Threatened by Host in Asheville

On a recent stay at what appeared to be a great space with overwhelmingly positive reviews, we had the bad luck of encountering a plumbing issue (the handle for the toilet straight up fell off), leaving us without a functioning toilet for almost a whole day (this was the only bathroom in the unit). The host never replied to our message regarding the maintenance issue, so we decided to cut our losses and leave (Hotel Indigo is very nice, by the way). While we were packing up, the host came over totally unannounced, pounded on the door, and threatened us for leaving early. We finished packing up, completely terrified, and got out as quickly as possible, trying not to escalate the situation. Once we made it to safety, I called Airbnb to report the incident.

The customer service rep, “Josh,” said that because there was no evidence of what happened, we were basically out of luck (side note: I did have my unanswered messages to the host about the problem and a witness to the harassment – the other guest – which judge Josh apparently didn’t think counted as evidence). I was eventually refunded for one night, but was told that because the host has a strict cancellation policy, and the incident occurred more than 24 hours after check-in, no additional money would be refunded. This seems like a less-than-sound refund policy to say the least. I mean, what if the place burned to the ground more than 24 hours after check-in? Does the host still get to keep the money if he wants? The most troubling part of this whole incident is Airbnb’s nonchalant attitude when it comes to women being threatened by their male hosts.

Moral of the story: an unstable, violent host can intimidate you into leaving (read: escaping) early and then keep your money because you “canceled” the reservation early.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .

7 Comments

  1. The handle from the toilet fell and you can’t use it for the whole day? Gee, you are an idiot, sorry. Seriously, you one of those people who don’t know how to change a light bulb and I’m surprised you didn’t call 911. The owner might didn’t reply because of numerous reasons, driving for instance. He came to fix it and here you are – full of drama.

  2. Kaye’s an idiot and should be ignored. Of course airbnb has skin in this incident. Number one i wouldve reversed the charges on my credit card. Number two….dont go to the lowly idiot customer service person at airbnb….theyre idiots. Go higher. This is a company that wants to go public. They cant afford to have a customer advertise that they were threatened by an airbnb host.

  3. All those stories are not Airbnb fault . If host is not responsible it doesn’t mean Airbnb website and idea is bad . Never had any issues with Airbnb … Coz I read website rules !

  4. Hi Ruth, i think i found your review and profile on airbnb and wanted to validate your experience. Please disregard if you are not Karma! I have stayed in the same home and found everything you mentioned to be a much more accurate description than the other “700 happy guests” The bathroom had not been cleaned ( we actually wiped it down when we left because we didn’t want them to think we were the ones who left it that way), the towels were mildewed so badly that we had to buy some to use because they were making our skin smell moldy, and we felt so awkward the entire time because they make you feel like they are doing you a favor letting you stay in their home. Also, the walls to the bedroom are very thin even with doors closed!
    I also have an airbnb space and have used airbnb many times in several countries. I have had mostly positive experiences but this one was by the far the dirtiest place i have stayed in. That didn’t really bother us too much because of the price. The part that is interesting/kinda entertaining is their response when they receive any feedback. I have thought about reporting them several times for being disrespectful and rude to guests who generally have been just tastefully honest. I randomly go back and read their reviews for fun and that is when i stumbled on your profile and review and felt the need to let you know that you were not alone and i truly have no idea how they have almost 5 stars. Not all airbnbs are bad, we work hard to keep ours as much like a hotel as possible. Negative feedback does sting but we would never post such hurtful responses!

  5. Another review on his listing describes a horrible fight and loud early morning noises from “upstairs tenants” (other guests?).He must be stupid as hell with the threatening behavior because 5 Points is the absolute prime place for Asheville Airbnbs. You know, if he is renting out the whole apartment he is contravening city regulations there and you could report him…

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