Coronavirus Emergency Stay from Hell

I am miserable as I type this. My mom has been homeless since January. She started staying with me in March, but that got a little weird with my roommates. I found her a real apartment and that fell through as a scam. So I booked her a last-minute Airbnb, and it was disgusting. It wouldn’t pass a health inspection.

I canceled after ten minutes in the room and tried to get the money back. They won’t give us anything back. I paid $1,400 (a month’s stay) for ten minutes in a room and I have not seen a penny back. My mom lived in her car for a month before I was able to save up enough for a new deposit for her apartment.

I have called and called and called and nothing. They always say they will take action and now, almost two full months later after filing for refund with my bank, they email saying “you know you can contact us and not get your bank involved.” I had to respond with: “I have been trying! It’s been two months!”

My bank has credited my account the money while it’s under investigation, but that might be reversed if Airbnb still gives nothing back.

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Relaxing One-Bedroom Apartment Close to Everything… Not

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This property should not have been accepting bookings because there are countless problems that make it unlivable. We were not told of, in advance, about the horrible living conditions of the property that we would have to endure if we stayed there. If we were made aware of those, we would not have chosen to stay there. We would have chosen a different Airbnb location and property, someplace that actually had parking, cable TV, wifi, hot water, and for that matter, water.

We were not told about the poor living conditions prior to our stay. Many inconveniences of staying at a location where the building was being retrofitted for earthquakes. It was noisy, dirty, and dusty all the time. There was no cable TV after 12 days and no cable wifi after 12 days, only a slow portable wifi hotspot that the host brought after the cable went out and had to be reset every day, many times.

There was no dedicated parking, a super small pint-size refrigerator, and the wall heater was not working. The hot water for taking showers was only around about 20% of the time and always extremely low water pressure in the bathroom. The garbage lock code given was incorrect, so we had to find elsewhere to dump our trash. The laundry room was very dirty, dingy, and dark. We had to go to a laundromat which was not close by.

At the time of booking, there was already retro work being done at the apartment building. No disclosure was given to us of the inconvenience nor a discount offered to my wife and I because of the construction work. We were not told about what we would have to go through by staying at this Airbnb location and the poor living conditions.

We were only able to park in the dedicated parking spot a few times during our stay there of 57 nights. We had to drive around for hours looking and waiting for a street parking spot to open up. (That was within one block) Why? There were either piles of dirt there or garbage or equipment in the way where the parking spot was located (not enough room to park a car there). Every time we returned to the apartment (which was daily, as we worked) my wife and I felt worried and pressured about whether we would find a parking spot or not.

On Monday, the cable went out because the construction crew tore the cable off the building. On Tuesday, the cable company came and said the outside wires were pulled off since they were doing retro work on the apartment. We called the hostess to let her know about the cable going out and she said she’d call. Then she emailed us that she would get a portable hotspot to use to go online.

She didn’t check in with us after that to see if everything was okay. Never a call, message, or email saying when the cable would be restored, etc. Some worker-type guy stopped me outside one day and said they needed to make an appointment with us to install the windows. I told him that I was staying temporarily in an Airbnb, but don’t think he understood. I called the hostess and she said yes they were doing that. She never asked us if it was okay that we hung around and ruined our Saturday to do that. Was this part of our job for them at Airbnb? Not even a thank you.

On Saturday, the apartment building had to change the windows in the apartment. We had to get up early and be ready for them to come in at 9:00 AM. They actually arrived at 9:20 AM and were there 2.5 hours. This interrupted our Saturday. It was also very inconvenient as we had to stay there while this was done but also needed to rearrange the furniture so the workers could access the windows.

My wife and I being furniture movers and apartment sitters was not a part of the Airbnb deal. We didn’t get paid. And again, not even a thank you, a discount or a fruit basket for our trouble.

The gas wall heater didn’t work. We would turn the thermostat on and turn the temperature up, but the heater wouldn’t turn on. You could hear that the pilot light was lit, but there was no big woosh when the heater ignites.

We chose this place because it had a kitchen. However, the refrigerator was only pint sized (very small) and not big enough to hold very much food. My wife was not happy. Because of this, the food we brought with us had spoiled – money wasted there. We had a lot of food as we just sold our home and left there the same day we came here. It leaked water on numerous occasions and the kitchen would be flooded.

Some evenings, workers still made pounding noises for the remodeling work. It was super noisy and we could not relax.

Taking a shower most times was a hit or miss for having hot water. If somebody in the building had taken one recently, then we’d have to wait at least an hour for a lukewarm one if we were able to take a shower at all. If the apartment next to or below us would use the water, this apartment would lose its water pressure completely. In the mornings there was never, ever hot water. Also, there was no water on about six or so different occasions. Sometimes there would be notices or not and then no water for a whole afternoon or day.

The bathroom sink was stopped up. They had liquid Drano under the sink, so they’ve had this problem for a while. We had to go buy more. Seven dollars out of our pocket for that.

This is not a relaxing apartment as advertised. It’s a dump, and the area leaves a lot to be desired. It’s an old, hotel style apartment building and not a secure one. There are homeless people hanging out in the stairwells at night. The neighborhood was not so good. My wife was afraid and would never go outside alone. The walls were paper thin and you could hear the neighbors no matter what. There was a baby next door or downstairs that was crying through the night, almost every night.

I’m not sure how this can be relaxing, being as you cannot sleep a whole night through. You’d think for $3000 a month, you’d be living in the lap of luxury. This was no way to live for two months. It’s an embarrassment that we even have to submit this. This apartment should not have been listed on Airbnb until the retro construction work was done.

Unbearable living conditions and bullet points:

• No parking except street parking (dedicated parking space we were able to use only about five or six times because dirt or equipment was in the way)

• No cable TV from the 12th day into our 57-night stay (not even two weeks)

• Extremely slow hotspot supplied after the cable went out and had to be reset many times every day.

• Low water pressure in the bathroom

• No hot water 80% of the time

• No hot water in the mornings

• Bathroom sink clogged and had to purchase a drain cleaner product

• Had to stay around here one whole day for window installation and moving furniture (and it’s not even our place)

• Pint-size refrigerator (not even close to full size)

• No place to empty trash – the code given did not open the trash lid padlock

• Dark and filthy laundry room

• Homeless people in the stairwell that led to the Airbnb. We had to walk around them.

• Paper thin walls / could hear neighbors

• Retro and construction work being done on the building (noisy, dusty, dirty, no parking, etc.)

• Gas wall heater not working, so it was cold in the apartment during our stay

• Not a secure building

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Ant-infested College Dorm Poses As Luxury High-Rise

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My recent Airbnb was undoubtedly the worst stay of my life. I live in Los Angeles and decided to rent an apartment in Downtown LA to celebrate my birthday with my girlfriends, somewhere more luxurious than my own home. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

The night before my trip I messaged the host to ask about parking. He didn’t respond, so the morning of my stay I called him to ask where we might put our cars. He said, without apology, that my apartment was under construction and he would be ‘upgrading’ me to another building. Taken aback, I asked if it had the same facilities, as the main reason I was paying $347.71 for one night was that I wanted a hot tub and rooftop pool to enjoy. He claimed it did and I had no choice but to switch.

He didn’t send me the listing but did tell me I had two parking spaces. At least our cars would have a reasonable stay. I wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t called, and when he was planning on telling me my reservation had changed. Perhaps when I arrived and noticed that 80% of the building wasn’t there. We arrived that afternoon and while waiting for our host to show up, admired our temporary home. Instead of an early 20th century expression of luxury this place resembled a late 2000’s college dorm welded together with gorilla glue.

The next issue was parking. He didn’t have two spaces for us. My sister’s car had to be parked blocks away at some random building with no access to it until we checked out. Obviously this would have been problematic if we’d wanted to sightsee. Luckily we prefer drinking over culture.

Finally we got into the apartment and it was, frankly, a barren concrete mess. The interior was seemingly decorated by an alien whose only resource was a Pinterest board and a $20 gift card to the dollar store. There were numerous framed inspirational quotes, placed on the ground and the TV table, as I’m sure if you nailed anything to the paper-thin walls you’d risk breaking through to next door’s kitchen. There were also cheap plastic bushes placed strategically over floor stains and a couch that screamed ‘I filter by price not the best match’.

At this point, we still believed we’d have time for a quick dip in the pool (what fools we were). We quickly found there were only three towels. As a skilled mathematician, I immediately found this alarming as there were six of us. But, an even more pressing issue was the lack of any toilet paper. I called the host and he advised me to go and buy some. So, instead of popping a bottle of birthday champagne, we traipsed down to the nearest store to stock up on his supplies.

On the way back from our TP mission we checked out the pool facilities. Instead of the rooftop pool I’d booked, it was a dingy floor-level puddle. Even more pressing, there was no hot tub… honestly, the one thing I’d wanted from this stay. We double-checked with some residents who’d clearly learned to expect disappointment from this ‘luxury home’. Confirmation? No hot tub.

Disappointed, we headed back up in the world’s slowest elevator, arrived in the apartment and closed the door… at which point the handle fell off. With handle in hand, I decided it was time to call the host. On the phone, the host tried to convince me that there in fact was a hot tub. He asked ‘had I checked next to the pool’. Surprisingly, I had. I then listed all the other problems with the apartment including the door handle I was currently holding.

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He grumpily offered me a laughably small refund that kept him in profit and me losing my birthday and to an extent my mind. He also said that I was lucky he hadn’t just cancelled my booking earlier that day when he’d realized his error. How lucky I was that he still wanted to take my money and put me in this cardboard cutout of an apartment. Irked by this woman who dared to have an opinion, he then threatened to cancel my booking right then.

With the desire of wanting to sleep somewhere that night I asked him not to. He said that Airbnb wouldn’t care about my complaints because he has 37 (I’m sure, equally impressive) locations on the website. Basically, this guy was a big deal. At 5:30, with the hopes of salvaging what was left of my birthday afternoon (it was too dark for the pool now) we went to fix some drinks. Let’s not forget where we were: the apartment from hell.

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We opened the freezer to get some ice and instead of cubes we found an old slab of ice covered in cigarette burns. Warm drinks it would be. We gathered with our tepid beverages in the living area making sure to sweep away some rogue broken glass and carefully avoid the couch’s dried food stains. The sun slowly set and then, darkness. Not just outside: the only light source in the communal area wasn’t working… because the outlet was broken.

Six women, enveloped in blackness clutching increasingly warm solo cups finally realized there was nothing left to do but laugh (because I’d already cried). We moved the light, (still partially wrapped in its IKEA packaging) to the kitchen and decided that dim lighting could be atmospheric. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that once we left the building, our evening really improved. We had a fun night on the town and temporarily forgot about the day’s struggles.

The next morning, we woke to the bustling streets of Downtown Los Angeles and the busy work of a family of ants. That’s right, the ants had arrived. I assumed they’d been attracted by the one solo cup we hadn’t thrown in the trash can which, I’m sure by now you can guess, was broken. One of the girls then explained that she’d noticed them the day before. She’d held back the information because she’d feared it would have tipped me over the edge and out of the poorly constructed window.

In the bright light of day, we could see the place for all that it was: a dirt-covered storage unit for humans masquerading as a modern living space. All the towels were stained and dirty, the bathroom floor and doors were covered in who knows what and after inspecting the sheets we’d slept in, we discovered blood stains and more. I feel like I’m flogging a dead ant at this point, but one last time let me iterate this stay was less than ideal and truly ruined my birthday and my poor willing friends’ weekend.

I’m very unimpressed that Airbnb allows this management style and low quality of rental. This guy and his minions run 37 properties which is very apparent considering he didn’t even know what facilities they have. They’re unwelcoming, unprofessional, and clearly see this as a high-turnover operation with zero concern for the enjoyment of their customers. I hope my cautionary tale can be used to help others. Others that were thinking of maybe staying anywhere this money-sucking moron deems worth $300+ per night.

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Airbnb Room in Seattle is Anything but Clean

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I planned a trip with my daughter and two grandchildren to visit the Seattle Zoo. I went on Airbnb and found a listing advertised as a cozy and clean room in Lynnwood. The communication with the host was very poor. On all occasions, communication stopped between us and the host because the host stopped responding.

First we sent the host a message on Airbnb after completing the booking to confirm that it would be suitable to stay with four people in the room as it was only advertised for three; the host never responded with an answer. Second, the host never messaged us with check in information. We arrived after the scheduled check in time posted on the Airbnb listing not knowing if anyone would be there to meet us, or if we should have been provided with a code for a lockbox for a key to gain entry.

Third, after arriving we went out to dinner to discuss how we felt about the place. We then texted the host to see if she would consider giving us a refund so we could stay somewhere else where we felt more comfortable with two small children. After a couple of texts back and forth the host stopped responding again. With it getting late and needing to get the kids to bed we decided to leave and stay somewhere else that we thought would be a safer and more suitable environment.

The host proceeded to clean the bathroom after we arrived and showed us our room. This should have been completed before we arrived. We used the bathroom right after she cleaned it, and it was still dirty. There was hair and dust on the floor, mold on the tub and a good amount of dust on the cabinets. In the corners of the bathroom floor there was visible dirt buildup. When we mentioned this to the host in our text message she responded with “You only need to share the bathroom with two girls and both are working the whole day. They work in the medical field and are very clean.”

She never addressed the fact that the bathroom was still dirty after she cleaned it when we arrived or making any effort to make it right. When I contacted Airbnb about a refund they said that she was very clear about everything on her site and offered me a $50 discount on my next booking with Airbnb. I have attached photos and also have copies of the texts we sent our host.

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