caring about these people and making the place super nice (it’s five stars, I’m a Superhost, and it’s a three-room suite in my very nice basement area for $45/night in a touristy area) and yet the complaints keep pouring in with every review. It’s not public (although some guests can’t help themselves) but it still undermines my joy in the experience, considerably.

Could Airbnb maybe only ask half of them to tell me what I could do better? Let the other half think for themselves whether they want to tell me what I can do better. I have many other tangents I can run down regarding Airbnb, Heaven or Hell, Depending on the day, but I will save that for another time. Until then, enjoy the host experience…

$40 Airbnb Email Credit Offer Not Received

I received an Airbnb email saying that I would receive a $40 credit the next time I traveled and stayed at an Airbnb for a trip that was $75 or more. Our family had travelled to CA to do college tours with our daughter. Since it was the week of Thanksgiving, there weren’t a lot of hotel options left in Southern California at reasonable rates. My husband wanted to book through Hotwire, which he uses frequently. I had only used Airbnb once when traveling overseas and everything had worked out fine for me, but he had never tried Airbnb.

I finally convinced my skeptical husband to let me find a place with Airbnb for two of the nights since we could take advantage of the $40 credit. Since we were already traveling when I made my reservations, I was using my new Android phone to find and book the house. When I clicked on the email link with the offer on my new phone, it asked me if I wanted to install the Airbnb app, which I did. After installing the app, I clicked on the $40 credit link and it offered me several different ways to log into the App, including Facebook, Google account, etc.

Since my Google account was already set up on my phone, I used that option. Instead of linking my Google account with my primary Airbnb email account with the $40 credit offer, I found out later that it created a new account using my Gmail address as the primary email on the account. Most software apps will link your Google, Facebook, or Microsoft account to your existing account login, but not the Airbnb app.

After booking my reservation for two nights (we did have a lovely stay… great house and view overlooking Pismo Bay), I realized Airbnb charged the full amount without ever applying a $40 credit. After spending at least an hour on the phone with Customer Support, (mainly them going around and around saying there is nothing they can do since the stay was booked under another email address instead of the email address that the offer was sent to, even though I accessed it through the link they provided in the promotional email), they finally only gave me $25 credit towards my next stay…if I book through them within the next year.

It was a very frustrating experience. They need to fix their login credential links so that other login options offered for Facebook, Google, etc., will actually recognize that you access their website or their app through the email link with the credit offer. When I let Customer Service know that I was going to post reviews of my experience on social media, they tried to withdraw the offer of the $25 credit. When asked about why I would “post bad reviews after giving me a $25 credit,” I let them know that I still had not been credited with the full $40 that was promised, instead the $25 credit will only be applied if I decide to book through them again in the next year, and I let them know that I was only going to post an honest review of the actual events that occurred.

In the end, I do have that $25 credit on my account, but I don’t know if I will have the opportunity to travel again within the next year. I still have not decided if I would try Airbnb again after this experience.

Airbnb Guest Left the Bedroom in a Oily Mess

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A guest stayed for several months, then left without saying goodbye without paying for four nights. Inside the drawers remains an oily substance. I sent a message to the Airbnb resolution center, and this is what they wrote:

“I have taken a look through the details you have provided and I should explain that, in the case of the bedroom furniture, it appears that the damage can be remedied without the need to replace everything. Generally speaking, unless items are damaged beyond repair or beyond use, replacement cost will not be provided.

In addition, when replacement cost is approved the amounts involved are subject to deductions for both depreciation and residual value. Airbnb will always pay for the lesser cost of repair or replacement so please explore that possibility. On all items please provide invoices,estimates, or receipts covering the cost of repair (or replacement if appropriate). All documents should appear on company letterhead and Word/Excel documents are not accepted.

Please submit the requested documentation by November 10th. If you need more time to gather it, please communicate how much time you think you might need.”

Thanks for you answer, but please allow me to insist about the permanent damage to the bedroom. It cost us $3,200 five years ago, before we went into business with Airbnb. We have been trying to clean off this oily substance from all the bedroom furniture, including the bed, mattress, sheets, towels, mattress cover, night stand, dresser and chest, without success. All the furniture is still stained and seems impossible to be cleaned. On the dresser, the guest burned or melted some plastic that we tried to remove, resulting in some permanent damage. The carpet may be cleaned but we’re without hope the stains will go away. The guest also broke a lamp.

Airbnb: A Horrible End to our Honeymoon

I booked this property for the last part of my honeymoon in Italy. Upon arriving the place was great. The day we got there we had travelled from Turin to Rome to Naples to Sorrento so it had been a long day; we wanted to shower and nap. When trying to shower, I got only ice cold water. I told the host about the issue and she sent someone to look at it shortly and told me it should be fixed. However, she wanted to send them again in the morning just to be safe.

The next morning they came and take a look and then we left for a tour. After coming back from the tour we really needed a shower but again, there was no warm water. We had a special dinner to go to so it was very uncomfortable coming from a full day tour and not getting a proper shower.

All the way through I communicated the issues to the host through Airbnb. I even told her that this issue would be in her review. Her review for me said I was dishonest and would not recommend me. Why would I lie about this? And how is it a lie if she had someone look at the issue multiple times?

This was an extremely horrible experience especially as it was for my honeymoon and the first time I’ve used Airbnb for a trip. I tried getting the review from my profile removed and compensation for the horrible experience but Airbnb did not help. They only said if I had called during the stay, then they could have done something. This made no sense to me because their site recommends that you work it out with the host.

The Flophouse Fiasco Made us Leave Early

A friend and I recently took a trip to Denver using Airbnb as lodging. It was our first and last time and here’s why. We finally arrived in Denver and made our way to a neighborhood that was reminiscent of Fallujah. As we were unloading our things into the house the “host” pointed us towards a queen size mattress in the corner.

I looked around (we were in the living room at this time) to see three more “living areas” in this same room. Not to mention some sort of party table was right next to this queen size bed. We were told we were the only ones staying there via email but as we stood there in utter shock we watched a stream of “people” come in. By this time my buddy and I were very tired after driving all night to get there but it finally hit us – they expect my grown male friend and I to share this queen size mattress for three days in the middle of this dump house with people flopped everywhere.

Now I like my buddy but sorry I’m not sleeping with him for three days. After confirming that was the plan, we promptly grabbed our gear and left. We ended up just getting a hotel room and eating the fee from Airbnb. I’m not sure how they can legally rent one mattress to two adults but doesn’t matter because never again will I do Airbnb. People just get a hotel and save yourself the hassle and extra expense.

Airbnb Guest Reviews are Unfair to Hosts

I joined Airbnb in August of 2016 as a host. I live in a house where I rent out one guest room. All other rooms are shared, including the one bathroom. It is a small house just over 1000 square feet. Just so you know, I joined out of desperation, since I was unemployed and worried I would not be able to pay my bills. I have currently unlisted my space as I am gainfully employed and in part due to the following.

Airbnb Customer Service: I find it very disconcerting that I must go to an entirely different website (outside the Airbnb site) to find a phone number, email and physical address to contact you. When I attempt to use the Airbnb internal contact form, I get directed to the FAQ. This is extremely poor customer service and very frustrating.

Their policies of not allowing a host to view a guest review until 14 days pass or until I post a review of the guest are objectionable. For the guest I had, I would not have reviewed her so neutrally had I known how derogatory hers would be of me. I find it is their policy that I cannot change my review nor can I change a response to her review or add to it.

This guest arrived three hours before the check-in time. I wouldn’t have been concerned except for the events that would follow. She should have been charged an extra day. Since she was a multi-month guest, she was only charged the first month up front. Her second and third payments were late, which Airbnb was aware of and should automatically put up a review that she had a lack of funds to pay when the money was due twice.

It is extremely important to hosts that they get paid on-time. She never communicated to me that she would be able to pay albeit late, yet remained in the house and waited for me to ask. She did eventually pay, but payments two and three were late. However, had she not paid, they claim no liability and I would have been forced to litigate to get her out of my house.

In general, this guest was a very poor communicator. She was very upset that the commute to the hospital where she would be working would be over thirty minutes’ drive. However, before booking, she had never asked how long it took to drive there. I would’ve known and I would’ve told her.

I overheard her – when she thought I was not able to hear her – tell someone over the phone that I only provided small sample shampoos. I do not list that as an amenity on my listing. The sample shampoos are just a courtesy in case someone forgets and until they can get to a store.

She also complained that I was getting up before she left for work when I clearly told her the time I had to get up for my job (substitute teaching in the beginning) the day she arrived. When queried about when she’d be working, she was vague and I had to deduce from observations later. She also complained there was no ceiling fan in the room she occupied while many of the other rooms had ceiling fan. However, I had bought a new fan for her to use as the ones I had were dirty and I was unable to get apart to clean.

She never communicated any of these issues directly to me. Every morning she worked, and she cooked bacon. As I have stated, I have a small house. I also have asthma. The smell I had to get up to was overwhelming, many times causing a coughing attack. I had to spend 15-20 minutes every morning (before I needed to prepare and leave for work, mind you) spraying a neutralizing air spray, wiping up grease and cleaning out the drain in the kitchen (she would remove the strainer and leave bits of egg and other food in the drain, potentially clogging my drain).

As she was getting ready for one and a half hours, she would pass my bedroom door over and over as she had refused to use any of the storage in the kitchen or bathroom that I had provided. She was rather heavy footed and made a lot of noise. She had on several occasions left a big glob of hair in the tub. Once she must have been dying her hair and left two black marks on my fabric shower curtain. These did not wash out.

In her review, she claims she did not know I had a dog. My house rules clearly state that I do have a dog in two places. In addition, one reviewer mentioned my friendly dogs (one has since passed). In her review, this guest complained that my dog begged every time she ate. She never once communicated this to me. I kept my dog in my bedroom when she was eating breakfast and getting ready for work because I noticed one morning that she was bothered by the dog. I certainly would have curbed my dog more had she communicated to me that she was bothered.

She dinged me badly with one star for “misrepresenting my listing” because she claims she did not know I had dog until she arrived. She clearly could not have read the house rules before she booked. Airbnb needs to ensure that guesst read the house rules before they book. Additionally, in her review, she complained I only had one TV. Had she reviewed the photos, she would have seen that there was no TV in the guest bedroom and no others in the house except the living room.

She added that if she didn’t want to watch what I was watching, she would have to find something else to do. This is an extremely skewed view; I likely only used the TV 6-7% of the time she was there. When I was done watching I would hand her the remote and ask if she wanted to watch anything else. I also remember occasions I watched on my laptop and once on my phone so she could have the TV. She, however, had the TV on nearly every waking minute she was there. If she didn’t have to work that day, she would wake up and turn on the TV.

It would be on all day until she went to bed with few exceptions. She would come from work and immediately turn on the TV. I also observed she would have on a movie that she had just watched a couple weeks before. She also would have her tablet on her lap during the time she watched, leading me to question: how much did she really need the TV?

In her review, she claimed my house was infested with spiders. I can only conclude that she is an arachnophobe and seeing one or two spiders sends her into a panic. I witnessed her cutting up citrus to place around the room to repel spiders. She claims to have read this on the internet. Again, she did not communicate her concerns or whether it was okay to do what she was doing (it was not) and took it upon herself to address the situation. After she left, there were some dried up citrus pieces some of which were stuck on the rug, leaving a sticky mess for me to clean.

Almost a month after she has left, and I am still finding pieces of dried up citrus. The definition of infestation is enough of an insect, animal, etc., to cause damage or disease. There is no way that my house has been damaged by a few spiders and it is not unhealthy either. Her review makes my home sound like it is from the Munster’s or Adams Family TV shows or a scene from a Harry Potter movie, all far from the truth.

This is another area she dinged me badly, by giving me one star for cleanliness. My house is far from a one star for cleanliness as one can see from other reviews. When speaking to a friend about her review, she said, “I’ve never seen a spider in your house and I’ve been here a lot.” My friend also remarked that she was passive aggressive. There was another minor annoyance with her: she left drawers open an inch, and did not push her chair in.

Airbnb making amends: I would ask that her review be taken down. I clearly think that they should remove the one star for “misrepresenting my listing” when I have always been upfront about having a dog. Barring that, I would like to edit or add an addendum to my review from this guest or I would like to be allowed to add an addendum to the response to her review.

Airbnb should indicate that she is probably okay to inhabit a place on her own, but she is not a good housemate, even temporarily. She should never be allowed into a place with an animal. Most importantly, a potential host should be warned it may be difficult to collect payment from her.

Suggestion: when a host is residing on the property, Airbnb should have an escape clause: if the guests and hosts are a mismatch for whatever reasons, allow either party to cancel and part company without any retribution.

Cleaning Fee? Ripoff. Airbnb no Help. Broken Junky Place. Amateur Hour.

We rented an apartment in Costa De Caparica, Portugal, for 17 days. The place was adequate, although it was clear the tenant/owner was just doing this on the side, and has not figured out whether she is subletting or just renting rooms. Overall, everything was average, but not rental quality for the money.

There were broken curtain rods that fell on you, hot water running out unless you switched on additional, a nasty kitchen, and cleaning brushes filled with mildew and grunge. The worst was broken rolling shutters that you had to have two people open and shut – just basic maintenance things.

Then, deliveries for the owner started showing up several times, and at least three different crews of workmen wanted access to the apartment for the gas and electricity maintenance. Amateur hour. It advertised a hot tub, but really it was a broken tub jet thing. As we were at the beach, we just went with it, but then, came the cleaning fee.

It was a checkout nightmare. We were told, in writing, that a cleaner would arrive to collect the keys from us when we left and clean the apartment. No one arrived. We were told to lock the keys inside, that the cleaner would come, so we did. No cleaner ever came, and the apartment stood empty for a week in the summer heat.

We left a small bag of rubbish, and the bathroom needed regular maintenance cleaning – nothing bad, just normal for a seventeen-day rental. It was never requested that we self-clean. We paid the fee. No cleaning occurred. Airbnb, in classic style, took her side. So, like so many others, we got ripped off, left a bad review, for cleaning we were told would happen.

I really hope the governments crack down on this nonsense. In no other industry can you make a contract, break it willfully, and have zero recourse. Had we known or been responsible for cleaning – topical cleaning I might add – we would have hired our own person to come do it, or done it ourselves. The place was not left poorly – just normal daily cleaning was needed.

Most Airbnbs request we don’t do our own cleaning, as they have a particular way they want things done – fair enough; I’m happy to pay. Not this woman, and I will be surprised if she doesn’t run into many more problems like this. Long-winded emails, smiling in our faces, then a knife in the back. We could have worked out many solutions, but were not allowed the option. Word to the wise: do not leave a nice review until the owner has left theirs, or leave none at all. Knife in the back, lesson learned. Airbnb is awful. Avoid this amateur.

Welcome to Airbnb, where we don’t care about you

Here I am in Memphis staying at a record house hostel listed on Airbnb. At first, things seemed to be going okay. I have been doing this for about seven weeks now, traveling and staying in various hostels and Airbnbs. I arrived in Memphis and the house manager warned me that there was a homeless lady who was staying in the room next to mine and that sometimes she isn’t very nice. “Okay, cool,” I thought, “thanks for the warning… but why are you letting her stay here?”

Anyways, I went about my business. not paying this lady any attention. That was until she made me do so. I had put my things in the washing machine and ran up the road to the gas station. I wasn’t gone long enough for my things to finish. When I arrived back at the hostel, she had thrown her clothes in with mine. Immediately I was pissed. Obviously, I mean… who the hell does that?

I left a note on the dryer letting this person know that it’s not okay to touch other people’s things. When she saw the note a few minutes later, she flipped out. She started screaming at me, calling me racist, and telling me to go to hell. Instead of dealing with it, I just messaged the hosts and told them what was going on. They then called Airbnb and reported the lady.

The next day, Airbnb had removed that lady’s reservation and said that the host could remove her from the house. So they did. When they did, she was even madder at me. She threatened to slash my throat and she sat in the street waiting for me to come outside. I had to call the police to get her to leave. The police wanted the report that was filed with Airbnb, and guess what? They wouldn’t give it to me.

What the hell? Are you serious right now? I have the police in the yard, Airbnb on the phone (only after waiting for 45 minutes) and they won’t email me the damn report. What did they do? They sent me a form to give them feedback instead.

The customer service representative essentially said, “I’m sorry you’re having a bad experience with Airbnb. Here, fill out this form so you can waste even more time, explaining something that we don’t care about in the first place. “

Airbnb sucks. Aside from having poor customer service, they don’t offer anything after you’ve had a bad experience. It’s like the CEO’s just said: “we’ve got our money; let them fend for themselves.”

Welcome to Airbnb, where we don’t care about you: that’s what it should say on their website.