Very bad experience with Airbnb

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Dec 30, 2019
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We had a very bad experience with property booked through Airbnb. It was very much mis-represented and some how all the bad reviews for this property keep dis-appearing from Airbnb as the property keep getting listed under different hosts.
Following is what we shared with airbnb support. Happy to share pictures if that helps. Here is the sequence of events -
We drove here 6 hours from SF bay area expecting to spend Christmas with friends and family. We got here at about 4pm.
The first surprise was the topless party bus in the driveway. We ignored it and got a walk through with the caretaker lady onsite. We realized that the house was rundown.....we gave her a list of bare essentials (towels, locked closet keys, bulbs, pots/pans, plates, fix broken chairs).
The pool was murky....there is no way any of us are touching that water!
We realized that the person onsite was just worker here and there was no point blaming her for the state of the house. We could not leave right away since some of our friends were still on the road. We called airbnb and lodged a complaint so you would know about the situation.
This is what happened in the evening when it got dark - The house has lots of nonfunctional lights and it got weird.....so, we were trying to figure out how to move bulbs around. The caretaker/owner knocks on the door with two of his caretakers additional in the car. Note that this place is in the hills with not much around. The caretakers were aggressive and confronted us about the complaint. Looks like airbnb forwarded our complaint to them and they were clearly more than agitated. They got into the house with some of the pots and started fixing some of the bulbs in the house.....this is now about 7pm. The main person went on a rant about how he knew we wanted a "discount"; how he always has trouble with airbnb; and he does not like dogs in house; blamed us for locking the closet door for which they did not have the key, etc. He then said that he will not leave unless we give him the $1000 deposit for the two dogs (our mini doodles) At this time, we got worried about our safety. Our goal was to get this person out of the house, not contact airbnb anymore to avoid escalation in the night, and leave in the morning. It took us some time how to pay the $1000 deposit on the app........the caretakers stayed there and talked about he did not like dogs in the house. We did not want to leave at night because the caretakers were in a unit on premises and we did not want any avenue for further escalation......we have families with kids.
Overnight, the four families were worried enough that everybody slept with the kids in the same room.....for kids to stay safe with the parents. We found hotels nearby and have checked out of the house. In summary - Our vacation is completely busted. Safety became a concern when we were confronted by the caretakers. So, we decided to leave.
For airbnb: When we book a home, the expectation is that basics exist.....we should not have to do an inspection and point out so many issues. This is clearly misrepresented. And when we want to spend time in the house amongst family and friends, we do not want to see caretakers (3 of them) walking around in the house and fixing stuff. Please send your inspectors right away (TODAY) to inspect the house and make your own judgement....show up here and look for yourselves and remove this listing. Also, there is another review with similar experience......do contact that person and gather more information.

We want at the minimum complete refund of every dollar that we paid for this house and for airbnb to delist the property.

Even though we shared all this with airbnb, somehow airbnb does not seem to fully understand the issue and is siding with the property host just because they fixed few of the issues like providing pots.. They seem to be missing the big picture about party bus, slimy swimming pool and e feeling threatened for our safety.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
You needed to contact Airbnb and ask them to move you. Their guarantee states you must contact them within 24 hours of an issue.
“person out of the house, not contact airbnb anymore to avoid escalation in the night, and leave in the morning”

You needed to contact Airbnb before making reservations elsewhere. So you never contacted them again until you got home?
 
Dec 30, 2019
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We contacted them multiple times .
first time within the 2 hrs of us getting there. We provided them a list having ~10 items that were wrong with the house .
They seem to have shared that list with the Host . When the host came back .. he was obviously agitated and just by virtue of providing few pot and ladles and fixing few lights in the house seemed to think that they have resolved all the problems ..
Given the host's aggressive behavior , we wanted them out of the house as soon as possible .. Host started recoding our interaction and started asking if he has provided for everything that we needed. We almost felt that we had a gun to our head and so we shared with them that yes all the basics are provided for .
How can anybody take that recording to conclude that everyone was fixed ? Could you fix dirty swimming pool ? Could you make hot water become available in restrooms and clean up dirty appliances and so on ...
We did provide some pics to the arirbnb but they seemed to ignore that and just believe the Host who shared with them that they have provided us with pots and pans ..
 
Aug 30, 2015
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So how is it that the dogs are a surprise and all of a sudden you have to ante up a $1000 deposit for dogs? The very first thing anyone with dogs should do is make sure pets are allowed, and if so, make sure any deposit issues and security issues are taken care of before arriving in the first place. All that did was give the host an excuse and / or reason to change the subject so to speak. And I'm not sure why anyone would be coming up with a $1000 deposit for a place like that. My point is, make sure all of your bases are covered so they have nothing to come back at you with when you have legitimate complaints. And I would have had AirBnB finding another place right then and there. I hope you don't have trouble getting your pet deposit back, I can imagine all sorts of excuses for that now...
 
Dec 30, 2019
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Dogs were not a surprise ..We had informed them in advance that we will be bringing 2 small labradoodles. They actually took the pics of the dogs when we checked in but the deposit for Dogs became an urgency for the hosts when airbnb shared with them our concerns about the place.
 

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
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You stated in your narrative: " please send inspectors right away to the house". Air BnB is simply a glorified classified ad service providing a platform for literally anybody to advertise a dwelling as a vacation rental. They do not do any kind inspections or research of the properties advertised on their platform.

The Air BnB book with confidence guarantee requires you to notify them within 24 hours of arrival of any issues you have with the property. If the issues are not resolved, then they will relocate you to another property. All of these matters need to be sorted out before you check out and leave the property. I'm sorry you had such a dreadful experience. When it comes to the "sharing economy " it truly is a "buyer beware" world.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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Dogs were not a surprise ..We had informed them in advance that we will be bringing 2 small labradoodles. They actually took the pics of the dogs when we checked in but the deposit for Dogs became an urgency for the hosts when airbnb shared with them our concerns about the place.
And you didn't find anything unusual about this? If they did not require a deposit before, it seems strange to ask for one after complaints and even more strange to actually give one. I am trying to picture in my head a situation where it is a bad property and "all of a sudden" even though the dogs were known about, there is a sudden demand for $1000 and it is paid. It makes no sense to me at all and I suspect there is more to this story.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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Did the host actually threaten you and your party in some way beyond the aggressive attitude (which I do know is very uncomfortable).

If your communications with the host - through the airbnb website - clearly reveal that the dogs were known to the host when you booked and no deposit was required when booking but suddenly they wanted such a large deposit when you were at the house - that fact should, at least, get you a return of the $1000 from airbnb/host (I would think, anyway).

Sounds really awful - I hope you recoup at least some, if not all, you hope to have returned to you. Good luck
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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I'm no fan of VRBO or AirB&B. I won't use them. Attempts by us to use them in the past surfaced issues like we see here.

Having said that, as I understand the facts, our OP rents a place, arrives and finds it unsatisfactory, contacts AirB&B, the owner shows up and repairs some but not all items, OUR agrees that the basics have been taken care of, and gives the owner an additional $1,000 deposit. While our OP should pursue the situation with AirB&B, I don't see this having a happy ending for our OP.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
I'm no fan of VRBO or AirB&B. I won't use them. Attempts by us to use them in the past surfaced issues like we see here.

Having said that, as I understand the facts, our OP rents a place, arrives and finds it unsatisfactory, contacts AirB&B, the owner shows up and repairs some but not all items, OUR agrees that the basics have been taken care of, and gives the owner an additional $1,000 deposit. While our OP should pursue the situation with AirB&B, I don't see this having a happy ending for our OP.
I have to agree with you, SoCal. This situation has melted down to "he said, she said". It's not reasonable that our OP agreed all was well and forked over a huge deposit, but then decides that nothing is well, and moves out. These kinds of rentals need some governance, some enforceable guidelines ... people can't have their families so at risk that they'll agree to anything an "aggressive" caretaker says.
 
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Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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Even though we shared all this with airbnb, somehow airbnb does not seem to fully understand the issue and is siding with the property host just because they fixed few of the issues like providing pots.. They seem to be missing the big picture about party bus, slimy swimming pool and e feeling threatened for our safety.
I'm trying to figure out why you didn't contact ABB while the host was there demanding the extra $1000. You had already contacted them once. I would have said, "We've already paid the negotiated price" and if they refused to leave, you'd have had grounds for them finding you another place to stay. Instead you paid additional fees, agreed that the host had attended to your complains, spend the night and THEN left on your own without asking ABB to find you another place. I hope they give your complaint another look, but honestly, I think you're probably SOL, because you acted rashly and didn't think it through.