What Airbnb did:
They improperly charged me $1,105 for a shattered glass shower door. INCIDENT: I was in the shower, naked, when I tried to slide the glass door closed and it immediately shattered. It was terrifying and posed a danger to me. I texted a photo to the owner who linked me to the handyman who came the next day and installed a plastic curtain. We finished our stay and left about two weeks later. A week after we were home we received an Airbnb request for $1105, to pay for the door. At first I refused and I wrote:
July 18, 2021: “The shower door, we were told, was newly installed in a renovated bathroom. It was clearly improperly installed***-***-****not have shattered. I was in the shower, naked, when I tried to slide the glass door closed and it immediately shattered. It posed a danger to me. If you felt we were responsible, you should have said something on June 29, when the shattered glass was removed by your handyman, not after our stay. We talked with the owner and you and there was no issue at the time. There is no evidence that this is in any way negligence on our part. To the contrary.”
There was a lot of back and forth with Marie from Airbnb Customer Support Claims (I have copies) demanding I pay and saying that my contract with Airbnb stated I would leave the premises as I found them. I paid to have peace of mind. That didn’t work and I want my money refunded. I was harangued into paying and I didn’t want to keep getting notices from Airbnb reminding me of standing naked in the shower while glass shattered around me. It was terrifying. Below is what I wrote July 26, 2021. Mark from Airbnb did contact me re the review removal and that happened. He was sympathetic to my experience and said he would escalate my claim and I have heard nothing. It is only a few days, but when Airbnb wants me to pay, they request I answer and pay within 24 hours. Here’s my note to Airbnb:
Please note, Marie stated that she contacted the host’s manager for additional information. What that information was and what she received was not shared with me. Therefore, I was not able to give a response. She also took the original invoice from the handyman which had no backup. I supplied an Amazon receipt from the handyman showing the actual cost of the shower door (about $50 less) and this evidence was ignored. She said it was taxes. So, the handyman paid taxes to amazon’s vendor and then billed additional taxes to the homeowner? The handyman’s bill does not show taxes. I also requested proof that the bill was paid. I was ignored. I asked if Airbnb required inspections or a COO from the host since I was in a home with an unsafe renovation. I was ignored. The shower door was unsafe–improperly installed or it wouldn’t have shattered. Luckily, I wasn’t physically hurt. I paid to bring me peace of mind. It didn’t work. I feel I was harangued into paying and I didn’t want to keep being reminded of standing naked in the shower while glass shattered around me. It was terrifying. I am asking to be refunded. I also requested that the review I wrote, which has not been posted, be deleted. She did not respond. I prefer we have a phone conversation. You may record it. 917-287-6513.
Our reasoning as to why Airbnb should refund my money.
1. AirBnB, in violation of its Terms of Service, improperly charged for replacing a glass shower door that shattered in normal use and was in no way the renters’ responsibility.
2. AirBnB fraudulently made it appear that they were engaging in an evenhanded investigation and arbitration between host and guest when this was not the case. Evidence of AirBnB’s conduct of a sham includes their calling the AirBnB collection unit “the Resolution Center,” asking for the renters’ “side of the story” and then ignoring it, collecting additional “evidence” from the host which they subsequently concealed, charging an amount higher than that supported by existing receipts, demanding payment within 24 hours with no provision for due process or appeal, etc.
3. AirBnB did not disclose to guests that AirBnB was the insurer of the host’s loss—through third-party insurance and a self-insurance program including a “wholly owned captive” insurance subsidiary (AirBnB, S-1, Nov2020)—and therefore had a direct financial interest in the outcome of this supposedly evenhanded “investigation.”
4. In fact, AirBnB’s financial disclosures to the SEC (AirBnB, S-1, Nov2020) state that its host insurance program is a vital part of its ability to compete to represent host properties. “Our business, results of operations, and financial condition would be materially adversely affected” by any rise in third-party insurance premiums or self-insured payouts to hosts, AirBnB told financial regulators.
5. AirBnB referred in writing to its Terms of Service and stated that the reason for assessing the charge was: “As a guest, you’re responsible for leaving the property in the same condition that your host provided.” But the TOS, in paragraph 4.1, explicitly ties renters’ liability solely to renters’ “own acts and omissions” and to renters’ obligations to “comply with applicable laws at all times.” In fact, renters took no action, nor did they make any omission, that in any way caused the shower door to shatter.
6. The uncontroverted facts surrounding the shattering of the door show that the door was in normal use—what the common law terms “common usage”—and the renter was using reasonable care when it shattered. The door shattered as the renter was closing the shower door in order to take a shower. This particular shower door was newly installed, the host stated. Prior to this incident, the renter had closed dozens, if not hundreds, of other glass shower doors in her own homes, in hotel rooms, and in rental properties. Not one of these shower doors had shattered. The most reasonable inference from these facts is that the newly installed door was improperly installed by the host’s own agents and that it represented a safety hazard to the guests for which the host and AirBnB are fully liable.
7. It is clearly absurd and unsustainable to maintain that a guest is “responsible for leaving the property in the same condition that your host provided” even when the guest cannot be found, through negligence or misuse, to have caused the damage the host and AirBnB are claiming. This is the same as claiming that if the host’s faulty electrical system were to spontaneously cause a fire that burns the house down while a renter is in possession, then the renter would be responsible for replacing the house.
8. Therefore, AirBnB’s charge was improper. The renters ask for a refund of the money paid to AirBnB to replace the door, $1,105, plus an additional $5,000.00 to compensate the renters’ for lost time and emotional damage, plus an unspecified amount of punitive damages for AirBnB’s deceptive and illegal behavior.
9. To prevent AirBnB from repeating similar behavior in the future, renters ask that AirBnB be ordered to make full disclosure of its role as host’s insurer and the rights of renters to third-party arbitration to any guest from whom AirBnB is demanding payment for damages allegedly the responsibility of renters.
What would you like the company to do to fix the problem?
Refund and damages
How would you rate your experience with Airbnb?
⭐️ (1/5 stars)
Submitted by: Anonymous in New York | Read more Airbnb complaints
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