Airbnb Left us in the Lurch in Southern France

We rented an apartment for five months through Airbnb. We arrived at our destination and contacted our host as previously arranged. He did not meet us as planned but left a key in an empty mailbox on site. We were immediately disappointed in the apartment and its furnishings. We had paid top dollar only to find rummage sale furnishings, broken window blinds, stained carpet, a broken bed, a television with no user information, linens in poor condition, and a building filled with the smell of cigarette smoke. We contacted the host within the 24-hour window and requested remediation. He missed two appointments to address problems and didn’t even contact us until we were in our third day of this distress.

At this point we contacted Airbnb. We were contacted in swift succession by a number of Airbnb representatives. One of them indicated that it was clear we could not stay at the location. He recommended that we leave immediately and that Airbnb would pay up to $150 for a hotel. We were told to go online and cancel the contract. They did not tell us that this would mean that we would still be responsible to pay rent for the next 30 days. At this point Airbnb went entirely silent and basically abandoned us. There was no follow-up after being told to hit the street. We believed that the contract was cancelled because the landlord had not lived up to his contractual obligation and that we would be reimbursed. It turned out that “strict cancellation” means that the guest pays under any circumstances, even when Airbnb knows it was a bum deal.

Airbnb gave us no further instructions about arranging for another Airbnb property or about negotiating with the landlord for another property the the landlord had on hand. At that point we simply didn’t trust him. The host actually threatened physical confrontation. No one takes any responsibility at Airbnb. As it happened, a colleague rented another location from this “five-star” landlord to find that dozens of rats inhabited the attic. It took days to get that addressed. Airbnb does not oversee or caution hosts with serious complaints against them. Another money making racket with no concern for what it delivers. We contacted Airbnb again. After mediating with the host, Airbnb said that the host would return a mere $365 of the $1700 monthly rent.

I was gang-raped in Budapest – and Airbnb ignored me, then insulted me

I was in Budapest on Memorial Day weekend. Checked into an Airbnb rental at 7 pm and the host, Gabor, told me that I could call or text him anytime with any questions. Despite it being a Saturday night, I immediately began working on a report titled Women, Business, and the Law. At 9 pm, I realized that I hadn’t eaten since 8 am. So I texted and called Gabor, asking for the location of the nearest convenience store. I received no response. At midnight, I did the same—and again, had no response. Finally, at 2 am, I stopped working and left the unit. It had been 16 hours since I’d eaten. Immediately, I realized that I’d left the key to the apartment inside. What to do? No one was working at the front desk. Airbnb wasn’t answering. The US Embassy wasn’t answering. So I wandered Budapest, doing my best to avoid the drunken crowds. Took photos. Called my best friend from high school, Michele (in Texas, where it was a reasonable hour). But after an hour, she had to go feed her kids. Around 6 am, I came around a corner and saw a woman being harassed by a group of men at a major intersection. I won’t abide seeing a woman in distress, so I told them to stop. They said, “make us—either with force or money.” I said, “I’m not an idiot…I didn’t bring much money, knowing that I’d be among large groups and I’m clearly not Hungarian.” They said, “Oh, so you must be American—so get money.” I said, “I brought one credit card, and I don’t know the PIN for it. I don’t take money out on credit cards.” That made them angry. So, I’m told, they hit me in the back of the head with a steel pipe. Dragged me into an alley. And 4 to 6 men raped me. The next thing that I remember, I was awakened on a gurney in a hospital covered in blood, with most of my clothes cut off and an orderly screaming in my face that I was a “disgusting American maggot f***ot who deserved what happened and probably liked it.” He also said I had to leave the hospital immediately. Even though I was in shock and completely confused, I managed to ask, “What happened to me?” He said, “You know what happened—and you wanted it.” So I got up, found the doctor and asked if I really had to leave. He said, “My god no! We still need to do a CT scan, blood work, and more invasive tests. We thought you might be dead. You have to stay here at least 12-14 more hours.” I asked again, “What happened to me? Please tell me.” He said, “You really have no idea? Even through the pain medication?” And then I realized. So I left the hospital; I couldn’t wait through that. So I tried to talk to the police, to file a report. They laughed at me and said, F you, American f***ot. I got to a hostel, but Airbnb still wouldn’t answer. I still couldn’t contact the Airbnb host or get back into the unit. Then I had to call my mother and tell her what had happened to the youngest of her five sons. Then the US Embassy, who provided advice on getting a locksmith for the Airbnb unit and a replacement phone (mine had obviously been stolen during the attack). A couple days later, I left Budapest for Prague. Airbnb wouldn’t help me there either. I had to walk everywhere because I had no currency—including to a clinic to get post-HIV and STD exposure medications. The meds made me incredibly sick. I lost 40 pounds. Finally, in Berlin, Airbnb started calling me incessantly. Trying to seem like they were my friends. I said, I’m not talking to you. Everything has to be by email. Because you failed me as a company and as human beings. This will all be documented. So they called my mother—without my knowledge or permission. My mother, who has been dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s. And told her that I’m “unbalanced.” My mother told them (politely) that she didn’t have a word to say to them. My parents both worked for the US government and don’t like attention. Then Airbnb changed their rules and said I could no longer contact them or their Legal Department. I lived in San Francisco for 17 years, before I moved back to Charlottesville, VA, in August 2014 to help my mother deal with my father. I’ve been in one relationship for 24 years. I work for international organizations, foreign governments, NGOs, and charities. I do anything I possibly can to help make the world a better place. Airbnb does not. It placed profits before people long ago. Proposition F in San Francisco MUST fail. I apologize for the length of this post. Thank you.

Host cancelled at checkin, airbnb was useless and didn’t allow me to review her

I booked a trip to Boston for a convention about 3 months out. Hotels in the area had convention rates that made it affordable to stay in a downtown hotel but we wanted an interesting Boston experience. Well we got one. The host cancelled as we were standing outside trying to check in. My phone pinged with the alert, the host chose to ignore my repeated phone calls and attempts to contact her. Her explanation was a single email stating that she could only accommodate one person and not two but we were renting her whole apartment that is advertised for couples or small families. So 4:30pm on a Thursday, major convention downtown and a triple header Yankees vs Red Sox weekend. All hotels booked for at least part of the 4 nights at rates 5 times the airbnb place (all convention rates no longer available), and all the replacements that airbnb could find us were at least 3 times the cost and nowhere near downtown (had to be at the convention 7 am so staying close was important to us). We had to stay in multiple places to piece together the trip and spent a ton of money.  I get that hosts are human and things will happen but Airbnb has no legitimate system in place to help travelers when a host doesn’t honor their commitment. And they don’t allow you to review the host if you didn’t actually stay at their place, so their star rating and reviews mean nothing. Never rent from Phoebe Fleming at 63 Melcher st Boston MA, and probably don’t ever book a trip with airbnb that you aren’t prepared to have go totally awry!

Airbnb guests can get a refund for any reason

I will keep this brief 🙂  This is by no means our 1st experience along these lines.  I have finally lost it after airbnb refunded 2 groups of guests. One because the guest didn’t want to stay any longer (no other reason!?) and the second because they claimed our house was”disgusting”!! So rude!! I personally cleaned it with my daughter so know it wasn’t dirty at all. We have had loads of reviews praising us for the high level of cleanliness. The guests claimed to have photos but I never saw them.  The next day, I had an email from airbnb saying they had tried to phone but got no reply so they had gone ahead & refunded the guest!? No discussion, no proof. .nothing!? I asked to see the photos. .nothing.  And as they have changed their policy nobody but your case officer Pixie will speak to you. .and she seems to have quit work!? So that’s £600+ in 2 days they have STOLEN off us. ..and I can think of no other word to use. ..BEWARE OF AIRBNB!!!

Airbnb is a perfect platform for scam


Approximately one week ago, I was browsing for accomodation in London through airbnb and this “Luxury Central Location Apartment” appeared and it seems to fit the criteria that I wanted. I have also noticed the host named Natsuko is verified. So I contacted the host using the red button in airbnb to ask for availability. I received the reply on the next day in my email, but not in my airbnb account. Because it was my first time using airbnb, I did not find it odd and thought it was the standard procedure. I also was not warned about this when I created my airbnb account. The host confirmed the availability and asked for my details, which I eventually gave. Within hours, I received an airbnb email ( confirming my reservation and asked me to bank in the money to the bank account provided. At almost the same time, the host also emailed me that the reservation has been made and requested me to send her the payment receipt once the payment is done to secure my reservation. I made the payment few days after that. It started to concern me as i did not receive any payment invoice from airbnb. So i called airbnb on the second day and realised i might have been scammed. I called my bank to cancel the payment but it was too late. I called the receipient bank (Alior Bank) to report this and asked them to halt the account to receive the payment. I was informed that the only authority that can halt this is by direct cooperation between my bank and Alior bank. It was too late. Fuck airbnb.