Airbnb- mice and cockroaches

Old Sep 4, 16, 2:47 pm
  #1  
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Airbnb- mice and cockroaches

Had a 5 night booking at a host where the place was totally dirty, messy and worn. Was few pictures and no reviews. But the city was booked full that week so there were few if any options.
Kitchen turned out to be useless with 2 very small fridges for 8-10 people, where one was damaged so everything almost froze (ice cubes in milk etc).

Worst was cockroaches and mice in kitchen. Totally unsuitable environment so all meals were taken at restaurants.

Complaint procedure isnt easy with Airbnb. They require you to complain within 24h of check-in, otherwise no refunds. Cockroaches and mice discovered after 24h so missed that. But I also booked for very close relatives, and booking for others seems to be against t&c. Even when I as in this case communicated with host and had it accepted. Airbnb cites terms and says no support in such cases, Even threatening sanctions.
I have plenty of pics of the place. As well 2 of 3 other reviews from same period states "never again", got used towels and linen etc.

First requested a voluntarily refund from host which of course was declined. Clicked involce Airbnb, but they handled the case based on google translate (yes they confirmed this) and declined any refund, and closed the case permanently.

Even if you book for others, you should have legal rights to get what you pay for, especially when cleared with host, and while I do understand its more difficult for Airbnb to refund after they have paid the host, as they normally do after 24h, its not that difficult. They can request him to pay back, withdraw from later earnings/close his account, and they can at least refund their service fee.

Honestly I have never experienced such lack of customer service with any company in the hospitality industry ever.

Any ideas for ways to handle this?

Next step is credit card dispute, but I would have preferred any Airbnb contact to handle this.

Ideas welcome. I also expect dogmatics here so flame on
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Old Sep 4, 16, 3:44 pm
  #2  
 
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google AirBnB customer service, call them, and take notes

I have more experience with AirBnB customer service than most FTs - so I will take this one.

You made a big mistake by staying in the substandard accommodation. I walked away from one in Jersey City and AirBnB found me something better - no upcharge.

I did the same near Osaka and opted for a full refund. Having said that, the key was having pictures I could send them. Otherwise, I am not convinced the outcome would have been as good.

I am now locked in a dispute with AirBnB about a host no show in Duluth. The replacement hotel was expensive and I want AirBnB to cover the difference.

My suggestion is you google AirBnB customer service, call the toll free number and take notes.

The weird thing about their policy is AirBnB expects you to deal 1st with the host. What is the host going to say? Of course, they will deny, deny, deny.

Persistence and patience is my best advice.
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Old Sep 4, 16, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by skaya View Post
Had a 5 night booking at a host where the place was totally dirty, messy and worn. Was few pictures and no reviews. But the city was booked full that week so there were few if any options.
Kitchen turned out to be useless with 2 very small fridges for 8-10 people, where one was damaged so everything almost froze (ice cubes in milk etc).

Worst was cockroaches and mice in kitchen. Totally unsuitable environment so all meals were taken at restaurants.

Complaint procedure isnt easy with Airbnb. They require you to complain within 24h of check-in, otherwise no refunds. Cockroaches and mice discovered after 24h so missed that. But I also booked for very close relatives, and booking for others seems to be against t&c. Even when I as in this case communicated with host and had it accepted. Airbnb cites terms and says no support in such cases, Even threatening sanctions.
I have plenty of pics of the place. As well 2 of 3 other reviews from same period states "never again", got used towels and linen etc.

First requested a voluntarily refund from host which of course was declined. Clicked involce Airbnb, but they handled the case based on google translate (yes they confirmed this) and declined any refund, and closed the case permanently.

Even if you book for others, you should have legal rights to get what you pay for, especially when cleared with host, and while I do understand its more difficult for Airbnb to refund after they have paid the host, as they normally do after 24h, its not that difficult. They can request him to pay back, withdraw from later earnings/close his account, and they can at least refund their service fee.

Honestly I have never experienced such lack of customer service with any company in the hospitality industry ever.

Any ideas for ways to handle this?

Next step is credit card dispute, but I would have preferred any Airbnb contact to handle this.

Ideas welcome. I also expect dogmatics here so flame on
Why did your relatives not book for themselves?

<moderator edit due to language>

I find it hard to believe that nobody in the party of 8 was unable to book for them. It's your responsibility to read the terms and conditions before you accept them so I find it hard to have pity for you in this case.

Nevertheless you can hardly expect a group of 10 people to leave the accomodation within 24 hours after arrival and find something else. What did airbnb say when you called them right upon arrival at your accomodation and discovery of the faults (other than the vemrin which was discovered later)?

Last edited by EmailKid; Sep 4, 16 at 6:58 pm Reason: Offensive phrasing
Bakpapier is offline  
Old Sep 4, 16, 4:13 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Bakpapier View Post
Why did your relatives not book for themselves?

<deleted text from original by moderator>

Even so I find it hard to believe that nobody in the party of 8 was unable to book for them. It's your responsibility to read the terms and conditions before you accept them so I find it hard to have pity for you in this case.

Nevertheless you can hardly expect a group of 10 people to leave the accomodation within 24 hours after arrival and find something else. What did airbnb say when you called them right upon arrival at your accomodation and discovery of the faults (other than the vemrin which was discovered later)?
I guess they are in your league how you misread my facts.

Other than that it was 2, not 8-10 on my booking. Im not sure you understand the basics of Airbnb, where you mostly live with the host, and often other guests. Thus the 8-10 is an estimate of the permanent residents, my 2, and the other guests. Any my two relatives are elderly retired. They asked me to look for some accomodation for them. Due to my travel experience, and partly web and language skills. Include a rather cumbersome registration and verification process for new customers.
There is no doubt its my obligation to read the terms, however;
-even on my local domain where everything is in local language, the terms are only in english legalese.
-not all terms are enforceable vs consumers, especially in the EU
-two pieces in the terms are under question;
1. booking for someone else prohibited as you the contract party should be able to rely on reviews, but in this case the host specifically approved it
2. complaints before 24h, but thats impossible when the facts that you complain about materialize after 24h. Being the dogmatic you are, you probably mean that if you are locked out after 24h its too late to complain as its after set deadline, despite having paid for whatever length?

As I stated the main reasons for complaint were discovered more than 24h after check in. Thus no call was made. Normally you dont call either, as they dont really easily provide you a number to call IME, but rather rely on written notes in the app. The two guests didnt have the app, as that was in my name. And there was literally nothing else availble in the city of approx 200 000 people, so leaving or asking for someting else wouldnt have helped, given the city had probably 100K guests that week.

Last edited by EmailKid; Sep 4, 16 at 6:59 pm
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Old Sep 8, 16, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by skaya View Post
I guess they are in your league how you misread my facts.

Other than that it was 2, not 8-10 on my booking. Im not sure you understand the basics of Airbnb, where you mostly live with the host, and often other guests. Thus the 8-10 is an estimate of the permanent residents, my 2, and the other guests. Any my two relatives are elderly retired. They asked me to look for some accomodation for them. Due to my travel experience, and partly web and language skills. Include a rather cumbersome registration and verification process for new customers.
There is no doubt its my obligation to read the terms, however;
-even on my local domain where everything is in local language, the terms are only in english legalese.
-not all terms are enforceable vs consumers, especially in the EU
-two pieces in the terms are under question;
1. booking for someone else prohibited as you the contract party should be able to rely on reviews, but in this case the host specifically approved it
2. complaints before 24h, but thats impossible when the facts that you complain about materialize after 24h. Being the dogmatic you are, you probably mean that if you are locked out after 24h its too late to complain as its after set deadline, despite having paid for whatever length?

As I stated the main reasons for complaint were discovered more than 24h after check in. Thus no call was made. Normally you dont call either, as they dont really easily provide you a number to call IME, but rather rely on written notes in the app. The two guests didnt have the app, as that was in my name. And there was literally nothing else availble in the city of approx 200 000 people, so leaving or asking for someting else wouldnt have helped, given the city had probably 100K guests that week.
I just have a few comments:

- I am still unclear who all was staying from your end. Was it just your two relatives/friends or was it you as well as them all in one booking?

- airbnb is hit and miss. We have used them five times in all now, once in Berlin, once in Paris, three times in Australia. In my experience, one was bad, three were good and one was just outstanding. Besides the things you mentioned (which can make it really bad), it is very dependent on the interaction you have with your hosts.

- when/if you booked for your friends/relatives separately, without even going into the legalese, do spare a thought for the host. What if you were booking on behalf of criminals? How does that impact a host (regardless of whether they approved or not)? Wouldn't airbnb's reputation not be spoiled if criminals were given airbnb accommodation without airbnb being aware of it, and they did some damage? I think that in all fairness, unless your friends/relatives were staying with you (if they were, then all this discussion is moot), they should have created their own account (you could have done it for them!) and shared their contact information with airbnb, and booked their accommodation through their account.

PS: To get a direct line to airbnb (though you would still be on hold for a few minutes), use gethuman.com (google "get a human airbnb")
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Old Sep 8, 16, 9:24 am
  #6  
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Were the two elderly people aware that they would be sharing facilities with so many people who are strangers to them? I wouldn't expect them to plan to prepare most of their meals in a kitchen used by so many strangers.

BTW, did they have a private en suite toilet and shower or bathtub?
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Old Sep 8, 16, 10:59 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by an_asker View Post
I just have a few comments:

- I am still unclear who all was staying from your end. Was it just your two relatives/friends or was it you as well as them all in one booking?

- airbnb is hit and miss. We have used them five times in all now, once in Berlin, once in Paris, three times in Australia. In my experience, one was bad, three were good and one was just outstanding. Besides the things you mentioned (which can make it really bad), it is very dependent on the interaction you have with your hosts.

- when/if you booked for your friends/relatives separately, without even going into the legalese, do spare a thought for the host. What if you were booking on behalf of criminals? How does that impact a host (regardless of whether they approved or not)? Wouldn't airbnb's reputation not be spoiled if criminals were given airbnb accommodation without airbnb being aware of it, and they did some damage? I think that in all fairness, unless your friends/relatives were staying with you (if they were, then all this discussion is moot), they should have created their own account (you could have done it for them!) and shared their contact information with airbnb, and booked their accommodation through their account.

PS: To get a direct line to airbnb (though you would still be on hold for a few minutes), use gethuman.com (google "get a human airbnb")
To clarify and partly repeat. This turned out to be a bachelors flatshare. The host lived there, and some of his flatmates. They had chosen to rent out rooms during this peak period, so they slept themselves whereever there was space, sofa, attic etc. That meant several sleeping rooms were rented out. And with party guests also coming and going only God knows how many stayed there. But I had rented one separate room for my elderly parents without myself staying.

Totally agree that airbnb is hit or miss, probably mostly hit I would say- both as guest and host. We had great interaction in advance, but such pre conversation dont tend to admit that theu have cockroaches and mice in the kitchen. Or any of the other less important flaws for that matter.

As you said I definately spared more than a thought for the host. I myself have outstanding reviews on airbnb, and I asked him if it was ok to book for my parents. That was no problems. They are certainly not criminals, but that problem is not really eliminated by allowing members only. While I could have opened an account for them, I didnt have access to all verification data needed, like their ID, credit card details etc. It was either ask host if it was ok, or skip airbnb. He has clearly allowed it in writing. But no matter if you pay for a service and dont receive it you surely have rights even if booked in the wrong way. Another thing is that if facts were different than my case the host could have declined check in, airbnb could have cancelled the booking etc. But not applicable in this case.

Thanks for the tip on gethuman, as I eventually got a number for my country, but still they couldnt find any person speaking this countrys language, despite website and other data are in our language.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Were the two elderly people aware that they would be sharing facilities with so many people who are strangers to them? I wouldn't expect them to plan to prepare most of their meals in a kitchen used by so many strangers.

BTW, did they have a private en suite toilet and shower or bathtub?
No, there was no indication how many they would share with. I dont think this is listed unless the host specifically writes it. The posting clearly highlighted kitchen facilities, so yes they clearly planned to eat there, which turned out impossible and unsafe.

No private bath/WC, but this was listed as shared.

A well travelled guest stated clearly he did not believe people lived this bad in Europe .

I found a review of the host being a guest himself, where host wrote that he had .... in the bed and all over the toilet. I guess people have different standards.

Last edited by EmailKid; Sep 8, 16 at 12:21 pm Reason: Back to back posts
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Old Sep 9, 16, 12:39 am
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I tweeted all founders. Got replies from CS, that they would follow up, and got an email from that was called the highest level at CS. Provided some more input, and the next day they issued a 50% refund (250$).

Lessons learned.

Avoid 3rd party bookings. Complain within 24h if possible, and best in writing as well to document. Get documentation (pics, witnesses etc).
Of course read reviews when possible.

Last edited by skaya; Sep 9, 16 at 12:51 am
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