A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6
7,404 Views

We rented to 2 young guys who had come from New Jersey.  We live about 2 hours away from the rental so our check in process is done contactless where they ring the doorbell camera and we can see it's the guest and remotely open the door.  Once in you get keys and a garage door clicker.  After that most guest don't really go thru the front door as the garage is attached. These guys originally booked for 2 weeks then extended for another 2 weeks.  They tried to extend again but I declined.  When we got to the house it was completely wrecked with damages estimated at approximately $4000.  Not only had the managed to completely smash our shower doors the broke our sofa in two and burned all of our nightstands with cigarettes and weed.  Nearly every room had the remnants of marijuana and the house stunk of smoke and weed.  They even broke a locked gate to get to a storage area where we store our various personal items.   We felt violated and completely in shock.  I immediately messaged him asking why they'd done what they'd done and he said that's what they pay cleaning for.  He did not care one bit about any of the damage he caused and even started sending me laughing emojis!   As we cleaned the house we noticed our personal mail was spread all over the house.  That raised immediate red flags so I went to the mailbox and found a 3" stack of mail from the EDD.  For those not from California the EDD is the unemployment department that's in charge of pandemic relief for those in California that are unemployed due to the pandemic.   Someone filing just one of these claims could easily get between $30,000-$50,000 maybe more.  It's been plagued by fraudulent claims from the beginning.  The one day of mail the we got after he'd left had 6 separate claims.  When the police went to the house yesterday they found another stack with around another 10 different claims.   Our mailbox is on the street approximately 45 feet from our front door.   Our doorbell camera is motion activated but we only get notified if someone rings the doorbell so we had no idea what he was doing.  Thank god the footage saves for up to a month because when we went back and looked you see this guy going and checking our mail everyday..sometimes 2-3 times a day.  When he goes in you can clearly see the EDD envelopes that he's carrying.  He set up a full EDD scam at our address and was collecting all of the California Pandemic relief even thou he isn't even from California.  We called the police who made a report and because it appears to be a large operation they put us in contact with the Department Of Justice who also have a fraud division.  The doorbell camera is in plain site and faces the street it's also in our add that we have security cameras.  If it weren't for the footage it would have basically been my word against his.

So while all of this is ongoing I'm also trying to communicate with Airbnb and let them know not only about all of the damage but the criminal activity.   As anyone who's every has had to deal with Airbnb will tell you it is not easy to get anyone on the phone.  I was also extremely busy trying to clean up my house.  I started sending messages immediately after I discovered the damage and also did as was instructed and sent the damages to him to pay first.   He denied everything and said he'd reported me to Airbnb.    As soon as he'd been asked to pay damages  he left a 1 star review where he claimed we lived in an RV across the street and spied on our guest.  He also stated we have cameras inside our house.  Both statements are complete lies but I can't get anyone at Airbnb to get back to me.  I  find it very funny that Airbnb lowers my rating if I don't reply within 24 hours to inquiries yet I'm still waiting after 3 days.  Keep in mind I've been sending them updated messages every single day since this started.  Today I woke up to find my account has been "temporarily suspended" because he claims I have cameras in my house! Are you serious?? I'm now absolutely livid so once again I've called and was put on hold for over an hour.   I had a meeting to get to and ended up having to hang up with the promise the will message me.   My ratings were perfect and no one has every said a bad word about me I'd fully expected to become a super host in October,  yet they take the word a someone who had never even used Airbnb before and suspend my account!   I am more then disgusted with what had happened and cannot be more let down by Airbnb.   This needs to change people can not continue to get away with this type of behavior and Airbnb condone it.  

32 Replies

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Laura4076 

 

Airbnb should treat their hosts with more respect, they are part of their excistence as a company.

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Takoma Park, MD
Level 10

@Laura4076  I'm SO sorry this happened to you! I hope you can recover and get going again and give some serious thought to moving to another platform.

 

You're so right about us hosts having 24 hours (with multiple reminder messages regularly sent) to respond to inquiries, yet AirBnB customer service typically is unreachable, and when reached, unknowledgeable and unresponsive. 

 

This is such a horror story. In a way it's "good" that they also committed the fraud, because it's more likely they'll get caught and perhaps be held accountable for the damage to your house. 

Hang in there, and better luck moving forward. Kia

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

Level 2

If you had cameras you surely wouldn't have let that go on! How absurd! 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

Exactly!  The house was absolutely wrecked. Imagine your worst fear and thats what we walked into! Yet I’m the one being punished and Airbnb still haven’t gotten back to me.  It’s beyond shocking! There really are no protections for host against guest that can say and do whatever they want.

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Tami239 I know it’s common sense! Plus he claimed we were watching him from an RV that we don’t even own!  Try explaining that to the bot in a message when you can get anyone at Airbnb to actually speak to you. 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5

Management at AirBNB really need to get onto this; once a host has been burnt like this it sticks. Every time I do a review I get asked if I want $350 to refer someone else to host on AirBNB. I wish there was a button that said "Hell no, not until this mess is resolved; innocent until proven guilty!". I have always been a fan of AirBNB and even send direct or annual returning guests through AirBNB, even though I lose 15% I thought AirBNB resolution centre was great the twice ive had to use it in 5 years.

 

But now I share your same experience, I'm going to give preferential pricing to the other booking sites over AirBNB, I always gave AirBNB booking guests a 10% discount so they would use AirBNB over HomeAway or Booking.com etc; not anymore.

 

Here is my fully documented blog post, including screenshots and videos etc - https://medium.com/@barrymurphy_73830/bad-airbnb-experience-from-a-superhost-1398a40795e

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5

Correct me if im wrong; but AirBNB work for us not the guest; so hosts should be more protected!

This all changed when they started charging the host the 15% rather than the guest a service fee?

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

Airbnb lost any control over guests (what was expected since they allowed new guests to sign up by email and phone number only)so when the problem occur the only thing they can do is to unlist the host ,and they do that to keep the impression of taking some action

 

What happend to you an @Barry346  and thousands of hosts until now, can happen to any of us  tomorrow. We are all playing Russian roulette with our properties every single day. It is frightening 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Barry346  as expected they emailed me back at 230am saying it wasn’t possible to speak to be due to the time difference.  I’m beyond shocked at how bad this company is run! Why would they demand to speak to me and then say it’s not possible. Also all the police etc involved are also in California how do they intend to speak to them? They don’t it’s a total farce!

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 5

I dont know if its possible, but maybe ask you can be changed to a case manager in a more appropriate timezone. My agent was in GMT+5 so they do have different timezones; whether the case can be moved between agents I dont know.

 

Also consider doing a professional medium.com post with uploads and copies of police case files etc to prove your case a little more with all the information in one place for all to see

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Perth, Australia
Level 2

@Laura4076 

Your story is a shocking one and I’m so sorry this has happened to you! I’m having problems with Airbnb myself as they have suspended my property because I have declined bookings from 2 large groups of young males! They expect me to hand over the keys to my property worth over $2 million to a bunch of teenagers/youngsters in their 20’s without reservation??!

I am getting nowhere trying to speak with someone in authority on Airbnb who can sort this situation and have just wasted 90 minutes of my valuable time being passed around different people in various parts of the world and no one can help me sort this out.  I have been a super host for the last 3 years and this is the way I’m treated! Not happy at all!

I know my situation is nothing like yours though but all the “lip service” airbnb pays towards “looking after hosts” is just Bull Sh*t! As soon as you present a problem that doesn’t fit with their sheet of standard responses, you’re stuffed!

I really hope that you get your awful situation sorted and are reimbursed for all the damages you’ve sustained. Thanks for sharing!

Allison

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Allison500 I can totally relate! My situation happened last Saturday and I still haven’t been able to speak to anyone at Airbnb!  But the “guest” was able to have me suspended in a day.  The only communication I’ve had is someone in Europe (I’m in California) who outright told me it would be impossible for us to speak over the phone.  Even thou in the email she asked for my number and said there would be consequences if I didn’t sort this out in 72 hours. When I called I was only hold for over an hour then I had to leave.  They need to hire more actual humans instead of relying on automated messages sent from bots.

 

 Since I posted my story I’ve had so many replies from host who are all getting the same treatment. I’m seriously thinking of setting up a post just for everyone to write their experiences.  I feel like if they were all together people would see what a big problem this is.  I’d been really trying to get to super host and would of gotten there in October until he gave me the one star review. Now reading all these stories I’m not even bothered. It’s clear Airbnb are all about the guest and have forgotten that they wouldn’t exist without hosts.  


 

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Catherine-Powell Yet another example of the Airbnb policy of 'suspend first and then maybe ask questions later'. Do you really think @Laura4076 made up all the police reports???

Surely there should be a modicum of common sense used in these situations?

Finally - Do you ever reply to awkward questions?

Re: A story with everything. Bad guest, thousands in damages, criminal activity and a bad review!

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 6

@Mike-And-Jane0  There is a no common sense when you can’t even deal with a real person!  My bank is a large corporation yet when I call them I can speak to a real person within minutes. When you rent a car anywhere your held responsible for any damages immediately. Some host on here have multi million dollar homes that as @Branka-and-Silvia0 say are playing Russian roulette with as Airbnb will always side with the guest.

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