Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2
989 Views

Hey All,

 

How do you handle bad experiences while staying at fellow AirBnB host' accomodations? If we're being honest, AirBnB's customer service has certainly changed in the last few years and it leaves us in an awkward gap. I'm half way through a 4 night stay (my fiance is the booking party) and there is a significant sewage back-up (literally shi* in the showers).  Fellow host is blaming it on our actions (unfounded) and now we're just stuck in a bathtub shi*-filled limbo. Any suggestions? Has Airbnb lost all customer service since going public? Should I host/rent exclusively on VRBO?

 

Thanks!

22 Replies

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

Here are some pictures for reference. The Airbnb associate I spoke with offered $31 for us to relocate for two nights! There are 7 of us. She literally sent me a link with other listings and offered no help. The nearest option was more than 10 miles away. What happened to good Airbnb customer service? I’m revolted. It seems hosts come first, and Airbnb is willing to tolerate terrible hosts and listings. We couldn’t shower or go to the bathroom for hours before the plumber came. It’s been a terrible experience and no one seems to care. Vrbo here we come! A997DB8D-99E6-452E-B7CC-B0BE893CAC17.jpegABECBE4C-A38D-413E-8AD5-D2EDBB4A964A.jpeg

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

The hosts were unwilling to refund us either. For two nights, we should have been refunded at least $400. $31 is all that was offered from Airbnb. Appalled! 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

hello @Preston42 @Erica1130 @Kelly149 @Debra300 @Laura2592 

The photograph of the bath contents you have included @Erica1130 is similar to what also happens sometimes when one soaks laundry overnight and the washing machine hasn't had a hot cycle through it to  clean it.

 

At a guess, the bath hasn't been used for a while and the gunk and grime has surfaced that was sitting in the pipes as the water has emptied out.

 

Whilst we don't know the property age, nor sewage network it's on, don't be alarmed if it happens elsewhere because the world has become so over populated and many local councils have failed to incorporate  additional pneumatic sewage systems to cope with additional use.

 

This is an increasing world-wide problem with 'Climatic Change' as in population movement.

 

 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Some hosts just don't get it 🤨

Don't bother with Airbnb. Waste of time. 

Write an >honest< review of the host, leave emotions out of it (so that you seem credible). That's a hefty penalty all by itself. 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

you said you couldn’t use shower for hours. Does it mean the plumber came the same day and unclogged the pipe? If so, I don't understand why would you want to relocate and be refunded 400$ for a few hours of inconvenience? How much did you pay per day for the whole apartment?

 

Yes, pipes clogs sometimes 

 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

We couldn’t shower or use the restrooms from 10am - 8:30pm. We had dinner plans at 7pm and had to do “hose showers” outside. It was a nightmare. We are not unreasonable people and completely understand pipes clog. It was the response from the host and Airbnb that left us shocked. The host offered no apology and tried to blame the use of feminine products in toilets on us versus their previous renters. The plumber told us he was just out a few day ago, which means there was a bigger issue and problem the hosts didn’t want to fix at the time. The host said they absorbed the after hours plumbing cost like they were the greatest people ever. Ummmm you are the owner and this is part of the gig. Anyway, Airbnb customer service leaves much to be desired, and I’m just not interested in spending entire days of vacation dealing with their BS ever again. We paid $1500 for four nights. 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Erica1130  You may have a slightly unrealistic view of what exactly Airbnb can do for you in this case.  They can't magically make comparable listings appear out of thin air, and they are never going to pay the $$ difference between the listing you want to leave and a more expensive listing.  Life isn't perfect, sometimes things break.  It is always unfortunate, but it sounds like the host reacted quickly, got a plumber in to fix the problem ASAP.  

It may not be your fault that the pipes clogged, but the host can't know that for sure since the clog happened during your stay, that would actually be the most likely conclusion, wouldn't it?

 

That's the risk you run with an Airbnb, its only a single property, it isn't a hotel or a resort, where if there are problems with one unit, you can be moved to another.  If there are problems, you can either cancel and leave or try to work with the host to deal with it.  

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Preston42  and @Erica1130  hosts have a terrible reputation as guests. Sad but true. Many hosts here have expressed that they really hate to see another host book. My husband has been rejected by fellow hosts as he is my cohost. So the first thing is that hosts are probably less likely to help other hosts than regular old guests.

 

The tub looks like an older model. As the owner of three 100 plus year old properties, two of which are on a well/sewer, I can tell you the only option that I could reasonably offer is to relocate you if this was happening. You are very lucky that a plumber was able to come out on short notice. In my area that would not have been possible. I would have refunded you any unused portion of your stay and sent you other listings if I could not get someone there. If I could, I would offer a courtesy refund for the time the bathroom was not working.

 

The reality is that it COULD have been the fault of a guest. Most guests do not pay attention to what they flush. The host has zero way to know how this happened. The plumber being out a few days ago may just as easily mean he/she is not a great plumber and wants to charge for multiple visits vs fixing the issue at hand right away. I would take your hosts up on an offer to relocate and leave a review you think is appropriate. 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Absolutely every single abb stay ever should be considered that it may not happen (private service, with one listing and that host could die, quit, run away....). And if this is the only stay in the location that will fit your group or your budget then you have to go into it knowing that you could potentially have a problem.

And finally, if an abb space has a significant problem, then, it seems to me, that you have exactly 2 options: grab your bags, turn around and walk out the door citing that the place is unusable OR stick around and try to make the best of it. If you choose option 1, then you may have to argue with ABB and/or your ccard company about a refund and you'll certainly have some money tied up during that time and you have the annoyance of relocating. But the second option means that you don't get to decide what kind of $$ it should cost the host for you to stay. You looked at all the other options and decided that this was your best location, plumbing or not. There isnt a middle ground where you get to stay, get something fixed and not pay. Now, many hosts might refund part of the stay, maybe you would if the tables were turned, but to say that the only reasonable answer is that they fix it and give you back money isn't really true. These are houses and sometimes they have problems. You got to house 7 people in the area you wanted to be in at a price that sounds like didn't exist anywhere else, therefore there are tradeoffs.

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

I guess the biggest takeaway is how much Airbnb customer service has changed though. Back in the day, Airbnb relocated my fiancée free of charge to a W hotel when a listing he stayed at had similar issues. Now, they offer $31 and a list of options that don’t fit our needs. It’s certainly not a guest-first platform anymore. Sad but true. The associates you speak to are robots and can’t d anything because of strict policies with little leeway. 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Erica1130 I don't think this has as much to do with ABB customer service as it does your expectations. I have never heard of ABB putting someone up in a luxury hotel. I am sure you are being truthful that it happened, but this is 100% the first time I have ever seen anyone say that. I think you got really really lucky on that stay.

 

If I were looking to travel in the future after this experience, I would book hotels only. That way you can be sure a dedicated repair staff is on call 24/7. Its not reasonable to expect that you bring 7 people to a house with older plumbing and get a new, luxury spot to stay if something happens to that plumbing. With individual owners, there is not a crew of pros at the ready to jump on any maintenance issue. I do wonder that you continue to stay in ABBs vs hotels if this is an issue you have run into a few times. 

 

Guests need to understand that these things can happen. I do think if I were hosting in this case I would look to relocate you a lot sooner than offer you a steep discount, particularly if I had a plumber call and repair the issue. Once a guest is unhappy, they tend to stay that way. Its always best for everyone to wipe the slate clean. If you are upset enough to vent here, you probably aren't going to leave a great review. At the first hint of an issue, I would be apologizing for the inconvenience and contacting ABB to find you somewhere else to go. But I truly doubt the somewhere else would be the W.

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Denver, CO
Level 2

@Kelly149 i never once said we deserved a refund if we chose to stay. I said we deserved a refund for unused nights if we decided to relocate, which could be used towards a new stay elsewhere. Airbnb does not protect guests, and hosts can be slimy. It’s a lose lose and a risk you take booking an Airbnb, but I will be taking my business elsewhere. 

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

That really would be shocking if abb tried to keep money for nights you didn't stay for a place without functioning plumbing. I think in many cases ABB expects guests and hosts to make a decision and show they're serious by spending their own money first. You see this with hosts who only get $$ from a damage claim because they have receipts to show that they spent money to fix a problem. The same would be true of a guest claiming an uninhabitable rental. You have to checkout, cancel and be willing to take a gamble with getting a refund after the fact. Like I said, that's option number 1 and I think you'd have a great case to argue for a refund either from abb or your ccard if you left. 

Unfortunately ABB sees the review system as a way to rectify this for hosts and guests, my guess is that both you and your host will be unhappy with each other and with abb when it comes time to write those reviews.

Re: Fellow unscrupulous Hosts

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Erica1130,

 

The situation you described is a good example of why people should always purchase travel insurance whenever traveling away from home, no matter the distance or duration of the trip.  Things happen that don't go as planned, and sometimes sudden changes have to be made due to undesirable circumstances.  Since I travel regularly, I purchase an annual travel insurance policy for me and my husband, but when I traveled less frequently I always made sure to either use a credit card that offered travel insurance or purchased a policy for the specific trip.

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