Out of Pocket Thousands Doing What Airbnb Told Me

I had my first group of guests cause damage in early June. I contacted Airbnb; they seemed great and told me to send photos with quotes for repairs. They approved my claim, asked for a link to the items that were damaged, and told me they would cover the costs to replace the damaged items – I just had to cover them first.

They haven’t covered the costs of the item I sent them the links for. This had taken some time to get here and so I waited to hear back. I got an email that simply said I had 48 hours to accept the first amount offered or my case would be closed. I called straight away and spoke to someone in guest services who told me not to worry; the case can’t be closed until the items being covered are sorted out.

I told him I had been given 48 hours. I had been patient in getting a response but I could not wait anymore; I needed to speak to someone straightaway. I was told my case was made urgent and someone would contact me in 24 hours. He calmed me down and put my mind at ease, even said maybe the lady in charge of my case might not be the right person to look after me. I waited and after 24 hours called again, as the 48 hours was disappearing and I was worried about it even thought I had been assured.

Again I was told the same thing and I was also told to write back saying I was not accepting that amount as it didn’t cover all the damaged items and that someone would call me in 24 hours. I waited and called again. This time I was told that after my first conversation my case had been transferred to someone else and that I needed to wait for them to call me. He did say someone might not be able to call in 24 hours as this had not been happening, but a new person would call me; I shouldn’t worry.

That night I got an email from the first person telling me I didn’t take the money in the first 48 hours and now my case was closed. I am no longer getting any compensation for not following their guidelines. I wrote back saying I was told my case was with someone else and that my advice was that the items being covered would be sorted and to wait, which is what I did. So because I followed advice from his colleague and they didn’t contact me within the 24 hours and ignored my email about forgetting some items they asked for links to, I am now out of pocket more than $3000.

I called again. I was so upset and was told that they did not have my case and a new person would be in touch. Again I have had emails from the first person saying they had to follow the guidelines and they weren’t there at the booking – they can only go off the evidence.

This doesn’t make sense I showed the same evidence of damage to the BBQ as I did for the lights, just a photo. If it’s good for one it should be for both. If I hadn’t been told to wait the 48 hours wouldn’t have passed and I wouldn’t be out the full cost of the damage. All I did was follow the advice I was given by Airbnb. Because I did what I was told and waited when I should have been pushing, I am no longer getting any reimbursement. At the same time I am being told that someone else is in charge if my case and they will contact me and sort this out.

I’m in tears with no idea what is going on and waiting yet again as I don’t know what else I should be doing. If the staff in different departments aren’t sure of other departments’ procedures and the consequences are thousands of dollars, they shouldn’t tell you to wait. All I can do right now is wait and hope someone does actually have my case and they are sorting it out. Otherwise I have been misinformed and due to that, out of pocket thousands.

All you can do is take advice from the people you can talk to. If they work for Airbnb, how can that advice lead to me being out of pocket? If this is true, it’s a great scam. “Yes, we will cover you, forget a few items, so you contact the only department that you can speak to…”

They tell you not to worry, so you don’t and wait. This puts you outside the claim timeframe and bam – you don’t get any reimbursement. It’s a great scam if this is how they keep their host guarantee costs down. I’m so disappointed and hoping the first person I spoke to that got my claim sent to someone else has been trained correctly. Please let the person who I have been told has my case contact me soon and put my mind at peace. Up until this point Airbnb has been great, but this stress is just not worth it. Even if I turn out to be okay, all the emails from Airbnb have put me at my breaking point.

Mice Infestation and Airbnb Host’s Response

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Our recent family trip was the worst Airbnb experience ever. Our trip was originally suppose to be for nine nights and we ended up leaving early due to mice. We didn’t discover the mice until our fifth night. On our fifth night at the cabin my mom slept on the pull out couch and woke up to one mouse on her leg, and another one near her head. The mattress topper for the sofa bed was all chewed up by the mice and soiled in mouse droppings. We immediately called the host in the morning to inform him about the mice. We then discovered mouse droppings all around the house. The mice droppings were in cupboards, on the kitchen counter, floors, and the toaster.

We have two young children (3.5 years old and 16 months) who were playing and crawling on the ground. I was constantly stressed and on high alert cleaning the floors because of the mice. The host responded by giving us a bottle of wine and referred to it as a “token gesture”… more like a slap in the face to us. He also set mouse traps. Airbnb asked us if we would let the host try to resolve the issue but what the host did by giving us a bottle of wine and setting a few mouse traps was anything but a solution.

The next morning my two children were watching TV on the couch and we discovered a mouse trap was missing from where the host had originally placed it. We discovered the mouse trap between the sofa arm and cushion with the mouse stuck in it… and alive. We sent a photo to the host and told him that we were leaving because there was clearly a mice infestation and it wasn’t be solved nor was it going to get solved. As the guests we should not have to stay in an accommodation that has an issue with mice, and it was wrong for the host to think he tried everything he could and refuse to issue us a refund.

How is this customer service? How the hell is he a Superhost? I am so upset that our family vacation was turned completely upside down especially because we booked it all the way back in February 2018. What’s worse is Airbnb failed to respond, and the customer service was so poor. I have to repeat my story again and again because whoever is on the phone doesn’t have authority to resolve it, and when they say they will call me back they never do. It’s a nightmare that doesn’t end with the trip – it’s ongoing and I will make sure I tell my friends my experience because I will not be using Airbnb again.

Run Away from Airbnb to get Paid on Time

It’s peak football season in Russia. I provided my townhouse to Airbnb guests from China. It is in Sochi. I was also helping my guests from the beginning with some situations when they mailed their football badges to the wrong address. I helped them with taxi as well. It was a lot of work, but it was okay to me, because I wanted to see my guests happy. It was my first experience with Airbnb as well… and the last one.

I have hosted my house through other websites and I have always gotten paid. But Airbnb refused to do so. First, they called me and said they would be paying me within 24 hours after the guests checked in. Later that same evening, they called me and said, “No, we will not pay you until Monday,” which is 60 hours after check in and my guests check out on Monday at 12:00 PM. Since I read too many hosts complained about not getting paid at all, I said that that was not what I agreed to. I had no trust in that system.

My guests contacted the company and offered to pay me cash and to get money back from the company. Airbnb replied: “We will not give you money back. You should not pay her any money.” Airbnb also switched my banking details from “verified” to “not verified,” which was a total lie. My banking details were good and other sites have use them with no problems.

The bottom line is: hosts have to provide a free place for their guests, guests have a ruined vacation, and then Airbnb gets away with this scam, keeping my money. Unfortunately I have more people coming though Airbnb for the FIFA games, and I have to email my guests and tell them this story. I will have to cancel their future plans to stay at my house so I don’t deal with rude customers to survive; I do not provide free housing and will not deal with this scam. I feel bad that football fans will get a cancellation from me, but I have no choice. Run from this company and never deal with them.

Airbnb Guests Steal Firewood from Neighbours

When I bought my home in 2009, it was not beside a hotel. Now it is. The property adjacent to mine in a quiet, rural area sold a year ago to new owners who obviously bought it to run a full time hotel. Short-term rentals in the area are illegal, but the bylaws are enforced on a complaint basis and the fines are low. I find it very unpleasant to have new strangers arriving at the house beside me every 3 to 5 days. I don’t feel safe in my own home.

Although it’s in a rural setting, the houses are close. Airbnb guests and workers servicing the “hotel” have parked in my driveway blocking me in repeatedly in spite of “no parking” signs I installed after the parking problem started when the new owners showed up. The new owners’ realtor, building inspector, cable company, cleaning staff and guests have all parked in my driveway, parking me in and completely blocking the driveway.

Each time I have gone down and knocked on the door and asked them to move their vehicle. Each time, they rolled their eyes at me and indicated that this was a big inconvenience to them – but they did move their vehicles. I took photos of their vehicles and I was ready to have them towed. Although they always moved their vehicles, how many times a week should I be expected to go down and ask them to move?

If I need to get my car out to go to work, I don’t always have time to deal with an Airbnb vehicle blocking my driveway. Airbnb guests from next door have rung my doorbell early in the morning awakening me (I was thinking there must be some sort of dire emergency) to ask me where they might find a good swimming beach. Swell.

Even if I live beside a neighbour who I don’t like too much, I get used to them and I know who is there. Living beside an Airbnb hotel with a high turnover is much worse. Most guests are quiet and don’t cause any problems. But still – we don’t know who they are. This creates a sense of uneasiness and insecurity for the neighbours.

Some Airbnb guests are more problematic. With the average stay being 3-5 days and the Airbnb rented out solidly all year long, we were bound to get some problematic guests eventually. That happened the first two weekends in June 2018 when two separate groups of Airbnb guests were caught red-handed stealing firewood from a neighbouring house (not my house – I’ve had to install security cameras on my house to deter them).

The first group of thieves acted belligerently when confronted by a neighbour and absconded with the firewood anyway. The weekend of June 9th, the exact same scenario occurred: same neighbour caught the guests red-handed stealing firewood. He made them put it back this time and reported it to the police. The police won’t do anything; they have bigger fish to fry.

The neighbour who caught the firewood thieves and I have both filed complaints with Airbnb and with the municipality. We’ve requested that the municipality enforce their own bylaws. The municipality sent a representative right away to the door of the Airbnb. The owners happened to be present at the time, even though they are rarely present. I don’t know the outcome… likely a small fine and it carries on.

Airbnb has not replied at all to any complaints and the firewood thieves still have rave reviews about how wonderful they are on the Airbnb website. I’d feel slightly better if the firewood thieves had been called out and received bad reviews on the Airbnb website. There are no bad reviews on Airbnb. All reviews are positive. No one wants to risk giving a bad review because then they might get a bad review in return. That’s bad for business.

The review system doesn’t work because all reviews are positive. The picture of the BBQ shows my house to the left. The rocky garden in the background in that picture is my property. The owners do not tell the Airbnb guests this, so the guests are angry when I am out weeding my own garden. They have no qualms about trespassing. These guests got rave reviews. They could be staying beside you next week.

San Diego Airbnb Gem Turns out to be Nasty

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The tags more or less say it all. We arrived to an overwhelmingly bad smell, a mixture of body odor and dog pee. It turned out the sheets were dirty – I mean really dirty with hair on the pillowcase and a horrible smell. We contacted the host who sent out her mother (the head of housekeeping) to put on fresh linens.

Fortunately, we lived close (long story) so we went and brought our own bedding. After removing all of the bedding the whole house smelled better – except the dog pee – so we sort of got used to it. The bath linens were dirty too. The towels smelled of mildew but the hand towel smelled of ass, literally. I found out the hard way after washing my face. Looking closely anywhere showed a lot of dirt including dust, stains, grime, hair, spider webs, spider shit, rat shit, mildew, and more.

The filth kicker was the cabinet above the kitchen sink. There was an opening to the outside and rats have been coming into the house. Two un-set rat traps still with peanut butter residue sat patiently waiting to be used again and were peppered with rat shit. Another cabinet had three other rat traps in it as well.

The amenities consisted of a used roll of paper towel, a nearly empty bottle of dish soap, a mishmash of silverware not even making up a full complement, some pots and pans but no colander for making spaghetti, and just random barely acceptable $1 store plastic ware. I mean it has some charm, but this crap sets the stage for a lovely four-night stay.

During the stay we discovered the casita next door had a couple in it on a vacation where they never left their unit, talked and laughed loudly all day and night with their windows open we think on a recreational weed holiday. On the other side the neighbors had a nest cam pointed out their window at the Airbnb unit looking past a fence cut down low for visibility and peering into the bathroom and kitchen windows. With no fan in the bathroom you open the window only to be filmed while showering.

When you go to write a bad review and you dispute the $85 cleaning fee, this is the response you might get: “We have to keep traps because of the surrounding fruits trees. I’m sorry that you experienced uncleanliness. I will bring this to the cleaners attention. I just ask you to not write me an awful review. Thank you for your understanding.”

Fortunately they refunded that fee. I am absolutely stunned that anyone recently even wrote a positive review.

Racist Host Can’t Help But Write Negative Reply

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I have had a pleasant trip using Airbnb over the last month until I read the messages from a host in Florence. I stayed in Florence and the bathtub in the apartment was so clogged that the water covered my feet while showering; hairs floated. I mentioned this discomfort in my review, and the host seemed to be very dissatisfied with the problem I raised.

According to her, the apartment was in poor condition and the water went down a bit slower but her apartment was clean. Yes, it may be true some hairs from the pipe came out and her tub had been clean. However, how could I know the status of her entire building?

Her public review wasn’t that bad, but the private message was terrible. I can not stand this discriminatory statement. She has a huge bias for the people of my country, and this kind of person should not be an Airbnb host.

[Translated and edited public review] Thank you for the kind review. I would like to point out that some of what he wrote was incorrect: the apartment is advertised as clean (including the tub), but unfortunately the internal condition of the pipes does not depend on cleaning. This can happen in an apartment in which the speed at which a bathtub drains is slower than it should be. It certainly does not depend on cleanliness, so I hope you will take care of it in the future 🙂

[Translated and edited reply] The tub was clean. It simply drains slowly. Next time, go to a hotel. This is the usual attitude I see from Koreans. You’d better get an education, and learn not to be so unpleasant. It is no coincidence that I don’t have other negative reviews. I hope we don’t see each other again.

Do I have to deal with hosts like this because I just left a review that does not appeal to one host?

Airbnb Host Won’t Acknowledge Paint Fumes

We had the most horrible night at this Airbnb due to the host recently painting all of the woodwork in this Victorian bedroom with gloss paint. My eyes were stinging, my nose and throat were burning. My husband was exhausted as our check in wasn’t until 4:00 PM so we had from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM walking around sightseeing to kill time in Kirkwall.

He didn’t want to leave to find alternative accommodations. I saw a hotel down the street, which he agreed that if they had availability we would move, but they didn’t. We could only get one window to open; the rest of the windows were painted shut. When we saw the host we told him the paint bothered us. He just said it was recently decorated and that it should air out by keeping the window open; it didn’t because all of the painted woodwork was around the windows.

We found a fan and had that in front of the windows and my husband found a face mask in his first aid kit for me to wear. The next morning we asked the table of two other couples if they were bothered by paint fumes, one couple also noticed the fresh paint smell, the other couple didn’t (their room wasn’t painted). When the host came into the room and asked how we slept I told him that the paint fumes bothered me and he acted like I was crazy and stated that no one else complained (the other couple didn’t speak up). Frankly, it was embarrassing.

On the way out I asked for a receipt and they couldn’t be bothered to get me one. Instead, they rehashed why I should be so bothered by paint fumes. When we got home, I made a list of complaints which I posted on Airbnb and Tripadvisor. When he read them he went off his rocker and started accusing us of being nightmare guests and advising people to avoid us like the plague.

He even went so far as to read through four years of my Tripadvisor reviews and to look me up on the internet trying to look for any dirt on me he could find. The worse he could find was that I complained about odours a few times and had three complaints of food related illnesses out of 250 reviews. I’m just hoping his nasty response shows him in a bad light. They are nothing but a pair of liars and scam artists.

Desperate Situation After Airbnb Refuses to Answer

I made a reservation on Airbnb for seven weeks in Paris as I was doing an internship there. On our arrival, we noticed that the apartment was a bit dirty and very stinky (cigarettes) and noisy (neighbors). Tired from our travels, we did’t want to make a fuss so we cleaned a bit by ourselves. When we got home at 9:30 PM after a long walk we realized there was no cover for the two-person bed as written on the description. We had to buy one (70€) for our first night. We tried to contact the host but there was no reply that day.

We contacted Airbnb the next morning. They tried to contact our host but he made no effort to find a solution or give us a refund; he denied the facts. There was no hairdryer as described too. On the eighth day, we discovered something else: cockroaches. We couldn’t stay there anymore and made a reclamation on the Airbnb website. They told us we could cancel our reservation and make another reservation. They also promised us we would get a full refund for the nights we didn’t spend there (1000€). That’s what I did; I made a reservation for another apartment (2500€) but my refund was only 39€. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Since then I have been trying to reach them by phone and messaging to get my money back but there has been no answer. I’m quite desperate…

Cautionary Tale: Reservation Alteration by Guests, for Hosts

Here is a little known Airbnb policy we got screwed by: hosts who cancel a previously booked reservation do face some sort of penalty or automatic bad review. For a complete host cancellation, there is a 10% credit from Airbnb for the guest to rebook with another host. However, hosts that only partially withdraw the reservation are not penalized, the guest does not get the 10% rebooking credit, and when the reservation alteration feature is initiated by the guest (due to the host’s circumstances) to receive a refund, the recalculation formula for reducing the number of days penalizes the guest, not the host. This process did allow me a refund, but several days later my credit card was fraudulently charged again for the amount of my refund.

Forget about getting any help from customer service; they just keep passing you off to another case manager for another go around. If you do get someone who knows how to correctly apply a refund, it takes up to 15 business days to get it. I finally went to my bank to submit a fraudulent charge report.

We learned a hard lesson. It was not possible to find another house with similar amenities in the same location with such short notice. My suggestion to others is before you book with any host, ask if the house is currently on the market, or undergoing renovation. Also, I suggest that you review carefully Airbnb’s “reservation alteration policy.” Unless the host cancels the entire reservation, the guest gets screwed. I was instructed by an Airbnb case manager to “alter” my confirmed reservation for the reduced number of days the host could accommodate us. Do not do this if the reason for alteration is due to the host’s circumstances, not the guest’s. Have the host cancel the reservation and start over, either with the same host or a new one.

Save Yourself This Airbnb Experience in Austin

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For three nights and four days, I stayed in a shared space Airbnb in the beloved Austin, Texas. I was in Austin for some job interviews with a friend, so while we spent most of Saturday and Sunday out and about, we really buckled down Sunday evening and Monday morning to prepare for our interviews in the space we paid to rent. We also disclosed to them that we would be generally pretty chill all weekend, and that we were there for job interviews when requesting the booking so if that sounded too chill to them they did have the option to deny the booking request.

I went to the University of Texas at Austin, but chose to stay in an Airbnb rather than with a friend at school because I didn’t want to be distracted by the college lifestyle when I was there focusing on upcoming interviews. The house itself was beautiful, modern, and the hosts were generally great too (while we were there). We were also super respectful of the space, cleaned when we left, put towels in the washer, stripped the beds, took the trash out – the whole nine yards.

The only questionable things that happened during our stay was a rooster (in the middle of the city) crowing constantly throughout the day and night and a lacy thong left on the floor one night when we came home. Still nothing too crazy or alarming. The neighborhood was sketchy but I generally am unafraid of sketchy areas in Austin nowadays after navigating the city on my own for four years.

On our last morning, we came outside to see my friends car had been in a hit and run sometime from when we came home at around 11:00 PM to when we went out that morning around 9:00 AM. As shitty as this situation was, we handled it with the Austin PD accordingly (like adults) and didn’t get our hosts involved as we didn’t see it was their fault. Moving forward, we left them a raving review on Airbnb (which now cannot be changed – see Airbnb profile for our review) because we figured, “These people are trying to make a living too.” We didn’t want to ruin their Airbnb business, and we’ve heard worse nightmares about Airbnb. As far as we were concerned, our stay was good.

Flash forward: this host left us this review.

“Sarah was very sweet and gracious. She and her guest left the space nice and clean upon checkout. The two of them would likely be more comfortable/suited to renting an entire space rather than a private room in a shared space. They seemed to enjoy being home rather than out and about all day long. Renting an entire space would have given them more freedom to have lively conversations and make use of the entertainment areas without the worrying about noise levels.

We hosted two groups during SXSW (a large music festival in Austin) and it worked out really well, because, well… the guests were literally out all day enjoying the festival. The other host and I would leave for work early in the morning while the guests were still knocked out. And by the time they made it home, he and I were usually already asleep. But for you guys, since you seemed to like to be home a little more often.”

Are you kidding me? We generally didn’t want to stay in this Airbnb because it wasn’t super convenient to downtown but we pulled the trigger because with this past weekend being Round Up and Texas Relays it was one of the last places left (shared or not) when we were renting. We also never really considered using their entertainment areas or have lively conversations because most of the time spent at home was either spent working or stalking our potential employers to seem more prepared.

Additionally, if you don’t want people in your house simply don’t rent it on Airbnb in the middle of mid-gentrified East Austin. That having been said, I’ve included some pictures of our car that was in the hit and run as well. We weren’t given the opportunity to park in their driveway, and were told street parking was the only option.

Airbnb won’t let us change the review we left for them before they left this passive aggressive review on us. We now have to live with it on our Airbnb profile forever more. We are not bums. We do not typically stay in Airbnb to live in them all weekend. Aside from that, we spent maybe six hours there on Monday during the day because I also had a full work day at my current job that I was still expected to show up to remotely.

That having been said, friends, if you are ever in need of a space in Austin, pleasde save yourselves (your cars, your Airbnb guest review) from this place. If Airbnb won’t let me tell the whole story then by golly Airbnb Hell will.

We understand this review isn’t that horrible but it really left a bad taste in our mouths when we read it, seeing as we were overly respectful of the space. Why rent your home as a shared space on Airbnb if you aren’t good at sharing? Additionally, future Airbnb hosts can now see that review forever more and to be honest I’m bitter that I’m gonna seem like some lame-o that comes to Austin and ‘enjoys being home rather than out and about all day long.’ I do enjoy being out and about all day long, but I also enjoy walking into a job interview and murdering the game and sometimes that takes sacrificing one night and day out for some preparation.

TLDR; If you’re ever in Austin don’t stay at this Airbnb.