I wanted to share my extremely bad experience related to Airbnb. I just recently started hosting and had my first bad guest. Guest stayed for two nights, she violated multiple housing rules (that they were supposed to agree to and comply) and damaged my property.
After guest left and I noticed the damage they caused to bedding and found out from neighbors that guests didn’t comply to my house rules.
I didn’t know how exactly I’m supposed to ask for so-called host protection and it was not properly explained on the website, so I asked the support how I am supposed to claim the damage for items in my apartment. I had to wait for almost 3 days before getting a reply, even though they promise to reply within 24 hours, yep, sure, bull…t. so, when I finally got a reply explaining the procedure, I opened the claim. Here I must mention, that guest checked out on 18 of March and claim was opened on 21 of March, I couldn’t open it earlier, because I didn’t know how.
My claim for refund for the damaged items was immediately rejected by the guest (didn’t expect anything out of that, but this is a procedure), so I escalated it to host protection request. Little that I knew, my request got denied on 23 of March (same month I must mention) because I didn’t submit it within 14 days :-D Ridiculous you would say? No, not for Airbnb, so, apparently, I had 14 days to submit a complaint and I didn’t follow this timeline, when there were JUST 5 DAYS THAT PASSED between guest leaving and answer to my request for host protection being received.
I have contacted Airbnb to inquire why did they give me such a ridiculous answer that doesn’t make any sense. After two days of silence, I’ve got a message that they declined my host protection request because next guest have already checked in and I have to submit requests ONLY between checkout of one guest and check-in of another, HA! Here comes the interesting part, the guest who caused damage have checked out at 11 am on March 18, but next guest checked in at 11:30 guess when? Also at March 18, so, as per Airbnb, I had precisely whole 30 minutes to:
• Discover the damage
• Document all the damage
• Find similar items online or buy new items that needed to be repaired or replaced
• Submit a claim via Airbnb
• ….apparently also have time for cleaning and greeting new guest
Who they think I am, some f... Barry Allen?
So, Airbnb rejected my host protection on bogus reason like this, they left me to pick up the bill, they made up ridiculous excuse not to assist me in any way and yeah this is how their host protection works.
Name of the wonderful specialist who makes those smart and not at all ridiculous decisions is Alison, but she also changes it to Alice to confuse you, good job Alice.
As an employee of quite powerful Belgian law firm, we already had to deal with multiple complaints against Airbnb and Alison/Alice comes out quite often, showing total disrespect for personal belongings or damages caused by guests to the hosts. Doesn’t matter how severe damage is and what kind of proof you have Alice/Alison (maybe she is bipolar, who knows) will ALWAYS find the way to dismiss your claim and to not give you deserved and promised protection.
However, what is interesting, once hosts starting to file complaints, lawsuits and go to press, Airbnb immediately settles cases, pays demanded compensation and then begs not to leak story to the press any further.
There, had to be shared!
Anyway, if you have problems with Airbnb, my advice is COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN , the best way is to complain to US California Better Business Bureau, then your complaint will be published in multiple places and will be forwarded directly to Airbnb headquarters, they will have to read and act on it. To lodge a complaint, you don’t have to be in US, it’s enough that business office is there.
We have to force them to respect hosts and guests rights and stop treating us like milking cows