Over the last couple of years I have been a satisfied user of Airbnb with an exceptional rating. On a recent trip to a supposedly sleepy fishing village I was robbed within 30 minutes of arriving at the the house by a window left open by the hosts cleaners. When the police arrived, they basically told us “Welcome to Paternoster”, I found this quite bizarre as it’s meant to be a very quaint town where South African’s can escape the crime ridden cities of which they live and work. After contacting the host he was completely disinterested and a refund was not possible as per his terms and conditions, this meant I was stuck in a house that was invaded by criminals. A few days later some more locals tried to rob us on the beach (with knives) and we defended ourselves, this resulted in calling the police to protect us while the house was surrounded by at least 30 locals (some of which where armed) throwing rocks at us. The police had to provide an armed escort to escape this town alive. After filing a report with the police, they informed me that this is an area notorious with robbing the tourists and even the landlords are sometimes involved. The police in the last year have given up all hope of resolving the crime in the area due to the increase of drugs and “maffia” presence. At first I didn’t believe it and thought I was the only one until I read such articles as listed below: http://goo.gl/AbrI68 http://goo.gl/EoLWtg https://goo.gl/eT6L43 http://goo.gl/vmwhVd After this ordeal I contacted Airbnb for two reasons, firstly to get the ad removed to protect future travelers from the dangers of this area and secondly to request some kind of insurance. Airbnb is refusing to assist unless I provide receipts for lost goods and told me that I should research the area. Maybe I’m naive or should Airbnb offer equal protection to their customers as they do to their hosts?
My girlfriend and I saw a beautiful wooden bungalow on Airbnb in the mountains of Paphos Cyrpus, and it was called the Zen bungalow, so we thought, it must be very silent there and clean and nice and if its zen the owner must be a cool guy, he advertised as a nice surfer and etc. We wanted to rent for 3 months the entire house as we needed to stay in Cyprus to do a course. We rented, he made us a price and my partner and son went first, they arrived late and he was waiting, they got into the house and it was covered in sand, he apologized saying that they had a sand storm 3 days ago and he hoped she didn’t mind then he left. The beds had no bedsheets, so she looked into the drawers and they were smelling very bad, so she texted him and he said it had new one somewhere else. Anyways he left all his toiletries in the toilet and all his dirty laundry too which we thought he will come back to pick it up. The beautiful hot tube he advertised and showed in the picture was the drain for the dirty water of the washing machine, when he took a picture he cut that part, so we couldn’t use it because it was disgusting, plus all his 12 pair of shoes were sitting in the area in our faces. Next morning the garden was a dump for construction stuff. The view was beautiful, we had two chicken barns in the garden and the smells would blow inside the house, he came to visit and was demanding that we feed the chickens and water the garden, and we had asked him before hand if there were animals around, he said no. He kept coming to the house unannounced and entering my girlfriend’s bedroom, the veranda was made of glass so one can see inside from the garden and she kept hearing people in the garden while she was still asleep, he even mention that he wanted to build a swimming pool so he would be working in the garden. We told him we rented the house to have privacy. Once the electricity was gone, we didn’t know what to do or where the electric box was located, and he replied in the text that he is not the electrical authority of Cyprus. He came over again and told us to keep the windows shut otherwise the wind can destroy them, he also advertised air conditioning and it only had a very weak one in the bedroom and boy Cyprus can be very hot and we asked him about it he just answered: open the window. Right so we had hot wind coming in. We didn’t know what to do as we had booked for all this time, by then we were feeding chickens and taking care of his garden, we felt sorry for the chickens, we even bought them food because he kept ignoring our messages. Then one day up he is again and we always turn of all lights in the night, that last night my girlfriend heard a noise so she asked me to leave one light out on, so I did, and because we were not used to we forgot it on, it was a saving bulb the ones that are very light and one can’t see in the day if its kitten or not, he saw it and started to be very rude, so this time we answered, he said he wanted to come inside the house because he wanted to see if we were keeping his house clean, I say of course we are and no, please we want privacy, so he grabbed me violently and I had a broken arm at the time, to come in and I told him I would call the police because he keeps trying to get in a house he rented for us and its illegal, plus he is only doing it because we are two girls. So he left, we were afraid of him as he hurt my arm. We called airbnb, they took us away from there and found us another place for 3 days, they said they would help to rehouse us, but they left the whole thing in our hands, to deal with people or find another place, they gave us a coupon only and we cancelled the whole thing. We found very nice house on booking.com where they are credit and checked, we had wonderful next 2 months in amazing house, clean and nice with a normal host, a very polite, nice man that was always asking if we needed anything, left us alone and happy, so we left there with inherit broken as we felt in love with the place, the house was spotless, and had all we needed also the silence and tidiness. AirBnB doesn’t check their hosts and doesn’t know what goes on. But at least they took us away from the Zen psycho of Paphos.
I booked a 2 bedroom apartment (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/5887408) for 10 nights for my parents during a visit to see me in Australia, as the beautiful studio they previously stayed in was unavailable. Prior to our arrival, I found the host to be responsive and the location of the listing is certainly great being as it is a stone’s throw from the epicenter of lovely, lovely Newtown. We had hoped we were about to discover another local Airbnb gem, but unfortunately we were left very disappointed by this dirty, poorly appointed and dangerous listing. Not only did we have to formally complain to Airbnb, but my parents had to check out early and waste an entire day of their holiday sorting out new accommodation. I have pictures and videos of all the issues described below, which I provided to Airbnb with my complaint. To their credit, eventually, they agreed to refund us the un-used nights and have given me a $250 credit towards the 3 horrible nights my parents stayed in the listing. Unfortunately, Airbnb told me that because I didn’t physically stay in the apartment and because we didn’t complete the reservation, the review I have written will not be made public- and so the host will get to keep his 5 star listing… which I have no idea how he got in the first place.
Having purposely booked a 2-bedroom listing, we were disappointed that the second room was not made up as a bedroom (no bedlinen and futon folded up) and feel that the photo does not illustrate how low the ceiling is. However, our principle concern was in the master bedroom- the sharp, metal bedframe was extremely hazardous, especially as the room is quite dingy and cramped, and no bedside lamps were provided. We found much of the furniture to be very tatty, the bedlinen and towels in the apartment showed signs of age, and my parents were only provided with one towel and one pillow each. The cutlery was stained, sometimes broken, and not properly washed (some still had bits of food on), mugs were chipped, and glasses and a bowl were filled with dust. The top of the microwave, base of the toilet and bathroom exhaust fan were also extremely grimey. The host was not at all friendly or accommodating when they asked for a second pillow, bedside lights, or for bed linen for the second bedroom. He also dismissed my parents concerns about the dirty microwave saying “who is going to put things there?” which they found very unhelpful and a bit rude. Lastly, whilst there is a washing machine and the price is clearly given, the listing does not make it clear that guests are not permitted to access the machine by themselves. To get their clothes washed, they would have to give their dirty items to the host, who would then wash them and return them- wet, with a drying rack- for $8. I should add that this is the first and only time I have had to complain about an Airbnb listing in over 2 years of using the site- I’ve received a great feedback from and have left many positive reviews for other hosts: I certainly don’t make a habit of criticizing or whinging and have personally received excellent feedback. My biggest complaint is actually with Airbnb- they constantly changed their story at all stages of our complaint. One minute we were going to get a full refund, the next minute a partial refund, then no refund… it was time consuming and exhausting. To know here that they won’t publicize our experience feels like disingenuous censorship. So, repeat, DO NOT STAY HERE: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/5887408